Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Testing blog

Test blog via my blackberry device.

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Monday, April 25, 2011


Apple iPad review
By Joshua Topolsky posted April 3rd 2010 9:00AM
ipad review, apple ipad review, apple

Finally, the Apple iPad review. The name iPad is a killing word -- more than a product -- it's a statement, an idea, and potentially a prime mover in the world of consumer electronics. Before iPad it was called the Apple Tablet, the Slate, Canvas, and a handful of other guesses -- but what was little more than rumor and speculation for nearly ten years is now very much a reality. Announced on January 27th to a middling response, Apple has been readying itself for what could be the most significant product launch in its history; the making (or breaking) of an entirely new class of computer for the company. The iPad is something in between its monumental iPhone and wildly successful MacBook line -- a usurper to the netbook throne, and possibly a sign of things to come for the entire personal computer market... if Apple delivers on its promises. And those are some big promises; the company has been tossing around words like "magical" and "revolutionary" to describe what many have dismissed as nothing more than a larger version of its iPod touch. But is that all there is to this device? Is the hope that Apple promises for this new computing experience nothing more than marketing fluff and strategic hyperbole? Or is this a different beast altogether -- a true sign that change has come to the world of the PC? We have the definitive answers to those questions (and many more) right here, so read on for our full review of the Apple iPad!
Apple iPad unboxing and hands-on


Industrial design

The first thing you notice about the iPad is, well, you don't really notice it. In many ways, there is just not much here -- design wise -- to comment on. The bulk of its surface is taken up by a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768, capacitive, multitouch LED-backlit display surrounded by a glossy black bezel that some will say is too wide but, in practice, is an important design consideration that prevents the touchscreen from being inadvertently activated when handled. There's only Apple's signature "home" button to interact with, and the back of the device is a dutifully simple piece of curved aluminum. Like most Apple products, it's a beauty to behold, but it's not exactly notable for design flourishes; simply put, it's good looking but not terribly exciting. But if the design of the iPad is an exercise in restraint, it only serves to reinforce how formidable this technology feels once it's in your hands. The device has some heft, weighing in at 1.5 pounds, but is still comfortable to hang onto at most angles. Considering the computing power of the tablet, a thickness that tops out at half an inch is pretty impressive, too. But how does it feel in your hands? Well, that matte aluminum on the back surprisingly communicates warmth (though we don't recommend resting this on any bare flesh on a cold morning), and the rest of the design gets out of the way and lets you concentrate on what is really most important: that screen. And that's kind of the point, isn't it?

The iPad does house a few other components you should be aware of: a volume rocker and screen position lock (which forces the device to remain in landscape or portrait mode) on the upper right hand side, a power / sleep button and headphone jack on either side of its top edge, and Apple's famous 30-pin dock connector alongside a single thin speaker on the bottom of the unit. There is nothing outwardly notable about the buttons or layout on the iPad -- if you've used an iPod touch or iPhone, you'll find yourself right at home... and that's exactly how Apple wants it.

As far as ergonomics are concerned, the standard seated-with-iPad-in-lap move is a completely comfortable experience, but there are definitely use cases where handling a flat slab becomes a pain. For instance, single finger typing becomes a bit of a game of hunt-and-peck, and that's the situation you find yourself in if you're ever standing with the iPad or holding the device with your other hand. We mentioned that iPad has some weight to it, and while it's comfortable to hold, it is considerably more of a handful than an iPhone. You'll feel that weight in your arms after extended period of keeping it aloft. Apple promo videos like to show their users happily grabbing the iPad and swinging their legs up onto a table -- Fonz style -- but if you're like us, most of your heavy text entry is done while seated at a standard table or desk, which means that unless you have a dock you're going to be typing on the iPad as a flat surface. The thing is, we actually found the flat-typing experience to be pretty good; it takes a little getting used to, but it's not totally bizarre either. In fact, we'd say it's a much more enjoyable experience than single-hand typing. Still, just as with the iPhone, there is a learning curve here that may diminish some hit-and-run shoppers' interest.


As you probably know by now, the iPad packs Apple's custom, PA Semi-designed 1GHz A4 system-on-a-chip -- a single Cortex A8 core coupled with a PowerVR SGX GPU. RAM on the iPad hasn't been revealed, but we suspect there's 512MB (at least) inside here -- we'll know more once iFixit or someone else puts the pad under the knife. Also onboard is 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, a digital compass, an accelerometer, microphone, and ambient light sensor. The 3G model that ships at the end of the month will add UMTS / HSDPA data along with an AGPS chip. You can purchase the device in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB. We had the 64GB version for this review.

In our testing, the A4 SOC seemed to deal with whatever we threw at it handily. From opening and rendering webpages to playing the most graphically intensive games (including scaled iPhone versions, of course), it didn't miss a beat. The photo app was particularly impressive, allowing for fast scrolling through high resolution pictures without a hiccup, and handling rotation and zooming with no resistance or hesitation. Applications themselves opened quickly -- not instantly. Of course, as many detractors have noted (Engadget included), there's no true multitasking here, so seeing a system with this much power perform admirably one app at a time wasn't a huge surprise, especially since we'd experienced the same thing on an earlier version at the January event (more on this in a moment). Still, it seems like the A4 has power to spare, and that's a good thing if the third party apps we used on the iPad were any indication of where things are headed -- more graphically intensive and packing far more functionality.

The battery -- a 25-watt-hour lithium-polymer (non-removable of course) -- held up surprisingly well in our testing. More on that in the battery section down below.


As we mentioned at the start of the review, the iPad is all about its screen, and Apple's 9.7-inch LED backlit IPS display does not disappoint. Colors on the screen are vibrant and saturated, while blacks feel true and deep. The iPad can be cranked up to an almost painful brightness, but also handles lower settings well -- that's especially important for readers (they even include a brightness control inside of iBooks). Because Apple employs IPS (in-plane switching) for the display, viewing angles are remarkably broad, though we can't honestly say the feature will come in handy for us -- we usually want to keep people's eyes off of our work. The screen is, as we mentioned, capacitive and multitouch, and handled input excellently -- if you're used to the iPhone, then you know how very good Apple's input technology is. To call it best in class would not be an overstatement; we've never used a more responsive screen.

We know there's a lot of talk about reading with this type of display versus a Kindle or other E-Ink device, but we'll just be straight with you -- it didn't hurt our eyes to use this as a reading device. You're able to crank the brightness down a significant amount, but it's also just a matter of adjustment. After a few minutes we didn't see the device or the screen tech anymore -- we saw a book. We won't speculate on what prolonged use will feel like, but there is data out there that suggests the technology might not be as important as some people think it is when it comes to e-reader displays.

Other hardware

For the most part, there's not much else to say about the iPad when it comes to its physical attributes. The home button is your only point of hardware interaction with the software, though you have those volume controls and rotation lock switch. The speaker actually does a rather impressive job of outputting clean, well balanced sound given its size, but let's be honest -- you're not going to be using this as your party sound system. The 30-pin connector is standard issue for Apple's mobile products, but we have to take serious issue with the lack of a USB port or SD card reader. The company offers both of these as an accessory as a means to transfer photos and video onto the device, but it seems like such a glaring oversight to not have built these in that it bears mentioning. If Apple wants to compete with the netbook market -- which it presumably does -- there should be some port options beyond its proprietary dock connector. This just feels like a money grab and a waste of potential for third-party peripherals.

One piece of hardware you won't find here is a webcam, which we already mourned the lack of when we first saw the device. It's a bit of a crime that the iPad won't allow you to carry on an iChat or Skype video conversation, because holding this in your hands while talking to a friend or family member not only seems like a match made in heaven, but the total realization of one of our sci-fi fantasies. We know Apple couldn't possibly cram every component Engadget editors might have hoped for, but this one seemed like a no-brainer, and its omission has left pretty much everyone scratching their heads.

And one other item of note -- Apple chose to place the headphone jack at the top of the device. We don't know about you, but we think the idea of draping our headphone cord across the screen or snaking it around back is a tremendously bad idea. And guess what? In practice, it kind of stinks. Why the company didn't opt for putting the plug in the logical place -- say, the bottom of the iPad, or the side even -- is a mystery that will undoubtedly haunt our every waking moment.


Operating system / User interface

By now you should know that the iPad's interface is nearly identical in every way to the iPhone or iPod touch UI. The reason for that is obvious: it's built on the same operating system, a derivation of OS X for mobile devices. As far as actual navigation on the device goes, it really is exactly like the iPhone. You have pages and pages made up of grids of icons, a dock for your favorite apps (up to six, mind you), and a persistent status bar which displays the time and other information. In our opinion Apple has missed a huge opportunity to open up the "desktop" space on the iPad and allow for micro-apps or widgets on these screens. On the iPad there isn't really a single glanceable piece of information you can get at beyond the time and WiFi status -- and using all of that gorgeous screen real estate just to display a widely spaced grid of icons is not only a waste, but just kind of looks silly. In truth, if Apple's developers believe that it's not helpful to give people more than a single thing to look at at one time, they're not only wrong, but they're contradicting years of improvements to the company's desktop OS. That said, there are a few new components present in the iPad UI which shows that Apple has put some effort into expanding the language of this OS.

Besides those quirks we've come to know, love, and / or gripe about on the iPhone, the company has augmented the existing user interface with a small handful of tools. Before we talk about the overall feel of using this device, we wanted to break down those new elements:

Pop-overs (modals): Windows which pop up and hover above the content you're interacting with, used to excellent effect within the iPod app for displaying track listings when you touch an album, or getting information on books or music to purchase in the iBookstore and iTunes. These modals have their own navigation and points of interaction separate from the main content you're working with.
Split screens: Exactly what it sounds like. Apple is using all that big real estate to break up what would have been multiple pages on an iPhone, dividing up the content into segments of the same screen. In the mail app, that means you can look at the list of your emails while keeping a message in view, or keep your multi-page work in Keynote available to you even when editing (think how Preview handles a folder of images).
Tap-and-hold: Now, this is present in some places on the iPhone, but Apple has really expanded its use with the iPad, offering lots of situations where a long press gets you deeper, contextual interactivity and functionality. We're big fans of this gesture on other devices (hello, Android), and it's nice to see Apple putting it to better use within the iPad's UI. We hope this trend continues throughout the company's mobile OSs.
Contextual menus: While tap-and-hold gets you some options for context-specific menus, the iPad interface is littered with other single tap buttons that pop open those same kind of options. The shift certainly seems to be towards these transient menus as opposed to paging through screens like we're used to on the iPhone.
Toolbar drop-downs: Apple hammered on toolbar items with previous iterations of the iPhone OS, but on the iPad, toolbars aren't just links to deeper pages -- they're self-contained menus, often with lots of levels and options for tweaking the work you're doing. They are literally all over the iPad.
Tabs (or Cover Flow) everywhere: You know how Safari handles multiple pages? Well that behavior is used throughout the iPad to navigate through files or lists of options. In Safari, as in other apps, the content is presented as a grid, while elsewhere it's a scrollable list akin to Mobile Safari's present use (or webOS cards).
Nearly full-sized virtual keyboards: In portrait mode, we were able to tap out some messages using our thumbs, but we mostly did single finger typing. On the other hand, the landscape keyboard is big and totally usable. In fact, we were surprised at how quickly and accurately we could bang out emails on it.

So what does this all mean for the experience of using the device? Well if you're not getting the message, we'd like to point out that we haven't mentioned files, folders, or windows. That's because there's no such thing in the universe of the iPad. This isn't a computer the way you think of a computer. All of these UI additions to the iPhone vocabulary help you do more and go further than what is possible on an iPhone, and a lot of the applications you'll use on the iPad are far more expansive than what the iPhone offers, but it's not like any computer you've ever used. This is something totally different -- a hybrid of sorts -- and while the user interface will feel familiar to most, it's also simply not a PC in any way. You will get work done with it, play with it, consume content with it, but the underlying framework of the real operating system is almost completely invisible. For instance, in applications like Numbers or Keynote, you don't have "files," rather a long, Cover Flow-style list of work to scroll through. Have 200 documents you've "saved"? Tough -- you just have to scroll through them all to get to the last one. To say that sometimes it feels like a computer for beginners might be overkill. But it's close.

There's no question that the route Apple has taken is genius; they've built a "computer" that's so obvious and easy to use that anyone can pick it up and understand it immediately. And there's a lot to like, particularly in some of the innovative and engaging applications being built by third party developers right now, like the Marvel app, TweetDeck, or SketchBook Pro. But there are holes here too -- big ones -- and not just in the user interface.

For starters, as we mentioned earlier the iPad doesn't support multitasking, save for Apple's own applications: Safari, iPod, and Mail. Everything else you use on the device is a jump-into and then jump-out experience, which means that for things like IM apps, you're either having a conversation or you're not. For those of us who are used to the iPhone way of doing things, that's at least familiar, but if you're looking to have a conversation while getting your email in order (as you would on a laptop), you're out of luck. The same goes for those of us who like to keep a Twitter app open in the background to monitor updates. Even updating settings or downloading software is a chore due to the stop-start nature of the OS. You just have to go one. at. a. time. That's almost acceptable for a smartphone -- you don't expect laptop performance -- but this is different. Admittedly, there aren't a huge number of scenarios where you need to be multitasking, but it's not uncommon for Engadget editors to keep a running IRC session, AIM, a browser, Twitter app, Skype, and music player open at the same time, and we suspect a lot of you out there do the same (or similar). So how much of a stumbling block is the lack of multitasking? The honest truth is that a large number of users won't notice or care, which is why it's easy for Apple to ignore the problem (or claim that their OS supports the functionality because they allow a handful of their native apps to run in the background). For the rest of us, this is starting to feel just like copy and paste -- a problem so obvious and so easy to fix that it's just perplexing Apple doesn't come up with a solution and end the conversation. The iPad may do many things better than a netbook, but multitasking is not one of them.

Adding difficulty to that lack of multitasking is the way the iPad handles notifications. As you know, Apple provides a method of utilizing push notifications to circumvent backgrounding an app. For instance, with AIM set to deliver push messages, you can still see what your contacts are IM'ing at you, and jump back into the app when you need to respond. That's all well and good, but Apple is still handling notifications in the same terrible, interruptive manner that it uses on the iPhone. Namely, pop-up messages that must be dismissed by the user. Imagine if you had to repeatedly click "OK" on a pop-up window which froze you out of the application you were working in every time you got an IM on your laptop, and you'll start to get the idea. Again, this isn't great on a phone, but hey -- it's a phone. On your revolutionary new computer-like device? It's extremely annoying. You can always set the notifications to just a sound and badge, but we know Android and webOS handle this more elegantly, and can't figure out why Apple won't do the same.

To put a point on the iPad's UI and the user experience: there is no question that Apple has created an engaging, simple, and surprisingly powerful platform for this device. For many of the applications -- especially some of the third party titles starting to trickle out -- the stuff people are coming up with is insanely clever, just plain cool, or both. For many consumers, it will be easy enough to accomplish much of what you would with a netbook or laptop on the iPad, and yet other experiences will extend far beyond what you would do on a typical computer. It's not a laptop replacement, and this OS can't do everything a laptop can do -- but maybe it doesn't have to.

Included applications

We're not going to go super deep into all of the bundled applications, but we feel quite a few deserve special mention. There are brand new applications that are hugely important to what the iPad is and does, and we wanted to take a moment to give an overview and opinion on what we felt really stood out.

Mobile Safari

Apple promises that web browsing on the iPad will be, to quote Steve Jobs, "The best browsing experience you've ever had." Let's just go over that one more time -- Steve Jobs says that the browsing experience will be the best you've ever had. So, is it? Well, we can tell you this: the browsing experience on the iPad is amazing. It is smooth, fast, and fluid. The screen displays beautifully in landscape or portrait, the scrolling is buttery, touch response is out of this world, and you can easily pinch-to-zoom all over the place with nary a hiccup. The finger-based navigation really is kind of spectacular, and it makes browsing weirdly like rediscovering an old friend. Other additions to the app like a proper bookmarks bar, use of toolbar drop downs, and an improved tab grid make it a pleasure to use. It is without question one of the best browsing experiences we've encountered. But is it the best? Well, not really.

Why, you ask? Well that answer is simple and extremely complicated at the same time. Currently, there is a web standard called Flash, developed by a company named Adobe, which allows for the easy insertion of rich media into webpages. That's everything from streaming video and audio files, online gaming, to entire websites made using its broad and deep development tools. The penetration percentage for Flash on PCs around the world is something like 98 -- that's almost everyone -- and many, many sites employ the standard on their pages. When we say many, we mean most if not all of the pages you typically visit use Flash to display some of their content. The iPad browser doesn't support Flash, and won't support Flash, perhaps ever. Apple has not only turned away from what is the industry standard for rich media in webpages, but it instead is pushing a newer standard called HTML5. Apple has been very successful thus far in moving its agenda forward and bringing websites into the fold of HTML5, but we're talking maybe, say, one percent of websites on the internet. Probably way less.

So what does this mean for an end user? Well it means that when you visit a site like Hulu, HBO, NBC, Lala (which ironically, Apple just purchased), Engadget, Gizmodo, or many, many others, you will have a broken experience. That means there will be certain elements of these sites (in the case of HBO, the entire site itself) that simply won't work. Now, we're geeks. We get it. We know what's going on when a site shows the broken plugin icon, or says we need Flash. But to the wide world of "everyone" that Apple wants to sell this product to, this will result in a confusing and frustrating experience... a broken experience. That may be fine to Apple, but it isn't fine to us, and shouldn't be fine to the rest of the world. As an aside, we've been surprised other iPad reviews have not been more forthcoming in pointing this problem out -- this is not a small thing; it's is a major deficit in the iPad's browser. Now keep in mind we're not saying we love Flash and want to marry it -- in fact, we'd love to see a less CPU intensive format take its place -- but HTML5 isn't that format, at least not yet. It's important to understand that a lot of users will see the lack of Flash as a drawback, even if Apple doesn't like the standard, and even if Safari on the iPad is a brilliant experience (which it frankly is).


To say Apple is about to put a major dent in Kindleworld is an understatement. The iBooks app is one of the most beautiful and thoughtful uses of the iPad screen real estate on the device. It would be easy to rattle off a thousand words alone on how good of an e-book experience this is, but we'll try to keep it brief considering how much there is to say about the iPad. Simply put, it's a great e-reader with enough options to please even the most strident critic. The layout is quite simple; along the top of the page in portrait mode you have a button to flip to your library (a very slick hidden room kind of effect), a chapter button, brightness control, font size and face options, and a search drop down. Within the book you can long press to bring up copy / paste, dictionary (a beautiful implementation which pops up right over your content), bookmark (another perfect implementation), or search options. Besides the incredibly sexy page turning animations -- useless but gorgeous nonetheless -- the entire package is just so airtight. It's the first e-book reading experience we've seen that seems to truly understand the visceral, sensual enjoyment of holding an actual volume in your hand.

Calendar / Contacts

The calendar and contacts apps on the device aren't exactly groundbreaking, but they are far more usable and information heavy on the iPad. Both utilize -- at different intervals -- split screen, book-like displays. The calendar app actually gives you a proper full month view and lets you interact with your schedule much like the iCal application for OS X does.


This is a biggie for Engadget. Much of our time is spent dealing with email, and it hasn't always been a pleasure on the iPhone. Has that changed on the iPad? Not quite. As Gmail enthusiasts, we're sort of locked into the label / archiving / conversation scheme the big G has worked up. Honestly, we think it's a smarter, faster way to handle lots of email from lots of places. On Mail for OS X, Apple at least adopts threaded messages to keep your conversations under control, but no such luck here. In other "the iPad is not a computer" news, we couldn't find a way to export a .txt file to any of the applications on the device, thus seriously hamstringing our ability to finish this review on the iPad itself. We also take issue with how Apple wants you to handle attachments here. They have to be done from the source app out into Mail -- what the hell kind of sense does that make? In all, we love the split screen displays and real estate for composing, but still feel like we're floating out in the ether when managing our email. It works, it's fast, it's consistent... it's just not what it could be.

iTunes / iBookstore / App Store

All three of these money-shredding stores on the iPad hew much more closely to the desktop version of iTunes, which is a really good thing. Finding, previewing, and buying titles is super simple due to the vast amount of data you get in a single view, and the modals which Apple uses to perfect effect here to pop over info about the content as you're checking it out. The iBookstore is a perfect companion to the reader, but we did find the current selection lacking (very little Philip K. Dick and George R.R. Martin -- for shame!). Downloading was clear and simple, and there are free samples (as well as lots of free titles) to pick up if you just want to test the waters. It's obvious that publishers who aren't yet involved with Apple will see the light on this -- if the company is half as successful at pushing books as it has been at pushing music, this is indeed a game changer. We're not saying there's no room for improvement, because there is plenty (such as a clearer and more coherent periodicals strategy). Still, this is a tried and tested model for the company, and the iPad versions deliver (well, the iBookstore delivers for the first time ever).

Video / iPod / YouTube

The entertainment portions of the iPad aren't going to blow anyone away, but they all do an admirable job. The iPod app is actually much, much better than its smaller cousin, though we're surprised that Apple hasn't leveraged its new-ish iTunes LP content here. The iPad is the perfect place to view all that rich media, yet it's nowhere to be found on the tablet. A real miss, guys! Otherwise, the video player takes on the task of running your video (up to 720p, with restrictions) in a solid if spartan manner. We'd like to pause and just mention how sweet the marriage of HD content and the iPad's display is. Video really does look absolutely stunning on this screen -- Apple has done its homework on the tech, and we couldn't be more impressed with the results.

YouTube makes big use of the segmented windows concept you see all over the device, giving you the option to browse other videos or even comment on what you're watching while it's playing. Of course, it also allows for YouTube HD content, which looks fairly sharp most of the time.

iPhone apps on the iPad

Yes -- the iPad can run almost all 150,000 of the iPhone and iPod touch apps you know and love (not every one is compatible, but the vast majority). It does this in two modes, the first is a scaled down version in the middle of your giant screen, while the other is a pixel doubled iteration. Both of these leave something to be desired, and we can't say that anything besides gaming really ends up looking okay. It's nice that Apple has included the functionality, but keep in mind that you are locked into what is essentially an iPhone simulator, complete with an iPhone keyboard (scaled up if you're using the pixel doubling, which doesn't look that great). It's tremendous because you have access to applications you may need to use, but it's not something you're probably going to spend a lot of time with.

The iWork suite

If you doubt the claim that the iPad can be a viable tool for creating content -- even stuffy businessman content -- then these apps should seriously make you clam up. They are superb, surprisingly useful, amazingly robust applications. We don't necessarily agree with Apple's saving scheme (in that, there really isn't one), but you can't knock the core functionality of these apps. It's clear that at some point Apple is going to have to open up some kind of shared file repository on these devices to make them truly effective tools, but the combo of Numbers, Keynote, and Pages show that getting work done on these devices is not only possible, but actually kind of good in the right hands.

Our columnist and friend Michael Gartenberg has a done lengthier piece for us right here that goes a bit deeper on these apps -- if you're interested to hear how they fare for a very busy man, you'll want to read it.

Third-party apps

There are really far too many third-party apps to do a deep dive on, but we want to call out a few innovators that we feel are making the iPad seem like a viable fourth screen we want to engage with. Here's a lightning-round rundown of what we saw and liked the most, but you can see a much larger and more detailed list right here:

Marvel: This is just a cool application, and really gets our juices flowing about what will be possible with this larger format. Excellent execution, but they need to convert the whole catalog into this format. When we can re-read the Secret Wars on our iPad, we'll be seriously happy campers.
ABC video player: Even though it feels like a sidestep around the Flash issue, this iPad app does a perfect job of managing the network's online video assets. We can only imagine Hulu will stir things up in a similar manner.
Netflix: It's Netflix. On the iPad. And now apparently it's headed to the iPhone and iPod touch as well.
USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times: If this is printed media's last gasp, it's definitely a lungful. All three of these apps show that the big boys still have some fight in them, and while we can't abide the WSJ's zany pricing scheme, we will admit that each of these does a beautiful job of delivering the newspaper in a whole new way. Kudos, boys.
Yahoo! Entertainment: This one was an honest surprise. We didn't expect Yahoo!'s first iPad product to be either handsome or useful... and it's both. The TV schedule and news presentation is top notch, though we're hoping they take things a little deeper in future updates. And when it comes to entertainment gossip, we won't really be satisfied till an US Weekly app appears.
Photogene, SketchBook Pro, and Brushes: Three apps that show the iPad can and will be a content creation tool as well as a content consuming tool. We used and loved all of them, and think they show amazing potential for this platform.
TweetDeck: Just a really, really good way to use Twitter. A lot like the desktop app. If only we could run it in the background...

Battery life

It's almost impossible to believe, but during our initial tests, using the iPad pretty heavily, downloading and using lots of new apps, doing some 3D gaming, watching HD video, all the while getting email downloaded in the background, we got just about what Apple claims this device will do. In fact, it went a little better -- we managed to get 10 hours and 43 minutes of life out of the iPad before we had to plug it in again in our first run through. That's pretty crazy endurance considering what we were doing with it. Now, we were not watching HD video the whole time, or running the music player in the background while streaming Netflix movies, so we can't promise this will be the case in every situation. Still, it did a pretty amazing job of matching up to Apple's numbers, and you may color us impressed.

We're going to be doing further battery testing once some other team members get their devices, so hopefully we'll be able to report back with a more well-rounded assessment of what this thing is capable (or not capable) of.


At this point we've run the full spectrum on iPad opinion. It should be clear that there are aspects of this device which we love, and others which we clearly do not. In summarizing our feelings about the iPad, we're forced to take two paths -- one which analyzes the device's position in relation to the advancement of the personal computer, and one which clearly speaks to whether or not we think you should spend your money on this thing.

Path one: the iPad as a computing revolution. Does the iPad evolve the personal computer in a significant way? Yeah, actually, it kind of does. Despite what you think right now, and despite the limitations Apple has put on some aspects of this device, what it says to the market is significant. The iPad is powerful, elegant, and largely unlike any computer you've ever used. You know how first generation games for a console look kind of dated when you put them against titles released after years of honing? Imagine what will be happening with something like the iPad in a year or two. This stuff is legitimately important. It's not magical, but it's a little bit revolutionary, and you have to at least give Apple that. They've pulled off a cohesive touch computing platform with very few rough edges -- and that's no small feat.

Path two: should you buy into the revolution today? The first thing that must be said -- although we've already stated it -- is that we don't think the iPad is a laptop replacement. Not yet. What that means is that if you need a laptop to work in something like Excel, Word, or countless other PC or Mac applications, you shouldn't expect the iPad to take its place. But, if you're like a lot of computer users, you don't really do much on your system except for listen to music, casually browse the web and read news sites, watch some online video, play games, and keep in touch with friends via Twitter, IM, and Facebook. If you fit that description, you might just fall in love with Apple's $499 bundle of joy -- because it does the majority of those things much better than its laptop counterparts (granted, one at a time, and, er... not online video).

So the verdict? The buyer of an iPad is one of two people, the first is someone who sees not just the present, but the potential of a product like the iPad... and believes in and is excited about that potential. This is also a person who can afford what amounts to a luxury item. The second is an individual who simply doesn't need to get that much work done, and would prefer their computing experience to be easier, faster, and simpler. Does that sound like anyone you know?

Note: Apple informed us that some of the software on our test unit was early, so there could be changes when everything goes live today. If we see any alterations of note, we'll be sure to update the review.

source: Engadget

Monday, April 18, 2011

Senario Politik Sarawak Pasca- Pengundian


Alhamdulillah, syukur kepada Allah kerana pilihanraya DUN Sarawak yang ke-10 selamat diadakan pada 16 April yang lalu.

Kemampuan BN mengekalkan kedudukannya walaupun hanya 2/3 majoriti tetapi ini membuktikan bahawasanya rakyat masih memerlukan kerajaan yang kukuh dan mampu untuk memberikan pembangunan bukan sahaja pada infrastruktur malahan pembangunan ekonomi.

Malangnya beberapa kerusi-kerusi panas yang cuba di tawan semula oleh BN masih gagal di tawan. Kerusi-kerusi panas tersebut yang kebanyakkannya adalah di kawasan urban/bandar utama terus di tawan oleh DAP. Manifestasi daripada kekalahan BN ini adalah satu indikator bahawa pengundi-pengundi cina meletakkan harapan dan kepercayaan mereka kepada DAP dalam melestarikan pembangunan sosio-ekonomi yang lebih mantap.

Manakala senario di kawasan-kawasan luar bandar khususnya bandar-bandar bukan urban meletakkan kepercayaan mereka terhadap BN untuk terus menjadi wakil mereka dalam DUN sarawak. Setelah sekian lama BN menjadi wakil mereka, dan mereka sedar akan keperluan mereka untuk terus mengundi BN.

Apa yang di harapkan oleh pengundi yang telah memilih BN sebagai kerajaan adalah menunaikan segala janji-janji semasa berkempen. Saya amat berharap pada dasarnya kerajaan BN yang telah di berikan kepercayaan rakyat kali ini perlulah memberikan keutamaan kepada projek-projek menyediakan kemudahan asas yang paling utama iaitu bekalan air bersih, bekalan elektrik, sekolah-sekolah, pembangunan ekonomi dan rangkaian jalan raya.
Analisis Saya ini adalah hasil pemerhatian saya sepanjang proses berkempen dan pengumuman keputusan pilihanraya. Tahniah buat BN yang masih mendapat kepercayaan rakyat untuk terus membangunkan dan membantu rakyat dalam aspek ekonomi, pembangunan, dan sosial.

18 April 2011
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8 Menteri Kabinet Angkat Sumpah

KUCHING, Isnin – Lapan Ahli Kabinet Negeri mengangkat sumpah di hadapan Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin di Dewan Lapau, Bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri baru di sini, hari ini.

Kesemua mereka kekal memegang portfolio yang lama sebelum Pilihan Raya Umum Negeri ke-10 pada 16 april yang lalu.

Mengetuai upacara tersebut ialah Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu ak Numpang yang mengangkat sumpah sebagai Timbalan Ketua Menteri. Beliau juga memegang jawatan sebagai Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri pembangunan Luar Bandar.

Jabu juga Timbalan Presiden Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

Sejurus itu, Dato Dr James Jemut ak Masing, Presiden Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) pula mengangkat sumpah sebagai Menteri Kemajuan Tanah diikuti oleh Dato Sri William Mawan ak Ikom, Presiden Parti Progresif Demokratik Sarawak (SPDP) yang juga Menteri Pembangunan Sosial dan Urbanisasi.

Selepas itu, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Abang Haji Openg pula mengangkat sumpah sebagai Menteri Perumahan dan Pembangunan Bandar diikuti pula dengan Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh sebagai Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam, Dato Sri Micheal Manyin ak Jawong sebagai Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan, Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan sebagai Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah sebagai Menteri di Pejabat Ketua Menteri.

Ketua Menteri, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud turut menyaksikan upacara mengangkat sumpah tersebut.
Turut hadir isteri Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Hajah Norkiah, isteri Ketua Menteri, Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri, Datuk Amar Haji Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Ahli-ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri, dan Ketua-ketua jabatan.

Sumber: Sarawak Update/Penerangan
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Peralihan kuasa: BN perlu tunai janji ganti Taib segera, kata Khairy

Oleh G Manimaran

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 April – Ketua Pemuda Barisan Nasional (BN) Khairy Jamaluddin menegaskan perikatan itu mesti berpegang pada janji untuk mengadakan peralihan kuasa kerajaan negeri di Sarawak.

Khairy yang juga Ketua Pemuda Umno melahirkan pendirian ini ketika keputusan tidak rasmi menunjukkan bahawa BN berjaya memperoleh dua pertiga kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri dan meneruskan pentadbiran kerajaan negeri bumi Kenyalang itu.

BN dikatakan memperoleh sehingga 51 kerusi sementara Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya hanya mengumumkan keputusan satu kerusi iaitu Bukit Saban secara rasmi setakat pukul 7 petang ini.

Pengundian ditutup 5 petang tadi. Sebanyak 71 kerusi dipertandingkan.

"Nampak gaya BN menang (di) Sarawak. Tapi pemimpin BN mesti pegang janji akan ada peralihan kuasa Sarawak dalam masa terdekat. Bukan alasan untuk melewat-lewatkan lagi," kata beliau menerusi akaun Twitternya sebentar tadi.

Isu peralihan kuasa kepimpinan Taib, yang mengetuai negeri itu sejak 1981 menjadi bahan kempen dalam pilihan raya negeri Sarawak kali ke-10 ini.

Pembangkang menggesa Taib mengumumkan pelan peralihan iaitu penggantinya dan tarikh ia akan dikuatkuasakan.

Sementara Pengerusi BN Datuk Seri Najib Razak pada Ahad lalu mengumumkan bahawa peralihan kuasa akan dilaksanakan dalam waktu terdekat selepas pilihan raya negeri, Taib pada keesokan hari berkata ia akan diadakan dalam beberapa tahun lagi.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

PRN Sarawak indikator penting PRU 13

Written by Zulkifli Sulong  

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 April: Apakah kemenangan Barisan Nasional (BN) di Sarawak dalam pilihan raya ini akan menjadi penanda aras untuk menentukan bilakah pilihan raya umum ke 13 akan dipanggil oleh Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Bagi Pengerusi DAP, Karpal Singh, dengan kejayaan Pakatan Rakyat menambahkan bilangan kerusinya di Sarawak, BN tidak akan berani memanggil pilihan raya umum untuk beberapa bulan ini. "Saya tak fikir kepimpinan BN berani membuat pilihan raya umum untuk beberapa bulan ini," kata Karpal dalam satu kenyataannya. Pakatan dijangka akan berjaya menambahkan kerusinya dari sembilan dalam PRN 2006 ke sekurang-kurangnya 15 dalam pilihan raya kali ini. Pencapaian terbesar Pakatan adalah di kerusi-kerusi kawasan bandar iaitu di kalangan pengundi Cina. DAP dijangka akan mendapat 12 kerusi manakala PKR sekurang-kurangnya tiga kerusi. Ini bermakna, BN tidak akan membuat pilihan raya umum sehinggalah mereka mempunyai formula yang jelas untuk mengekang pengaruh Pakatan di kawasan bandar ini.

Senjata ampuh yang ada pada BN setiap lapan tahun ialah persempadanan semula kawasan pilihan raya. Yang terakhir ia diadakan pada tahun 2003. Ini bermakna, ia boleh dibuat lagi selepas 2011 iaitu seawalnya 2012.

Selepas kalah teruk kepada PAS dalam pilihan raya umum 1999, kerajaan BN melalui Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) telah membuat perubahan besar-besaran kepada sempadan kawasan pilihan raya di seluruh Semenanjung.

Melalui persempadanan semula kawasan pilihan raya 2003 itu, BN telah menambah kerusi Parlimen di kawasan Cina setelah bimbang dengan sokongan Melayu kepada PAS pada PRU 1999.

Ekoran itu, negeri-negeri Melayu iaitu Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah dan Perlis tidak mempunyai sebarang penambahan kawasan Parlimen dalam persempadanan itu untuk menyekat penguasaan PAS melalui kerusi Melayu.

Kawasan-kawasan Parlimen PAS juga dipecahkan dengan memasukkan pengundi Cina ke kawasan mereka. Yang paling terasa dengan pendekatan ini adalah Mohamad Sabu (Kuala Kedah) dan Datuk Mahfuz Omar (Pokok Sena).

Hasilnya kedua-dua tokoh PAS itu kalah dalam pilihan raya umum 2004.

Jika pendekatan ini diyakini oleh BN, pilihan raya umum ke 13 hanya akan diadakan selepas seawalnya tahun 2012 iaitu selepas tempoh matang untuk persempadanan semula kawasan pilihan raya tiba.

Sumber: Harakah Daily
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keputusan Rasmi Dun Sarawak

KUCHING, 16 April - Berikut ialah keputusan rasmi kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri:

1 . Razaili Bin Haji Gapor     BN    3,069    Menang
2 . Abang Ahmad Kerdee Bin Abang Masagus    PAS    2,678

    Jumlah Pemilih Berdaftar: 7,868   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Ditolak: 61   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Dalam Peti Undi: 5,808   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Dikeluarkan: 5,808   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Tidak Dikembalikan: 0   
    Peratus Pengundian: 73.82%   
    Majoriti: 391   

1 . Dayrell Walter Entrie    SNAP    641    Hilang Deposit
2 . Jerah Anak Engkiong @ Edward Jerah    PKR    1,125  
3 . Robert Lawson Chuat    BN    3,899    Menang

Jumlah Pemilih Berdaftar: 7,657  
Jumlah Kertas Undi Ditolak: 78  
Jumlah Kertas Undi Dalam Peti Undi: 5,743  
Jumlah Kertas Undi Dikeluarkan: 5,761  
Jumlah Kertas Undi Tidak Dikembalikan: 18  
Peratus Pengundian: 75.24%  
Majoriti: 2,774

N.37  DARO
1 . Murni Bin Suhaili     BN    3,867    Menang
2 . Jamaludin Bin Ibrahim    PKR    475    Hilang Deposit
3 . Mohamad Zamhari Bin Berawi    BEBAS    670   
4 . Noh @ Mohamad Noh Bin Bakri @ Bakeri    BEBAS    129    Hilang Deposit

    Jumlah Pemilih Berdaftar: 7,305   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Ditolak: 105   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Dalam Peti Undi: 5,246   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Dikeluarkan: 5,265   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Tidak Dikembalikan: 19   
    Peratus Pengundian: 72.07%   
    Majoriti: 3,197   

1 . Asbor Bin Abdullah     BEBAS    77    Hilang Deposit
2 . Abdul Hafiz Bin Noh    Bebas    1,579   
3 . Gani @ Abu Seman Bin Jahwie    BN    4505    Menang

    Jumlah Pemilih Berdaftar: 8,635   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Ditolak: 120   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Dalam Peti Undi: 6,281   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Dikeluarkan: 6,295   
    Jumlah Kertas Undi Tidak Dikembalikan: 14   
    Peratus Pengundian: 72.90%   
    Majoriti: 2,926   

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Rakyat Sarawak mula undi tentukan mandat kerajaan negeri

UPDATED @ 09:06:05 16-04-2011

KUCHING, 16 April — Lebih 970,000 rakyat Sarawak mula keluar mengundi, sejak 8 pagi tadi, di 71 kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri dalam pilihan raya negeri ke-10 — yang digambarkan paling sengit dalam sejarah bumi Kenyalang ini.

Pengundian akan ditutup secara berperingkat-peringkat pada pukul 5 petang ini. 

Keseluruhan keputusan akan diketahui menjelang 11 malam ini. 

Pilihan raya kali ini juga menyaksikan peningkatan jumlah pengundi dengan 1,748 pusat mengundi dibuka di seluruh negeri itu. 

Semalam, Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya menjangkakan peratusan pengundian antara 65 hingga 75 peratus daripada 979,796 pemilih berdaftar. 

Peratusan pengundian pada 2006 ialah 63.2 peratus. Seramai 213 calon bertanding merebut 71 kerusi. Pada kali ini, BN bertanding dan menghadapi saingan di kesemua 71 kerus dengan calon-calon daripada parti komponen BN negeri yang diterajui Ketua Menteri Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud iaitu Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Bersatu Sarawak (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRK) dan Parti Demokratik Progresif Sarawak (SPDP). 

Pada 2006, BN menguasai 62 kerusi pada hari pengundian dan kemudiannya, seorang wakil rakyat dari Parti Kebangsaan Sarawak (Snap) menyertai komponen itu yang membolehkan BN menguasai 63 kerusi dalam Dewan Undangan Negeri sebelum pembubarannya. 

Seramai 18,363 pemilih telah mengundi secara pos pada Rabu dan Khamis lalu. 

Sebanyak 27 kawasan menyaksikan pertandingan satu lawan satu, 23 kawasan (tiga penjuru), 17 (empat penjuru), dua (lima penjuru) manakala dua lagi (enam penjuru).

Pada 2006, pembangkang menawan lapan kerusi dengan enam daripadanya dimenangi DAP yang sebelum itu dikuasai SUPP. 

DAP adalah anggota Pakatan Rakyat (PR) dan bertanding di 15 kerusi majoriti Cina dan campuran Cina-Iban. Dua lagi anggota PR ialah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) yang bertanding di 49 kerusi majoriti Melayu/Melanau dan Dayak, dan PAS di lima kawasan Melayu. 

Turut bertanding ialah Snap di 26 kerusi majoriti Dayak, Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) di enam kawasan Bumiputera dan 41 calon Bebas. Kumpulan calon Bebas termasuklah 15 calon daripada parti yang masih belum berdaftar, Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB), menggunakan simbol kapal terbang dan sembilan anggota PKR yang telah dipecat daripada parti selepas memilih untuk bertanding atas tiket Bebas. 

Dua calon Bebas yang popular ialah Datuk Salleh Jafaruddin, dua pupu Taib, yang akan mencabar Ketua Menteri itu dalam pertandingan tiga penjuru di DUN Balingian, dan peguam Dominique Ng, yang mahu mempertahankan kerusi DUN Padungan di Kuching selepas beliau diketepikan oleh PKR walaupun merupakan satu-satunya calon PKR yang menang pada 2006. 

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Malaysia antara 10 negara paling mesra di dunia

FRANKFURT, 15 April (Bernama) — Malaysia dianggap antara 10 negara paling mesra di dunia.

Mereka yang sering melancong ke beberapa negara berkemungkinan besar kembali ke negara-negara seperti ini kerana penduduknya mesra dan bersikap terbuka, malah ada antara pelancong ini mahu menetap di negara itu dan enggan kembali ke tanah air sendiri.

Satu kaji selidik oleh Bank HSBC mendapati Malaysia berada di tangga kesembilan dalam senarai negara-negara paling mesra.

Selain kemesraan rakyat tempatan, satu lagi kriteria yang digunakan ialah bagaimana warga asing mudah bergaul dan menerima persekitaran di sesebuah negara itu.

Kaji selidik yang dijalankan dari April hingga Jun 2010 itu meliputi 4,000 orang di 100 negara.

Mereka ini ditanya soalan seperti di manakah mudah bagi mereka mendapat kenalan tempatan, adakah mudah bagi mereka mempelajari bahasa negara berkenaan dan sama ada mereka mudah menerima budaya tempatan.

Sebanyak 80 peratus daripada mereka yang ditemubual itu berkata bahasa Inggeris adalah bahasa pertuturan mereka, dan sebab itulah negara yang banyak menggunakan bahasa itu, berada dalam senarai teratas.

Namun, terdapat juga negara yang tidak menggunakan bahasa Inggeris berada dalam senarai 10 negara teratas itu.

Untuk tahun kedua berturut-turut, Kanada merupakan negara paling mesra, diikuti oleh Bermuda, Afrika Selatan, Amerika Syarikat, Australia, Sepanyol, Perancis, Britain, Malaysia dan Jerman. — BERNAMA (sarawak updates)
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Raja Petra: Saya tak belot, masih bersama pembangkang

Oleh Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 April — Blogger kontroversial Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin menegaskan beliau masih bersama barisan pembangkang sambil menafikan beliau telah membelot hanya kerana memberi TV3 satu temu bual eksklusif, yang disiarkan semalam dan kelmarin.

Raja Petra (gambar) mencetuskan kegemparan dua hari lalu apabila dalam temu bual itu mengatakan bahawa beliau tidak pernah menuduh Perdana Menter Datuk Seri Najib Razak atau isterinya Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor terbabit dalam kes pembunuhan wanita Mongolia Altantuya Sharibuu.

Editor portal Malaysia Today ini menjelaskan keputusan memberikan temu bual itu kepada The Malaysia Insider hari ini.

Respons penuh adalah seperti berikut:

TMI: Baru-baru ini anda berada di Australia, bermakna anda mempunyai pasport untuk mengembara. Di mana anda berada sekarang dan di mana anda tinggal (sekarang)? Adakah anda akan balik ke Malaysia dalam waktu terdekat?

RPK: Sekarang saya di Bali. Dan, tidak. Saya tidak akan balik ke Malaysia, sekurang-kurangnya sehingga kerajaan (yang ada sekarang) tukar. Jika Barisan Nasional (masih memerintah, maka saya sepatutnya akan dikebumikan di Brookwood sebelah ibu saya apabila saya meninggal dunia.

Mengapa anda bertanya sama ada saya balik ke Malaysia? Disebabkan temu bual saya dengan TV3? Jika saya mengadakan temu bual dengan TV3 dan kemudian kembali ke Malaysia (yang bermakna saya tidak boleh jika saya tidak memberikan temu bual), bukannya terlalu jelas bahawa temu bual itu menyebabkan (saya) membelot?

Langkah bodoh, bukan anda fikir begitu?

TMI: Mengapa anda memberikan TV3 temu bual? Anda pernah menyerang akhbar, khususnya media arus perdana di Malaysia sebelum ini. Mengapa percaya mereka? Apakah tiada ruang lain?

RPK: Adakah saya perlu percaya mereka untuk memberikan satu temu bual? Saya tidak percaya sama ada anda sendiri atau Malaysia Insider. Saya fikri anda alat bagi Khairy Jamaluddin dan Kalimullah Hassan. Lagi anda hantar (soalan) dan saya pun jawab.

Anda datang kepada saya. Saya tidak pergi kepada anda. TV3 juga datang jumpa saya. Saya tidak pergi jumpa mereka.

(Nota: The Malaysian Insider tiada apa-apa kaitan dengan Khairy Jamaluddin atau Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan)

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Raja Petra: Najib dikait kes Altantuya, bolehkan Ku Li jadi PM

UPDATED @ 11:16:52 14-04-2011

Oleh Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 April — Blogger kontroversial Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin hari ini mendedahkan konspirasi yang cuba mengaitkan Datuk Seri Najib Razak dengan kes pembunuhan wanita Mongolia Altantuya Shaaribuu dengan harapan veteran Umno, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, boleh menjadi perdana menteri.

Raja Petra membuat pendedahan ini sehari selepas sebahagian temu bual dengan stesen televisyen prokerajaan, TV3, muncul malam tadi di mana beliau menafikan pernah menuduh isteri Najib, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, dilihat berada di lokasi Altantuya dibunuh lima tahun lalu.

"Keseluruhan matlamat usaha ini ialah menghalang Najib daripada mengambil alih jawatan perdana menteri. Jika (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi boleh dipaksa untuk meletakkan jawatan, dan jika Najib boleh dihalang daripada mengambil alih, maka Tengku Razaleigh boleh menjadi perdana menteri," tulis Raja Petra dalam portal Malaysia Today kendaliannya hari ini.

Raja Petra yang turut dikenali sebagai RPK berkata, pertemuan itu yang dihadiri sekitar 30 orang telah berlangsung di pejabat bekas menteri kewangan itu di mana pembantunya Nik Azmi Nik Daud adalah pengucap utama.

"Tujuan pertemuan ialah mengeksploitasi (cara) bagaimana ia (rancangan itu) boleh digerakkan supaya Tengku Razaleigh boleh mengambil alih jawatan perdana menteri," kata Raja Petra yang kini tinggal dalam pembuangan kendiri di United Kingdom.

Raja Petra juga menamakan beberapa orang yang hadir pada pertemuan itu termasuk penulis blog Umno dan juga Rafizi Ramli, kini pengarah strategi PKR, tetapi tidak menyebut bila mesyuarat itu diadakan.

Najib menggantikan Abdullah pada April 2009.

Menerusi segmen Buletin Utama malam tadi,  TV3 menyiarkan temu bual eksklusif bersama Raja Petra yang mendakwa beliau tidak pernah menuduh Najib atau isterinya terbabit dalam kes pembunuhan wanita Mongolia itu.

Pengendali portal Malaysia Today itu berkata, beliau didesak dan dipengaruhi untuk berbuat demikian oleh beberapa individu yang tidak mahu Najib mengambil alih jawatan perdana menteri.

Raja Petra berkata, akuan bersumpah yang dibuat beliau pada 18 Jun 2008 hanya bersandarkan maklumat diperoleh daripada beberapa individu.

Dalam akuan bersumpah itu Raja Petra berkata, beliau menerima maklumat daripada beberapa individu kononnya Rosmah berada di tempat kejadian ketika Altantuya dibunuh.

Menurut Raja Petra, seorang pegawai perisik angkatan tentera dikenali sebagai Leftenan Kolonel Azmi Zainal Abidin juga memberi maklumat yang sama.

"Saya tidak terima lagi cerita itu. Sebab saya rasa mungkin mustahil," katanya.

Beliau berkata, kesemua individu itu pernah berjanji akan menjadi saksi sekiranya beliau didakwa di mahkamah.

Raja Petra menamakan Din Merican salah seorang daripada beberapa individu terbabit.

Yang lain ialah Nik Azmi Nik Daud dan John Pang, kedua-duanya dari pejabat Tengku Razaleigh.

Dalam tulisannya hari ini, Raja Petra juga mengesahkan bahawa beliau tidak pernah menuduh Najib atau Rosmah ada kaitan dengan pembunuhan Altantuya dan kemudian diletupkan menggunakan C4 pada 2006.

Najib dan Rosmah dikaitkan dengan kes itu di mana rakannya yang juga seorang penganalisis politik, Abdul Razak Baginda turut dikenakan tuduhan tetapi dibebaskan kemudian.

Bagaimanapun dua pengawal peribadi Najib disabitkan kesalahan.

Raja Petra menambah bahawa apa yang beliau katakan dalam temu bual TV3 bukan satu pendedahan baru dan telah banyak kali disebutkan selepas menandatangani akuan bersumpah 2008.

"Saya memberitahu TV3 bahawa apa yang hendak saya katakan bukan sesuatu yang baru. Saya telah menulis dan bercakap mengenainya banyak kali sebelum ini. Malah, saya juga telah memberi kenyataan kepada polis ketika ditahan ISA.

"Dan, kenyataan ini direkodkan oleh polis," katanya lagi.

Malah Raja Petra menulis, beliau bertemu dengan Nik Azmi dua kali pada 2008 sebelum bersetuju untuk mengeluarkan akuan bersumpah.

Katanya, ketika pertemuan pertama, Nik Azmi "mengaitkan Lt Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin, orang nombor dua dalam risikan tentera, memiliki laporan rahsia membuktikan bahawa Rosmah, Lt Kol Aziz Buyong, dan isterinya Lt Kol Norhayati Hassan, ada di lokasi Altantuya dibunuh. Bul meminta saya mendedahkan ini."

Raja Petra menamakan Nik Azmi sebagai "Bul".

"Saya memberitahu dia biar saya berfikir dulu. Isteri saya, bagaimanapun, tidak bersetuju (untuk mendedahkan perkara ini menerusi portal)," kata Raja Petra.

Raja Petra menambah, isterinya merasakan seolah-olah "cerita itu diada-adakan" dan Bul bukan merupakan sumber yang boleh dipercayai.

"Kita hanya boleh lakukan jika mereka tunjukkan laporan rahsia itu," tulis beliau lagi.

Raja Petra berkata, Bul memberitahu bahawa laporan itu hanya boleh didedahkan selepas polis memulakan siasatan.

"Jadi, saya mendedahkan yang ini untuk memprovokasi polis agar melancarkan siasatan. Saya memutuskan untuk tidak melakukan apa-apa," katanya.

Raja Petra juga menulis bahawa ketika pertemuan kedua "Bul ada bertanya sama ada saya akan mendedahkan cerita ini dan saya memberitahunya bahawa tidak akan (berbuat demikian)."

"Saya memberitahu Bul bahawa saya pasti akan ditahan dan dituduh jika saya melakukan apa yang dia syorkan.

"Dia memberi jaminan bahawa jika yang itu berlaku (ditahan) dan dia mahu yang itu terjadi untuk rancangan (mereka) berjaya, maka laporan risikan tentera akan keluar," kata blogger ini.

Katanya, Nik Azmi juga berjanji akan melindunginya dan memastikan tidak akan dipenjarakan.

Raja Petra berkata, beliau akan menulis satu artikel tetapi Nik Azmi mahukan akuan bersumpah memandangkan polis tidak boleh mengabaikan perisytiharan berkanun.

Beliau kemudian memanggil Pang dan diberitahu bahawa Ahli Parlimen Gua Musang itu mengenali Lt Kol Azmi dengan baik.

"Sebenarnya dia selalu ke pejabat Tengku Razaleigh dan Tengku Razaleigh juga tahu akan laporan risikan tentera berkaitan dengan Rosmah dan dua orang Lt Kol berada di tempat kejadian," tulis beliau.

Raja Petra menulis beliau kemudian menghubungi blogger Din Merican, yang malam tadi turut menafikan dakwaan editor Malaysia Today itu, untuk memeriksa latar belakang  Lt Kol Azmi dengan Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"Din menghubungi balik dan memberitahu bahawa Anwar tahu beliau dengan baik, dia selalu bertemu dengan Anwar dan dia boleh dipercayai," katanya.

Raja Petra berkata selepas akuan bersumpahnya muncul beliau ditahan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) dan dikenakan tuduhan hasutan dan fitnah.

"(Kemudian) saya bertanya Nik Azmi satu naskhah laporan (risikan itu).

"Bul berkata dia tidak ada (laporan) itu lagi. Keseluruhan fail sudah dicincang, kata Bul. Sudah pasti mereka ada naskhah sokongan, kata saya," tulis Raja Petra.

Raja Petra seterusnya menulis Nik Azmi kemudian memberitahu beliau bahawa "maaf, tiada salinan sokongan."

"Laporan itu sudah tidak wujud lagi. Sebenarnya keseluruhan fail itu sudah tidak wujud lagi," katanya lagi.

Raja Petra juga berkata, beliau memberitahu polis perkara ini kepada polis ketika masih ditahan di bawah ISA.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Ada Apa Pada Raja Petra Kamaruddin?

Oleh: Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi

Sekiranya anda merupakan Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) yang dikenakan tahanan tanpa dibicarakan (ISA), apakah perasaan anda? Bagaimana situasi hidup yang bakal anda alami? Apakah yang bakal terjadi kepada masa hadapan keluarga dan anak-anak anda? Bagaimana hendak mencari rezeki untuk anak-anak anda? Bagaimana persepsi masyarakat terhadap diri anda dan keluarga?

Persoalan ini pernah membelenggu Raja Petra apabila dikenakan tahanan ISA.
Raja Petra merupakan teman baik Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan pernah menjadi sidang redaksi majalah keadilan. RPK juga merupakan golongan pejuang reformasi yang memainkan peranan dalam mengadakan kempen pembebasan Anwar Ibrahim suatu ketika dahulu dan hingga kini mempunyai portal yang sangat kontroversi kepada semua parti politik di Malaysia.

Perasaan Raja Petra begitu gembira apabila bertembung dengan Anwar di mahkamah. Menurut Anwar, beliau akan dibebaskan daripada ISA kerana tidak lama lagi, iaitu pada 16 September 2008 Pakatan Rakyat akan mengambil alih kerajaan. Kegembiraan Raja Petra terubat. Bagaimanapun, apabila tarikh ditunggu-tunggu tersebut tiba, tidak ada perubahan kerajaan sebagaimana dijanjikan.

16 September 2008

Sebelum ini dalam media, Anwar begitu yakin pada tarikh tersebut. Bukan sahaja Raja Petra teman karib Anwar menanti tarikh tersebut, malah seluruh rakyat Malaysia menunggu detik-detik tersebut dengan sabar untuk melihat sejauh manakah benarnya kenyataan Anwar dalam memberikan janji politik. Bagaimanapun, rakyat seolah-olah tertipu dengan gimik politik demikian.

Dalam politik, Anwar perlu lebih realistik dan perlu memohon maaf kepada rakyat Malaysia kerana diperdayakan dengan janji tersebut. Bagi Raja Petra janji tersebut telah menyebabkan kredibiliti Anwar sebagai tokoh yang dipercayai dan berwibawa semakin pudar dan ini merugikan Anwar sebagai ahli politik yang berpotensi besar dalam konteks nasional. Apakah untungnya beliau mewara-warakan tarikh tersebut sedangkan beliau tahu boleh memendekkan hayat sokongan politik yang diterimanya? Ternyata ia merupakan publisiti yang sementara sifatnya. Perkara ini mengingatkan akan satu ungkapan yang menarik untuk dikongsi- you can win the battle but lose the war.

Raja Petra juga mempertikaikan kepimpinan Anwar yang gagal membentuk kabinet bayangan bagi memperlihatkan bahawa terdapat calon-calon yang berkelayakan yang bakal menduduki kabinet pada masa akan datang. Adakah tidak adanya kabinet bayangan ini menunjukkan ketidakyakinannya untuk mengambil alih kerajaan?

Penasihat Ekonomi

Pelantikan Anwar sebagai penasihat ekonomi negeri Selangor sebagaimana diumumkan Menteri besar Selangor setakat ini belum lagi mengetengahkan dasar yang jelas dan spesifik sungguhpun beliau berpengalaman dan pernah menjadi mantan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Kewangan Malaysia. Sehingga hari ini beberapa dasar konkrit belum dicanangkan sebagai idea Anwar untuk memberikan kredibiliti dan kapasiti dirinya sebagai penasihat ekonomi.

Apakah kerana sebelum ini beliau tidak pernah mempunyai pengalaman bekerja di peringkat negeri dan ini merupakan kali pertama kerana sebelum ini beliau dilihat sebagai pemimpin di peringkat persekutuan sebagaimana diakuinya sendiri?

Lantikan tersebut amat bermakna sekiranya dasar-dasar yang jelas dikemukakan dan dihebahkan kepada rakyat di Malaysia agar dapat dikongsi pengalaman tersebut. Perancangan jangka masa pendek, sederhana dan pajang negeri Selangor perlu ada agar negeri-negeri lain sama ada di bawah Pakatan Rakyat mahupun Barisan Nasional belajar daripada Anwar untuk menguruskan agenda pembangunan negeri dan negara.

Barangkali sebab itulah terjadi suasana disebut Raja Petra di Selangor sebagai terjadinya dasar individu dan negeri yang kabur. Pada suatu tahap Raja Petra menyatakan timbul isu mengenai penjualan arak oleh Hasan Ali dari PAS manakala PAS pula kemudian membuat komen itu pandangan peribadi ahli PAS dan bukannya pandangan rasmi PAS negeri manakala DAP pula menyatakan perkara yang lain pula. Ketidaksepakatan sebegini menimbulkan kekeliruan rakyat dan sekiranya dibiarkan berterusan akan menyebabkan keretakan hubungan antara parti memerintah di Selangor.

Gagal Menjaga Parti?

RPK mendakwa Anwar gagal menjaga parti-parti komponen dalam Pakatan Rakyat. Apakah tuduhan ini berasas? Anwar juga disifatkan Raja Petra sebagai pemimpin yang gagal menjaga anak buahnya dan sering membiarkan anak-anak buah bertelagah di Selangor tanpa kawalan yang menurut Raja Petra Anwar sebagi jeneral politik perlu pandai mengawal askar-askarnya. Sikap terlalu berdiam diri dan dikatakan tidak terlalu mengawal kononnya untuk memberikan kebebasan suara kepada anak-anak buahnya. Namun ini memberikan persepsi seolah-olah Anwar hilang kawalan terhadap juak-juaknya dan boleh menghilangkan kepercayaan orang ramai.

Sejauhmanakah suasana ini turut berlaku dalam parti lain seperti UMNO, MCA dan Gerakan di Semenanjung? Adakah hal-hal tersebut merupakan budaya politik di Semenanjung atau sesuatu yang unik kepada PKR? Adakah situasi tersebut sesuai dalam konteks budaya politik di Sarawak?

Raja Petra juga menyatakan bahawa bukan mudah untuk membentuk dan menjadi kerajaan dan kerana itulah beliau mendakwa pembangkang belum dapat membukti kebolehan mereka kerana selama ini cuma mengkritik dan membangkang yang kerjanya lebih mudah akan tetapi apabila mereka sendiri di peringkat pelaksana akan merasai sendiri kesukaran dan halangan dalam pentadbiran dan pembangunan negeri.

Apakah kerajaan Pakatan rakyat akan mengeluarkan statistik pencapaian mereka untuk menangkis dakwaan-dakwaan Raja Petra yang pernah menjadi teman rapat mereka suatu ketika dahulu? Sejauh manakah Pakatan Rakyat menerima bahawa mereka tidak boleh bersatu kerana berlainan ideologi sebagaimana didakwa Raja Petra?

Raja Petra yang dikenali ramai sebenarnya bukanlah penyokong totok PKR, UMNO, DAP, PAS atau mana-mana parti lain di Malaysia. Keturunan kerabat diraja dan kacukan Inggeris ini merupakan yang cukup lantang kepada sesiapa sahaja dan mana-mana parti. Bukan sahaja kepada Anwar akan tetapi kepada parti lain seperti UMNO dan PAS.

Namun sejauh manakah penerimaan penyokong parti terhadap kritikan seumpama ini. Kalau ada kalangan penyokong UMNO boleh menerima kritikan Raja Petra, penyokong PKR khususnya perlu belajar dari kritikan Raja Petra untuk meningkatkan lagi persepsi positif terhadap parti politik yang mereka perjuangkan. Kritikan sedemikian walaupun pahit namun dapat meningkatkan kredibiliti dalam mana-mana parti sama ada UMNO, PKR, PAS mahupun DAP.

*Penulis ialah pensyarah kanan di Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). Dalam dunia kesarjanaan beliau pernah mendapat biayai Southeast Asian Studies Regional Exchange Program (SEASREP), Toyota Foundation selain daripada Mardjani Foundation Russia, ahli European Association for South East Asian Studies (EuroSEAS), dan anggota Scientific and Technical Committee & Editorial Review Board on Human and Social Sciences, di Paris.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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MRT’s first contract runs into controversy

By Jahabar Sadiq

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The owners of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) will award their first major contract today for an independent check engineer (ICE) chosen by the government and who will be paid two per cent of the undetermined project cost, which is reportedly above market rates.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the consortium of HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd, Hong Kong's MTR Corp Ltd and Canadian SNC-Lavalin is likely to land the contract despite being rejected by Syarikat Prasarana Berhad (SPNB) earlier for not putting a price to its brief — which usually costs up to 0.8 per cent of the total project.

The total project cost for the MRT is estimated at RM36.6 billion for three rail lines through the Klang Valley when it was first proposed two years ago but that projection did not include cost of land and also rolling stock for the MRT.

"The SPNB board will meet today to approve the decision made by the exco at the Finance Ministry level. They will have to abide by the decisions as the money is paid by the government," a source told The Malaysian Insider.

It is understood that the figure for the ICE could go as high as RM720 million based on the initial cost of the country's largest infrastructure project.

But the source said the two per cent payment for the cost appeared steep against the industrial convention of just under one per cent for sub-contractors.

It is also learnt that SPNB should have ruled out HSS Integrated as it had an existing working relationship with MRT project delivery partner (PDP) MMC-Gamuda, though the current double-tracking rail project in north Malaysia.

"When the request for information was sent out before last Christmas, it stated clearly that the winning ICE should not have an existing relationship with the PDP. HSS has but it has been conveniently overlooked," another source told The Malaysian Insider.

SPNB chief executive Shahril Mokhtar said last week a one-stop technical committee will evaluate the bids before recommending it to a Finance Ministry committee that will decide on the contract awards.

"It's their money so they decide," Shahril said, adding this was different from the current LRT extension works which is funded by bonds issued by SPNB.

SPNB had also not finalised the financing and project manager's fees for the MRT although planning has started for initial civil engineering work to begin in November.

Regulator Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had said the Finance Ministry has set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to raise funds for the project but had admitted the method has yet to be determined.

The SPNB chief had also said some 100 firms have applied for pre-qualification for the 16 packages in the elevated part of the 51km-long MRT; the deadline for pre-qualification ended on April 13.

The MRT is the country's biggest infrastructure project and also the largest National Key Economic Area (NKEA) project under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's New Economic Model (NEM).

The massive project is expected to generate 130,000 jobs in its five-year construction phase. The government hopes that more than half of the population in Greater KL will use the public transport system to prevent traffic congestion.

Source: The Malaysian Insider
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DUN Sarawak: 300,000 pengundi muda penentu perubahan?

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 April — Angkatan Muda PKR yakin generasi muda Sarawak yang dianggarkan 300 000 orang, yang telah berdaftar sebagai pengundi, bakal menjadi penentu perubahan di Sarawak pada hari pengundian pilihan raya negeri ke-10 esok.

Sarawak mempunyai lebih 970,000 pemilih yang layak mengundi pada pilihan raya negeri kali ini.

Penolong Setiausaha Angkatan Muda PKR, Mohd Saifullah Mohd Zulkifli berkata, generasi muda Sarawak yang berhadapan dengan pelbagai belenggu dan isu hanya akan dapat diselesaikan melalui proses demokrasi, pemilihan tampuk kepimpinan negeri.

"Masalah pendidikan dan peluang pekerjaan menjadi masalah utama kepada generasi muda ini," katanya.

Saifullah berkata, kemudahan asas sekolah berada dalam keadaan uzur dan tidak mencukupi untuk proses pengajaran dan pembelajaran terutama di kawasan pinggir bandar dan luar bandar di Sarawak. 

"Faktor ini akhirnya menyebabkan keciciran di kalangan pelajar tinggi di Sarawak," katanya beliau dalam satu kenyataan.

Tambah beliau, bagi golongan muda yang ingin menyambung pengajian tinggi terpaksa merantau ke Semenanjung kerana kekurangan tempat untuk menyambung pengajian di Sarawak selain Universiti Malaysia Sarawak dan UiTM.

"Masalah kedua yang menjadi isu penting kepada golongan muda di Sarawak adalah masalah pekerjaan. Seramai 200,000 direkodkan berhijrah ke Semenanjung terutama di Johor Baru, Lembah Klang dan Singapura kerana masalah pengangguran yang tinggi," kata beliau.

Katanya, 200,000 orang di kalangan mereka yang terpaksa merantau keluar Sarawak ini terdiri daripada golongan muda yang sukar mendapat pekerjaan.

"Ditambah lagi kerana keciciran pendidikan dan politik sempit Barisan Nasional membuatkan generasi muda ini sukar mendapat tempat dalam pekerjaan.

"Jika mendapat pekerjaan sekalipun, 48 peratus daripada golongan pekerja rakyat Sarawak adalah berpendapatan RM750 dan ke bawah," kata beliau lagi.

Jelas Saifullah, desakan sara hidup yang tinggi, maka adalah mustahil untuk generasi muda dapat hidup dengan hanya bergaji seperti ini.

Malah katanya, generasi muda Sarawak telah matang dalam menilai sosiopolitik masyarakat di Sarawak.

"Penyelesaian kepada permasalahan yang membelengu generasi muda hanya dapat diatasi jika generasi mudanya berani melakukan perubahan.

"Perubahan politik tidak bermaksud merebut jawatan atau kerusi semata-mata, tetapi perubahan secara politik bakal menentukan dasar negeri Sarawak bagi menjamin masa depan generasi muda sebagai pewaris negara," kata beliau lagi.

Pakatan Rakyat memberi jaminan dalam manifesto pilihan raya negeri dan buku jingga untuk melakukan pembaikan tatakelola pentadbiran negeri. 

"Kekayaan negeri akan diagihkan kepada rakyat. Hasil negeri adalah milik rakyat. Undi generasi muda seramai 300,000 orang ini kepada Pakatan Rakyat bererti undi untuk masa depan yang lebih cerah," katanya.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Najib: BN hanya sasar kekal kuasa Sarawak, majoriti dua pertiga ‘bonus’

KUCHING, 13 April – Datuk Seri Najib Razak menegaskan sasaran Barisan Nasional (BN) adalah mengekalkan kerajaan negeri yang dipimpin perikatan itu sejak lebih empat dekad lalu, tidak kisah jika hanya dengan majoriti mudah.

Ketika tinggal tiga hari sebelum pengundian, Pengerusi BN ini secara terbuka berkata, pihaknya hanya mahu membentuk sebuah kerajaan walaupun gagal memperoleh majoriti dua pertiga.

Najib (gambar) yang secara peribadi mengetuai kempen di sini sejak Ahad lalu berkata, jika BN memperoleh majoriti dua pertiga di Dewan Undangan Negeri, ia adalah satu "bonus" bagi partinya.

"Sasaran kami ialah untuk membentuk sebuah kerajaan. Itu minimum. Majoriti dua pertiga adalah bonus kerana ia akan menyediakan kestabilan," kata beliau yang juga Presiden Umno di sini hari ini.

Pengundian pilihan raya negeri ke-10 ini, yang menyediakan 71 kerusi, berlangsung Sabtu ini.

BN memiliki 63 kerusi manakala baki oleh pembangkang.

Sejak 1987, ini kali pertama kesemua kerusi dipertandingkan dan BN berhadapan dengan saingan paling sengit.

Kata Najib, BN tidak mahu melihat secara khusus mengenai bilangan kerusi yang bakal diperoleh perikatan itu kali ini.

"Dalam mana-mana pilihan raya bilangan (kerusi bakal dimenangi) akan naik dan turun," kata beliau yang juga Menteri Kewangan.

Malah Najib juga mengakui bahawa BN berhadapan dengan persaingan sengit di kawasan-kawasan bandar dan pilihan raya negeri kali ini "adalah yang paling sengit dalam politik Sarawak."

"Kami tidak boleh menafikan kerusi-kerusi bandar adalah kawasan yang kami diuji paling sengit," kata beliau.

Sehubungan itu, beliau meminta BN bekerja kuat di kawasan-kawasan bandar kerana calon-calonnya berkaliber dan tidak mahu pengundi menolak mereka hanya kerana protes.

Najib mengulas kenyataan Ketua Menteri Sarawak Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud bahawa beliau yakin akan mengekalkan majoriti dua pertiga dengan memperoleh undi pada jumlah yang banyak di kawasan luar bandar dan separa luar bandar.

Dalam ulasannya Najib juga berkata, pemimpin-pemimpin BN dari Semenanjung Malaysia berada di Sarawak untuk "membantu calon-calon kami agar Sarawak akan kekal di bawah BN."

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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A Sarawakian voter’s dilemma

By June Rubis

APRIL 14 — Sarawak has never seen anything like it: the focused attention from Peninsular Malaysia during a state election. 

From the political celebrities flown here especially to entertain us with their ceramahs, to the constant barrage on social media to vote for either "ubah" (change), or to keep the status quo. We should feel so special.

After all, it's only taken 48 years for Peninsular Malaysia to finally get clued in that Sarawak (along with Sabah) is a vital part of Malaysia. And what happens in Sarawak would start the ripple of change for the rest of Malaysia.

Or as proud Sarawakians would adamantly declare, Malaysia is PART of Sarawak. I beg to remind you that if it weren't for Sarawak and Sabah, there will be no Malaysia. It would just be Malaya. 

This state election is indeed exciting. For the first time in decades, we may possibly see a political change for Sarawak. For the first time, both coalitions are equally balanced in the media front, albeit the Pakatan Rakyat-favoured media is only available online.  

For once, I am able to read the news and feel that for the most part, the political parties are being given a fair chance to have themselves heard. 

Except, of course, for the Sarawak-based party SNAP and the independents running in the race. They have been equally bashed by both coalitions, and all the reporting in the mass media reflects this. Pakatan Rakyat and its supporters dismiss SNAP and the independents as just tools of Barisan Nasional, and have worked very hard to discredit them to Sarawakian voters. 

Barisan Nasional runs SNAP and the independents down with its usual haughty condescension, and reminds voters that a vote for SNAP and the independents certainly does not equal a vote for BN. 

There was a time in my life where I was so hopeful for PKR in particular. At a recent LoyarBurok retreat when we were asked in an ice-breaker game (if my memory serves me correctly) whether Pakatan Rakyat would be the saving grace of Sarawak, I confidently stood in the line of "Agree" and passionately spoke up for Baru Bian. I assured my friends that nothing could be worse than what we have governing Sarawak now. 

And then, the fallout between PKR and SNAP occurred, and the former went on the complete offensive along with its cheering media section. 

This aggressive move was very dismaying for me, and it made me wonder whether Peninsular Malaysian politicos and media were able to see east Malaysian political parties as more than just their subordinates who will move when commanded to. 

And when they don't, the assumption is that they have to be manipulated by someone else somehow! 

Who is pulling the strings? Who is going to rule Sarawak in proxy? Peninsular Malaysians hankering to either get or maintain control of Putrajaya? Foreign funders disguised as free media? Shady funders wanting to preserve their assets? 

So here lies the conscientious Sarawakian voter's dilemma. 

We want change, we do. 

We do not want the same state government we have had for the past 30 years. We want a government that listens to its peoples, and is fair to all, and not just its cronies. 

We want fair, balanced government policies. We want a government that doesn't constantly challenge the courts' decisions that are in favour of indigenous people when it comes to the rights of native customary land. We want EIAs conducted for projects that would irreplaceably change the geographic face of the state, in the name of "development" that we supposedly want but were never consulted about. 

And yet, when I sit and watch the race between the two giant coalitions, I can't help but feel sad. 

I do not believe that either have altruistic intentions for Sarawak other than for their own political destinies. Do not tell me that one is the saving grace compared to the other, for they both wear the same mask to me.

Yet come April 16, I will cast my vote. And I will cast my vote for the political party that has not yet been represented in my constituency. 

And then after the 16th, when everyone has had their excitement sated from the results of the polls, and has returned home, Sarawak can start rebuilding. 

But we have to realise that it starts with us. And not with Peninsular Malaysians, or well-meaning foreigners.   

We need to remind ourselves that April 16 is not the end date for change. It is not. 

Whatever government gets voted in, we cannot absolve ourselves from the responsibility of making the changes we want in our society. This means taking an active role in civil society, be it in the NGOs of the causes you support, and the associations and places of worship that you are part of.  

With a strong Sarawakian civil society that is united, we can then make our demands heard by the government of the day, to remind them to put Sarawak first, beyond personal political ambitions. 

And then perhaps one day there won't be a voter's dilemma any longer. 

For ordinary Sarawakian rakyat would be charting our own course, with meek politicians in tow.

One day.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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IGP: Lelaki aksi seks rakaman video sudah dikenal pasti

UPDATED @ 05:34:07 14-04-2011

Oleh Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 April — Polis telah mengenal pasti lelaki dalam aksi seks rakaman video yang didedahkan oleh "Datuk T" bulan lalu, kata Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Ismail Omar hari ini.

Bagaimanapun Ismail berkata pihaknya tidak akan mendedahkan identiti individu berkenaan.

Justeru tambah Ismail, kertas siasatan berkaitan video seks itu akan selesai minggu depan.

Video seks itu dipertontonkan kepada sekumpulan wartawan oleh "Datuk T" di hotel Carcosa Seri Negara di sini pada 21 Mac lalu, mendakwa lelaki dalam aksi seks adalah pemimpin kanan Pakatan Rakyat.

Kata Ismail, polis kini dalam proses mengenal pasti pemilik tangan Omega yang menurut "Datuk T" adalah milik Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"Kami sedang mengenal pasti siapa pemilik jam tangan (Omega) yang diserahkan kepada polis," kata beliau kepada pemberita.

Apabila ditanya mengenai wanita tidak dikenali dalam aksi seks itu juga telah disoal siasat, Ismail berkata, "polis telah bercakap dengan setiap orang yang terlibat dalam video seks."

Tiga "Datuk T" iaitu bekas ketua menteri Melaka Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, ahli perniagaan Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah dan bekas Bendahari Agung Perkasa Datuk Shuaib Lazim yang disoal siasat polis dilaporkan telah menyerahkan jam tangan Omega kepada polis.

Anwar yang juga Ketua Umum PKR telah tampil membuat penafian beliau adalah individu dalam video tersebut dan membuat laporan polis berhubung perkara itu.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Kes Altantuya: Saya tak pernah tuduh Najib dan isteri terlibat, kata Raja Petra

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 April – TV3, stesen prokerajaan, hari ini menyiarkan temu bual eksklusif dengan Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin yang mendakwa beliau tidak pernah menuduh Datuk Seri Najib Razak atau isterinya terbabit dalam kes pembunuhan wanita Mongolia Altantuya Sharibuu.

Pengendali portal Malaysia Today itu berkata, beliau didesak dan dipengaruhi untuk berbuat demikian oleh beberapa individu yang tidak mahu Najib mengambil alih jawatan perdana menteri.

Raja Petra (gambar) berkata, akuan bersumpah yang dibuat beliau pada 18 Jun 2008 hanya bersandarkan maklumat diperoleh daripada beberapa individu.

Menurut Raja Petra, ramai orang termasuk polis, membuat tuduhan tanpa meneliti akuan bersumpahnya.

Dalam akuan bersumpah itu Raja Petra berkata, beliau menerima maklumat daripada beberapa individu kononnya isteri Perdana Menteri Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor berada di tempat kejadian ketika Altantuya dibunuh.

"Dalam SD (akuan bersumpah) saya tadi saya telah bercerita bahawasanya orang ini telah beritahu dan biarlah orang ini yang datang dan bercerita.

"Dan, pihak berkuasa perlu siasat dan panggillah orang ini. Itu yang saya tulis dalam SD," kata Raja Petra yang kini berada di Australia.

"Saya sendiri tidak timbulkan apa-apa tuduhan. Saya tidak kata saya tahu yang isteri timbalan perdana menteri semasa itu ada di tempat kejadian. Saya tidak cakap.

"Saya tidak buat satu tuduhan seperti berikut. Yang saya kata ada orang yang bercerita tetapi bergantung kepada pihak berkuasalah untuk menyiasat perkara ini lebih lanjut lagi dan untuk orang-orang ini ke depan," kata beliau.

Kata Raja Petra, beliau telah menyebutkan nama-nama orang terbabit.

"Saya sebut semasa siasatan polis," katanya lagi.

Raja Petra berkata, beliau menerima maklumat berkenaan, daripada beberapa individu yang mempunyai kaitan  dengan beberapa tokoh politik, termasuk Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Menurut Raja Petra seorang pegawai perisik angkatan tentera dikenali sebagai Leftenan Kolonel Azmi Zainal Abidin juga memberi maklumat yang sama.

"Saya tidak terima lagi cerita itu. Sebab saya rasa mungkin mustahil.

"Takkanlah isteri Perdana Menteri nak pergi tempat itu kerana tempat itu kerana kawasan itu tempat hutan dan saya dok fikir dia nak panjat bukit, masuk hutan tengah tengah malam, pukul 12 malam, saya ingat mustahil kot," katanya lagi.

Tambah Raja Petera, tujuan mereka ialah untuk memastikan Najib tidak mengambil alih sebagai Perdana Menteri apabila Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi meletakkan jawatan.

Beliau berkata, kesemua individu ini berjanji akan menjadi saksi sekiranya beliau di dakwa di mahkamah.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chief Minister Has Identified His Successor

KUCHING, 12 April (Bernama) — Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said today he has identified his successor as Sarawak Chief Minister.

He did not name the person, but said he had groomed his successor for 20 years.

He added that the person replacing him must be acceptable not only to the Sarawak Barisan Nasional but also the people.

"I must choose the best person to take over from me and to work together as a team," he said in an interview here.

Taib said the team taking over must be able to work together to ensure that all government policies and plans were implemented smoothly

"We take into consideratiion all this. A disorderly succession is certain to anger the people," he said, adding that change of leadership at the federal level had always been smooth.

"We have a plan among PBB leaders. I go first followed by leaders who had come later than me when people whom we groomed can discharge their duties well," he said.

Taib, who has been Chief Minister since March 1981 when he was 45, said he had delegated "a portion of power" to several ministers to prepare the second liners for responsibilities at the helm.

On the PBB line-up for the election, he said that he had chosen candidates who could not only win but also "see eye-to-eye with the new leadership."

Asked about the achievements of his adminjistration, Taib said:"I don't know how to rate my success. I think I've managed to get all the races to work together, backed by a desire to move in the same direction, which we call a
philosophy of confluence of cultures."

On the view that he had been Chief Minister for too long, he said he had to stay after the 2006 election because SUPP lost several seats and he had to "fill in the gap to groom new talents."

The opposition harping on his long tenure "is like the pot calling the kettle black," Taib said.

He said that DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and party chairman Karpasl Singh, both 70, had been active for four decades now and had ensured that their children were at the top.

PKR was no better, Taib said, noting that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is advisor, his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail president, and his daughter Nurul Izzah vice-president.– BERNAMA-Sarawak Update
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Sarawak Punyai KDNK Ke-3 Terbesar Di Malaysia

KUCHING, 13 April (Bernama) — Sarawak mempunyai potensi besar untuk menyumbang kepada transformasi pendapatan tinggi Malaysia kerana negeri itu merupakan yang kedua terkaya daripada segi pendapatan per kapita dan ketiga
terbesar dalam Keluaran Dalam Negeri Kasar (KDNK), demikian menurut seorang penganalisis kanan agensi penarafan di Kuala Lumpur.

"Dengan kurnian kekayaan sumber asli yang luas dalam tanah, perhutanan, pelancongan serta sumber tenaga diperbaharui dan tidak boleh diperbaharui, Sarawak berada dalam kedudukan baik untuk menerajui pertumbuhan mampan dan
seimbang di semua sektor, khususnya pertanian, perlombongan, pembuatan dan perkhidmatan, Ketua Ekonomi Kumpulan RAM Holdings Bhd Dr Yeah Kim Leng berkata Bernama.

Pada 2009, Sarawak adalah negeri ketiga dalam KDNK pada 9.9 peratus selepas Selangor (23.3 peratus) dan Kuala Lumpur (15.6 peratus). Saiz KDNK Sarawak juga lebih tinggi dari Johor (9.7 peratus), Pulau Pinang (8.5 peratus) dan Kelantan
(1.9 peratus).

Daripada segi pendapatan per kapita, Sarawak menjadi negeri kedua terkaya iaitu RM30,318 selepas Kuala Lumpur (RM51,197). Bumi Kenyalang juga mendahului Pulau Pinang (RM29,569) dan Selangor (RM27,609).

Berdasarkan angka itu, ia jelas menunjukkan bahawa Sarawak memainkan peranan penting dalam memastikan kisah kejayaan transformasi Malaysia dan yang demikian, kerajaan telah memberi tumpuan dan berusaha gigih membangunkan negeri itu.

Kerajaan Persekutuan telah menunjukkan kesungguhan membantu Sarawak terutamanya di kawasan luar bandar bagi memastikan Sarawak tidak ketinggalan di belakang. Pelantikan bekas Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Datuk
Seri Idris Jala sebagai Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri menggambarkan niat ikhlas kerajaan.

Idris Jala, daripada suku kaum Kelabit yang berasal dari tanah tinggi Bario di utara Sarawak, ialah Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan bagi mengawal selia perubahan pengurusan prestasi kerajaan.

Kedua-dua kerajaan telah membawa pelbagai kemajuan kepada rakyat Sarawak terutamanya di kawasan luar bandar khususnya di kawasan luar bandar daripada segi kemudahan asas, bekalan elektrik dan air bersih, dan kadar kemiskinan
berkurangan tiga peratus daripada 60 peratus pada 20 tahun lepas.

Bagi memastikan Sarawak bergerak seiring dengan wawasan negara ke arah Wawasan 2020, Koridor Tenaga Diperbaharui Sarawak dilaksanakan sebagai satu projek berimpak tinggi.

Sebagai satu daripada wilayah pembangunan yang dilaksanakan di seluruh negara, SCORE merupakan satu koridor pembangunan di wilayah tengah Sarawak, yang dilancarkan pada 11 Feb 2008. Koridor ini bertujuan memacu pertumbuhan ekonomi Sarawak serta mempertingkatkan kualiti dan taraf kehidupan rakyat Sarawak.

SCORE menggambarkan akan kerjasama kukuh antara Kerajaan Persekutuan dan kerajaan negeri untuk mentransformasikan Sarawak menjadi sebuah negeri maju menjelang 2030 daripada segi per kapita KDNK, peluang pekerjaan dan pertumbuhan

SCORE yang akan direalisasikan sepenuhnya pada 2030, ia dijangka dapat mempertingkatkan KDNK negeri itu lima kali ganda dan diunjurkan berkembang daripada RM23 bilion pada 2006 kepada RM118 bilion pada 2030.

Sebagai tambahan, pendapatan per kapita KDNK akan meningkat daripada RM23,193 kepada RM84,077 manakala bilangan peluang pekerjaan bertambah daripada 900,000 kepada 2.5 juta bagi tempoh sama.

Selain pertumbuhan ekonomi, Sarawak akan menyaksikan pembangunan pesat dalam infrastruktur seperti jalan raya dan prasarana awam, tambahan pula pelaksanaan SCORE akan menarik pelaburan ke Bumi Kenyalang selepas menerima jaminan
pelaburan RM13 bilion.

Semua usaha yang dilaksanakan kerajaan bersama dengan kerajaan negeri bukan hanya membawa kemakmuran kepada Sarawak, tetapi juga pada masa sama generasi muda akan mempunyai peluang pendidikan berkualiti tinggi.

Pendidikan adalah satu segmen penting bagi memastikan tenaga kerja berkemahiran tinggi bagi memenuhi keperluan SCORE, yang akan membawa kemajuan dan kualiti kehidupan lebih baik bagi penduduk Sarawak.

Beberapa institusi pengajian tinggi awam tempatan yang telah diwujudkan menunjukkan pendidikan menjadi keutamaan penting Sarawak dalam mempromosikan wawasan bagi merealisasikan ekonomi berasaskan pengetahuan.

Antara institusi pengajian tinggi itu adalah Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Institut Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Razak (UNITAR), Swinburne Institute of Technology University (kampus induk di Melbourne,
Australia), Curtin University, Miri (kampus induk di Perth, Australia) dan Universiti Putra Malaysia, Bintulu.

Inisiatif pendidikan lebih baik akan melengkapkan kawasan luar bandar dan menggalakkan rakyat untuk menggunakan kemahiran baru mereka di kampung dan memainkan peranan dalam pembangunan masyarakat seperti di Baram, Ulu Lawas,
Belaga dan kawasan luar bandar di mana kebanyakan mereka terpinggir daripada pembangunan arus perdana.

Wawasan dan objektif kerajaan Sarawak ke arah mentransformasikan Bumi Kenyalang menjadi negeri maju menjelang 2030 adalah satu perancangan yang dinyatakan dalam manifesto Barisan Nasional (BN) bertema "Jaminkan Masa Hadapan
Anda Dengan BN" bagi pilihan raya negeri Sarawak ke-10 pada Sabtu ini (16 April).

Sembilan teras yang ditekankan dalam manifesto jelas menunjukkan kerajaan Sarawak serius dan komited untuk membantu penduduk Sarawak.

Satu wawasan berani adalah untuk memastikan Sarawak berada di landasan ke arah menjadi sebuah negeri terkaya di Malaysia.

Teras utama lain adalah memelihara keamanan, keharmonian, kestabilan dan tadbir urus yang baik; memelihara alam sekitar, budaya, warisan dan kepercayaan semua kaum; menyediakan peluang pekerjaan untuk semua; menjana lebih banyak peluang perniagaan untuk semua; menyediakan peluang pendidikan untuk anak-anak; menjamin hak rakyat ke atas tanah mereka dipelihara; meningkatkan mutu dan kualiti hidup golongan yang miskin dan kurang bernasib baik; dan memastikan mutu jalan raya, bekalan air dan elektrik, khidmat kesihatan dan perumahan sentiasa dipertingkatkan.
– BERNAMA- Sarawak Update
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Mufti Perak: Fatwa haramkan poco-poco belum diwarta

Oleh Syed Mu'az Syed Putra

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 April — Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria mengakui sesiapa yang terlibat dalam tarian poco-poco di Perak boleh dikenakan tindakan termasuk  ditangkap hanya selepas fatwa berkenaan, yang diputuskan Februari lalu, digazetkan.

Bagaimanapun Mufti Perak itu berkata, proses untuk menggazetkan keputusan pengharaman tarian poco-poco mengambil masa selain perlu mendapat perkenan Sultan Perak selaku ketua agama negeri.

Kata Harussani (gambar), beliau juga perlu menjelaskan pengharaman tarian poco-poco kepada Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan untuk mendapatkan pandangan.

"Belum digazetkan lagi... belum lagi... bila isu ini timbul saya akan bincang dulu, saya akan bincang dengan Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan dan mufti-mufti. Saya perlu jelaskan dulu alasan kenapa saya haramkan tarian poco-poco di Perak," kata beliau.

Bagaimanapun kata beliau, ia tetap haram walaupun belum diwartakan lagi.

"Tapi hukum tetap sama, haram tetap haram cuma sekarang kita masih belum gazetkan lagi sebagai undang-undang, nak gazetkan perlu ambil masa dan saya juga perlu dapat perkenan Sultan Perak dulu, kalau diber perkenan kita akan gazetkannya," katanya kepada The Malaysian Insider.

Jelas beliau, walaupun masih belum digazetkan, namun tarian poco-poco yang telah diharamkan sejak Januari lalu tetap tidak boleh diamalkan di Perak kerana ia bercanggah dengan ajaran Islam.

"Ia tetap tidak boleh diadakan di Perak, haram tetap haram. Bagi siapa yang buat, dia berdosa kerana melakukan perkara yang haram dalam Islam.

"Cuma kalau tidak digazetkan, kita tidak boleh ambil tindakan. Sebagai contoh, kalau ada pihak yang buat tarian poco-poco di Perak, kita tidak boleh ambil tindakan tapi kalau sudah digazetkan kita boleh tangkap siapa yang menari poco-poco," katanya.

Tegas Harussani, beliau berharap agar kerajaan negeri Perak akan mematuhi keputusan yang dibuat Jawatankuasa Fatwa negeri itu.

"Kita harap semua pihak agar menghormati dan mematuhi keputusan yang telah dibuat Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak, apa yang kita buat ini adalah demi kebaikan umat Islam.

"Kita haramkan tarian poco-poco sebab itu bercanggah dengan ajaran Islam selain mempunyai kepercayaan agama lain," katanya.

Sebelum ini Harussani berkata, pihaknya tidak akan menarik balik pengharaman tarian poco-poco dan bersedia untuk memberi penjelasan kepada Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan akhir bulan ini.

Beliau berkata Jawatankuasa Fatwa negeri itu membuat keputusan mengharamkan tarian poco-poco selepas membuat kajian dan penelitian mendalam.

Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak telah mengambil kira sembilan asas, antaranya soal akidah dan kepercayaan umat Islam lebih penting daripada penjagaan kesihatan apabila memutuskan tarian poco-poco sebagai haram.

Ekoran pengharaman itu, Menteri Besar Perak Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir berkata, kerajaan negeri akan mematuhi keputusan Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak berhubung pengharaman tarian poco-poco.

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider
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