31 August, 2005

wednesday links

After being one of the bloggers who ran with the Reuters item saying that Sister Hibiscus was the target of a crackdown, I’ll hold off on comment on this item in the Telegraph suggesting that the CCP are seeking to ban the Mongolian Cow Sour Yoghurt Super
Girl Contest because it’s too democratic

SupergirlsChina’s propaganda tsars are even less
impressed by the second year of the Mongolian Cow Sour Yoghurt Super
Girl Contest, to give it its full title. One official of the main
broadcasting regulator has said that the show could be taken off the
air if it fails to correct its “worldliness”. Critics from CCTV, the
state-run broadcaster, initially labelled the show vulgar, boorish and
lacking in social responsibility.
Sources said that censors were concerned that the democratic
methods used to select the winner from 120,000 entrants could stir
trouble. For weeks fans have been crowding shopping centres across the
country, carrying posters of their favorite contestants in an attempt
to rally votes for them. On Friday the streets of Changsha, the capital
of Hunan, were swamped with thousands of fans who celebrated until
dawn. Security guards were called in last week at two shopping centres
after Super Girl fans became unruly.

Kim Jong-il’s online public relations site has just received praise from UPI.:

Since it was
launched last summer, North Korea’s Web site to promote the country
with foreigners in mind has taken many by surprise, not least because
of its sleek look and well-organized contents.

There are currently about 30 Web sites backed by Pyongyang, but most are like http://www.uriminzokkiri.com,
which is a site largely devoted to singing the praises of Kim Jong-Il
and his father, as well as the virtues of the hermit nation. In
contrast, Naenara is available not only in Korean, but also seven other
languages, which also include the languages spoken in the five
countries that make up the ongoing six-party talks over the disarming
of North Korea, namely English, Russian, Chinese and Japanese, in
addition to French and German.

I often give UPI a pass over their links to South Korea’s Unification Church (aka, Moonies) but I really must question the agency’s editorial independence from its owner and church head Sun Myung Moon if they consider this to  have a "sleek look and well-organized contents."


Via D J McGuire an item from Taiwan News Online on - among other things - Cisco, Censorship and China:

Gutmann was basing his arguments on those made in his book titled
"Losing the New China - A Story of American Commerce, Desire and
Betrayal," which discusses in detail how American businesses played a
role in restricting freedom of thought in China, in turn betraying the
American values of liberty, democracy, and human rights. Doing business in China could potentially
endanger the national security of Taiwan and the United States as well
as violate democratic values, American scholar-businessman Ethan
Gutmann argued yesterday at a forum held in Taipei.

On a related note, Ian Lamont points to a comprehensive study on China’s Great Firewall.

Warning, the Asia Financial Crisis is coming back! I was going to point to an item in which Andy Xie of Morgan Stanley makes that argument, but I’ll save analysis of Xie for the next China Economic Roundup. Instead, some annecdotal evidence. Why does AsiaPundit sense a crisis? He sees similarities between now and 1997. For instance, we have hot money inflows, overcapacities, and …

this exact same thing happened to me South Korea in 1997 just weeks before the Thai baht crashed!!:

once went to a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop here in Korea and asked
for a chocolate shake. I was told they could only make mocha,
strawberry or melon shakes (not the exact flavors because I can’t
remember the exact ones but it doesn’t really matter). Being that they
do advertise themselves as having "31 Flavors," I politely offered to
pay the same price they charge for those options except I would like
chocolate, please.

The worker freaked out. "It’s not on the menu," I was told.
I know," I responded, "but can you not just make one and charge me the same as any other?"
among co-workers took place, a phone call was made and the manager came
out from the back to tell me that no, a chocolate shake was impossible.

We’re all screwed!!

Speaking of economic bubbles, I had thought that Shanghai’s recent crackdown of was a draconian but understandable measure. I haven’t read up on Seoul’s problems but ouch!:

Mrhousingbubble2On the demand side, the government will raise the capital gains tax
on owners of two houses to 50 percent from the current 9 to 36 percent.
Property holdings tax on apartments and unused land will be raised to 1 percent by 2019 from the current 0.15 percent.
assessment base of the comprehensive real estate tax, a national tax
designed to crack down on real estate speculation, will be raised to
100 percent of the standard price gradually by 2009 from the current 50
And owners of properties worth more than 600 million
won will be subject to a comprehensive real estate tax beginning next
year. Currently, the tax targets people with homes worth more than 900
million won.

And still more bubbling in Hong Kong! We’re all screwed! Blame Baskin Robbins and their inability to make chocolate milkshakes in Pusan.

And on milkshakes, I’m so happy the Brits left Hong Kong with a functional legal system.:

KissselNancy Kissel slept alongside her husband Robert’s body for two nights, therefore she is not guilty
of murder.  He was into black gay porn websites, cocaine-fuelled sodomy
and other normal, healthy investment bankers’ pastimes, therefore she
is not guilty of murder.  She was helping to organize the United Jewish
Congregation annual dinner, therefore she is not guilty of murder.  Her
handling of pre-Dad’s-visit rotting-corpse- disposal issues was a tad
inexpert, therefore she is not guilty of murder.  The Tai Lam Women’s
Prison baseball team are in high spirits today.

The image of Kissel is snatched without attribution from a Yahoo! image search. Curiously, the first result is Phil!



Congrats, Phil. In a few years your mug will show up in a poorly researched true-crime novel.

Warning to Olympians, if you beat out India for the gold then Bollywood will be mean to you.:

Ahmed Al Maktoum, the shooter from Dubai, is that an assassin from Dubai in the film Sarkar
is referred to as an Olympic gold medalist in shooting. Al Maktoum won
an Olympic gold in the double trap last year, beating India’s
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and feels it’s a derogatory reference to

More on lingerie model Michelle Leslie’s ‘conversion’ at IndCoup:


Indonesia is an unpredictable place. You should always expect
the unexpected. Maybe it’s something they put in the water. But
whatever it is, the latest news concerning the Aussie model recently
arrested in Bali for drugs possession is simply astonishing to say the
least. Because, right out of the blue, Michelle Leslie, who was only
recently posing in raunchy photoshoots covered in nothing more than
body paint is now donning the full Muslim headdress!

But why? Bali is a Hindu island after all. And what’s more, her
actions have caused such an uproar back in Aus that her family have had
to make a public apology to offended Muslims who quite understandably
think she’s taking the piss.

You can’t judge a book by the cover, but you can usually judge a movie from the trailer; Danny Bloom says Geisha sucks.

Geisha Having recently seen the trailer for Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha,
which Hollywood has tried to turn into a movie to hit world movie
screens for Christmas viewing (and Oscar nominations time), I can’t
help but feel this film will be a dud.
Why? Well, I’m not a
New York Times film critic, and I don’t have a Ph.D. in film studies,
but one look at the trailer and it’s obvious that the American
producers erred bigtime by deciding to cast Chinese actresses in the
roles of the Japanese characters in Golden’s book.
For one
thing, the big-name Chinese actresses “look” like Chinese women, from
their faces to their hair to their body language, and they speak
English in the movie with Chinese-accented English. It’s obvious they
are not Japanese. The film becomes a travesty of movie-making.


It’s Blog Day! And no one gave me a present!

Jeff Ooi celebrates with a tour of the Malaysian blogosphere. Kenny Sia celebrates with a tour of the Malaysian babe-o-sphere.


In Singapore, Mr Wang disagrees with the linking policy of metablog Tomorrow.sg, which is - essentially - if you put something in the public domain… it’s PUBLIC!:

At one level, Mr Wang agrees with Tomorrow’s position, for the reasons
that Agagooga has stated. Mr Wang himself regularly links to other
bloggers’ posts without seeking their permission. Although "Did Mr Wang Say So?" is on a much smaller scale than Tomorrow, the same principles ought to apply.
On the other hand, Mr Wang uses his brain when choosing his
hyperlinks. And Mr Wang considers it inappropriate for Tomorrow to take
an overly cavalier approach to this task. It is one thing to say, "Oh,
YOU put your personal story on the Internet yourself, don’t blame US
for publicising it." This kind of excuse, while not entirely invalid,
is a poor excuse for the Tomorrow editors to display bad editorial
taste, to make bad editorial choices and to be lousy human beings.
Tomorrow (or any other blog) is perfectly free to act as a
screaming tabloid if it wants to. It doesn’t necessarily follow that it
is a good thing for Tomorrow (or any other blog) to act as a screaming
tabloid. And the fact that people didn’t stick "Respect My Privacy"
banners or buttons all over their own blogs doesn’t mean that a
Tomorrow editor can’t exercise some good judgment on his own accord to
do what’s right.

AsiaPundit doesn’t mind being a tabloid blog. Asia has a three easily available English-language broadsheets - the AWSJ, IHT and FT all nicely acronymed to increase appeal in Singapore - and it could use a good tabloid. Further, most of the Tomorrow.sg-linked blogs are Blogger hosted. If you want your blog to be private… password protect it. Duh!

But speaking of Tabloid Crap, that’s the category under which :

WhoopieAccording to the JoongAng Ilbo (Korean), Koreans fart a lot.
Hey, don’t blame me for this one — blame the JoongAng. Anyway, the
piece said that while it might be hard to draw a hard and fast
conclusion, one could guess that Koreans break wind particularly often
due to the large amount of gas-producing foods they consume — beans,
veggies, fruits and raw foods. The rising consumption of milk doesn’t
help matters, and those with trouble digesting lactose and the elderly
with weakening digestive power are particularly susceptible to
becoming, in the colorful choice of words by the JoongAng, “gas shells”
(like in the WWI artillery round).

And the JoongAng Ilbo, I recall, is a broadsheet.

Hey, Google solved that East Sea/Sea of Japan problem that was causing all of those DNS attacks across the East Sea Sea of Japan body of water that separates the two countries.:


Oh while today is blog day and the day Malaysia gained independence, tomorrow, September 1st, is the day Tibet lost it.

by @ 9:47 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Media, South Asia, Weblogs, North Korea, Film, Australia, Tibet

2 Responses to “wednesday links”

  1. Daryl Says:

    Um, 31 Aug is Malaysia’s National Day.

  2. myrick Says:

    Gaah! I think I had that right yesterday night, but through a bit of early-morning editing to fix a typo I seem to have changed Blog Day and Malaysian National Day to today. I still managed to fix the Tibet part though.

    MEMO: Blogging after beer is bad; blogging before coffee is worse.

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