Sunday, December 10, 2023

Health Ministry in Gaza: Death toll in Gaza from Israeli attacks rises to 17,700

Health Ministry in Gaza: Death toll in Gaza from Israeli attacks rises to 17,700

A Palestinian firefighter works to extinguish a fire in a house after an Israeli strike. — Reuters pic

Sunday, 10 Dec 2023 9:55 AM MYT

GAZA, Dec 10 — At least 17,700 Palestinians have been killed and 48,780 wounded in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, Gaza’s Health Ministry said yesterday.

Ashraf Al-Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas-run ministry, said that in recent hours two paramedics were wounded when Israeli forces targeted an ambulance while it was working to evacuate wounded patients from Gaza’s European Hospital.

He denounced what he called Israel’s war against hospitals, ambulances and medical teams.

Israel says Hamas operates from within hospitals and has released footage supporting the claim, and it has also targeted in the past ambulances it says were used by Hamas. Hamas has denied this.

Israeli forces unleashed an aerial and ground blitz against Hamas in Gaza after a cross-border rampage by the enclave’s ruling militant Islamist group on October 7. — Reuters

Turkey’s Erdogan denounces UN ‘Israel protection council’

Turkey’s Erdogan denounces UN ‘Israel protection council’

File photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking to the press following in Athens, on December 7, 2023. — AFP pic

Saturday, 09 Dec 2023 10:26 PM MYT

ISTANBUL, Dec 9 — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today denounced the UN Security Council after the United States vetoed a ceasefire resolution for Gaza, describing the international body as the ‘Israel protection council’.

“Since October 7, the security council has become an Israel protection and defence council,” Erdogan said.

The United States yesterday vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Washington thus dashed a growing clamour for a halt to fighting that had been led by UN chief Antonio Guterres and Arab nations.

“Is this justice?” asked Erdogan, adding that “the world is bigger than five,” a reference to the five veto-wielding nations in the UN Security Council.

“Another world is possible, but without America,” the Turkish leader said.

“The United States stands by Israel with its money and military equipment. Hey, America! How much are you going to pay for that?” he added.

“Every day the Declaration of Human Rights is violated in Gaza”, he said, as the world this weekend celebrates the 75th anniversary of the declaration.

The UN resolution for a ceasefire was submitted more than two months after the start of the war in Gaza triggered by Hamas’s bloody attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which, according to the Israeli authorities, killed 1,200 people.

Since then Hamas has put the death toll in Gaza at 17,490, mostly women and children. — AFP

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim says give PM Anwar a chance to prove himself

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim says give PM Anwar a chance to prove himself

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has urged all Malaysians to give Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a chance to prove himself. — Picture courtesy of

Sunday, 10 Dec 2023 10:04 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has urged all Malaysians to give Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a chance to prove himself.

In an exclusive interview with the Straits Times, the 17th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong said it was not possible for Anwar to make changes in one year.

"I don’t think you can change the country in one year. I think there are good ministers like (Transport Minister) Anthony Loke.

"I will support the government, but if I think they are doing something improper, I will tell them,” he was quoted saying by the Singapore English daily.

Sultan Ibrahim said that he did not foresee problems working with Anwar as he had shared a close relationship with the prime minister.

He was also reported saying that Anwar has called him sometimes to seek advice, even at midnight.

On Oct 27, the Istana Negara announced Sultan Ibrahim as the 17th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, with Perak's Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah as his deputy.

Sultan Ibrahim’s five-year reign as Malaysia’s King will start on January 31 next year, with Sultan Nazrin's term also starting on the same day.

Sultan Ibrahim replaces Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah of Pahang who served as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He ascended the throne as the country's King for five years, starting from January 31, 2019.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Russian Soldiers Capture More of Ukraine’s Leopard 2 Tanks and Bradley IFVs - New Footage

Military Watch:

Russian Soldiers Capture More of Ukraine’s Leopard 2 Tanks and Bradley IFVs - New Footage

Russian Soldiers Capture Leopard 2A4 Tank (screenshot)

Multiple new pieces of footage from Ukraine has shown Russian soldiers capturing several pieces of heavy equipment recently supplied by NATO member states, with personnel seen driven an American Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and trying to start the engine of a German Leopard 2A4 tank. 

The soldiers could be heard discussing starting the tank’s engine and driving it back to their positions, with the vehicle appearing to be entirely undamaged and to have been abandoned by Ukrainian forces. 

A further video released that day showed Bradley fighting vehicle manoeuvring on a dirt in what is thought to be eastern Ukraine. Prior footage released earlier in the week showed Russian personnel inspecting a Bradley fighting vehicle in a warehouse thought to be in Russia itself, with the working vehicle shown on Russian TV. 

The Bradley was reportedly refurbished in the United States in 2022 and captured fully in working order. Bradleys were first delivered to Ukraine in April, and have since taken heavy losses in combat with over 80 reported to have been lost in combat by the end of the summer of which Western sources acknowledge more than 50.

Russian Personnel with Earlier Captured Bradley Fighting Vehicle

Footage of Russian forces capturing abandoned American and German built armour first emerged in early July, although whether those assets were successfully returned to Russian lines or were abandoned remains uncertain. 

The quantities of Western supplied armoured vehicles destroyed has nevertheless far exceeded those captured, with the first images of the Bradleys taking heavy losses emerging in June

Later footage released by multiple Russian sources on July 22 showed multiple Bradleys destroyed on the frontlines in Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region. The Bradley’s armour protection levels have been frequently criticised since long before the vehicle class entered service, with very high attrition rates seen in Ukraine indicating these concerns were at least somewhat valid. 

The scale of the losses Ukraine has faced, and the increasingly widely acknowledged failure of its offensives, have played a major role in bolstering opposition in the United States to providing further arms or funding for the war effort. 

With the domestic economy having effectively collapsed, this has the potential to totally undermine not only Ukraine’s ability to sustain military operations, but the Ukrainian state’s ability to carry out even very basic functions.

Line of Destroyed Bradley Fighting Vehicles in Eastern Ukraine

Much like the Bradley, the Leopard 2 was similarly long expected to take very heavy losses against Russian forces based on the class’ prior performance when deployed by the Turkish Army against Islamic State and Kurdish insurgents in Syria and Iraq - with senior Turkish officials referring to their forces as experiencing “trauma” due to the extreme losses taken against relatively lightly armed militia groups. 

The Leopard 2A6, which is the most modern widely used variant, was first seen taking multiple losses in early June just days after it was confirmed to be participating in offensives against Russian positions. 

Concerns in the United States that the reputation of the top American tank the M1 Abrams could similarly be seriously tarnished by footage of combat losses has according to a number of unconfirmed reports led the U.S. to press Ukraine to hold the vehicles back from the frontlines, after the first were delivered in September

Shortly after the class was confirmed to have first been deployed to the frontlines, the first footage of a British Challenger 2 tank being destroyed by Russian forces was published in early September, leaving the recently delivered Abrams as the only class not to have seen losses so far.

No discounts for Road Transport Dept fines during Madani celebration or in future, Minister Loke insists

No discounts for Road Transport Dept fines during Madani celebration or in future, Minister Loke insists

Transport minister Anthony Loke hands over new helmets to the public in conjunction of exchanging new helmets initiative during the Madani government’s one-year anniversary at Bukit Jalil National Stadium December 9, 2023. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Saturday, 09 Dec 2023 5:44 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Transport Minister Anthony Loke has insisted today that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will no longer offer any discounts for its fines, not only during the Madani Government One-Year Anniversary this weekend but also in the future.

He said this was a policy he had already initiated back in 2018 when he was first appointed as the transport minister.

“Why did we do that? Firstly, if anyone remembers, it was me who cancelled more than four million AES (automated enforcement system) summons in 2018. At that time many people welcomed it, but I told you, it was just a one-off and not to be a precedent.

“If we collected the summons, they were worth over RM600 million in government revenue, but we wrote off all of them,” Loke told reporters after visiting the Transport Ministry’s booth at the celebration programme at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here.

Loke was responding to the public’s complaints on why his ministry had done away with discounts on summons issued by JPJ.

“Secondly, we also want to convey a message to the public, that the summons are meant to educate, but if we give discounts, it is as if [traffic violations] was a matter up for negotiation.

“We also received feedback from the public, that if we gave discounts it would be unfair to those who paid at the stipulated time, or early. Regarding other agencies I can’t comment, because other agencies may have other considerations.

The police are offering a 50 per cent discount for those paying off fines during the celebration in Bukit Jalil.

“But JPJ is under the Transport Ministry, and the ministry has a portfolio and responsibilities for road safety, we need to give out a firm message,” he said, adding that there were people who were disappointed since the ministry was only giving out complementary helmets and lucky draw for flight ticket rather than offering discounts.

Loke added that his ministry did not decide on the matter alone, but discussed it with the director-general of JPJ and also the secretary-general to decide on a response to the discontent among the public.

“But it was a unanimous decision from JPJ was that we must be firm in this matter. Especially in this matter, why give in just because someone made a complaint, as from the beginning we stated in the Cabinet that this policy is very strict,” he said.

“A strong message needs to be given that violations on the road must be taken seriously. I know that it could be a burden on the public, but as the ministry responsible for road safety issues, I need to bear this responsibility and give clear messages.

“So, I’m sorry, no discount for JPJ summons. There was once last year, but I was not the minister at the time. I need to be consistent in this matter,” he said.

He said while there are people who may be unhappy with this decision or that he has no sympathy, the priority is road safety.

“Don’t wait [for discounts], if there is a summons [that people need to pay], I advise them to pay up, if they don’t, there may be other implications later, a warrant may be issued and so on. So, no need to wait,” he said.

According to Loke, there will be an additional 2,000 units of helmets to be distributed at Bukit Jalil tomorrow as the target of free helmets distributed surpassed the number that the ministry had planned to give out initially.

Seoul says Japan inaction means ‘comfort women’ court ruling upheld

Seoul says Japan inaction means ‘comfort women’ court ruling upheld

File of two women walking across a road in the Jongno district of Seoul on December 4, 2023. — AFP pic

Saturday, 09 Dec 2023 4:34 PM MYT

SEOUL, Dec 9 — A South Korean court ruling in favour of a group of 16 women who were forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels was confirmed today by Japan’s decision not to appeal the verdict, Seoul’s foreign ministry said.

An appellate court in South Korea last month ordered Japan to compensate the 16 “comfort women”, overturning a lower court ruling that had dismissed the case.

Appeals must be filed within two weeks after a court’s written judgment, which made yesterday the deadline.

“Comfort women” is a Japanese euphemism for those forced to work in its wartime brothels during its 1910-45 colonisation of the Korean peninsula and has been a point of contention between the countries for decades.

Under conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol, Seoul and Tokyo have sought to improve relations dogged by historical disputes stemming from Japan’s colonial rule.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement it would continue efforts to recover the honor and dignity of “comfort women” while seeking future-oriented cooperation with Japan.

Tokyo has said the issue was settled under a 1965 treaty that normalised diplomatic relations, and the two neighbours agreed to “irreversibly” end the dispute in a 2015 deal.

When asked about the latest court ruling, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said on Friday that Japan had expressed to the South Korean side that it is “unacceptable” and in violation of the agreement between the two countries.

She said the government had no intention of appealing against the court ruling because Japan is not subject to South Korea’s jurisdiction under international law.

Earlier this year, Seoul announced South Korean companies would pay to resolve a dispute over forced labour under Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation, seeking to end what has undercut US-led efforts to present a unified front against China and North Korea.

The move was hailed by US President Joe Biden as “ground-breaking.” — Reuters

Rehab centre for homosexuals seen as a waste of taxpayers’ money


Rehab centre for homosexuals seen as a waste of taxpayers’ money

Malaysian Aids Council president Raja Iskandar Shah says studies and testimonials by participants have shown such initiatives do not work.

Johor executive councillor Fared Khalid (left) said the centre will be ready in July, while Raja Iskandar Shah said it would lead to LGBTQ people being damaged.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aids Council has described plans for a rehabilitation centre in Johor for homosexuals as being regressive and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The council’s president, Raja Iskandar Shah, said such centres did not work, citing studies on conversion therapy as well as testimonies by participants to back up his argument.

“We should always look at what history has done to (LGBT people), particularly young men, in regard to conversion therapy. They are very seriously damaged, which leads to lasting complications in terms of being able to accept themselves,” he told FMT.

Plans for such rehabilitation centres for homosexuals were announced last month by the Johor state government. It would also be used to rehabilitate those with divergent religious beliefs.

State executive councillor Fared Khalid, chairman of the state’s religious affairs committee, said the rehabilitation centre for those in same-sex relationships would be the first of its kind to be established in the country.

The centre is expected to be fully operational in July.

Gender studies professor Sharon Bong of Monash University Malaysia was concerned about the harm such a centre would have on the patient.

“When religion is used, indeed weaponised in this way to harm, the violation runs deeper, as religions uphold the sanctity of the human person.

“Anyone who regards Malaysia as their home deserves to be counted and treated as a person regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and religious affiliation,” she said.

Bong said if any group needed to be rehabilitated it would be the “sexist, homophobic, racist, and the transphobic”.

Rights group Justice for Sisters had previously called on the Johor government to halt plans to establish such a centre, saying any move to change a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity was in violation of the Federal Constitution and international human rights law.

“The rehabilitation centre directly violates Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which safeguards the personal liberty, privacy and dignity of all Malaysian citizens,” the group said.

The group said results of a survey it conducted found that attempts to “rehabilitate” LGBTQ people may have long-term and severe impact, including a negative effect on their mental health, resulting in them dropping out of school, and harbouring suicidal thoughts.

Umno confirms Isham sacked from party - What will be the impact?


Umno confirms Isham sacked from party

Party sec-gen says former youth chief violated the party’s code of ethics and was booted out as of Dec 6.

Umno has confirmed that it expelled Isham Jalil on Wednesday for Umno’s code of ethics.

PETALING JAYA: Umno has confirmed that former Youth chief Isham Jalil has been sacked from the party, in a letter sighted by FMT.

The letter from Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said that Isham’s membership was terminated with immediate effect on Dec 6 following an Umno Supreme Council meeting that day.

“You are expelled from the party immediately under Article 10.6 read together with Article 5.9 of the Umno Constitution due to your actions, which have violated the Umno Member’s Code of Ethics,” Asyraf said.



Analysts at odds over impact of Isham’s sacking from Umno

Lau Zhe Wei says Isham Jalil’s departure will have no bearing on the party, while Jeniri Amir predicts a rift between Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak.

Isham Jalil’s sacking on Thursday came in the wake of his criticism of Umno.

PETALING JAYA: Two analysts are at odds over whether Umno Supreme Council member Isham Jalil’s sacking would have an impact on the party.

International Islamic University Malaysia’s Lau Zhe Wei says Isham’s sacking is inconsequential, while Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir believes it may create a rift between Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his predecessor, Najib Razak.

Lau said Isham was nowhere near the likes of former ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Hishammuddin Hussein in terms of influence.

Khairy, a former Umno Youth chief, was sacked earlier this year, while Hishammuddin, a former vice-president, was suspended.

Lau Zhe Wei.

“I don’t see the action taken this time around (to sack Isham) dividing Umno further, as Umno had been divided after the initial purge,” Lau told FMT.

Umno also sacked former Selangor chief Noh Omar and suspended former information chief Shahril Hamdan in January.

On Thursday, Umno Supreme Council member Ahmad Maslan confirmed that Isham had been sacked from the party.

The sacking came in the wake of his criticism of the party citing Umno’s continued cooperation with DAP. There were also claims that he had not attended several Supreme Council meetings.

Isham had also challenged Zahid, whom he once strongly supported, to a debate.

Jeniri Amir.

Jeniri, on the other hand, said the sacking may create a rift between Zahid and Najib. Isham is said to be a huge supporter of the former prime minister.

“To say that it (Isham’s sacking) has no direct impact is (inaccurate).

“Surely Najib’s supporters will be disappointed. Those who share Isham’s views will likely sympathise with him. And this will create schisms and (may) lead to protests.”

Oh Ei Sun.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs believes Isham’s dismissal highlighted two Umno trends – ongoing dissatisfaction with Zahid’s leadership, and the growing number of members seeking Malay unity through an alliance with Perikatan National (PN).

However, he said, it was too early to conclude that the decision to sack Isham would lead to a rift between Najib and Zahid as they continue to retain a close relationship.

US blocks UN Security Council demand for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza [Israeli genocide of Gazans MUST continue]

US blocks UN Security Council demand for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Robert A. Wood attends a meeting about invoking Article 99 of the United Nations charter to address the humanitarian crisis in the midst of conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, at the UN headquarters in New York December 8, 2023. ― Reuters pic

Saturday, 09 Dec 2023 7:25 AM MYT

NEW YORK, Dec 9 ― The United States yesterday vetoed a proposed United Nations Security Council demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza, diplomatically isolating Washington as it shields its ally.

Thirteen other members voted in favour of a brief draft resolution, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, while Britain abstained. The vote came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a rare move on Wednesday to formally warn the 15-member council of a global threat from the two-month long war.

“What is the message we are sending Palestinians if we cannot unite behind a call to halt the relentless bombardment of Gaza?” Deputy UAE UN Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab asked the council. “Indeed, what is the message we are sending civilians across the world who may find themselves in similar situations?”

The United States and Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit Hamas. Washington instead supports pauses in fighting to protect civilians and allow the release of hostages taken by Hamas in a deadly October 7 attack on Israel.

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told the council that the draft resolution was a rushed, imbalanced text “that was divorced from reality, that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way.”

“We do not support this resolution's call for an unsustainable ceasefire that will only plant the seeds for the next war,” said Wood.

The US had offered substantial amendments to the draft, including a condemnation of the October 7 Hamas attacks that Israel says killed 1,200 people and in which 240 people were taken hostage.

Britain's UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward said her country abstained because there was no condemnation of Hamas.

“Israel needs to be able to address the threat posed by Hamas and it needs to do so in a manner that abides by international humanitarian law so that such an attack can never be carried out again,” she told the council.

'Human pinballs'

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told the council the result of the vote was “disastrous,” adding: “Millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance. Every single one of them is sacred, worth saving.”

Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan did not address the Security Council after the vote, but in a statement said: “A ceasefire will be possible only with the return of all the hostages and the destruction of Hamas.”

The United States favours its own diplomacy over Security Council action to win the release of more hostages and press Israel to better protect civilians in Gaza as it retaliates against Hamas.

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged on Thursday that there was a “gap” between Israel's intent to protect civilians and what has happened on the ground. Gaza's Health Ministry says more than 17,480 people have been killed.

Israel has bombarded Gaza from the air, imposed a siege and launched a ground offensive. The vast majority of the Palestinian enclave's 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes.

“There is no effective protection of civilians,” Guterres told the council earlier yesterday. “The people of Gaza are being told to move like human pinballs ― ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival. But nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

A seven-day pause - during which Hamas released some hostages and there was an increase in badly needed humanitarian aid to Gaza ― ended on December 1.

After several failed attempts to take action, the Security Council last month called for pauses in fighting to allow aid access to Gaza, which Guterres on Friday described as a “spiralling humanitarian nightmare.” ― Reuters

Biden administration presses US Congress to approve tank shells for Israel's war in Gaza [so the genocide in Gaza can continue???]

Biden administration presses US Congress to approve tank shells for Israel's war in Gaza, say sources

Debris scatters amidst an explosion during what the Israeli army says was an operation in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, in this screengrab taken from a video released on December 8, 2023. ― Israel Defense Forces/Handout via Reuters

Saturday, 09 Dec 2023 9:01 AM MYT

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 ― The Biden administration has asked Congress to approve the sale of 45,000 shells for Israel's Merkava tanks for use in its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, according to four sources familiar with the matter, including a US official and a former US official.

The request is being made even as concerns grow about the use of US weapons in a war that has killed thousands of civilians in the Palestinian enclave since Israel responded to an attack on October 7 by Hamas.

The potential sale, worth more than US$500 million, is not part of President Joe Biden's US$110.5 billion supplemental request that includes funding for Ukraine and Israel. It is under informal review by the Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees, which allows members the privilege to stall the sale, or have informal discussions with the administration about concerns.

The US State Department is pushing the congressional committees to quickly approve the transaction, said a US official and Josh Paul, a former State Department official, amid objections from rights advocates over the use of US-made weapons in the conflict.

“This went to committees earlier this week and they are supposed to have 20 days to review Israel cases. State (Department) is pushing them to clear now,” said Paul, who in October resigned from the State Department in protest over what he called the administration's “blind support” for Israel.

The administration is also weighing using Arms Export Control Act emergency authorities to allow a portion of the ammunition, 13,000 of the 45,000 shells, to bypass the committee and review period, two US officials said, although a final decision was yet to be made. The move would allow Israel to prepare for contingencies given the high tensions in the region, one of the US officials said.

A State Department spokesperson said as a matter of policy, “we do not confirm or comment on proposed defence transfers or sales until they have been formally notified to Congress.”

Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat on the chamber's foreign relations committee, said congressional view was a critical step for large weapons sales.

“The administration should not consider short-circuiting the already short time frame for congressional review of this or any other arms transfer,” he said.

Online images of the war show that Israel regularly deploys Merkava tanks in its Gaza offensive and on its southern border with Lebanon, where skirmishes have erupted since October 7.

Risking complicity

The tanks are also linked to incidents that involved the death of journalists.

On Thursday, a Reuters investigation revealed that an Israeli tank crew killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and wounded six reporters by firing two shells in quick succession from Israel while the journalists were filming cross-border shelling.

Israel has sharply increased strikes on the Gaza Strip since a seven-day-long truce ended a week ago, pounding the length of the Palestinian enclave and killing hundreds in a new, expanded phase of the war that Washington said veered from Israeli promises to do more to protect civilians.

Gaza's health ministry said the death toll from Israel's campaign in Gaza had risen to 17,487.

As the war intensified, how and where exactly the US weapons are used in the conflict has come under more scrutiny, even though US officials say there are no plans to put conditions on military aid to Israel or to consider withholding some of it.

Rights advocates expressed concern over the sale, saying it doesn't align with Washington's effort to press Israel to minimize civilian casualties.

“By continuing to provide Israel with weapons and diplomatic cover as it commits atrocities, including collectively punishing the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, the US risks complicity in war crimes,” said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch.

The United States yesterday also vetoed a proposed United Nations Security Council demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, a move that diplomatically isolated Washington as it shields its ally.

kt comments: Israel is NOT an ally of the US, but its MASTER. It tells the US what to do, not the other way around

Earlier this week, Amnesty International said US-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) were used by the Israeli military in two air strikes on homes full of civilians, the first time a rights group has directly linked US weapons to an attack that killed civilians.

Israel says it is providing detail about which areas are safe for civilians and how to reach them, and says Hamas is to blame for harm that befalls civilians because it operates among them, an accusation the Islamist group denies.

Israel launched what it says is a campaign to destroy Hamas after the group attacked Israeli towns in a surprise cross-border incursion on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 240 hostages. ― Reuters

Nationalism the last refuge of Madani gov’t as evident from Saifuddin’s ‘must speak Malay’ fiasco

Nationalism the last refuge of Madani gov’t as evident from Saifuddin’s ‘must speak Malay’ fiasco

By Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

HOME Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail cannot camouflage his recent uncalled defence of an immigration officer for scolding a woman who could not speak Malay in her effort to renew her passport.

I understand that she lost her fluency because of her long absence from the country. Saifuddin is trying to beat about the bush by now saying that Malaysians must be fluent in their oral Malay when dealing with government officials.

But he must first admit that he was wrong in defending the immigration officer for scolding the woman for not being able to speak Malay. Why the necessity on the part of the officer to scold the woman when there was no Malay proficiency requirement for passport renewal?

In fact, what Saifuddin should be doing is to apologise to the woman who was scolded by the rude officer. Instead, Saifuddin is trying to change the subject by advising Malaysians to speak in Malay to government officers.

Is there a need for Saifuddin to give this kind of nonsensical advice? Is it widespread that languages other than Malay is used in government departments?

There is no reason why Malaysians would not be inclined to speak in Malay. There is no issue at. What if government officials want to speak in languages other than Malay? What if they want to speak in English?

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

Is there any law in the country that only Malay can be used in government departments? If not, what is the punishment to those who speak in English? Is it a crime for Malaysian of Tamil origins to speak Tamil to an immigration officer of the same origins?

I don’t understand why Saifuddin is raising petty issues when he should be thinking of apologising to the woman who was scolded by the immigration officer. Saifuddin came to the uncalled defence of this officer. Was this necessary in the first place?

Why is he and his boss Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bending over backwards to appease the Malay nationalists? Does Saifuddin think that this act of appeasement or sycophancy will endear himself to the Malays or get the Malays to return to the fold of PH? Sweet dreams!

It doesn’t take rocket science to realise that the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) coalition has lost Malay support. For the coalition’s ministers like Saifuddin, nationalism seems to be last refuge.

Saifuddin’s senate route to become a minister is something to think about! – Dec 8, 2023

Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

Netizens slam RPK for claiming to have emulated Prophet Muhammad by migrating to UK

Netizens slam RPK for claiming to have emulated Prophet Muhammad by migrating to UK

FUGITIVE blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) found himself under siege by netizens in a recent post where he reported that fellow controversial blogger Papagomo or his real name Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris had been detained by the Malaysian police while doing his TikTok livestream on Wednesday (Dec 6).

It doesn’t matter that the cops had denied arresting the former UMNO Youth leader but brickbats were hurled at the now Manchester-based mercenary blogger for associating his sojourn to the UK with that of Prophet Muhammad SAW’s migration from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution.

“That’s why God ordered Prophet Muhammad SAW to migrate to a place where there is freedom of speech,” the now Perikatan Nasional (PN)-inclined blogger tweeted. “And I followed the Sunnah of the Prophet by migrating to England. Following the Sunnah of the Prophet is obligatory for Muslims.”

Papagomo baru kena tangkap semasa buat TikTok live. Sebab itu Allah perintah Nabi Muhammad SAW berhijrah ke tempat di mana ada kebebasan bersuara. Dan saya ikut Sunnah Nabi dan berhijrah ke England. Ikut Sunnah Nabi wajib bagi orang Islam.

Founder of think tank EMIR Research Dr Rais Husin Mohamed Ariff was the first to reply to RPK’s tweet by asking him: “How is your whiskey session, bro?”

Netizen Abah (@chairmanGLC) ticked off RPK for comparing himself with the Prophet. “You claim to be following the sunnah to migrate to another place. But Sunnah is all about telling the truth which you don’t wish to follow. This is atrocious,” he chided with eFJei (@mrfirdausjailan) seconding his view.

“Agreed. Hope all religious riders respond to this call for migration. Go migrate and never come back to Malaysia. Together we can develop Malaysia in a more peaceful and harmonious manner.”

Terrence.Dass (@dass_terrence) also hit out at RPK by accusing him as “being slanderous”. “Please do not equate yourself with the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW,” quipped the netizen while Analysis Ke Darat (@AnalysisDarat) clarified that Prophet Muhammad SAW migrated “because he wanted to strengthen the religion and establish a country”.

“But Uncle, you come uninvited and leave at your own will. Whether you’re around or not doesn’t make any difference,” asserted the netizen.

Last but not least, netizens LaPoca (@LaPoca) and Hassan Abu bakar (@HassanA53681343) let the picture of RPK when he was a staunch PKR supporter and a media report cutting of his “disappearance after two warrants of arrest were issued against him” to do the taking. – Dec 8, 2023