Monday, May 31, 2021

The Wickedness of the West towards legal process in Hong Kong, even against long-standing statute dating back to colonial times


Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were jailed on sound legal grounds, not Beijing’s orders

  • The judge who found them guilty of organising and being involved in an unlawful assembly acted with meticulous care and based her judgment on irrefutable evidence

  • The idea that Beijing practised ‘ruthless oppression’ on Hong Kong through the court proceedings is nonsense

Illustration: Craig Stephens

On April 16, a District Court sentenced nine prominent “activists” to imprisonment, with some sentences suspended, for organising and taking part in an unlawful assembly, under the Public Order Ordinance. This is a long-standing statute dating back to colonial times.

The sentencing led immediately to condemnation by Western leaders and the media. Chris Patten said the sentences showed Beijing’s “comprehensive assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms”. An editorial in The Australian carried the headline “Courageous Hong Kong democrats crushed”. The article went on to refer to the sentences as reflecting “the ruthless oppression Beijing is inflicting on the territory”.

This was a gross insult to Judge Amanda Woodcock, following a trial where the accused were
represented by six Senior Counsel and a whole host of junior barristers. Plainly, the critics didn’t read the
. Anyone bothering to do so would see that the judge acted with meticulous care, giving due weight to all the safeguards the common law affords to all accused persons.

The offences occurred on August 18, 2019. By that time, the insurgency, which started at the end of June, had gathered deadly momentum, following the
trashing of the Legislative Council chamber
on July 1.

The chamber was the symbolic centre of Hong Kong’s democracy. When the July 1 outrage occurred, the accused persons – all leaders of the democratic movement – had a choice: defend the values which the Legislative Council chamber stands for, or side with the insurgents, to trash its values. They chose the latter course.

A few days before August 18, the organisers gave notice to the police of their intention to do the following: conduct a large public meeting in Victoria Park; then mount a public procession starting from Victoria Park to Chater Road, and; conduct another public assembly at Chater Road.

Judge Woodcock’s judgment gives meticulous details as to what followed after such notification. It shows police tolerance, and care taken by the authorities to explain the reasons for their decisions. They focused on ensuring public order and public safety.

The demonstration was aimed, largely, at expressing hatred towards the police for alleged brutality in the previous several weeks. There was every chance that passions would be aroused, resulting in violence.

The following are the steps taken, leading to the events on August 18:

  • Dialogue between the police and the organisers

  • The police response to the organisers’ notification: no objections to the public assembly in Victoria Park, conditional upon the organisers arranging for 200 marshals responsible for crowd control.

  • Objection to the procession from Victoria Park to Chater Road.

  • Objection to the public assembly at Chater Road.

  • An Appeal Board, a body independent of the police, hearing the organisers’ grievances about the police objections. The appeal was dismissed by the board.

  • Press conferences and interviews by the organisers, urging people to fill up Victoria Park, and complaints that the police had no plans for crowd dispersal.

There was not the slightest doubt that the defendants knew full well that the procession from Victoria Park to Chater Road was, in light of police objections, unlawful.

During the procession, some of the defendants vaunted the march’s illegality by shouting slogans: this was meant to encourage others to join them.

There had, prior to August 18, been occasions when a procession which started peacefully turned violent. On the day in question, the police tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, knowing that their mere presence might arouse discontent: hence the requirement for the organisers to have 200 marshals for crowd control.

As Judge Woodcock found, as the number of people arriving in Victoria Park increased, the police were “subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse, foul language and insults”.

The entire day’s proceedings received continuous news coverage. Video footage showed a huge banner unrolled in the afternoon printed with the words “Stop the police and gangsters from plunging Hong Kong into chaos, implement the 5 demands” and a picture of a woman with a wounded eye.

Video footage also showed all the defendants, except Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, who joined the party a few minutes later, carrying the banner aloft, leaving Victoria Park. Lee Cheuk-yan held a microphone and walked in front. As he chanted slogans, the other defendants responded. The banner party led the procession all the way to Chater Road. This took up the width of a carriageway.

What possible defence was there to the two public order charges?

Several of the defendants were lawyers. The cynicism they displayed in court is staggering. Their defence was that the police had abnegated their duty to disperse the crowd safely. They claimed that what they led, under the banner, was not a procession; it was simply a technique to help disperse the crowd.

The fact that they were inciting others along the way to join the procession, the fact that they had passed several MTR stations and never once asked the crowd following them to disperse – all that, they claimed, could be ignored. During the procession, Leung Kwok-hung chanted repeatedly: “I have the right of procession. No police permission is required” and “I have the right to protest”.

Leung Kwok-hung: “I have the right of procession. No police permission is required” and “I have the right to protest”

The judge patiently entertained the defence. In the end, her finding was crystal clear: the intention was to flout the law and thwart the ban. Each defendant had that criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. No objective person, reading her judgment, could possibly find fault with that conclusion.

Another defence put up by the accused, of even greater cynicism, was that the sections of the Public Order Ordinance under which they were charged were “unconstitutional”.

The provisions in the ordinance that were under attack had been in the statute book all the time the lawyer-defendants were members of Legco. If such a law was fundamentally wrong, what did they do about it while they were lawmakers? The judge, again with admirable patience, dismissed the challenge.

What, one might ask rhetorically, had Beijing to do with this case? The notion that Beijing practised “ruthless oppression” on Hong Kong through the District Court proceedings is utter nonsense.

Henry Litton is a retired Court of Final Appeal judge and author of “Is the Hong Kong Judiciary Sleepwalking to 2047?”

US spies on Allies as Hitler Youth spied on their parents


US spied on Merkel, European allies with Danish help

Merkel’s SMS text messages, telephone calls, and internet traffic were reportedly tapped. (AP pic)

COPENHAGEN: The US spied on top politicians in Europe, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, from 2012 to 2014 with the help of Danish intelligence, Danish and European media reported on Sunday.

Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) said the US National Security Agency (NSA) had eavesdropped on Danish internet cables to spy on top politicians and high-ranking officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway and France.

The NSA had taken advantage of a surveillance collaboration with Denmark’s military intelligence unit FE to do so, it said.

Denmark’s defence ministry has not responded to AFP’s requests for comment.

Defence Minister Trine Bramsen, who took over the defence portfolio in June 2019, was informed of the spying in August 2020, according to DR.

She told the broadcaster that “systematic eavesdropping of close allies is unacceptable”.

It was not clear whether Denmark authorised the US to use its surveillance system to spy on its neighbours.

DR revealed the information following an investigation it led together with Swedish broadcaster SVT, Norway’s NRK, Germany’s NDR, WDR and Suddeutsche Zeitung, and France’s Le Monde.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then-foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and then-opposition leader Peer Steinbruck were among those the NSA had spied on, DR said.

The NSA was able to access SMS text messages, telephone calls, and internet traffic including searches, chats and messaging services, DR said.

The spying was detailed in a secret, internal FE working group report codenamed “Operation Dunhammer” and presented to FE top management in May 2015, DR said.

DR said its information came from nine different sources who had access to classified FE information, and said their revelations were independently confirmed by several sources.

Neither the FE nor its director at the time, Lars Findsen, commented immediately on the revelations.

The US spying, if confirmed, was going on during and after the 2013 Snowden affair, which erupted when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed thousands of classified documents exposing the vast US surveillance put in place after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

Among other things, that documents showed the US government was spying on its own citizens and carrying out widespread tapping worldwide, including of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

In November 2020, DR reported that the US had used the Danish cables to spy on Danish and European defence industries from 2012 to 2015.

Zaid: Tommy Thomas bought me thosai for breakfast at Dave’s Corner, Bangsar; wanted me to slow talk to Mahathir to appoint him as AG


Many in AGC capable of becoming attorney-general, Zaid tells Thomas

Zaid Ibrahim has criticised the qualities of former attorney-general Tommy Thomas.

PETALING JAYA: Former minister Zaid Ibrahim has hit out at former attorney-general Tommy Thomas over his statement that Malaysia could see the appointment of another non-Malay as attorney-general in the future.

He said this was possible but “will be more difficult” after what happened to Thomas, the nation’s first non-Malay attorney-general.

In a recent interview with Astro Awani, Thomas had said there was no reason why a non-Malay should not be appointed as attorney-general, “if the prime minister of the day wanted to choose the best and the brightest person for the role”.

Zaid said there were many competent lawyers in the Attorney-General’s Chambers who were fully capable of becoming the attorney-general.

“The person has to be impartial and not consider himself an AG for any ruling party.

He or she must always remember that heavy burden of being a public prosecutor.

It will help if this person has humility in his bones and speaks Bahasa well,” he said on Facebook.

He said the individual must also stand up to any orders by the prime minister, if necessary.

“Always putting Malaysia first and the interests of the people as paramount is one cardinal rule that will be difficult for lawyers who are full of themselves to observe.

“If this (comes) to pass, I hope that the person will not exhibit the same traits of brashness and arrogance as Tommy.”

Zaid said Thomas’ remarks “showed utter contempt and insensitivity to Malays”.

“The quality that is most difficult to find in a good AG is impartiality, integrity, honesty and (being) not afraid to say no to ‘directives’ from the prime minister. Did we see those qualities in Tommy Thomas?”

He claimed that Thomas was chosen for the position “because DAP wanted him as AG. Not because he was the best around”.

He also noted Thomas’ lobbying for the post, “forming friendships with top DAP leaders”.

“He even called me and bought me thosai for breakfast at Dave’s Corner, Bangsar. He wanted me to slow talk to Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) to appoint him as AG. I told him I was not close to Dr Mahathir.”

Zaid also urged Thomas to be fully transparent about what had happened during his tenure as attorney-general.

“The dropping of the charges against Lim Guan Eng and taking No Further Action on the famous Sandakan video to protect the current senior minister are events under his watch.”

Thomas had served as the attorney-general for 20 months from June 2018. He resigned just before the expiration of his two-year contract.


Focus Malaysia:

Umno-DAP mash up: Some people just don’t learn from history

By Dominic Tham

WHEN it comes to political absurdities, Malaysians have grown rather desensitised. A two-time Prime Minister who’s also then the world’s oldest government leader? Check. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kiss-and-make-up in 2018 after a two-decade feud? Done. A disgraced ex-premier convicted of corruption and sentenced to jail but now riding high on a popular wave? Impressive.

But one possible development may yet push the envelope of political bizarreness, even by Malaysian standards: Umno and the DAP joining forces in the polls. If it comes to pass, it’d be the high watermark in the maxim “politics is the art of making the impossible possible”.

For decades, the DAP has made itself out to be the saviour for the downtrodden, while Umno is portrayed as the party that enriches its leaders, while they spew racial-religious soundbites that stoke sentiments to win votes.

Even if both parties were to set aside their differences, it is very unlikely that Umno, so used to being the alpha party since Independence until 2018, would ever be willing to share a cake with the Chinese-dominant party, whom the former had vilified for the longest time.

While DAP has always projected itself a multi-racial party, it is at its core, a Chinese-dominated party, despite a handful of Malay and Indian members, some of whom were given token, or window-dressing leadership roles.

Also, it is rather surprising that DAP has not learnt its lesson, after its bitter experience with Dr Mahathir in Pakatan Harapan (PH). After all, maverick Dr Mahathir’s political DNA can be traced to Umno, the party he had been most of his life and led for 22 years.

It didn’t take long for his racial streak to surface after PH won the watershed election, much to the simmering frustration of leaders in the DAP during the coalition’s 22-month in Putrajaya.

DAP has for as long as anyone can recall, blamed Umno for the nation’s woes, and it is rather startling that they are now willing to sleep with the enemy – again. Has it not learnt its lessons?

Even when the MCA and MIC were coalition partners with Umno in the Barisan Nasional government, the former’s leaders were reduced to playing second fiddle and often acceded to Big Brother Umno’s Umno’s whims and fancies.

In fact, DAP had on countless occasions, especially in relation to issues related to Chinese education, ridiculed the MCA as puppets unable to stand up for the rights of the Chinese. DAP has boasted that it has been doing what MCA was supposed to for the rights and benefits of the Chinese community.

And now, despite the odds, it is truly hard to believe that DAP wants to work with Umno for the so-called betterment of the nation. There is no way Umno is ever going to accord the DAP an equal partnership if they were to work together and win the general election. It will simply be another deja vu of its experience with Dr Mahathir.

Also, DAP must look beyond the sugar and spice and everything nice – Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would work with just about anyone to get off the hook.

Najib has been convicted of a 12-year jail sentence and is appealing the corruption conviction while Zahid is facing a slew of criminal charges. Both are willing to do anything to stay out of the slammer.

The DAP should be wise enough not to be taken by the sweet promise from Umno, looking at how the MCA and MIC were treated. The DAP should instead continue its fight for the downtrodden citizens of the country and focus on working with a credible, trustworthy partner if at all, in the coming general election.

The desperation to come into power should not be a motivating force and influence one into entering a deadly partnership. Just as the DAP paid a heavy price in the 1999 general election for its co-operation with PAS under Barisan Alternatif, the voters can again teach DAP come the next poll. – May 30, 2021

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Takiyuddin: PAS staying out of police probe into Khairuddin

Takiyuddin: PAS staying out of police probe into Khairuddin

PAS is staying out of the police probe into the detention at a roadblock involving its Kuala Nerus MP Khairuddin Aman Razali.

Its secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan (above) said so far the party had no further information on the matter.

"The case is still under investigation by the authorities and the party has not received a report from the authorities.

"I will suspend any comment and leave it to the police," he said at a press conference while in Kota Bharu, today.

The media has reported that Khairuddin, who is also the minister of plantation industries and commodities, was held while passing through the roadblock in Perasing, Kemaman.

Terengganu police chief Roslee Chik, when contacted by Malaysiakini, confirmed the matter, but said the investigation was now taken up by the Bukit Aman Classified Criminal Investigation Unit (USJT).

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali

The acting director of the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (JSJ), Dev Kumar when contacted confirmed that an investigation is underway.

In a Facebook statement, Khairuddin has threatened to sue over gossip regarding the incident.

"All sensational stories that there was allegedly detention at a roadblock in Perasing, including gossip regarding a relationship with a female celebrity, are untrue and meant to damage my reputation.

"Legal action will be taken against those who write, publish, and spread fake stories," he said.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said PAS is generally a party that abides by the law.

“When it is said that any member of the leadership is said to have committed an offence, we hand it over to the authorities.

"The accused also has the right to self-defence, and the principle of law is that a person is innocent before being proven guilty," said the minister in the prime minister's department overseeing Law and Parliament.


Nak beli tudung? ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

Dimana pula Menteri Yang Pandai-Selalu Menghilang Diri

Focus Malaysia:

Stop stalling and revamp education format, Opposition tells Education Ministry

OPPOSITION leaders urged the Education Ministry (MOE) to revamp and reform its home-based teaching and learning (PDPR) method as Malaysia would undergo full lockdown starting June 1.

“Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a total lockdown from June 1 until 14 but we have yet to resolve all issues plaguing the PDPR system until today.

“Teachers still lack Internet facilities, inconducive teaching and learning environment, working with syllabus which doesn’t fit the PDPR system, ineffective TV Pendidikan and many others.

“And can someone tell us what happened to the 150,000 laptops promised to students from the B40 group?” asked the Pakatan Harapan Education Committee, in a statement.

The committee has been pushing MOE to embark on various reforms since the start of the pandemic, to ensure students do not miss out on their education while keeping abreast to the challenges ahead.

However, MOE seems to be dragging its feet on the matter, including controversies on the “period spot checks” allegations levelled at several boarding schools.

Touching on the matter, the committee implored the ministry to:

  • Be transparent on the post-lockdown education scenario so teachers, parents and students can use the school break session for early preparation.
  • Hasten vaccination for all teachers, not prioritising elderly educationists alone as recommended by the committee various times.
  • Provide “one-off” incentive to teachers who have or will be using their own funds during the movement control order to purchase additional data and other facilities to aid PDPR.
  • Speed up the delivery of 150,000 laptops as promised to students from the B40 community.

The committee stressed: “The minister and his two deputies must be pro-active in this situation as their decisions will affect the lives and future of over five million students for decades to come.” – May 30, 2021.

YB Menteri Selalu Menghilang Diri 

Has YB Eff-ing Solved Sexual Harassment In Schools Yet?

Beijing’s ‘Heavenly Vessel’ rocket successfully docks in space


Beijing’s ‘Heavenly Vessel’ rocket successfully docks in space

The Long March-7 rocket carrying the Tianzhou-2 spacecraft lifts off from Wenchang yesterday. (AP pic)

SHENZHEN: China’s cargo spacecraft, carrying supplies, equipment and propellant, docked with the space station’s key module Tianhe today, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

The Tianzhou-2, or “Heavenly Vessel” in Chinese, autonomously rendezvoused and docked with Tianhe at 5.01am Beijing time, Xinhua said today.

It blasted off via a Long March-7 Y3 rocket at 8.55pm Beijing time yesterday from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island of Hainan, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said.

With a designed life of more than one year, Tianzhou-2 carried supplies for future astronauts including food for the Shenzhou-12 crew which will be launched next month for a three-month stay on the station, as well as two tons of propellant.

Tianzhou-2 is the second of 11 missions needed to complete China’s first self-developed space station around 2022, and follows the launch of Tianhe, the first module, in late April.

The three-module space station will rival the International Space Station (ISS), which is backed by countries including the US, Russia and Japan.

China was barred from participating in the ISS by the US.

The rocket’s launch was postponed this month due to technical reasons, state media said.

The first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 was sent to refuel a space lab – Tiangong-2 – three times in 2017, as a test of the technologies needed to support construction of the space station.

Both Tiangong-2 and an earlier space lab Tiangong-1 have been deorbited in recent years.

Next year, China will launch the two other core modules – Wentian and Mengtian – using the Long March 5B, its biggest and most powerful space transport vehicle.

That rocket, capable of sending 25 tonnes of payload into low Earth orbit, was a source of worry earlier in May as it reentered the atmosphere after delivering Tianhe into orbit.

Media reports warned of an uncontrolled reentry of the rocket’s core stage, reviving memories of debris from the flight of the first Long March 5B in May 2020, which damaged buildings when it landed in Ivory Coast.

Remnants from the rocket finally fell harmlessly in the Indian Ocean, but China drew criticism for not being transparent about the timing of the debris reentry and predictions of its trajectory.

From June until 2022, four manned spacecraft and four cargo spacecraft will also be launched, by the smaller Long March-7 and 2F rockets, which have a maximum low Earth payload of 14 tonnes and 8.8 tonnes, respectively.

Train wrecks in Malaysia Bodek – like this like that, lah


Train wrecks in Malaysia Bodek – like this like that, lah

Man, what a week it has been.

We had a few “train wrecks”, including an actual one. Many were injured – we wish them swift recovery. A train driver was thrown under the wheels by a minister. His chairman was also thrown under the wheels by another minister.

What a week indeed. We had the full “Malaysia Boleh” on parade for all to see. Or is it “Malaysia Bodek”? “Malaysia Bodoh”?

Welcome to the latest tragicomic events which are today’s Malaysia. As a chronicler of the craziness around us, it’s my job to examine and dissect the causes for my fellow Malaysians. Or at least point fingers and assign blame. It’s the least I could do.

At the same time, I’m also trying hard to reach out to a broader audience to explain the “Malaysia Boleh” phenomena. I’ll explain some of the possibly strange concepts and words I use to them, and to you, too, dear local readers. No charge.

Some attribute the sorry state of things (train wrecks, Covid response, etc) to a lack of competence in high places. Others believe it’s a lack of character. I believe this is more comme ci comme รงa (French for like this like that), the sadly drifting and rudderless way Malaysia is sailing the high seas.

Competence, character, comme ci comme รงa – the 3Cs of Malaysia. Which are not as good as Singapore’s 5Cs. Why is it that our kiasu neighbours must always have more of everything than us?

The language of politics

I had thought of entering politics to fix things through my Semua Saya Sapu party. I already think everybody is stupid – first requirement in politics – and I’m puffed up with self-importance – second requirement. Though, I’d hate to be just another baboon among the many in our crowded political zoo.

But I’ll have better PR people to manage my political messaging! I’ll institute a 30-minute delay on my live press conferences so my PR team can spin a less farcical version of things. Or I could just declare a state of emergency and shut down Parliament, the media and internet instead.

Even with all the hoo-ha (French for hoo-ha) and hullabaloo (Nepalese) the impact of the crazy “Malaysia Boleh” stuff out there in the kampungs (Malay, though now Malaysian for villages), in the ulus (ditto, for boondocks) and the heartland is … ilek (Tamil for … nothing).

If somebody is a minister, or an MP, or a big guy with wealth and titles (like a minister or an MP) then of course, ipso facto (Latin for by the very fact; or maybe it’s Punjabi) that person is glorious and exalted and beyond reproach.

The next time these people ipso facto their way to a kampung bearing largesse (old English, meaning big ang pow, which is actually Hokkien), they will be greeted with the usual kowtowing and bodeking (old Cantonese, and new Malay words) by their constituents. Nothing would have changed.

But you may ask, doesn’t history say as society becomes more prosperous, its members also become smarter and more critical in their thinking?

Perhaps, but that certainly didn’t happen here in Malaysia. I blame our education system as one of the major culprits for that.

Those good old days in the old school

Segueing (Google it yourself) to a related topic, education in the old days wasn’t that great in reality. Those who say our schools, teachers and society were great and everybody loved each other and lived happily together, I’d say pox on your arse (of old English).

In those supposedly wonderful old days when everything was hunky-dory (Japanese for fantastic? Citations needed), millions of us were locked away beyond sight, sound, electricity, running water, basic healthcare or decent schools while the urban elites enjoyed the good Malaysian life.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way away from those dark days. But the tragedy is we are moving fast, but not heading in the right direction.

People are more “educated” today, going by the various statistics of kids in schools, literacy rates and examinations scores. But what we have is not really education. It’s training.

Our kids are trained to become capable, or at least functional, in reading, writing and all the way up to engineering, doctoring and lawyering. The quality of such training itself is debatable, but teaching people practical skills is certainly not education.

Neither is rote memorisation. Real education is preparing people to be responsible, curious, self-aware and productive members of society who can differentiate between right and wrong, truth and lies. They learn from history and other cultures, and build a better future from these.

Missing the high C

In other words, it’s about critical thinking. It’s the fourth “C” that couldn’t quite find a footing in Malaysia.

The rot goes back to when race became a major factor in our politics. Cunning politicians discovered they could gain a huge advantage by playing on racial fears and stoking communal tensions. They abandoned nation-building and creating a just society – too difficult and not much money in it.

Religion became a useful tool. Instead of being a strong moral compass, it became about rituals, unquestioning obedience and never-ending wars, whether cultural or real, against perceived enemies.

It’s useful to have a docile, pliant populace. Probably nobody actually said: “Hey, let’s sabotage the education system so we can keep everybody dumb and scared and easily exploitable.” But they knew the dumber and more scared the people are, the easier to exploit them.

This comes easily to us who already believe in “beri betis nak paha” (Malay – give an inch want a mile); that sifus (Chinese – masters) must never teach everything to their students; that everybody must accept their allotted destinies unquestioningly.

In other words, putting people in their “rightful” places – meaning down there – comes naturally to us.

The route to Malaysia Boleh

Education is dumbed down. Questioning things becomes disobedience. Society grows more feudal (Latin, always feuding), which is very convenient for our (very feudal) leaders. Very convenient for many followers too, not having to think and make decisions for themselves.

And on top of that, create bogeymen (probably a golf term, meaning a bad guy) for the masses to focus their hatred; be consistent with your Big Lie (American – also about race); keep people needy through handouts and unfair privileges, and the game is yours.

Then you can put any incompetent, low-character baboon into any public position, and as long as they dispense largesse (see above) and the feudal (ditto) culture remains, it will be status quo (a rock band that rots your brain through loud noise).

Malaysia Boleh mah (Malay/Chinese hybrid).

“Halfwit” Hamzah should get his priorities right, unionist lashes out

Focus Malaysia:

“Halfwit” Hamzah should get his priorities right, unionist lashes out

As Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin vowed to nab illegal immigrants during lockdown, a veteran unionist criticised the the former for missing the forest for the trees.

“He is not being matured and totally unprofessional. This is not the time to go raid illegal immigrants as we need their cooperation to contain COVID-19.

“Malaysia is in crisis and the Government should look into a ‘cooling off period’ for illegal immigrants. Hamzah can’t even solve domestic problems but he wants to go after foreigners now,” UNI-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC) president Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal told FocusM.

Yesterday, Hamzah announced that the Immigration Department would crackdown on illegal immigrants during nationwide lockdown, beginning June 1.

Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal

He also said that the initial clampdown on undocumented migrants during MCO 1.0 led to overcrowding of prisons and detention depots.

“But this time we are ready, we have satellite prisons so that when they are arrested, there will be prison cells to put them in. The same goes for the Immigration Department’s satellite depots,” Malaysiakini reported him as saying.

Unimpressed with Hamzah’s bravado, Shafie said the former was only inviting more problems for the country by his statement, adding illegal immigrants would have gone hiding by now.

“And they will mingle with the community around them, increasing the risk of everyone getting infected with COVID-19.

“Hamzah should be using his brain to help during national emergency instead of being arrogant,” Shafie stated.

Overcrowded detention centres “breed” COVID-19

The union leader added that three years ago, the Government said during a Parliamentary session that Malaysia has about six million migrant workers, with four million of them being undocumented.

“Is Hamzah going to deploy the Government’s resources to nab the four million undocumented migrant workers, at a time where the country needs all the help it can get to contain the pandemic?

“I strongly suggest for the Home Minister to deploy enforcement agencies to enforce COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) on the public, irrespective of their social standing,” Shafie added.

Sharan Raj

On related matter, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) urged the Government to grant undocumented migrants a “home return amnesty programme”, which will allow them to come forward without fear of being detained.

“Detention without trial is a violation of the legal principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty. It is safe to say a large proportion of those detained are for reasons related to drug use.

“The home drug use needs to be decriminalised so that we can treat them as medical patients rather than criminals,” its central committee member Sharan Raj said.

He also said that locking up undocumented migrants in detention centres will overcrowd the premises, risking COVID-19 infection further.

According to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Sharan stated that Malaysian prisons are already overcrowded by over 40%, creating an ideal atmosphere for the pandemic to spread.

“Research shows that prisoners are 5.5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than the general population. So, the Home Minister’s priorities should be on decongesting prisons, not cramping even more people in them and worsening conditions during a pandemic.

“For starters, Hamzah can reduce the prison population by 80%, as about 25% of prisoners are detainees awaiting trial and 55% are in prison for drug-related reasons,” Sharan remarked. – May 30, 2021.

One more of Atuk's "rich" Chinese Malaysians


Life’s a drag for old man in dilapidated, lice-infested house

Tew Ah Kaw, 83, has been living alongside lice and mosquitoes for the past four to five years. (Great Heart pic)

MELAKA: With a wounded leg and nothing to lie on but a rusted steel bed frame, Tew Ah Kaw has not had a good night’s sleep in years.

In the morning, the unmarried 83-year-old is greeted by the lice and mosquitoes that have taken over his dilapidated home in Durian Tunggal.

“These bugs around me just keep coming. It’s extremely itchy and painful,” he said.

Early last week, his few belongings were damaged by flash floods. It is a daunting task for him to clean out the clogged drains behind his home.

Tew sleeps on an empty bed frame every night. (Great Heart pic)

Life wasn’t always this miserable for Tew, who used to transport logs to Singapore until the late 1980s, when his physical health began to deteriorate.

“I used to live in another house nearby, but I had to leave because there were plans to build roads in the area. I’ve been in this place for the past four to five years.”

Having survived off the bare minimum since he moved, Tew has lost all will to live, let alone improve the state of his home.

“Even if I find the motivation to do up my home, you need money to do things, right?” he said. “I can’t really do much with my leg anyway.”

While people in his neighbourhood occasionally help with his living expenses, his main source of income is the RM300 he receives from the welfare department every month. It is mostly spent on groceries and the occasional treat at the mamak restaurant.

Hygiene is a main issue for Tew, who gets water from a stand pipe. (Great Heart pic)

Without a proper bathroom, Teh bathes with piped water collected in old paint cans and uses a squatting toilet – a painful chore, he said.

His only living relative is his niece, whose husband takes Tew to the hospital to clean the wound on his leg three times a week.

His plight has since come to the attention of the Great Heart Charity Association, which is now raising funds to make improvements to his home.

Lim Weii Liian, a representative of Great Heart, said he found out about Tew’s problems when he drove past the elderly man who was walking slowly by the side of the main road.

“I decided to stop my car and offer him a ride to his destination. He told me he just came back from the hospital and that he was actually in front of his house,” Lim told FMT.

“When I looked at where he was pointing, I was in shock because the house looked abandoned.”

With an injured leg, Tew is unable to move around much and spends most of his time watching the world pass by. (Great Heart pic)

The charity had initially offered to transfer him to an old folks’ home, but Tew said he wasn’t keen on the idea and preferred to remain independent in his own house.

Lim said the charity decided to renovate and clean up his house, which has overgrown trees and grass surrounding the place. “At least this way, Uncle can live more comfortably,” Lim said.

However, the charity’s efforts had been delayed by movement restrictions and rise in coronavirus infections.

Great Heart hopes to raise RM6,500 for pest control, renovation materials and new furniture, among other needs.


Just a few of Atuk's "rich" Chinese Malaysians

Sabah election ‘seeded’ third Covid wave, study confirms

Sabah election ‘seeded’ third Covid wave, study confirms

The Sabah state election last year had resulted in an estimated 2,979 Covid-19 cases in the first few weeks after polling day, according to a new analysis published on Thursday.

This amounts to 70 percent of cases reported in the state from Sept 26 (polling day) until Oct 12 when the government began imposing the conditional movement control order in Sabah and several other states to curb the outbreak.

The number of cases varies from district to district and goes as high as 95.7 percent in Semporna, 79.5 percent in Tawau, and 96.7 percent in Lahad Datu.

Outside of Sabah, the study estimated that 64.4 percent of Covid-19 cases during that period can be attributed to spillover effects from the election, amounting to another 1,741 cases.

This brings the national total to 4,720 cases linked to the election in 17 days.

Most of these are in urban centres in Peninsular Malaysia such as Petaling district, Kuala Lumpur, and Johor, but all 114 districts outside Sabah that reported Covid-19 cases at the time experienced the spillover effect to some degree.

“We demonstrate that our estimates are not due to pre-existing epidemiological trends, surveillance efforts, and/or preventive policies. These estimates highlight the potential of mass gatherings in one region to spill over into an outbreak of national scale.

“Relaxations of mass gathering restrictions must therefore be carefully considered, even in context of low community transmission and enforcement of safe distancing guidelines,” the authors of the study wrote.

The study is based on computer modelling of the Covid-19 trends in Malaysia from March 22 to Oct 12, the latter date being the eve of the start of the conditional MCO being imposed on Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, and the whole of Sabah.

The study was performed by a group based mostly at the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, and which aimed to use the Sabah election as a case study to gauge how mass gatherings could lead to Covid-19 outbreaks.

Their paper is published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Covid-19: 98 deaths a dark moment for Malaysia, says Dr Noor Hisham

MM Online:

Covid-19: 98 deaths a dark moment for Malaysia, says Dr Noor Hisham

Malaysian Muslim cleric Rafie Zainal and his team members move a body of a Covid-19 victim to a van before burial at a hospital mortuary, in Kuala Lumpur May 23, 2021. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — “Today marks a dark moment when the country recorded its highest daily Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began,” according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In voicing his concern, he said the 98 Covid-19 fatalities saw the death toll shooting to 2,650 cases.

He said the development caused the mortuary facilities in the Ministry of Health (MoH) hospitals to reach maximum capacity and it is getting difficult to accommodate the bodies of victims.

“There were 472 deaths in 2020 while 2,179 deaths were recorded in just the first five months of 2021.

“From May 1 to 29 2021 alone, there were 1,144 deaths from Covid-19. This is the highest monthly death cases so far,” he said in a posting on his Facebook account tonight.

Following this, he said the forensic department is providing special container to keep the bodies of Covid-19 or non-Covid-19 patients in five hospitals namely Selayang Hospital, Serdang Hospital and Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor; Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru and Queen Elizabeth I Hospital in Sabah as well as one 'fleximort’ specially for Covid-19 patients at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Selangor.

He said each special container can accommodate 20 bodies while the “fleximort” can keep 12 bodies.

Dr Noor Hisham said what is even more worrying is that the active Covid-19 cases have exceeded the capability and capacity of MoH to treat, with doctors forced to make the difficult choice of prioritising Intensive Care Unit beds for patients with the higher potential to recover compared to patients with poor prognosis.

“This is an implication that is not desired by every health worker, yet this difficult choice will have to be made when the health system reaches maximum capacity. Help us so that the national health system is not completely paralysed.

"All parties from the highest level to the general public need to help break the chain of Covid-19 infection. Make the best decisions and choices for the sake of the people and the country, ” he added.

The Health director-general stressed that in balancing life and living, it is important for all parties to always re -examine their priorities according to the current situation, but for MOH and health workers throughout the country, their priority is public health and saving lives.

“Let us stay at home and if you have important business outside, make sure you follow the SOP so that you and your family members are protected. Kita jaga kita (We take care of ourselves). Make sure there are no movements and gatherings. #LockdownKendiri #BantuSistemKesihatanNegara,” he said. — AFP

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Dr Noor Hisham perplexed with heavy traffic in Klang Valley - VELL-y MAFULAT LAH

MM Online:

Dr Noor Hisham perplexed with heavy traffic in Klang Valley, reminds public to stay at home

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah warned the public that if the health care workers fall, the public and their family members will not get the best care they need.— Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Seeing many vehicles on several major roads in the Klang Valley today has alarmed Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Wondering where everyone was heading to when the government raised alarms over the rising number of Covid-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham sent a chilling reminder to all travellers that the health system is at its brink.

“Where are you all going?” Dr Noor Hisham asked in a Facebook posting.

“Large movements are still visible despite the ban on interstate and intra-district travel. Spreading the disease from one place to another does not help us in our fight to curb the pandemic from spreading.

“Stay at home and go out only for important matters. Help us save our healthcare system that will crumble if we do not control the spread of Covid-19,” he said in his Facebook postings.

Along with the statement he shared several pictures of long queues of vehicles near the KL-Karak highway from the Gombak toll plaza, PLUS southbound highway from the Sg Besi highway tollgate and several tweets from the Malaysian Highway Authority twitter handle alerting the public to the heavy traffic on these two highways.

Dr Noor Hisham warned the public that if the health care workers fall, the public and their family members will not get the best care they need.

“Worse still, if there are no more beds in the hospitals for you. What’ll happen if you’re critically ill but all beds in the ICU are occupied.

“The frontliners are tired but we still persevere to save your lives,” he said.

Malaysia will enter a full lockdown from June 1 until June 14 following a severe spike in cases this month.



Heavy traffic at Gombak toll plaza this morning

Heavy traffic near the Gombak toll plaza this morning, which went viral on social media, was due to the roadblock mounted at the toll plaza. - STR/ MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

KUALA LUMPUR: Heavy traffic near the Gombak toll plaza this morning, which went viral on social media, was due to the roadblock mounted at the toll plaza.

Gombak district police chief Assistant Commissioner Arifai Tarawe said the one-kilometre crawl was due to thorough checks being conducted on the drivers and their vehicles.

"Yes, there was indeed one-kilometre crawl due to thorough inspection by the police," he said in a short reply via WhatsApp.

Asked whether the congestion was due to the movement of people heading back to their respective hometowns following the total lockdown announcement, Arifai said the matter would be investigated.

"We will investigate this first, I am heading to the location (Gombak toll plaza)," said Arifai.

Earlier, photos showing congestion at the toll plaza went viral on social media as vehicles headed towards the roadblock.

Meanwhile, checks by Harian Metro later found that the congestion at the toll plaza had been resolved with the opening of four lanes.

Cops confirm minister stopped at road block, Khairuddin to sue over 'gossip'

Cops confirm minister stopped at road block, Khairuddin to sue over 'gossip'

Police today confirmed it had stopped Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali at a roadblock in Perasing, Terengganu.

Terengganu police chief Roslee Chik said the matter is now the subject of the police investigation but did not state what offence had been committed.

"Correct, the incident happened on May 16. Police are investigating," he was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.

Roslee, when contacted to clarify what offence had been committed, said the matter was still under investigation and referred further inquiries to the police headquarters at Bukit Aman.


Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department acting director Dev Kumar, when contacted, also did not offer what offence was involved but said cops are starting with an inquiry.

"We are starting an inquiry paper first. We will call all relevant persons to ask about the matter to find out what happened at the roadblock and if there was any offence," he told Malaysiakini.

The roadblock incident had gone viral on social media.

However, the focus on social media was primarily on allegations that Khairuddin (above) was travelling with a tudung entrepreneur who is also the ex-wife of a prominent actor.

This prompted speculation about their relationship on social media.

However, details of the exact offence, if any, remains sketchy and police have not given much information.


The entrepreneur hails from Penang but is reportedly based in Kuala Lumpur.

At present, there is an inter-district travel ban under the third movement control order to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Government leaders are allowed to travel interdistrict for official duties.

In August last year, Khairuddin was fined RM1,000 for failing to undergo quarantine after returning from overseas.

In a Facebook post later, Khairuddin threatened to sue over gossip regarding the incident.

"All sensational stories that there was allegedly a detention at a roadblock in Perasing including gossip regarding a relationship with a female celebrity are untrue and meant to damage my reputation.

"Legal action will be taken against those who write, publish and spread fake stories," he said.

Wow, what a Sweetie, from Penang too


Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali & Sweetie stopped at Terengganu road block

Police confirm minister stopped at road block, probe underway

Police today confirmed it had stopped Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali at a roadblock in Perasing, Terengganu.

Terengganu police chief Roslee Chik said the matter is now the subject of the police investigation but did not state what offence had been committed.

"Correct, the incident happened on May 16. Police are investigating," he was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.

Roslee, when contacted to clarify what offence had been committed, said the matter was still under investigation and referred further inquiries to the police headquarters at Bukit Aman.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department acting director Dev Kumar, when contacted, also did not offer what offence was involved but said cops are starting with an inquiry.

"We are starting an inquiry paper first. We will call all relevant persons to ask about the matter to find out what happened at the roadblock and if there was any offence," he told Malaysiakini.

The roadblock incident had gone viral on social media.

However, the focus on social media was primarily on the fact that Khairuddin (above) was travelling with a tudung entrepreneur who is also the ex-wife of a prominent actor.

This prompted speculation about their relationship on social media.

However, details of the exact offence, if any, remains sketchy and police have not given much information.

The entrepreneur hails from Penang but is reportedly based in Kuala Lumpur.

At present, there is an inter-district travel ban under the third movement control order to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Government leaders are allowed to travel interdistrict for official duties.

In August last year, Khairuddin was fined RM1,000 for failing to undergo quarantine after returning from overseas.

Najib effs Ass-binte but will Moo-Moo permit?


Don’t give ‘veto powers’ to Azmin over essential services list, says Najib

Najib Razak says the power to decide on the list of sectors allowed to operate during the lockdown cannot be solely in Mohamed Azmin Ali’s hands.

PETALING JAYA: International trade and industry minister Mohamed Azmin Ali cannot be given “veto powers” to decide who gets into the essential services list for the two-week total lockdown, says former prime minister Najib Razak.

In a Facebook post, he said the list of sectors allowed to operate must be based on public health advice, since the lockdown was made in the interest of public health.

“The power to decide on the list of sectors allowed to operate during the total lockdown cannot be in the hands of the international trade and industry ministry (Miti) alone.

“The Miti minister (Azmin) also cannot be given veto powers to add certain factories to the list to prevent ‘towkays’ lobbying the minister,” he said.

Najib hoped Putrajaya will “get it right this time”, saying the 14-day lockdown period will be very critical for the country.

Last night the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced a total nationwide lockdown, similar to the first MCO in March last year, with only essential economic and services sectors allowed to operate from June 1 to June 14.

The National Security Council (MKN) will provide a list of the essential sectors that can open during the lockdown, while the finance ministry will provide details of an aid package for the people and affected economic sectors soon.

Increasing popularity of Kedai2 Ikan Masin


Full lockdown a bitter but necessary pill, concede bosses

Malaysian Employers Federation says the total lockdown will be very tough on most employers, especially micro-enterprises.

Tidak-apa Trengganuans pissed off State Health director

MM Online:

Did people think Covid-19 was made up? Terengganu Health chief asks as Raya clusters hit state

Terengganu Health director Dr Nor Azimi Yunus says there are now five active clusters in Hulu Terengganu. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Terengganu’s once green zone status is fast disappearing and the state's Health Department director has pointed the blame squarely on ignorant Malaysian’s who violated the movement control order (MCO) during the Hari Raya period.

In a Facebook post, Terengganu Health director Dr Nor Azimi Yunus said some selfish Malaysians with nonchalant attitudes, who visited relatives and friends during the festive season, have now infected the district of Hulu Terengganu, formerly a green zone.

“In an instant 124 cases were detected due to several individuals breaking SOPs by crossing state and district boundaries. Now there’s five active clusters in Hulu Terengganu. This is the Raya cluster we’ve all been waiting for.

“There were two individuals who returned to Johor before Raya. Some visited their closest relatives. In the end 24 were found positive. It spread to the markets where four employees were found positive.

“All of them have been exposed and the infection is now deemed as widespread without anyone realising it,” she lamented.

She said there was another case where the person who had Covid-19 went to Bentong for Raya and then visited the neighbours. Six individuals were detected positive due to close contact.

A new cluster also emerged in the Hulu Temelong mukim where the SOP violators went out of Melaka and later returned symptomatic.

She said they had then spread the disease to their office. In the end 10 workers were confirmed positive and close contact tracing is undergoing.

“Why are you all behaving like this?” asked Dr Nor Azimi.

“To say you didn’t know ... means the media has been feeding you rubbish regarding the Raya SOPs ... when the reality is SOPs have been totally ignored.

“The majority of the violators are giving ignorant excuses like “I didn’t think it was all that”. Then what were you thinking all this while? That Covid-19 is made up?”

She then said that in Tanggol 14 individuals visited their family members following a death in the family in Marang.

“As chance would have it there was a positive person there. From that, 14 people tested positive for Covid-19,” she said.

She also said these individuals should have sent one or two people for the funeral and adhere to SOPs.

From there the virus had even spread to a nearby mosque where the bilal and jemaah were found positive.

“We have clearly given advice to all of you to not cross state lines for any events or visitations to avoid what’s happening now but all of you continue to flaunt the SOPs. Maybe you think you're immune to Covid-19.

“Now disaster has hit and it was brought upon by your own hands and not anyone else. No need to point the finger at anyone. The fact is we are at fault.

“We will now cry together seeing the number of people of all ages die everyday. Let it not come to pass where we run out of ICU beds in our hospitals,” she stressed.

In conclusion, Dr Nor Azimi said Hulu Terengganu is no longer a safe mukim.

She said Kuala Berang but Hulu Temelong and Tanggol have also been deemed high risk zones.

“If you want to help break the chain of infection stay at home all of you. Go out only when necessary,” she said.

“Total lockdown” from June 1 to 14

MM Online:

As Putrajaya imposes ‘total lockdown’, SMEs say already running on empty

A deserted Jalan Bukit Bintang during the CMCO November 23, 2020. Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) chairman Datuk William Ng urged the government to consider restoring the loan repayment moratorium from last year as well as continue the ongoing wage subsidy scheme. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Many small-medium enterprises exhausted their savings during previous movement control orders and were unlikely to survive without urgent government assistance for the “total lockdown” starting next week, said an industry group.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) chairman Datuk William Ng urged the government to consider restoring the loan repayment moratorium from last year as well as continue the ongoing wage subsidy scheme.

“Many of our SMEs have run out of reserves. Some have reported that they are owing landlords and suppliers for months. They were hopeful that they can still deliver on some pending orders to recover some funds to pay these.

“The total lockdown will make it difficult, if not impossible to do so,” he said in a statement.

Ng said SMEs have been supportive of the government and its policies throughout the pandemic, including holding onto employees even as larger corporations retrenched.

The Samenta chief asked the government to reciprocate this by considering the plight of SMEs that employ millions in Malaysia.

Tonight, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement to announce a “total lockdown” from June 1 to 14, during which all non-essential services and activities will be prohibited.

The list of essential services has not been released nor has the standard operating procedures that will apply.

However, the PMO did say the Finance Ministry was drawing up an assistance package for Malaysians and affected sectors, which will be announced soon.