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14 œ theSun | TUESDAY NOVEMBER 25 2008

speak up!

A little more
consultation, please Down2Earth
by Terence Fernandez

AS A non-Muslim and not trained wearing a pant-suit. Would this be IF you had read my report
in usuludin or Islamic laws, I am in breach of another edict against yesterday (“State rep’s name used
ill-equipped to argue for or against tomboys, decreed by the council to halt ops”, final edition), then you
the fatwa banning Muslims from two weeks ago? would be able to understand that
practising yoga declared by the What if they tell Winnie Loo the illegal billboard warlords in
National Fatwa Council. Even to opt for a “boy cut” instead of Petaling Jaya are getting desperate.
in my own Catholic community, the layered look to cope with the With their rice bowl cracking as
there are those who frown upon searing heat? Would they be going the new state administration and
followers who practise this ancient against the fatwa on tomboys? the Petaling Jaya City Council
form of exercise and mental It’s also subjective to me. But (MBPJ) show that they mean
well-being. hey, personally, as long as they business, these businessmen
Of course, I tell them not to be don’t step on my side of the fence or who had corrupted the council,
shallow minded as it takes a lot piss on my party, I’m cool with it. are now using the names of
more than a few chants and an Speaking of the latter, I will be state assemblymen to get the
amazing measure of nimbleness most appreciative if the religious council to stop its enforcement
to stray from one’s faith. My faith, authorities in performing their activities on the illegal structures
I tell the “Talibans” in my own duties to save souls from eternal that have sprouted around the
community, is not so brittle. damnation lay off my favourite municipality. On Saturday, Seri
Coming back to the fatwa, while watering holes. There have been Setia assemblymen Nik Nazmi Nik
I will not question its objectives or times when they became party Ahmad’s name was mentioned
agenda, it does bother me that even poopers, barging in with all but when enforcement officers tearing
their Royal Highnesses the Sultans guns blazing to arrest Muslim down a unipole in Bandar Utama
seem cross that such an edict was patrons and staff. Again, I’m not received a phone call from the
not brought forward to the Council telling them not to do their jobs, alleged unipole owner saying that
of Rulers. but I think, as far as edicts are he had ordered the operations to
This only further cements the concerned, all Malaysians would stop.
argument of critics that the fatwa be on the same page if the fatwa Of course, there was no such
council is a loose cannon issuing council declared an edict on say thing and MBPJ proceeded to take
edicts on all and sundry. corruption, abuse of power and down the unipole.
Back to yoga, I hope now suppressing individual freedoms. Nik Nazmi, though shocked
that the rulers have spoken, the These would be tenets that all was not surprised by this, telling
message will trickle down to the faiths would be able to relate to and me that these characters had been
enforcement authorities. Many of support. lobbying him since the March 8
us will not appreciate religious elections. Nik Nazmi, of course, is
authorities knocking on the doors **** hot property. Apart from being an
of fitness centres and gyms to assemblyman in areas suitable for
conduct “raids”. THE weekend has been busy lucrative billboard deals, he is also
The last thing one wants is to be with me trying to get hold of some special assistant to Mentri Besar
walking on the treadmill, watching of the top bosses in Pempena Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
CNN only to have one’s momentum Sdn Bhd over the losses of With the millions at stake, Nik
disrupted by a few overzealous millions attributed to the Tourism Nazmi could have cashed in his
officials demanding to see the IDs Ministry subsidiary. As far as our chips and returned to Britain where
of those in the yoga class next door. investigation goes, I can tell you the he and his wife can pursue their
Heck, if someone just happened to details in the audits are frightening. doctorates.
be in an awkward position while A testimony to abuse of power, We are thankful that this young
picking up a face towel off the cronyism and even nepotism, man has stuck to his principles and
floor between his ankles, will he involving those in high office. like his boss adopts a no-nonsense
be deemed to be performing an act All I can say for now is approach in carrying out his duties.
that is now forbidden? “watch this space”. But tell To the illegal outdoor moguls,
Like I said, I am just ignorant me, are we throwing good your days are numbered. You are
and am thinking aloud. Perhaps, money after bad if the fees by now dealing with a different kettle
Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, the PricewaterhouseCoopers alone of fish; and to the officers and staff
chairman of the National Fatwa exceed RM700,000? But then again, who aided and abetted the crooks,
Council could educate this “jahil” this is chicken feed compared my guess is that your days are
writer. to the RM50 million in losses numbered too.
The reason I ask this is because made by the company through its
already my female Muslim friends (misad)ventures. Terence is deputy editor (Special
are wondering if they could be Reports & Investigations). Feedback:
subject to fines and jail terms for ***


Parking made easy in Melbourne

TRANSPORT Ministry and local govern- printed below the letter “P”. peak hours, when there is a mad rush
ment officers, who oversee the place- Motorists have to look out for a sign- to the office in the morning and after
ment of “No parking” signs and painting post which, in addition, has a big letter 5.30pm when people rush to go home.
of yellow lines on roads, should visit C inside a circle, a two headed arrow They also have a big letter “S” inside
Melbourne. below the circle – and, under this circle a circle to identify the place where no
Motorists here know exactly where there is a time limit which says 7am-9am motorist is allowed to drop off or pick
and when they can park their car free- – meaning that motorists should keep up passengers. “S” means “No standing
of-charge and for how long. both sides of the road clear during the (waiting)” in Australia.
The local authorities in Melbourne period. With this in use, motorists know
have put up different parking signs in All these information will take up the exactly where and when they can park
towns and in the city proper to help top half of the signpost, leaving the lower the car and when they should return to
motorists find parking space quickly. half for: ¼P 9am-5.30pm Mon-Fri. And drive it away – let alone to avoid getting
Motorists are allowed to park in on the same signpost the motorist will a summons for waiting in the parking lot
various designated spots but they have see the time they can park in the area longer than the time permitted.
to look out for the appropriate sign. on Saturdays. So, motorists in Melbourne do not
More often than not, they only have to Yes, the motorist can park free for have much problem finding a parking
wait a few minutes for someone to leave a ¼ hour from 9am to 5.30pm, Mon-Fri space or lot.
or drive around to find an empty parking and from 8.30am-12pm on Saturday. But The Transport Ministry and local
lot, to park for ¼, ½, one, two, three or they have to keep clear from 7am-9am municipal councils should take note of
even four hours. These parking spaces – thereafter, the motorists can park until and use similar signposts in our towns
have been identified with ¼P, ½P, 1P, 2P 5.30pm on Mon-Fri and from 8.30am- and cities.
or 3P on the signpost. 12pm on Saturday.
And, if the motorist has to pay, the Why? They want to create another Lau Bing
sign will have the word, meter or ticket free motorway to ease the traffic during Melbourne

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