Sunday, June 29, 2008

Look, even UAE is considering NeWater

UAE considers controversial water technology

The UAE is closely studying the controversial water reclamation technology used by Singapore to become self-sufficient in water, it has emerged.

Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, minister of environment and water, told UAE daily Gulf News the emiratescould learn from Singapore’s experience and enhance existing applications to ensure sufficient water supply.

Fahd, who is attending the Singapore International Water Week, did not confirm whether the UAE was considering the same technology employed by Singapore, the newspaper said.

He said the UAE will still rely heavily on desalination technology, which produces the majority of the country’s water.

“Singapore is really at the forefront in many areas when it comes to environmental issues. Its water conservation measures and (water recycling) technology are some of the areas that we want to look closely,” he told the newspaper.

Singapore has been using high-grade reclaimed water called NeWater, which is produced from treated waste water that is purified further using advanced membrane technologies.

NeWater is said to be ultra-clean and even safe to drink, as it has passed more than 30,000 scientific tests and surpassed World Health Organisation requirements.

Although it’s safe for drinking, majority of the “reclaimed” water is used by commercial and industrial firms and only about 2%, which is mixed with the city’s raw reservoir water, is used “indirectly” by households, according to Yap Kheng Guan, director of 3P Network Department of the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

Singapore has three NeWater factories, with a fourth currently being built under a public-private partnership agreement.

Currently, the PUB blends 23,000 cubic metres of neWater with the reservoirs’ raw water, which is then treated and supplied as drinking water.

Singapore plans to increase the amount to 46,000 cubic metres by 2011.

Iran in focus

With huge reserves Iran desperately needs foreign investment to turn potential into profit.

Oil has been the dominant industry in Iran since the 1920s. The nation still holds massive oil and natural gas reserves, which should, provided the country's international relations improve, ensure that energy remains the country's core industry for many years to come.


According to most independent analysis, Iran has proven oil reserves of around 136 billion barrels, with 40 production sites - 27 of which are onshore and 13 offshore. In 2006 Iran produced 3.8 million bbl/d of crude oil, equal to 5% of world production and found mainly in the southwestern Khuzestan region near the Iraqi border. The crude oil generally has medium sulphur content and is in the 28o - 35o API range.
Despite best efforts, Iran has not yet been able to reach the 6 million bbl/d produced in 1974. The oil fields are in desperate need of structural upgrades, with an estimated 400,000 - 500,000 bbl/d lost due to reservoir damage and decreases in oil deposits.
The government has set a target of 5.8 million bbl/d by 2015, which, according to Global Insight, will need around $25-35 billion of foreign investment - something hampered by Iran's current political relations.
The state owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is responsible for all oil and gas production and exploration within Iran. The National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), a subsidiary of NIOC, controls 80% of local oil production in the regions of Khuzestan, Bushehr, Fars and Kohkiluyeh va Boyer Ahamd.
Although private ownership of any upstream function is prohibited under the Iranian constitution, buy-back contracts have been allowed, enabling IOCs to engage in production and exploration if done through an Iranian affiliate.
Iran's oil consumption was around 1.6 billion bbl/d in 2006, and oil remains heavily subsidized by the government, increasing domestic demand but creating budget deficits. In 2005 the IMF estimated energy subsidies account for 12% of Iran's GDP, the highest rate in the world according to an IEA study.

IEA (International Energy Agency) statistics put Iran's net crude oil exports averaged 2.5 million bbl/d in 2006, primarily to Japan, China, India and other OECD nations, with export revenues at around $54 billion.Iran holds the largest fleet of oil tankers in the Middle East. The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) has 29 ships in operation, including Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).
Kharg Island, the country's largest terminal, has a holding capacity of 16 million barrels of oil and a loading capacity of 200,000 bbl/d.
The Strait of Hormuz, found off the south coast of the country, is only 34 miles wide at its narrowest point yet 17 million barrels - roughly two-fifths of all seaborne traded oil - travels through the Strait every day.
Iran has a total refinery capacity of around 1.5 billion bbl/d with nine operational refineries run by National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), a subsidiary of NIOC.
There are plans to increase the capacity by a further 985,000 bbl/d by 2012 with expansions and upgrades to existing refineries, as well as new sites at Bushehr, Abadan and Bandar Abbas, however, much of this expansion is reliant on foreign capital investment, which is not forthcoming.


With an estimated 974 trillion cubic feet in proven natural gas reserves - the second largest in the world behind Russia, Iran is looking at stepping up production in the coming years.
Existing supplies are found mainly in the South and North Pars fields, Tabnak and Kangan-Nan, although approximately 62% of reserves are at non-associated fields as yet undeveloped.
Consumption and production of gas has grown rapidly over the last 20 years, mainly for Iran's domestic consumption and re-injection into mature oilfields.
In 2005, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), 65% of natural gas was marketed for production, 18% was used in EOR gas re-injection and 17% was lost due to flaring and reduction of wet natural gas from hydrocarbon extractions. Natural gas, like oil, remains heavily subsidized by the government.

The state-owned NIGC (National Iranian Gas Company) controls all natural gas upstream activity. Due to buy-back regulations and US sanctions, BP and Sipetrol have divested from Iran.

However, Total, Eni and Shell are the largest remaining foreign investors. Iran has looked increasingly to Eastern firms for investment in upstream activities under buy-back regulations; firms such as Indian Oil Corporation, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation and Sinopec. They would have to hand over operational fields to NIOC, and in return receive payments from production to cover their investments.

Future projects

The most significant upstream project undertaken by the Iranian government is the South Pars field. Found 65 miles off the coast of Iran, it has an estimated 450 Tcf of natural gas reserves - 47% of the nation's total. The government has installed a 25-phase development scheme spanning the next 20 years; with each phase expecting to yield 1 Bcf/d.

Iran is hoping that the first 16 phases will have been completed by 2010. Phase 12 of the scheme is a $500 million contract for LNG, which will be controlled by PAGC (Pars Oil and Gas Company). Most of the South Pars scheme will be natural gas consumption, the rest being either exported to South Asia or Europe, for LNG production, or GTL projects.

There has been an agreement made between Iran, IOCs associated with the South Pars project and SKS, a private Malaysian firm, to develop the non-associated Golshan and Ferdas fields for LNG exports, with and investment thought to be in the region of $16 billion.

An early proposal has also been made to build the 2,050 mile Nabucco pipeline from Iran and the Caspian states through Turkey and into Austria and other EU nations.

Construction would start in 2009 at a cost of $6.8 billion, and it would have a delivery capacity of 300 Mcf/d. More controversially, a proposal to build a $7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline has been made, extending the existing IGAT-7 pipeline to a total of 1,724 miles in length and a capacity of 5.4 Bcf/d, due to be completed by 2011.

In March 2007 Swiss company Elektrizats-Gesselshaft Laufenburg signed MoUs for a 25-year gas deal with NIGC worth $42 billion, the first time in recent history a European energy company will sign a firm contract with Iran. It would see 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas delivered into Europe along the proposed Nabucco pipeline.
Joachim Conrad, member of EGL's Executive Management and Head of EGL's Gas Division, said of the deal: "Natural gas from Iran is necessary to the opening of a fourth gas transportation corridor to Europe.
This corridor will ensure diversification and security of supply on the continent as Europe needs to tap into new gas sources in the immediate future, and EGL today made an important contribution to reaching this goal."
However, whether the project will be given the green light is debatable given the increasingly tough stance taken by the EU against Iran.ProblemsPolitical relations are putting strain on what should be a blossoming energy industry for Iran. The country desperately needs to find solutions to the problems they are beginning to face if they are to meet their energy targets.

The US and the UN have imposed sanctions making movement of goods, technology and money increasingly difficult - although, it is interesting to note that US sanctions are not actually enforced by the US president.

Samuel Ciszuk, Middle East energy analyst for Global Insight, said: "Just the threat of an over night enforcement of this law has been very successful in deterring companies from committing to large scale investment, especially as many or most of these projects are mid to long-term, which makes it very dangerous to commit funds to Iranian investments."

"Unilateral US and implied UN sanctions against the financial industry in Iran have cut off most of the Iranian banks and banking systems from the international money flows, which are hurting all operations in the country - including all imports and transport of technology, goods and material into the country," Ciszuk adds.

It is a challenging dilemma for the western majors considering Iranian opportunities, which often leads to companies stalling on the projects.

"They continue to keep there foot in the door and continue to hold their contracts, while actually doing as little as possible and stalling on decisions. This has been a tactic quite successfully deployed for well over a year or two years now by most companies," he says.

There has been talk of Iran seeking investment from Chinese, Russian and Indian IOCs as an alternative, and even looking at smaller western companies who usually would be outbid by the western majors.

However, their relative lack of experience and technical expertise makes them less attractive, especially in terms of LNG developments. Ciszuk explained that even recruiting outside the western majors would not be a viable alternative.

"During the last year we have had several instances of companies, especially Chinese, signing up for quite large projects in both gas and oil. But when they actually signed up they started applying the same strategy as the western companies - stalling on time and not committing," he said. The reason: The same US and UN sanctions which are forcing western IOCs to stall on projects.

"Even some of the smaller western companies - companies that usually wouldn't be able to pick up such projects because they are totally out of their league - are picking up these contracts and then just stalling their commitments like the majors," says Cizsuk.

There are also major issues concerning the infrastructure and technology of existing oil and gas plants, as well as a so called "brain-drain" of skilled engineers. International isolation is making it very hard for Iran to attract the necessary investment and technology.

Iran is really suffering from a technology fall-behind, with a lot of their infrastructure not being upgraded since the 1970s. There is also a considerable brain-drain, with high calibre people finding that opportunities are better outside the country, due to a global shortage of oil engineers which is pushing up salaries.

Much hope for the nation's energy industry, according to Ciszuk, will be pinned on the presidential elections of both the US and Iran.

"I think, from an IOC point of view, everyone is waiting for two things to happen right now. They are first waiting to see what US policies will be under the next US president and to be able to assess any long-term US attitude to Iran. And then I also think everybody is also waiting in Iran - what is going to happen after the Iranian presidential elections in summer 2009 and which faction will come to power."

After recent news of Shell and Repsol-YPF pulling out of phase 13 of the South Pars project, doubt remains over all Iran's future projects.The nuclear debate and poor political relations, government skepticism of foreign investment, buy-back contracts and high risk projects burden Iran's oil and gas industry.

"It all adds up to make the Iranian business climate un-ideal to say the least," observes Ciszuk.

Race to the Holy City

It is already the most expensive real estate on the planet and it is about to become a whole lot more costly as investment floods into property around the holiest site for the world's one billion Muslims.

As the bulldozers move into the old city of Makkah some scholars accuse developers and banks of making vast profits while destroying cultural sites.
Every year millions of Muslims descend on the Holy City of Makkah to perform the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
Now global investors are being invited to invest in the redevelopment of what is already the most expensive real estate on the planet.
Makkah is expected to attract some US$100bn in investment over the next decade and international investment is already flooding into the Holy City where scores of new skyscrapers, shopping malls, hotels and timeshare apartments are planned.
"Investors are looking for a safe haven and Makkah is as close as you can get to a recession proof-market. Makkah will always have Hajj season and Umra season," says Imad Awad, head of equity capital markets at NBD Investment Bank, which is advising on a private placement for a new property company established to redevelop part of the site.
"Muslims are becoming more and more affluent, incomes are rising and these people have a spiritual side of their life and they will always want to visit Makkah," he says.
But the race to redevelop the Holy City has drawn criticism from some Islamic scholars fearful that cultural sites are being destroyed while developers ramp up their profits.
The surging price of crude which reached a record high of US$139.89 a barrel on June 16, is pumping billions of dollars into the Saudi Arabian economy and driving demand for real estate among the nation with the highest number of millionaires in the world.
Wealth is also burgeoning among the region's Muslim nations according to the World Wealth report released earlier this week by Merrill Lynch which revealed the number of super-rich in the region jumped by 15.6% in 2007 to around 400,000.
Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, had the highest number of millionaires at 101,000, up from 90,000 in 2006. The number of Muslim pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia is also rising and expected to grow at a rate of up to 10% over the next three years.
Hundreds of homes are being demolished around the Hamra to make way for a vast redevelopment of the site by order of HRH King Abdullah, while around 230,000 sq m of land is being cleared for the construction of high-rise apartments, many of which will be sold as timeshares to visitors.
"The whole area surrounding the holy sites is being developed, all the old buildings are being demolished, and in their place, more modern buildings that can accommodate more pilgrims are being constructed," says Dr Fahas Bin Al-Jarboa, deputy secretary general at the Supreme Commission for Tourism in Saudi Arabia.

"We expect Mecca to change dramatically."
But for some scholars the change is too dramatic.
"We are now witnessing the last seconds of Makkah as it was created by God with its landscape and mountains," says Dr Sami Angawi, architect and founder of the Centre for the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj Research, which draws on research from 160 scholars.
"Now they want to take away the mountains and make Makkah into a flat piece of land. The traditional city should have been left alone and we should have expanded outside like every sensible city has done in the world," he says.

Lahem Al Nasser, an independent Islamic banking expert supports the redevelopment of Makkah but says that new residential real estate should be reserved for pilgrims.
"A number of people are concerned about preserving the historical value of the architecture in Makkah and are conservative about building towers that will hide the view of Al Kaaba and its surrounding landmarks," he says.
"It's an understandable viewpoint but the existing need for these developments also has to be taken into consideration."
The 'Rawabi Abraj Al Bait' project is the latest large-scale real estate development to be launched by a newly formed property company spun out of Kuwaiti developer Grand Real Estate and is being built by a unit of Saudi Bin Laden Group.

The first phase will include nine towers, developed on a 'Build, Operate, Transfer' basis at a cost of nearly US$3bn while the entire development will eventually include 21 residential and hotel towers with over 26,000 rooms.
It will provide underground access through tunnels to the Holy 'Haram' area.Property prices around the Haram in Makkah have already reached almost US$67,000 per square metre and are expected to rise four times higher says Awad.
That is almost double the cost of land in Monaco, the most expensive real estate in the world according to data from the Global Property Guide.
"The land around the ‘Haram' costs around 250,000 riyals (US$66,670) per square metre and a lot of developers are expecting the price of this land to go up to one million riyals (US$266,000) per square metre," says Awad.
Saudi Arabia is under pressure to increase the allocations it sets every year for visiting pilgrims from around the world, which has encouraged authorities to add new apartments, shops and hotels around the site.
Last year Muslim pilgrims spent more than 10 billion riyals (US$2.66bn) in Makkah during Hajj, according to the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The influx is attracting increased interest from international hospitality chains, competing to open hotels in the Holy City and around other religious sites in the country.
Hotel groups including Fairmont and Rezidor also plan to tap surging demand in Saudi Arabia for religious tourism with Rezidor aiming to open three new hotels in the Holy Cities by 2010.
"Saudi Arabia is one of our major growth markets."
Last year over two million Hajj pilgrims visited the Holy City during its peak period. Religious tourism will be our main focus," says Jean-Marc Busato, area vice president of the Rezidor Hotel group.
The most expensive land in Makkah is located around the 'Holy Haram' area where views of the Al Kaaba command the highest prices.
As many as 15 million people visited Makkah in 2007 according to Dr Saleh Habib, CEO of Jiwar Real Estate Company, the unit of the Saudi Bin Laden Group that is building towers close to the Holy Haram.
"Demand for real estate is extremely high because there's no supply," he says, adding that visitor numbers to Makkah are rising by as much as 10% every year.
While demolition work gathers pace, the developers of the Holy City will need to tread a careful path between providing desperately needed accommodation for the rising number of pilgrims visiting Makkah while ensuring they do not further alienate conservative opinion opposed to the redevelopment of the old city.
"The planning is only thinking how many people can be accommodated and how much money can be made from buildings overlooking the Kaaba, as if it were a tourist attraction," says Dr Angawi.
"Maybe the development is going to make a lot of money but can't they make it and respect the sites at the same time or do we just make the two Holy Cities totally out of balance when they are supposed to be the example of equilibrium in the world?"

Anwar is presently seeking shelter at the Turkish Embassy

Najib Denies Involvement - HERE

Wan Azizah to file report against IGP, AG
Jun 29, 08 9:42am
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is expected to lodge a police report against the police chief Musa Hassan and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail later today over their alleged misconduct during Anwar Ibrahim's trials in 1998-1999.

Wan Azizah will be making the report on behalf of her husband Anwar Ibrahim.
Yesterday Anwar had said that he had evidence implicating Inspector-General of Police Musa and AG Abdul Gani Patail in the misconduct, including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against him after his sacking from government in 1998.
He added that a fresh police report lodged against him for sodomy was a result of "interested parties to attack me in retaliation" over this evidence in his possession.
The report alleging sodomy was filed by Anwar's aide, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, yesterday.Anwar claimed that the accusation against him was a "complete fabrication". PKR also said that Saiful was arrested and forced by the police to lodge such a report against Anwar.
Anwar is presently seeking shelter at the Turkish embasy after fearing assassination attemps on him.
Wan Azizah: Aide was volunteer staffThis morning Wan Azizah said that Saiful was a volunteer who joined to help the party during the general election period three months ago.She added that little was known of him and that no background check was done on him as he was just a volunteer. He later become a special assistant to Anwar.
Saiful is a former student leader at the Universiti Tenaga Nasional.
Wan Azizah also added that Anwar "was taking it well" with the latest happening.
The police have denied that Saiful was arrested and forced to fabricate evidence as claimed by PKR.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has also denied that the government was behind the new allegation against Anwar and he would let the police investigate the matter and take the necessary action.
Meanwhile, Anwar's supporters have started gathering at the Quality Hotel in Shah Alam in anticipation of police action against the politician.Many were there overnight to monitor the situation and protect Anwar, who is staying at a hotel to attend a two-day PKR workshop with all its elected representatives.
This morning, there were two police patrol vehicles outside the hotel.

Anwar: Welcome to Kafka land!

From Malaysiakini.

PKR leader unfazed by fresh allegations
Terence Netto Jun 29, 08 2:38pm

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim reached for the rapier in preference to the bludgeon in describing yesterday's police report of sodomy against him as a "tottering regime's last gasp attempt to delay its doom".

An Anwar aide, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had lodged a police report yesterday alleging that he was sodomised by the former deputy prime minister. Police are expected to arrest Anwar soon to press charges against him.
"It's surreal that this is happening," said Anwar in remarks to Malaysiakini this morning. "But you can never know the nadir to which the desperate would descend."
Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in separate cases brought against him in the aftermath of his sacking from the deputy prime minister's post and the deputy presidency of Umno in September 1998.
In light of what was shed by the sensational Lingam video clip which Anwar released last September that was the subject of a royal commission report earlier this year, the court cases against Anwar a decade ago look decidedly shaky.He was sentenced to six years jail on the corruption charges and nine years on the sodomy charge. He was acquitted on appeal in the latter case after having served a total of six years.
His sacking from government and Umno, his initial detention under the Internal Security Act, and subsequent jailing for corruption and sodomy became not just a national but an international cause celebre.

Anwar: Welcome to Kafka land!
"You would think that the authorities would be chastened by the shocks dealt them at the general election last March such that they would not stoop this low to defame me this time.
"Well, welcome to Kafka land!" asserted Anwar sardonically while holed up in a hotel in Shah Alam where he was closeted with PKR and Pakatan Rakyat officials for a two-day meeting.
Franz Kafka was a renowned Czech novelist who wrote dyspeptic novels that evoked the dread faced by innocent people charged with crimes they did not commit.
Kafkaesque is a term that has entered the lexicon to convey the existential angst of the innocent before some surreal and impending disaster.
Anwar's lawyers are planning to lodge a police report imputing allegedly damning conduct to present inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and current attorney-general Gani Patail in connection with the corruption and sodomy cases of a decade ago against Anwar.
Musa and Patail were then a police investigator and a top prosecutor respectively - both on the rise within the criminal justice system.
"Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold," trailed off Anwar, reaching for some resonant lines from the poetry of WB Yeats in trying to come to terms with the latest twist in a personal-cum-political saga that started a decade ago and whose reverberations continue to dog the Malaysian body politic.

A request to Mr Fix-It: come back and finish the job

Most of us may have face similar predicaments on maintenance services here in the UAE. Poor customer services with lack of skills and 'too much' excuses are part of parcel living in this region. We have limited options available in the market. However, there are few of them that we have some trusts along the way.

I share this article with a smile. Been there, done that!

My skills at household maintenance are worse than nil. Attempts at DIY usually result in the creation of rather more severe problems, so much so that I am mostly forbidden from gathering my favourite tools — a hammer, super glue and duct tape — to address repairs. I have constantly suffered: in Europe and America, I have grudgingly endured the tyranny of high-priced maintenance; in the Middle East, I have suffered a martyrdom to the inscrutable ways and means of an army of handymen. Looking at both, I choose the former.
Why is it that maintenance is so spectacularly bad in the region? The mere suggestion of preventive maintenance is met with blank stares of incredulity: “What is problem?” inquires the maintenance man when I ask him to come round.“No problem yet, the drains are simply a little slow, which suggests the beginning of a blockage. I don’t want to wake up one morning to find my kitchen swamped with sewage,” I respond.
“Sewage in kitchen? That’s very bad.”“No, not yet, just slow drain,” exasperation creeping into my voice.“So no problem? How I fix no problem?”Eventually I get him to understand that the sink is slightly blocked; when he turns up the next day he brings two car batteries and begins to dump the acid down the drains. “Better than Drano,” he smiles.Fixing explicit problems is no easier, even if they can be readily identified and explained in few words. With most rental properties, there is allegedly a maintenance component that is part of the contract. The large, posh towers seem better than villas; at least there is some chance of mediocre maintenance. But in villas, there is no hope. The strategy seems to be to make maintenance so inept and infuriating as to drive the renter to pay for independent contractors. It works.
I recently hired a highly recommended air-conditioning man to do a thorough cleaning of the nine split-units in my villa. He dutifully appeared with an impressive array of kit and proceeded to wash them inside and out, without making too frightful a mess with the many gallons of filthy water he collected in plastic sheeting over my prized oriental rugs. All told a great success: the A/Cs all blew cold, clean(ish) air. I paid him handsomely and felt smug that for once things had gone according to plan.
And then five of the units began to drip water down the walls. Lots of water. It was not residue from the cleaning, but the condensation that is supposed to be piped to the outside drains. Eight visits later, he has staunched the leaks in all but one; that remaining unit, in my bedroom, now has towels taped around it and a bucket beneath it. I suspect it will remain that way forever.I have countless similar examples. One chap came to fix the heavy metal gates of my driveway. For two hours he swung at them with a sledge hammer and finally managed to get them to close. But could we open them again? A painter came to replace the chalky yellow on the walls with an eggshell white. I bought the paint but he transferred it into a plastic bucket from his last job; my white walls now have purple flecks.
A pipefitter came to plumb in the washing machine. First he knocked a fist-sized hole through the wall to the loo; then he discovered the connection point was somewhere else so he filled the first with plaster and knocked a second hole. The e-vision man drilled holes through my exterior walls and draped cables down the side of my house. The phone company figured it was better to drill through the aluminium window frames to get their wires out. Is it any wonder that whole neighbourhoods look like shantytowns?
Looking back, many of these stories now seem quite funny, but maintenance has safety implications. The standard of electrical work on most residences I have seen is potentially disastrous. Those blackened, melted outlet plugs are a bad sign, and the annoying little shock from the dishwasher can suggest more serious issues. Compromised plumbing and filthy A/C units surely have an influence on health.
The maintenance business here is in dire need of regulation, standardisation and professionalisation. Electricians, plumbers, joiners, A/C technicians and so forth are skilled jobs. How does the resident know that the man who arrives with the toolbox is properly qualified? And if he is, that he is up to date with his skills and the requirements of the latest regulations? As the housing stock increases and the UAE moves towards more owner-occupied housing, the need for quality domestic repair services is going to grow exponentially. The maintenance business needs more than a little maintenance of its own if it is to cope.

Dr Christopher K Brown is Associate Professor of English language and literature at Zayed University

Anwar to file report against IGP, AG

Jun 29, 08 9:42am
A police report is expected to be lodged against the police chief Musa Hassan and attorney-general A Gani Patail this morning over their alleged misconduct during Anwar Ibrahim's trials in 1998-1999.
Lawyers acting for the PKR de facto leader are expected to lodge the report.Yesterday Anwar had said that he had evidence implicating inspector-general of police Musa and AG Abdul Gani Patail in misconduct, including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against him after his sacking from the government in 1998.
He added that a fresh police report lodged against him for sodomy was a result of "interested parties to attack me in retaliation" over this evidence in his possession.
The report alleging sodomy was filed by Anwar's aide, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, yesterday.
Anwar yesterday had claimed that the accusation against him was a "complete fabrication".
PKR also said that Saiful was arrested and forced by the police to lodge such a report against Anwar.
Wan Azizah: Aide was volunteer staff
This morning party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that Saiful was a volunteer who joined to help the party during the general election period three months ago.
She added that little was known of him and that no background check was done on him as he was just a volunteer. He later become a special assistant to Anwar.
Saiful is a former student leader at the Universiti Tenaga Nasional.
She also added that Anwar "was taking it well" with the latest happening.
Anwar's lawyers are expected to hold a press conference at about 12 noon today, to be followed by one held by Anwar himself.
Meanwhile, Anwar's supporters have started gathering at the Quality Hotel in Shah Alam in anticipation of a police action against the politician.
Many had was there overnight to monitor the situation and protect Anwar, who is at staying at a hotel to attend a two-day PKR workshop with all its elected representatives.
This morning there were two police patrol vehicles outside the hotel.