Friday, 23 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: Pek Moh urges cops to nab the kurang ajar 'vandals' in BSD


BUKIT LANJAN: Pek Moh urges cops to nab the kurang ajar 'vandals' in BSD

Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff has hit out at the kurang ajar (taught less) elements of society in Bandar Sri Damansara (BSD) rearing their ugly head hours before Malaysians celebrate Hari Raya Aidil Fitri on Sunday.

He said such scums of society must not be allowed to be emboldened with their samseng (gangster) ways. “They must be caught and punished or they will become a threat to public order.”


“I have lodged a report with the Bandar Sri Damansara police station at about 4pm today. I urge the police to step up their crime prevention patrols or at least raise their alertness to nab the culprits,” he added.

One of the 50 Hari Raya festive greeting banners that is still “surviving” near the BSD police station.
Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest Bukit Lanjan N.37 in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said he had put up 50 banners in Bukit Lanjan to wish Malaysians “Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Maaf Zahir & Batin”.

“Four of the banners were cut and are now missing. I have yet to check the other areas. I urge the police to treat the matter seriously.

“The banners are festive greetings, not political messages. If this is happening during the Ramadhan Holy Month, what will the hostility be like during GE14?” he asked.

Syed Razak, a.k.a Pek Moh Bukit Lanjan, said such kurang ajar acts had happened last Christmas and Chinese New Year “but I did not lodge any police report”.

“This time around, I am very, very upset and am taking such hostile acts seriously. They are also disrespecting Muslims and Islam,” he added.


He said responsible Malaysians who treasure peace and harmony would not resort to such acts that could ignite public disorder.


N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Thursday, 22 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: Use the ‘feel good’ festivities to strengthen national unity


 BUKIT LANJAN: Use the ‘feel good’ festivities to strengthen national unity


Malaysians and corporates are urged to use the “good feel” during festivities to help forge unity among communities.


This will not only consolidate or strengthen national unity, it will also make Malaysia a peaceful and harmonious multi-racial multi-religious nation.

“Such a stable, peaceful and ideal country will surely attract more investors, both local and foreign,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

“Be it Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Chinese New Year, Deepavali or Christmas, we must all respect one another and celebrate together as one or Malaysians.

“Race must not be allowed to sow seeds of discord among communities. Race must not be allowed to divide Malaysians,” he said, reiterating that religious bigots and racists should have no place in the country.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said “religious bigots and racists” are now a minority.

“But we must not take their antics and threats to national unity lightly. Malaysians must all help promote communal and national unity to ensure Malaysia’s future.

“This we can do by organising and participating in programmes and activities that bring Malaysians together,” he said at a Bazaar Ramadhan in Taman Metropolitan Kepong (off MRR2) on June 22, 2017. Gerakan president and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mah Siew Keong and Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Lau Hoi Keong were also present where vouchers were distributed to the rakyat (people) to buy goodies from some 90 stalls.

Syed Razak said Malaysians must remain vigilant and wary of the threats posed by religious bigots and racists.

“Do not let them grow in numbers or Malaysia will be finished,” he added.



N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: If you care about your kids and yourself …


 BUKIT LANJAN: If you care about your kids and yourself …

The Star Online posted a Tech News article titled “Seven reasons you need to care about your kids’ online privacy”.

In fact, it is not about just caring your kids. It is also about caring for yourself.

“You only have yourself to blame if the internet nightmare befalls you and your loved ones,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said cyberspace “is today the most dangerous place to venture into”.

“It is now infested by cybercriminals who are lurking for easy ‘meat’. It is also splattered with lots of fake news or misinformation,” he added.

Syed Razak said: “There is no doubt that we cannot live without Information Communications Technology (ICT). But we have to really take all possible precautions when we embrace ICT.

“It is better safe than to be sorry later. When transactions go awry or all wrong in the internet, it is the beginning of your misery, and perhaps also a protracted one,” he added.



Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said cybercrime “is absolutely complex and faceless”.

“That makes it even more dangerous. Cybercriminals are absolutely vicious and merciless,” he said, adding that “it is a folly to take the internet access for granted, especially with children”.

Do take some time to read and understand this news report posted by The Star Online:

"Tech News
Home > Tech > Tech News
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 | MYT 6:30 AM

Seven reasons you need to care about your kids’ online privacy

BY CAROLINE KNORR


Here's why you should know about your kids' online privacy. — Common Sense Media/TNS

If you don't want to have the living daylights scared out of you, don't talk to an expert on kids' online privacy. (sic) (go talk to ...)

If you knew what was really out there – online predators, identity thieves, data miners – you'd lock up the Internet and throw away the key.

The truth is, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The Internet is so woven into our lives, we need to be aware of the worst-case scenarios that can strike when we're unprepared. Below are a few of those scary things that can and do happen. But with some eyes and ears to the ground, they are totally preventable.

1. Your kid could be spied on. Smart toys including My Friend Cayla, Hello Barbie, and CloudPets are designed to learn and grow with your kid. Cool, right? Unfortunately, many of these toys have privacy problems. As the 2015 data breach of Vtech's InnoTab Max uncovered, hackers specifically target kids because they offer clean credit histories and unused Social Security numbers that they can use for identity theft. These toys also collect a lot of information about your kid, and they aren't always clear about when they do it and how they use it.

Protect yourself. Make sure you buy a toy that has a good privacy policy that you understand. Only provide required information, not the optional stuff they ask for, and turn off the toy when it's not being used.

2. Your kid could get accused of a crime. Everyone has the right to privacy, especially in their own home. But home assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Mattel Aristotle are designed to butt their noses into conversations. These devices collect – and store – untold amounts of data. It's unclear what the companies do with the extraneous "noise" they pick up. And if it's subpoenaed, they might have to hand it over. Say your kid jokes about terrorism or something else illegal; if there's an investigation into those activities, the companies might have to cough up the transcripts. In Arkansas, a prosecutor asked for a murder suspect's Echo smart speaker in case its information could shed light on the crime. The suspect agreed to hand over the recordings, and Amazon was compelled to make them available.

Protect yourself. Turn off your home assistant's microphone when you're not using it. You also can prune your data in your devices' app settings, deleting stuff you don't want to store on your phone or in the companies' cloud servers. Or choose not to use a home assistant until the privacy regulations are ironed out.

3. Your kid could get hurt. With location-aware social media such as Twitter, Kik, and Facebook, kids can reveal their actual, physical locations to all their contacts – plenty of whom they don't know personally. Imagine a selfie that's location-tagged and says, "Bored, by myself, just hanging out looking for something fun to do."

Protect yourself. Turn off location sharing on your kids' devices, both in the phone settings and in the apps they use, so their status updates and photos are not automatically tagged with their locations. Make sure your kids never tell strangers their address, their school name, where they hang out, or where they're going to be. Teach kids to choose "no" when asked to share their locations.

4. Your kid could lose out on opportunities. Posting wild and crazy pics from prom '17 paints a picture for potential admissions counsellors, hiring managers, and others whom teens want to impress. They may not care that your kid partied – only that he showed poor judgment in posting compromising images.

Protect yourself. Tell your kid not to share photos of questionable activities on the Internet. If those kinds of photos do wind up online, tell your kid to ask his or her friends either to take them down or not to tag them so the photos can't be traced back. And remember to model responsible online sharing; don't share photos of your kid without asking permission, and share them with a limited audience – for example, only grandparents.

5. Your kid could be sold short. Schools are increasingly using software from third-party providers to teach, diagnose potential learning issues, and interact with students. This software includes online learning lessons, standardised tests, and 1:1 device programmes. And the companies that administer the programmes are typically allowed to collect, store, and sell your kids' performance records. Wondering about all those offers for supplemental reading classes you're receiving in the mail? Maybe your kid stumbled on her reading assessments – and marketers are trying to sell you "solutions." Curious why Harvard isn't trying to recruit your kid? Maybe they already decided she's not Ivy League material based on her middle school grades.

Protect yourself. If you know that your kid is going to be using third-party programs at school, find out what the software opts them into and what they can opt out of. Tell your kid to only supply required, not optional, information. If you have the time (and the stomach for it), you could read through the privacy policies of all the software your kid uses at school. Otherwise, talk to the principal about how the school vets companies' policies. If you're not satisfied, raise the issue with other parents (say, at the PTA meeting) to learn how your school can do more to protect student privacy.

6. Your kid could be limited. As schools automate procedures, they create student records with sensitive – and potentially damaging – information. Under the US Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), schools are allowed to share certain information without getting parents' consents. That means that an individual education plan (IEP), attendance records, a disciplinary record, prescribed medication, or even a high body mass index could be disclosed and used to unfairly disqualify your kid from opportunities, such as advanced classes, government services, or special schools.

Protect yourself. Schools are required to send parents information on how they handle student privacy. Find out what information your school collects, how it's stored, who gets to see it, and what future administrators are allowed to do with it. Under FERPA, you have the right to request, correct, or add an amendment to your kid's records through your district's educational department.

7. Your kid could be humiliated. Sharing fun stuff from your life with friends is fine. But oversharing is never a good idea. When kids post inappropriate material – whether it's a sexy selfie, an explicit photo session with a friend, an overly revealing rant, or cruel comments about others – the results can be humiliating if those posts become public or shared widely.

Protect yourself. Talk to your kids about keeping private things private, considering how far information can travel and how long it can last, and how they can talk to their friends about respecting one another's personal privacy. — Common Sense Media/Tribune News Service"



N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: Public WiFi users - be wary, take precautions


 BUKIT LANJAN: Public WiFi users - be wary, take precautions

It is possibly true to say that 99% of humans today cannot live without the use of WiFi.

WiFi is not a luxury. It is humans’ access to information and communications and the use of this technology is ever evolving into new and more powerful tools and products.

“However, the use of public WiFi can also compromise the personal data security of users,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said it would thus be wise that public WiFi users be wary of the “data security threats” and observe certain basic precautions.

“It is always better safe than to be sorry later,” he added.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said technology and its products do come with pros and cons.

“The problem is with honesty and morality. You can use technology and its products for good intentions. But they can also be used unscrupulously by cybercriminals,” he added.

Do take the trouble and some time to read the following advice posted by The Star Online:

"Tech News

Home > Tech > Tech News
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 | MYT 6:00 AM

Beware of WiFi when on holiday


Travellers may just be compromising their personal information compromised by accessing unsecured WiFi access points — AFP
The holiday season can be a lot of fun for everyone, including cybercriminals who may try to exploit travellers who use unsecured WiFi access points.

These travellers may just be compromising their personal information compromised by doing so.

“Consumers in Asia Pacific remain unaware of the dangers of connecting to public WiFi access points and tend to carry this habit when they travel due to the need to remain reachable for work and to share their travel experiences on social media,” said David Freer, vice president, consumer, Asia Pacific, McAfee.

The wide availability of WiFi networks can make it difficult to unplug and disconnect on holiday but if consumers take that extra step and unplug they can experience a more secure trip. While many individuals did not intend to unplug while travelling, those that did reported a much more enjoyable experience.

A new study by McAfee, Digital Detox: Unwind, Relax and Unplug revealed that more than half of survey respondents in India (52%) and Japan (67%) could not last a day without checking their work or personal e-mail. The majority admitted to checking e-mails at least once a day. In contrast, only 29% of respondents in Australia could not go a day without checking their work or personal e-mail.



Less than half of participants from Australia and Japan know how to determine whether a WiFi connection is secure, with even less taking the time to check their connection.

More worrying is travellers from Asia Pacific considered their personal information and data to be more secure while travelling than it is at home, as compared to travellers from the US.

To keep your personal information safe while travelling, ensure that you are connecting securely and avoid using public or unsecured WiFi networks. If you absolutely must connect to a public WiFi network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) . A VPN will keep your information private and ensure that data goes straight from your device to where you are connecting.

Also, make sure your devices’ operating system and applications are updated. Using old versions of software could leave you open to potential security vulnerabilities.

Install comprehensive security and use location applications to help you find, lock and even erase your device’s data in the event of theft or loss.

If you lose your connected device, especially on vacation, it can be difficult to recover. This may make it a vacation you won't forget, for the wrong reason."



N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Monday, 19 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: Time for IRB to get tough with expatriates … why so hard on locals only?


BUKIT LANJAN: Time for IRB to get tough with expatriates … why so hard on locals only?

It is about time the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) gets tough with expatriates or foreigners who default or under declare paying their income taxes.

From 2012, such defaulters owe Malaysia RM50 million. That’s a tidy sum that can be used to help the poor locals.

“It is good that the IRB has worked out a system to collect income tax from expatriates or foreign workers,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

“But, why can’t the IRB consider a much more effective way to collect income tax from foreigners? Why not get the employers to make monthly income tax deductions from the salaries of expatriates?” he added.

Syed Razak said some countries, like Papua New Guinea (PNG), “makes some 38% monthly deductions from the salaries of expatriates”.

“It is clean and simple. No need to go chasing after income tax defaulters or under declaring of taxes. The employers are responsible,” he added.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said “there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for the IRB to not implement the same as in PNG”.

“After all, the IRB has already compelled employers to make monthly income tax deductions from Malaysians. Why so hard on locals and go easy on expatriates?” he asked.

Syed Razak said the IRB should also enlist the help of Malaysian embassies to go after expatriates who have fled with some RM50 million in income tax dues.

“At least embassy staff can do more national duty and contribute to rakyat dan negara (people and country) for their pay,” he added.

Here’s the New Straits Times (NST Online) report on the issue:

"Expats' unpaid income tax stand at RM50m, IRB to tackle issue

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali (right) with Inland Revenue Board (IRB) chief executive officer Datuk Sabin Samitah at the launching of the MyExpat system for expatriates’ income tax collection in Cyberjaya. NSTP Pix by FARIZ ISWADI
By HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN - June 15, 2017 @ 8:12pm

CYBERJAYA: Unpaid income tax by expatriates who have left the country since 2012 stood at more than RM50 million, said Inland Revenue Board (IRB) chief executive officer Datuk Sabin Samitah.

He said these expatriates who had largely worked in the service industry, have either under declared their salary or falsified their actual income to the Immigration Department to obtain their expatriate status.

"We have learned that many expatriates have left the country without paying the rightful amount tax which they owe to the government.

"This was learned through investigation on the amount of money they send back to their home country and the rich lifestyles they lead here," he told reporters today.

In tackling this issue, the IRB has joined hands with the Immigration Department via its Expatriate Services Division (ESD) system to check on the expatriates’ income tax status before they leave Malaysia.

This will be similar to the system which is currently imposed on Malaysians. Expatriates with undeclared income tax will be barred from leaving the country or to return to Malaysia, Sabin added.

Further, the IRB was also in talks 75 countries to implement the double tax agreement whereby the unpaid tax in Malaysia, will be paid in by the expatriates in their home country.

"Currently there are no details on this measure as we are still laying out the execution plan. However this has proven to be effective as it has already been implemented in several other countries," he added.

Beginning this year, Sabin said, the board will penalise employers who fail to deduct income tax from their employees who are expatriates.

Sabin said the board would also move into auditing agents who act as middlemen in securing jobs for the expatriates.

In 2016, the total collection of income tax from expatriates stood at RM201.31 million compared to 2015 with only RM201.27 and 2014, RM144.36.

"Even though our collection from expatriates have been effective in the last couple of years, it is pertinent that we beef up our enforcement to avoid fraudulent offences by expatriates," he added.

Sabin was met at the launching of the MyExpat system developed internally for its officers for the income tax collection of expatriates.

The system is developed jointly by the Immigration Department and would be used throughout the country beginning July 1.

Also present was Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali. - NST Online
"


N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Sunday, 18 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: Kudos to Line Clear Nasi Kandar and Siam Road Char Koay Teow, but keep it clean PLEASE!


 BUKIT LANJAN: Kudos to Line Clear Nasi Kandar and Siam Road Char Koay Teow, but keep it clean PLEASE!

https://youtu.be/AzQjS60zUqw (VIDEO) - Update

Congratulations to Line Clear Nasi Kandar Restaurant and Siam Road Char Koay Teow, both located in Penang.

Line Clear was chosen as the 9th best street food outlet and Siam Road Char Koay Teow was ranked 14th at the World Street Food Congress 2017 in Manila, the Philippines, held from May 31 to June 4.

They have not only affirmed Penang and Malaysia as an international food haven, they have helped enhanced Malaysia’s world tourism status.

“While congratulations are in order, both food operators and handlers are reminded to give priority to hygiene and cleanliness in their operations,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said Line Clear had especially been notorious in the past, having been sealed by the local government health authorities for being “dirty and unhygienic” in its operations.

“No doubt the Line Clear food is delicious. But it must buck up in its hygiene and cleanliness as a food operator and handler.

“The publicity will reverse, and all the hard work will go down the drain, if a diner, worst still a tourist, were to fall seriously ill due to tainted or dirty food,” he added.

As for the Siam Road Char Koay Teow (non-halal), the uncle first operated at Terengganu Road, then Anson Road and now Siam Road (off Anson Road).

“I am told he has been operating from his cart for at least five decades. I am also told his char koay teow is especially delicious with added lard,” Syed Razak said.

“Although the uncle has yet to be found to be unhygienic or not clean in handling food, I do hope he too gives priority to maintaining cleanliness in his operations,” he added.

Penang's Siam Road non-halal char koay teow
Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said the health authorities must step up its enforcement on eateries nationwide, especially in Penang because “it is a famed tourist destination and a globally-recognised food haven”.

He suggested that the Penang government and the Tourism Ministry show some recognition to Line Clear and Siam Road Char Koay Teow by rewarding them for putting Penang and Malaysia on the world map.

Here are three stories for you to chew on:

"Nation
Home>News>Nation

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 | MYT 8:06 PM

Two from Penang voted 'world street food masters'

BYLOGEISWARY THEVADASS



GEORGE TOWN: Penang's Line Clear Nasi Kandar Restaurant and Siam Road Char Koay Teow have made it to the World Street Food Top 50 for best street food.

Line Clear was chosen as the 9th best street food outlet while Siam Road Char Koay Teow was ranked 14th at the World Street Food Congress 2017 held in Manila, the Philippines, from May 31 to June 4.

The congress wrapped up its event by recognising 50 "world street food masters".

Line Clear was described as "arguably the most famous Nasi Kandar stall in Malaysia. They occupy a side lane, not even a stall, with their selection of masala fried chicken, fish head curry, lamb, sambal prawns, eggs, spicy greens, etc, all lined up along the wall in stainless steel pans, you just devour them with rice. Turnover is very high and they are very loud and friendly, as are the customers".

Siam Road Char Koay Teow received rave reviews as "the classic travelling food cart on 4 wheels. He cooks it over a ... wood fired wok and the smoky smooth appeal is the reason for the lines wherever he drags his char kway teow cart to".

Four other outlets in Malaysia also made it to the list.

They are Fauzi Nasi Kerabu, Terengganu (23), Nonya Mee Siam Donald & Lily, Melaka (34), Guan Heong Biscuit Shop, Ipoh ( 36), and Jalan Kuli Satay, Melaka (43).

Singapore's Hill Street Tai Wah Bak Chor Mee was voted top of the list, followed by United States' Franklin's BBQ and Thailand's Che Paek Pu Ob Voon Sen (glass noodle).

According to the congress' official website, the hawkers were evaluated according to ingredients, food preparation, hygiene, adaptability, consistency, confidence and the quality and flavour of food.

"The winners were selected by a panel of widely travelled commentators, writers, food celebrities and professionals," it said. - The Star Online


Line Clear Nasi Kandar ranked 9th best in global list

FMT Reporters

| June 15, 2017

Famous Penang stall overcame two serious issues earlier this year, but still makes it to Top 50 World Street Food Masters list.



PETALING JAYA: After overcoming two issues threatening its operations earlier this year, Penang’s famous Line Clear Nasi Kandar Restaurant got some respite recently with the news it was ranked ninth best in the World Street Food Masters list.

The popular stall, a landmark for many decades off Penang Road in George Town, made it into the list which was announced by the World Street Food Congress (WSFW), at an event held in Manila, Philippines last week.

“Arguably the most famous Nasi Kandar stall in Malaysia. They occupy a side lane, not even a stall, with their selection of masala fried chicken, fish head curry, lamb, sambal prawns, eggs, spicy greens, etc, all lined up along the wall in stainless steel pans, you just devour them with rice.

“Turnover is very high and they are very loud and friendly, as are their customers,” the WSFW said in describing the 24-hour restaurant in its ranking.

In February this year, the restaurant was closed for almost a week as a long-standing family dispute over the rights to operate the restaurant was finally resolved in court.

Then on March 13, a surprise inspection by the state health department forced its closure, with the operators doing a rigorous clean-up and getting the green light to reopen just four days later.

Another Penang delight which made it into the top 50 was the Siam Road Char Koay Teow. The owner of the stall, Tan Chooi Hong, 76, is both famous for his tasty koay teow, as he is for his lack of tact with some customers.

With the long lines of people waiting to buy his food, he has been known to brush off some customers when asked about waiting times, among other things.

But being ranked 14 in the World Street Food Masters list may give Tan some justification for having people be patient and just wait to be served no matter how long it takes, more so as he uses charcoal to cook the fried char koay teow.

“The classic travelling food cart on four wheels. He cooks it over a charcoal fired wok and the smoky smooth appeal, is the reason for the lines wherever he drags his char koay teow cart to,” WSFW said in describing Tan’s food.

Four more stalls from Malaysia also made the list, namely Fauzi Nasi Kerabu, Terengganu (rank 23), Donald & Lily Nyonya Mee Siam, Melaka (34), Guan Heong Biscuit Shop, Ipoh (36), and Jalan Kuli Satay, Melaka (43).

The World Street Food Masters list put together by a panel of widely travelled commentators, writers, food celebrities and professionals, have a third eye, nose, ear and peculiar palates for heritage street food culture.

They ranked Singapore’s Hill Street Tai Wah Bak Chor Mee as number one, with Franklin’s BBQ in the United States and Thailand’s Che Paek Pu Ob Voon Sen (baked crab with glass noodles), ranked second and third, respectively.

According to the congress’ official website, the hawkers were evaluated according to the grade of ingredients, food preparation, hygiene level, adaptability, consistency and confidence, as well as the quality and flavour of their food. - FMT


Line Clear Nasi Kandar gets ‘all clear’ to reopen

Predeep Nambiar

| March 16, 2017

Restaurant celebrates clean bill of health with free flow of cordial drinks for customers tomorrow.



GEORGE TOWN: The famous Nasi Kandar Line Clear restaurant has been given the “all clear” to reopen after health officers declared themselves satisfied with the rigorous clean-up the restaurant recently underwent.

On Monday, health officers had closed down the restaurant after a surprise inspection.

As a token of thanks to its loyal customers, Line Clear will be serving free “sirap ais” from 4pm tomorrow.

Line Clear boss Sahubar Ali said health officers “unsealed” his shop at about 3pm today after a thorough inspection.


“Syukur kepada Allah dapat buka balik (Thank Allah we have been permitted to reopen),” he told reporters at the restaurant today.

A state health department notice pasted on the restaurant’s front on Monday showed that the restaurant was ordered to close for two weeks and to clean up in order to reopen.

It is learnt that federal and municipal health officers had found less than savoury items such as dead and live rats and cockroaches in the restaurant, located in the back lane off Jalan Penang.

Its competitor next door, Yasmin Restaurant, was also ordered to close after health officers found rat droppings on cans of drinks during the joint inspection conducted by the state health department and Penang Island City Council.

The popular and crowded Sup Hameed Restaurant down the road was also not spared.

Health department officers fined the owner RM1,000 for running a dirty kitchen. The local council also imposed a RM250 compound fine for not using a functioning grease trap and a RM90 fine for failing to have three of the workers vaccinated. - FMT"




N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Saturday, 17 June 2017

BUKIT LANJAN: Foreigner-worship - is it ethically, morally right?


 BUKIT LANJAN: Foreigner-worship - is it ethically, morally right?

The Star Online regional news feature titled “White people wanted: a peek into China’s booming ‘rent a foreigner’ industry” is certainly an interesting read.

The feature by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post is thought- provoking, triggering ethical and moral issues and questions.

“Labelled by some as ‘foreigner-worship’, is it ethical for businessmen to resort to such devious means to create a ‘success’ perception for their companies?” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff asked.

He also asked: “Those employed for such purposes, is it morally right?”

Syed Razak said it was also interesting to note that although China “is today a highly successful economy, backed by a super-strong education, science and technology, it still ‘worships’ the white foreigners”.

“China is already challenging, if not overtaking the US, in various economic and super-high technology development. It is already a close No.2 economy in the world after the US.


“It is thus baffling why the Chinese companies need to resort to ‘foreigner-worship’ to create a perception of a successful entity or organisation for themselves,” he added.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “As Malaysians strive hard to forward Malaysia, will the ‘foreigner-worship’ culture also set in?

“If I have a successful business entity or organisation, I certainly will not give such practice a second thought, would you?”


Read on and form your own conclusion:

"Regional

Home > News > Regional

Monday, 12 June 2017 | MYT 1:44 PM

White people wanted: a peek into China’s booming ‘rent a foreigner’ industry

https://youtu.be/WavIAyp7-0E


BEIJING: When Katie moved to Beijing from New Jersey three years ago, she soon found that her full-time job didn’t pay well enough to cover her costs.

That’s when an online job ad caught her eye: “Chinese-speaking foreigner wanted for part-time position.”

So Katie, a 25-year-old American who speaks fluent Putonghua, applied and got the job with the government-backed firm. Her business card says she is the assistant to the director of the firm. Her job involves accompanying the director to dinner with clients once a week.

“I don’t know much about this company and we never talk about business at dinners,” said Katie, who didn’t want to give her real name.

“There’s a lot of fun at the dinners and the pay – 1,000 yuan (US$145) each time – isn’t too bad for me.”

Katie said she had never asked why a foreigner was needed for the role, but she believed it had to do with creating an “international” image for the company, and her ability to add an “exotic” element to the dinner conversation.

Perception of success

It’s not uncommon for Chinese companies to hire foreigners, especially white Westerners, to represent them in public relations-type roles. Many Chinese equate Caucasian faces with business success and a global outlook.

For decades, products made in China but associated with foreign elements – such as a Western-sounding name or being endorsed by a Caucasian model – have been seen as superior.

That perception has made China a lucrative place for foreigners to pick up work on the basis of their appearance, regardless of their skills.

Companies hire foreigners to step into the role of musicians, athletes, architects, lawyers and many other professionals for their marketing activities – a common ruse to win more Chinese customers.


Expatriates gather to watch a live TV broadcast of the US election coverage at a cafe in Beijing in November 2016. Photo: Simon Song.
The business of “renting” a foreigner has been going on for well over a decade, and even as foreign faces become more commonplace – there were more than 900,000 foreigners working in China in 2016, up from just 10,000 in the 1980s, according to official data – it remains popular.

Last month, for example, a car repair firm in Nanling county, Anhui province posted an ad on a Shanghai WeChat group for foreign expatriates seeking “Western actors to perform as mechanics” at its opening ceremony on May 1.

The practice is explored in Dream Empire, a 73-minute documentary by Denmark-based American director David Borenstein. It follows a young rural migrant, Yana, who sets up a foreigner rental agency in Chongqing to help her clients market their products and project an international image that she says people believe is reality.

It premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam late in 2016 and won the Thessaloniki Golden Alexander award in Greece for best film in March, but has yet to be screened in China.

“Audiences are watching you for your skin colour, not for what you are doing. It’s kind of like being a monkey in a zoo,” Borenstein told the South China Morning Post. Foreigners in his film call themselves “white monkeys” because that’s how they felt in these roles, he said, adding that he had received considerable interest to distribute his film in China and the chances of it being released in the country were high.

Country music stars

Borenstein, a Miami native, directed the documentary largely based on his experience of living in Chengdu, Sichuan province in his 20s as a Fulbright scholar majoring in anthropology. He took dozens of jobs as a rented foreigner from 2011 to 2013.

The first job came when he was approached by an agent on the street and asked if he wanted to perform as a band member at the opening of a real estate project.

He was curious and when he turned up to the event the next day, he was part of a band whose members had never met. With background music blaring, the “band” mimed before a large crowd of potential homebuyers.

“Later, I found out that the keyboardist had been doing this for five years – pretending to play the keyboard,” Borenstein said, adding that the man did not even know how to play the instrument.

At a property forum being held in the next room, a “foreign architect” was introduced as a partner of the developer, but he turned out to be a fake as well, he said.

Borenstein recalls the “craziest” task, a gala show for a real estate project in rural Chengdu with a “countryside night” theme. He and several other foreigners were introduced to some 2,000 people, including local officials, as “America’s top country music band called Traveller”.

“I play the clarinet, but the event organiser didn’t even know that the clarinet doesn’t match country music,” he said. “The singer was a Spanish woman who didn’t know how to sing and couldn’t speak English.”

Five Africans dressed in traditional costume joined them on stage to dance.

“It was so crappy,” he said.

In his nearly three years with the agency, Borenstein took gigs in more than 50 cities. Most of the events were organised by property developers, which were seeing tremendous growth as the market flourished. “Foreigners were used to turn remote rural ghost towns into ‘globalised booming cities’ on days that outside investors and political leaders visited,” he said.

Who’s real and who’s fake?

For many Chinese, the international veneer is still desirable. Xie Fengyun, a Shanghai resident in her 50s, said she felt products that were promoted by foreign models and companies with foreign executives were more trustworthy.

“It means they are international,” Xie said, but noted she had never come across a foreigner performing at a marketing event.

But white-collar worker Lily Zeng, who lives in Guangzhou, didn’t see the appeal. She said she once saw a group of foreigners singing and dancing at the launch of a property project and their performance was “awful”. “These activities aren’t interesting at all. And for the audience, it doesn’t do anything to improve their impression of these projects,” she said.

It’s just advertising, according to American video game designer Mike Ren, who didn’t mind the idea as long as it didn’t affect the quality of the service.

“There can be a misconception that foreigners are rich, skilled or educated, but that’s not always the case,” Ren, who lives in Shanghai, said. “The more educated the customer, the easier it is to tell who’s real and who’s fake.”

But for expatriate professionals who have lived in China for many years, the phenomenon is not so harmless. Canadian John Lombard has been based in China for more than two decades. “For me, and most other expats who are serious businesspeople in China, these people are an annoying irritant,” Lombard wrote on knowledge-sharing platform Quora.

“They damage the reputation of expats in general, and make it harder for me to generate trust and credibility when I’m meeting potential clients and partners. It’s an industry built on a platform of dishonesty and deceit.”


The director of “Dream Empire”, David Borenstein, drew on his own experience working for a rent-a-foreigner agency to make the film. Photo: Handout.
It also reflects society’s general lack of confidence in the cultural identity, according to analyst Li Bochun, director of Beijing-based Chinese Culture Rejuvenation Research Institute.

Li said that using foreign faces to embellish the image of a company highlighted the prevailing “foreigner-worship” mindset.

He suggested the authorities improve the situation by educating Chinese about the importance and value of the country’s cultural history in modern society.

“For example, I’ve written a book called The Chinese Art of Business. I explored how ancient Chinese did business and I found that the wisdom of ancient Chinese is beyond what is taught at Harvard Business School,” he said.

Li agreed with Lombard’s view of the rent-a-foreigner business. “On many occasions, the practice is pure cheating.”

But for Katie, who is now an event organiser in Beijing and still attends dinners with the company director once a month, her role does not constitute cheating since she never discusses business with the clients. She said they only ever engaged in small talk over dinner.

“This rent-a-foreigner phenomenon is strange, obviously. But for a young foreigner here who needs the money and is confident of herself, it’s no problem.”

She added that the job had been an eye-opening opportunity that had helped her to better understand Chinese society.

“There’s no harm in it. I’ve never felt uncomfortable or nervous or unsafe in attending any of these dinners. It’s always worked out for me.” - South China Morning Post"


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