Monday, July 31, 2023

Japanese eateries in China fear ruin as Fukushima water discharge looms



Japanese eateries in China fear ruin as Fukushima water discharge looms

Japanese restaurants in Beijing fear ruin

BEIJING, July 31 (Reuters) - It's been just over three weeks since China increased checks on Japanese food imports over radiation concerns, but Kazuyuki Tanioka is already fearful for the future of his upscale Beijing sushi restaurant.

Like most restaurants in China, Tanioka's eight-year-old Toya has struggled with years of COVID-19 restrictions, which only began to ease late last year.

Now it is facing a shortage of both customers and seafood ahead of Japan's plans to empty into the sea treated radioactive water from its disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

"I'm very worried about whether we can continue," said the 49-year-old chef-restaurateur from Kumamoto, southern Japan. "The inability to import food ingredients is truly a life or death situation for us."

China is the biggest importer of Japanese seafood. Shortly after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake damaged the Fukushima plant, it banned the import of food and agricultural products from five Japanese prefectures. China later widened its ban, which now covers 10 out of Japan's total of 47.

It has remained Japan's biggest seafood export market.

The latest import restrictions were imposed this month after the United Nation's nuclear watchdog approved Japan's plans to discharge the treated water. China has sharply criticised the move, which has also faced opposition at home, saying the discharge endangers marine life and human health.

Imports have since all but ground to a halt, with some Japanese officials fearing the worst is yet to come. The more stringent Chinese checks have led to massive delays at customs, and the strident warnings have kept customers away: posts and hashtags saying Japanese food is radioactive and should be boycotted are rife on Chinese social media.

"China is saying it is contaminated water, while Japan claims it is purified water," said Kenji Kobayashi, 67, another Japanese restaurant owner in Beijing, who has lost up to a third of his customers this month.

Kazuyuki Tanioka, the owner of Japanese cuisine Toya restaurant, prepares a sashimi dish, during an interview with Reuters, in Beijing, China July 25, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

"The difference between the two perspectives is vast, and it affects the level of understanding."


Seafood suppliers are also struggling.

Wait times at Chinese ports have gone up from between two and seven days to around three weeks, a spokesman for a large seafood trader said, adding that the company plans to get around these restrictions by diverting shipments to a third country. The spokesman declined to name the company, fearing backlash from Chinese officials.

"Right now we have no shipments to China," said Tamotsu Fukuoka, director and general manager of sales at Aomori Chuosuisan Co, a seafood wholesaler based in northern Japan.

"If the products get stopped at customs, we would have to spend a lot for the yard and storage fees, and that's something we don't want to see."

While Japanese officials have appealed to their Chinese counterparts, especially in their second-largest market Hong Kong, to avoid a ban, several Chinese diners said they approved of more stringent checks. "Any government should be responsible for the safety of its citizens," said Duan, a patron at a Japanese restaurant in Beijing. "Because of the government's policies, we feel at ease."

With Japan due to begin discharging the Fukushima water in a few weeks, some Japanese restaurateurs said they are adapting their menus and sourcing ingredients from elsewhere to survive.

"Our main focus is to source seafood within China or sourcing from other foreign suppliers," Tanioka said. "If these efforts succeed, there is a possibility that our business can continue in the future."

Cracks In NATO? France Opposes US’ ‘Global Policing’ Policies; Not Keen To Poke Nose Into Taiwan, China Conflict

Monday, July 31, 2023

Cracks In NATO? France Opposes US’ ‘Global Policing’ Policies; Not Keen To Poke Nose Into Taiwan, China Conflict

By Gp Cpt TP Srivastava

“The bipartisan amendment to the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act would not allow the president to withdraw from NATO without congressional approval, requiring two-thirds of senators to vote for withdrawal.”

- Recent US Decision On Quitting NATO

On July 19, 2023, US Senate admitted the Kaine-Rubio amendment, which prohibits POTUS (US President) from unilaterally deciding and withdrawing from NATO until it is approved by a two-thirds majority, both in the House and Senate.

This decision comes in the wake of the probable and possible return of Donald Trump to the White House. It may be recalled that Trump had told US allies, “I will not protect you from Russia,” and added that the US would withdraw from NATO unless all NATO members spent at least 2% or more of their respective GDP on defense.

Although his proposal was accepted even in 2023, quite a few NATO members have not met the goal.

While the legislation might get through the Senate, the main hurdle will be when it is discussed in the Republican-held house during negotiations over the final defense bill.

Apprehensions Of NATO Alliance

President Macron of France has been most vocal and critical about US hegemony over NATO affairs. During an interview in July 2018, ahead of the NATO London summit, Macron said, “The bloc was undergoing ‘brain death.'”

His remarks were praised as ‘golden words’ by Russia. His outburst followed Donald Trump’s decision to unilateral withdrawal from Syria.

Macron went on to add: “European countries could no longer rely on America to defend NATO strategically and politically. We need to recognize that we have a problem. We should reassess the reality of what NATO is in light of the commitment of the United States. There is no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the US and its NATO allies.”

Ukraine’s Concerns

Ukrainian President Zelensky exposed the brittleness and fragility of the alliance by stating that Ukraine was suffering Russian aggression due to an inappropriate political decision taken by NATO – opposition to Ukraine’s NATO membership by then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008.

Both leaders were instrumental in blocking Ukraine’s entry into NATO military alliance held in Bucharest, Romania.

Zelenskyy called out both former leaders for reportedly blocking Ukraine’s admission to the NATO military alliance during a summit in Bucharest, Romania, that year.

Vilnius Summit

The recently held summit at Vilnius, Lithuania, was notable for what it failed to achieve rather than what it did achieve.

At the end of the summit, a few thousand-word communiqué was issued by NATO. But it failed to address the most important and burning issue of embracing Ukraine in the NATO fold—a vague statement saying that Ukraine’s NATO membership will be considered when ‘conditions’ are met. The “conditions” were not specified.

Fragile And Brittle Coalition

Fragility, brittleness, and uncertainty among NATO nations were evident on account of the following:

  • Although all NATO members agreed to spend at least 2% of their respective GDP on defense (as demanded and directed by POTUS Donald Trump in 2018), current spending by European Allies is about US$375 Billion.
  • As of 2023, 20 alliance partners out of 32 do not meet the above criteria. The communique clearly states that allies must spend more than 2% of their GDP to meet the modernization program essential to meet emerging threats.
  • The next summit due in Washington in 2024 will discuss the issue of 2% metrics. Burden sharing of NATO expenses will be high on the agenda. Quite a few alliance partners have categorically said that details of burden sharing model should be shared with all members.
  • There is no fixed timeline for considering Ukraine’s application for NATO membership.

Effect Of Russian Offensive Against Ukraine

Russian offensive against Ukraine continues unabated. Russia has already called it a war against NATO. In their latest communiqué issued a few days ago, Russia has unequivocally stated that all shipping bound for Ukrainian ports will be considered potential carriers of military cargo and that Russia reserves the right to attack these ships.

Moscow has already pulled out of a UN-brokered deal, which allowed Ukrainian ships to be used for grain export. Implications of such a Russian decision convey a blockade of shipping in the Black Sea, which will have worldwide ramifications on food grains’ availability and price escalation.

NATO Alliance Members’ Views On Taiwan

NATO headquarters in Brussels issued a document dealing with the new strategic concept in June 2023. NATO has described China as challenging the alliance’s interests, security, and values. It has called China an economic and military power that maintains opacity about its strategy, intentions, and military build-up.

The above statement reflects the paradigm shift of NATO’s view on threat perception. NATO views China as a greater threat than Russia. This issue has caused visible fissures among NATO alliance countries. While most have chosen to remain silent but French President Macron has been vocal and to the point.

He said concerning the sensitive Taiwan issue: “The question we need to answer, as Europeans, is: Is it in our interest to accelerate a crisis on Taiwan? No. The worst thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.”

Although Washington has no diplomatic contact with Taiwan and supports the One China policy, it supports Taiwan as a separate entity outside China’s domain. During the past 12 months, the situation has worsened, especially after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August last year, and the chances of a military conflict cannot be ruled out.

The US has upped the ante by permanently deploying US Navy’s nuclear submarine near South Korea on the pretext of protecting South Korea from a possible nuclear threat from North Korea.

USS Kentucky, an Ohio class submarine capable of carrying up to 32 nuclear-tipped SSMs, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan on July 18, 2023. Incidentally, the last such visit by a US nuclear submarine to South Korea was in 1980.
French View

France is categoric in stating that Taiwan is an internal issue of China. It does not want to be a part of any tension between the US and China on the Taiwan issue.

President Macron advocates the Doctrine of Strategic Autonomy outside of US influence. The AUKUS treaty and the cancellation of a submarine deal between France and Australia are significant aspects of the divergence of views between the USA and France.

Only recently, President Macron visited China on a state visit. His prophetic words after concluding his visit to China must not be lost sight of by the world, NATO in particular.

He said, “Europeans cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine. How can we credibly say over the Taiwan issue, ‘Watch out, if you do something wrong, we will be there?”

Europe is unlikely to support the US agenda of being a ‘global policeman.’ European nations will have to take care of their security.

Any escalation of hostilities with China and Russia will invariably affect Europe. Are the European countries ready to suffer because of US hostility towards China and Russia, irrespective of the reasons?

The emergence of dissent among main European nations with US hegemony on deciding NATO policies has made the NATO alliance fragile and brittle, even though membership has increased from 12 to 31, with Sweden set to join as the 32nd nation shortly.

Gp Cpt TP Srivastava (Retd) is an ex-NDA who flew MiG-21 and 29. He is a qualified flying instructor. He commanded the MiG-21 squadron. He is a directing staff at DSSC Wellington and chief instructor at the College of Air Warfare. VIEWS PERSONAL OF THE AUTHOR

China curbs exports of drone equipment amid U.S. tech tension


China curbs exports of drone equipment amid U.S. tech tension

A drone is seen in the sky as Chinese drone maker DJI holds a demonstration to display an app that tracks a drone's registration and owner in Montreal, Canada, November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

BEIJING, July 31 (Reuters) - China on Monday announced export controls on some drones and drone-related equipment, saying it wanted to safeguard "national security and interests" amid escalating tension with the United States over access to technology.

The restrictions on equipment including some drone engines, lasers, communication equipment and anti-drone systems would take effect on Sept. 1, the commerce ministry said.

The controls would also affect some consumer drones, and no civilian drones could be exported for military purposes, a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

"China's modest expansion of the scope of its drone control this time is an important measure to demonstrate our stance as a responsible major country, to implement global security initiatives, and maintain world peace," the unidentified spokesperson said.

Authorities had notified relevant countries and regions, the spokesperson said.

China has a big drone manufacturing industry and exports to several markets including the U.S.

U.S. lawmakers have said that more than 50% of drones sold in the U.S. are made by Chinese-based company DJI, and they are the most popular drone used by public safety agencies.

DJI said on Monday it always strictly complied with and enforced laws and regulations of the countries or regions in which it operates, including China's export control regulatory requirements.

"We have never designed and manufactured products and equipment for military use, nor have we ever marketed or sold our products for use in military conflicts or wars in any country," the drone maker added.

A German retailer in March 2022 accused DJI of leaking data on Ukrainian military positions to Russia, which the company rejected as "utterly false".

China's commerce ministry said in April this year that U.S. and Western media were spreading "unfounded accusations" that it was exporting drones to the battlefield in Ukraine, adding the reports were an attempt to "smear" Chinese firms and it would continue to strengthen export controls on drones.

The drone export curbs come after China announced export controls of some metals widely used in chipmaking last month, following moves by the United States to restrict China's access to key technologies, such as chipmaking equipment.

Netizens chastise RPK: Look at the homeowners’ bank accounts, not condition of their home

Netizens chastise RPK: Look at the homeowners’ bank accounts, not condition of their home

FUGITVE blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin found himself being dubbed “king of twist” for drawing a comparison between the luxurious bungalow purportedly owned by former Terengganu menteri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said (an UMNO man) and that of a ‘down-to-earth’ village home belonging to PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang.

Little did the Manchester-based Perikatan Nasional (PN) mercenary blogger anticipated that his short and sweet tweet with a 32-second video clip bearing the caption Di Antara Dua Darjat (literally ‘Between Two Classes’) will be slammed by his target audience.

“Don’t see the house, see their bank accounts la,” netizen Tom T (@TT74891746) lashed out while m3s4 (@m3s48) realised that Marang MP Hadi’s Mercedes Benz was nowhere in sight.

Pic credit: Ipoh Echo

“Fair comment. But what about Bersatu’s leaders?” wondered Citizen (@HoShaoYan1).

Netizen zektwowan (@6a706c9336fc449) reckoned that Hadi should be brave enough to declare his assets “of course unless he has assets to hide” while Pok Wa (@PokWa84272851) suggested that “Hadi’s home is just an act”.

Recall a tweet by netizen Muaz | Abd Rahman (@muazrahman_) in March this year to rebut an earlier post which claimed that the cleric lives in a humble dwelling in Rusila, Terengganu (in the vicinity of his Marang constituency) whereby the former clarified that the cleric owns two more houses in Damansara in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Putrajaya respectively.

“You (RPK) have been so naïve for Hadi actually owns a luxurious house in KL,” teased netizen AZREEN (@azreen700) while Karl (@theordinarykarl) poked fun at RPK for losing touch with reality after having spent so much time in the UK.” – July 31, 2023

Nik Abduh wants to stay away from politics for now

Nik Abduh wants to stay away from politics for now

STATE POLLS | Former Bachok MP Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Aziz announced that he will be “fasting” and take a break from politics for an unspecified period.

This comes after Nik Abduh, who is the son of late PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, was not fielded in this state election in Kelantan.

“I will be fasting and taking a break from the country’s politics for a while. This is a difficult time for myself and my mother.

“May PAS grow in strength with the best leadership to lead the future of the country,” Nik Abduh (above) said in a posting on Facebook.

Two days ago, Nik Aziz’s younger brother, Nik Din Nik Mat accused PAS vice-president Mohd Amar Abdullah of being the alleged “mastermind” behind a move that led to his nephew being dropped from contesting the Chempaka seat.

In a viral video, Nik Din said he was puzzled over how Nik Abduh was not fielded in Chempaka, which is under the Pengkalan Chepa parliamentary constituency.

He said this was because he met PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang on June 23 and was assured of Nik Abduh’s candidacy in the seat once held by Nik Aziz as then menteri besar.

Nik Din also claimed that Amar, who is the Pengkalan Chepa PAS division chief, rejected Nik Abduh’s candidacy as he did not want Nik Aziz’s descendants to strengthen their base in the area.

Amar has since denied the allegations and described Nik Din’s remarks as slander against him.

Non-Malays cannot stop the Malay tsunami

S Thayaparan

“I actually want to tell the people of Selangor... the Chinese cannot stop this Malay tsunami. A so-called tsunami within the Malay community has been set off.”

- Perikatan Nasional candidate 
for Sekinchan Goh Gaik Meng

“The key to progress and a progressive Malaysia lies with the Malays, but until they alter their mindset and attitudes, nothing will change.”

– Malaysiakini columnist Mariam Mokhtar

COMMENT | The arguments put forward by Mariam Mokhtar and Goh Gaik Meng are essentially two sides of the same Malaysian coin. Both present the stark reality of the political landscape in Malaysia.

Mariam clearly states that a Malaysia other than a theocratic failed state is in the hands of the Malays. Goh acknowledges that the non-Malays have no power to stop whatever changes the majority community decides to inflict on Malaysia.

The Green Wave is merely the overt political consequence of decades of Islamisation in this country.

The Malay tsunami, however, is a political quagmire. Non-Malay political operatives have always been struggling with this since the heyday of BN when it enjoyed majority support from all communities.

For decades, the MCA were called running dogs and in those decades they created an economic and political environment for the Chinese community to break free from the shackles of BN. The same cannot be said of MIC.

Non-Malay power structures do not deal with their Malay counterparts as equals. The DAP for instance has had to eat barrels of manure to ensure that whatever they said or did, was not used by Perikatan Nasional as evidence they were controlling the unity government.

If you thought it was bad when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was in power, it is even worse now that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has to carry Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Umno to remain in power.

When Anwar decided that Jakim needed to play a bigger role in policy-making, for instance, non-Malay political operatives in the Madani government were silent as church mice.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim

Indeed, if PN had made the same decision, non-Malay political operatives would be claiming it was the end of the world.

The small voices who were appalled by this move were dismissed by the prime minister who reportedly said - “I want Jakim not only to talk about religion and Islamic law. Jakim is to expand its duties, talk about economic issues, look at digital programmes, and look at the education curriculum.

“The responsibility is broader, so that the values of Islam can be applied, and this is opposed by those who do not understand, a small group of non-Muslims who write that ‘Anwar is now displaying his strong Islamist attitude, which he has tried to hide all this time by ordering Jakim to control all the systems.’”

The question we should ask ourselves is, are those values promulgated by Jakim the kind of values that Mariam believes would lead to a progressive Malaysia?

But more importantly, for non-Malays, what we need to understand is that “don’t spook the Malays” is just another way of describing the “Malay tsunami”.

I am vehemently opposed to enabling the religious industrial complex because, ultimately, it serves the ethnocentric narrative of this country which the mainstream political establishment (which includes the opposition) embraces because the Malay political establishment did not want to spook the Malays.

What this narrative has done is make political personalities interchangeable, while establishing the primacy of the religious institution.

Theocratic state-in-waiting

Have you noticed that especially among PN supporters, there really is no central figure standing in opposition to Anwar?

Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, of course, take their shots but there really is no central rallying figure who galvanises the PN base.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang (left) and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin

And for the PN base, this is a good thing. What we are dealing with now is something much more different. It is a system which the establishment has very little control over. And this is what the progenitors of the ketuanan (supremacist) system are reckoning with.

The theocratic state-in-waiting understands they have no need for prime ministers in the sense of someone leading the country. All they need is a figurehead.

PN, because of electoral legerdemain, has become the realisation of theocratic dreams of fellow Islamic travellers within the bureaucracy.

They do not care about democracy, they do not care about the royal institution, and they are as obsessed about controlling the non-Muslims in this country as they are controlling the majority Malay polity.

For Umno members working within and without the party, hooking up with PN if this unity government falls is business as usual. But of course, what they fail to realise is they will not be part of a right-wing government but rather a theocracy, which eventually consumes them.

PAS intelligentsia has told me what PN offers is a tabula rasa from the corruption of Umno. What they “promote” is a rejection of a corrupt Umno and a Chinese insurgency through Anwar.

So if you do not like Umno and you are afraid of the DAP, then the logical choice is PN, which not only has the experience of running the country but whose leader Muhyiddin’s olive branch was rejected by an arrogant non-Malay dominated coalition.

‘Muslims must vote for Muslims’

Do you know why Hadi and company go on about non-Malays being the cause of corruption in this country? Well, because the DAP by backing Umno who for decades they called corrupt, feeds into his narratives that the greedy Chinese will support anyone to keep them in power.

Hadi doesn’t care about corruption. He has said it clearly. Muslims need to vote for corrupt Muslim leaders even if the non-Muslims were honest leaders, because it was a religious imperative.

How can we have a progressive majority when every institution and every political operative confirms the majority in this country have to subscribe to a certain mode of thinking and support a certain kind of Muslim leader?

Non-Malays can absolutely do nothing except form a strong secular opposition which may very well be destroyed in the quest for a theocratic state.

Just because non-Malays cannot stop the rise of a theocratic state, it doesn’t mean we have to stop fighting against religious and racial tyranny.

If only we had leaders who believed the same.

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

DAP MP files report against Muhyiddin for claiming govt run by non-Malays


DAP MP files report against Muhyiddin for claiming govt run by non-Malays

Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid criticises PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin for continuing to play up the 3R issue.

Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid said Muhyiddin Yassin is trying to ‘divide the people with fear mongering’. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid has filed a police report against Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin for accusing the Anwar Ibrahim unity government of being run by non-Malays and citing the “Allah” issue as an example.

Syerleena urged the police to investigate Muhyiddin under Section 505 of the Penal Code as well as the Sedition Act 1948.

She accused PN of hypocrisy in playing up 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues to garner support for the state elections.

“His (Muhyiddin’s) intention is clear, (that is) to divide the people with fear mongering,” the former Seri Delima assemblyman told a press conference today.

Syerleena said Muhyiddin had, at a press conference on June 22, said PN would steer clear of the 3R issue and focus on addressing “important” matters such as the high cost of living.

However, at a PN ceramah last night, Muhyiddin said that when he was the home minister in the Pakatan Harapan government from 2018 to 2020, he had come under pressure from DAP not to allow an appeal against a High Court ruling on the use of the word “Allah” by a Sarawakian woman in her religious learning.

The Bersatu president said he had urged the PH government to appeal the High Court ruling, but it did not proceed further because Anwar’s government came into power last year.

He alleged that the decision to abandon the appeal was made due to pressure from DAP. “Even when I was with them (in the PH government), they pushed me not to allow an appeal.”

The issue arose when Sarawakian Jill Ireland sought a court order to allow the use of the word “Allah” for the purpose of religious education in Malay and her native Melanau language in Sarawak.

In a landmark decision in March 2021, the High Court declared as illegal a 1986 home ministry ruling to prohibit the use of the words “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Solat” and “Kaabah” by non-Muslims.

The government filed an appeal, but on April 18 this year, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, representing the home ministry, notified the Court of Appeal that it did not wish to pursue the case.

Why didn’t PAS raise bribery issue when in govt, says Azalina


Why didn’t PAS raise bribery issue when in govt, says Azalina

The law and institutional reform minister dismisses the party’s call for guidelines on the Do’s and Don’ts during elections.

Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said PAS was in the government led by PN leader Muhyiddin Yassin. (Bernama pic)

SEREMBAN: Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said has hit out at PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man over his call for guidelines on the Do’s and Don’ts during the elections.

Azalina questioned why PAS did not call for guidelines on what constituted bribery in an election when it was in the previous governments, led by Muhyiddin Yassin and then Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

She said some PAS ministers were then in charge of agencies and commissions that oversaw these matters.

“Suddenly, when there’s another government in power, you (blame) the government. Maybe they (PAS) missed the boat.

“They were in the government and the leader of their coalition (Muhyiddin) was the prime minister. You should ask them why they did not do it then?” Azalina said at a press conference at the Seremban court complex here today.

At a ceramah last night, Tuan Ibrahim said while he was not questioning MACC, there was a need for the agency to come up with a list of Do’s and Don’ts.

He said there was a need for some consistency as to what political parties could do while on the campaign trail.

In response, MACC chief Azam Baki said they have no plans to introduce such guidelines as its already set out under the Election Offences Act 1954.

On Friday, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in announcing grants for youths in Terengganu, urged them to vote for the “blue and red wave” in the state election.

He also said the amount allocated may be increased depending on the results of the Aug 12 polls.

Selangor cancels PJD Link project approved by Ismail Sabri Cabinet

Selangor cancels PJD Link project approved by Ismail Sabri Cabinet

Caretaker Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari today announced the cancellation of the proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) that was approved by the previous federal government under the prime ministership of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in April last year. — Picture By Raymond Manuel

Monday, 31 Jul 2023 1:23 PM MYT

Selangor cancels PJD Link project approved by Ismail Sabri Cabinet

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Caretaker Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari today announced the cancellation of the proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) that was approved by the previous federal government under the prime ministership of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in April last year.

Amirudin had indicated earlier this month that the proposed highway had only been given a conditional approval and would end up like the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project that was shelved in 2015, if it failed to meet certain requirements.

“This administration’s principle is that development in Selangor should achieve a balance among the aspects of sustainability, economic progress, and not cause harm to residents,” he said in a statement this afternoon.

He said that based on the social impact assessment (SIA) report, his caretaker administration “is not satisfied with the plan that has been presented because it does not fulfil the conditions” that had been previously set by the state.

“Therefore, the Selangor government does not wish to continue with this proposal and has decided to cancel the construction of PJD Link,” he added.

The PJD Link was a proposal to build a 34.3km dual-carriage expressway with four lanes and eight interchanges/ramps as an alternative to the heavily-trafficked Lebuhraya-Damansara Puchong (LDP) to connect various fast-growing townships with Bandar Utama at one end and Bukit Jalil at the other end.

It bore a striking resemblance to the controversial Kidex that was cancelled in 2015 by the Selangor government then under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who has since joined Bersatu, a party that is today a component of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

Azmin pulled the plug on Kidex in February 2015 because its developer did not produce relevant supporting studies for its proposal, namely an SIA, a traffic impact assessment (TIA), and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) besides failing to reveal the toll rates and full concession agreement.

Amirudin said the PJD Link was approved in principle by the federal government on November 12, 2017 – then under Barisan Nasional control.

He said the proposal was then submitted to the Selangor Economic Action Council on September 3, 2020 for a residential survey to be carried out in Petaling Jaya before it was presented to the federal government on November 12, 2021 and given a conditional approval.

The condition meant that the developer would have to meet all the requirements set by the Selangor government before it can proceed with construction.

Amirudin said that a concession agreement was signed between the PN federal government and the developer on April 5, 2022 for the construction company to conduct a full EIA, SIA, and TIA before the deal could be “activated”.

An independent survey released in May showed that 93.6 per cent of residents who live along the proposed alignment of the PJD Link disagreed with the project, as they believed that noise and air pollution from the proposed highway would be intolerable and that it would not reduce traffic congestion as promised either.

Similarly, 93.6 per cent of the residents surveyed agreed that they and their families would be impacted by the project.

A local residents group calling itself Say No to PJD Link opposed to the proposed highway filed a lawsuit in June against the Director General of the Department of Town and Country Planning, the Selangor State Director of the Department of Town and Country Planning, the Selangor State Government and the Malaysian Government to obtain classified documents after claiming a lack of transparency in the conditional approval.

Folks in Negeri Sembilan don’t really care who the menteri besar is, they just want development

Folks in Negeri Sembilan don’t really care who the menteri besar is, they just want development

A general view of shop lots in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Monday, 31 Jul 2023 7:00 AM MYT

REMBAU, July 31 — It's common to hear people living in small towns talk about moving to the big city to make a better living and experience the city life.

Chong (he preferred to give just the one name), who used to be a goldsmith, said he prefers the quiet life having been to the city and “hated the congestion there.”

“That’s why I chose to remain here, it’s quiet and I can go anywhere without getting caught in bad traffic.

“The only problem with this town is that it has lost its life. After the rubber estates were replaced by palm oil estates, people left town as they lost their jobs... due to outsourced workers hired by the palm oil estates.

“That’s why it feels like no one lives here,” he said when met at his shop in the Rantau town centre.

As of 2020, the Department of Statistics and the Election Commission recorded Rantau’s population at 53,778.

However, if one were to take a stroll through the town centre, there are only empty shoplots, abandoned structures and almost no eateries in sight.

Chong said Rantau’s glory days are over and that is why it is today a dead town, with retirees.

“But it doesn’t mean that it should be left in tatters.

“Years ago [during the Barisan Nasional administration], there was talk of bringing light industry here. If that happened, it would have created some jobs. But it’s all talk and no action, until now we don’t see any signs of it.

“That is one way to repopulate this town again, otherwise, the town will eventually be abandoned. With the high cost of living even here, what will happen to the people here?” the 76-year-old added.

Even before Covid-19, the town was struggling to survive and those who were barely holding on had to permanently shutter their businesses.

“For me, I’m retired, but what about those who don’t have the opportunity to leave town for work?” he said.

Several dilapidated shop lots are seen in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Ready to vote

Chong said folks in Negeri Sembilan are ready for the coming state election on August 12.

“It’s our duty to cast our vote, so we will definitely go out to vote. But if you ask me, I think the people should give a chance to the outgoing menteri besar, let him continue for another term.

“When he (Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun) first took office, I know many people said he isn’t very friendly, but I don’t think it matters as long as he does his job and we do see positive changes,” Chong said.

Rantau dwellers have in the past supported Barisan Nasional (BN), he said, and in fact, the coalition has not once lost the state seat.

However, Chong, who is a loyal MCA supporter, said Umno needed to get its act together, as there seems to be some infighting and it is noticeable on the ground.

“It does affect us, because when they are busy fighting, they can’t focus on development and social welfare issues faced by the people.

“The unity government — collaboration between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and BN — is very good for us, because finally the two big coalitions can focus on helping the people instead of fighting for seats in the state.

“But there are still unhappy party people in Umno, and we are expecting to see some shift in supporters over to Perikatan Nasional (PN),” he said.

Chong claims Umno supporters in Negeri Sembilan are unhappy with party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is seen to be playing “second fiddle” to PH and seemingly lost his “voice”.

In addition to that, he said some Umno supporters on the ground are also unhappy that Zahid was acquitted of his court charges and retained as the party’s president.

Agreeing with Chong, a sundry shop owner in his 40s who declined to be named said locals are hardcore supporters of Umno-BN, but they are hopeful that with PH on board this time, there will be less talk of politics and more problem-solving on the ground.

“It seems as though nobody cares about this town. Just look at the shop lot next to mine. It’s been in a dilapidated state for many years and no one has bothered to deal with it.

“While the assemblyman here (Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan) is a good man, we need help with our survival here,” the sundry shop owner added.

On July 21, Mohamad, who is popularly known as Tok Mat, announced that he will defend his state seat Rantau, where he has been the state assemblyman since 2004.

The state constituency is under the Rembau parliamentary constituency, whereby Tok Mat was elected the MP in last year’s 15th general election.

Almost giving up hope on chances of the town's rejuvenation, John Teo, 37, said unfortunately, most parts of Negeri Sembilan looks the same — unkempt and littered with abandoned old buildings.

Teo said there was the PR1MA housing project that was launched years ago in Bandar Ekar here, but that was halted.

The promise made last year during the general election is that it would be ready by this March. The project, which started in 2017 was due for completion in 2019, has been halted until now.

“Let’s hope that it really happens. With that, it could contribute to bringing some life back into the sleepy state constituency.

“But we need sustainability, not just dump some projects and hope they survive,” Teo said when met in Rantau.

An aerial view of the public beaches in Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Old menteri besar, new menteri besar

In Port Dickson, locals face a similar situation, even though it was once a popular vacation destination.

Taxi driver R. Thangavelu, 73, said while others are seeing improvement in the economy, Port Dickson seems to have been left out.

“After Covid-19 came, things became worse. Since last November, after the general election, we were hoping that something could be done to revive this once popular holiday town.

“Nothing until now, and the cost of living is still rising... it has affected us even though we’re not a big city like Kuala Lumpur.

“The beaches are now very clean, but there is no one to enjoy them,” he said.

Thangavelu’s colleague, who declined to give his name, said no matter who the next menteri besar is, they only want improvement.

“Old one, new one, all the same to us if nothing is urgently done to save Port Dickson.

“So much talk about who will be the next menteri besar. The real people who are suffering is us,” he said.

A view of the public beaches in Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Port Dickson was once known for affordable seafood meals, but this too has changed and now, the shops are charging cut-throat prices, Thangavelu said.

“Port Dickson is very dependent on tourism, but if no one is making an effort to help it recover, it’ll soon be gone. There will be many people left jobless here,” he said.

The Port Dickson seat went through a by-election in 2018 where its then incumbent stepped down to give way to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was returning to the political arena after his release from prison in June that year.

Last November, MIC’s Datuk P. Kamalanathan contested against Aminuddin who was then menteri besar. The latter won.

The state seats that will be contested are Chuah, Lukut, Bagan Pinang, Linggi and Sri Tanjong. As of 2019, they’re over 130,000 residents in Port Dickson.

Several dilapidated buildings are seen in the township of Titi in Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Who do the locals want?

On one hand, PKR wants Aminuddin to remain as menteri besar if PH wins the state election, on the other hand, there are speculations that the Umno Jelebu MP Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias is BN’s candidate.

Chia Kem Hung, the owner of Apacaba Coffee, located in Pekan Titi, Jelebu said the menteri besar should not be changed just for the sake of showing who is in power.

“Now that PH and BN are on the same side, they should not be fighting over who is to be menteri besar anymore.

“Aminuddin has been doing well, let him continue to do his job. If we keep changing the menteri besar, there will be no continuity in development plans for the state,” Chia said.

Just in Pekan Titi itself, Chia said it is a struggle to get approval to build a petrol station. After going through what seemed like an endless vetting process, his building plans were finally approved.

“Instead of being fixated on who should be menteri besar, how about they focus on how to improve local authorities.

“Right now, the district council isn’t functioning at its optimum level. My building proposal could not be approved simply because the district council refused to issue a letter of support and without any valid reasons,” Chia claimed.

Chia said he tried to raise his problem with higher authorities but that itself was also a challenge.

Out of frustration, Chia said he was very close to shifting his entire 40-year-old family business, Titi Cane, out of Negeri Sembilan.

“When I wanted to bring this matter to the state assemblyman (Pekan Titi is under the Chennah state constituency), he wasn't here, and his team wasn't helpful.

Several dilapidated buildings are seen in the township of Titi in Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

“Right now, for us to fuel up, we have to drive out of the town centre into the next town.

“We’re not saying that he isn’t a good man, but right now, there seems to be a disconnect between the state assemblyman and the people on the ground," Chia said.

On July 15, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke announced that he will defend Chennah, a state seat that he has held for two terms.

Pekan Titi is well-known for its Hakka food. Historically though, it was where the Japanese army had in 1942, during their occupation of Malaya during the Second World War, massacred 1,474 men, women and children from the village.

As of 2020, the Department of Statistics recorded 5,533 population in the town, while there are 12,119 registered voters in the Chennah state constituency.

The Jelebu signage, located north-east of Seremban, in Negeri Sembilan July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Preserving history

Next to Pekan Titi is Jelebu. This parliamentary constituency is popular for its recreational spots.

As one drives into the Jelebu town centre, the first thing you will see are the Minangkabau-inspired buildings with their distinctive “buffalo horn” shaped roofs — except, they all are in need of repair.

Food kiosk owner Nur Aina Nadirah Rahman, 20, said, "There is no maintenance, even the signboards are so faded you do not know if the tourist attractions are still intact.

A general view of Jelebu’s state government building which incorporated Minangkabau architecture July 23, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

“You can go to the Muzium Adat (Cultural Museum), there you can learn about the culture of Negeri Sembilan. I think it’s still there,” she said.

Nur Aina is also hoping the roads will be “fixed” as they are winding and in need of repair.

Another Negeri Sembilan resident, an electrician who requested anonymity, agrees that the collaboration between PH and BN is good for the people.

However, the man who is in his 70s said the people right now need less political posturing and more serious talk on how to boost the economy.

“Everywhere, people are struggling to make ends meet, what good is all the talk without action?” he said.

Negeri Sembilan is one of the six states that will have its state polls this August 12 with nomination date set on July 29. Political analysts have predicted that PN may make a dent in this state as there will likely be protest votes from BN supporters — mostly unhappy about the collaboration between the two coalitions at Federal level.



Sunday, July 30, 2023


  • gomen no intention to phase out AP 
  • Zafrul said system still in effect



  • AP holders were raking up to RM100,000 in tax-free profit for EV
  • AP holders earn immensely high tax-free profit 
  • gomen should cut off AP system entirely
  • AP holders make more than RM100,000 per car
  • insane profit margin because no tax for AP holders
  • On July 17 report gomen no intention to phase out AP 
  • Zafrul said system still in effect
  • anywhere in the world there is no such thing as AP system


My Comments:

  • Tuan-Tuan undi sajalah Dr Mahathir. 
  • Dr Mahathir yang buat sistem AP dulu. 
  • Dengan cukai impot tinggi gila untuk impot kereta.
  • Sebab Dr Mahathir nak buat kilang untuk dilelong kepada businessman Cina. 


  • Contohnya Proton akhirnya dilelong kepada Cina. 
  • Perwaja dilelong kepada Cina juga (akhir sekali). 
  • Filem Studio dulu dibeli dengan beratus juta Ringgit (duit kita) dilelong kepada Cina. 
  • Childrens Park di Singapura yang dibeli dengan beratus juta Ringgit duit rakyat dilelong kepada Cina juga, dengan harga berapa ratus ribu Ringgit sahaja.
  • Itulah maksud "ikut acuan kita sendiri" yang dipelopori oleh Dr Mahathir. 
  • Itulah "acuan kepala hotak sendiri" yang dipelopori oleh Dr Mahathir.
  • Dan siapa yang akan bayar duit untuk buat "acuan kepala hotak kita sendiri"?
  • Tuan-tuan lah yang bayar. 
  • Tuan-tuan yang bodoh, bahalol, bangang, bengong, bongok, stupid dan idiotic.


Macam mana Tuan-Tuan bayar semua duit itu?

Tuan-Tuan sanggup bayar 'cukai' AP contohnya. Setiap biji kereta impot dikenakan AP. Tuan-Tuan sanggup bayar RM20,000, RM50,000, RM100,000 atau lebih.  

Tak cukup siksaan AP, depa letak cukai impot tinggi gila lagi. Tuan-Tuan bayar sajalah.

Depa ambil duit itu dan depa bagi lah kroni, buat kilang kereta toya, buat kilang besi karat, buat studio kepala hotak. Dan banyak lagi.

  • Dr Mahathir buat AP.
  • Badawi sambung AP.
  • Najib sambung AP.
  • Muhyiddin, Sabri pun sama.
  • Sekarang Zafrul kata Madani pun sambung AP.

Tuan-Tuan kena liwat lagi. 

Actually the problem in the country satu sahaja : Tuan-tuan bodoh macam nak mampos.

Mat Salleh kata, 'You can fool all the people sometime, you can fool some people all the time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time.'

Di Malaysia ini Tuan-Tuan masuk kategori No. 2 ia itu "you can fool some people all the time".

Inilah kategori Tuan-Tuan orang yang paling bodoh atas muka bumi Allah swt ini. 
You can be fooled all the time, daytime, night time, anytime.

Bayar sajalah.   Otak lembu.

PM names Armizan as interim domestic trade and cost of living minister

PM names Armizan as interim domestic trade and cost of living minister

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said Datuk Seri Armizan Mohd Ali will be the acting domestic trade and cost of living minister. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 6:56 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said Datuk Seri Armizan Mohd Ali will be the acting domestic trade and cost of living minister

Armizan is the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Duties), but will handle the portfolio until a permanent replacement is appointed for Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub who died last week, Anwar said.

“For now, Armizan has been given the responsibility to supervise and continue the ministry’s operations,” he told reporters after attending the closing ceremony of 2023 National Consumer Day at Pavilion Bukit Jalil here today.

Anwar also said Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Senator Fuziah Salleh will work with the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof, to continue with their ongoing initiatives.

Last Sunday, Salahuddin, the minister responsible for the Rahmah initiative, died unexpectedly at the age of 61.

Salahuddin died at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar, Kedah, after undergoing surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

The deputy president of Amanah leaves behind his wife, Fatimah Taha, four sons and two daughters.