Monday, April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher - First Woman PM Of UK

Dame Margaret Thatcher passed away at 87 on April 8, 2013.

She will go down in history as a great female head of government and world leader.

She will always be an iconic British leader as the country's first woman Prime Minister.

Here is Wikipedia's entry on her.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher (13 October, 1925 – 8 April, 2013), was the longest-serving (1979–1990) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the post.

She was nicknamed the Iron Lady because of her uncompromising leadership style.

Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament (MP) in 1959.

She became a cabinet minister of Prime Minister Edward Heath.

She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.

After entering 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse what she perceived to be Britain's precipitous 'national decline'.

Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions.

However, the income gap between the rich and poor widened, and the UK advocated an aggressive anti-socialist foreign policy which not only confronted the Soviet Union and China but also left leaning freedom fighters and democrats in the developing countries such as Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Sam Nujoma of Namibia.

Thatcher was born Margaret Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Her father was Alfred Roberts, originally from Northamptonshire, and her mother was Beatrice Stephenson from Lincolnshire.

She spent her childhood in Grantham, where her father owned two grocery shops.

Her father was active in the Methodist church, serving as an alderman.

He was Mayor of Grantham in 1945–46.

Thatcher is survived by two children, Carol and Sir Mark, and two grand children (Mark's children). Her husband Sir Denis Thatcher (whom she married in 1951) passed away in 2003.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hugo Chavez - Modern Day Bolivar

Venezuela's long serving President Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer on March 6, 2013.

He will go down in history as a modern day Simon Bolivar who advocated Latin American unity and opposed US imperialism.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kuswadinata - Malaysia's Burt Lancaster

Kuswadinata aka Kuswa Bujang, a highly respected veteran actor passed away after a long illness on Feb 16, 2013 aged 74.

He leaves behind a wife Kamariah Said, 57 and four children aged 23-27.

Kuswadinata's square-jawed, ruggedly handsome appearance earned him the label Malaysia's Burt Lancaster. And not unlike Lancaster, he excelled in playing ruthless villains.

Born in Singapore with roots in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, and Pontianak, Dutch Borneo (now part of Indonesia), Kuswadinata derived his stage name from a combination of his Banjarese maternal uncle, Nata, and his given Minangkabau name, Kuswadi.
Kuswadinata was discovered by filmmaker Tan Sri L. Krishnan in 1957. He first appeared in Malay Film Productions' Orang Licin, shot at Jalan Ampas Studio in Singapore. In the film, he played a baddie, with the late Datuk S. Roomai Noor (the father of singer Anita Sarawak) as the hero.
Kuswadinata excelled in baddie roles over the years, and his best-known despicable villain role was that of Datin Saadiah Baharom's vicious elder brother in Antara Dua Darjat.
He also appeared in comedies such as Seniman Bujang Lapok with Tan Sri P. Ramlee in 1961.
He starred in foreign films, too, such as Little Adventure, Pretty Girls and Beyond Rangoon.
His notable Malaysian films from the 1970s to 2000s were KLU, Kaki Bakar, Tarik-Tarik, Sikit Punya Gila, Jejak Bertapak, Kaca Permata, Aku Mahu Hidup and Jalang. In recent years, he starred in Mamat Khalid's ground-breaking film noir Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang as a doctor.
He was nominated for Best Actor in the Second Malaysian Film Festival in 1981, for the film Serampang Tiga. But he lost to Datuk Rahim Razali, who starred in and directed the film Abang.
In 2007, Kuswadinata was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Malaysian Film Festival.

Until his final year, he remained active in TV movies and readily shared his knowledge with newcomers, including multi-talented directors Rosyam Nor and Syamsul Yusof.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Datuk Eddy Choong - Badminton Legend

From Wikipedia.

Datuk Eddy Choong, who passed away on Jan 28, 2013 will go down in history as one of Malaysia's greatest badminton players of all time.

Born in 1930 in Georgetown, he was the younger brother of another badminton legend David Choong.

He was included in the Badminton Hall Of Fame in 1997.

Noted for his speed, tenacity and stamina, Choong won men's singles at the All England Open Badminton Championships four times between 1953 and 1957 when it was considered the unofficlal world championship of the sport.

He also reached the All-England singles final in 1952 and 1955 and won the men's doubles with his brother in 1951, 1952, and 1953.

He was a member of the 1955 Malayan Thomas Cup (men's international) team which retained the world team championship, and the 1958 team which surrendered the title to Indonesia.