Monday, August 31, 2020

How should Europe respond now its American ally has turned hostile?

Guardian (Aus Ed):

How should Europe respond now its American ally has turned hostile?

As trusted friends join the ranks of predators, it could be time to take a tougher line – soft power is no longer enough

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, speaks to Donald Trump during the G7 meeting in Quebec, 2018. Photograph: Reuters

Making his celebrated return from exile in April 1917 to take up the reins of the Russian revolution, Vladimir Lenin caught a ferry to Sweden from Sassnitz, a small Baltic coastal town in north-east Germany, before taking the train to Finland station in Petrograd, the city that became Leningrad and is now St Petersburg. Sassnitz’s moment in the historical spotlight was fleeting. Now, thanks to Donald Trump’s blundering buddies, it’s back there again.

A trio of Republican senators – Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson – are threatening to wreak terrible punishment on Sassnitz, its elected officials and residents who make their living from the port. Luckily, Trump’s three stooges seem unaware of Sassnitz’s role in propelling the Bolshevik leader to power. Their beef concerns its present-day dealings with Russia and the almost-completed Nord Stream 2 Baltic pipeline project.

In an extraordinarily high-handed letter this month, the senators claimed the pipeline, which will import Russian natural gas to Europe via Germany, posed a “grave threat” to US security. If Sassnitz did not immediately halt its involvement, it would incur “crushing legal and economic sanctions” that could prove “fatal” to the region’s economy, they decreed. Sassnitz companies, shareholders and employees would face US government-ordered asset freezes and travel bans similar to North Korea and Iran.

The US has long opposed Nord Stream 2, arguing it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russia. Berlin has long resisted such claims, saying it alone determines national policy, in conjunction with the EU. What the feet-first intervention of Cruz and his arrogant cronies has done is turn the issue into another full-on US-Europe confrontation.

The reaction in Sassnitz and beyond is predictably furious. The Americans are accused of treating Germany more like an enemy, or a colony, than an ally. Foreign minister Heiko Maas said such behaviour reflected basic “disrespect” for European rights and sovereignty. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, expressed “deep concern at the growing use of sanctions, or threat of sanctions, by the US against European companies and interests”.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s relations with Trump were already icy after years of presidential insults and, more recently, his perverse decision to cut US troop numbers in Germany – a key part of Nato defences against Russia. Now the row risks rekindling broader resentment over Trump’s tariff wars, climate crisis denial, and efforts to divide the EU by wooing conservative eastern states.

America’s increasing resort to bullying and intimidation of old friends in place of reasoned persuasion was highlighted by another showdown last week, over Iran. US secondary sanctions have hurt European companies trading with Tehran but have failed, so far, to break the joint German-French-UK commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal jettisoned by Trump. So when the US sought to reimpose sanctions on Iran at the UN, it was roundly rebuffed.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo reacted with a classic Trumpian tantrum. Europe was “siding with the ayatollahs,” he snarled. Kelly Craft, US ambassador to the UN, was every bit as offensive, absurdly accusing America’s most steadfast allies of “standing in the company of terrorists”. The fact Trump’s Iran policy has demonstrably backfired, pushing the Middle East closer to war, and Iran closer to a nuclear weapon, does not seem to matter.

Spare a thought at this point for put-upon Dominic Raab, Britain’s foreign secretary. Raab was in Jerusalem last week, bravely attempting to put a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine back on the table following the best efforts of Trump and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bury it. Instead, he got a humiliating public dressing-down from Netanyahu and fellow ministers over Iran. This was rude and disrespectful. Sadly, their uncouth behaviour reflects Britain’s growing irrelevance.

Achieving a two-state solution is another big area of US-Europe disagreement. Yet similar difficulties arise on other key issues. Despite its desire to “save” Europe from the Russians (and sell it expensive gas from Cruz’s home state of Texas instead), Trumpland has shown a dismaying lack of concern over the plight of Alexei Navalny, the poisoned Russian opposition activist.

Be it the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and Libya, or the uprising in Belarus, hands-off Trump has gone out of his way to avoid upsetting Russian president Vladimir Putin, to whom he seems in thrall. These are important matters affecting Europe’s security, prosperity and principles, yet scant solidarity, and often the exact opposite, is what it has come to expect from Trump’s America.

What to do? EU leaders can hope Joe Biden wins in November. But what if Trump triumphs again? Europe can expect more sanctions, selfish stupidity and brutishness where US foreign policy used to be. It would face a second-term president hostile to Germany in particular, contemptuous of the EU in general, and free to indulge his destructive instincts to the full. Nato and the transatlantic alliance might finally implode under the strain.

Even if that’s avoided for now, the possibility of such a nightmare in future is a compelling argument for strengthening Europe’s shared security, military and technological capabilities – and its protections against Sassnitz-style economic and financial blackmail. French president Emmanuel Macron urges greater EU integration, ambition and urgency, but Merkel and others are wary. Yet as Sophia Besch of the Centre for European Reform argued recently, Europe must be able to defend its geopolitical interests.

Call it “strategic autonomy”. Or simply call it survival. In a world where once trusted friends join the ranks of the predators, soft power is not enough.

Europe will not curb the depredations of major global players until it becomes one itself. Europeans must stand together. What an utter tragedy that Britain chose this dangerous moment to fall apart.

UM sexual assault case swept under the carpet?


Has UM sexual assault case been swept under the rug?

Violence and sexual assaults against women are crimes and we should protect the rights of vulnerable women. However, the experience of one university student shows that the rights of women in Malaysia are often ignored and there is a reluctance to punish certain members of society who have committed a crime.

So, why don’t we punish sexual offenders and why do we refuse to name them, especially sexual perpetrators who hold positions of authority?

We skirt around the issue, and treat the perpetrators with kid gloves, despite the victims coming forward to expose the alleged assault. Making a public statement about an alleged sexual assault cannot be easy for the victim.

Last July, a Universiti Malaya (UM) student who called herself “Ching” alleged that an associate professor had sexually assaulted her in his office on June 3, 2019.

When the university failed to act against the lecturer and refused to share the findings of an internal investigation with her, she lodged a police report thinking that the police probe would be conducted swiftly and be transparent.

What transpired was unacceptable.

On Thursday, the police told Ching that they had completed their investigations into the alleged assault by the UM associate professor. They said that no further action would be taken against him. They said that he had already faced the university’s disciplinary committee, and had been demoted. They informed her that he had retired in June.

Did it take the police three months to tell her, “Case closed, no further action”?

Most people would contend that the disciplinary committee should not be allowed to handle a serious sexual allegation of this nature.

The police said their investigation had been conducted under Section 354 of the Penal Code which involves the use of criminal force on a person with the intent to outrage the victim’s modesty. If the man had been found guilty, upon conviction, he would have faced a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine, with whipping, or any combination of two of the punishments.

So, why was Ching denied justice? Why has the perpetrator been protected? Was his name kept secret to save his family’s reputation?

How about other women? Won’t they be at risk? It appears that every effort is being made to protect the reputation of UM. Why did the student bodies not protest more strongly?

The results of the police probe have not been revealed and Ching must feel that she has been violated three times. First, by her lecturer, second, by her university, and third, by the authorities.

If the lecturer had not done anything wrong, the university would not have demoted him or conducted the hearing under a cloak of secrecy, would it? Why was the victim not allowed to counter his evidence? How many are in the disciplinary committee? Were any women on it?

So many questions remain unanswered and denying a public hearing has only further tarnished the university’s reputation.

The university should not be afraid to publish its investigations. They should show an interest and find out if other students had been assaulted. Perhaps, his colleagues are aware. Did they keep quiet or were they warned not to expose him, in which case, students were put at risk.

A proper hearing would have revealed more, including whether there are other victims or if members of the university staff were subjected to similar assaults. A public hearing would have encouraged others to come forward, but now it looks as if this serious allegation has been swept under the rug.

Perhaps Ching should name her former lecturer, start a private prosecution and seek compensation.

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah is aware of the matter, but more importantly, we would like to know the reaction of the following people: the minister for women, family and community development; the minister for youth; the minister for higher education; and the law minister. Why are they silent?

Sexual assault is a serious crime, but if our ministers and educational establishments adopt a tidak apa attitude, then our society has failed our womenfolk.

PAS lacks real Islamic values on minister's quarantine breach


PAS leader blames Health, Foreign Ministries for minister’s quarantine breach

PAS spiritual leader Hashim Yasin says the Health and Foreign ministries have been negligent in Plantation and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali recent Covid-19 quarantine breach. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, August 31, 2020


PLANTATION and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali should be considered a hero even though he broke Covid-19 quarantine rules as his trip to Turkey had brought benefits to the oil palm sector, said PAS spiritual leader Hashim Yasin.

“He broke the rules but he brought good news, news that brought benefit. He is a hero, like the hoopoe bird that was going to be punished, when it was actually a hero,” he said, referring to verses about the bird in the Quran.

Wakakaka, trying to make PAS see sense would be like banging your head against a brick wall.

Those BS-ters, caught with their balls in a monkey belacan trap, are attempting to con their way out of their minister's legal violation.

Just PAS' Islamic values - to lie and lie to just not lose a minister post.

Pahang Durian Saga


Durian, royalty and politics: Race to placate farmers in revolt (@malaysiakini) | Twitter

A durian farmers' dispute in Raub, Pahang has turned political with parties from both sides of the divide racing to lend a helping hand but a royal twist also means they must tread carefully.

The backdrop of these developments is the speculation that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin may call for a snap election in the near future in an attempt to bolster his fragile majority.

The dispute started when the Pahang government's Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Negeri Pahang (PKPP) and royalty-linked Royal Pahang Durian Resources (RPDR) entered into a joint-venture and is now reclaiming thousands of acres of land from what it claimed are illegal durian farmers.

Some are indeed illegal farmers but other unlicensed ones are part of a farming scheme launched by PKPP's predecessor Lembaga Kemajuan Perusahaan Pertanian (LKPP) in the 1970s but were later somehow forgotten.

The durian farmers' have claimed that they are now being forced into an exploitative "legalisation scheme" by PKPP-RPDR.

Swinging into action, the Pahang MCA yesterday formed a committee aimed at "safeguarding the rights" of farmers.

The committee was announced by Pahang MCA liaison committee chairperson Hoh Khai Mun but was careful not to single out the durian farms, instead of aiming to solve agriculture issues in general for Pahang.

He had the central endorsement with the presence of MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon (photo).

"We felt that the Pahang state government would have better success in resolving disputes if better communication had been established between stakeholders through other means.

"In view of the continued escalation of this recent issue, we have decided to form this body to more efficiently negotiate with the Pahang state government to formulate a more well-rounded solution," Hoh had said in a statement today.

Pahang MCA is known to have a cordial relationship with the state royalty and is also part of the state government, making it better positioned to work out a compromise for the durian farmers.

According to RPDR's website, it named the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's daughter Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as president.

Not to be outdone, Pahang DAP, back by central leaders, also visited the durian farmers today where they announced a national committee headed by Pahang DAP deputy chairperson Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji to look into their plight.

"The committee will investigate the background of the issue and also how the company was able to use the word 'royal'," said DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.

Lim said by using the name "royal", it was giving the perception that the durian farmers fighting the company were going against the royalty.

"It gives a false perception that the people are against the royalty. They are not against the royalty but it is for justice," he said.

Lim also urged Muhyiddin to visit the site and understand the issue, lamenting that no federal ministers have taken up their plight.

The Kuantan High Court had on Aug 28 granted an interim stay order against the Pahang government which is trying to reclaim the farmland pending the hearing of a judicial review hearing on Oct 28.

Meanwhile, Zulpuri (photo) said he had met with Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail to ask for his intervention.

"The menteri besar indicated he will consider the matter. Whether it happens or not, I do not know.

"I have also written to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to request for an audience so that a win-win solution can be worked out," he said.

Zulpuri said it was "crass" to describe the farmers as illegals as many have been living there for decades.

"They have been farming for a long time. I have information that some of the farmers even got loans from Bank Pertanian in 1986.

"If the lands were illegally farmed, how could they have possibly got loans from the bank," he said.

Zulpuri added that the matter should not be painted as a "Chinese issue" as Malay farmers are also affected.

"Therefore, there has to be a holistic resolution," he said.

The issue has become a hot topic in the Chinese press while right-wing Malay rights group such as Isma have also questioned why MCA was getting involved, declaring that the matter to be a "clear" case of illegal encroachment.

However, a survey of the area by Malaysiakini found that while many Chinese farmers have been the most vocal in their protest, many Malay farmers are also affected by the "legalisation scheme".

Among them is 80-year-old Mohamad Ali, who is the former chief of one of the affected villages.

Mohamad has settled in Kampung Sugai Chalit since 1979 under LKPP's scheme but their land ownership was never properly formalised until today.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

PAS' priority all wrong


‘PAS, don’t forget other pressing social ills too’

486422_491405147591005_1126584714_n – Journey of Life..

YOURSAY | ‘Perhaps you’d want to focus on drugs, incest, and the national celebration called corruption.’

PAS MP hopes no more alcohol industry in M'sia in the future

Newday: Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, we have many things and issues in Malaysia that many wishes would eventually be no more.

Issues such as child marriage, restrictions on people that are not married being together, restrictions on music and dance, people flaunting their positions by driving the most expensive cars possible, politicians that act and think they are above the law (no quarantine or bike helmets), the acceptance of endemic corruption as well as the continuing and questionable bashing of DAP, non-Malays and liberal Muslims, type two diabetes (due to high sugar consumption), and the abuse of migrant labour.

This is not a complete list. Yet out of all these problems, you focused on an individual’s right to have an alcoholic beverage. You have yet again marginalised the 30 percent of Malaysians who are legally allowed to drink.

Apaknakdikato: Ahmad Fadhli and Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, today you try to ban alcohol, and next you try to ban pork, then ultimately you ban other religions.

Don't try to impose your beliefs on others. Stop being self-righteous because there are many non-Muslims who consume alcohol in a responsible manner, and who have high moral values. In fact, they contribute more to the country than you.

To falsely insult other people's faith as "terpesong" (deviation) in Parliament shows your high level of disrespect for non-Muslims.

I can assure you that the Christian community in Malaysia will not break into riots following your insult because they know their faith remains unshakeable.

If a similar insult on Islam was thrown by an irresponsible non-Muslim in Parliament, can you guarantee there will not be violent demonstrations and riots by your fellow Muslims?

Your insult on the Christian community is serious and I am shocked that the House speaker allowed this, probably indicating he has a similar bigoted mindset as yours.

You have no right whatsoever to dictate how non-Muslims should run their lives. It is far better that you correct yourself first before trying to correct others. Isn't that what your religion taught?

Vijay47: Ahmad Fadhli, being a member of PAS, especially like your party president Abdul Hadi Awang, it must be unavoidable that you must embark on frequent holier-than-thou displays of hypocrisy and selective piety.

Your demand that alcoholic drinks be banned may blend well, neat or on the rocks, with those crowds at the corner gerai kopi (coffee stall) as they sagely sip their air sirap or take a puff or two or three of ketum.

But I will vehemently protest your latest outrage, from two perspectives.

Do not impose your Islamic values on me. I am a Christian and my religion does not prohibit my drinking alcohol; nevertheless, it does urge caution, restraint, and responsibility.

As to my sins or virtues, where I hope the latter exceeds the former, I am quite prepared, thank you, to account for them when I finally seek entry through the pearly gates.

If religious adherence is what worries you, why pick on drinking, a pastime that Muslims are supposedly not prone to indulge in?

Perhaps you would want to focus on drugs including, yes, ketum, incest, and the national celebration called corruption.

That should at least reduce the housing pressures Hell would otherwise suffer and in the meantime, make Kelantan a virtual heaven, the deluge of Mercedes Benz vehicles notwithstanding.

However, if your anxiety is road safety, you might want to address your misplaced concern to the police. Yes, the one eternally facing problems in locating a criminal on the run with his unfortunate daughter.

The police would agree that since drunk-driving constitute less than two percent of traffic accidents, wiser minds would prefer to pay heed to greater causes like speeding and irresponsible driving. Alas, that would call for wisdom.

Mafeeah: To solve drink driving, you ban alcohol. To solve drug addiction, you ban drugs. To solve corruption, you ban money. To solve khalwat and zina, do you ban men or women?

GreenTurtle6724: @Mafeeah, for all of these, if you ban what is mentioned with what is indicated, the problems are still there, only that they are unable to manifest themselves.

You do not heal by getting rid of an illness’ symptoms - there is the need to get to the root cause.

If you make something illegal, it will go underground, and in the case of alcohol, the government loses revenue in the form of excise duties.

Consumption of alcoholic drinks has long been a part of people's lives before the advent of Islam.

The only problem is its abuse, but you do not hope for no car industry just because cars kill or ban knives because people can use a knife to kill.

BusinessFirst: I think it is more pressing to educate the public about the dangers of smoking. Even parents who smoke dissuade their children from doing so.

It is a waste of money and the cause of many terrible diseases, most commonly lung cancer. It destroys families' physical and financial health.

If you are really concerned about public health, this is something that you should fight for. Yet you focus only on alcohol which is a lesser social ill and actually wine drunk in moderation has health benefits. There are zero benefits in smoking, except perhaps ganja as a pain killer.

Hence, this is nothing more than you carrying out an agenda based entirely on your religious belief. Live your life as you see fit, but please stop forcing your religious beliefs down the throats of others.

Your objection is hardly health-related though you disguise it that way. It is purely carrying out your religious agenda since you are totally silent on smoking, which is a greater social harm.

Ipohcrite: PAS has again failed to acknowledge the elephant in the room. The more serious problem is not alcohol but drugs, and PAS-governed states are not free from this scourge.

On the contrary, they are among the leading statistics in drug addiction.

Dr Bari: Slim results show Mahathir should shut up


Looks like Dr M, Pejuang have no support - Perak opposition chief


SLIM POLLS | The one-sided
victory enjoyed by BN's Mohd Zaidi Aziz in the Slim by-election have taken even Umno leaders by surprise and the Perak opposition leader says it may be an indication that voters no longer have any support for ex-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"It looks like Pejuang has no place," Aziz told Malaysiakini after Pejuang-backed independent Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi won only 13.69 percent of the valid votes in Slim, just narrowly surpassing the 12.5 percent threshold required to keep his deposit.

Aziz ventured that the personal appeal of Mahathir was on the wane and the candidate he backed had failed to attract the support of Pakatan Harapan's base, which had given it 33 percent of the votes in a three-cornered fight in GE14.

Perhaps it's finally time for Mahathir to shut up, said Aziz, who is Tebing Tinggi assemblyperson.

"To me, the future is with Harapan, we are talking about a two-party system. I think in Semananjung, voters are not interested in a third force whether it's Pejuang or otherwise," he said.

"The lesson from Slim is that there is no question of a third force. This would only split the votes and confuse people."

"I think this is a question mark for the Harapan plus concept. When it comes to opposing Umno and BN, the people want Harapan, full stop. Plain and simple.

Despite the fact that many familiar faces from Amanah like Mat Sabu, Khalid Samad, Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin and Mahfuz Omar campaigning for Amir Khusyairi, the absence of prominent Harapan campaigners from DAP and PKR such as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was notable.

"Harapan was just there to help and we were not involved in planning or the selection of candidates. It was entirely Pejuang's work," explained Aziz.

"Gold" robbery in Raub, the "gold" of Musang King durians


Blood, sweat and toil mean little in Raub

by Mariam Mokhtar

Murang King Durian (Malaysia) – The leading durian in Southeast Asia -  Asean Records World

If anyone thinks that dealing with the staff of the Road and Transport Department (RTD) is bad, just wait till you meet the little Napoleons in the Land Office.

No joint-venture (JV) company would be excited in hectares of swampy, malaria-infested land, with little or no access to the bog. Would it show interest in hilly land covered in impenetrable virgin jungle? Of course not.

At one time, few farmers had the money to buy land, so they grew crops on the jungle verges, with or without the permission of the state.

Today, development and urban sprawl have brought the twin problems of greed and commercial exploitation to the farmer's doorstep, as happened in Raub.

D197 Musang King – Durian Power

The Pahang JV company is only interested in the farmers' area because of world demand for Musang King durians, the presence of mature fruit-bearing trees, the cleared land, easy access, good drainage and irrigation, and the presence on the plots, of small huts for storing tools and taking shelter, whilst waiting for the fruits to fall.

Raub, famous for its gold mining, is now the centre of another type of tussle - the golden flesh of the Musang King durian.

Around the country, there have been many land grabs; pomelo smallholdings in Tambun, vegetable farms in Chemor, a tea plantation in Lenggong, durian orchards in Raub, and tropical hardwoods from nature reserves.

Cara Menanam Pokok Durian Musang King – Malaysia Online Plant Nursery

Farmers said that the Land Office (and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority, Fama) encouraged them to plant crops to promote self-sufficiency, and not leave the land idle.

Many people accuse the Raub farmers of being illegal squatters. Others claim that the Pahang JV group are greedy land grabbers. No-one speaks about the other guilty party; the Jabatan Tanah (Land Department).

For decades, the Land Department has been complicit in many questionable purchases. In Ipoh, a former strongman in Umno-Baru, once alleged, "Each time I enter the Land Office, it is RM100 each, from the office boy to the clerk and the other people whose palms I have to grease until I reach the Pengarah's office."

Musang King Durian Prices to Increase Soon

This man had former menteris besar as friends, but how many ordinary members of the rakyat can enjoy the same privilege?

Other disgruntled visitors to the Land Office said, "We are at the mercy of the staff. I dare not complain, because my file will go missing or be placed at the bottom of the pile. Some people have to pay just to retrieve their ‘lost’ application."

In Raub, the durian farmers said that their application to purchase the land had been repeatedly rejected, without any explanation. So, how did the JV group receive the go-ahead so easily?

When you read about the people fronting the JV group, you realise that in Malaysia, it's who you know, and not, what you know, that matters. Hard work and persistence are not important, but patronage and sycophancy count, in the Ali-Baba work ethic.

Cultivated land

The people who claim that the farmers are illegal squatters and should be kicked out, need to cast their minds back to the past.

Older Malaysians know that at one time, Raub, (as was Tambun and the Chemor/Sungai Siput countryside) were areas of heightened communist activity.

Cultivated land was limited to rubber trees and later oil palm. Cocoa and coffee were grown until they perished from disease. World prices and demand dictated the crops that were grown.

Cara Menanam Pokok Durian Musang King – Malaysia Online Plant Nursery

During the Emergency, Chinese farmers were resettled into New Villages. The farmers were allowed out of the heavily-guarded New Villages, during the day, to tend to their farms. Communist sightings had to be reported.

When the agriculture industry became more active, most villagers - Malay, Chinese and Indian - would approach the Land Office to obtain Temporary Occupation Licences (TOL). A fee was paid, and the TOL was given in the name of the licence holder and was not transferable should he die. TOLs could be withdrawn at any time.

So, why weren't the durian farmers in Raub, given first refusal? These men have a direct bond with the land and their crops. They became successful and they did not depend on government handouts. Granting the ownership of the land to an unknown JV company has only increased the rakyat's wrath.

A few months ago, Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu rewarded the state’s football players with land grants on which the vegetable farmers of Chemor had toiled for three generations. The MB was chuffed that Perak had beaten Terengganu in the 2018 Malaysia Cup. Ipohites would rather have a fresh supply of cheap vegetables, than footballers with large plots of land.

Black Thorn & Musang King Durian @ Durian King TTDI

The irony is that former MBs have posed with the farmers of Tambun to showcase pomelos when promoting tourism in Perak. Perhaps, the same selfie was done in Raub, to promote eco- and agri-tourism in Pahang.

Once, on a trip to Perhentian island, the fishermen took my family to a beautiful, secluded cove on the island. When I asked if the islanders owned the land, they said, "No. A politician and VIP own it all." What chance have poor villagers against the elite?

The farmers are praised for putting Pahang on the tourism map with their durians; but they are not good enough to receive titles for the land.

Durian - peeled (frozen) - musang king - My Exotic Fruit

Pahang should grant the farmers their land titles, or let Thailand once again become the world's leading exporter of durians.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Slim's Chinese and Indians swing to BN; Snap Election next?

Malaysiakini (extracts):

Slim's Chinese and Indians swing to BN

BN heading for landslide in Slim with 8,000 majority | Free Malaysia Today

BN candidate Mohd Zaidi Aziz - winner of the Slim by-election

[KT will be interspersing comments amongst this MKINI news report]

Unofficial results according to voting districts suggest that a significant number of Chinese and Indian voters who voted against BN in 2018 have reversed their decision. Wee Ka Siong (MCA President) and Vigneswaran Sanasee (MIC President) must both be feeling relieved as their ability to marshal both Chinese (10% at full turnout) and Indian support (13%) for the UMNO candidate were expected.

The support for BN was very apparent in the Indian-majority voting district of Ladang Sungkai where Indian voters made up 83.56 percent of the electorate.

In 2018, 70.35 percent of the voters in this voting district backed the Pakatan Harapan candidate.

This time around, 68.26 percent of the voters in this voting district backed the BN man, Mohd Zaidi Aziz. That works out to nearly 82% Indian support for BN.

Meanwhile, the results from the Sungai Slim Utara voting district suggest a similar swing by Chinese voters.

It seems BN has made a clean sweep of all 13 voting stations along with winning the postal and early vote.

This means that BN managed to obtain "turnaround" voters in six voting districts that did not support them in the 2018 elections.

It could also indicate that there is a significant swing towards BN among townsfolk across all three major races.

One of the clearest swings happened at the Sungai Slim Utara voting district where BN won only 17.85 percent of the vote in 2018.

This time around, BN bagged 61.28 percent of the vote - a massive turnaround in a Chinese-majority (60.85 percent) voting district.

Yes, let's not forget PAS is now with UMNO in a Muafakat Nasional coalition thus the combined votes surely help. And of course as mentioned, MCA and MIC must both be elated for their re-born support, wakakaka.

MIC approves of Umno and PAS getting closer, fine with hudud, says 'nothing  to do with non-Muslims' | Malaysia | Malay Mail

Looks like a snap election may be around the corner as no doubt BN (UMNO, PAS, MCA & MIC) must be feeling quite confident with the by-election outcome.

Needless to say, Lim KHAT will have something nasty to say tomorrow, wakakaka.

And for Atuk, his candidate Amir Khusyairi nearly lost his deposit after only securing 13.69% of th3 votes (just above the minimum requirement of 12.5% for retaining his deposit).