Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dummy Award Goes To Penang Botanic Gardens

And the Grand Prize for the Dummy Award goes to Penang Botanic Gardens.

Rational for the award:-

The first picture is of a bridge being built across the Sungai Air Terjun. There is so much space to build the bridge but it has to be built right infront of a tree. Ultimately, the second picture shows the missing tree.

Penang leads again!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Animal testing lab in Penang shrouded in secrecy

By SM Mohd Idris

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) part of the coalition group comprising the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) and the Society for the Prevention Of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) KL recalls an animal testing laboratory in Bukit Mertajam which has been in operation for sometime.

When and how did this research laboratory come into existence in our midst is clearly mind-boggling. The coalition group only became aware of its operations when it was mentioned in a media article last year, following public outcry over a proposed animal testing center coming up in Alor Gajah, Malacca.

However till today not much is known about this laboratory in Penang, and the kind of animal research carried out within the four walls of their fenced premises.

It is important to know why the laboratory is allowed to operate despite the non-existent laws concerning the use of animals in laboratories. Both the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and the Animal Act 2006 are inadequate to address and regulate the treatment and use of animals in labs.

The group would definitely like to know the species of animals being used in the toxicology tests, and the countries they are imported from. In the case of primates there has to be greater awareness to their capture from the wild and the adverse impact of supply and demand on primate population. The use of primates who are so genetically similar to humans should not be permitted and the use of these animals should be phased out entirely.

SAM and the coalition groups are opposed to the use of animals in research and believe all procedures that entail animal use should be scrutinised carefully and authorisation for such use should take into grave consideration the harm it will do to the animals and the likely benefit to human health. It would be interesting to note who are the monitoring bodies in overseeing the tests conducted and the frequency of inspection visits to the research laboratory.

Animal research is highly controversial, for both ethical and scientific reasons. The value of it is being increasingly questioned.

This endless and absolutely senseless repetition of animal experiments over a period of years, leads neither to the reduction nor the replacement, but rather to the perpetuation of animal experiments which only bring immense and needless suffering to the unfortunate animals.

The key question asked is not whether something can be done, but should it be done. Why are animals used? How much can they suffer?

SAM and its coalition once again call for an end to animal experimentation due to the extent to which use of animals for research causes pain and suffering, and the capacity of animals to experience and comprehend them.

The writer is president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia

Monday, May 09, 2011

Another species to doom

May 9, 2011
Queen termites can make men king in bed, says man

A MAN involved in the pest control business has claimed eating queen termites can boost the sexual prowess for men.

Metro Ahad reported Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar as saying queen termites had special properties similar to that of viagra.

He said the bug must be swallowed alive 15 minutes before the start of sexual activity for it to be effective.

“The effect is as if we are running in a marathon non-stop,” claimed the 45-year-old man, who said he started eating queen termites seven years ago.

Abdul Rahim claimed the price of a queen termite can be as high as between RM2,500 and RM5,000, depending on its size and colour.

He said that he once pocketed RM7,000 by selling three queen termites.

Well-known gynaecologist Datuk Dr Ismail Thamby, however, brushed off Abdul Rahim's claim as just a myth.

“If there is any effect, it is only psychological in nature because the person who eats it believes it works,” he said.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Panda Diplomacy - a stupid idea!

Sunday May 1, 2011
Bring back panda diplomacy, China urged

KUALA LUMPUR: A community leader hopes that China will loan its most famous icon – the panda bear – as a recognition of the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

Malaysia was among the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with China and both countries have enjoyed a long history of diplomatic relations as well as trade exchanges, said president of the Federation of Chinese Asso­ciations Malaysia Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah.

“It will be of great significance if China can loan a pair of pandas to Malaysia as a symbolic gesture of the strong relationship between the two countries.

“Many countries have enjoyed this ‘panda diplomacy’,” he said in an interview.

Panda diplomacy, a practice which existed as far back as the Tang Dynasty, was revived in the 1950s and had been wildly popular.

Between 1958 to 1982, China gave 23 pandas to nine different countries.

One highlight of panda diplomacy was the Chinese government’s gift of two of the animals – named Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing – to the United States in 1972 after President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China.

Nixon reciprocated by sending a pair of musk oxen.

By 1984, however, pandas were no longer used as agents of diplomacy, as China began to offer the animals to other nations on 10-year loans, with standard loan terms including a fee of up to US$1mil (RM3mil) per year and a provision that any cub born during the loan would be the property of China.

Previously, there was an attempt to bring pandas to Ma­­laysia but it did not materialise because it involved high maintenance costs as well as the need for an agreement between leaders of both countries. — Bernama