#264 possible quake predicted 2 years ago

No one expected an earthquake to break out in Haiti even though she was warned 2 years ago by scientists a quake was possible. No one believed this could happen as there was no quake for the last 200 years in its natural history. No one was prepared for this tumultuous magnitude.

The 7.1 magnitude Richter scale earthquake literally wiped away the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince — its infrastructures and all government buildings; presidential palace, justice palace and the churches and cathedrals and the 5-star hotels…many, many others. These buildings were supposed to withstand the quake but… Naturally the loss of human lives outweighs all — the nationals (an estimate of 150,000 or more dead in a city of 3-4 million people without mentioning those homeless and missing), foreigners and peacekeepers.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the West, if not in the world. This is the result of greed and corruption of governing leaders who thought of themselves rather than the people. Is this one ugly face of democracy?!

The aerial view of the island is made up of Dominican Republic and Haiti. On the Dominican Republic, it’s green but on the Haiti side, it’s brown, little vegetation. Were the people in Haiti so poor that they exhausted that they could find in order to survive? Interestingly, the quake whose epicenter struck close to the Haitian capital did not affect the Dominican Republic.

However the Haitians are resilient. One witnesses those surviving are grateful they are alive.

Children as young as a few years old were rescued from the rubble after several days without nourishment or liquid; a few elderly in 70s and 80s; and the one in his 20s after 11 days! One cannot underestimate the will and  inner strength of man…

Looting was evident in all places of tragedy when aid was slow in coming after several days fled by.

Though the promised aid was forthcoming but food and water was slow…so very, very, very slow in reaching the people in need…naturally a hungry man is an angry man.

How do you survive and keep sane and good when your loved ones are missing or dead? Dead bodies strewed everywhere. The stench in the air. People are in state of shock. Rubbles strewed all around. Buildings collapsed. No home to return to. Literally nothing!

My impression of Haiti was Haitians practised voodoo which is one black magic or dark forces which even seeped into the churches – the Catholic cathedral and the Episcopalian cathedral! Can this quake wipe out this voodoo practice?!

Can Haiti start from ground zero? I know the people have the ability but… Will the necessary aid and billions of funds raised get to the people there?  (I hope NOT those American contractors assigned to build Haiti though!) Are there good and able leaders who are willing to sacrifice themselves for nation-building?

On Russia Today Spotlight tv program, I heard an interview where this young Haitian student working on his postgraduate in Russia is very articulate in his understanding of his own country and insight into the devastation.

Those Haitians studying overseas will not be able to receive funds from home any more…

I pray for God to raise good, upright and able leaders who are willing to sacrifice for the new breed of Haitians.

#248 poverty

Finally the real question is asked on poverty in some nations: why is Africa poor?

A commentator, an African, candidly acknowledges that Africa is rich in resources but it is their national leaders who are corrupt and squandered the people’s wealth for their own pleasure.

The leaders fill their own stomach but the people…?

Should surrounding or rich nations offer charity to help these poor?

Unfortunately civil unrests and killings are endemic in Africa. Why do people kill people? 

Many mad leaders who champion freedom exploited children to fight! The leaders would not soil their hands… How depraved some adults or leaders are!

What is freedom? Where is freedom? What is democracy? Where is human rights?

#240 thai red-tees

Sad indeed to see and hear that the red-tees protestors (of ousted and exiled Thaksin) stormed into the venue where the Asian Summit leaders were to meet over the weekend. The leaders were evacuated and the meeting cancelled.

These protestors appear to become bolder and bolder as the day passes…

“The government can’t do anything,” said Lada Yingmanee, a 37-year-old protester. “We will show them what tens of thousands of unarmed civilians can do. The people will finally rule our beloved Thailand.”

Speaking to the crowd at Government House, the prime minister’s office, a protest leader, Jakrapob Penkair, said a state of emergency was “a declaration of war against the people of Thailand.”
He added: “They will try to disperse the crowds, but we will remain at Government House. We will start a people’s war.”

They became lawless to the point of attacking the car of the prime minister! Have they disregarded the Parliament which appointed Abhisit as their prime minister?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7989023.stm

 “I believe the people have seen what happened to me,” Mr. Abhisit said on television shortly afterward. “They have seen that the protesters were trying to hurt me and smash the car.”

Do these protestors have an alternative person in mind if they had wanted the present prime minister out? Or are these protestors fighting air?

Have the red-tees fallen into the hand of Thaksin who had been making nightly broadcasts (according to sources) from Dubai, UAE?

In the midst of the global financial crisis and economic downturn, are those without jobs joining in these groups hoping for a miracle? Or, is this one way of making a few bahts to survive for the moment?

“We need reconciliation, and I don’t see any sign that it is coming,” said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University. “Signs are pointing in the opposite direction, which is that things are going to get worse.”

It is a situation that Mr. Thaksin may be hoping to exploit, Mr. Thitinan said, in which he could return as the only person to bring the red shirts under control.

“Right now the red shirts are on the resurgence, and we don’t know where they are going with it,” Mr. Thitinan said. “But the pendulum is likely to swing to very suppressive tactics and brutal and harsh reactions from the right, the establishment.”

#237 earning power

Can one’s earning power reflect how capable a person is in management of a corporation? Is one’s earning the gauge of his capability in running for offices in politics?

Recently theonlinecitizen.com posted that the Singapore Prime Minister gets $2.7 million per annum, topping the list of being the highest paid politician in the world — the US President, a token sum of $400K and many of the Western counterparts get much less!

You see in the West, if one wants to run for the top job in politics, one needs to be a millionaire first but in the Singapore context — if one  wants to be a millionaire, then join the existing political party and of course after stringent scrutiny on qualifications to office.

The rationale to reward high salaries to the governing leaders in Singapore is to attract good and able people into governance and to prevent leaders from using illegal means and ways of accumulating one’s wealth!

Mind you, Singapore is a tiny state to govern by contrast to the US or UK or France!

#236 church pastor paid 500K per year?

Fancy that..I read that New Creation Church pays her leaders — pastor, Joseph Prince — an annual sum of 500K and 2 others for sums of 100K each for work done in the church!

Mind you, when the pastor marries a couple in church, he gets an angpaw; at funeral wakes he is given an offering or gift; as a matter of fact for any occasion, even speaking engagements — a pastor receives extras! On top of that, he is given housing allowances, children’s education and transport allowance. Wow! Half a million dollars of pocket money! Does the pastor have to pay income tax for that he receives? All those gifts he receives — are these accounted for or these go into his own pocket?

Furthermore, the New Creation has to pay the venue used for Sunday services at Suntec City and other overhead costs. Where does this money come from?

I believe the money comes from the sacrificial giving of believers. Do believers know how much their pastor and some staff-workers are paid?

I thought the church ministers receive a stipend!

Is this what the Lord Jesus Christ taught His people to tithe — 10% of the monthly income — for the salaries of the pastor and senior church staff-workers or administrator or accountant?

This is sacrilegious! Is there judgment of God on this at the end of world? Can these ‘servants of God’ be at peace with God?

In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, God gave word on sin offering in chapter 4…

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in the Lord’s command —

If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring…(v.3)

If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty (v.13)…when some become aware of the sin they committed…

When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the Lord his God, he is guilty (v.22)…

If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s command, he is guilty (v.27)…

Is the church pastor not aware this portion of scriptures? Or these are not applicable today?

#222 is there a safe haven on earth?

You would never dream a 5-star hotel would be the target of terrorism.

This was precisely what happened in Mumbai 2 or 3 days ago (27 Nov)! The atrocities brought 130? (update30th: 170) dead.

This carnage was meticulously planned and executed!!!

_45250939_mumbai_shooting_466_51 (bbc.com)

Unfortunately the first Singaporean taken hostage at the Trident-Oberoi Hotel found dead was a female. Sic! there was no mercy for the weaker sex. (I wonder how she died and the state she was in then.)

A decent and sane man would not attack a civilian unaware. But this is what the terrorists are trained to do — to kill innocent civilians unaware. Sic!

Those ACCURSED LEADERS OF TERRORISM who led the innocent young minds into something beyond humanity are sheer sickening cowards. They do not reveal themselves, hiding behind the innocent young who stood by their insane philosophies to life. These accursed leaders are inhumane.

These not only took innocent civilians unaware but condemned those who helped them carried out the attacks to death.

Are the attackers not serving death sentence handed down by these accursed leaders of terrorism?!

In war zone, both parties are trained for combat.

In terrorism…the passing of death sentence by their leaders on those who carried out the attacks on the civilians unaware!

#219 new leaders

New Zealand has a change of leadership.

What will the new leaders in US and NZ bring to its nation and the world in 2009?

Helen Clark magnanimously and graciously bow out to John Key, the newly elected leader for the country:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7717427.stm.

#211 dispute over ancient temple

The latest dispute according to news left 2 Cambodians dead and 2 wounded while 5 Thai soldiers wounded.

Where is negotation? Where is peace? What do some leaders know about peace?

These leaders certainly know how to add spicy spices to the lives of the villagers.

As it is, the villagers are living in dire poverty, will they have to flee?

Are temples not holy shrines?

The 11th century Preah Vihear temple, now cited as an UN World Heritage site, though situated on Cambodian territory (?), Thailand also claims right to that temple.

Will the UN World Heritage body consider removing the recognition?

Conflict over the rights to tourism revenue?

#157 can man control weather?

There is constant vigilance and scrutiny these days about pollution and the weather on the forthcoming Olympic Games in Beijing…will the pollution hinder or bring some side-effects on the health of the athletes?

What is the media doing by constantly harping upon whether China is able to clean up the air for the Games?

Is China not doing her level-best to take control of the weather and her environment?

Is the media and those in the West asking China to become like a god or deity?

It has been clearly stated: man cannot and not able to take control of the weather. If man can take control of the weather, then…man is almighty!

A decision had been made for China to host this Games. Why are the media and human rights groups and some leaders in the world bringing longstanding issues like human rights or pollution to task? President George Bush was smart in defending his decision to attend the Opening Ceremony…

Pardon me, what have the human rights organisations contributed to the affairs of the people in that nation? What concrete realities or help have they offered except come up some statements? Why are some Chinese so foolish to echo those human rights organisations and go to jail? Surely there must be some creative and think-out-of-the-box to beat some unjust social issues.

Are the Chinese NOT able to learn from past history — the sages, heroes and writers to consider and beat the system. Historically, the people in China had suffered injustices and corrupt officials, will this be abolished within this decade…or even during this Olympic Games?

Previously, there was little publicity or hype on global warming or greening the earth –venues in the past were not under close scrutiny on such.

Unfortunately or fortunately for China today, she comes under tremendous pressure to make a success of the Games. Will the West make China stronger and almighty when she is able to control or lessen the smog?

Positively, this has brought much awareness and accelerated research on how to curb air pollution in China.

In Singapore, there was increased level of smog when there was huge forest fires in our neighboring countries.

#141 leadership

Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates, at age 52, is moving away from the outfit he’d started to social enterprises (?) as he and his wife want the challenge to reducing poverty in practical ways in some parts of the world.

The difference between NGOs and one using one’s personal finances is ownership. I’m sure Bill & Miranda Gates will guard their interests with great care to best utilise and manage their resources wherever they anchor.

In contrast to one of the African national leader, Robert Mugabe where his knighthood was taken away at his old age for his inability to give up his position and to make way for a younger person to rule the country which already is in devastation and poverty. He must have built up Zimbabwe impressively for Britain to honour him the MBE.

I hope the world leaders will learn from this case in history — from good governance to folly and destruction.