Monday, September 20, 2021

Oz a nuclear target?

Victor Zhikai Gao (高志凯) is a Chinese international relations expert and translator. He is a Director of the China National Association of International Studies and an Executive Director of Beijing Private Equity Association. He is best known for his position as the late paramount leader DEng Xiaoping's translator and currently an international expert on Chinese issues. Victor Gao is the vice president of the Center for China and Globalization.


An interview of Victor Zhikai Gao on the ABCs “China Tonight” by Stan Grant. 

The interview was quite astounding. Grant asked Gao what was his take on Australia purchasing nuclear powered subs. Gao replied that Australia, by becoming armed with “nuclear subs” (not “nuclear powered subs”) should expect to be a nuclear target.

Grant kept asking him if China would be the aggressor, to which Gao would not affirm.



Too over eager and over anxious pro-US Scott Morrison conned into becoming an American tool, which ironically he already had been

ABC:

Australia's nuclear submarine deal fundamentally changes our relationship with the world


Offending "good friends, good partners" has its limits in this ever-changing world.(AP, AAP)

Emmanuel Macron should perhaps have been on his guard when he greeted Scott Morrison in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace in June this year, complete with ceremonial pomp. Our Prime Minister seems to have a bit of form in courtyards.

Just over three years ago, on August 22, 2018, at a press conference in the prime minister's courtyard at Parliament House, the then treasurer was asked whether he had ambitions for Malcolm Turnbull's job.

He responded by throwing a reassuring arm around his prime minister's shoulder and declaring: "This is my leader and I'm ambitious for him!"

"Thanks ScoMo," Turnbull responded, perhaps just a little uncertainly. Two days later, Morrison had replaced him as PM.



Throw forward to June 15 this year, and Macron was welcoming Morrison to the presidential palace in Paris after the G7's meeting in Cornwall.


Emmanuel Macron and Scott Morrison bump elbows at the Elysee Palace in June.(AP: Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

Excruciating COVID elbow bumps protocol almost prevailed, except Macron warmly threw his arms around Morrison.

With Australia under pressure from China, the French President declared: "You are at the forefront of the tensions that exist in the region, of the threats, and sometimes of the intimidation. I want to reiterate here how much we stand by your side."

"We are good friends, we are good partners", Morrison told Macron later in remarks over an official dinner. 

"We share common goals and we share common values and that's why our partnership with liberty and affinity I think is one that we'll be able to progress further this evening."

'It's a stab in the back'


What the PM didn't mention was that he had just held talks in Cornwall with US President Joe Biden and UK PM Boris Johnson about a proposal for a tripartite alliance, the most spectacular immediate element of which would be dumping the $90 billion plan underway to build French submarines in Australia in favour of some (yet to be worked out) plan to build American (or British) ones (for some unspecified amount of money).


French ambassador says he only learnt of the decision to tear up the contract through media reports.

In fact, nobody bothered mentioning this rather significant change of heart to the French until hours before the announcement was made jointly, with much pomp early on Thursday morning Australian time, with Morrison in Canberra, Johnson in London and Biden in Washington.

The French were very underwhelmed, with Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian saying: "It's a stab in the back."Having dumped one good friend, the PM had thrown his lot in with another, who appeared for all the world like he couldn't remember the name of "that fella down under".

"We had established a trusting relationship with Australia, and this trust was betrayed."

The website Politico.eu reported he had added he was "angry and very bitter about this break up", and that he had spoken to his Australian counterpart days ago and received no serious indication of the move.

On Saturday morning, the French government recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the US, saying the new deal was "unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners".

Should we really worry about offending the French? One unkind cynic snorted on Friday, "It's not like we've nuked the Pacific or anything".

And yes, the French contract had rapidly blown out from $50 billion to $90 billion and seemed plagued by all sorts of problems. This was partly because we were, somewhat ironically, asking the French to redesign their perfectly functional nuclear submarines for conventional power.

But offending "good friends, good partners" has its limits in this ever-changing world.


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed anger after Australia announced it would dump its contract with France to build diesel-electric submarines.

Consider this. We are now told that this cunning plan has been in the works for 18 months. So, let's rewind to the state of the world 18 months ago.

In the first quarter of 2020, Donald Trump was president of the United States. He was facing impeachment, had ordered an airstrike that killed Iran's security and intelligence commander, was ringing his "very good friend" Kim Jong Un to wish him happy birthday, giving Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom and declaring his hope that the US economy would be back on its feet in the midst of COVID-19 by Easter.

You have to wonder how this week's announcement might have gone down with Trump in the White House — whether it would have been greeted quite as pragmatically in Australia as it seems to be.


Joe Biden hails AUKUS as a new phase in the strategic trilateral partnership between the three nations.

Maybe it is the case that the defence and strategic establishments in both countries see beyond the chaos of any particular political meretricious players, and have faith that, whatever the politicians might get up to, the underlying strategic good sense of whatever is under consideration will prevail.

But the reminder of Trump is an important one to illustrate why most sensible countries want to maintain some sort of sovereignty over their own defences. Which we have just abandoned.

There may have been in recent times a fundamental, clear-eyed reassessment by the government and the national strategic establishment of the threat China presents to us.

But this week's moves — which do not just include the announcement that we may build some submarines with American and British technology but, on Friday, news of more US troops rotated here, along with US missiles, US airforce planes and visits by US nuclear submarines — fundamentally change our relationship with the world in several different ways.

Shibboleths have been demolished


Obviously the first is to align us firmly with the US and make us unambiguously its forward base in the region.

Some see this as a welcome and clear-cut sign of commitment by the US to the Indo-Pacific after years of dithering. Others argue that it is a commitment made without the US actually having to do all that much other than share technology with an always faithful ally.

For it also involves Australia consciously taking on a more assertive military stance of our own in the region, but using imported technology. Over which we have virtually no control. Based on the current stated policy, we will be utterly reliant on the Americans and British to keep our boats afloat.

So many long-standing shibboleths have been demolished in the past few days: starting with the arguments we have heard for years about why we "couldn't" have nuclear submarines. This was based on the "given" that it would require onshore nuclear expertise and nuclear power — and that we didn't want to ever go as far as having US missiles based in Australia.That is, if the Prime Minister is actually serious about limiting the nuclear aspect of the whole deal to the power system of the submarines.

And we have obviously moved a long way from John Howard's declaration that we did not have to choose between our history and our geography.

Once ideas which are so entrenched we almost forget about them start to be torn down, it is not that big a leap into a debate about nuclear power for other purposes. Which of course might appeal to some as an answer to future energy questions.

In the meantime, we remain no closer — and in fact further away — from having any submarine capacity of our own. But we have opened the way, effectively, for US submarines to be based here to help fill the gap for the next 20 years.


Memang Melayu terutama Mahathir mudah lupa - Podah



Dr M: Parties forming coalitions post-election should not be considered ‘hopping’


should be awarded to Mahathir, King of Frogs


PERDANA Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad menerima lebih 31,000 borang keahlian daripada Pengerusi BERSATU Kelantan, Datuk Kamaruddin Mohd Nor (kanan) pada Majlis Beramah Mesra dengan Pimpinan Pakatan Harapan (PH) Kelantan, di Kota Bharu, hari ini. - Foto Syamsi Suhaimi





PARLIAMENT | Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Pejuang-Langkawi) said parties coming together as a coalition to form a simple majority government after an election should not fall under the ambit of any future anti-hopping law.

Even though the former prime minister acknowledges the need to prevent parliamentarians from “party-hopping”, he cautioned that it is not as simple as outlawing “hopping”.

“Sometimes in an election, there isn’t any one party with enough numbers to form the government.

“In such situations, there is a need for other parties to come together with the party with the most amount of support so that the number of government MPs exceeds half of those in the Dewan Rakyat.

“The act of combining among other parties with the biggest party is not something that can be interpreted as hopping.

“That is why we cannot simply outlaw hopping but we need to explain how we interpret hopping and not just simply accuse (that) hopping has occurred,” Mahathir said in his speech in the Dewan Rakyat today.

However, he stressed that the process of the parties cooperating should be in line with the respective parties’ constitutions.

Other instances that should not be considered as “party-hopping” is when members of a party are kicked out for whatever reason and decide to join another.

That is why Mahathir stressed that it is essential to thoroughly examine the issue of “party-hopping” so that the august House can function smoothly without interference from any members.

A form of bribery

Mahathir also questioned the appointments of several individuals to minister-level positions under the current administration, saying that it is a form of “bribery”.

“When they are appointed to minister-level, we don’t know the set criteria on how it is given out, but we know when it is given, they will get all the benefits given to ministers.

“This is a form of bribery because it does not focus on the job they will do, but instead on the perks they will get as someone who is minister-level,” he said.

The former prime minister admitted that he had also appointed people to minister-level positions back when he was in power.

However, he said he appointed those who had retired from politics and those who have expertise in certain fields.

“We should have set criteria before we appoint someone to a minister-level position. Otherwise, it will be like bribery for those who support the government.

“This sort of practise should be ended by the reformation the government had said they would implement,” he said.

Among the reforms the federal government had promised in its memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan was to enact an anti-hopping law.

However, there is no such bill in the order paper for this parliamentary session.


Harapan government was then bloody useless, willingly a bodek-ish captive to the spell of a dictator





S Thayaparan

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”

- James Baldwin

COMMENT | Ambiga Sreenevasan, in her latest piece, writes that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) has given us time for valuable introspection.

Pakatan Harapan supporters have been emailing and texting me, talking about the apathy that has been setting in. Does Harapan really care about people who vote for them, one asked?

 Here is the thing. Harapan showed no interest in the feelings of the base when it was in power. Harapan was exactly the kind of government BN was. The only difference was that the Harapan base – at least some of them – could indulge their fantasies of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in an orange or purple jumpsuit.

I mean most of us who endorsed Harapan also endorsed someone, who was not only defined as a tyrant but also someone who was at one time an existential threat to this country. At that time and maybe even now, Kua Kia Soong is probably one of the last few honest men in Malaysia.

***



(FMT) – Human rights activist Kua Kia Soong, criticising Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for referring to Malays as the indigenous people of Malaysia, said today only the Orang Asli are recognised by the Federal Constitution as indigenous.

Kua, an adviser to Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), said the constitution does not define Malays as indigenous to Malaysia, and it was “grossly erroneous and factually incorrect” to refer to Malays as the indigenous people of the peninsula.

“I didn’t know we had an Orang Asli prime minister!” he said in the title of his statement. “The prime minister should be more sanguine and careful in his reference to the peoples he governs in this country.”

Kua said the “special position” of the Orang Asli was not recognised despite being the rightful natives of the land, citing a United Nations’ definition of indigenous people.

“Today, they are the most marginalised and malnourished community in the country struggling to exist without the recognition of the native customary land rights they deserve.

“Indigenous peoples’ Native Customary Rights lands are constantly violated by the government and private companies through land-grabbing or illegal encroachment,” said Kua, citing the Bakun Dam and Sungai Selangor dam projects.

He added that these projects had displaced the community’s source of provision and ancestral burial grounds.

Mahathir yesterday made several references to Malays being indigenous, when commenting on criticisms of the Malay Dignity Congress held earlier this month. In one instance, he said: “It hurts me to think in their own country the indigenous people are not supposed to have their own gatherings without being accused of being racist.”

***

Beyond that, the old maverick had everyone wrapped around his fingers and Harapan was not only busy strengthening institutions of repressions but also cavalierly dismissing anyone who was reminding the government of the day to carry out reforms.




I mean everyone was saying that BN had decades to screw up the system, so Harapan needed more time. Everyone except people like Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy and Sungai Pelek assemblyperson Ronnie Liu, who suddenly found themselves targets from their own coalition because they were unafraid to shout out that the emperor had no clothes.

Now, of course, Harapan political operatives and talking heads are saying that if Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob wants reforms, he could do them easily and that he needs to prove his sincerity when it comes to reforming the system.



Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob

Never mind that when Harapan was in power, they were attempting to do stuff that even Umno could not be bothered doing, like policing the comment sections of online media.

Honestly, the kind of changes that could be made, that should be made, are not changes that take decades. They are changes that could be carried, barring certain procedures and other legislative arcana, almost immediately, if people are committed and willing to make those changes.

You know, some folks say that things will never change in this country. They are probably right, but imagine if we had a coalition that was an alternative to BN politics and not a substitute.

Surely, because of all the gerrymandering, Harapan may find it difficult to take Putrajaya but at least half of this country would have an alternative to the kind of politics that people claim they want for this country.

This is a possibility we never had. We never had it because the Harapan base never demanded it. They never demanded it because it is easier demonising Umno personalities than holding your political party accountable.

Propaganda about DAP

I wish Harapan leaders were deathly afraid of their supporters, like how the GOP (Republican Party) in America is afraid of its supporters. Imagine the possibilities if Harapan actually had to fulfill their mandate, if not the base would not turn out to vote for them. Hey, if the country is going to hell in a handbasket, we may as well enjoy the ride, right?

You know how people are always blaming the majority of Malays for voting for Malay uber alles parties. Most of the people I come into contact with have always been Umno/BN supporters.

Now sure, some of them have been swayed by the propaganda about the DAP but most of them cannot tell the difference between Harapan and Umno/BN. So vote for what you know, right?

Malaysia has never, ever had a secular alternative to Umno/BN. Malaysia has never had a political coalition, which has championed values that were in direct contradiction, to the mainstream Umno/BN politics.

If we had a secular and democratic alternative, then this would actually unify the country. Because this would be a coalition that did not depend on race and religion, to carry it to electoral victory.

And yes, I think that young people are the key, but I do not think most people understand that young people, especially young Malays depending on their socio-economic background, have been indoctrinated by years of religious education by the numerous tahfiz schools or whatever other tributaries from the vast religious bureaucracy of this country.

You do not think a religious political party like PAS knows this? Do not fall for Abdul Hadi Awang’s young people who are too immature to vote spiel. The PAS president is just hedging his bets, in case the indoctrination process is not ready to bear fruit yet.



PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang

The PAS strategist I talk to, too, thinks they stand a good chance of getting a slice of the youth vote if they tailor their message correctly. So too do the emissaries from the vast religious bureaucracy, which Harapan failed to curtail during their reign.

This is why I have always argued that religious extremism is an existential threat to Malaysia. And with the pandemic and the changing geopolitical equations here in South East Asia, the situation is going to get worse.

Local government policies, aimed at creating “unity” among the Malay policy, are only going to worsen the situation. And if we did not have a state security apparatus, especially intelligence divisions which are still functional - despite the best efforts of political operatives - we would be in an even worse situation.

And all this talk of young leaders, as I discussed here, young leaders must want it – “How on earth can anyone cheerlead for political personalities when they have shown no interests, but even more importantly, willingness to step into the ring? Unlike political parties all over the world where young people are striking out on their own and against the political order of their parties, it would seem that young political operatives here want to be anointed to higher office.”

As long as people continue voting for a substitute, things won't change.

The question is, will a certain section of the voting rakyat continue voting for a coalition because they believe there is no other choice as opposed to not voting at all or voting independent?



S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."


Ex-IGP apologises to Kit Siang over ‘dividing’ country along racial lines comment



Ex-IGP apologises to Kit Siang over ‘dividing’ country along racial lines comment


Hanif Omar admits that Lim Kit Siang’s arrest in 1969 had nothing to do with the allegations.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former inspector-general of police (IGP) Hanif Omar made an official apology to Lim Kit Siang today over allegations that the DAP veteran attempted to separate Peninsular Malaysia according to racial lines.

In his apology statement before the court, Hanif retracted his statement made against Lim on Sept 6, 2018 at a forum held at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam.

“I confirm that the plaintiff’s (Lim) arrest in 1969 was not on the basis that he called for the country to be divided according to racial lines,” he said before High Court judicial commissioner Quay Chew Soon.

Lim had filed a defamation suit against Hanif in 2018 over the former top cop’s claim that Lim “wanted to split Malaysia along racial lines”, with the west coast for the Chinese and the east coast for the Malays.

He alleged that Hanif’s remarks had ruined his reputation as an MP and a public figure.

In his lawsuit, Lim had sought general, aggravated, and exemplary damages as well as an injunction to prohibit Hanif or any of his agents from repeating or republishing the statements.

Meanwhile, publisher Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd, who was named as co-defendant, also said they will publish an open apology to Lim by this week over their news reports pertaining to Hanif’s false allegations.

Sinar Karangkraf will also have to pay RM20,000 costs to Lim. However, no cost was made against Hanif.

Lim also retracted his statement against Hanif, in which he claimed the ex-IGP created a “cock-and-bull story” over his 1969 detention under the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).

“I express regret that this unfortunate incident occurred and retract my statement on Sept 7, 2018 against Tun Hanif,” he said.

Hanif had filed a counter-claim against Lim’s remarks previously.


Was that why Saroja Devi Krishnan had to spend a night in police lockup???



Cops’ action against single mum nothing to do with me, says Perak rep


Jamilah Zakaria said she knew dog owner Saroja Devi Krishnan was a single mum and would not take civil action against her. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The mother of the 12-year-old girl who was bitten by a dog in Taiping, and which led to a single mum having to spend a night in the police lock-up despite posting bail, says she had nothing to do with the whole episode.

Trong assemblyman Jamilah Zakaria said that even the police report against Saroja Devi Krishnan whose dog attacked the girl, was lodged by her mother-in-law as she was not at home.

Jamilah said that being an elected representative, she knew that such matters are left entirely to the police. She also denied claims that her office was behind the large number of reporters being at the court on that day.

“I don’t know why people are saying I used my influence in this matter. Everything was handled by the police. I did not call the reporters and I don’t want to comment on matters which I don’t have control over,” she told FMT today.

The Umno assemblyman said what happened in Saroja Devi’s detention was a matter involving her, the police and court authorities.

She was asked to comment on claims by locals that policemen accompanying Saroja Devi at the courts had paraded her in front of waiting reporters – who had been invited to the scene – because the victim was a daughter of a VIP.

Saroja Devi claimed that she was humiliated after being handcuffed and taken to the police station and held in the lock-up even after her daughter had posted bail.

Jamilah said her daughter suffered from a serious dog bite which has affected the nerves in her right hand and had gone through a traumatic experience, adding that her six-year-old son who witnessed the incident was also affected.

“My daughter went through surgery and has to see her doctor often. Because of this, my family members wanted me to take civil action against the dog owner. Like any mother, I was worried for my children.

“But I am not that cruel. I know that she is a single mother and cannot afford to handle the matter or pay compensation. So I decided against it,” she said.

Jamilah said this episode should remind dog owners to be responsible and careful in the interest of the community they lived in.

“It is everyone’s duty to ensure their dogs are licensed and restrained to avoid incidents such as this,” she added.

On Sept 10, Saroja Devi was fined RM2,000 after she pleaded guilty to negligence under Section 289 of the Penal Code, after the dog attacked and injured a neighbour.

However, she appealed for a lower fine and the magistrate fixed RM500 as bail pending the hearing of the appeal on Oct 25.

She was handcuffed immediately and taken to the police station from the court in Taiping despite settling her RM500 bail on time. She had to spend the night in the lock-up.

It took the intervention of magistrate Adibah Kadir the following day, a Saturday, to save her from the ordeal of spending another two nights in the lock-up.


No laughing matter – Perlis issues fatwa against ‘improper jokes’



No laughing matter – Perlis issues fatwa against ‘improper jokes’


Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says jokes are allowed in Islam, but not at the expense of the religion. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Perlis has introduced a new fatwa banning jokes – those that make fun of Islam or “can lead to immorality, sin and wickedness”.

In an edict released by mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin today, the state fatwa committee said jokes are allowed in Islam, but not at the expense of the religion and bringing harm to others.

Besides making jokes related to Islam or its practice, the committee also banned jokes that disparage or demean others unfairly, and also outlawed ones that are fictitious that could possibly lead to harm.

The fatwa also decreed that one should not make jokes that could inflict harm on others physically and emotionally, including causing damage to property or disturbing the peace of a person or the community.

The use of improper language and behaviour that is considered unfair to local customs is also outlawed.

In explaining what could be considered a joke, the state fatwa committee said it includes pranks, caricatures, parodies, satire, comedy and others.

“Jokes are acceptable but fall back to the original rule where such jokes are allowed unless it goes against the syariat (Islamic law).

“If it is intended to bring good, such as to foster close relations, educational in nature and has good intentions, then it can bring pahala (rewards),” a statement by the committee said.

It also advised the community to practice moderation, balance and appropriateness in the context of religion when it comes to jokes.

Aussie Sub Story - now Asterix eff-ing back stabbing Anglo-Saxons



France-UK defence meeting sinks amid submarine row


Australia’s decision to tear up a contract with France in favour of US subs sparked outrage in Paris last week. (AP pic)

PARIS: France has cancelled a meeting set for this week between its Defence Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart Ben Wallace, a source at her ministry told AFP yesterday.


The move comes after the US, Australia and the UK sparked a full-blown diplomatic crisis with France by announcing a strategic partnership under which US nuclear submarines will be supplied to Australia, effectively sidelining France.

The “meeting planned for this week in London … will not take place due to the French cancelling”, said the ministry source.

Australia’s decision to tear up a contract to buy French submarines in favour of American nuclear-powered vessels sparked outrage in Paris last week.

In an unprecedented move, French President Emmanuel Macron recalled France’s ambassadors to Canberra and Washington.

In London, a defence ministry source said they could neither confirm nor deny the cancellation of the meeting, but added: “The UK remains in conversation with our French counterparts about the meetings.

“We continue to have a strong and close-working defence partnership with France, as they remain trusted allies of the UK and we continue to work with France in many equipment and operational domains.”

The French contract to supply conventional submarines to Australia was worth A$50 billion when signed in 2016.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has described the snub to France as a “stab in the back”.

The behaviour of US President Joe Biden’s administration had been comparable to that of Donald Trump, whose sudden changes in policy long exasperated European allies, he added.

“There has been lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt,” Le Drian told France 2 television on Saturday.

Britain, he dismissed as the “third wheel” in the US-Anglo-Australian partnership.


Taki tok-kok to save VELL-y FIRE-y Chubby Chunky C11bye's hide on Gunung Jerai flashflood disaster, Anwar eff Taki, Art Harun cut Anwar's mike off to save Taki



Don’t blame God over Kedah floods, Anwar tells minister


Anwar Ibrahim reminds Takiyuddin Hassan that the floods could also have been caused by humans destroying the environment.

KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) slammed energy and natural resources minister Takiyuddin Hassan for describing the recent floods in Gurun, Yan and Merbok in Kedah as an “act of God”.

Responding to a question from Sabri Azit (PAS-Jerai), Takiyuddin said the ministry was saddened to see the “act of God” that happened in Kedah, prompting Anwar to interject.

“Don’t just blame God when it comes to environmental problems. Sometimes they are problems caused by humans.

“How do you know it’s an act of God when corrupt humans destroy the environment?” asked Anwar, before his microphone was cut off by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun.

Takiyuddin later explained that when he went to visit the site of the floods, he saw that the trees that washed away with the floodwaters still had their roots, which meant that they were not from logging activities.

“This is what we call destiny set by God. Act of God,” said the minister.

Massive floods had hit Gurun, Yan and Merbok in August following an intense rainfall beating a 70-year average at 278mm in a span of a few hours. The flooding saw close to 1,000 families affected with mud waters reaching as high as 1.5m.

Takiyuddin also explained that Jerai was located in the 160,000ha Ulu Muda forest reserve, of which 12% of it was a protected area while 88% of the remaining forest could be logged.

While the Kedah state government had decided not to issue any new logging licences in the past three years, he said it had given permits to cut down 25,000ha of the forest from 2014 to 2019.

“But there was no logging in the Ulu Muda forest reserve at all,” he added.

The minister also said the nation had not exceeded its Annual Felling Rationing (CTT) set in the past two years, with only 10,949ha developed out of the 43,299ha CTT set aside for 2019.

“In 2020, the CTT approved was lower than the year before, 39,345ha, but what was developed was only 22,931ha. This shows that the federal government is serious about this.”


Story of a once-biggest manhunt in Malaysia by JAIS for sweetie fella who is now detained in BangCock

MM:

Report: Nur Sajat arrested in Bangkok, Thailand


Malaysian cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat. — Picture via Instagram/Nur Sajat

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Cosmetics entrepreneur Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman or Nur Sajat was arrested by Thai immigration authorities, Harian Metro reported quoting an anonymous source.

The arrest was made on September 8 based on information from Malaysian authorities on the whereabouts of Nur Sajat in Bangkok, Thailand.

According to the Malay-language tabloid’s source, the 36-year-old was detained in a luxury condominium in Bangkok with a man and a Thai woman during the immigration raid.

The Thai immigration department was believed to have been tracking Nur Sajat since March, based on information shared by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to the Thai authorities.

“On June 4, Thai immigration tracked Nur Sajat’s hiding place to a luxury condo in central Bangkok.

“After intelligence and observation, on September 8 around 6pm (Thai time) a raid was carried out at her hiding place.

“As a result, Nur Sajat was arrested and the Thai immigration had confirmed that she was the individual who escaped and is wanted by the Malaysian authorities,” the source said, indicating that a passport belonging to the cosmetics entrepreneur has also been cancelled by the Malaysian government.

The source added that Nur Sajat was then taken to and detained at the Thai Immigration Headquarters’ Branch of Illegal Immigrants for offences related to immigration in the country.

“On September 9, Nur Sajat was charged in a Thai court for the offence.

“However, Nur Sajat was released on September 10 on a US$2,000 (RM8,343) bail made by a local.

“The money was paid by an acquaintance known as Misha who reportedly flew to Thailand for Nur Sajat’s bail,” the source said.

When asked about Nur Sajat’s location now, the source said that Nur Sajat is still sheltering in a luxury condominium in central Bangkok.

“Although she was released on bail, Nur Sajat was instructed to appear at the Thai immigration office every 14 days,” the source said.

In response to Metro Harian’s question, the source said that the Malaysian authorities were negotiating with the Thai government to bring Nur Sajat back to her country of origin — Malaysia.

“Efforts to bring her home to face trial in the Shariah High Court in Selangor for the offence of dressing as a woman that she committed in Shah Alam in 2018 are underway.

“Negotiations are quite difficult but we remain optimistic to bring her home.

“It is difficult because there is international intervention involving certain countries and organisations that are hindering it,” the source said.

The cosmetics entrepreneur is being sought by the authorities after she missed a Shariah Court hearing date in February this year concerning a case brought against her almost three years ago.

Her absence from proceedings then triggered a search party by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), who had said they empowered 122 personnel and enforcement officers to find and arrest Nur Sajat.

On March 1, the police stated their readiness to assist in the search for Nur Sajat and were subsequently roped in to join the hunt upon a request by Jais.

The Shariah Court charge against Nur Sajat was made under Section 10(a) of the Shariah Crimes (State of Selangor) Enactment 1995 which provides for a sentence not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both, if convicted.

Section 10 refers to the Shariah offence of insulting Islam or causing Islam to be insulted either by mocking or blaspheming the faith and its associated practices and rituals either in a written, pictorial or photographic form.

The charges were allegedly connected to a religious event that she organised in 2018 where she appeared in a baju kurung.


“Are we too feudal?”: A PKR leader’s tweet sparks serious conversation on Twitter

 

“Are we too feudal?”: A PKR leader’s tweet sparks serious conversation on Twitter



WITH both the Government and Opposition signing an agreement to embark on several reforms, a PKR leader posed a pertinent question on Malaysians’ culture of revering political leaders, despite the latter being public servant.

On Sept 17, PKR vice president Rafizi Ramli started a conversation on Twitter, sharing an example on how feudalism is still deep rooted in the Malaysia psyche despite being in the modern era.

“Satu budaya yg patut ditukar ialah menjemput menteri/tim menteri rasmi majlis.Cukup membuang masa & membuang duit rakyat sbb bayar menteri/timb menteri untuk tunjuk muka.

“Company yg CEOnya kerja tunjuk muka memang sah tak pergi jauh. Ia juga bukti feudalisme masih menebal,” he said.

(One of the cultures that needs to changed is inviting ministers and deputy ministers to attend official functions. It’s a waste of time and taxpayers’ fund because we need to entertain them just for showing up. A company where its CEO has this attitude would not go far. It is proof that feudalism is deep rooted in our society)



The former Pandan MP’s tweet started a serious conversation on the social media platform, with several of them even sharing their own experience of having to deal with such matter.

“SANGAT SETUJU, dah la tak punctual, sidai staff dekat 2 jam. Dah tu pula yang buat kerja “on the ground” ni kredit apa pun tak bagi. Macam haram sejadah.

Fun facts: Benda ni selalu jadi dekat sekolah, office gomen, masa bagi tender project gomen. MOSTLY gomen related,” said user Irfan Hadzrami.

(I totally agree. They are not punctual and staffers have to wait for nearly two hours for their arrival. Those who do the ground work rarely gets any credit. These things usually happen in schools, government offices and when Government tender is being given out)



User Amir Khalid echoed Irfan’s sentiment, adding: “Sangat setuju. Melahirkan budaya MEMBODEK, MENUNJUK-NUNJUK dan MEMBAZIR. Melahirkan orang yg pandai cakap, tak tahu buat kerja. Akhirnya lahirlah istilah – “kerja tak seberapa, tapi bila bercakap, Khnizir pun boleh terbang.”

(I agree. It only perpetuates bad habits such as apple polishing, showing-off and wasting resources. It also creates a group of people who talks a lot but don’t work, creating an adage “they can’t work but when it comes to talking, even pigs can fly).



Waste of time and resources

Speaking of her experience, user Nina stated that during her stint at Government-linked companies (GLC), the latter’s management would go all over to purchase gifts for the VVIP despite not being asked for it.

“Saya bukan sgt setuju tapi terlalu setuju..having worked with GLCs mostly. Sometimes, top mgmt dlm company tu sendiri pun nak juga bagi gift, tu tak masuk lg makanan order mcm nk kenduri kawin for event yg x smp 2 jam. Order mkn plak kena yg fav mgmt, mcm x pernah mkn.”

(I really agree. Having worked with GLCs mostly, sometimes its top management would insist on purchasing gifts. This is excluding other things like catering for food like you’re organising a wedding reception for an event that doesn’t even last for two hours. Plus, you have to order the VVIP’s favourite food, as if the person has never eaten before…)



User Kano stated: “Sgt setuju… Byk pembaziran berlaku dari segi peruntukan, tenaga dan masa… Jutaan ringgit habis krn majlis kecil, habis masa dekat sebulan utk meeting pelaksanaan, kerja2 hakiki tak dpt laksana secara fokus sibuk urus lepas satu majlis ke majlis lain plak, kerja tertangguh.

(I agree. A lot wastage happens in terms of funds, manpower and time. Millions spent just for a small ceremony and we take almost a month to plan for such events. Real work left unattended to simply because of organising one small ceremony to another)



User Ean Chong remarked: “Perhaps it’s time to stop this caste system of VIP or VVIP categorisation. They are paid by us taxpayers. Employers don’t refer to their workers as VIP.”

The tweet received 1,108 responses, with 2,268 likes. – Sept 19, 2021.

'Harapan, as a coalition, was never really in power' - it handed the reins over to Mahathir to do as he wished



'Harapan, as a coalition, was never really in power'

YOURSAY | ‘'It had handed the reins over to Mahathir to do as he wished.'

COMMENT | How they made us feel




BobbyO: I once overheard a woman saying her relative should go back to her abusive and adulterous husband. Try to work it out, she said.

It reminded me of the state of affairs of this nation. The people have been abused and torn apart by these leaders. Even when change happens, it is the same leaders doing the same thing while promising the sun and stars.

Looking at things so far, there are no signs there will be any serious changes.

Even before the dust settled, the administration was already appealing against the High Court decision to give the rights of citizenship to the children of mothers married to foreigners. It clearly shows the contempt they have for these women and their rights.

What about the investigation of opposition MPs? In addition, a peaceful gathering to raise the issue of the number of Covid-19 deaths was forcefully stopped.

Why the double standards when it comes to those MPs in the ruling party when they break the laws? The people are watching as one after another MP charged with corruption is freed. They have not forgotten former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman and the catastrophe that followed upon his acquittal.

How can they forget the over 22,000 lives lost and counting? How many of them could have been saved if only those in power were more capable?

Over two million people came down with Covid. Imagine the fears they would have gone through until they recovered. Thousands more are still paying the price of getting infected. And there are those still suffering the after-effects of the disease.

And many more millions are paying the price of losing their income or having their income drastically reduced. It would be years before they can recover or even return to normalcy. They won't forget the acts of betrayal by those leaders involved in bringing down a legitimate administration.

The people are watching as they will not forget how the administration had been treating them. They will not allow themselves to be mistreated again.

Anon25: Former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan, nobody could have said it better.

Yes, the people picked Pakatan Harapan and it was a people's government. But then, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the then prime minister, was an unexpected disappointment.

With his new Malay-only party Bersatu, his acceptance of frogs from Umno, his racist tantrums, and finally, his refusal to hand over his job to Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim as promised shattered our hopes.

You clamour for more women in government. In my opinion, sad to say, there are very few of them, especially those willing to enter politics. Would you?

MS: A correction is necessary, Ambiga. Harapan, as a coalition, was never really in power. It had, for reasons we may only speculate, handed the reins over to Mahathir to do as he wished.

It was a near-total abdication when he airily dismissed the coalition's manifesto, often deriding it as a wishful document put together by those who didn’t think they would win.

And as a coalition, there was hardly a whimper when the then Bersatu home minister targeted DAP's Indian members with ludicrous charges under Sosma.

That and the brazen incident at the Seafield temple underscored the impotence of Harapan as it stood on the sidelines, like a helpless bystander afraid to cross the line and enter the fray.

We may one day get an inkling into what really happened behind the scenes with Mahathir’s machinations. But till then, it is best not to perpetuate the myth of a Harapan government.

Capo: Ambiga, early after Harapan’s victory, when PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli voiced out against Mahathir, you shut him up. I still remember Rafizi’s reply: "To shut the people's voices means we are going back to the BN era."

Ambiga, your retort was to let the new administration under Mahathir continue its work. You got charmed by the snake charmer and became his ardent disciple while muting voices of concern.

Had Mahathir been checked and leashed, we wouldn't be in this sordid mess, would we?


How do I feel about the hard-fought people's mandate being stolen? All traitors who betrayed us should pay.

MarioT: Indeed, those responsible for this betrayal of trust should be overwhelmingly defeated if they were to contest again.

It’s a good sign that Anwar has injected some young blood into the party and we hope more youngsters will join and be given a chance to contest in the next general election.

With the lowering of the voting age, the young people's vote will become a crucial factor in forging a truly Malaysian Family, which is currently severely divided by racial identity.

There is a vision of hope in the pipeline.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Uncle Koon: Marvelling at how China can have upper hand over the US



Uncle Koon: Marvelling at how China can have upper hand over the US

By Koon Yew Yin



THE COVID-19 pandemic is the game changer. Although COVID-19 pandemic started in Wuhan, China in December 2019, China managed to control the spread.

China has a total of 95,689 COVID-19 cases and 4,636 deaths as of Sept 19, according to data from Worldometer. In the past 18 months, China has very few daily new cases. This is in stark comparison with the US which has a total of 42.86 million COVID-19 cases and 691,562 deaths during the same period.

Space race

While the US has an average annual growth rate of about 4.5%, China has an average of about 10% in the past 40 years. China is now ranked among countries with the highest technological expertise alongside the US, Germany, Russia, the UK, Singapore, Israel and Switzerland.

In January 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 became the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon. Its rover, Yutu-2, is still operating and studying lunar geology nearly two years later. China is now the only country to land successfully on the moon in the 21st century – and has done so three times.

On Friday (Sept 17), the return capsule of the Shenzhou 12 manned spaceship carrying Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo touched down safely in the Gobi Desert in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The three Chinese astronauts – the first to be sent to orbit for space station-construction – returned to Earth on Friday (Sept 17) after completing their three-month mission including two spacewalks and setting the Chinese record for the longest crewed spaceflight mission.

In a related development, China’s defence system has improved by leaps and bounds especially with its drone strike capability and guided long ranch missiles with nuclear heads to strike any target.


China’s stealth armed drone codenamed Sharp Sword

In November 2013, China successfully tested a stealth armed drone called the Sharp Sword. Today, China has several armed UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) models in service including the CH-3, CH-4 as well as the Wing Loong 1 and Wing Loong 2.

Biggest bully in the world

Former US President Jimmy Carter once said that the US spent 95% of its 245 years history in wars. This is true and you can verify the truth in Google.

In 2020, the US military expenditure reached an estimated US$778 bil, representing an increase of 4.4% over 2019. As the world’s largest military spender, the US accounted for 39% of total military expenditure in 2020. This was the third consecutive year of growth in the US military spending.

The US controls about 750 bases in at least 80 countries worldwide and spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined. China does not have any military base outside China.

kt note: China does have an overseas base in Djibouti. The People's Liberation Army Navy has used the base to conduct anti-piracy operations off of the coast of Djibouti and around the Horn of Africa.

China will soon deliver the final blow. The Chinese yuan will soon replace the US dollar as the world’s currency. That would give China more control over its economy. It is inevitable that China’s economic might will only grow stronger in the new future.

China’s economic achievements

While the US is still the world’s largest economy by virtue of gross domestic product (GDP) with US$20.81 bil followed by China with US$15.22 bil, China is now the No. 1 trading nation in the world if all its imports and exports were to be totalled up.

On the overall, the US has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade which amounted to more than US$2.3 tril. At US$3.24 tril in July, China has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves in the world.

China now has the largest new car market in the entire world. The country now produces more than twice as many automobiles as the US does. After being bailed out by US taxpayers, General Motors (GM) is involved in 11 joint ventures with Chinese companies.



Not only is China today the No. 1 gold producer in the world, it now consumes more energy than the US does; the country is in aggregate the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world and uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.

Moreover, China produces three times as much coal and 11 times as much steel than the US while at the same time produces more than 90% of the global supply of rare earth elements.

Below are some other areas which China stands out:
  • The uniforms for the US Olympic team were made in China. 😀😁😂
  • 85% of all artificial Christmas trees the world over are made in China.
  • The new World Trade Center tower in New York is going to include glass imported from China.
  • China is now the No. 1 producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.
  • China is now the No. 1 supplier of components that are critical to the operation of any national defence system.
  • In terms of published scientific research articles, China is expected to become the No. 1 in the world soon. – Sept 19, 2021