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The Year 2005 – Looking Back January 1, 2006

Posted by Tim in Thoughts, World.

Today our planet completes another revolution around the Sun. What have we humans done in the meantime? Six billion beings on the planet, all living their lives, all interacting with one another. That’s gotta make for some pretty interesting incidents. Here are some events that caught my eye in the past year:


The world still reels from the Asian tsunami of December 2004. Malaysian deaths number about 70; Thailand, 5,000; Sri Lanka, 30,000; Indonesia reported that it stopped counting bodies. Losses are incalculable, but countries all around the world unite to provide aid.

1st – Freedom of Information Act comes into effect in Britain. It makes public bodies accountable to citizens. “The public will gain a legally enforceable right to know if a public body holds information – and the right to ask for it… replies must be made in 20 working days or less.”

12th – US intelligence officially gives up the search for WMD in Iraq.

20th – George W. Bush sworn in for his second term as US President.

30th – Iraq holds first free election for the first time in 50 years.


13th Shi’ite United Iraqi Alliance wins the first Iraqi elections, capturing half of the vote. Voter turnout was 58%.

16th – The Kyoto Protocol, an environmental resolution aimed at reducing air pollution, takes effect. Notable detractors are the US and Australia.

16th – China replacing US as world’s biggest consumer entity.

27thMillion Dollar Baby, the story of an aspiring female boxer, wins Academy Award for Best Picture.


1st – Malaysia launches effort to deport illegal immigrants following the expiration of its amnesty policy.

2nd – Bill Gates receives honourary knighthood for his business skills and work fighting poverty.

8th – The United Nations passes declaration prohibiting human cloning, with a vote of 84-34 and 37 absentees, “.. as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life”

24th – Soft tissue apparently extracted from remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

31st – Terry Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman at the center of euthanasia controversy, dies.

31st – Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi speaks on Islam Hadhari at Victoria University, New Zealand.


2nd – Pope John Paul II passes away at the age of 84. The first non-Italian pope since the 16th century, he covered more of the world than any of his predecessors and is credited as a riving force behind the failure of Soviet communism.

8th – Jeremy Jaynes sentenced to 9 years of prison for illegal email spamming.

9th – Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor.

19th – Jospeh Ratzinger becomes Benedict XVI, the 265th Pope.


4th – Petrol and diesel prices in Malaysia increase for the third time in a year as part of a move to wean consumers off Government subsidies.

8th – Disneyland marks 50th anniversary in Disneyland, Anaheim.

16th – Release of the Report of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police. 125 recommendations are made to improve the police force.

17th – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith debuts at the Cannes Festival, ending the Star Wars sexlogy.


14th – Michael Jackson acquitted of child molestation charges

23rd – Nobel Prize winner Jack Kilby, inventor of the integrated circuit (and the handheld calculator), dies at 81. His work pioneered microchips and personal computers.

24th – UMNO vice-president and Minister for Federal Territory Mohd. Isa Abdul Samad is suspended from UMNO after being found guilty of money politics.


7th – London wins right to host 2012 Olympics.

7th – London hit by series of terrorist bomb attacks, leaving about 40 dead and 700 injured.

7th – International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz told to answer Tun Mahathir’s queries over the Approved Permits (AP) issue.

8th – The G8 summit is held in Gleneagles. The countries involved pledges an increase of 48 billion USD in international aid, and cancellelation of the debt of 18 nations to the IMF and the World Bank. However the summit is criticized for not paying enough attention to trade and environment needs.

9th – Hidden sex scene in controversial video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sparks outrage.

16th – The sixth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is launched worldwide.

17th – Former Iraq President Saddam Hussein formally charged with genocide.


4th – South Korean scientists successfully clone a dog. Snuppy, an Afghan hound, was cloned from DNA extracted from the ear of his “parent”.

11th – State of emergency declared in Port Klang and Kuala Selangor after haze-induced air pollution exceeded 500 on the Air Pollution Index.

23rd – 31st – Category 5 storm Hurricane Katrina ravages America, the most destructive natural disaster there in recent history. The city of New Orleans is completely devastated. Economic losses are estimated at 100-200 billion USD, deaths at more than 1,000. Its social impact is large, with thousands of families displaced and many reports of anarchy in its aftermath. The US Government is widely criticized for being slow to respond to the crisis.


11th – Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi receives overwhelming mandate to privatise Japan’s postal system with a landslide victory in Japan’s general elections.

24th – Daniel Lee Chee Hun is crowned Malaysian Idol 2005, garnering 68% of the popular vote, beating Norhanita Bt. Hamzah (Nita).

25th – Full IRA weapons decommissioning confirmed, following its July declaration that it was ending armed conflict in Ireland.


14th – Daniel Craig replaces Pierce Brosnan as British spy James Bond, the first blond actor in the role.

15th – Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika appeals for food aid, saying all 28 districts of Malawi are suffering food shortages, calling it a “national disaster”.

17th – The Human Security Centre, supported by five governments, says armed conflict worldwide has dropped 40% since 1992 with the exception of terrorist attacks. This is attributed to the rise of international activism for peace.

20th – Endon Mahmood, wife of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, passes away.


4th – New bird flu crisis reported in Asia following outbreaks in China and Vietnam.

4th – The Vatican endorses Darwinian evolution, citing the church’s denunciation of Galileo as a “permanent lesson”.

5th – The release of THES’ World University Rankings sparks debate about the perceived decline of Malaysian public universities.

22nd – Xbox 360 is released in North America.

24th – Seputeh MP Teresa Kok highlights alleged police abuse of a woman in custody in Parliament, sparking a “Squatgate” scandal that raised human rights issues and possibly strained relations with China.


1st – First face transplant performed on French woman.

2nd – Convicted Australian drug trafficker Van Nguyen executed in Singapore despite repeated diplomatic appeals from Australian government.

4th – Nicol Ann David defeats Australian Rachael Grinham to become the new world number one in squash.

14th – George W. Bush takes responsibility for faulty intelligence in the Iraq War. He insists removing Saddam Hussein had still been necessary.

14th – Science journal Nature reports that the freely editable online encyclopedia Wikipedia is close to the traditional printed Britannica in the accuracy of its science entries.

15th – Iraq successfully holds its first parliamentary elections.

20th – A US federal judge rules that “intelligent design” should not be taught in Pennsylvania public schools alongside evolution theory, criticizing its proponents for disguising religion as science.

29th – Kofi Annan reports to the UN that armed attacks, rape, and pillage continue in Darfur, Sudan after three years despite international efforts to resolve the ethnic conflict.

Who knows what the next year holds for us?



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