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28 November 2007

Hussein Abu Hassan dikagumi peminat, disegani rakan

Oleh: ABD. AZIZ ITAR (WARTAWAN UTUSAN) (27 November 2007)

PEMERGIAN pelakon veteran, Hussein Abu Hassan, 70, yang kembali ke rahmatullah pada pukul 5.30 pagi di Hospital Kuala Lumpur semalam kerana masalah paru-paru berair meninggalkan kesan yang amat mendalam terhadap dunia lakonan tempatan.

Allahyarham yang dilahirkan pada 8 Mei 1937 di Tanjung Limau, Alor Gajah, Melaka bukan sahaja dikenali sebagai seorang pelakon yang hebat di layar perak dan televisyen (TV), tetapi beliau juga amat disegani di kalangan rakan taulannya.

Pelakon seangkatan beliau, Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin, 70, misalnya, menyifatkan Hussein sebagai seorang yang berbakat besar dalam bidang lakonan.

“Saya anggap pemergian beliau ke rahmatullah sebagai suatu kehilangan yang cukup besar kepada persada seni kita. Ini kerana, Allahyarham bukan sahaja boleh berlakon tetapi beliau juga seorang pengarah dan penulis skrip yang hebat.

“Walaupun uzur di penghujung hayatnya, tetapi saya kagum apabila beliau sedaya upaya hadir pada majlis-majlis yang dianjurkan untuk warga seni tempatan. Biarpun bertongkat, tetapi beliau kuat semangat dan tetap akan hadir,” katanya ketika ditemui di kediaman Allahyarham di Gombak Setia, Kuala Lumpur, semalam.

Menurut Jins yang kini merupakan Pengerusi Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia (Finas), menganggap Allahyarham sebagai kawan rapatnya dan pernah tinggal serumah dengannya pada tahun 1960-an.

“Semasa masih bujang, saya dan Allahyarham pernah menyewa rumah di Klang Gate, Selangor selama beberapa tahun. Ketika itu, kami sama-sama berlakon filem-filem terbitan Studio Merdeka, di Hulu Klang, Selangor.

“Kebetulan ketika tinggal serumah, kami bersama-sama berlakon dalam filem Amok Tok Nading yang diarahkan oleh S. Kadarisman pada tahun 1968. Saya anggap gandingan saya bersama Allahyarham dalam filem itu sebagai suatu kombinasi yang cukup mantap.

“Kami bukan sahaja tinggal serumah, tetapi kami juga berlatih bersilat bersama-sama untuk menjayakan filem itu,” ujarnya yang juga pernah berlakon bersama Hussein menerusi filem Bukit Kepong pada tahun 1981.

Allahyarham meninggalkan seorang balu, pelakon Mahyon Ismail, 66, dan tiga orang anak iaitu Fadila, 43, Fairuz, 41, dan Faizal, 40, serta empat orang cucu. Lakonan Hussein paling berkesan ialah sewaktu melakonkan watak-watak jahat menerusi filem seperti Lanang Sejagat dan Laksamana Do Re Mi.

Selain berlakon, Allahyarham juga pernah mengarah banyak filem hebat antaranya berjudul Panglima Badul, Senja Merah, Gila-Gila Remaja, Pendekar Dari Tanjung Rimau, Dendam Perawan Bunting dan Kanta Serigala.

Allahyarham juga aktif menerbitkan filem dan drama menerusi syarikat produksinya, Baiduri Film pada pertengahan tahun 1970-an sehinggalah awal 1980-an.

Contohnya filem berjudul Bunga Padi Berdaun Lalang yang merupakan antara filem Melayu terawal yang diterbitkan dalam warna.

Pelakon terkenal Rosyam Nor, 40, yang merupakan anak saudara Hussein pula tidak melupakan jasa Allahyarham yang telah bertanggungjawab memperkenalkan namanya sebagai pelakon filem.

“Saya pertama kali berlakon menerusi filem Gila-Gila Remaja pada tahun 1984 yang diarahkan oleh Allahyarham. Bermula daripada filem itu, saya mula serius dan dikenali sebagai pelakon sehinggalah ke hari ini.

“Sebab itulah, saya tidak akan melupakan jasa Allahyarham yang telah mengangkat saya daripada seorang anak setinggan yang tinggal di Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur suatu ketika dulu sehinggalah kini menjadi pelakon yang dikenali ramai,” katanya.

Sungguhpun begitu, Rosyam sedikit terkilan apabila Allahyarham tidak sempat berlakon dalam filem ataupun drama terbitan syarikatnya, Suhan Movies Production yang dirancang diadakan pada tahun depan.

Jelasnya, beliau merancang menyediakan watak yang sesuai untuk dilakonkan oleh Allahyarham sebagai penghargaan dan membalas jasa pelakon veteran itu.

“Tetapi sayangnya, hajat saya itu tidak kesampaian apabila saya menerima berita yang mengejutkan ini. Apa pun saya tetap akan kenang jasa Allahyarham sepanjang hayat saya sebagai anak seni,” ujarnya.

Sementara itu, seorang lagi anak saudara Allahyarham, penyanyi Khadijah Ibrahim juga terharu kerana tidak sempat bertemu sebelum bapa saudaranya itu menghembuskan nafas terakhir.

“Saya sepatutnya berjumpa Allahyarham pada pukul 11.45 pagi ini kerana mahu menunjukkan gambar-gambar kami yang diambil pada Hari Raya Aidilfitri lalu.

“Kami bergambar bersama kira-kira 50 anggota keluarga yang lain tetapi hajat itu tidak kesampaian,” katanya dalam nada sedih.

Sebelum memulakan kerjayanya dalam bidang lakonan, Allahyarham yang juga penghidap sakit buah pinggang dan sakit jantung pernah berkhidmat sebagai anggota polis selama kira-kira lima tahun pada tahun 1950-an.

Malah, sebelum bergelar anak seni, Allahyarham juga merupakan seorang peninju dan pernah menjadi Juara Tinju Flyweight (bawah 21 tahun) di Singapura pada tahun 1953.

Selama bergiat sebagai pelakon, Allahyarham telah berlakon lebih 15 buah filem selain drama-drama TV yang berjaya meletakkan namanya sebagai antara pelakon veteran yang sukar dicari ganti.

Antara filem-filem hebat lakonan Allahyarham berjudul Nasib Do Re Mi bersama Allahyarham Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Bujang Selamat, Manis-Manis Sayang, Kembar Siam, Boss, Bus Driver, Wu Gong Zhou, Fajar Menyingsing dan Panglima Badul.

Jenazah Allahyarham selamat dikebumikan di Tanah Perkuburan Islam, Taman Ibu Kota, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur selepas solat Asar, semalam.

16 November 2007

The Top 10 Languages Spoken In The World

1. Mandarin [Chinese]
Number Of Speakers: 1 Billion+
Surprise, surprise, the most widely spoken language on the planet is based in the most populated country on the planet, China. Beating second-place English by a 2 to 1 ratio, but don't let that lull you into thinking that Mandarin is easy to learn. Speaking Mandarin can be really tough, because each word can be pronounced in four ways (or "tones"), and a beginner will invariably have trouble distinguishing one tone from another. But if over a billion people could do it, so could you. Try saying hello!To say "hello" in Mandarin, say "Ni hao" (Nee HaOW). ("Hao" is pronounced as one syllable, but the tone requires that you let your voice drop midway, and then raise it again at the end.)

2. English
Number Of Speakers: 508 Million
While English doesn't have the most speakers, it is the official language of more countries than any other language. Its speakers hail from all around the world, including the U.S., Australia, England, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Canada. We'd tell you more about English, but you probably feel pretty comfortable with the language already. Let's just move on to the most popular language in the world.To say "hello" in English, say "What's up, freak?" (watz-UP-freek) .

3. Hindustani
Number Of Speakers: 497 Million
Hindustani is the primary language of India's crowded population, and it encompasses a huge number of dialects (of which the most commonly spoken is Hindi). While many predict that the population of India will soon surpass that of China, the prominence of English in India prevents Hindustani from surpassing the most popular language in the world. If you're interested in learning a little Hindi, there's a very easy way: rent an Indian movie. The film industry in India is the most prolific in the world, making thousands of action/romance/ musicals every year.To say "hello" in Hindustani, say "Namaste" (Nah-MAH-stay) .

4. Spanish
Number Of Speakers: 392 Million
Aside from all of those kids who take it in high school, Spanish is spoken in just about every South American and Central American country, not to mention Spain, Cuba, and the U.S. There is a particular interest in Spanish in the U.S., as many English words are borrowed from the language, including: tornado, bonanza, patio, quesadilla, enchilada, and taco grande supreme.To say "hello" in Spanish, say "Hola" (OH-la).

5. Russian
Number Of Speakers: 277 Million
Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Yakov Smirnoff are among the millions of Russian speakers out there. Sure, we used to think of them as our Commie enemies. Now we think of them as our Commie friends. One of the six languages in the UN, Russian is spoken not only in the Mother Country, but also in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the U.S. (to name just a few places).To say "hello" in Russian, say "Zdravstvuite" (ZDRAST-vet- yah).

6. Arabic
Number Of Speakers: 246 Million
Arabic, one of the world's oldest languages, is spoken in the Middle East, with speakers found in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. Furthermore, because Arabic is the language of the Koran, millions of Moslems in other countries speak Arabic as well. So many people have a working knowledge of Arabic, in fact, that in 1974 it was made the sixth official language of the United Nations.To say "hello" in Arabic, say "Al salaam a'alaykum" (Ahl sah-LAHM ah ah-LAY-koom) .

7. Bengali
Number Of Speakers: 211 Million
In Bangladesh, a country of 120+ million people, just about everybody speaks Bengali. And because Bangladesh is virtually surrounded by India (where the population is growing so fast, just breathing the air can get you pregnant), the number of Bengali speakers in the world is much higher than most people would expect.To say "hello" in Bengali, say "Ei Je" (EYE-jay).

8. Portuguese
Number Of Speakers: 191 Million
Think of Portuguese as the little language that could. In the 12th Century, Portugal won its independence from Spain and expanded all over the world with the help of its famous explorers like Vasco da Gama and Prince Henry the Navigator. (Good thing Henry became a navigator . . . could you imagine if a guy named "Prince Henry the Navigator" became a florist?) Because Portugal got in so early on the exploring game, the language established itself all over the world, especially in Brazil (where it's the national language), Macau, Angola, Venezuela, and Mozambique.To say "hello" in Portuguese, say "Bom dia" (bohn DEE-ah).

9. Malay-Indonesian
Number Of Speakers: 159 Million
Malay-Indonesian is spoken - surprise - in Malaysia and Indonesia. Actually, we kinda fudged the numbers on this one because there are many dialects of Malay, the most popular of which is Indonesian. But they're all pretty much based on the same root language, which makes it the ninth most-spoken in the world.Indonesia is a fascinating place; a nation made up of over 13,000 islands it is the sixth most populated country in the world. Malaysia borders on two of the larger parts of Indonesia (including the island of Borneo), and is mostly known for its capital city of Kuala Lumpur.To say "hello" in Indonesian, say "Selamat pagi" (se-LA-maht PA-gee).

10. French
Number Of Speakers: 129 Million
Often called the most romantic language in the world, French is spoken in tons of countries, including Belgium, Canada, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Haiti. Oh, and France too. We're actually very lucky that French is so popular, because without it, we might have been stuck with Dutch Toast, Dutch Fries, and Dutch kissing (ew!).To say "hello" in French, say "Bonjour" (bone-JOOR).

As we move through life we make a lot of friends along the way. Some of them will stay with us for a very long time while others will just slip away, but the best ones are the ones that leave a mark

16 Julai 2007

Malaysia World Heritage List

  1. Gunung Mulu National Park (2000)
  2. Kinabalu Park (2000)

For other list of World Heritage, refer to World Heritage Center

14 Julai 2007

List of New 7 World Wonders

1. The Great Wall, China

2. Petra, Jordan

3. Christ Redeemer, Brazil

4. Machu Picchu, Peru

5. Chichén Itzá, Mexico

6. The Roman Colosseum, Italy

7. The Taj Mahal, India

LIST OF 50 NATIONAL HERITAGE

1. Parliament House
2. Istana Negara
3. The Flagpost where the Malaya flag was raised for the first time in Dataran Merdeka
4. Sultan Abdul Samad Building
5. City Hall building & City Hall theatre
6. Kuala Lumpur train station building
7. Keretapi Tanah Melayu headquarters building
8. General Post Office building, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur
9. Public Works Department building, Jalan Hishamuddin, Kuala Lumpur
10. Residency Building, Jalan Dato' Onn
11. National Mosque & Warriors' Mausoleum
12. Carcosa Sri Negara
13. Batu Caves
14. St George's Church, Penang
15. Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall building, Kuala Lumpur
16. The National Monument
17. Kinabalu national park, Sabah
18. Mulu national park, Sarawak
19. Jalur Gemilang, the national flag
20. National Emblem
21. Royal Regalia
22. The Royal Long Keris
23. Royal Head-dress
24. Royal Tiara
25. Royal Waist Buckle
26. Royal Short keris
27. Royal Necklace
28. Sceptre of Religion
29. Sceptre of the World
30. Maces
31. Dewan Rakyat mace
32. Dewan Negara mace
33. Hibiscus flower
34. Sejarah Melayu manuscript
35. Malacca Penal Code
36. Hikayat Hang Tuah manuscript
37. The Merdeka proclamation letter
38. Perak Man
39. National anthem
40. Mak Yong
41. Wayang Kulit
42. Bangsawan
43. Malay joget
44. Dondang sayang
45. Malay silat
46. Ngajat
47. Sumazau
48. Sewang
49. Malaysian Open House
50. Lion dance on poles

10 Jun 2007

Road named after a man with rags-to-riches story

By DEBBIE CHAN (DOWN MEMORY LANE, The Star, Saturday June 2, 2007)






Loke Yew: He dropped his surname Wong

after arriving in Malaya when he was 13.


JALAN Loke Yew is one of those roads that are constantly mentioned on air during hourly traffic reports on congestion especially during peak hours.


The road together with Jalan Cheras forms the Cheras Highway, which was built by Metramac Corporation but is now maintained and managed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

The name Loke Yew is often shrouded in mystery, as not many know much about the man. Born as Wong Loke Yew in 1845, he spent his childhood as a farm hand in San Wui, southern China before he decided to set sail to Malaya when he was 13 to improve his fortunes.

After arriving in Malaya, the young man chose to drop his surname Wong and to be known only as Loke Yew as he thought it was a luckier name.

Loke took on his first job at Kwong Man, a provision shop in Market Street earning a mere $20 a month but four years later, with a savings of $99, he started his own provision store called Tong Hing
Loong.

The ambitious youngster soon grew restless and left his staff in charge of the store while he travelled to Perak to explore the tin mining business.

He took many risks and worked hard and although he lost $60,000 in his first four years, he finally hit jackpot when he found a rich tin deposit in Kling Bahru. The stroke of luck changed his life and was the beginning of his family’s legacy.

Loke then went on to own many tin mines, rubber and coconut plantations. He also dabbled in supplying provisions to British troops during the Perak War, monopolised liquor sales, managed a pawn broking establishment and held licences to run gambling tables.

He was also the largest shareholder in Pahang Moto Car Service, owned shares in the Raub Straits Trading Company, Straits Steamship and Federal Engineers, partly owned Burmah Rice Mill, made investments in properties all over Singapore and Malaya.

The successful businessman also strongly believed in the importance of education and was one of the founders who established Victoria Institution.








Busy thoroughfare: Jalan Loke Yew, which is

now part of the Cheras Highway, is managed

and maintained by Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

His compassionate nature led to him lending help to many charitable causes including the establishment of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore. He was also believed to have played a leading role in establishing Kwong Yik Bank, which opened in July 1915.

One of the stories that is often told about Loke Yew was on his humility. It was said that his wife had found him one day working in the rain as he taught his worker how to dig a hole with a hoe.

Despite his wealth and success, he would never forget his struggles and sought to help others.

Loke married four times and his fourth wife, Lim Cheng Kim, whom he married in 1914 bore him three children – Wan Tho, Yuen Theng and Yuen
Peng.

The family established Associated Theatres Ltd, which was renamed Cathay organisation. The family later built Singapore’s first skyscraper Cathay Building in 1939.

The popular Loke Mansion in Jalan Medan Tuanku, which is currently abandoned, was bought by Loke in 1892 from tin miner Chow Ah Yoke. At that time, the mansion was 30 years old and over the next 12 years, Loke renovated and upgraded the house making it one of the most prestigious residences in Asia.

Loke’s family lived in the home until the 1930s.

The philanthropist passed away on Feb 24, 1917 from malaria.

Today, the ever busy Jalan Loke Yew is home to many low-cost flats as well as the huge shopping complex UE3.

02 Jun 2007

Kasma Booty, Perginya seorang ibu seni misali

Oleh: MOHAMMAD ARIF NIZAM ABDULLAH (2 Jun 2007)

SEMALAM Kasma Booty telah disemadikan di Tanah Perkuburan Klang Gate baru, Taman Melawati, Hulu Kelang.

Primadona filem Melayu itu menghembuskan nafas terakhirnya pada pukul 2 pagi di Hospital Ampang selepas mengalami sesak nafas. Sejak tiga minggu lalu, kesihatannya terganggu setelah menghidap paru-paru berair selain kencing manis dan darah tinggi.

Maka, berakhirlah perjalanan hidup seorang ibu seni mithali. “Sewaktu kecil, ibu sering membawa kami ke lokasi penggambaran. Walau sibuk berlakon, ibu cukup bimbang tinggalkan kami di rumah.

“Tetapi kalau terpaksa juga tinggalkan kami, ibu akan lebih dulu menyiapkan makan minum kami di rumah. Ibu berlakon kerana ingin membantu menyara keluarga dan bukan mencari glamor,” kata anak bongsu Kasma Booty, Purnama Booty, 52.

Menurut Purnama lagi, sikap ambil berat ibunya terhadap anak-anak, tidak pernah padam walaupun ketika tenat melawan penyakitnya.

“Ibu masih juga bertanyakan kesihatan abang Kesuma yang sakit dan terpaksa menggunakan kerusi roda walaupun sebenarnya waktu itu ibu sendiri sedang sakit,” tambahnya.

Keprihatinan Kasma sebagai seorang ibu lebih terserlah apabila beliau sanggup mengorbankan aktiviti sosial demi anak-anak. Di kala rakan-rakan artis lain bergembira keluar makan beramai-ramai setiap kali selesai penggambaran, namun Kasma sering tidak ikut serta.

“Kakak akan memberi pelbagai alasan untuk terus pulang ke rumah setiap kali selesai penggambaran.
“Macam-macam alasan yang diberi pada kawan-kawan. Anak sakitlah, ada hal di rumah dan macam-macam lagi.

“Apa yang penting kakak ingin segera berada bersama anak-anak. Sebab itu kakak tidak ramai kawan rapat di kalangan artis,” cerita adik tirinya pelakon Yusni Jaafar.

Malah menurut Yusni, sebagai wanita yang mempunyai sifat seorang ibu misali, Kasma telah menjadi ibu susuannya.

“Sampaikan anak saya, Raja Ema pun dimanjakan macam anak sendiri,” kata Yusni. Pemergian Kasma bukan sahaja dirasai oleh sanak saudaranya tetapi juga oleh rakan-rakan artis.

Aktres tersohor Datuk Sarimah Ahmad yang ditemui pada hari pengebumian Allahyarham, mengakui dia kini kehilangan seorang artis yang memiliki karisma tersendiri.

Walaupun tidak sezaman dengan Kasma namun kata Sarimah, bekas pelakon bangsawan terkenal itu pernah menjadi idolanya.

Kasma Booty meninggal dunia pada usia 75 tahun. Pada zaman kegemilangannya, pelakon berdarah campuran Melayu-Belanda ini pernah digelar Elizabeth Taylor Malaysia kerana kecantikannya.

Beliau pernah mencipta sejarah menerima bayaran paling mahal pada zamannya iaitu RM1,500 untuk satu filem berbanding pelakon lain yang hanya menerima kurang separuh daripada jumlah itu.

Pada 1950, Kasma pernah digandingkan dengan P. Ramlee (Allahyarham Tan Sri) menerusi filem Bakti arahan L. Krishnan (Datuk).

Selepas filem Bakti yang mendapat sambutan hebat, Kasma membintangi filem Sejoli (1951) arahan B.S. Rajhan dan filem Juwita (1951) yang diarahkan oleh S. Ramanathan.

Pada 1967, beliau sekali lagi bergandingan dengan P. Ramlee menerusi filem Damak yang telah menjulang namanya sebagai primadona.

Sebelum bergiat dalam dunia filem, pada usia yang terlalu muda, Kasma terlebih dahulu telah aktif sebagai pelakon bangsawan dalam kumpulan Rayuan Asmara di Medan, Indonesia.

Ketika menjangkau usia 14 tahun, Kasma merantau ke Malaya terutama di Pulau Pinang dan Singapura untuk menjayakan pertunjukan pentas bangsawannya.

Bakat Kasma pada usia mudanya membawa tuah apabila dilamar oleh Shaw Brothers pada 1947 berlakon filem Chempaka arahan B.S. Rajhans.

Bersama dengan Shaw Brothers di Singapura, Kasma turut membintangi empat filem arahan B. S. Rajhans iaitu Pisau Berachun, Noor Asmara, Rachun Dunia, Dewi Murni serta filem Manusia arahan S. Ramanathan.

Pada 1958, atas permintaan Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kasma berlakon filem Mahsuri terbitan Cathay Keris.

Pada era akhir pembabitannya dalam dunia perfileman, Kasma banyak berlakon filem terbitan Studio Merdeka di Hulu Klang.

Ia termasuk filem Keris Sempena Riau, Selindang Merah dan Ratapan Ibu arahan L. Krishnan, Siti Payong, Tangkap Basah dan Anak Manja arahan (Salleh Ghani) serta Ragam P. Ramlee yang diarahkan P. Ramlee sendiri.

Pada 1952, Kasma berhadapan dengan kontroversi terhadap pengurusan Shaw Brothers sehingga beliau membuat keputusan menarik diri daripada membintangi filem Antara Senyum Dan Tangis.

Perkahwinannya dengan Jacob Booty dikurniakan lima anak. Uniknya, semua nama anak-anaknya diambil sempena judul filem yang pernah dibintangi atau lagu yang pernah dinyanyikannya.

Misalnya anak sulung, Chempaka diberi nama sempena filem pertamanya. Anak kedua, Asmara diberi nama sempena filem lakonannya Noor Asmara.

Kesuma pula sempena lagu Kesuma yang dinyanyikan Kasma ketika berlakon filem Dewi Murni sementara nama anak keempatnya, Suria sempena nama kumpulan sandiwara yang disertai Kasma iaitu Booty Suria Negara.

Hanya anak bongsunya Purnama tidak diberi nama mengikut nostalgia seninya.

30 Mei 2007

Be cautious of fake networks

By Chandra Devi (New Straits Times, 11 April 2007)

MORE and more hotels, cafes, airports, libraries and now even parks are providing Wi-Fi Internet access to the public. Some locations provide hotspots for free and there are others who require a subscription or fee.


While these businesses view it as an attraction to get more customers, for the business traveller and holiday reveller, hotspot means being able to be connected easily wherever they are.
Sad to say that in this case, convenience has its disadvantage.


Most public Wi-Fi hotspots on the open public network are not secure and hopping on it means being exposed to hackers and security breaches. Mobile users are actually taking a security risk when relying on hotspots.

Although hotspots authenticate users, this does not secure the data transmission or prevent hackers from sniffing network traffic. Hackers are known to "hang" about public Wi-Fi networks, sniffing for names, passwords and credit card numbers.

An easy target for hackers are users who have turned on file sharing.

When on this mode on the public network, you provide easy access to all the resources on your hard disks. Also when you connect to a public network, you are more open to viruses, worms and various malware.

Of course, simple precautions like disabling file sharing and installing anti-virus software can save your computer from being hacked and your personal data stolen but be wary that hackers have other ways of getting to your mobile computer.

According to reports, one worrying method that have many falling victims to is the use of malicious hotspots. This apparently is not a new scam but one that is on the rise. The trend among cyber criminals is to set up a look-a-like network that dupes public Wi-Fi network users into believing that they are signing on a legitimate network.

The "evil twin" network looks normal for a user who then proceeds to type in sensitive data and access e-mail not knowing that all these information is being hijacked by a "man in the middle".
So, be wary when you are on a public Wi-Fi network. While it can be difficult to identify malicious hotspots, being cautious can save you a lot of trouble.


Here are two tips to stay safe - never connect when there is no sign for a legitimate hotspot provider and never set your wireless card to connect automatically to any available network.

Casting the Net for money

By Chow Kum Hor (New Straits Times, 11 May 2007)

KUALA LUMPUR: Fed up with day jobs and measly pay, a small but rising number of people have become full-time Internet entrepreneurs, some raking in five-figure salaries, often in the comfort of their living rooms.


A popular Internet income generator is through the sale of advertisement space in websites and blogs. Others sell anything from e-books to software, either authored themselves, or through an affiliate programme.

There are no statistics on the number of Malaysians who have gone full-time into online money-making ventures, although anecdotal evidence suggests more are doing so.

However, before Malaysians start jumping on the Internet income bandwagon, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has a word of caution: Beware of online scams.

"Surfers should not fall for get-rich-quick scams that are aplenty online. MCMC continuously monitors and acts on them," said a spokesman from the regulatory body from the communications and multimedia industry.

But for those who have struck gold online, the returns are generous, not only in terms of pay.
Most work from home, which means they do not have bosses breathing down their necks, don't have to get stuck in traffic jams and can spend more time with their families.


Liew Cheon Fong, who runs a technology blog (www.liewcf.com), claimed he was the first Malaysian to go into blogging full-time in 2005 in what started out as a hobby to share computing tips with friends.

The Kluang-based 27-year-old computer science degree-holder posts a few entries in his blog daily. He needs to keep his entries interesting to attract web traffic, failing which his income could dip.

One of his sources of income is Google Adsense, an online advertisement programme run by Internet giant Google. Liew gets paid whenever visitors click on advertisements placed on his blog.

Website operators who sign up with Google Adsense display advertisements related to their websites. For example, a blog on pets may feature ads on dog shampoo or pet grooming services.

Often, revenue generated online is in US dollars and credited into e-commerce facilities like PayPal. While Malaysians cannot withdraw money from PayPal accounts, many use them to make online purchases instead.

Unless you earn a monthly five-figure salary like Samsul Zamzuri Abu Bakar, 32, a Sungai Buloh-based Netpreneur (see accompanying story). He has opened an account with a United States bank which allows him to withdraw earnings credited into PayPal.

Then using his ATM card, he withdraws his money here.

But Samsul, who co-runs several blogs on gadgets like handphones and digital cameras, said many people have the misconception that entrepreneurs making money over the Internet involve "just working a few hours a day and spending the rest of the time watching their money roll in".

Samsul spends up to 12 hours in front of a computer, either liaising with his co-bloggers, marketing his blogs or simply surfing the Internet for ideas or to keep abreast with the latest developments in technology.

There are also drawbacks when your sole income is derived from such unconventional means. A common complaint is erratic income.

In Samsul's case, revenue peaks during the Christmas and the US summer seasons when sales of technology items go up, while for the rest of the year, earnings can be slow.

Last June, Liew's income was badly hit when Google dropped his blog's ranking, resulting in a drastic reduction in the number of visitors to the site. Liew has since recovered after Google upgraded his ranking.

Now, almost a quarter of a million visitors go to his blog per month.

Gobala Krishnan, 27, who sells e-books and software online, said it was more important to plan ahead and follow it through. Otherwise, his earnings would be affected in the long-run. He claimed to be making RM20,000 to RM30,000 per month.

How does one identify online cheats, especially since some of the operators are based overseas?

Krishnan offered his rule-of-thumb: "If it's too good to be true, it's probably a scam. Just like any business, Internet business takes capital, time and dedication."

Di Sebalik Wisma Putra

Oleh AZLINARIAH ABDULLAH (Utusan Malaysia. 29 Mei 2007)

WISMA Putra yang kita tahu, mungkin ia nama lain buat Kementerian Luar. Atau, kita barangkali mungkin terdetik, Wisma Putra itu bangunan menempatkan petugas Kementerian Luar, yang sekarang ini diterajui Menterinya, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

Tetapi bagi generasi baru pula, Wisma Putra yang mereka tahu terletaknya di Presint 2, Putrajaya, bukan di Jalan Wisma Putra, berhampiran bangunan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

Pernahkah kita mahu bertanya kenapa namanya ialah Wisma Putra bukan Wisma Putri atau sebarang nama lain? Bilakah usaha penubuhannya mula dilakukan?

Di antara banyak kementerian yang ada di Malaysia, Kementerian Luar antara yang pertama memiliki bangunannya sendiri iaitu Wisma Putra.

Asal sejarah, usaha mewujudkannya (asalnya juga dipanggil Kementerian Hal Ehwal Luar (MEA), dibuat setahun sebelum negara merdeka pada tahun 1957.

Tujuan asalnya pula ialah mahu melatih sekumpulan 11 diplomat untuk bertugas bagi misi diplomatik negara di luar negara. Kumpulan perintis ini dilatih di Britain dan Australia. Antara yang paling awal berkhidmat dengan Wisma Putra ialah Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Sulung. Zainal sendiri menulis sejarah awal Kementerian Luar dalam sebuah buku terbitan Institut Diplomasi dan Hubungan Luar (IDFR) berjudul Number One Wisma Putra.

Dalam pada itu, MEA mengambil model daripada Kementerian Luar Britain, seiring dengan birokrasi yang direka dengan mengambil kira struktur Perkhidmatan Awam British. Kita juga mempunyai Malaysian Civil Service (MCS) yang kemudiannya menjadi Malaysia Home and Foreign Service (MHFS) dan sekarang ini Pegawai Tadbir dan Diplomatik (PTD).

Laman web rasmi Wisma Putra menyebut, pada awalnya, tiga pegawai membahagikan tugas masing-masing di kawasan yang dipertanggungjawabkan.

‘‘Misi diplomatik Malaysia pada awal sejarahnya ada di London, Washington, Canberra, New York, New Delhi, Jakarta dan Bangkok. Ia berkembang pesat sehingga kini negara memiliki 102 perwakilan (kedutaan dan konsuler) di negara luar.

‘‘Kedutaan sebuah negara Komanwel di sebuah negara Komanwel yang lain dikenali sebagai Suruhanjaya Tinggi, manakala di negara-negara bukan Komanwel ia dikenali sebagai Kedutaan Besar seperti biasa,’’ kata bekas diplomat yang kini pensyarah di Jabatan Pengajian Antarabangsa dan Strategik, Universiti Malaya (UM), Datuk Ahmad Mokhtar Selat.

Kalau kedutaan dibuka di ibu kota sesebuah negara, konsuler kebiasaannya dibangunkan di wilayah-wilayah.

Dalam pada itu, seperti bangunan, pejabat dan syarikat yang menyaksikan perubahan demi perubahan kerana faktor masa, Kementerian Luar juga tidak ketinggalan.

Selain namanya juga bertukar, lokasi menempatkan bangunan kementerian turut berubah.
Tahun 1966 menyaksikan perubahan bagi Kementerian Luar ini, ujar beliau yang mula ‘memasuki’ Wisma Putra pada tahun 1971.

Pada 31 Ogos, Kementerian Luar memiliki bangunannya sendiri iaitu Wisma Putra, terletak di Persiaran Hose, Bukit Petaling sebelum ia bertukar nama menjadi Jalan Wisma Putra selepas itu.

Ia dirasmikan oleh Perdana Menteri pertama, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj pada pukul 10.30 pagi, 31 Ogos 1966. Beliau juga Menteri Luar Malaysia yang pertama.

Bangunan berkenaan bernilai RM2 juta dan pada masa itu ia memiliki 200 anggota.

Dalam ucapannya, Tunku Abdul Rahman mengakui bangunan Kementerian Luar itu mempunyai signifikan tersendiri buat diri beliau dan kepada negara.

Malahan, beliau turut mengimbau bagaimana bangunan itu adalah tapak tempat tinggalnya yang dihadiahkan oleh kerajaan British semasa beliau menjadi Ketua Menteri Persekutuan Malaya pada tahun 1955.

Signifikan

‘‘Rumah itu sangat lama dan uzur. Ia bocor di sana sini, terutamanya di bilik tidur. Apabila hujan, saya dan isteri terpaksa mengalihkan katil ke mana-mana sudut yang selamat daripada ditimpa hujan. Jadi, ia memberi signifikan kepada saya apabila ia dijadikan bangunan Kementerian Luar di tapak sama,’’ katanya semasa merasmikan bangunan terbabit.

Katanya, mana-mana tetamu asing akan melawat Kementerian Luar jika datang ke Malaysia walaupun tetamu itu adalah wakil daripada kementerian lain di negaranya. Jadi, dengan menjemput tetamu luar datang, ia sedikit sebanyak ‘menonjolkan’ bagaimana rupa sebenar asal Wisma Putra itu sendiri.

Ucapan Tunku Abdul Rahman semasa merasmikan Wisma Putra itu dijilidkan sebagai volume 1-No 1 dalam buletin Wisma Putra.

Nama Wisma Putra dicadangkan oleh Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie pada tarikh ia dirasmikan.

Katanya, Wisma Putra adalah gabungan perkataan Sanskrit di mana Wisma itu bermakna bangunan dan Putra itu adalah nama Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Kata Ahmad Mokhtar, ramai yang tidak tahu bahawa surau Wisma Putra adalah dapur kediaman Tunku Abdul Rahman. Tetapi kini setelah IDFR menduduki bangunan itu, segala-galanya diruntuhkan dan tiada lagi asal kediaman Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Selepas lebih empat dekad beroperasi di Jalan Wisma Putra, Kementerian Luar sekali lagi menyaksikan perubahan di mana pada 5 September 2001, Syed Hamid sebagai Menteri Luar mendapat replika kunci bagi Kompleks Wisma Putra yang baru daripada Profesor Zainuddin Muhammad, Pengerusi Putrajaya Holding pada satu majlis ringkas di Putrajaya.

Kementerian memulakan operasi di kompleks baru yang bernilai RM170 juta itu 12 hari kemudian iaitu pada 17 September.

Kompleks itu tersergam di atas bukit dan panoramanya dikelilingi oleh Taman Wawasan dengan ia dibina di atas tanah seluar 12.12 hektar.

Kalau sebelum ini Jalan Wisma Putra dinamakan sempena terdapat Wisma Putra di situ, apa salahnya jika Presint 2, tempat duduk letak Wisma Putra sekarang ditukarkan menjadi Bukit Wisma Putra, begitu syor Ahmad Mokhtar.

Hujahnya, ia penting bagi mengekalkan penjenamaan Wisma Putra itu sendiri.

Kompleks Wisma Putra baru itu melambangkan kekuatan institusi kerajaan yang berdasarkan kepada kombinasi seni bina tradisional dan moden. Perlambangan tradisional misalnya boleh dilihat pada reka bentuk bumbung di mana ia adalah simbol rumah Melayu lama. Begitu juga motif flora yang terdapat di tingkap-tingkap bangunan tersebut. Reka bentuk geometri Islam turut dicipta pada lantai marmar dan granit di dalam bangunan.

Vehicle Maintenance

MANY people think that once they have purchased a new car, all they have to do is fill it with fuel and drive. But the responsible driver will know it takes more than that.

The fact that today's cars are equipped with high-tech computer systems does not exclude them from the need for servicing and maintenance. Cars,like all machines, need to be serviced regularly so that they can perform at the optimum level.


Check the following at least once monthly:

* Coolant level in the coolant recovery reservoir.

* Battery water levels: Check the battery indicator for the maintenance free ones.

* Air filter: Replace it when it becomes dirty or as part of a general maintenance.

* Whether the exterior lights: brake lights, turn signals and hazard warning flashers are operating properly: Make sure all the car's lights are clean and working. Keep spare bulbs and fuses in your vehicle.

* Tyre pressure: Refer to the information label.

* Keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir full: Ensure that the wiper blades are clean so that water droplets are repelled effectively.



The following items must be checked/serviced at the stipulated intervals:

- Engine oil and engine oil filter.

- Engine timing belt.

- Automatic transmission fluid.

- Manual transmission fluid.

- Transfer case fluid (4WD).

- Front and rear differential fluid.

You should, at least twice a year, do the following:

* Check the radiator, heater and air-conditioning hoses for wear and tear, leaks, or damage. If a hose looks bad, or feels too soft or too hard, it should be replaced. Replace those bulging, rotten or brittle hoses and tighten clamps.

* Check the windshield washer spray and wiper operation. Clean wiper blades with clean cloth dampened with washer liquid. Wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year. Do not wait until the rubber is worn or brittle.

* Check the headlight alignment.

* Check the muffler, exhaust pipes, shields and clamps: Look underneath for loose or broken exhaust clamps and supports. Check for holes in muffler or pipes. Replace the rusted or damaged parts.

* Check the lap/shoulder belts for wear and tear, and whether it functions. Replace worn or frayed belts.

* Check for worn tyres, cuts, bulges, excessive tread wear, and loose wheel lug nuts. Uneven wear indicates tyres are misaligned or out of balance. Regularly rotating the tyres is advisable for better handling,energy efficiency and safety. At least once a year:

* Clean body and door drain holes.

* Lubricate door hinges and check hood hinges.

* Lubricate door and hood locks and latches.

* Lubricate door rubber weather-strips.

* Have the air conditioning system checked.

* Check the power steering fluid level. If the level is down, add fluid and inspect the pump and hoses for leaks.

* Clean battery and terminals.

* Check brake fluid level.

* Check shock absorbers. Look for signs of oil seepage on shock absorbers, test shock action by bouncing the car up and down. The car should stop bouncing when you step back. Worn or leaking shocks should be replaced. Always replace shock absorbers in pairs.


For more information on how to care for your vehicle, read the Owner's Manual thoroughly.

08 Mei 2007

Falak bukan ilmu telahan

Oleh: DR. ABDUL HALIM ABDUL AZIZ (Utusan Malaysia, 7 Mei 1999)


SALAH satu hasil dari sesebuah tamadun yang besar ialah sistem pengukuran tarikh yang teratur, iaitu satu sistem kalendar yang membolehkan penentuan tarikh sesuatu peristiwa yang betul.


Tamadun Islam telah menghasilkan sistem kalendar Hijriah dengan ciri-cirinya yang tersendiri. Tidak dapat dinafikan bahawa sebelum kedatangan Islam masyarakat Arab sudah pun mengamalkan satu sistem kalendarnya yang tersendiri.


Namun terdapat beberapa kelemahan pada sistem tersebut. Selepas kedatangan Islam sistem tersebut telah diperbaiki dan dijadikan lebih sistematik dan ia mencapai kemantapan semasa pemerintahan Khalifah Umar al-Khattab.


Umat Arab sebelum Islam menggunakan kalendar tanpa rujukan jelas kepada sesuatu epok, iaitu waktu permulaan kiraan. Sesuatu tahun biasanya dirujuk kepada sesuatu kejadian yang menonjol pada tahun berkenaan, misalnya tarikh kelahiran Nabi Muhammad s.a.w dikatakan pada tahun gajah dengan merujuk kepada serangan di Mekah oleh tentera bergajah dari Yaman (Guillaume, 1978).


Kalendar ini pada asasnya bergantung kepada perjalanan bulan, tetapi pengamalannya tidak sistematik. Terdapat amalan oleh pembikin kalendar mengubah-ubah bulan sewenang-wenangnya bagi memenuhi keperluan pihak-pihak tertentu.


Agama Nabi Ibrahim dan anaknya Ismail a.s telah menetapkan bagi umat Arab empat bulan yang dilarang berperang, digelar bulan haram. Walau bagaimanapun pembuat kalendar boleh mengubah bulan-bulan kalendar bagi memenuhi kehendak mereka untuk berperang. Amalan ini telah dilarang di dalam al-Quran (at-Taubah: 37):


Mengundurkan (bulan suci itu), hanya menambah kekafiran, disesatkan dengan dia orang-orang kafir, mereka menghalalkannya dalam setahun dan mengharamkannya dalam tahun yang lain, supaya mereka bermuafakat tentang beberapa bulan yang diharamkan Allah, lalu mereka halalkan bulan yang diharamkan Allah... (terjemahan Yunus, 1957).


Perintah ini telah memastikan pengamalan kalendar yang sistematik dan bebas daripada campur tangan wewenangan manusia, dan sekali gus meletakkan satu sistem pengukuran masa yang baik dan sistematik.


Terdapat dua belas bulan di dalam sistem kalendar Islam, sebagaimana telah ditetapkan di dalam al-Quran (at-Taubah: 36):


Sesungguhnya bilangan bulan di sisi Allah, dua belas bulan, dalam kitab Allah, pada hari Allah menjadikan langit dan bumi...


Dua belas bulan tersebut (mengikut urutan) ialah Muharram, Safar, Rabiulawal, Rabiulakhir, Jamadilawal, Jamadilakhir, Rejab, Syaaban, Ramadan, Syawal, Zulkaedah, Zulhijah. Empat bulan haram yang disebutkan di atas ialah Zulkaedah, Zulhijah, Muharam dan Rejab.


Titik permulaan pengiraan tahun telah ditetapkan sebagai tahun berlakunya penghijrahan umat Islam dari Mekah ke Madinah, iaitu di sekitar tahun 622 tahun Masihi. Penetapan epok ini telah dilakukan semasa pemerintahan Khalifah Umar al-Khattab, Khalifah Islam kedua. Dengan itu kalendar Islam juga dikenali dengan gelaran kalendar Hijriah atau takwim hijriah (kerana merujuk kepada epok berlakunya hijrah).


Umumnya untuk tarikh berdasarkan kalendar Islam diletakkan huruf ''H'' pada hujung tahun berkenaan bagi membezakannya dengan tarikh Masihi, seperti 1420 H. Permulaan bulan ditentukan dengan kenampakan anak bulan yang hanya dapat dicerap selepas terbenam matahari.


Jika anak bulan ternampak, maka bulan baru bermula pada waktu tersebut, kerana permulaan hari di dalam sistem kalendar Islam ialah pada selepas ketika matahari terbenam, bukan pada tengah malam seperti yang diamalkan di dalam sistem kalendar Masihi.


Mereka bertanya kepada engkau tentang keadaan bulan. Katakanlah, bulan itu untuk menentukan waktu bagi manusia dan untuk (mengerjakan) haji...'' (al-Baqarah: 189).


Beberapa amal ibadat Islam bergantung kepada pengamalan kalendar yang betul. Tarikh-tarikh haji ditentukan berdasarkan kalendar ini. Begitu juga tarikh permulaan dan berakhir puasa yang difardukan kepada umat Islam. Pengiraan tempoh kelayakan membayar zakat juga adalah berdasarkan kalendar ini. Satu tahun Hijrah ialah lebih kurang 11 hari lebih pendek dari satu tahun Masihi. Selain itu terdapat banyak lagi amal ibadat (fardu dan sunat) yang waktunya ditentukan berdasarkan kalendar ini. Lantaran itu ilmu falak (astronomi) telah menjadi salah satu cabang ilmu yang ditetapkan sebagai fardu kifayah kepada masyarakat Islam.


Saintis Islam pada zaman lampau telah mencipta kaedah dan rumusan bagi menentukan kenampakan anak bulan. Mereka telah juga membangunkan ilmu matematik yang diperlukan untuk menentukan kedudukan matahari dan bulan dan mencipta beberapa kriteria bagi kenampakan anak bulan (Ilyas, 1995).


Perkataan almanak, iaitu buku yang mengandungi jadual kedudukan matahari, bulan, bintang dan lain-lain badan cakerawala, adalah dari bahasa Arab.


Sistem kalendar Islam adalah satu sistem kalendar lunar sepenuhnya. Ini bermaksud penentuannya hanya bergantung sepenuhnya kepada pusingan bulan yang mengelilingi bumi. Tiada hari ditambah atau ditolak untuk menyesuaikannya dengan musim.


Oleh itu dalam jangka masa yang panjang bulan-bulan dalam kalendar tersebut beranjak dari musim ke musim. Kalau pada satu ketika bulan Ramadan (bulan puasa) berada pada musim panas, satu waktu akan datang ia akan berlaku dalam musim sejuk.


Amalan ini berbeza dengan kebanyakan amalan kalendar lunar di dalam masyarakat-masyarakat lain (seperti masyarakat Cina dan India) di mana dari masa ke semasa dilakukan penyesuaian dengan menambahkan bilangan hari supaya perjalanan bulan (kalendar) itu sejajar dengan musim. Kalendar Masihi pula bergantung sepenuhnya kepada peredaran matahari, oleh itu sentiasa sejajar dengan musim.


Ilmu untuk menentukan awal bulan melalui prinsip-prinsip sains berdasarkan jangkaan kenampakan anak bulan adalah penting dengan pembinaan kalendar untuk masa hadapan dan juga untuk menjejak tarikh bagi masa silam.


Bagi penggunaan kalendar yang lebih meluas masyarakat Islam sekarang memerlukan kalendar yang dapat menentukan tarikh beberapa tahun ke hadapan supaya mereka dapat membuat perancangan yang rapi.


Oleh itu usaha penyelidikan yang telah dijalankan oleh Universiti Sains Malaysia melalui Unit Ilmu Falak dan Sains Atmosfera yang dipimpin oleh Prof. Mohammad Ilyas ke arah memantapkan kriteria penentuan awal bulan adalah usaha yang penting untuk zaman ini.


Usaha ini bertujuan untuk menghilangkan ralat (atau perbezaan)- di antara hasil pencerapan sebenar dan kaedah pengiraan. Sokongan kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang dalam membina balai cerap Pusat Falak Sheikh Tahir di Pantai Acheh bagi tujuan penyelidikan di atas akan dapat membantu menjayakan usaha ini.


Terdapat sedikit salah faham di dalam masyarakat Islam tentang pemahaman istilah ilmu falak (astronomi). Ada yang tersalah tanggap bahawa ilmu falak itu sama dengan atau berkait dengan ilmu nujum (astrologi).


Sekarang tanggapan ini boleh dianggap salah kerana ilmu falak muncul sebagai satu cabang ilmu yang dibangunkan berdasarkan kaedah saintifik yang dapat diuji dan dibuktikan, padahal astrologi tidak dapat dibuktikan secara saintifik.


Kemungkinan besar pada awal-awal pembentukan ilmu falak, kedua-dua aspek (astrologi dan astronomi) bercampur aduk dan tidak dapat dipisahkan. Jika demikian tidak hairanlah mengapa terdapat beberapa ulama silam yang menolak ilmu falak.


Tetapi kini ilmu falak (astronomi) bukan lagi merupakan ilmu telahan atau teka-meneka tetapi adalah sebahagian daripada ilmu sains yang terdedah kepada proses penelitian, pengujian dan kritikan masyarakat saintifik sama seperti ilmu sains yang lain.


Dengan bantuan peralatan moden dan pengetahuan saintifik yang lebih mendalam penentuan posisi matahari dan bulan dan juga waktu ijtimak bulan-matahari kini boleh diketahui dengan tepat.


Bahkan tahap ilmu kini mencapai kehalusan sehingga manusia mampu mendarat di bulan. Oleh itu tanggapan ilmu falak sebagai ilmu yang bersifat telahan sudah tidak diterima lagi.


* DR. ABDUL HALIM ABDUL AZIZ, Pensyarah Unit Ilmu Falak dan Sains Atmosfera Universiti Sains Malaysia.

07 Mei 2007

POP your Yahoo! Mail



Many long years ago (actually, prior to 2002), Yahoo! allowed access to its Yahoo! Mail service via POP3.

This meant users could read their mail using e-mail programs such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, or Eudora.

Unfortunately, the company decided to disable its free POP3 access sometime in 2002, and now only provides POP3 access to premium users.

As stated on the Yahoo! Mail help page: "The ability to access Yahoo! Mail via a POP3 e-mail client (such as Outlook or Outlook Express) is only available to customers of our premium Yahoo! Mail Plus service.

If you have not purchased the Yahoo! Mail Plus service, you will be unable to retrieve messages via an e-mail client." Well, that's not true.

The fact is you can still use your favourite e-mail programs with Yahoo! Mail if you run YPOPs, a free and open-source program which translates webmail on-the-fly to the POP3 format.





BROWSER NOT REQUIRED: You can still read your Yahoo! Mail in your preferred mail program with YPOPS.


But before I proceed with this review of YPOPs, there are a few of things you should know.

Firstly, I've grown less dependent on Yahoo! Mail, mainly because I signed up with a commercial e-mail provider a few years ago.

Secondly, Yahoo! Mail faces stiff competition from Google's Gmail service, which still offers free POP3 access.

And finally, Yahoo! insists on using exclamation marks in their company and product names, so relax, dear reader, I am not shouting at you.


POP3 via the Web

YPOPs acts as a e-mail proxy which sits in between your e-mail program and Yahoo!'s website.

So instead of connecting to Yahoo!, your e-mail program connects to YPOPs, which in turn logs on to your Yahoo! Mail account without launching a web browser, reads your mailbox and translates the contents to POP3 mail.

When launched, YPOPs takes up about 5.2MB of RAM and just sits unobtrusively in the system tray; even its icon can be turned off — YPOPs has a "hide tray icon" option.

YPOPs doesn't have a progress bar or animated icon, so you can only find out if it is working by checking your e-mail program's status box (see image).







The YPOPs webpage has guides on how to set up the program to work with most major e-mail programs.

This basically involves setting your POP3 server to 127.0.0.1 or Localhost instead of Yahoo!'s servers.

The program has a multitude of configuration options (see image).

For example, you can choose to delete downloaded mail off the Yahoo! server (or not), download bulk mail (spam), or download mail only from specific folders, plus YPOPs also has support for web proxies.









In one week of testing, YPOPs retrieved hundreds of messages off my Yahoo! account, some with large attachments.

Impressively, YPOPs can also send e-mail through your Yahoo! Mail account, in effect, acting as an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) proxy.

It even provides the option to save sent mail in your Yahoo! Mail "Sent Items" folder.



Challenges

While YPOPs works remarkably well, it isn't a 100% substitute for a true POP3 e-mail service.

For instance, it won't work when Yahoo!'s webmail is unavailable, or when the server produces error pages.

Now this is beyond the control of YPOPs, but in my experience, Yahoo!'s webmail tends to go down more often than most POP3 e-mail providers.

Fortunately, YPOPs fails gracefully, and doesn't lose any messages if it encounters problems with Yahoo!'s webmail servers.

Another drawback for YPOPs is when Yahoo! issues a "challenge screen" or Captcha (an acronym for "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart") when you try to send out certain types of e-mail, or if you try to email too many people at once.

Although this only happens occasionally, that means YPOPs can't send out the e-mail, and you will need to log onto Yahoo! Mail to solve the Captcha (see image).






YPOPs can't handle Captchas.


To be fair, Captchas are designed to foil automated software, so one should not expect YPOPs to handle them.

YPOPs! does support attachments, but note that the restrictions imposed for Yahoo! Mail apply here as well.

For instance, Yahoo! allows a maximum 10MB of attachments when sending and receiving e-mail.



Conclusion



I must confess that I'm amazed that YPOPs even works, and not only that, it does its job efficiently.

If you have messages in Yahoo! Mail that you would prefer to read in your favourite e-mail program, then you can't go wrong with YPOPs.

The program is lightweight, configurable, and does all that it claims to do; plus, you can't complain about its price.

The alternative would be to sign up for Yahoo! Mail Plus which would cost you US$20 (RM70) a year.



Pros: Free; lots of configuration options; reliable.


Cons: Can't deal with Captchas and webmail outages.

Download : http://ypopsemail.com/

04 Mei 2007

Are you ready for DirectX 10?


The biggest draw for gamers in Windows Vista is its support for DirectX 10. This issue we take a look at what gamers can expect from the new graphics programming tool.

Windows Vista has been out for nearly two months now and it is only a matter of time before PC gamers will have to make the switch to the new operating system (OS).

Without a doubt, Windows Vista sure looks pretty with its spiffy Aero interface and upgraded features for home and business users. However, the biggest draw for PC gamers is the inclusion of DirectX 10 in the OS.


For the uninitiated, DirectX 10 is basically a collection of APIs (Application Program Interfaces). It is widely used in the development of computer games for Windows and used by software producers to render high quality 3D graphics using the latest 3D graphics hardware.

DirectX 10 holds many benefits for PC gamers in general, boasting more efficient performance and stunning graphics – it is the next big thing in the upgrade path in terms of graphics.

So settle down and strap up as we take a look at the benefits the Windows Vista-exclusive DirectX 10 holds in store for gamers.


Going BIG on graphics

Needless to say, 2007 is going to be an exciting year to be a PC gamer. PC games have long been the hallmark of the latest and greatest graphics set to grace a game system.

In the past they have always been one step above consoles, with cutting edge games like Half-Life, Black & White, Far Cry and many more.

But the gap is slowly closing as next-generation consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 push new graphical boundaries that rival those of the PC.


NIGHT
AND DAY:
Alan Wake features some nifty lighting effects that an dramatically alter the way you look at your environment.

DirectX 10 is set to deliver what it is hoped to be the next-evolution of graphics in games. Giving a boost in the graphics between PC and consoles, DirectX 10 holds lots of goodies for PC gamers.



Increased CPU performance

One of the most notable upgrades DirectX 10 has over its predecessor is its tremendous increase in performance. Smarter resource management, improved API and driver efficiencies and move more work from the CPU to the GPU.

This means that DirectX 10 will reduce CPU utilisation and increase graphics card power. Also, the enforcement of stricter hardware standards will make games easier to develop.



Stricter hardware standards

Speaking in terms of hardware standards, standards are one thing that videogame consoles have going for them.

This is because games created for consoles have a set standard and be played across all consoles of the same make.

The same cannot be said true for PC games, as developers need to consider the type of hardware and graphics card on an individual's computer.

That being said, having to cater to different standards makes it difficult to develop games.

With DirectX 10 enforcing more standard hardware requirements, developers will be able to focus on making the game itself and not have to worry on differing hardware standards.



Virtualised memory

Another benefit is the use of virtualised memory for the GPU. Virtualised memory will benefit the video card by enabling it to use space in RAM to store information that would not have fit on a local video card memory.

Previously, textures were limited by the amount of onboard memory possessed by the graphics processor. Using virtualised memory, textures can be stored on the system memory thereby eliminating any memory bottleneck on texture size.

Basically, games will feature richer textures making them prettier to look at.

It is worth noting that some Windows XP games will have enhanced DirectX 10 modes when running under Vista. Games such as Company of Heroes and Supreme Commander will receive the DirectX 10 treatment with improved graphics and smoother frame rates.


Greater amount of detail

DirectX 10 promises to add a new level of realism to games with an incredible amount of emphasis to making characters look life-like.

If you look closely at some sample screenshots, you can see that character details stem right down to the pockmarks on their faces.

However, the biggest improvement gamers are likely to see is the greater environment complexity and increased amount of detail.

In-game environments will look more realistic with better-looking foliage, grass, trees and rocks. By allowing data to be generated within the graphics processor, the game will be able to add specific shading parameters and even change the geometry of in-game environmental objects adding to the complexity of the scene.

To give characters a more realistic appearance, DirectX 10 enables better-looking shadows to add a level of depth to characters. On DirectX 9, shadows were generated on the CPU, thus slowing down the performance.

However, on DirectX 10, shadow volume can be generated and rendered entirely on the GPU, easing the processing burden on the CPU.



Seeing more, but different

Another benefit from offloading work to the GPU is the ability to generate more objects on screen. Currently in games, you might find that blades of grass on a field are drawn up to look exactly the same.

This can detract the realism of the game because in the real world, no two objects are exactly the same.

However, next-generation DirectX 10 games will feature thousands of unique objects that will make the environment more realistic and immersive. So each generated object is not just carbon copies of one another but rather, unique objects that differ in perceptible size and weight.



Hardware matters

DirectX 10 is going to be visual treat for the PC gamer – that much is certain. However to enjoy the terrific graphics, you are going to need both Windows Vista and a DirectX 10-compliant graphics card.



8800GTX



At present there are only three DirectX 10 graphics cards – the nVidia 8800GTS (320MB and 640MB versions) and the GeForce 8800GTX (768MB), with prices ranging from about RM1,200 to RM2,400. ATI has yet to release a DirectX 10 graphics card at the time of writing.

While there isn't much choice out there at the moment, news of nVidia releasing more DirectX 10-enabled graphics cards (there's even an AGP version) sometime soon may help ease the burden for budget gamers.



Be prepared to be amazed

PC gamers are faced with a tough decision. With so many drool-worthy DirectX 10 games set to be released in the coming months, it is getting harder to ignore the growing need to upgrade.

With the future clearly leading towards Windows Vista, DirectX 10 may just be the push needed to get PC gamers to make the switch over to Vista.

But is it too soon to upgrade and will the potentially enormous cost associated with upgrading deter gamers?

That's a question only gamers (and their wallets) themselves can answer.

TM leads push for new undersea cable

By H. AMIR KHALID (The Star Thursday May 3, 2007)

PUTRAJAYA: TM Bhd and 16 other telecommunications carriers, mostly based in South-East Asia, have signed an agreement to build a US$500mil (RM1.75bil) undersea fibre-optic cable linking the region to the United States.

The 20,000km long Asia-America Gateway, scheduled for completion by the end of next year, will avoid the most earthquake-prone undersea cable routes passing through North Asia.

As one of the lead members of the consortium, TM contributed US$50mil (RM175mil) to the total cost, according to TM chief executive for Malaysia business Zamzamzairani Mohamad Isa. The other consortium members include AT&T, Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), Bharti Airtel of India, British Telecom Global Network Services, CAT Telecom of Thailand, Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc, and Indosat of Indonesia.

Undersea cables have traditionally passed through the northern Pacific, because they carry traffic from north Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. But this has meant that they pass through the most seismically active parts of the Pacific Ocean floor.

The disadvantage of this route was demonstrated late last year, when an earthquake off the southern coast of Taiwan damaged several undersea cable systems, disrupting for several weeks telephone and Internet links between the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world.

The AAG cable's western terminus will be in Mersing. It will run from there through major landing points in Lantau in Hong Kong, Currimao in the Philippines, and Hawaii to its eastern terminus in San Luis Obispo, California.

There would also be secondary landing points in Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Vietnam.
The cable route will avoid the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire," seismically and volcanically active regions along tectonic plate boundaries, but will pass less active tectonic plate boundaries in South-East Asia, Zamzamzairani said.

In addition, a cable passing through a different part of the Pacific Ocean floor would reduce the likelihood of major disruptions similar to that caused by last year's Taiwanese earthquake as it would be unlikely for an earthquake to happen in two different regions at the same time.

The AAG cable's initial capacity will be 480 gigabits per second (Gbps)in total, but this could go up to as much as 1.92 terabits per second if the electronics were upgraded in the future.

Zamzamzairani said the cable would increase add TM's data capacity by 60Gbps from the current 75Gbps. The additional capacity could be used to improve the Internet experience for TM Net customers, or distributed to TM subsidiary companies in the region, he said.

The AAG will increase both the capacity and diversity of Internet links between Asia and the United States, according to TM group chief executive Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar.

"It will also serve as a direct link between major Asian regional centres with the United States. This will make it more viable for more foreign investments to pour into these fast growing economies and subsequently, open up new business opportunities for all," Abdul Wahid added.

Energy Communications and Water Minister Datuk Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who witnessed the signing ceremony, praised TM for its foresight in coming up with a long term solution that would prevent a recurrence of the telecommunications and Internet disruption caused by the Taiwan earthquake.

He called on other local companies to emulate TM in coming up with similar solutions that aided the country and the region.PUTRAJAYA: TM Bhd and 16 other telecommunications carriers, mostly based in South-East Asia, have signed an agreement to build a US$500mil (RM1.75bil) undersea fibre-optic cable linking the region to the United States.

The 20,000km long Asia-America Gateway, scheduled for completion by the end of next year, will avoid the most earthquake-prone undersea cable routes passing through North Asia.

As one of the lead members of the consortium, TM contributed US$50mil (RM175mil) to the total cost, according to TM chief executive for Malaysia business Zamzamzairani Mohamad Isa. The other consortium members include AT&T, Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), Bharti Airtel of India, British Telecom Global Network Services, CAT Telecom of Thailand, Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc, and Indosat of Indonesia.

Undersea cables have traditionally passed through the northern Pacific, because they carry traffic from north Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. But this has meant that they pass through the most seismically active parts of the Pacific Ocean floor.

The disadvantage of this route was demonstrated late last year, when an earthquake off the southern coast of Taiwan damaged several undersea cable systems, disrupting for several weeks telephone and Internet links between the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world.

The AAG cable's western terminus will be in Mersing. It will run from there through major landing points in Lantau in Hong Kong, Currimao in the Philippines, and Hawaii to its eastern terminus in San Luis Obispo, California.

There would also be secondary landing points in Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Vietnam.
The cable route will avoid the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire," seismically and volcanically active regions along tectonic plate boundaries, but will pass less active tectonic plate boundaries in South-East Asia, Zamzamzairani said.

In addition, a cable passing through a different part of the Pacific Ocean floor would reduce the likelihood of major disruptions similar to that caused by last year's Taiwanese earthquake as it would be unlikely for an earthquake to happen in two different regions at the same time.

The AAG cable's initial capacity will be 480 gigabits per second (Gbps)in total, but this could go up to as much as 1.92 terabits per second if the electronics were upgraded in the future.

Zamzamzairani said the cable would increase add TM's data capacity by 60Gbps from the current 75Gbps. The additional capacity could be used to improve the Internet experience for TM Net customers, or distributed to TM subsidiary companies in the region, he said.

The AAG will increase both the capacity and diversity of Internet links between Asia and the United States, according to TM group chief executive Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar.

"It will also serve as a direct link between major Asian regional centres with the United States. This will make it more viable for more foreign investments to pour into these fast growing economies and subsequently, open up new business opportunities for all," Abdul Wahid added.

Energy Communications and Water Minister Datuk Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who witnessed the signing ceremony, praised TM for its foresight in coming up with a long term solution that would prevent a recurrence of the telecommunications and Internet disruption caused by the Taiwan earthquake.
He called on other local companies to emulate TM in coming up with similar solutions that aided the country and the region.

Mencuri maklumat melalui Internet

Oleh: RABIAH AHMAD (Utusan Malaysia, 2 Mei 2007)

Kejuruteraan sosial atau social engineering adalah satu bidang di mana maklumat diperoleh oleh pencuri maklumat tanpa disedari oleh penyimpan maklumat. Melalui perbualan di telefon misalnya, penjenayah memperkenalkan diri sebagai pekerja bank dan meminta mangsa menyerahkan nombor kad pengenalan atau kad kredit. Ini adalah contoh paling mudah.

Selain itu kita sering berhadapan dengan kaedah jurujual yang datang ke rumah dengan helah ingin membuat kaji selidik terhadap sesuatu perkara dan bertanyakan bermacam-macam maklumat peribadi.

Mangsa selalunya terpesona dengan pujukan janji dan pujukan penjenayah lantas menyerahkan maklumat dengan rela hati. Menerusi Internet jurutera sosial ini juga dapat mencari mangsa.
Contoh yang paling mudah adalah menerusi laman laman web yang kononnya menawarkan skim cepat kaya melalui pelaburan Internet.


Halaman web palsu direka dan pelbagai tawaran skim cepat kaya dipaparkan untuk menarik pelanggan. Bagi yang mudah terpedaya dengan senang membuat bayaran pendahuluan dan memberikan maklumat peribadi seperti nombor akaun bank.

Bayangkan hanya dengan tawaran AS$380 pada bulan pertama mangsa memberikan nombor akaun bank kepada orang yang tidak dikenali.

Setelah mendapat maklumat penting ini langkah seterusnya iaitu mencuri wang secara atas talian dapat dijalankan tanpa disedari oleh mangsa.

Jurutera sosial juga akan menggunakan sistem mel elektronik untuk mendapatkan maklumat mangsa. Penghantar mel ini menyatakan penerimanya telah memenangi sesuatu pertandingan dan hadiah yang amat lumayan. Jika terperdaya mangsa akan membalas mel ini dan menyerahkan segala maklumat rahsia kepada penjenayah.

Kaedah ini dinamakan social phising yang merupakan salah satu cabang dalam social engineering. Pelbagai contoh cerita benar yang berkaitan dengan jenayah komputer berasaskan kepada social engineering.

Mempercayai kenalan siber tanpa sebarang pengenalan diri menyebabkan mangsa dengan rela hati membuka saluran maklumat kepada penjenayah. Aplikasi chating kadangkala mendorong mangsa meyakini seseorang tanpa sedar.

Menurut kajian, jenayah komputer dan Internet bersandarkan kepada kaedah ini dapat dikawal dengan kesedaran yang mendalam terhadap keselamatan terutama bidang maklumat. Sistem keselamatan maklumat yang paling berkesan perlu bermula dengan kesedaran pengguna. Kurang kesedaran mengenai keselamatan komputer dan Internet punca utama maklumat disalurkan kepada orang yang tidak bertanggungjawab.

Polisi keselamatan maklumat yang terperinci dan tegas dikatakan mampu mengawal mangsa dari menyalurkan maklumat tanpa sedar.

Pertahankan tanah pusaka

Oleh HASSAN AHMAD (Utusan Malaysia, 3 Mei 2007)

KITA menjadi rakyat negara ini kerana antara lain kita mempunyai kawasan atau tanah - tanah pusaka nenek moyang kita. Dengan kata lain, kita mempunyai tanah, tempat tumpah darah kita, yang di atasnya kita mempunyai hak mendirikan rumah kita, bercucuk tanam, dan sebagainya.
Inilah salah satu kriteria penting yang mentakrifkan kedaulatan sesebuah negara atau sesuatu bangsa, iaitu kebebasan atau kemerdekaannya di tanah airnya sendiri.


Kedaulatan negara dan bangsa bukanlah ‘benda’ yang abstrak, bukan konsep yang diciptakan oleh imaginasi dan perasaan cinta tanah air semata-mata, tetapi ia merupakan konsep atau entiti yang nyata, yang konkrit.

Tanpa tanah, tanpa kawasan yang kita miliki sejak zaman nenek moyang kita sebagai pusaka kita, tidak bolehlah kita dikatakan bangsa yang ‘berdaulat’.

Jikalau kita hanya menumpang atas tanah milik orang asing di tanah air sendiri disebabkan tanah kita sudah berikan kepada pelabur asing, itu bererti kita sudah kehilangan suatu hak harta, iaitu tanah, yang mentakrifkan kita sebagai ‘rakyat’ tanah melayu atau Malaysia ini.

Taraf kita samalah seperti warga asing yang ‘menumpang’ di Malaysia (misalnya sebagai pekerja asing).

Perhatikan bahawa orang Melayu menggunakan istilah tanah air. Gabungan dua kata ini, ‘tanah’ dan ‘air’ tidak terdapat dalam bahasa Inggeris atau dalam bahasa-bahasa lain.

Berdasarkan istilah ini kita dapati bahawa orang Melayu mementingkan tanah dan air bukan sahaja sebagai syarat untuk membentuk konsep ‘negeri’ tetapi juga sebagai sumber ekonomi dan sumber hidup yang asas bagi rakyat di negeri ini.

Tanpa tanah dan tanpa air, manusia sukar hidup di dunia ini. Kerana inilah sejak dahulu hingga hari ini, tanah - dan air - sering menjadi punca peperangan. Rakyat Palestin, misalnya, sanggup mati untuk mempertahankan tanah mereka, walaupun seinci, atau untuk mendapatkan semula tanah yang telah dirampas oleh Israel, sama ada melalui peperangan ataupun melalui taktik dan muslihat lain yang lebih halus.

Maka hairanlah kita sekiranya ada negara yang sanggup menjual tanah, air dan sebagainya kepada orang asing atau kepada negara asing kononnya demi kemajuan, demi pembangunan ekonomi - yang selalunya hasilnya atau kesannya tidak sampai kepada rakyat yang miskin dan terpinggir.

Barangkali bangsa Melayu patut belajar daripada sejarah, tentang bagaimana Singapura, misalnya, akhirnya jatuh ke tangan orang lain, melalui syarikat asing, iaitu Syarikat East India Company atau syarikat Hindia Timur Inggeris (SHT). Stamford Raffles bertugas sebagai wakil Syarikat ini yang ditubuhkan oleh kerajaan Inggeris untuk mencari kawasan perdagangan dan ekonomi di luar England, dan akhirnya untuk menjajah negeri orang lain.

Apabila penjajah Belanda menguasai Melaka hingga awal abad ke-19 (setelah mereka mengalahkan bangsa Portugis di situ dengan bantuan askar-askar Melayu dari Johor), Syarikat Hindia Timur Inggeris mulai mencari kawasan lain untuk menjadi kawasan atau pusat perdagangannya untuk menyaingi Melaka.

Singapura

Kawasan yang dianggap sesuai ialah Singapura. Pulau ini ialah milik bangsa Melayu atau merupakan tanah takluk kerajaan Johor-Riau, bukan merupakan pulau kosong seperti “Pulau Robinson Crusoe” yang boleh diduduki, dicuri atau dimiliki oleh bangsa lain.

Raffles cepat-cepat mempengaruhi Temenggung Abdul Rahman, waris kerabat diraja Johor yang berada di pulau itu. Abdul Rahman dianugerahi gelaran ‘Temenggong’ oleh kerajaan Johor-Riau dan Singapura diberikan kepadanya sebagai hak warisnya. Raffles mengadakan perjanjian (pada 30 Januari 1819) dengan Temenggung Abdul Rahman, membenarkan Syarikat Hindia Timur Inggeris membina loji atau kilang di Singapura. Sebagai balasannya, SHTI bersetuju memberi semacam sagu hati atau elaun sebanyak ‘3000 rial setahun’ kepada Temenggung.

Pada 6 Februari 1819 suatu perjanjian lain telah ditandatangani antara Raffles bagi pihak SHT dengan Sultan Hussain Muhammad Syah, Sultan Johor-Riau, dan Temenggung Abdul Rahman untuk mengesahkan perjanjian yang terdahulu. Salah satu fasal baru, iaitu Fasal Kelima, yang terkandung dalam Perjanjian baharu itu ialah, Sultan Hussain dan Temenggung Abdul Rahman tidak dibenarkan membuat apa-apa perjanjian perniagaan dengan mana-mana pihak lain, baik dengan orang putih dari Eropah, baik dari AS, di Singapura selama ‘kompeni Inggeris ada duduk di dalamnya’.

Perjanjian ini juga menetapkan pembahagian hasil negeri: Temenggong mendapat dua bahagian daripada ‘hasil cukai segala perahu kapal orang hitam dan laka oleh kompeni Inggeris membayar segala belanja atas menjaga bendera (iaitu bendera Inggeris) terima hasil cukai itu’.

Melalui Perjanjian itu SHII tidak sahaja diberi hak untuk mendirikan kemudahan perniagaan di pulau Singapura tetapi juga hak menempatkan angkatan tenteranya di pulau itu dan hak untuk menguatkuasakan undang-undang dan peraturan Inggeris ke atas penduduk pulau, khususnya di kawasan yang dikuasai oleh syarikat Inggeris itu.

Pada 2 Ogos 1824 pihak Inggeris yang diwakili oleh John Crawford, Residen Singapura, dan Sultan Hussain serta Temenggong Abdul Rahman menandatangani satu perjanjian lagi. Melalui perjanjian ini kedua-dua pembesar Melayu itu bersetuju menyerahkan pulau Singapura ‘dengan laut dan selat dan pulau kecil-kecil iaitu sepuluh batu jauhnya berkeliling Pulau Singapura itu menjadi hak milik kerajaan Kompeni Inggeris sampai kepada warisnya yang akan menggantikan dia selama-lamanya’

Sebagai gantinya, SHT bersetuju membayar kepada Sultan Hussain tiga puluh tiga ribu dua ratus ringgit (33,200 ringgit) sekali bayaran dan pada tiap-tiap bulan seribu tiga ratus ringgit (1,300 ringgit) seumur hidup Sultan itu. Temenggong Abdul Rahman dibayar dua puluh enam ribu delapan ratus ringgit (26,800 ringgit) sekali bayaran dan sebanyak tujuh ratus ringgit (700 ringgit) sebulan seumur hidup. Perjanjian ini juga menyebut bahawa sekiranya Sultan Hussain dan Temenggong atau waris mereka berhajat untuk berpindah dari Singapura dan tinggal di mana-mana tanah lain milik mereka (yakni, di luar pulau Singapura) maka SHT akan membayar sebanyak dua puluh ribu ringgit (20,000 ringgit) lagi kepada Sultan Hussain atau warisnya dan sebanyak lima belas ribu ringgit (15,000 ringgit) lagi kepada Temenggong atau warisnya.

Segala hak milik mereka yang tidak dipindahkan, seperti tanah, rumah, kebun dan segala jenis kayu yang terdapat di pulau Singapura dan di semua pulau takluk Singapura diserahkan kepada SHT sampai kepada warisnya selama-lamanya. Tetapi selama kedua-dua pembesar Melayu itu menerima bayaran bulanan daripada SHT mereka tidak dibenarkan mengadakan apa-apa perjanjian dengan mana-mana bangsa lain tanpa pengetahuan SHT atau warisnya yang akan menggantikannya selama-lamanya.

Abdullah Munsyi, dalam karyanya yang terkenal, Hikayat Abdullah, menceritakan bagaimana Sultan Hussain dan Temenggung terpaksa mengemis meminta wang tambahan daripada Raffles atau dari SHT kerana mereka sentiasa kehabisan wang untuk membiayai perbelanjaan para pengikut mereka yang berfoya-foya di pulau itu, dan sering melakukan pergaduhan dan kekacauan.

Akhirnya mereka ‘dinasihatkan’ oleh Raffles supaya berpindah dari kawasan Melayu di Kampung Gelam ke kawasan tidak maju, jauh dari pusat bandar, iaitu ke Teluk Belanga. Memang itulah rancangan jangka panjang SHT, iaitu untuk mengusir mereka dari Singapura atau untuk meminggirkan mereka daripada ‘proses pembangunan’ yang sedang dilakukan oleh SHT. Abdullah Munsyi menjelaskan bagaimana pembesar Melayu itu tertipu oleh muslihat dan ‘mulut manis’ Raffles memujuk orang Melayu supaya berpindah ke kawasan lain.

Raffles menggunakan wang untuk mempengaruhi pembesar Melayu supaya menyerahkan tanah mereka kepada syarikat asing, iaitu Syarikat East India Company atau Syarikat Hindia Timur Inggeris.
Demikianlah kisah bagaimana tanah milik kerajaan Melayu, milik nenek moyang Melayu, akhirnya dijual atau berpindah milik kepada orang asing melalui sebuah syarikat yang disebut Syarikat East-India Company.

Diharap kisah ini tidak berulang lagi. Tandanya sudah ada dan nampaknya makin hari makin jelas. Bangsa yang pandai, yang cemerlang akal, yang bijak, tidak akan menjual ‘tanah airnya’ kepada kuasa asing melalui pelaburan asing, atau pun melalui diplomasi tolak ansur’.


* DATUK DR. HASSAN AHMAD ialah Pengerusi Eksekutif Yayasan Karyawan.