Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Zahid says haram for Muslims to eat ‘animals with two habitats’

MM Online:

In cryptic post on party hoppers, Zahid says haram for Muslims to eat ‘animals with two habitats’

Umno president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the 2020 Umno annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on March 28, 2021. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi shared a cryptic post on party hoppers yesterday, taking a veiled jab at them by labelling them as frogs “bred by certain towkays”.

In what seemed to be a dedicated posting on the amphibian, Zahid shared as to how such species are in fact very useful, as they are also great fishing baits.

However, he reminded his followers that Islam forbids its believers from consuming animals that live both on land and in water, “including frogs and softshell turtles”.

brown S-binte frogs

Zahid said that despite being an avid angler himself, he has never used frogs as bait, as some opine it to be a sin and that he would not eat said animal even if it were cooked in the tiga rasa style, that is popular with Malaysians.

“There are anglers who use frogs as bait to catch fish. Live frogs are said to be more effective than artificial frogs, to trick fish.

“I feel compelled to share the story of an angler who complained about the high price of frogs: ‘Frogs cost more now. Already hit RM15 per kilogramme.’ Perhaps that is why the market has been flooded with frogs since last year,” Zahid penned, while sharing an Utusan Malaysia report on how Malaysia had produced 1,775,847 frogs last year.

green S-binte frogs

The original report, in which Melaka was reported to be the largest frog producer in Malaysia, said that the number was an increase from the 1,736,600 frogs produced in 2019.

“Frogs are also considered an exotic food by some.

“For Muslims, eating animals with two habitats is haram, including frogs and softshell turtles,” he wrote.

Sandakan S-binte frogs

Yanks dumping its plastic waste on Malaysia


Recycle your own waste, SAM tells Uncle Sam

Sahabat Alam Malaysia said records show 9,800 tonnes of ‘clean’ plastic waste were exported from the US to Malaysia in January alone and hoped the authorities had inspected all these containers.

PETALING JAYA: An environmental group today told the US not to send its waste to developing countries and to process it on its own instead, after a consignment from the superpower arrived in Malaysia recently.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) president Meenakshi Raman said it was unjust for a wealthy country to offload its trash on countries that are under-resourced.

“A rich country like the US should have the capacity to manage its own waste. Shifting the responsibility of dealing with plastic waste to developing and under-resourced countries is an injustice.

“The US should not export waste. It should take responsibility for its own waste and recycle domestically,” she said in a statement.

Meenakshi said plastic recycling should not be used as an excuse to create more plastic products, especially single-use plastics.

“We need to move towards zero waste. While the entire world is dealing with the bane of plastic waste, the corporations and businesses that create such issues need to quickly address it,” she said.

Recently, it was reported that Malaysia allowed in a container of plastic waste from the US after finding that it held only clean, recyclable material, and found this did not violate a new United Nations treaty banning trade in contaminated plastics.

Malaysia has become the leading destination for the world’s plastic trash after China banned imports in 2018. Over the past few years, Malaysia has returned thousands of tonnes of plastic scrap to their countries of origin.

Meenakshi said the environment and water ministry should be lauded for diligently inspecting this suspected shipment of plastic waste from the US.

However, she said based on open data, 9,800 tonnes of plastic waste under the HS3915 code had been exported from the US to Malaysia in January alone.

“We hope that the authorities had checked each container that came through our ports, not only from the US but other countries too as not all of this plastic would have been as clean or homogeneous.”

The US, which produces more plastic waste per capita than any other country, is the only major nation not to have ratified the Basel Convention and is not bound by its rules.

Under the treaty, Malaysia cannot accept prohibited plastic waste from the US. Malaysia has signed the convention which came to force on Jan 1.

Under the convention, signatories can only trade in plastic waste if it is clean, sorted and easy to recycle.

Omi-TAUFU to Trump


Designer of Trump’s Buddha statue tells ex-president to meditate

Trump is known for his sharp outbursts, a stark contrast to Buddhism’s image of peace and enlightenment. (AP pic)

XIAMEN: Chinese furniture maker Hong Jinshi first created a couple of pint-sized statues of former US president Donald Trump meditating in a Buddhist pose as a fun project for himself last year.

Six months on, Hong’s amusing hobby has turned into a small side hustle, with a workshop in the town of Dehua in Fujian province on track to produce an inaugural batch of 250 statues of Trump dressed in Buddhist robes with his legs crossed.

Hong was inspired by the potential contrast provided by the two extremisms of Buddhism and a former leader known for his sharp outbursts.

“Our tradition is that a person who is so old and successful … should start to enjoy his old age and be more relaxed, but he was still tormented and fretting over various desires and uncertainties,” Hong said.

Hong has received orders from China and abroad for 200 of the statues, which take 10 days to make and feature a design he refined over several months with the help of a sculptor friend.

A 16cm version costs 999 yuan while a 46cm statue costs 20000 yuan.

Sales would be higher, Hong said, if not for the scores of “fake, copycat and lower quality” imitations that have popped up on popular Chinese online marketplace Taobao at lower prices.

Hong has no idea if Trump has seen the statues, but said he was prepared to offer one to the former leader to help him “to cheer up a bit”.

Hong said the project has brought him a lot of happiness, and recommended Trump attempt a similar search for fulfillment.

“Meditation is a look within, where you let go, and stop fighting for fame and fortune,” Hong said.

“In Trump’s current state, to be honest, he is really well suited to do some meditation in this way.”

Man-Woman Hunt far greater than hunt for Indira Gandhi's ex

MM Online:

Police say probing claims Nur Sajat may have escaped overseas amid hunt

Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman had through an Instagram live broadcast recently denied she is evading capture from the authorities, but is instead keeping a low profile on social media. — Picture via Instagram/Nur Sajat

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — The police are investigating the possibility of cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman having absconded overseas as she continues to elude capture by the authorities since February.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department director Commissioner Datuk Huzir Mohamed said the authorities did not rule out the possibility that she was overseas, adding that surveillance measures were ongoing.

“There are certain reports claiming she is overseas. The police will continue to monitor.

“The case is actually under the purview of the Selangor contingent headquarters but we together with Jais are still in the midst of taking action,” he was quoted as saying by Malay daily Berita Harian, referring to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department.

Sajat had through an Instagram live broadcast recently denied she is evading capture from the authorities, but is instead keeping a low profile on social media.

She also claimed that the authorities were not searching for her due to more “pressing” matters elsewhere.

On March 1, the police had then stated their readiness to search for Nur Sajat after she had failed to attend a Shariah High Court proceeding last month, in relation to a case three years ago.

Following Nur Sajat’s supposed disappearance, Jais then issued a statement that they had empowered 122 personnel and enforcement officers to find and arrest Nur Sajat.

The police were also subsequently roped in last month to join in the hunt upon a request by Jais.

The charge against Nur Sajat was made in accordance with 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.

Nur Sajat has been the subject of intense scrutiny by authorities and some members of the public over her gender identity.

Most recently, she had posted on her social media that she is considering to renounce Islam, ostensibly due to the persecution and attacks she faces from religious authorities and the Muslim public.

Slap in the face for Umno from PAS


Slap in the face for Umno from PAS

In last weekend’s 75th Umno general assembly, some delegates called on PAS to unequivocally state whether it wished to work with Umno or PPBM.

These calls came after Umno adopted a resolution which said it would not cooperate with PPBM in the next general election (GE15). The Umno Supreme Council was given the mandate to decide when to ask its ministers in the Perikatan Nasional-led government to quit their posts.

Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki was the most prominent party leader to call on PAS to choose “once and for all” whether it wanted to be with his party or PPBM.

PAS answered it today in a way that Umno wouldn’t have expected. Instead of issuing a statement or calling up Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, PAS showed its stand in action: Its president Abdul Hadi Awang met PPBM chief Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

And today, PAS and PPBM issued a joint statement saying the presidents decided to strengthen their collaboration in PN and work together in GE15.

The statement also said PAS and PPBM, as the founding parties of PN, had decided to establish a committee to formulate specific strategies to face GE15, including negotiations on seat distribution.

Can there be a clearer answer for Asyraf and Umno?

Asyraf had said PAS’ unequivocal stand was necessary because Muhyiddin had indicated his party would not compromise over seats and would vie for every seat Umno had contested if the latter insisted on going it alone.

Asyraf said at the assembly that Umno would continue to strengthen Muafakat Nasional (MN), its alliance with PAS.

With the latest development, a question mark arises over the continued relevance of MN.

Of course PAS has always maintained that it wants to cooperate with both PPBM and Umno. It will continue to sing this song until GE15 or until Umno decides to cut all ties, that’s for certain.

This is because PAS has everything to gain by teaming up with others. On its own, it can only win a state, possibly two. At the national level it cannot make headway, especially in the urban belt and in Sabah and Sarawak.

If today it has increased its representation in Parliament, it’s simply because of its earlier alliance with PKR and DAP in Pakatan Rakyat which gave it exposure to its non-traditional base.

Hadi knows he has more to gain by going along with Muhyiddin than with Umno. The main reason is that Muhyiddin controls the government and government resources.

PAS is also grateful to Muhyiddin for enabling it to taste power at the federal level again, after spending decades in the boondocks. Not only did Muhyiddin throw PAS several ministerial and GLC posts, he also made Hadi special envoy to the Middle East with ministerial rank.

Would any thinking Malaysian argue that there’s a need for such an envoy when you have a foreign minister? Everyone knows why Muhyiddin gave him a highly paid post.

Umno must understand that while PAS shouts on an Islamic platform, it is really a political party first and foremost, and power is the goal of any political party.

Once Umno was all powerful but today it is weak. It cannot offer what the prime minister can. Muhyiddin has shown he is smarter than the Umno leadership by checkmating his opponents and increasing his support.

Politically, Muhyiddin has shown he is a more savvy leader than Umno president Zahid. Let’s face it, Muhyiddin even outfoxed the old fox, removing Dr Mahathir Mohamad as PPBM chairman.

The years of experience spent in the political trenches of Umno have crafted Muhyiddin into an astute politician.

Also, Umno is split and PAS, as part of MN, knows this very well. There is every likelihood that before GE15, a few more Umno MPs may quit the party. It is not inconceivable that some Umno MPs who had wanted the party to continue cooperating with PPBM, and those who are being thought of as “parasites” or “traitors”, may just throw in their lot with Muhyiddin.

PAS probably sees Umno as a liability given that two of its leaders have been found guilty of corruption and several more, including Zahid, are facing trial for graft-related offences. And Umno did nothing at its assembly to change the situation.

So, can you blame PAS?

But the meeting between Muhyiddin and Hadi and their agreement to work together just two days after the Umno assembly is certainly a slap in the face for Umno.

I won’t be surprised, however, if Umno and PAS continue to work together informally, if not as MN, because both want to win as many seats as possible. Three-cornered fights are not good for any of them and it’ll be worse if they have to meet each other in straight fights.

We’ll have to wait and see how Umno reacts to this slap.

Its response will show whether it’s a lion or a cat.


kt notes:

If push comes to shove, PAS prefers a weaker partner, one it can bend to its will, desire and political intent - PPBM just suits that subordinate role as the PRIBUMI party is hardly strong nor stable, being a runway group from Pakatan made up of Mahathir's original PRIBUMI and Ass-binte's frogs, and in dire need of a strong ally to survive.

For PAS, UMNO is relatively too strong, aggressive and dominant. PAS has learnt the unreliability of UMNO as an ally in the past, and in fact was long an archfoe to UMNO in the Malay World.

RCI into cops cartel needed since MACC won’t act, says Guan Eng


RCI into cops cartel needed since MACC won’t act, says Guan Eng

Lim Guan Eng says an alleged cartel in the police force cannot be considered an ‘internal matter’.

PETALING JAYA: DAP has called for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into a cartel of “dirty” cops, saying this is necessary because the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has refused to act on the matter.

In a statement, the party’s secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, said an RCI was needed to get to the root of the problem and “clean up the force”.

Recently, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador revealed that a group of younger police officers had formed a cartel to topple him and dominate the force for their personal benefit.

Subsequently, MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki was reported to have said the anti-graft agency had no intention to probe the “cartel” scandal as it was a problem among the police and should be resolved internally.

Lim said Azam’s rationale against initiating a probe was “perverted and preposterous”.

“Corruption is not an internal problem to be resolved internally but a crime that must be resolved publicly in courts.

“Azam should know the international best practices against corruption require an independent body to investigate and act, not an internal inquiry that would tend to minimise or cover up wrongdoing,” he said.

Going by Azam’s logic, Lim said, there would be no need for MACC to investigate and arrest police officers for corruption since it could be resolved internally.

“What are the circumstances that make it an internal matter and who decides whether it can be resolved internally?” he asked.

Lim accused MACC of abdicating its duties as stipulated under Section 7 of the MACC Act 2009, and said its refusal to investigate Hamid’s claims would affect its credibility.


kt notes:

In this particular case, don't blame the MACC. It's not acting on the issue because it has been the IGP's kerbau all along. That's why the MACC chief commissioner has to 'give face' to the IGP by saying it has "no intention to probe the “cartel” scandal as it was a problem among the police and should be resolved internally."

I bet Guan Eng also know WTF is going on, but being the 'trouble-making' pollie like his dad, he just has to (needlessly) char koay teow the matter to show his constituency he's 'working', wakakaka.

PAS wants to continue to be bridge that unites Umno, Bersatu

MM Online:

PAS wants to continue to be bridge that unites Umno, Bersatu

PAS central working committee member Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said PAS hoped that the three parties could sit down and discuss to ensure that the efforts to unite the ummah was continued. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

MUAR, March 30 — PAS wants to continue to be a bridge that unites Umno and Bersatu in an effort to ensure that the cooperation between the three parties will continue until the 15th General Election (GE15).

PAS central working committee member Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said PAS hoped that the three parties could sit down and discuss to ensure that the efforts to unite the ummah was continued and at the same time be able to remain at the helm of the country.

bridge at Pengkalan Pasir

Mohd Khairuddin, who is also Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, said this after launching the Bamboo Industry National Conference and Bamboo Plantation Groundbreaking Ceremony at Pagoh Campus of the Universiti Tun Hussein Onn here today.

He said this when asked to comment on the decision of the 2020 Umno General Assembly last Saturday which passed a resolution on no cooperation with Bersatu in GE15.

The Kuala Nerus MP said even if it could not save the political cooperation between Umno and Bersatu, PAS would try to ensure that there was no clash of candidates in the election.

bridge at Pasir Mas

“PAS is with Bersatu through the Perikatan Nasional and with Umno through Muafakat Nasional until the election until the formation of a new government, God willing,” he said. — Bernama

PAS eff off UMNO for PRIBUMI Bersatu (PPBM)


PAS and Bersatu pledge to strengthen cooperation, reject post-GE15 realignment

Sorry AMNO, we luv Bersatu coz she has S-binte
That's hell of a lot better than a mere 90 million
VELLFIRE, Emissary-ship and Sandakan O-O-me
Aiyoyo, the grunting as S is being kau2 pinioned

- Haziq Liberace

PAS and Bersatu, in a joint statement, have pledged to strengthen their cooperation amid attempts by Umno to rattle the Perikatan Nasional government.

The statement said both parties led by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang met yesterday in light of "recent political developments".

The Umno annual general assembly last weekend agreed to quit the PN government but left the timeline to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to decide.

The party also resolved to sever ties with Bersatu in the 15th general election but remain hopeful it can work out a deal with PAS, which has drifted towards Bersatu.

"Bersatu and PAS will continue to strengthen cooperation in PN to face the 15th general election.

"Bersatu and PAS, which are among the main founders of PN, will also set up a consultative committee at the central level to develop strategies and direction for the GE15, including on seat negotiations," they said.

The statement was inked by PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan and Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin.

They said any decision made in the consultative meeting would also be brought to the PN supreme council for collective approval.

They also reject any attempts to change the current coalition government's composition after GE15.

"Bersatu and PAS firmly reject any new alignment of the government after GE15, particularly if it involves Pakatan Harapan and their allies.

"Bersatu and PAS are always committed towards the unity of the ummah and the unity of our diverse communities," they said.

The duo stressed that they would cooperate with those who adhere to this concept.

"We reject any attempts to undo the current unity and attempts to threaten the PN government which we have built together.

"Bersatu and PAS urge all Malaysian who love this country, particularly Malay, Islam and bumiputera societies and organisations, to unite for a better Malaysia," they said.

Treachery of the West - White men speak with forked tongues

Military Watch:

Ten Years Since the West’s War Against Libya: How it Served as a Warning Regarding U.S. and European Intentions

French Rafale Fighter (top) and
Explosion From NATO Strike on Libya (below)

“You give up your weapons of mass destruction, you stop developing long range missiles, you become very friendly with the West and this is the result. So what does this mean, it means this is a message to everybody that you have to be strong. You never trust them, and you have to be always on alert. Otherwise those people, they don’t have friends. Overnight they change their mind and they start bombing us, and the same thing could happen to any other country" 

- Saif Al Islam Al Gaddafi on lesson to the world of the Libyan War.

February 2021 marks ten years since the beginning of NATO military operations against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, an African republic founded in 1969 following the overthrow of the country’s Western-aligned monarchy.

The republic had long aligned itself against Western interests, forming close ties with the South African ANC, the Zimbabwe African National Union, East Germany, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan and the Soviet Union among others during its 42 year existence. This included contributions to the Egyptian led war effort against the U.S.-backed State of Israel in 1973, a war with French and U.S. backed Chad which began later that decade, and multiple minor clashes between its own forces and those of the United States in the 1980s.

Libya was widely considered the West’s leading adversary in the Arab world in the waning Cold War years, with the Ronald Reagan administration attempting to assassinate the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi in 1986 with a major air strike on his residence.

Following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Tripoli notably changed its position and sought rapprochement with the West in order to avoid potentially being targeted as Iraq had been. The U.S. imposed harsh terms during negotiations including a complete dismantling of the country’s strategic missile and chemical deterrents and intrusive Western inspections of military facilities across Libya – which the Libyan government assented to in the hopes of improving ties with the Western world.

Sudanese, Libyan and Egyptian Leaders Nimeiry, Nasser and Gaddafi

Upon Tripoli’s agreement to disarm, which further included accepting considerable restrictions on its nuclear activities which had been suspected of being a nuclear weapons program, U.S. President George W. Bush hailed the African state as a “model for other countries.” He pledged: “Leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations.”

Libya would serve as a model to the world regarding the consequences of disarmament and placing trust in Western guarantees of improved relations, although in a very different way to how President Bush had likely intended.

Little over five years after its disarmament was complete, Libya came under a large scale U.S.-led attack with armed militias and mercenary forces striking on the ground armed and supplied by Western powers as U.S. and European military jets and cruise missiles devastated the country’s infrastructure and military facilities from the air.

Libya was poorly placed to defend itself, with its Western adversaries now having detailed knowledge of the country’s defences and assurance that it no longer had a means to retaliate against Western targets when its own cities were targeted.

Libya had not only provided extensive information on its defences and allowed its adversaries to strip it of its strategic deterrent, but its faith in the security guarantees provided when it disarmed also led it to neglect modernisation of its air defences.

Although the Libyan Air Force had had by far the most impressive inventory of combat jets on the African continent in the 1980s, and was the largest foreign client for the Soviet MiG-25 Foxbat interceptor which was its most formidable combat jet ever exported during the Cold War by measure of air-to-air performance, it had neglected to modernise, service or maintain the bulk of its aircraft or to train sufficient numbers of pilots.

Post-War Libya

NATO pilots had little need to target Libya's large air fleet on the ground, and were well aware that most of the country's aircraft were totally inactive with few trained pilots to operate them. Libya’s air defences were equally meagre, with negligible fortifications, modernisation, or training for surface to air missile crews leaving missile batteries extremely vulnerable to Western attacks.

The Libyan government was toppled soon afterwards and its leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi tortured and killed by Western backed militias operating under French air support. The result in Libya, formerly Africa’s most prosperous country, was over a decade of civil war, the deployment of foreign forces from multiple countries pursuing conflicting interests on its soil, the rise of the Islamic State terror group, and a return of slave markets and human trafficking.

The aftermath of the Western campaign saw anti-government militias carry out a purge of the country’s black ethnic minority with tens and by some accounts hundreds of thousands massacred, raped or sold into slavery.

Photo Allegedly Showing a Slave Being Escorted for Auction in Post-War Libya

Libya’s fate ultimately served as a warning to countries across the world regarding the potential consequences of complacency in the face of a Western military threat, and the inability to entrust one’s security to Western good will or to security guarantees from the U.S. or Europe.

Regarding North Korea in particular, the Donald Trump Administration’s Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats highlighted that Libya’s fate demonstrated why it was strongly against Pyongyang’s national security interests to disarm. He stated that the North Korean leadership “has watched, I think, what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability ... The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes ... is, unfortunately: If you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t have them, get them.

North Korea’s own Foreign Ministry stated to much the same effect regarding the lessons learned from Tripoli’s decision to terminate its deterrent force and its consequences: “Libya’s nuclear dismantlement much touted by the U.S. in the past turned out to be a mode of aggression by which the latter coaxed the former with such sweet words as ‘guarantee of security’ and ‘improvement of relations’ to disarm and then swallow it up by force.”

Pyongyang believed that in exchange for a lifting of sanctions and better relations Libya “took the economic bait, foolishly disarmed themselves, and once they were defenceless, were mercilessly punished by the West.”

Saif Al Islam Gaddafi

When interviewed during the war in 2011 Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif Al Islam spoke of what he retrospectively saw to be the cause of Libya’s downfall, which he referred to as “a good lesson for everybody.” He indicated that despite strong advice from both Iran and North Korea not to give up its deterrence programs, Libya had gone ahead to surrender its ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction – which he referred to this as the country’s critical mistake.

He stated to this effect: “you give up your weapons of mass destruction, you stop developing long range missiles, you become very friendly with the West and this is the result. So what does this mean, it means this is a message to everybody that you have to be strong. You never trust them, and you have to be always on alert. Otherwise those people, they don’t have friends. Overnight they change their mind and they start bombing us, and the same thing could happen to any other country… One of our big mistakes was that we delayed buying new weapons, especially from Russia, it was a big mistake. And we delayed building a strong army because we thought that we will not fight again, the Americans, the Europeans are our friends [since forming positive relations after 2003.]”

Su-30SM '4+ Generation' Fighter - reportedly Libya's first choice for its planned but delayed fleet modernisation

In the aftermath of the Libyan war the country’s immediate neighbours Algeria and Egypt quickly took measures to strengthen their air defences with new Russian fighter aircraft and ground based missile systems.

The launching of an attack on Libya had been almost totally unpredictable given the prior state of Tripoli’s relatively positive relations with the West after its disarmament, which led to growing concerns that other North African states could be next. Iran too, despite coming under intense Western pressure to allow Western inspections of its military bases and accept Western imposed restrictions on its ballistic missile deterrent, drawn a red line against such steps likely at least in party due to the example set by Libya.

Libya’s fate has ultimately served as a dire warning regarding the propensity of the Western powers to launch military campaigns unexpectedly against countries outside their sphere of influence - one which has provided a strong incentive for potential targets to arm themselves regardless of how effective any detente with the West may seem.

Later leaked emails from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that France, which had led the campaign in its early stages and been the first country to violate Libyan airspace, had been motivated to strike by the need to prevent Libya from establishing a gold backed pan-African currency – the African Gold Dinar. This would have otherwise seriously undermined French influence over its resource rich former colonies of West and Central Africa.

The currently state of war in Libya could potentially continue indefinitely into its second decade, and the consequences of the Gaddafi government's policy decisions which left open to Western attacks have ultimately set the country's development back several decades with much of the wartime damage from Western strikes a decade ago having yet to be repaired.

The life and now death of ‘Private Adam’ - al Fatihah

MM Online:

‘Private Adam’ who ran amok in 1987 dead

According to media reports, Adam died at Hospital Pulau Pinang in Georgetown, Penang, yesterday. He was 57. — Screen capture via Google Maps

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Former army private Adam Jaafar, or better known as “Private Adam” who ran amok in the Chow Kit area here in 1987, has died.

According to media reports, Adam died at Hospital Pulau Pinang in Georgetown, Penang, yesterday. He was 57.

The Penang native will be buried at Datuk Keramat in the state capital.

In 1987, then a 23-year-old army private, Adam rode into the Chow Kit suburb on a motorcycle with an M16 assault rifle he had stolen from his military base in Ipoh, Perak.

He launched into a shooting spree in the suburb, killing one person and injuring several others.

Adam was charged over the attack but was found to be mentally unsound and placed in psychiatric care.

The incident spawned various conspiracy theories but in a book thirty years after the incident, Adam put his episode down to early childhood trauma and subsequent ragging by his seniors in the army.


SMH (published 11 years ago)

xxxxxx king's corrupt controller

By Hamish McDonald
January 30, 2010

Few of the world's recent kings have had such a muted send-off from their own people as Mahmood Iskandar of Malaysia, who died on January 22, at his palace in Johor, aged 77.

Iskandar was Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or king, between 1984 and 1989 under the country's peculiar monarchy, where the nine traditional Malay sultans take turns as head of state.

An official statement paid tribute to Iskandar's ''priceless contributions during his lifetime''. Obituaries in the tightly controlled press referred obliquely to his ''mercurial'' ways. It was left to Malaysian bloggers - now being hunted down by the powerful political police, the Special Branch - to mention what every Malaysian knows.

In 1987 a caddie at the Cameron Highlands golf club was unwise enough to laugh when Iskandar missed a putt. The king clubbed the man to death. The news was suppressed and at the time all the Malaysian royals had legal immunity.

Since Iskandar's death, more incidents have been exposed: how he would pull over and spray with Mace anyone who overtook his Rolls-Royce; how he chained two policemen in a dog kennel, and other offenders to his dignity were made to do squat jumps; how hotels and clubs around Johor would hide their young female staff away when Johor royals turned up.

Iskandar's weakness inflicted wider damage on his country - just how much is detailed in a new biography of the prime minister in office at the time, Mahathir Mohamad, by the veteran Australian foreign correspondent Barry Wain, a former editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal.

The king's vulnerability to impeachment by a conference of his fellow sultans made him a compliant instrument for one of Mahathir's shabbiest manoeuvres to reinforce his power, in which the independence and international standing of the Malaysian judiciary was sacrificed for political expediency.

Mahathir, a former doctor, had become prime minister in 1981, impatient to whip his countrymen - especially his fellow Malays - into more competitive shape and for Malaysia to stand taller in the world.

''If necessary, he would crucify opponents, sacrifice allies, and tolerate monumental institutional and social abuses to advance his project,'' Wain writes. Methods included use of the Special Branch and its power under the Internal Security Act to detain without trial. By 1987-88, he faced growing division within the core party of the ruling alliance, the United Malays National Organisation. To get rid of his critics, Mahathir engineered the neat trick of getting UMNO declared an illegal organisation, then set up a ''New UMNO'' without them.

In 1988 the case was heading towards adjudication by the Supreme Court. Two weeks before the hearing King Mahmood Iskandar suspended the court's lord president, Mohamed Salleh Abas. A selected panel of judges duly found him guilty of misconduct in a ruling that the London QC Geoffrey Robertson called ''the most despicable document in modern legal history''.

Iskandar later apologised to Salleh for having been ''made use of'' in his dismissal. The judiciary, like the Special Branch, went on to be a tool of the prime minister, culminating 10 years later in the persecution of Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir's deputy and chosen successor, on fabricated sodomy and corruption charges.

Wain gives chapter and verse of this and many other examples of abuse of power in his book. This has not bothered Mahathir at all, judging from his reaction since publication. He probably thinks it was all justified by his drive to make a big, modern and prosperous Malaysia by 2020.

He is upset by Wain's questioning of Mahathir's success on this latter front. Wain points out that the 6.1 per cent average growth in gross domestic product under Mahathir was actually outshone by the 8 per cent average achieved in the previous decade.

Wain also outlays the colossal waste of nearly $40 billion on projects like the Proton Saga car, the Perwaja steel project, the information technology corridor, the new capital, Purajaya, and the new Kuala Lumpur airport and on rescuing Malaysia's government banks from forays into market-rigging.

KHAT mudah lupa

In addition, there was pervasive corruption under Mahathir's privatisation program, dubbed ''piratisation'' by an opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang.

''The winners were almost all well-connected and influential businessmen, or relatives of politicians,'' Wain writes in the biography.

Malaysia's rich endowment of petroleum, minerals, forests and fertile land kept the economy from crashing. More laissez-faire policies, based on resources and light manufacturing (already thriving before Mahathir came to power) might have produced faster growth; and rigorous education, rather than privilege, more Malay progress.

If you want to see Mahathir's monument, go to Kuala Lumpur and have a look around. Show-projects. Insipid newspapers and TV. Mediocre universities. Fear of the Special Branch. Religious tensions. The latest chosen successor as prime minister under a cloud of scandal.

Or read the national accounts and wonder why a country with the world's highest current account surplus proportionate to its GDP - 15.9 per cent, or about $US32 billion - has hardly increased its foreign reserves at all in the past year. That signals a massive capital flight, an underlying fear that Mahathir changed nothing, only made things worse.

Prebet Adam's family apologises to Johor royal family

Surrender: Prebet Adam (centre) being led away after his surrender. Scanned Pix : Staric Date : 09.10.1987

PETALING JAYA: The family of Prebet Adam Jaafar, the soldier who went amok at the Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur in 1987, has come out to apologise to the Johor royal family.

Hawa Jaafar, 53, his younger sister, refuted the urban legend that Prebet Adam went on a shooting spree because their brother was killed by Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail when he was a golf caddy to the former Johor Ruler at the time.

She said the family had to hold back their shame and anger for 30 years because they were unable to explain the truth to the public and the authorities.

“Adam went amok in Chow Kit due to problems in his workplace and not because our brother was killed by the Sultan.

“I apologise to the family of the Tunku Mahkota Johor (Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim) for being dragged into this slander involving my brother Prebet Adam.

“I want to clarify that there were no deaths involving our siblings due to murder. All of us are still alive except for one who passed away in 1975 in a fire.

“In the name of Allah, there was no murder at all,” she told a press conference at her house in George Town on Thursday, a video of which Malay daily Berita Harian uploaded to its YouTube channel.

The video also shows two other siblings present during the press conference, Arina and Arman. Adam is the eldest of nine siblings.

The urban legend over the Chow Kit incident was that the brother was supposedly a golf caddy who had laughed at Sultan Iskandar when the ruler missed a shot.

The late Sultan had then supposedly hit Adam’s brother on the head with a golf club, causing his death.

On Oct 17, 1987, Adam, then a 23-year-old soldier, stole an M16 rifle and a motorcycle from his army camp in Ipoh.

The army Ranger Regiment sharpshooter then rode to Kuala Lumpur.

The next night, he wrote a message on his hotel room mirror: “A damned night for Adam. Mission: to kill or be killed.”

He left his hotel and went on a shooting spree in the city’s Chow Kit area that left one person dead from a bullet ricochet and several others wounded.

Adam shot at cars and at a petrol station fuel tank that burst into flames. He eventually surrendered and at his trial, his defence lawyer entered a plea of temporary insanity.

At the press conference on Thursday, Hawa said the family does not know any member of the Johor royal family and pleaded with the media to help tell the real story and to inform the Tunku Mahkota Johor of their apology.

“We have been accused of receiving RM10,000 monthly to deny the murder. Just look at my house.

“We are merely commoners and have never received a single cent from anyone to deny this matter.

“I just want to ask for justice for those who have been victims of slander due to this,” said Hawa.

The Prebet Adam controversy resurfaced when Tunku Ismail, the Johor crown prince, shared his views on the country’s political situation in a post on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page on Sunday (April 8).

He touched on the story of Prebet Adam, saying that his late grandfather Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was not given a chance to defend himself as royalty did not have the luxury of the Internet, and the mainstream media were controlled by the government of the day.

The Prebet Adam urban legend was also debunked in a book published last May, titled Konfesi Prebet Adam.

Its author Syahril A. Kadir posted on Facebook that he forgave those who made allegations and criticised him for writing the book.

“Some said that I created stories to clear the name of the Almarhum Sultan Johor.

“I was accused of receiving dedak (bribes) and insulted but I accepted it because I know I’m on the right side. Finally, Prebet Adam’s own family has clarified what actually happened,” he wrote.

Syahril’s book was based on interviews with key figures in the case, and includes first person accounts by Adam himself, his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, and Leftenan Jeneral (R) Datuk Abdul Ghani Abdullah, the military officer who managed to persuade Adam to surrender.

Umno may still win big if it goes alone in GE15, but risks self-sabotage if tension with PAS prolongs

MM Online:

Analysts: Umno may still win big if it goes alone in GE15, but risks self-sabotage if tension with PAS prolongs

At Umno’s 75th general assembly over the weekend, party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it had no qualms about contesting under the BN banner, which intensified speculation that it was prepared to sever ties with PAS. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Umno’s suggestion that it may contest the 15th general election (GE15) alone could sabotage the Malay nationalist party’s own chances at expanding its control of Parliament, political analysts said.

Even as the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin’s clout among the Malay electorate remains solid, pundits said exacerbating tension with PAS could pit the two parties against each other and split the conservative votes, a scenario that would play into the hands of their political rivals.

At Umno’s 75th general assembly over the weekend, party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it had no qualms about contesting under the BN banner, which intensified speculation that it was prepared to sever ties with PAS.

The duo are part of the Muafakat Nasional electoral pact but relations between them have been rocked by Umno’s clash with Bersatu.

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said prolonged tension with PAS would be strategically impractical for Umno, who would still need to negotiate some form of deal to prevent multi-cornered contests.

“Umno is still very influential despite the emergence of Bersatu. Umno’s vow to go alone is with regards to Bersatu and PH, but is not necessarily directed at PAS,” he said.

“PAS is wooed by both Umno and Bersatu as its electoral mobilisation machinery is legendary and could benefit whomever is its ally. At the least, Umno would not like to face PAS again as it did in 2018, which cost Umno the election.”

The Umno-PAS split is seen as a major factor that contributed to BN’s defeat at the 2018 elections, the coalition’s first in over six decades.

Still, both the parties accounted for up to 75 per cent of the total Malay ballots. Despite being plagued by scandals, a majority of it went to Umno.

The two then formed Muafakat Nasional in 2019 confident that it could regain power on the back of growing impatience against the then Pakatan Harapan government for its perceived failure to fulfill key election pledges.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang arrives for the 2020 Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur March 28, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Umno and Barisan Nasional, with the help of PAS, won half of the by-elections since the 14th general elections as a result, including the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat where a significant number of Chinese votes swung back into BN’s fold.

Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, senior associate with political risk and public policy consultancy Vriens & Partners, believes that without the Islamists it appears unlikely that Umno could replicate the momentum.

“While there is some uncertainty surrounding the pulse of voters and whether they have an appetite for a new government, what is certain is that Umno is no longer the behemoth it still considers itself to be,” he said.

“A best case scenario would see Umno winning the same number of seats it won in GE14, but this still would not be enough to form a government,” the analyst added.

“Umno will likely need to align with other political parties after GE14 and given their stance against Bersatu, this leaves Umno with Pakatan Harapan and PAS.”

Ahmad Zahid had said that Umno is open to the idea of a coalition government but said negotiations will only take place once the elections are concluded, ostensibly because he feels the party would sweep more seats and give it leverage to dictate terms, according to some analysts.

This may include the possibility of working with PH. Ahmad Zahid has been linked to rumours of negotiations and backdoor meetings with Opposition Leader and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Umno/BN may not work with PH now but they may do so later if both BN and PH have the numbers to form the government. PAS seems committed to prioritising their alliance with Perikatan Nasional over Muafakat at the moment,” said Shazwan.

Ahmad Zahid has to date denied the claims while Anwar has insisted that attempts have been made.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Twenty containers of sex toys on its way

MM Online:

Twenty containers of sex toys on its way for delivery after Suez Canal unblocked

A shipment carrying sex toys is on its way for delivery after the giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal fully floated yesterday. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― With the giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal fully floated yesterday, a shipment carrying sex toys is on its way for delivery.

The ship, which carried dildos, vibrators and male masturbators, is one of more than an estimated 400 ships waiting to pass through the canal, UK portal Daily Mail reported.

Quoting EDC Retail CEO Evertine Magerman, the portal said there were over 20 containers on the ship.

“A lot of these products were sold for Christmas and Valentine's Day.”

The company predicts they will lose millions in revenue due to the hold-up, and had even been considering rerouting via Africa, adding an extra five to seven days to the journey.

“That also means higher costs, not to mention the extra risks. It's winter in South Africa and the ocean can be rough there. And then you also have the chance of piracy. But that decision is not ours, it is up to the shipping company,” Magerman said.

Meanwhile, agents told news agency Reuters that ships would resume passing the canal from 7pm (5pm GMT).

The Evergreen became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, halting traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

It had blocked the canal for almost a week.

At least 400 vessels are waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas vessels.

A Suez Canal Authority official said it could take up to three days to clear the backlog.

Asian-American woman severely assaulted on New York street

ABC (Oz):

Asian-American woman severely assaulted on New York street as US hate crimes continue to rise

US community groups are alarmed by the rise in anti-Asian violence this year.
(AP: Marcio Jose Sanchez)

An Asian-American woman has been attacked on the streets of New York City by a man who repeatedly kicked her in front of witnesses who seemingly stood by, according to surveillance footage.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) released the video after the 65-year-old woman was assaulted on Monday afternoon, suffering serious injuries.

NYPD says there have been 33 hate crimes with an Asian victim so far this year in an alarming spike in attacks of members of the Asian-American or Pacific Islander community.

It follows the mass shootings in the US state of Georgia earlier this month in which eight people died at spas in the Atlanta area, six of them Asian women.

US President Joe Biden has deplored the surge in anti-Asian violence, saying last week that "hate can have no safe harbour in America".

In the latest incident, the woman was walking in midtown Manhattan when a man came up to her and kicked her to the stomach, knocking her to the ground.

The NYPD said the man then stomped on the woman's face several times while hurling anti-Asian sentiments at her.

He later casually walked away, the footage shows.

According to the CCTV video, a man inside a building lobby seemingly stopped what he was doing to watch the assault.

Later, two more men wearing blazers walked into the frame and one of them closed the door as the woman was on the ground.

The property developer and manager of the building, Brodsky Organization, said it was aware of the assault and the staff who witnessed it were suspended pending an investigation.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the attack and has asked anyone with information to contact the department, offering up to $US2,500 ($3,285) as a reward.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea previously said the agency would increase its outreach and patrols in predominantly Asian communities amid a national spike of anti-Asian hate crimes.

According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, more than 3,795 incidents in the US were reported to the organisation from March 19, 2020, to February 28, 2021.

It says that number is "only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur".

Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic early last year, the report found.

Eight people were killed, including six Asian women, in shootings at three Atlanta spas on March 16.
(AP: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Over 40 per cent of US victims are Chinese, almost 15 per cent are Koreans, 8.5 per cent are Vietnamese and nearly 8 per cent are Filipino.

"Surveys show that almost three out of five Asian-Americans faced direct racism last year," said Dr Russell Jeung, one of the founding members of Stop AAPI Hate.

The data also showed that Asian-American women were 2.3 times more likely to report hate crimes against them than Asian-American men.