Wednesday, June 30, 2021

No, Nik Abduh was not available - probably away praying? (for biscuits?)

MM Online:

In Kota Baru, single mother flies white flag after three days of eating biscuits

Single mum Rohayah Che Samah receives financial aid and food from Pengkalan Chepa Member of Parliament Muhammad Abdul Munib Zakaria in Kota Baru, June 30, 2021. — Bernama pic

KOTA BARU, June 30 — Feeling helpless and depressed after three days of surviving on biscuits as she had run out rice, a single mother flew a white flag in front of her house, signifying that she needed help from others in her neighbourhood.

Rohayah Che Samah, 50, said she did that as her savings were running out and in fact, she had run out of rice three days ago.

Rohayah who lives with her youngest child, daughter Amalina Kamaraddin, 14, said since then, they had been eating biscuits and cakes donated by neighbours.

“I installed the white flag as asked to do so by my younger sister after often telling her about my problems, so that people would come to assist me.

“I actually did not know about the white flag (campaign) to seek help. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) as after I flew the white flag, there were people coming with aid,” she said when met at her house, here, today.

Rohayah and Amalina live in a 300 sq ft rented house in Kampung Pulau Kundor, Pengkalan Chepa, here.

The mother of six said she was financially constrained as she was only depending on her small earnings from batik painting at RM2 per piece.

“The most I earn in a day is from painting seven pieces of batik and with the movement control (under the Economic Recovery Plan), there are not many pieces of cloth to be painted (with batik designs).

“My other children who are in Kuala Lumpur are unable to support me as they have ordinary jobs and their income is also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she lamented.

Rohayah who hails from Salor, Kota Baru said what made it more difficult for her to receive financial aid from the authorities was that she did have an official divorce document.

Earlier, special officer to the Pengkalan Chepa Member of Parliament, Muhammad Abdul Munib Zakaria, handed over cash and food supply to Rohayah after a photo of the white flag flying in front of her house went virtal on WhatsApp and Facebook since this morning. — Bernama



Dr Mahathir Mohamad said making Malaysia an ‘Asian Tiger’ was something he had set out to do successfully.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister for 22 years, said he would have stayed on if he had known Malaysia would turn into “a country ruled by thieves” after he left.

In his keynote address at the virtual Asian Leadership Conference 2021, he said he had expected those who came after him to share his passion for helping the country to grow.

“I had believed that any leader would be concerned about the people. So, whoever succeeded me wouldn’t matter because I thought if they succeed me they will continue to work on developing the country.


kt notes:

Many have laughed at his verbal faux pas but he has instead revealed his rancorous malevolence in his selfish action. 

A little aside first, Malaysia economically was NEVER EVER an 'Asian Tiger'. Wikipedia states:

The Four Asian Tigers are the economies of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Between the early 1960s and 1990s, they underwent rapid industrialization and maintained exceptionally high growth rates of more than 7 percent a year.

Mahathir is not only shameless in claiming that title for Malaysia but a liar in front of participants of the virtual Asian Leadership Conference 2021.

But most venomously, he had by his own earlier action of resignation as PM and subsequent admission showed he has been lying when he said “I had believed that any leader would be concerned about the people. So, whoever succeeded me wouldn’t matter because I thought if they succeed me they will continue to work on developing the country.

To him, whoever succeeded him had mattered and indeed matters greatly in his evil mind. He sabotaged Anwar Ibrahim's turn to be PM by deliberately resigning abruptly on 24 February 2020 without even informing his coalition allies in Pakatan Harapan. Such has been and is his hatred for Anwar that he preferred to resign his position as PM and therefore lost Pakatan's majority rule, and consequently/knowingly eff-ed his own government, coalition allies and agreed PM-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim.

Then, it shows in the above statement [... whoever succeeded me wouldn’t matter because I thought if they succeed me they will continue to work on developing the country] that he was quite okay with Muhyiddin-Ass-binte's coup d'etat, in fact preferring the two treacherous rats to the rest of his former coalition allies including Anwar. What an evil hypocrite!

By his vindictive, malicious and spiteful action, his treachery and wickedness have certainly surpassed those of Muhyiddin and Ass-binte.

MP Steven Sim again as White Knight in #benderaputih

MM Online:

#benderaputih: Bukit Mertajam MP helps hawker settle debts, pays for new stall and ingredients to help him start fresh

Sim (right) extended help to Ah Soon who wasn’t able to make a living and pay off debts after repeated economic shutdowns. —Picture from Facebook/Steven Sim

PETALING JAYA, June 30 — Repeated lockdowns during Covid-19 are pushing hawkers like Ah Soon over the edge as a result of destroyed livelihoods.

Not only was the food vendor unable to generate income but he was also burdened with debts after his business folded.

He wasn’t able to pay for his house and stall’s rent, motorcycle, water and electricity bills for the past four to five months.

He was even forced to sell his washing machine and fan to afford meals.

Sim took Ah Soon to buy ingredients to prep for his new stall’s opening this evening. —Picture from Facebook/Steven Sim

The hawker’s heart-breaking story was highlighted by Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim in a touching Facebook post.

Sim met the hawker after he placed a white flag outside his home yesterday to signal distress.

The #benderaputih movement, or white flag, is an initiative that began to help those in dire need of food and essentials without having to beg for help.

The lawmaker visited Ah Soon this morning, describing the small business owner as someone who has given up.

“I just want to make a living. I can work but how am I going to work for it in these conditions,” he told Sim.

Upon hearing Ah Soon’s distressing plight, Sim offered to pay up his debts and got the hawker a new stall, saying he will bear the cost until the end of the year.

“As long as Ah Soon can start a new life and keep fighting,” Sim wrote.

“We spoke for more than an hour. When I asked him what he’d like to put on the menu, his eyes lit up.”

Sim then brought the passionate hawker to the market to buy the ingredients and announced that the new stall would begin operating today.

Ah Soon also said that he would cook a meal for Sim at his new stall tonight.

“He couldn’t believe it, he kept saying thank you.

“I made him promise three things – to not think of giving up, to help others when he can and to cook me dinner this evening because I want to try the menu at his new stall,” wrote Sim.

He added that the white flag movement demonstrates the hardships Malaysians are facing amid the economic disruption.

Ah Soon takes down the white flag outside his home after hope is restored following months of financial hardship. – Picture from Facebook/Steven Sim

Sim urged Malaysians who cannot make ends meet to reach out to him for help.

“I will be there,” he said.

“In just a few hours Ah Soon was back on his feet, he even took down the white flag outside his house.”

He concluded his post asking Malaysians to not give up and that there is always hope.

Sim’s heartfelt post received 21,000 reactions and was shared almost 7,000 times.

#HartalDoktorKontrak group: Respond in 26 days or we walk

Respond in 26 days or we walk: doctors threaten strike over govt contract issues

#HartalDoktorKontrak group demand answers on career progression, criteria for permanent positions

Contract doctors behind the #HartalDoktorKontrak movement says, at present, their current employment contracts are either on a biannual or annual basis and there is no clarity on the selection criteria to secure a permanent position. – AFP pic, June 30, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR – The group of contract doctors behind the #HartalDoktorKontrak movement has given the government 26 days from tomorrow to meet their demands or the members will hold a one-day work strike.

In a statement sighted by the Vibes, the group distanced itself from the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), despite both parties fighting for the same goals but via different approaches.

“First of all, we are every junior doctor that is employed by the Health Ministry.

“The reason why we are doing this is because we believe that we do not have any career progression or any future with the current contract employment scheme,” the group said.

The group said, at present, its current employment contract is either on a biannual or annual basis.

“To become permanent, there is no clarity on the selection criteria.

“There are too many discrepancies between the benefits of a contract medical officer and a permanent officer.”

Among the criteria include career progression whereby time-based career progression does not apply to them.

“Moreover, no matter how many years we have served the country, our pay grade will remain the same. So do our benefits, such as hazard leave, post-natal leave (cuti menyusu), housing loan schemes and many more.

“Apart from those mentioned, we are also asking the government about the absurdity of the numbers of medical officers absorbed into the government in recent years,” the group said.

Since 2019, only 789 contract medical officers have been absorbed into permanent positions, whereas before 2016, the government was able to create permanent posts for 100% of house officers, says the group. – Facebook pic, June 30, 2021

Since 2019, only 789 contract medical officers have been absorbed into permanent positions.

“They are offered grade UD41 with a starting salary of RM2,947, excluding allowances, despite having worked for the past two years as house officers.”

Until December 2016, the government was able to create permanent posts for 100% of house officers.

“Why the sudden drop from 100% to 3.47%?

“There is also no clarity on how the selection of these fortunate 3.47% medical officers were made.”

The group further said that medical officers are employed in cohorts or batches, with each year comprising roughly five to six cohorts.

“If we assume each cohort has 1,000 officers employed, 789 makes up roughly 13% for the year. The number is drastically low.”

The group said the reality of Malaysia's public healthcare system is one where “we are known to be No. 1 in the world for cost efficiency and effective service, but continue to treat its doctors as second class citizens”.

“Moving forward, we have written an open letter on June 27, 2021, to address the public to engage with us.

“We urge the public to remain calm as this fight is not against them and we mean no harm to those requiring medical assistance.

“We have also given the government ample time to sit down and prepare for a reply. And, along the way, we have seen so many responses that were in favour of this movement.”

While the group acknowledged the possibility of negative repercussions from the government, including disciplinary action and termination of contract, they felt their contracts will be terminated either way irrespective of what they choose to do.

The government, the group said, will be given a time frame to issue a proper response, the failure of which will see them perform a walkout.

“This will be carried out at all hospitals around the country for one day.

“And, if the memorandum demands are not met, we will continue doing so until the government comes forward to do so,” the group added.

The group behind the #HartalDoktorKontrak movement, which is quickly gaining traction across social media channels, has reportedly invited their peers, media and the public to participate in their protest.

It is learnt the group will conduct the protest in three phases from tomorrow onwards, starting with the handover of a memorandum, followed by a press conference and, lastly, a strike proposed for July 26. – The Vibes, June 30, 2021

Thai Sex Workers protest: ‘No money, no honey, no GDP’

MM Online:

‘No money, no honey, no GDP’: Sex workers in Thailand use panties, high heels to protest Covid-19 shutdown

A protester stands in front of Thailand’s Government House demanding for compensation during Covid-19 closures. ― Picture via Facebook/iLaw

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 ― Sex workers in Thailand have resorted to tying their undergarments and displaying their high heels as a sign of protest outside the country’s Government House.

A group of sex workers and karaoke bar staff took to the building’s front gate yesterday morning demanding financial compensation from authorities, Coconuts Bangkok reported.

On top of securing their bras and panties on the building’s gate, some wore aprons that featured a bikini print over their regular clothes.

Next to pairs of arranged heels, a sign read, “no money, no honey, no GDP”.

The protest comes after massage parlours, go-go bars and karaoke joints have been ordered shut for months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Entertainment venues and massage parlours have been forced to shutter since April due to the pandemic. ― Picture via Twitter/@SekSamyan

Due to the loss of income, the protesters are now asking for a monthly reimbursement of THB5,000 (RM650) per person from the government.

Sirisak Chaited, one of the protesters and LGBT+ activist who made headlines for spearheading a gender-inclusive monkhood campaign said the Thai government needs to treat sex workers just like any other profession.

He added that these workers deserve government compensation, especially during tough times.

A vital industry for the country’s economy, Thailand’s sex trade generates large sums of money that is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and attracts foreign tourists.

“We’re Thai people and we generate income for the country.

“Please accept the reality that prostitution exists and it does have value and dignity just like other professions,” Sirisak said.

As part of Thailand’s Covid-19 standard operating procedure, prostitution is currently punishable with up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of THB40,000.

“We work with our bodies, just like many other people out there.

“But the government doesn’t even see us as human,” another protester said.

According to Sirisak, many who offered their services online found that it wasn’t a viable solution for them as it allowed them to be tracked easily and risk being arrested.

The peaceful protest yesterday was interrupted by the police who instructed protesters to take down the “inappropriate” clothing items.

One sex worker told a police officer: “These are our working clothes.”

“There are more urgent things that are inappropriate and need to be fixed.”

Since a third wave that swept across Bangkok in April, entertainment venues and massage parlours have been forced to shutter to curb the virus from spreading.

A new set of restrictions also came into effect yesterday, prohibiting dine-in at restaurants, closing off worker campsites and limiting interprovincial travel.

For now, it remains unlikely that nightlife venues will be allowed to reopen and resume operations.

Those kids could soon be shatting like our PM, but not out of fear of losing a powerful position

Kids fed condensed milk, coffee as jobless parents unable to afford infant formula

Penang Hindu Association says up to 500 babies and toddlers, including from refugee families, in state need help

Refugee families in Penang received food aid recently. – Penang Hindu Association pic, June 30, 2021

GEORGE TOWN – As the Covid-19 lockdown wears on, causing unemployment to rise and businesses to stay shut, the health and nutrition of children in poor families are particularly affected.

It has come to the Penang Hindu Association’s (PHA) attention that parents unable to afford infant formula are feeding their kids condensed milk and black coffee.

PHA president P. Murugiah said despite non-governmental organisations continuing to provide food aid, the supply of milk powder for children is still very much lacking.

“Milk powder costs RM30 to RM40 per kg, and these families have four to five children, all babies and toddlers.

There should be some kind of milk aid provided to these families. Around 400 to 500 young children in Penang need milk.

“I’ve had someone call up asking for help, as the children in a family have been drinking diluted milk. Instead of giving four spoonfuls of milk powder, just one or 1½ spoonfuls would be diluted and fed to each child.”

He said the practice is common in these trying times among refugee families who previously earned a daily wage doing 3D – dirty, dangerous and difficult – jobs.

“It’s very difficult to talk to them, as they are timid and reserved. They are worried about getting caught even though they have UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) cards.

“Every time they get caught, they’d have to pay under-the-table money ranging from RM300 to RM500.

“They already don’t have enough money to eat, and they can’t go back to their home country. They don’t have the network, and they don’t know where to go for help.”

Milk powder costs RM30 to RM40 per kg, far beyond the reach of many B40 households suffering income loss amid the pandemic. – Penang Hindu Association pic, June 30, 2021

Some poor families are unaware of the consequences of giving children sugary drinks, he said, pointing out that a diet of milk, coffee and tea sweetened with sugar does not provide the necessary nutrients for cognitive development.

“These parents want their children to do well in the future, but they don’t know that their children need proper food and nutrition.”

PHA reached out to 18 families suffering in silence for the past six months after losing their sources of income, surviving only on instant noodles, biscuits and coffee.

They shared their fear of being forced out into the streets due to their inability to pay rent.

PHA and Klinik Derma Sivasanta (KDS), which has been coordinating free health treatment for the poor, are distributing groceries and milk to families in need, with refugees among those who received such aid recently.

After the initial distribution of rice, oil, atta flour, sardines, sugar, coffee, milk powder, eggs and other grocery items, they found that more aid was needed.

Yesterday, PHA and KDS returned with infant formula and RM50 for each family.

PHA is appealing to the relevant authorities and other civil groups to help lighten these families’ burden.

Since the lockdown began in March last year, PHA and KDS have come to the aid of over 300 families in the B40 group, refugees and others in need in both Penang and Kedah.

Those interested in rendering assistance can contact Murugiah at +6016-444-9246. – The Vibes, June 30, 2021

Agong wishes for Parliament to meet before Aug 1

MM Online:

Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Dewan Negara president say informed PM of Agong’s wish for Parliament to meet before Aug 1

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Rais Yatim said in a joint statement that Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah conveyed this to them during their audience yesterday, stressing the urgent need to convene the special sitting. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The leaders of both Houses of Parliament said they have informed the prime minister that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong wanted the federal legislature to meet before the Emergency expires in August.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Rais Yatim said in a joint statement that Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah conveyed this to them during their audience yesterday, stressing the urgent need to convene the special sitting.

“The royal decree by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong has also been forwarded to the prime minister where it was suggested to the prime minister that a special sitting be held before August 1 in accordance with the existing legal provisions,” they said.

The two also gave their commitment to organise the special sitting before August 1 as proposed to them by the Agong.

Why Western (and Malaysian) military doesn't want to be involved with politics

Guardian (Aus Ed):

Top US general got into shouting match with Trump over race protests – report

Book claims Gen Mark Milley yelled at Trump, prompting former president to yell back: ‘You can’t fucking talk to me like that!’

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen Mark Milley. Photograph: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

Gen Mark Milley, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, reportedly “yelled” at Donald Trump that he was not and would not be in charge of the federal response to protests for racial justice, prompting the then president to yell back: “You can’t fucking talk to me like that!”

The shouting match in the White House situation room was reported on Monday by Axios, in another trail of a much-trailed book: Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost by Michael Bender, a Wall Street Journal reporter.

Bender’s book will be published in August but it has been extensively previewed.

Milley made headlines last week when he clashed with Republicans over teaching concerning America’s history of racism – and for his pains was called “stupid” and a “pig” by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

A previous excerpt of Bender’s work showed Milley resisting Trump’s urges to “crack skulls” and “just shoot” protesters marching for racial justice after the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.

The exchange reported by Axios concerned command authority. Milley, Bender writes, told Trump he was an adviser but could not command the response.

“I said you’re in fucking charge!” Trump reportedly shouted.

“Well, I’m not in charge!” Milley is said to have “yelled” back.

“You can’t fucking talk to me like that!” Trump reportedly shouted.

Bender reports that Milley told advisers gathered in the situation room: “Goddamnit. There’s a room full of lawyers here. Will someone inform him of my legal responsibilities?”

William Barr, then attorney general, is said to have backed Milley up.

Trump denied the exchange, a spokesman calling it “fake news” and saying Bender, who like scores of other authors interviewed the former president for his book, “never asked me about it and it’s totally fake news”.

“If Gen Milley had yelled at me, I would have fired him,” Trump said.

It has been widely reported that Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, a historic piece of legislation to deal with domestic unrest most recently used during the Los Angeles riots in 1992. It was not invoked but the New York Times has reported that aides drafted an order. Milley reportedly opposed use of the act.

On 1 June last year, Trump raged at governors on a conference call, telling them to “toughen up” in response to protests which sometimes turned violent.

“If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re going to walk away with you,” Trump said. “In Washington we’re going to do something people haven’t seen before.”

Milley and other aides subsequently accompanied Trump on a controversial walk across Lafayette Square outside the White House, which had been violently cleared of protesters, to stage a photo-op at a church.

The general later apologised.

“I should not have been there,” he told students at National Defense University. “My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

In Malaysia DERHAKA is an act reserved for only Malays

Why does the PN regime get away with disrespecting the royal institution?

by S Thayaparan

“Imagine if it was Tommy Thomas’ photo with the same headline during PH time!” 

– Hannah Yeoh on twitter

COMMENT | What I like about Hannah Yeoh’s tweet, is that it neatly demonstrates with few words, how race has been weaponised in this country. It also gives us an indication, why the Perikatan Nasional (PN) regime will never throw in the towel, when it comes to this fight for its survival.

While the Malay establishment wars with itself, with various factions either attempting to prop up this regime or collapse it for self-interests, the average Malay partisan is attempting to find terra firma (solid ground) when it comes to the quick forming sinkhole of what used to be sacred Malay preoccupations.

What this pandemic has also done is expose the hypocrisy of the race and religion crowd and demonstrated how supposed sacred cows, in Malay politics, are not so sacred after all. Yeoh is right, if Tommy Thomas had made such a statement when Pakatan Harapan was in power, the Malay establishment would be calling for his head.

Furthermore, the DAP would be blamed – because the DAP is blamed for everything by this crowd – and this would have become, a horse manure talking point, about how the non-Malays do not respect the royal institution.

Kudos to Lim Guan Eng drawing attention to “… Idrus (Harun)’s sudden boldness against the Agong and the rulers now?” and for neatly pointing to the absurdity of the attorney-general’s (AG) argument when it comes to “cabinet” deciding when Parliament can reconvene. The line of reasoning by DAP’s Beruas MP, Ngeh Koo Ham, regarding this matter is in line with most mainstream constitutional law experts, or at least those I have been in contact with.

What we have here, is the AG getting away with “disrespecting” the royalty (by standards imposed on the average rakyat) and Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, calling for the courts to weigh in on this issue. Perfectly acceptable, but only if you are Malay, but more importantly, part of the Malay establishment.

Because if you are someone like human rights lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, then you would be charged. If you are someone like artist-activist Fahmi Reza, you would be charged. Indeed, if you were an average joe rakyat, and the minions from Putrajaya deemed what you said or wrote an insult to the royal institution, then you would be hauled up for disrespecting the royal institution.

Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz, when he is not acting as an official spokesperson for a cabal of plotters, but more importantly when he is not going abroad to see that his child is registered in a foreign school, likes to fly the Malay uber alles (above all) flag on campaign stumps.

Two years ago when Harapan was in power and during the Semenyih by-election, he cautioned Malaysians that the “Malays” were dissatisfied about non-Malays holding positions of power like the attorney-general, chief justice and finance minister – in probably the most ironic moment in Malaysians politics – because “….. (they) do not trust a non-Malay holding that position can be fair, instead of acting according to the skin colour.”

Nazri also made it a religious issue by claiming - “An individual swearing before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must use the Quran because the king is a Muslim. If one does not use the Quran, then he or she is not bound to the oath taken.”

However, the main take away from this incident is when Nazri said this - “It is the duty of every prime minister and the government to defend the (Malay) privilege. However, the government is weak.”

So apparently the most sacred cow of Malay privileges, the royal institution, is not so sacred after all. Now forget the legalese and actual legal positions for a minute. Nazri said the position of the AG for example should only be held by a Malay “…in order to uphold the Federal Constitution and Islam.”

So either Idrus Harus is upholding the constitution, even though you could argue that he was disrespectful of the wishes of the royal institution, or he is not upholding the constitution while being disrespectful of the Agong.

Either way if a non-Malay has made such statements, you can bet your last ringgit that Nazri and the rest of the Malay uber alles crowd would be going ape manure. However, when we have the Malay establishment either remaining quiet or making pleas to “secular” institutions to resolve the issue, you know that PN has wandered off the Malay mainstream political reservation. So much for the position that only a Malay can protect Malay interests as defined by the constitution.

Nazri, of course, was then investigated for “sedition”, but nothing came of it. In fact, nothing comes of such charges when influential Malay political figures and personalities make such statements. This is all part of the “privilege” that comes with being in the Malay political establishment. The rules rarely apply to you and even when they do, you would not suffer the consequences of your actions like how an average Malaysian would. Please refer to a story on prisons that Malaysiakini just did.

Remember when Umno president Zahid Hamidi said democracy is dead in Malaysia because PN killed it? The only thing Zahid gets wrong is that the PN killed democracy in this country. PN may have landed the killing blow, but democracy has been assaulted in this country for decades under the long Umno watch.

Having said that, the best thing about the Sheraton betrayal is that it has finally exposed the farcical nature of Malay privilege. In reality all those sacred cows are sacrificial ones, and the only people in this country who are disrespectful to something like the royal institution are those who weaponised race and claim who want to defend it.

After all, through the decades, who was it that curtailed the powers of the royal institutions but at the same enabled a system of economic benefit, as Zaid Ibrhaim alludes to here – “Others are very wealthy and are deep into businesses; which can be done only with the support of the peoples’ representatives, that is to say, the politicians.”

This pandemic has proven two things. First, that this Malay uber alles government is a complete failure. And the second, is that the mainstream Malay political establishment cannot coalesce around a strategy that benefits Malaysia even when faced with a global pandemic, which threatens the political, social and economic ecosystems of the country.

Then again, as a non-Malay, my words mean bupkis. So here is Nazri again back in the day, his words prophetic – “Lots of issues that were unimaginable before are an issue now. As some said, (we are) surrendering our rights to others.”

Ain’t that the truth.

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

An open letter to PAS leader Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz

An open letter to PAS leader Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz.

Dear Nik Abduh,

I was quite disturbed by your Facebook post yesterday where you advised Muslims to raise their hands and pray to God instead of seeking help from their neighbours and community. It is truly sad that you failed to understand the importance of community in our personal well-being.

There are 7.9 billion people in this world, 4.6 billion people in Asia and 32.75 million people in Malaysia - yet somehow you have been conditioned to believe that all we need is God and nothing else.

What you have failed to understand is that God created us among different groups of people - a family unit, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours and communities - each one teaches us something about ourselves and our place in the world. There is a deeper wisdom to why God placed us within these relationships.

At one point in our lives, every one of us will experience pain and hardship. Seeking help when we need it and offering help when we are able to, are two ways we develop our community and build strong relationships among us. This is the reason why community is the core essence of human experience - to live as part of a community fulfils the natural component of our lives.

Nik Abduh, the world exists beyond our mosques.

I am sure you agree that it is common for Muslims to seek help from our neighbourhood mosque and its congregation. In fact, we are encouraged to seek help in the name of Muslim brotherhood.

What you have failed to understand is that our world is not only designed to exist in our mosques - it also exists beyond. And just as a person is expected to seek help from the mosque, we should also seek help from the community we are a part of.

‘Your advice helps no one’

Being a Muslim, as much as I believe that going through difficult times is a test from God, I also believe that God encourages us to seek help, for every Muslim is accountable for what he himself does or fails to do.

In short, individual responsibility is a cornerstone of Islam. It shocks me that you, of all people, do not hold this belief close to your heart.

In a world where we are ever so connected, you are encouraging the people to be disconnected, to seclude themselves in their homes and leaving fate in the hands of God. Your advice helps no one and will get us nowhere. Is that your intention, O wise one?

It pains me to wonder what prompted you in making such a statement in the first place. Were you never made to feel like you belonged to any circles of community, one whom you can depend on for your own wellbeing?

Loneliness is definitely one of the biggest plagues in our world. It can affect our mind and our hearts, erode our thoughts and judgement. For what it is worth, I feel sorry for you.

I hope Malaysians who like me were disappointed with your advice, would find it in their hearts to forgive you. After all, you are part of our community and this is exactly what communities do - we take care of each other.

I wish you well, Nik Abduh.

FA ABDUL is a passionate storyteller, a media trainer, an aspiring playwright, a director, a struggling producer, a photographer, an expert Facebooker, a lazy blogger, a part-time queen and a full-time vainpot.


kt notes:

I like this lady, Fatima Abdul. She is very tolerant, disciplined and well disposed towards polite letter-writing.

Had it been me, I would have started off the letter to that moron with the following:

Dei Dickhead you Mfer,

You're a metric ton of kerbau poo ... yadda ... yadda ... yadda ... You just tok-kok ... Your wonderful (late) Dad would have disowned you immediately for your flabbergasting idiocy ...

Dep Speaker (PPBM MP) MCO violation - lied first, then when cornered, apologise

MM Online:

Durian feast video: Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker admits gathering took place during current lockdown, apologises and says will aid police probe

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon clarified today that the video was taken during the current movement control order. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon today confirmed that a video showing him and other individuals at a durian feast is new and taken recently during the ongoing total lockdown, after having previously suggested that it could be an old video.

In a statement today to explain the video at a durian orchard that went viral yesterday, Rashid, who is also Batu Pahat MP, apologised for the confusion over when the incident in the video had taken place.

“I apologise for the confusion that arose when there were media who contacted me to ask about the video of me at the orchard and I had answered the question without watching the video myself initially,” he said, referring to news reports yesterday where he had told the media that he believed the video to have been an old one taken last year before the current lockdown.

Today, he clarified that the video was taken during the current movement control order (MCO).

“I apologise over this error and leave this to further investigation and I promise to provide cooperation to the police,” he concluded.

Errant ministers: Enact Ministerial Code of Conduct like the UK, academic says

Errant ministers: Enact Ministerial Code of Conduct like the UK, academic says

PUTRAJAYA should enact a Ministerial Code of Conduct in order to keep Cabinet members in check and ensure they follow basic protocols while holding public office.

“According to the Institute for Government, a UK-based think tank, the Ministerial Code is a set of rules and principles which outline the standards of conduct for Government ministers.

“The codes include the ‘overarching duty’ of ministers to comply with law and abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life, a set of ethical standards which apply to all holders of public office.

“The UK Ministerial Code was last updated in August 2019. Do we have such a code for our ministers? If not, we can adopt the UK Ministerial Code with appropriate modifications, to meet local conditions,” HELP University Faculty of Business, Economics and Accounting and Institute Crime and Criminology senior lecturer R Paneir Selvam told FocusM.

R Paneir Selvam

On Saturday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed apologised for flouting COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) for dining-in at a coffee shop in Jeli, Kelantan recently.

Mustapa was not the only minister accused of breaching SOP, as Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali was accused of travelling to Kemaman, Terengganu last month, despite interstate travels being barred.

Others claimed to have breached SOP include International Trade and Industries Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.

Citing the UK as an example, Paneir Selvam said that its Secretary for Health Matt Hancock resigned on Saturday after a video surfaced showing him breaking social distancing guidelines during lockdown.

“Even though UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson accepted his explanation and allowed him to resume duties, the pressure from within and outside his party forced Hancock to leave,” he said.

Gov’t leaders owe it to the public, Agong

On Mustapa’s case, while it was commendable that former had apologised for it, the academic said those holding public office must lead by example and follow rules they themselves have written.

“For example, if a parent smokes a cigarette in front of his child and later tells the kid that smoking is hazardous to health, obviously the child will not listen.

“The country’s leaders must act like parents and provide a good example for citizens to follow.

“Plus, they also bear moral responsibilities as a result of the oath they took before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” Paneir Selvam mentioned.

Making matters worse, he said many VIPs who flouted SOP in the past have used many excuses to justify their actions, triggering public outcry as they only received a slap on the wrist.

“But ordinary people were harshly penalised for breaching SOP. The rakyat will perceive this as unjust and later pour scorn on the legitimacy of the SOP,” Panier Selvam cautioned.

Such attitude, he added, was alarming as adherence to SOP was crucial to reduce skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, triggering many to lose jobs and incomes.

“According to reports, there is an increase in suicide cases during this difficult period and many are burdened by rising unemployment, debt and family stress.

“While people lose jobs and struggle to put food on the table, leaders and prominent people must show compassion and provide guidance to them,” Paneir Selvam remarked. – June 29, 2021.

Russian Intelligence Chief: U.S. Creating 400,000 Strong Military Force for Asia-Pacific War on China

Military Watch:

U.S. Creating 400,000 Strong Military Force for Asia-Pacific War on China - Russian Intelligence Chief

U.S. Marine Corps Exercises with V-22 OspreyU.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot

As the Joe Biden administration makes countering China its primary foreign policy priority, it has drastically increased military activities in the East and South China Seas and escalated efforts to great a power bloc to maintain American hegemony in the region. Chief of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (GRU) military intelligence agency, Igor Kostyukov, reported that the United States has created a 400,000 strong force for the Asia-Pacific to target China.

Speaking in Moscow at a conference on international security on June 23, Kostyukov said Washington was demonstrating that it is was not ready to engage in equal dialogue, and sought to pull India into a NATO-style alliance to dominate the region and isolate Russia and China. He stated to this effect: "The United States, obsessed with the goal of global domination, is demonstrating its unwillingness to engage in equal dialogue. US doctrinal documents enshrine the methods for building relations with other countries from a position of strength.”

Three Nimitz Class Supercarriers Exercise Near Korea (Credit: U.S. Navy)

According to Kostyukov, the Pentagon plans to create a task force in the Pacific specifically aimed at containing China in south and east Asia by 2024, and will set up two brigades for cyber operations by 2028. Hypersonic missiles will also be deployed to the region by that time.

China became the world’s largest economy in 2017, and has been the primary focus of American military attentions since 2010 when the Barak Obama administration launched the ‘Pivot to Asia’ initiative. China has notably outspent the U.S. in new military acquisitions from 2020, and its defence sector is able to provide new armaments at a small fraction of the cost in part due to its far larger industrial base.

China’s J-20 stealth fighter, for example, has a research of development cost before entering service of just $4.5 billion - while its lighter America rival the F-35 which has similar technological features cost approximately $55 billion to develop. This discrepancy has forced the U.S. to rely on building coalitions to try to maintain a balance of power in the region that favours American and Western interests.

The majority of countries in the region, however, attribute much more importance to their trading relations with China than with the U.S., and have been reluctant to enter into an anti-Chinese partnership despite considerable Western pressure. Others such as Cambodia, North Korea and Russia are much more likely to align against the U.S. if forced to choose.

Gombak sues Ass-binte; Ass-binte aims to drag DSAI down in court

Gombak MP Azmin Ali orchestrated the Sheraton Move for his own gain and political advancement, 10 voters claim.

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior minister Azmin Ali has failed to strike out a lawsuit filed by 10 Gombak voters against him for the alleged breach of his fiduciary duties.

High Court judge Akhtar Tahir dismissed Azmin’s bid to strike out the voters’ suit on the grounds that there were issues that needed to be tried before a full hearing. The court will proceed to hear the case from June 7 to 10, 2022.

Azmin was represented by Nizamuddin Abdul Hamid while Yohendra Nadarajan and Surendra Ananth appeared for the voters.

In their suit, the voters said Azmin owed a fiduciary duty and was a trustee for his constituents.

They contended that Azmin left PKR and orchestrated the Sheraton Move for his own gain and political advancement, not for the benefit of his constituents.

They said Azmin need not know his constituents individually for him to exercise his fiduciary duties because they voted for him based on the principle that an MP serves all people in the seat.

The voters also said the Sheraton Move brought no benefit to the Gombak constituency.

They added they were disappointed by Azmin’s deceitful and unlawful conduct and wanted a declaration that he had violated his oath of office to protect, preserve and defend the Federal Constitution.

Akhtar also turned down the voters’ application to remove certain paragraphs in Azmin’s defence statement, related to allegations of Anwar Ibrahim’s sexual misconduct and practice of nepotism in PKR.

Azmin, a former PKR deputy president, had claimed as part of his defence that Anwar’s sexual conduct was among the reasons that led him to leave the party and subsequently to join Bersatu.

Azmin said he would adduce evidence that had never come to public knowledge during the trial when the suit is heard.

He also said his decision to leave the party was made after concluding that Anwar was not qualified to lead PKR or become the next prime minister.

Mafulat-ish Maka-Laut Mahia rules forever with pandemic in Malaysia getting worse

MM Online:

Dr Noor Hisham: Latest projection shows Malaysia’s Covid-19 infections to rise

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says Malaysia’s average cases have deviated from the curve plotted for an effective reproduction number (Rt) of 0.95. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The trend of declining Covid-19 cases since June was reversed, based on the Health Ministry’s latest projection for infections to climb in coming weeks.

According to the current Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) projection Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared this morning, Malaysia’s average cases have deviated from the curve plotted for an effective reproduction number (Rt) of 0.95.

Dr Noor Hisham also reported that the current Rt was 1.04. This number must be below 1.0 for Covid-19 to be suppressed in Malaysia.

Based on the current trajectory of average cases, Malaysia was headed for 6,000 daily cases in the first half of July or the opposite direction needed for the country to exit Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

The NRP has set daily case numbers as one of three indicators for when Malaysia could shift into Phase Two, with a requirement of below 4,000 new infections a day for this to happen.

The other two indicators were for at least 10 per cent of the population to be vaccinated, which has been met, and for demand on hospitals’ intensive care capacity to drop to “moderate” levels.

When Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the extension of Phase One on Sunday, he stressed that Malaysia would not transition to the next phase until all three indicators of the NRP have been met.

Yesterday, Malaysia reported 6,437 new Covid-19 patients or a 23 per cent increase from Monday.

However, Malaysia was not alone in seeing recent spikes in Covid-19 infections, as several countries across the world were experiencing a similar phenomenon.

In some countries, the spikes have been attributed to the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19.

Delta was previously the variant of concern (VOC) known as the B.1.617.2 that was first detected in India late last year, which the World Health Organisation then renamed using the current convention with the Greek alphabet.

Compared to the wild type coronavirus that triggered the pandemic in late 2019, the Delta variant was more efficient at latching onto cells once inside a person’s body and has been estimated to be over twice as transmissible.

It was unclear if Malaysia’s change in fortunes was also due to Delta, but Dr Noor Hisham said on Twitter that partial vaccination provided just some defence against this more contagious variant.

“One dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine only provides around 33 per cent protection against symptoms from Delta variant, two doses provide between 88 per cent (Pfizer) and 60 per cent (AstraZeneca) protection against symptoms,” he said.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

No, Atuk & Sons were not involved

The 39-year old welder Zulkiflie Samsudin had been at his wit’s end when he flew the white flag but he’s a happy man now.

PETALING JAYA: He wasn’t sure if hoisting a white flag would bring help or if it was just a gimmick, but Zulkiflie Samsudin was desperate and did it for his pregnant wife and children.

Now, he’s thankful that he did.

The 39-year old welder from Kangkar Pulai, Johor – who lost almost half of his monthly earnings following the Covid-19 pandemic – had been at his wit’s end.

He couldn’t pay his rent and service his car loan, or even afford milk and diapers for his one-year-old son.

“I was sad that I could not provide for my family as the head of the household due to financial difficulties,” he told Harian Metro.

“So I flew the white flag after seeing the campaign on social media. Surprisingly, aid has been pouring in and I am able to support my family for months,” the Malay daily quoted him as saying.

His eldest, nine-year-old Putri Nur Zahirah, is a person with disabilities.

Zulkiflie also said that generous netizens were willing to settle RM800 in rent and a three-month car loan which came up to RM1,200.

He thanked all those who came to his aid, and said for now it was sufficient.

“I am grateful for all the help I received and hope Allah repays their kindness.”

A recent social media campaign has called for people to fly a white flag to signal to others that they are in need of immediate assistance, especially in terms of food, as the country remains in lockdown indefinitely.

Russia’s Sputnik V shot around 90% effective against Delta variant

Russia’s Sputnik V shot around 90% effective against Delta variant

MOSCOW: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 is around 90% effective against the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus, its developers said on Tuesday.

The shot, which Russia has actively marketed abroad, was previously found by researchers to be almost 92% effective against the original strain of coronavirus.

Denis Logunov, deputy director of Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute which developed Sputnik V, said the Delta variant efficacy figure was calculated based on digital medical and vaccine records, the RIA news agency reported.

Russian authorities have blamed a recent surge in Covid-19 cases on the infectious Delta variant, which they say accounts for around 90% of all new cases, and on the reluctance of many Russians to get vaccinated.

Countries around the globe have sounded the alarm over the Delta variant, according to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute.

In one case the share of Covid-19 cases caused by the Delta variant more than doubled in Germany within a week and is likely to gain more traction over other variants, a senior health official said on Monday.

Russia, which has a population of around 144 million, has approved four domestically-made vaccines and recorded some 5.5 million infections since the start of the pandemic.

Kelantan family-of-six surviving on plain fried rice BUT Nik Abduh said "Pray when faced with challenges, not wave white flag"

MM Online:

Kelantan family-of-six surviving on plain fried rice receives donation from the public after story goes viral

Siti Meriam, Mohd Khairi and their children had been eating plain fried rice and biscuits since the start of the pandemic. — Picture by Siti Meriam Mohamad

PETALING JAYA, June 29 — A Kelantan family-of-six, struggling to put food on the table, has received money, a grass cutter and food aid from members of the public.

Their story caught the attention of users on social media after a Facebook post saying that the family that stayed in Tumpat’s Kampung Genting only ate plain fried rice or biscuits as they did not have enough money to buy food.

In fact, there were times since the pandemic hit last year, when the parents had to starve just so they could give the food to their children.

According to the post, the husband Mohd Khairi, 33, works as a coconut plucker and would manually pull the grass using his own hands as he did not own a grass cutter machine.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he has only been getting one request per week with a wage of RM50 to clean homes, climb coconut trees to pluck the fruit and cut the grass since the start of the pandemic last year.

His wife, Siti Meriam Mohamad, who used to make doughnuts and pau and sell them at stalls nearby now helps him collect coconuts as most of the stalls have shut down.

She also has an online cosmetic business but that has not been doing well with hardly any customers buying her products.

The couple has four children aged 12, nine, five and a nine-month old baby and the family-of-six stay in a dilapidated house paying a monthly rent of RM50.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Siti Meriam said that she was thankful and happy that many have come to their home yesterday to donate food items, bedding, and a grass cutter for her husband.

“There were many days where my husband and I would just starve but we make sure our children have their meals.

“Sometimes, neighbours would come and help us by giving us food but that’s not on a daily basis.

“Other days when we are desperate for food, I would help my husband to collect scrap metal and sell it to get money for our children,” she said.

She added that now her husband’s work would be much easier with the grass cutter as he doesn’t have to toil under the hot sun to pull out the grass and weeds.

Asked as to how their children are coping with online lessons, Siti Meriam said that three of her children would take turns using her smartphone for their lessons.

She added that with only one smartphone in the house, her children understand that life has not been easy and understand the struggles of her parents.

Anyone interested in donating to the family, please contact Siti Meriam 011-64658044.


Nik Abduh: Pray when faced with challenges, not wave white flag

The people should not surrender by waving a white flag when faced with challenges from God, said PAS leader Nik Abduh Nik Aziz.

The Bachok MP said they should instead pray to God.

"Raise your hands and supplicate to God. That is the flag of strength and optimism in facing life’s challenges.

"Don't surrender to these challenges by teaching the people to raise a white flag," he said in a Facebook post today.