Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Clashes in Kosovo: Belgrade Warns of New War as 25 NATO Troops Injured, 50 Serb Protestors Hospitalised

Military Watch:

Clashes in Kosovo: Belgrade Warns of New War as 25 NATO Troops Injured, 50 Serb Protestors Hospitalised


Clashes with Serb Protestors on May 29

Following rising tensions between Kosovar authorities and the local Serb minority, NATO forces based on the territory clashed with Serb demonstrators in the Serb majority town of Zvecan on May 29.

Serbian sources reported that Serb minority demonstrators staging a sit down protest outside municipal buildings were confronted by heavily armed members of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR), who surrounded the demonstrators throwing threw stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd. This provoked retaliation with rocks, after which NATO troops escalated using batons and rubber bullets.

50 protesters were hospitalised as a result of the clashes, while 25 NATO personnel were injured. Serb citizens had launched the sit in to prevent officials from the Albanian ethnic majority from taking office, after elections had been boycotted by the Serb population as illegitimate.

Kosovo is recognised under the United Nations and by its leading non Western members states as part of Serbia, although the territory moved to secede in 2009 with Belgrade coming under intensive Western pressure to recognise its separation.

Pressure from NATO members on the country escalated further from 2022, with Belgrade pressed to support the ongoing Western war effort against Russia including through imposing economic sanctions and arming Ukraine - which it has so far refused.

Serbia Under NATO Bombardment - 1999

Ongoing tensions led Serbia to place its forces on high alert on May 26, and to move some units closer to the border with Kosovo. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated on May 28 that Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leader, Albin Kurti “longs and dreams of being a Zelensky” - in reference to the Ukrainian president and the media coverage and support he gained from the West for his country’s fight against Russia.

Serbia and NATO have a history of intensive conflict, not only after Western forces provided arms and advisors to separatist forces in Croatia and Bosnia when they separated from Yugoslavia from the early 1990s, but also when NATO commenced an intensive 78 day bombing campaign against Serbia from late March 1999.

Western forces first launched air strikes on Yugoslavia in 1995 to support attacks by U.S.-trained Croat forces, but NATO’s final assault four years later focused much more on non-military targets, with 20,000 tons of bombs dropped in 40,000 sorties - equivalent to the payload of one of the nuclear warheads dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Extensive use of depleted uranium weapons and cluster weapons against civilian areas took a particularly heavy toll. The bombardment was initiated as part of a broad Western effort to support Kosovo’s secession to press for the withdrawal of the military from the territory, where they would be replaced by NATO forces on the ground.

Kosovo today hosts one of the U.S. Military’s largest bases in the region, Camp Bondsteel, which is expected to be among many facilities to provide support to Kosovar forces should clashes with Serbia again escalate.



Tuesday, May 30, 2023



Last week Ukraine sent about 80 pro-Nazi mercenaries across the border to attack Russia. It was the first time that foreign soldiers had invaded Russia since the previous Nazi invasion in 1941. 

Imagine sending 80 soldiers to attack a country with over 200 million people, with the largest land surface area in the world (17 million square km, Canada is no. 2 with 10 million sq km) and which is a world military superpower. Over 70 of those 80 pro-Nazi soldiers were killed within 24 hours. It was a suicide mission. They were simply sacrificed by the Ukrainian leadership.

The latest news today is that about 4 to 8 suicide drones attacked Moscow. Moscow is over 800 km from the Ukrainian border.  The drones were not heavy drones nor did they carry heavy bombs. The damage was minimal - windows broken, some light damage to buildings. Possibly an explosives payload of a few kilograms. 

Here is a quick video.

Obviously the objective was psychological and also egoistic. To tell the Russians that Moscow was not entirely safe.

I think this drone strike was a very big mistake. There is bound to be a huge retaliation by Russia. Perhaps not immediately as Russia has exercised 'strategic' caution throughout this war. But there will be a retaliation - perhaps a sweep through Ukraine much further west than the Donetsk. Odessa and Kharkov may get occupied and Ukraine will get cut off from the sea. More than half the country may be occupied.  

The British-American playbook in Iraq may be used here - regime change and a demilitarisation of Ukraine.

Everyone has heard of the Russian bear.  

Target Pride backlash exposes 'rainbow capitalism' problem, designer says


Target Pride backlash exposes 'rainbow capitalism' problem, designer says

May 31, 20236:03 PM GMT

Erik Carnell, transgender designer and artist whose products were pulled by U.S. retailer Target from its Pride Collection amid backlash from some of their customers, poses for a portrait in London, Britain, May 30, 2023. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Target's decision to remove some LGBTQ-themed merchandise after customer backlash in its stores highlights the problem with companies' "rainbow capitalism," said Erik Carnell, a transgender designer whose products were pulled from its stores.

Target (TGT.N) has sold LGBTQ-related goods tied to Pride month for years. But last week the big-box chain removed Carnell's products, citing an increase in confrontations between customers and employees and incidents of Pride merchandise being thrown on the floor.

Some conservative news outlets and Republican politicians labelled Carnell and his designs - which are printed on pins, stickers and T-shirts - "Satanic" and falsely claimed his products in Target were marketed to children.

Criticism for carrying Pride-related products has since begun to dog department store chain Kohl's Corp (KSS.N) as well.

Companies like Target that launch products and campaigns for Pride Month seek to profit from LGBTQ people but fail to stand by them when challenges arise, London-based Carnell said in an interview.

"It's a very dangerous precedent to set, that if people just get riled up enough about the products that you're selling, you can completely distance yourself from the LGBT community, when and if it's convenient," said Carnell, a transgender gay man who launched his brand Abprallen in 2017.

"If you're going to take a stance and say that you care about the LGBT community, you need to stand by that regardless."

Target's decision to remove some Pride products came weeks after brewer Anheuser-Busch's (ABI.BR) partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney triggered transphobic comments on social media and a boycott by some drinkers.

Kohl's is also taking heat from some conservative commentators criticising it for selling bibs and bodysuits for babies that feature the Pride flag and slogans supporting the LGBTQ community. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

Target's collection for Pride Month, which is celebrated every year in June, includes more than 2,000 products, including Carnell's Abprallen brand. His brand's products are the only ones so far that have been removed both in-store and online, he said.

Carnell says he has received hate messages and death threats over the past week, adding that he has had no contact from Target.

Target on Tuesday said it did not have any new comment on the matter.

In a statement to Reuters last week, the company said that due to "volatile circumstances" in its stores, it was removing items at the center of the "most significant confrontational behavior."

In a May 24 memo to Target employees, which was obtained by Business Insider, Target CEO Brian Cornell said "one of the hardest parts" of its move to pull the merchandise was figuring out how that would impact the "wellbeing and psychological safety" of the LGBTQ community.

"We stand with you now and will continue to do so - not just during Pride Month, but each and every day," he said.

The designer Carnell said Etsy (ETSY.O), an online marketplace where Abprallen has a store, got in touch to check on him, and that Threadless, which prints his designs, offered him its premium services for free.

The backlash targeted Abprallen products that were not sold at Target, such as a design featuring the slogan "Satan Respects Pronouns" and a horned ram representing Baphomet - a half-human, half-animal deity that is both male and female.

Commentators falsely claimed that this design was being sold at Target.

Beijing blames US ‘provocation’ for South China Sea fighter jet incident

Beijing blames US ‘provocation’ for South China Sea fighter jet incident

Long term, frequent sending of planes for close surveillance harms sovereignty, says spokesman

This screen grab made from video taken on May 26, and released yesterday by the US Indo-Pacific Command via the Defence Visual Information Distribution Service shows a J-16 fighter pilot from China flying in front of the nose of a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft over the South China Sea in international airspace. – AFP pic, May 31, 2023

BEIJING – Beijing blamed US “provocation” today for an incident last week when a Chinese plane crossed in front of an American surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea.

“The United States’ long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said when asked about the incident.

“This kind of provocative, dangerous activity is the cause of the security issues on the seas,” Mao said, calling on Washington to “immediately stop this form of dangerous provocation”.

“China will continue to take all necessary steps to resolutely protect its own sovereignty and security,” she said.

The US military said Tuesday a Chinese fighter pilot performed an “unnecessarily aggressive manoeuvre” near an American surveillance aircraft operating over the South China Sea on Friday.

Video footage declassified and released by the US military shows a Chinese fighter plane crossing in front of the American aircraft, which can be seen shaking from the resulting turbulence.

The Chinese plane “flew directly in front of and within 400 feet of the nose of the RC-135, forcing the US aircraft to fly through its wake turbulence”, the Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement.

“The RC-135 was conducting safe and routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace, in accordance with international law,” it said.

The Pentagon said the incident was part of a pattern of behaviour by China.

It comes at a time of frayed ties between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan and an alleged Chinese spy balloon that was shot down after traversing the US earlier this year. – AFP, May 31, 2023


kt comments:

Wankees used to fly her Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird recon planes over mainland China hundreds of times, arrogantly ignoring Chinese protests.

Yet the Wankees went ape-shit crazy over one Chinese weather balloon, and shot it down with a USD$439,000 sidewinder missile from a F-22.

Conduct fair probe into detention of Chinese salvage ship, govt urged


Conduct fair probe into detention of Chinese salvage ship, govt urged

The Chinese embassy hopes Malaysia will protect the Chinese citizens’ rights.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency found artillery shells believed to be from World War II after detaining a Chinese-registered bulk carrier ship off Johor over the weekend. (MMEA pic via AP)

PETALING JAYA: The Chinese embassy has urged the government to conduct a fair investigation in accordance with the law following the detention of a Chinese ship linked to suspected illegal World War II salvage.

In a statement, the embassy said the ship in question was operated by a local Malaysian company.

“We hope the Malaysian side can handle the case justly in accordance with the law, earnestly protect the security and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens, and report the progress of the investigation in a timely manner,” it said.

On Monday, it was reported that the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) had found artillery shells believed to be from World War II after detaining a China-registered bulk carrier ship over the weekend.

The ship, registered in Fuzhou, China, and carrying a crew of 32, failed to present anchoring permits during a routine inspection in waters off Johor on Sunday, the MMEA said.

The shells could be linked to a separate seizure by police of multiple unexploded World War II-era artillery at a jetty in Johor last week.

Authorities believe the shells may have been scavenged from the HMS Prince of Wales, the MMEA said, adding that it was working with Malaysia’s national heritage department and other agencies to identify the ammunition.

Malaysia expels Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy

Malaysia expels Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy

Former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy was deported from Malaysia today after entering earlier using a French passport. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Wednesday, 31 May 2023 4:46 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy was deported from Malaysia today after entering earlier using a French passport.

The Khmer Times today reported that Rainsy and other leaders of his banned opposition party had travelled to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting, before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ordered their expulsion after learning of their presence here this morning.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Anwar previously gave him an assurance that Rainsy would “never be allowed to step on Malaysian soil,” and that the Cambodian opposition figure only managed to gain entry through subterfuge.

“Now he (Rainsy) is at the airport, getting ready to leave. Yesterday, he was attempting to have a meeting in KL but was not allowed to,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying by the news portal.

“Anwar did not know about Rainsy’s arrival because he flew in on a private flight using a French passport.”

The Cambodian PM added that Rainsy and his group gave themselves aways after they “bragged” about entering Malaysia as well as their intention to travel subsequently to Thailand.

The expulsion of Rainsy from Malaysia comes amidst political tensions and the ongoing struggle between the opposition and the ruling party in Cambodia.

Rainsy previously said on social media that he would return to Cambodia via Thailand, taking advantage of the political changes in Thailand after the general election.

However, Hun Sen warned Rainsy that he is ready to “welcome” him with a “BM-21 Grad” self-propelled rocket launcher.

“Cambodia stands on the non-interference principle. If the Thai government did that (facilitate the opposition), both governments would not be at peace with one another,” he was quoted as saying.

Police: No foul play in death of informant who placed Jho Low in Macau

Police: No foul play in death of informant who placed Jho Low in Macau

Police have classified the demise of a businessman linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) investigations as a sudden death.

Wednesday, 31 May 2023 7:01 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Police have classified the demise of a businessman linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) investigations as a sudden death.

Selangor police chief Datuk Hussein Omar Khan said Kee Kok Thiam 56, an alleged accomplice of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or better known as Jho Low, died of health issues on Monday.

“This case was investigated by police as SDR (sudden death report) and there were no criminal elements,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Earlier today, law firm Valen, Oh & Partners, which claimed to represent Kee’s family, said in a statement that Kee died in hospital after suffering a sudden massive stroke.

Kee, who was investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on suspicion of receiving money from 1MDB and SRC funds, returned to the country at 3.30am on May 3 this year after having gone missing since 2018.

He then turned up at the MACC office in Putrajaya at 10 am on the same day after being served with a notice.

Yesterday, an international news organisation reported that Kee had told investigators that he had met Jho Low and several others wanted in connection with the 1MDB case, namely Eric Tan Kim Loong, Casey Tang Keng Chee, Geh Choh Heng and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, in Macau. — Bernama

PAS’ Dream To Join Unity Govt – How PM Anwar Uses Power-Crazy Hadi To Warn UMNO And Plays PAS Like A Fool

PAS’ Dream To Join Unity Govt – How PM Anwar Uses Power-Crazy Hadi To Warn UMNO And Plays PAS Like A Fool

Something incredibly funny is happening in the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia). The desperate opposition party is so hungry for power that it was reduced to creating fairy tales that Anwar-led Unity Government has offered it to join the federal government. Even after the government has issued denials, PAS still insists it had received the offers.

First, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang made some dubious claims that “some people” had contacted him to join Anwar administration. He made it sound as if he was being forced – even harassed – to join the government. He said – “They keep wanting to meet me about an offer to join the government”. Amusingly, Hadi could not reveal the people he claimed to have approached him.

When the story was mocked and laughed by UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who led Barisan Nasional to form the unity government with Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan, Hadi’s deputy Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man suddenly stepped forward with similar claims. But the PAS deputy president’s story was worse – claiming mysterious government representatives had met him and made the offer.

Like his boss, Tuan Ibrahim too fails to identify the government representatives. After suffering “kemaluan besar”, the Islamist party sent a lower ranking politician – information chief Khairil Nizam – to fix the humiliation. But sending a boy to do a man’s job is a recipe for disaster. Khairil now claims it was DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang who invited PAS to join the government.

Can the religious extremists get their story straight? At the very least, PAS leaders should have a brainstorming session to prevent contradictions. Was it just Mr Lim alone who made the offer, or some other representatives were involved as claimed by Hadi? Even if Hadi could not identify Lim’s voice as the mystery lobbyist who had contacted him, surely Tuan Ibrahim wasn’t blind when he met Lim.

So, why was it so difficult to expose Lim Kit Siang? But if Lim was not the culprit, why information chief Khairil could only finger the DAP adviser? Didn’t Khairil receive the memo that the 82-year-old Lim had retired even before the Nov 2022 General Election? The former Democratic Action Party (DAP) supremo is no longer an MP, therefore, he can’t speak on behalf of the government.

Even if Lim had been sent as representative of Anwar government, which he isn’t, exactly why should PAS top leadership pay attention to the “Chinaman” they despised? PM Anwar has told all and sundry the offer did not come from him. His deputy, PKR deputy president and Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, too has denied Hadi’s claim that PKR had offered PAS to join the unity government.

In fact, Mr Lim was himself surprised and flabbergasted when his naughty proposal for the unity government to “cooperate” with PAS has been taken so seriously. For years, Mr Hadi has been accusing both Lim and DAP of promoting Islamophobia. During the recent Hari Raya festival, Hadi declared that his PAS Islamist party will never enter DAP’s “kitchen” due to non-halal food.

It’s strange Hadi has suddenly forgotten about DAP’s dirty kitchen when he fantasized about joining Anwar government, of which DAP is part of. Instead of flatly rejecting the offer, the fake holy man has set some conditions. He said any offer to join the government must also be extended to its partners in the Perikatan Nasional, especially Bersatu or Malaysian United Indigenous Party.

Hadi Awang, who is also the Perikatan Nasional deputy chairman, said PAS must be given a dominant role in the unity government as it had the most number of parliamentary seats among political parties. The Islamist party has 43 MPs while Bersatu has 30 MPs. On the other hand, Anwar’s People’s Justice Party (PKR) has 30 MPs, DAP (40 MPs) and UMNO (26 MPs).

In other words, power-crazy Hadi wanted to become the premier, or at least deputy prime minister like UMNO president Zahid Hamidi. It appears PAS no longer rejects DAP, as long as the PAS president and his boys are given ministerial or senior roles. If the Islamist party has its principle, it should have demanded that DAP be kicked out of the government before any negotiations can take place.

Make no mistake – PAS pretended in its demand for Bersatu to be invited not because of friendship or loyalty, but because it knew by sticking together the opposition parties have a stronger bargaining chip. Hadi, however, must be hallucinating, most likely from smoking some grass, for thinking PM Anwar will surrender the Iron Throne out of the blue.

Exactly why should PM Anwar and the entire unity government offer PAS to join the government, let alone giving away the premiership to the clueless and incompetent Hadi, when the current administration already possessed two-thirds majority support? Even if Anwar-led Pakatan Harapan was dumb enough to invite PAS, both UMNO and GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) will reject.

PAS could be trying to create a false narrative to hoodwink its gullible supporters that the party is still a force to be reckoned with, even after its primary source of political fund – Bersatu – has its accounts frozen and seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for corruption and money laundering. It wanted to give hope that PAS can return to the federal government.

At the same time, the radical Islamist party under Hadi leadership tried to play hard to get by setting ridiculous conditions so that it could make a U-turn without looking like a moron. More importantly, Hadi wanted to send a message to Muhyiddin Yassin that PAS – not Bersatu – is the dominant party and calls the shot. Bersatu president Muhyiddin has no choice but to follow obediently like a puppy.

It’s not hard to see why religious bigot Hadi wanted to have a second bite of the cherry. His infamous arrogant “Jumlah sudah cukup” (numbers are enough) remark on election night in November 2022 continues to haunt him till today. Both Muhyiddin and Hadi were incredibly confident they could form the government after the national polls that produced a hung Parliament.

Disillusioned with the statutory declarations (SD) from 115 MPs supporting him as the prime minister, Muhyiddin together with Hadi stupidly and arrogantly rejected Agong’s royal proposal for both Pakatan Harapan (82 MPs) and Perikatan Nasional (73 MPs) to form a unity government in Nov 2022. They had no idea the new anti-hopping law means individual MPs cannot be bribed and bought thru SD.

It was already too late when Muhyiddin realized his mistake and shamelessly made a U-turn and wanted to be part of the unity government after Anwar was announced as the 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24 last year. Back then, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said his party was considering joining the unity government, only to backpedal when Muhyiddin disagreed.

The Parti Islam Se-Malaysia has always dreamed about being in the federal government to enjoy positions, perks and projects. The only stumbling block was Muhyiddin’s ego. The former premier had rejected the royal proposal because Anwar Ibrahim was offered the prime ministerial role by virtue of him being the leader of Pakatan Harapan, which won the largest number of parliamentary seats.

Had Muhyiddin humbly accepted his downgraded role as deputy prime minister, he might not be a member of the Court Cluster today. Similarly, he had rejected PM Anwar’s offer to join the unity government because he could not work under Anwar, whom he considered as inferior than him. And now desperate Hadi Awang isn’t going to waste the third opportunity knocking on the door.

As preposterous as PAS’ fairy tales might sound, there could be an ounce of truth that someone might have approached Hadi for “cooperation”. It could be like the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed between Pakatan Harapan with Ismail Sabri administration in September 2021 seeking political reforms in exchange for political stability.

Whether Hadi has misunderstood, or deliberately twisted the cooperation as an offer to join the government, is immaterial. Crucially, by coincidence or by design, PAS has made it a huge issue without realizing how PM Anwar can benefit from the uproars and reactions. Anwar has only said the offer did not come from him. He did not say whether his party has sent someone to test the water.

Yes, it could be Anwar’s clever strategy to send a message to the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) not to extract unnecessary concessions such as the royal pardon for crooked Najib Razak or more seats that the party can chew in the upcoming state elections. When push comes to shove, Pakatan Harapan can negotiate with PAS or Perikatan Nasional to share power.

The UMNO-led Barisan Nasional isn’t the only player in the game and the Malay nationalist party isn’t the only permutation to form a unity government. UMNO, already suffering from its worst defeat in history, could be kicked out of the government if its silly leaders continue to blackmail Anwar administration based on the false perception that Pakatan needs Barisan more than Barisan needs Pakatan.

In the same breath, Anwar is using simpleton Hadi to create a false hope that PAS may join the unity government very soon. Lim Kit Siang was just the red herring, a role which he played splendidly. The strong reactions from UMNO shows they are fiercely against PAS joining the high table. And the vigorous response from PAS shows their utmost desire to join the unity government.

Leveraging on both UMNO and PAS, the prime minister can basically strengthen his power base with more cards to play. The best part is the Islamist party is now seen as spreading lies and disinformation, unable to convincingly prove its claim of an offer to join the unity government whilst deepening distrust with UMNO. Hadi foolishly swallowed the hook, line and sinker.

Amnesty caught lying about missing Uyghur student who is safe & sound in South Korea


Uyghur student not missing in Hong Kong - Amnesty

IMAGE SOURCE,AMNESTY INTERNATIONALImage caption, Abuduwaili Abudureheman's university colleagues say he is safe in Seoul

Rights group Amnesty International has corrected its report alleging a Uyghur student went missing from Hong Kong airport, saying he is "accounted for".

"Abuduwaili Abudureheman... told us he did not travel to Hong Kong, contrary to previous information received," the group's correction read.

Mr Abuduwaili is safe in Seoul, his base for the last seven years, his university colleagues say.

The Hong Kong government is calling on Amnesty to "apologise".

"We will continue to strive to offer support to people who reach out to us when they believe they or their loved ones are at risk," Amnesty said in a correction added to its original report.

Amnesty had claimed on Friday that Mr Abuduwaili had boarded a flight from Seoul to Hong Kong on 10 May, before losing contact with family and friends.

His last correspondence, Amnesty said, was a text message to a friend claiming "he was being interrogated by Chinese police after arriving at Hong Kong airport". The Hong Kong government refuted the allegations at the time.

On Monday, the dean at Seoul's Kookmin University's College of Physical Education - where Mr Abuduwaili is studying for a doctorate - contradicted Amnesty's report in an interview with Yonhap News Agency.

Cho Wook-yeon said he had been in constant contact with Mr Abuduwaili, who had recently confirmed with Mr Cho that he was in Seoul.

"Abudureheman has not left Hong Kong and is staying in Korea safely," he said, adding that he was "surprised" to see reports of the disappearance.

A director at the college repeated this account when contacted by the BBC.

The BBC contacted Mr Abuduwaili for a response, but the student has yet to reply.

Amnesty referred the BBC to its corrected statement when asked about the university staff's statements. The rights organisation has yet to respond to follow-up questions on how it verified the initial claims about Mr Abuduwaili and his latest statement to Amnesty.

In response to Amnesty's correction, the Hong Kong government said the organisation had "maliciously smeared" and "slandered" Hong Kong and China, and called for a "sincere apology (made) responsibly".

Beijing has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possible genocide against the Uyghur population and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in China's north-western Xinjiang region, which are allegations the government strenuously denies.

There are about 12 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and the region is cloaked in a pervasive network of surveillance, including police, checkpoints, and cameras that scan everything from number plates to individual faces.

A landmark UN report released in 2022 accused China of "serious human rights violations" in Xinjiang that "may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity".

It also urged China to release "all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty".

Beijing called the UN report a "farce" arranged by Western powers.

The US, UK and international human rights monitors have accused Beijing of detaining about one million Uyghurs in so-called "re-education camps", separating children from
 their families and breaking their cultural traditions.

Nurul Izzah downplays state polls rumour

Nurul Izzah downplays state polls rumour

PKR's Nurul Izzah Anwar has downplayed speculation that she would be contesting for a seat in Penang during the upcoming elections in six states.

This was in response to an article claiming that Nurul Izzah (above) would both contest for a seat and be given an important portfolio in the state government if she wins.

"For now, I am committed to my current responsibility as co-head of the secretariat of the advisory body headed by Hassan Marican.

"I am however bound by my party’s decision," she told Malaysiakini.

Earlier, news portal Free Malaysia Today cited a source close to a Pakatan Harapan leader as claiming that Nurul Izzah would be given a seat to contest.

While the PKR vice-president stopped short of denying that she would be contesting, she said hard work must be put in to strengthen Harapan and the coalition government everywhere ahead of the state polls.

"Political stability is an important denominator in ensuring sustained economic growth and shared prosperity," she added.

Nurul Izzah was a three-term MP, serving in Lembah Pantai from 2008 to 2018, and in Permatang Pauh from 2018 to 2022.

She failed to retain the Permatang Pauh seat in last year’s general election, with Perikatan Nasional clinching a win.

In January, she was appointed as an unpaid adviser to her father, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, at the Finance Ministry.

After public backlash over the appointment, Nurul Izzah was reassigned to the Finance Ministry’s special advisory body's secretariat.

Puad: Cabinet reshuffle talk due to Rafizi's failure to shine

Puad: Cabinet reshuffle talk due to Rafizi's failure to shine

Regarded as one of PKR’s brightest stars, party deputy president Rafizi Ramli, however, has failed to shine in his role as a minister, according to Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi.

He claimed the Pandan lawmaker’s perceived lacklustre performance in managing the economic portfolio has led to speculation of an impending cabinet reshuffle.

“The people have not seen Rafizi (above, right) take any significant steps for the country’s economy…

“Did Rafizi not prepare to become a minister? That is the problem when you have a lot of formulas before becoming a minister.

“When you become a minister, you cannot be ordinary but must be extraordinary,” he added in a Facebook posting today.

Puad said ministers must be “extraordinary” in order to defend the federal government.

The Umno information chief was responding to reports that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim might axe “incompetent” ministers and senior civil servants.

Apart from ministers, those reportedly on the chopping block are secretaries-general and directors-general from a number of ministries.

However, Anwar, when quizzed on the possible reshuffle, offered a sarcastic retort.

“If you have any suggestions, please write to me, and I will consider them,” he had said.

In a recent interview with Malaysiakini, Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu, who was part of Pakatan Harapan prior to the infamous Sheraton Move, had also expressed disappointment with Rafizi’s performance.

“I truly believe Rafizi has a brilliant mind but that was when he was an opposition leader.

“Suddenly, after becoming (part of) the government, I don’t know..,” he had said.

On the flip side, Rafizi won praise from electoral watchdog Bersih when it called on Anwar to stop perpetuating the practice of previous administrations with regard to political appointees.

This was after the prime minister announced PKR lawmaker Wong Chen’s appointment as the non-executive chairperson of state-owned enterprise Malaysia Debts Ventures Bhd (MDV).

Rafizi, on the other hand, had called on qualified candidates to submit their applications for the posts of CEOs of two GLCs under his ministry, Teraju and Peneraju.

Crackhouse Comedy Club owner fails again in bid to quash cybercrime charges


Crackhouse Comedy Club owner fails again in bid to quash cybercrime charges

Rizal van Geyzel is accused of insulting religious and racial sensitivities.

Rizal van Geyzel faces three charges for uploading a video onto his social media accounts between July 4 and 6 last year with the intention of insulting others. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Comedian and Crackhouse Comedy Club owner Rizal van Geyzel’s bid to quash three cybercrime charges relating to the uploading of allegedly offensive content on social media has been rejected once again.

At a case management today, deputy public prosecutor Noor Aslinda Che Seman informed the court that Rizal’s second representation for a review of the charges has been rejected by the attorney-general’s chambers (AGC).

His first representation to the AGC was rejected on Dec 12 last year.

Lawyer M Pravin said he will seek Rizal’s instructions on the next course of action.

The court fixed June 13 as the next date for case management.

Rizal is accused of uploading videos on three different social media platforms between July 4 and 6 last year. His remarks are alleged to have insulted religious and racial sensitivities.

He was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which carries a maximum sentence of one year’s imprisonment or a RM50,000 fine, or both, upon conviction.

Anwar ordered to file defence in Dr M’s RM150mil suit


Anwar ordered to file defence in Dr M’s RM150mil suit

Dr Mahathir Mohamad says Anwar Ibrahim’s statements were ‘devastating’ as they were made in his capacity as prime minister.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) said the allegations by Anwar Ibrahim eroded his status as a statesman and former prime minister.

SHAH ALAM: The High Court here has given Anwar Ibrahim until June 14 to file his defence in a RM150 million defamation lawsuit brought by Dr Mahathir Mohamad over statements the prime minister allegedly made calling Mahathir a racist and saying he had enriched his family while in office.

Anwar’s lawyer, Alliff Benjamin Suhaimi, said the direction was issued during case management today before senior assistant registrar Elizabeth Low.

Alliff said Mahathir’s lawyers must file their response by July 6.

The next case management will be held on July 7.

In his lawsuit, Mahathir alleged that the statements were made by Anwar in his capacity as the prime minister and, as such, had a far more devastating effect on him compared with similar statements made by ordinary citizens.

He said the allegations eroded his status as a statesman and former prime minister.

He wants Anwar to retract all defamatory statements made against him and published both on mainstream and social media.

Mahathir said Anwar’s alleged defamatory statements were intended to dent his image among members of the public as they were viewed and heard by a wide spectrum of people.

He also wants Anwar to extend an unconditional apology and undertake not to repeat the same or similar statements in the future.

Defamatory to call me ‘cruel’ compared to Dr M, says Anwar


Defamatory to call me ‘cruel’ compared to Dr M, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim says Pendang MP Awang Hashim made ‘libellous’ remarks that opposition MPs were being 
subjected to selective prosecution.

Anwar Ibrahim (left) said the allegation by PAS’ Awang Hashim that he had ‘blackmailed’ members of the opposition was ‘vicious, scurrilous and entirely false’.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has insisted that PAS’ Pendang MP Awang Hashim had defamed him by calling him “cruel” when compared to Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Responding to Awang’s statement of defence, Anwar said it was improper for Awang to compare him to Mahathir.

“The defendant (Awang) should not have done this,” he said in his statement in reply filed in the High Court here yesterday.

As prime minister, Anwar said, he does not have any power to direct probes by investigative authorities or to bring criminal charges against anyone.

“His allegation that I had ‘blackmailed’ (opposition members) is vicious, scurrilous and entirely false,” he said.

Anwar also reiterated that he commands majority support in the lower house. He said Awang’s allegation that Anwar relied on “illegal numbers” to become prime minister was false.

In the suit filed on March 3 by law firm SN Nair & Partners at the High Court in March, Anwar also claimed that Awang had libelled him by saying that opposition MPs were being subjected to selective prosecution.

The Pendang MP is also said to have alleged that the prime minister had interfered in the work of law enforcement agencies and the prosecutorial arm of the attorney-general’s chambers (AGC).

The remarks were also published in a TikTok video the next day.

Anwar is seeking an injunction to restrain Awang and his agents from uttering, writing or publishing the same or similar words defamatory of him.

He is also seeking general, compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages and other relief deemed fit by the court.

In his statement of claim, Anwar alleged the impugned words were uttered and published in bad faith and were completely baseless and untrue.

“They are also specious, laced with subterfuge, and question the wisdom, legality and constitutional powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” the filing said.

He said he was “formally and officially invited by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and appointed and sworn in as the prime minister of Malaysia in an official ceremony” after the King “concluded in his sagacious judgment” that he was “likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the lower house”.

Anwar, who is also the PKR president and Pakatan Harapan chairman, said Awang’s statements implied that he is not the legitimately, lawfully and constitutionally appointed prime minister.

He said the statements painted a negative picture that he did not command the confidence of the majority to be appointed as prime minister.

He also claimed Awang’s remarks had given rise to a perception that he had abused his power by arbitrarily instructing the law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to take action to further his personal political agenda.

Malaysia seizes Pakistani airline's jet over unpaid dues, passengers stranded

Malaysia seizes Pakistani airline's jet over unpaid dues, passengers stranded

A Pakistan airline’s jet has been impounded by the Malaysian government over unpaid charges to the leasing company, which has left passengers stranded. ― AFP file pic

Wednesday, 31 May 2023 9:31 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Malaysian authorities reportedly impounded a Pakistani airline’s passenger jet over unpaid charges to the leasing company, which has left passengers stranded.

The Boeing Co 777 jet operated by the Pakistan International Airlines Corp (PIA) was seized on Monday, forcing the carrier to send a replacement flight to pick up the stranded passengers, Mumbai-based The Economic Times reported.

PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan was quoted saying that a Malaysian court had ordered the plane to be seized following a request by the lessor.

However, Abdullah reportedly said the state-owned airline already paid the disputed amount and would seek legal action to retrieve the plane.

A spokesman for AerCap Holdings NV, which Abdullah identified as the lessor, did not respond to a request seeking comment.

The report also stated that PIA has been struggling to overcome its financial problems after the European Union banned its flight operations in 2020 over fake pilot licenses.

This is the second time in the past two years that a PIA plane has been seized here.

Karachi-based ARY News reported that a PIA aeroplane has also been seized in Kuala Lumpur back in January 2021.

It reported that the previous plane was released thanks to diplomatic assurance that it would pay its dues.

The seized PIA plane in 2021 was brought back to Pakistan later along with 173 passengers and crew members on board.

PAS lawmaker: It isn’t provocation for Kedah to claim ownership of Penang [BUT damn perilous for welfare of Penangites]

Extracts only from:

PAS lawmaker: It isn’t provocation for Kedah to claim ownership of Penang

THERE is no harm in handing Penang back to Kedah as such action will not jeopardise the sovereignty of the country given that the former is a state under the Federation of Malaysia.

kt comments: Kerbau lah! Kedah can't even manage herself and thus lusts after a better administered well-managed more prosperous (though with less natural resources) Penang. If Kedah were to seize control over Penang I dread to imagine how a PAS government will send Penang socio-economic well-being plunging to Neraka-n depths.

However, I can imagine her government lil' Napoleons spending or wasting of its operational time going around demolishing Penang's renowned and much-loved Hindu shrines (on pretext to build more carparks)

As local and international historians have proven that Kedah is the rightful owner of Penang, such goodwill gesture of returning Penang to Kedah is deemed appropriate to “correct past mistakes”, according to Pokok Sena MP Datuk Ahmad Yahaya.

kt comments: Then we should return Kedah to Thailand as a sincere goodwill gesture to “correct past mistakes”, wakakaka. Sawasdee khrap

“I have explained in the Dewan Rakyat previously that if you want to defend the sovereignty of Penang, then Kedah is the real sovereignty of Penang,” penned the PAS lawmaker in a recent Facebook post. “History is still history. It cannot be changed arbitrarily.”

kt comments: Indeed, History is still history - Kedah including Penang shall be returned to Thailand where we'll have more fun

Khob khun krub 😁😂😅😆😊

Nurul Izzah to contest in Penang polls, says source


Nurul Izzah to contest in Penang polls, says source

The PKR vice-president is expected to be entrusted with an important portfolio in the state administration if she wins.

Nurul Izzah Anwar failed to retain the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in the 15th general election last year.

PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar is slated to contest in the Penang state election and will be appointed to a key position should Pakatan Harapan be returned to power, according to a source.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said Nurul Izzah’s participation in the state election could bolster her party’s chances of retaining seats in the state assembly and help secure votes from women.

“She will be entrusted with an important portfolio in the state administration should PH get the mandate from the people of Penang,” the source close to a PH leader told FMT.

In the 15th general election last November, Nurul Izzah failed to retain the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, which was won by PAS candidate Fawwaz Mohamed with a 5,272-vote majority in a four-cornered contest.

Nurul Izzah, the eldest daughter of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, is the co-chairman of the secretariat of the special advisory body to the finance ministry.

It is unclear which of the 15-Malay majority seats Nurul Izzah will be offered to contest. There are 40 seats in the state assembly.

Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said two weeks ago the assembly will be dissolved in the third or fourth week of June.

Selangor, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan are also scheduled to dissolve their state assemblies in the last two weeks of June.

PH learning from mistakes, more conservative now, says analyst


PH learning from mistakes, more conservative now, says analyst

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara says the coalition has become more mindful of Muslim sensitivities.

The home ministry’s raid on several Swatch outlets over the brand’s ‘Pride Collection’ shows that Putrajaya is more conservative, an analyst said. (Swatch pic)

PETALING JAYA: An analyst believes Pakatan Harapan has learnt from mistakes made in its previous 22 months in power, based on recent decisions the government has made, including the raid on a brand accused of promoting LGBTQ-themed watches.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said the home ministry’s raid on several Swatch outlets over the brand’s “Pride Collection” showed that Putrajaya was “more conservative and was minding the sensitivities” of the Muslim majority.

The current unity government was “less progressive”, he said.

In the past, PH’s detractors would accuse the coalition of being “liberal”, a term that did not sit well with a conservative crowd, Azmi said.

“I believe, they (PH) have learnt from past mistakes, especially now that the unity government is made up of many parties that are conservative ideologically,” he told FMT.

The unity government comprises several parties and coalitions, including PH, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

Azmi said the PH government’s push to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) drew flak from the opposition then, including Umno, the BN lynchpin.

The push to ratify the convention, which detractors argued would wipe out Malay and Bumiputera rights, and the government’s accession to the Rome Statute were among the reasons PH lost support among the Malays, he said.

Since the unity government came to power, he said, many of its decisions could be deemed “unprogressive”, including the decision against reviewing the controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).

However, DAP’s Charles Santiago said it was premature to describe PH of being less progressive, just six months after taking over Putrajaya. He said accomplishing the changes PH was pushing for would take time.

The former Klang MP said the government should be given one year or a year-and-a-half to prove itself.

He said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s recent statement that the opposition should be given space in the media was a sign of progressiveness.

“He (Anwar) told his ministers if there are criticisms (from the press) you deal with it. This is very good. If this had been done (press freedom) 15 to 20 years ago, Malaysia would be in a different place today,” Santiago said

On Sunday, Anwar called on the Malaysian media to remain independent and free from any external influence or pressure which would influence their reporting, and told the press to not “insult” the opposition or those opposed to the government, as he believed in the opposition’s right to have its voice heard.

Meanwhile, James Chin of the University of Tasmania said whether Anwar’s government would proceed with its progressive and reform agenda would be determined by the outcome of the upcoming state elections in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

He believes Anwar needs to win back some Malay support in the state elections before he can start implementing actual reforms, even if the less progressive route is taken, which could disappoint the middle-class Malays who are traditional supporters of PH.

Chin said that despite the groups’ disappointment, they understood the importance of the unity government gaining Malay support in the state elections.

“I think the problem will come if, for example, Anwar, PH and Umno win the Malay seats but they still don’t do anything,” he said, referring to reforms.