M A I N   N E W S

Kuala Lumpur becomes a fairy land
Rajeev Sharma

The Malaysian capital is all decked up as the city hosts a series of international meetings and summits from Monday. Top floors of skyscrapers are lit up. Electronic trees have been put up at pathways, not different from fancy decorations in India during marriages and Divali. Even the rain-washed trees have long strings of fancy lights.

To this reporter, who is visiting Kuala Lumpur after two and a half years, there is only one noticeable difference: in 2002, Kuala Lumpur looked great, as good as a western city; today it looks like a fairy land.

PMO changing

The Prime Ministerís Office is definitely changing its approach when it comes to the PMís visits abroad. The media corps, accompanying the Prime Minister, was in for a pleasant surprise when a PMO official quietly handed over a transcript of the PMís press conference on board his special aircraft to reporters at the media centre here.

The hand-written 13-page transcript came as a boon for the scribes and also ruled out, for the PMO, reportersí genuine mistakes because the audio quality in the PMís flying plane is awful.

When this correspondent expressed his surprise to a PMO official as this was the first time that the PMO had made available transcripts of the PMís on board press conference to reporters, he simply said he would have made the transcript available in the aircraft itself if laptop facilities were available on board.

This brings one to the crucial question: When will the PMís aircraft would be brought at par with international standards? Laptops canít function from the PMís aircraft while flying ó not because of navigational hazards but because the plane requires a minor technical adjustment.

It is understood that this minor technical adjustment, not even a dayís work, does not cost a lot of money either. Food for thought for the PMO!


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