Thursday, October 3, 2013

A point is OK

It was a much better performance from the team this time around.

Overall, there was more determination in the team. I feel if Rooney had been there we would have won it.

It is indeed a pity it wasn't three points at the end of the night, but Shaktar didn't deserve to lose either. Taison, to me, was their best performer, and that goal was a hell of a shot, leaving De Gea no chance at all.

Still, I have some issues with the starting line-up. Welbeck did well to be in the position to score the goal, and he took it well enough. But other than that, he did practically nothing. I still rate him last in the pecking order of frontmen, so I don't understand why Moyes put him in instead of Chicharito.

Cleverley played well, coming in from the left often to operate in the middle, but Fellaini still hasn't integrated into the team. He did well to get the cross in for the goal, but gave the ball away too easily several times. Still, I think he can improve as the season goes on. One thing he needs to work on is his speed.

It was good to have Rafael back for this game. Overall, I think the defence did a pretty good job, though the Daily Mirror says Shaktar's goal came because of a costly blunder by Vidic. That was a bit unfair, I think. The cross was driven in at speed and all the poor captain could do was stick his foot out. It was just bad luck that it fell to Taison.

Now, let's hope they build on this and start improving by leaps and bounds. It should be much better this weekend as Rooney is set to return and RVP looks to be picking up somewhat again, despite not scoring yesterday.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tough trip

It's Moyes' first CL game away, and already the new manager has sprung a few surprises.

While Ferdinand has a groin strain, Moyes himself admitted that the veteran defender would not have featured anyway in the game against Shaktar. Also left out of the team which flew out are Anderson, Fabio and Zaha.

Ferdinand's absence should mean a chance for Evans to impress, hopefully alongside Vidic, who was rested against Albion. De Gea, Rooney and RVP will probably figure in the starting lineup, but the rest of the squad is still up for grabs.

I hope Rafael gets a chance. He is one of United's most consistent performer, and always a threat going forward. I think he combines well with Valencia, so hopefully the Equadorian will feature as well.

For lack of a better option (since Januzaj was not registered for the CL squad), I would play Nani on the left. Kagawa is a better player, but I still think he should be played in the middle. I think Moyes should go for the kill and play Carrick and Kagawa in the middle, instead of Fellaini. Once the team is ahead by a couple of goals (or more), then bring in the big Belgian to shore things up a little.

The other option down the left is Giggs, but the Welshman rarely plays the wing these days and I think we need Nani's speed more. I still say Giggs is the best crosser of the ball, but perhaps bringing him on a little later in the game would be the best option.

At left back, it's likely to be Evra, since he was rested for the WBA game. Still our best left back, though Buttner is looking better and better as he gains experience.

Here's hoping for a change of fortunes after the dismal performances in the league so far.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stiffer penalties for sex offences apt

NEWS over the past few days must have set women's rights groups  rejoicing, and rightly so.

Stiffer penalties for those who assault or use criminal force against spouses, gang rape being made a new, separate offence, increased jail terms for incest between 10 and 30 years and lengthier jail terms for inciting a child to an act of gross indecency. All these and more are among proposed amendments to the Penal Code.

The amendment bill had its first reading at Dewan Rakyat over this past week, and news of it must have been much welcomed.

Women's Aid Organisation director Ivy Josiah lauded the move to have stiffer penalties for assault or the use of criminal force against spouses. She told the New Straits Times the move was long overdue, however, with women's organisations pushing for it for some time now.

It is no wonder she feels that way. For the longest time, people were of the opinion that what happens between a husband and a wife should stay between a husband and a wife. It's not something that should be aired in public. Marital problems are not to be brought to the attention of anyone outside the family.

But, marital problems are marital problems. Assault, rape, coercion and force are not. These are crimes, no matter who does it or who the victims are. In fact, if you look at it from a different perspective, it is an even bigger sin if the perpetrator and the victim are married to each other.
Should not a husband protect his wife, after all? Should not a wife be more loving to her husband than anyone else?

(Yes, spousal abuse works both ways. There are cases out there, though few and far between, of wives beating up their husbands.)

Then there is the amendment which will see minimum jail terms for rape increased from five years to 10. This and news that another amendment will put an end to concurrent prison sentences should be taken as a triumph by women's groups.

Rape, despite the fact that it is classified as a sex crime, is not merely about sex. It is about power. It is violent and leaves the victim terribly traumatised.

Having a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for rape is befitting. It shows that the government deems rape a horrible crime indeed. And, this is only strengthened when you do not allow prison sentences to run concurrently.

Why? Let's say a man is charged with two counts of rape. If the court finds him guilty on both counts and sentences him to the minimum amount required by law on each charge but rules that the sentences should be served concurrently, then he only serves 10 years and not 20.

It is somewhat akin, you can say, to a person purchasing two units of the same thing, but paying only for one.

This was the problem in 1997 when an Indonesian man with permanent resident status here was arrested on suspicion of having raped several women.

The story then was that police were in a quandary because at that time, courts were inconsistent when meting out jail sentences for rape and tended to hand out concurrent sentences for multiple counts of rape.

The rumour also was that this suspected serial rapist was one who could not control his urges. The story goes that he was taken to hospital for a potency test. As a nurse walked by, he nudged the cop to whom he was handcuffed and told him that if he had been loose, he would attack the nurse.

Because of these factors -- again, as the story goes -- police were sure he would get out in only a matter of a few years and be back to his ways in no time. They were at a loss.

 The policemen would not have had to worry if the minimum sentence then had been 10 years and sentences had to run consecutively.

As an aside to that story -- whether or not it is true -- the investigators' worries were all for nought, thanks to the actions of the suspect himself.

He claimed he had murdered one of his victims and buried her in a secondary jungle. He was brought to the area with his hands cuffed at the back, as is standard operating procedure.

When they came to a hill, however, police detectives had to cuff his hands in front so he could make the climb. At the top of the hill, a detective uncuffed him so he could again have his hands cuffed at the back, but he then tried to escape.

In a scuffle with one detective, he managed to grab the policeman's revolver, but as he pointed the gun at the detective, another policeman shot and killed him.

 A search of the area later, however, found no body buried there, as claimed by the suspect.