Isnin, 3 Februari 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Travelling - the best form of education

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

SHAH ALAM: Jamalulail Ismail left his comfortable job in England and decided to travel with his family of six in a motor home.

Their 155-day journey took them across 26 countries before arriving at Bukit Kayu Hitam last month.

The 45-year-old mechanical engineer from Perak said he made the decision on a whim to travel by road from Sunderland, England, and back to Malaysia.

He was accompanied by his wife Sofinee Harun, 38, and their children, Puteri Sabeera, 17, Muhammad Syameem, 16, Sumrah, 13, and Ahmad Seif, 10, during the whole trip.

"Travelling is the best form of education. Besides, a family that travels together sticks together," he said when met here yesterday.

He went to Britain for further studies in 1999 and obtained a doctorate before joining an engineering company there.

The confined living quarters proved challenging at times.

The confined living quarters proved challenging at times.

He moved to another company before resigning to pursue his dream to travel home to Malaysia in a motor home.

Jamalulail said he and his wife carried out home-schooling for their children during the long journey on their 1998 Mercedes Splinter Caravan.

"We also learned more about the countries that we visited. Such thin­gs are a priceless experience. We also managed to learn a few foreign languages along the way," he added.

Their biggest challenge during the cross-continent journey was to stay together in a confined cabin during different weather conditions.

"Money was also a problem as we spent almost £60,000 (RM330,000). The weather was something we really had a tough time dealing with too," he said.

Jamalulail said China was quite expensive to travel by road.

"We had to obtain a new vehicle licence and a driving licence when we got to China.

"The petrol price there was RM7 per litre at that time and we spent almost US$1,000 (RM3,300) on toll," he added.

On his plans here in Malaysia, Jamalulail said he had yet to travel to Sabah and Sarawak, which might be where he will go next.

Iranian: More needs to be done against rogue taximen

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: An Iranian student who claimed to have been abused by taxi drivers for refusing to pay their exorbitant fares said not enough is being done by the authorities against rogue cabbies.

Mohammad Hariri said his face-off with three taxi drivers took place outside a major shopping mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang on Dec 10.

Desperate for a taxi because it was raining, Mohammad and his cousin approached drivers waiting for passengers outside the mall at about 3pm.

"The first wanted to charge us RM56 while the second wanted RM42, which we knew was too much," he said.

The 29-year-old, who is pursuing a postgraduate programme at a local private university, pointed out to the drivers that the usual metered fare to Sentul was just RM12.

"The moment I refused to use their taxis, a third driver started to swear at me," he said.

Mohammad said an auxiliary policeman tried to intervene but this did not stop the driver from continuing his abuse.

"He kept repeating 'This is my county, Malaysia, who are you?'" said Mohammad.

The policeman escorted him to the mall's information desk where he was advised to call the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) immediately. However, SPAD wanted specific details about the taxis and the drivers in order to investigate the case.

Mohammad went back outside to get the number plates of the taxis when the drivers confronted him.

He claimed that one threatened him with an umbrella while another started pushing him.

"I was calm and tried to walk away, but the third driver took out two big sticks from his car and rushed towards me," he said.

Fortunately, someone called the police, who arrived in time to diffuse the situation. He lodged a police report at the Dang Wangi station the following day.

Mohammad, who has been in Malaysia since 2006, said he had three previous encounters with rogue taxi drivers who overcharged him.

When contacted, an SPAD spokesman said they were investigating the incident.

Related stories:

Move against errant cabbies Taxi drivers who flout the law to pay heavy price

Behaviour of drivers only part of the problem

Commuters fed up with attitudes of some drivers

Penang island taxi fares to be increased

Puteri Umno: Give MCA chance to make comeback

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KAJANG: Puteri Umno is backing the idea that MCA should be given a chance to make a comeback and contest in the by-election for the Kajang state seat.

Puteri chief Mas Ermieyati Shamsuddin said the Kajang state seat was traditionally MCA's and gave an assurance that the wing would give its full support to any candidate picked by the Barisan Nasional leadership.

"There have been many suggestions that perhaps an Umno candidate should be fielded in Kajang, but if we look at it, Kajang has been an MCA seat and they should contest in the by-election.

"However, we will let the Barisan leadership decide and the wisdom of the Prime Minister to make the final call on who should stand for the by-election," she told a press conference before chairing a special meeting with Puteri's Hulu Langat election machinery officers here yesterday.

The Kajang seat fell vacant following the resignation of Lee Chin Cheh from PKR on Jan 27.

The Election Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the vacancy.

Mas Ermieyati, who is also an Umno supreme council member, said Puteri members have been mobilised at all 16 district polling stations, aimed at wooing young voters during the by-election.

She also criticised the Opposition for dragging its internal problem out in the open just to accommodate certain leaders to take over the Selangor state government.

In George Town, Penang MCA adviser Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun said the seat should be contested by an MCA candidate.

"In my opinion, it's better for MCA to contest the seat but if there are other suggestions, MCA is open to further discussions," he said when asked by the media about suggestions that the seat should be contested by an Umno candidate.

"It's like, if you want to go to someone's house, you should ask the owner for permission. This is a kind of respect."

Dr Loh said discussions could be carried out among Barisan component parties to reach an understanding.

"If they come up with reasonable suggestions to put in another candidate, we will accept the decision.

"Some people, especially the Chinese, think that MCA will agree with any suggestion by Umno, but the fact is, we will carry out discussions before any decision is made.

"We want harmony among the component parties and also the country," he said.


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