6 June, 2006

Great Moment for S’pore Police

Via Singabloodypore, an item from the unlinkable Straits Times on the heroic member of Singapore’s Finest who will be awarded a commendation for staying awake for two days in order to nab a potty-mouthed 17-year old.:

PoliceacademyStation Inspector Mohamed Zulnizan Mohamed Arsis stayed awake for the better part of two days tracking down the blogger who posted racist remarks in October last year.

For his devotion to duty, he will be among the 335 police officers to receive commendation certificates today from Police Commissioner Khoo Boon Hui.

The 32-year-old inspector started tracking the blogger when a police report was made about his comments against Malays.

Inspector Zulnizan said: “I knew I had to check that particular blog every two hours so as not to miss any posting by the blogger’s friends. If not, some of the postings would be replaced with new ones.

“Within a day, I found out what school he was in. Then I found out his address and he was arrested.”

The 17-year-old blogger pleaded guilty and was placed on probation for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of community work for Malay welfare organisations to clear his misconceptions about Malays.

Why the officer had to check the site every two hours for two days escapes up.

AsiaPundit had assumed that Singapore authorities would have grasped either (a) RSS feeds or (b) working in shifts.

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by @ 11:43 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

Philippine Phalluses Irk Censors

Regulators in the Philippines are threatening to ban a documentary program after it ran a cultural item involving old women and wooden objects.:

THE PHALLUSES are carved out of wood. Some are painted with lipstick, others decorated with flowers and ribbons. A few are huge, like rocket launchers, while others are more human in scale.

 Blog Wp-Images Lukayo2They are the handiwork of the lukayo, women way past their sexual prime who dance at weddings where they wave the phalluses like trophies, brandish them like swords, twirl them like batons, or thrust them like, well, phalluses.

According to Ramon Obusan, who will be named the National Artist for Dance on Friday, the dance of the lukayo is a nearly 200-year old ritual that celebrates marriage and binds communities. For the women who take part, he says. “it is also a chance to assert their independence” and to mock male power, which the phallus represents.

On May 22, GMA 7’s multi-awarded documentary program “i-witness” featured the lukayo of Kalayaan, Laguna and showed old women decked in brightly colored ribbons, faux jewelry and gaudy flowers, some in boots and oversized sunglasses, all of them displaying phalluses of various sizes and shapes. They were dancing, singing bawdy songs and looked like they were having the time of their lives.

It was the first time anything like this was seen on Philippine television and it provided viewers a peek of what dance and culture scholar Obusan calls “the depth of the phallus in our culture” and that remains as a residue from our pre-Hispanic, Hindu-Malay past.

But the program, hosted by veteran television journalist Howie Severino (who is also a member of the PCIJ board), now risks being suspended by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for violating Section 2, Chapter 4 of the implementing rules of the board, which prevents the airing of sexual content in a “patently lewd, offensive and demeaning manner.”

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by @ 11:14 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Media, Censorship

Michelle Leslie Speaks

Indcoup brings us a transcript of an Australian television interview with Michelle Leslie - the Australian lingerie model who was busted in Bali for ecstasy while with the son of an Indonesian government minister, faked a conversion to Islam while in prison (abandoning the lingerie for a burqa) and now states that she was threatened with rape and worse.:

…it was with great anticipation that I awaited for Michelle Leslie to come clean on the Aussie TV show 60 minutes (You can either see the video or download the show’s transcript here).
While she admits she ain’t really a Muslim but took to wearing a burka (to avoid getting raped by those nasty horny Indonesian prison guards, obviously), and that she paid up to US$300,000 in bribes to the Indonesian officials, she doesn’t, unfortunately, really say much about the involvement of Bakrie’s kid:

MichelleleeLIZ HAYES: This 25-year-old, who’d made her career in front of the camera, now shrank from the overwhelming attention. But then it was revealed that the son of the Indonesian Finance Minister had been in the car the night of Michelle’s arrest. Once again, she was front-page news, and days later, a late-night visitor came to her cell.
MICHELLE LESLIE: He was like, you know, ‘Make sure you don’t tell anybody about the people that’s in the car or you’re in danger here. We can get in here, there’s no problems. Be careful for your life.’
LIZ HAYES: Did you believe him?
LIZ HAYES: So you took that as a threat?
LIZ HAYES: And do you still believe that that was a threat?
LIZ HAYES: Who would do that?
MICHELLE LESLIE: I don’t know. He was obviously well-connected enough to be able to get in there, because nobody was allowed in there.
LIZ HAYES: But the strategy of ‘whatever it takes’ succeeded. She was released after just three months.

But that’s it. Too many questions are left unanswered. How did she come to know Bakrie’s kid in the first place? Whose car was she in? And most obviously of all, why didn’t he stop the police from searching her? And couldn’t he have arranged to pay off the police BEFORE it went to court?

AsiaPundit agrees that there is much more to this, and it expects it will be answered following a book deal and ‘movie of the week.’

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by @ 10:56 pm. Filed under Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

AsiaPundit Fashion Tip No.1

Bow ties add extra depth to empty suits:

Donald TsangThe papers today are filled with stories that are seen as proof that Donald Tsang did indeed attend a pro-democracy event in 1989, and to me they seem pretty convincing. I choose to believe these stories. And if they are true, it shows that Tsang once did believe in democracy. That is, until he got into a position of power himself. Now that he has power, it would appear that freedom of choice is only allowed if it is his choice. They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely. But he does not have absolute power as he is just a craven toady to the bosses in Beijing. Which to me says he is so inept he cannot even be successful at moral corruption.

What has he been focusing his energies on? Coming up with a solution to the ever increasing air pollution that is driving people away and will lead to an enormous health care problem that will weigh down future generations of the entire community? Nope. Innovative ways to attract tourists and businesses here? Nope. Increase wages, create jobs, increase the social welfare in any conceivable way, shape or form? Nope? Stop the nonsense that keeps real estate prices artifically high? Nope. Break up the cartels that prevent true competition from existing in our so called “free economy?” Nope. Build a $150 billion dollar monument to himself in Tamar? Yep.

Hmmm. What might the dedication plaque read? “This building was the vision of Donald Tsang, a man who did nothing else while in office except collect a fat pay check, kiss Beijing butt and waste our tax money on this blighted behemoth.”

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by @ 10:34 pm. Filed under China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia

UK Journalists Boycott Yahoo

Via CSR Asia, the British journalists union has called upon its members to boycott Yahoo!.:

LONDON — The union representing journalists in the UK and Ireland called on its 40,000 members to boycott all Yahoo Inc. products and services to protest the Internet company’s reported actions in China.

The National Union of Journalists said it sent a letter on Friday to Dominique Vidal, Yahoo Europe’s vice president, denouncing the company for allegedly providing information to Chinese authorities about journalists.

The union also said it would stop using all Yahoo-operated services.

Yahoo has been cited in court decisions as supplying China’s government with information to help them identify, prosecute, and jail writers advocating democracy.

“The NUJ regards Yahoo’s actions as a completely unacceptable endorsement of the Chinese authorities,” wrote Jemima Kiss, chairman of the NUJ new media council in the letter to Vidal.

Yahoo spokesperson Mary Osako said the Sunnyvale, California-based company believes it must conduct business in each country in ways that business in each country in ways that comply with local laws.

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by @ 10:16 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech

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