Brought Back To Life

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
 -St. Francis of Assisi

Mikey Ambrose is one of those frustratingly talented people.  I’ve been watching him play music, be in bands and play drums for over a decade now and every time I see him play he blows my mind again.   I am always floored by what this guy can do with two sticks and a couple of feet.  

Then came the day I figured out that Mikey had moved on to different things.  I remember the first time I saw one of his furniture pieces and I thought to myself. “Mikey? Ambrose? Woodworking? Someone explain to me.”  

Our mutual friend Kyle bought a beautiful side table piece and we chatted about how cool it is to watch someone like Mikey make a move from one skill or interest to a completely different one and then be awesome enough to make a living doing so.  

He’s created a business that allows him to get whatever he wants out of life.  He wants to play drums? He does.  He wants to hike and find wood?  He does.  He wants to take a month off and go to England?  He does. He isn’t a laborer or a craftsman.  He is most certainly an artist.

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing, that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
― Dale Carnegie

Music: Hey Marseilles “Cannonballs”

New Post has been published on The Rakyat Post

New Post has been published on

Rizalman to be arrested upon arrival in New Zealand

External image


Malaysian High Commission official Muhammad Rizalman Ismail will be arrested when he arrives in New Zealand in accordance with its law.

According to The New Zealand Herald, Wellington district police commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle said police were working closely with the Crown Law Office of New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) on the legal process and logistical details relating to Muhammad Rizalman’s return.

“This is a unique and complex legal situation, so careful planning is required and no date for his return has been set.

“When someone with a warrant to arrest arrives in New Zealand, the person is met at the border by police, arrested and taken to the nearest court.

“The court can then remand the person in custody, release him at large or release him on bail, with or without conditions. At this time, the next hearing date is also set.”

He said police were continuing to support the victim and had kept her informed throughout the process.

MFAT chief executive John Allen had recently offered to resign over his ministry’s mishandling of the case.

However, Minister Murray McCully declined the offer, but expressed his anger over his officials’ mistakes that led to public embarrassment for the minister and Prime Minister John Key.

Malaysia yesterday agreed to send Muhammad Rizalman back to Wellington, but New Zealand officials have been left red-faced by revelations that they were the ones who had suggested he leave in the first place.
The Pacific Island Development Forum Beyond ANZUS

Considering the startegic implicaitons of new development partnerships in the Pacific Islands, including China, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Qatar, Indonesia/ASEAN, UAE, and Kuwait.

McCully should be investigated: Greens

The Greens want Foreign Minister Murray McCully investigated over the Rizalman blunder.

An inquiry report on why the Malaysian diplomatic staffer was allowed to leave New Zealand while he was being investigated by police has been released, and points the finger at a ministry protocol officer.

The unidentified officer sent an ambiguous email to the Malaysian High Commission seeking a waiver for Muhammad Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity.

It caused a crucial misunderstanding and the Malaysians thought the government was saying Rizalman could leave.

The report says the protocol officer didn’t immediately tell MFAT’s chief executive and it was several days before the reason for the misunderstanding was discovered.

Green Party MP Jan Logie says Mr McCully and the then police minister, Anne Tolley, should be investigated.

The terms of reference for the inquiry, carried out by former Treasury secretary John Whitehead, did not extend to the role of ministers.

“The ministers of foreign affairs and police both had an opportunity to show leadership,” Ms Logie said.

“The right thing to do would be to ensure an inquiry looks into the actions of all the ministers in this case, not just the staff.”

Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman, David Shearer, says Mr McCully’s role wasn’t investigated but should have been.

“The handling of this situation was an absolute failure by MFAT and by Murray McCully,” he said.

“The terms of reference of this report ensure McCully’s actions were not scrutinised or held to account.”

Rizalman, 39, was sentenced on Thursday to nine months’ home detention after pleading guilty to one charge in relation to a sexually motivated attack on Tania Billingsley in her Wellington flat in May 2014.

Trade Ministers Convene to Sign TPP Agreement This Thursday

USTR Press Release:

Auckland, New Zealand – On Thursday, February 4 at 11:30am NZDT (Wednesday, February 3, 5:30 p.m. EST), Ambassador Froman will join trade ministers from New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, and Vietnam to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The signing ceremony will be followed by a press conference.

A live stream of the signing and press conference will be available on New Zealand’s MFAT website:

WHO:             U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman
                       TPP Trade and Economy Ministers

WHAT:          TPP Signing Ceremony and Press Conference

WHEN:         Thursday, February 4, 2016
                       11:30 a.m. NZDT
                       (Wednesday, February 3 at 5:30 p.m. EST)

The Rizalman case: A timeline

The Rizalman case: A timeline


May 9: Rizalman arrested, charged with burglary and assault with intent to commit sexual violation

May 10: He appears in Wellington District Court; The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade formally requests diplomatic immunity waived

May 21: Malaysian government won’t waive diplomatic immunity

May 22: Rizalman leaves New Zealand

June 29: Story breaks in NZ media

July 1: Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman says his government offered to waive diplomatic immunity, but NZ allowed Rizalman to return home

July 2: MFAT apologises for its handling of the case; Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully apologises to Prime Minister John Key; Malaysian government announces Rizalman will return to NZ to face the charges

July 11: Mr McCully announces ministerial inquiry

October 3: MFAT confirms extradition request for Rizalman sent to Malaysian authorities

October 25: Rizalman arrives in Wellington and appears in court

November 21: Rizalman enters not guilty pleas to charges

December 16: Mr McCully says ministerial inquiry completed, but he can’t release findings yet


November 30: In the High Court at Wellington, on the first day of his trial, Rizalman pleads guilty to a charge of indecent assault

December 4: Rizalman takes stand in disputed facts hearing. Gives his account of what happened the night of the incident.

December 15: Judge finds Rizalman was sexually-motivated when indecently assaulting a Wellington woman


February 4: Rizalman is sentenced to nine months’ home detention, ordered to pay reparations and will be deported once his sentence is complete

February 5: Ministerial inquiry report regarding MFAT’s role to be released