F1 is Never for Low Caste Teams

Tony "The multiple-F1-failure" Fernandes

Tony “The multiple-F1-failure” Fernandes

Tony Fernandes should measure clothes to his own size and not waste Malaysians’ time and most of all, hopes, for not going into the Formula One racing team ownership and operation in the first place.

The pro-Anwar news portal story:

Tony Fernandes regrets buying Formula One team

Published: 30 October 2014
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes expressed regret over running a Formula One team, saying it was a big mistake in doing that while at the same time managing Asia’s leading low-cost airline.

The AirAsia chief executive officer was quoted by news agency Bloomberg today as saying: “You have got to know what you are good at and what you are not good at. Racing is over for me.”

Caterham, the struggling England-based racing outfit, filed for protection from creditors after a sale to Swiss company Engavest SA failed to materialise.

Fernandes started managing the team in 2010, but failed to take it to pole position.
He said the financial gap between teams was too big, and that the sport had to examine itself.

Bloomberg reported him telling Sky Sports News he would support efforts to find a new owner.

The news agency reported that the biggest teams typically get about 10 times as much as the smallest, according to Xander Heijnen, a partner at CNC Communications & Network Consulting AG in Munich.

Fernandes told Bloomberg that his move to sell Caterham did not affect his standing with Queens Park Rangers.

He said he will remain as co-owner of the club, which is second-last in the Premier League. – October 20, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/tony-fernandes-regrets-buying-formula-one-team#sthash.h5Jken4E.dpuf

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It was purely chewing more than one could chew. Fernandes was just selling something that he very well knew he could not do it. He did not have the means, nor knowledge.

Yet he did it.

The flopped 1 Malaysia Racing Team with failed attempt to rope in the Lotus brand, launched in 2010

The flopped 1 Malaysia Racing Team with failed attempt to rope in the Lotus brand, launched in 2010

He was also banking on the fact that national oil corporation, Petronas, to come in and support him with the dough at the time when he was selling the team as ‘1 Malaysia Racing Team’.

When that failed too, he had to scrooge what ever pittance he has left over from his low-of-the-rung Queen’s Park Rangers football team, which did very poorly to remain in the premier league and eventually was relegated to barclays premier.

Fernandes singularly in a very short time manage to bastardise the ‘Caterham’ brand in several single strokes. The tried to prostitute the brand for a regional charter jet business, which did not take off despite the idea mooted back in 2010.

Fernandes, pretending to be a winner at the wrong circuit

Fernandes, pretending to be a winner at the wrong circuit

In short, pretentious-accented Fernandes proven himself in a very short time he cocked things up. Why? He over-sold, he had no substance, his ideas are deffective, he entered into the ill-intent to milk Petronas and Proton for money and fund his project.

It was about getting a few parties paying up for Fernandes to promote his brand at international level, in big time. He wanted to cross sell his ‘Tune’ brand, purely at the expense of corporations footing the bill for the expensive F1 to remain in the year-after-year most coveted international motorsports event.

What is very pathetic, Fernandes blaming the professional F1 teams for the failure of his half-baked-low-caste team.

Daily Mirror story:

Tony Fernandes says F1’s big teams must shoulder the blame for Marussia and Caterham’s financial woes

Oct 29, 2014 19:44 By Byron Young

With Marussia and Caterham both set to miss the US Grand Prix, Fernandes has pointed the finger at the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull

Mark Thompson Blame game: F1 giants like Ferrari and Red Bull are hoovering up all the cash, says Fernandes

Tony Fernandes blasted F1’s big teams over the sport’s crisis as two teams went into administration, reports Byron Young in Austin.

Marussia and Caterham are both missing both Sunday’s US Grand Prix and the race in Brazil seven days later after going into administration.

Critics have said too much of the prize fund is sucked up by the sport’s leading names like Ferrari and Red Bull.

While both those operations get at least a £80 million golden ticket just for competing, the tail-enders are trying to do an entire year on a totally unsupported £40m.

They are not the only ones in trouble: Lotus and Sauber have had financial problems.

And even legendary names like McLaren have spent over a year looking for a title sponsor.
Fernandes sold Caterham in June to a shadowy consortium headed by Romanian dentist Colin Kolles.

Now he has ruled out stepping in to save Caterham and over 150 jobs that are on the line.
And it said the time was right for the sport to take a long hard look at itself.

“People can blame whoever, but the big teams are as much at fault as anyone. The gap has become way too big and it’s money,” he said.

GettyCaterham F1 Testing in Jerez – Day OneAdministration: Fernandes’ former team Caterham are in severe financial trouble
“And so I thought, ‘Well, I can’t compete’. But I can compete at QPR; I can compete at Air Asia,” he said.

“Rather than continue something where I thought, one, I wasn’t able to give it as much time as possible, two, I thought we were on a beating to none anyway, you’ve got to be brave and say ‘Look, we screwed up. You can’t compete; you thought you could and time to leave’.

“The sport has to examine itself as well. Ultimately we couldn’t carry on and we would have eventually gone into administration anyway or closed down the team.”

Fernandes even suggested someone may follow Red Bull’s example and buy one a second team.

“There may even be teams within F1 who want a second team – a Red Bull/Toro Rosso situation,” he added.

“So we’ll give it maximum support but it’s not something I want to get involved in anymore.

“You’ve got to know what you are good at and what you are not good at.

“Unless I give up everything else and became a Ron Dennis. What a scary thought. No, Ron is great at what he does. He does it 100 per cent.

“You’ve got to immerse yourself in it. so racing is over for me.”

************

Now, it seems he has some issues about his deal of the sale of the Caterham Team.

Unusually, this is really low for a much celebrated entrepreneur. However, when the F1 team is all the while low caste in spirit, philosophy, ability and operations, then it is befitting.

Published in: on October 30, 2014 at 18:01  Comments (3)  

The Rising of the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan is making pro-active moves towards playing a more significant role as a military might, especially in the wake of the need to balance China’s ‘expansionary attitude and manoeuvres’.

The Sydney Morning Herald story:

Australia-Japan military ties are a ‘quasi-alliance’, say officials

Date October 26, 2014 – 11:45PM

John Garnaut

Asia Pacific editor for Fairfax Media
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Tony Abbott with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Parliament House in July. Photo: AFP
Military ties between Australia and Japan have been growing so fast that they amount to a “quasi-alliance”, according to Japanese officials.

Ties have expanding so rapidly that each country had become the other’s most important defence partner behind the United States, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another official, Takuma Kajita, principal deputy director of the National Security Policy Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview that an unprecedented decision this month to explore the possibility of jointly developing Japan’s coveted submarine technology showed the “two countries would be tied up in the most important area of security”.

He said this and other recent moves, including the sharing of Australian space surveillance intelligence (which could potentially be linked to ballistic missile defence systems) reflected years of bipartisan commitment, recent challenges from China and also a close personal rapport between prime ministers Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe.

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“Mr Abe wants to raise the relationship between Japan and Australia considerably, his instructions are very clear, and he wants good trilateral relations between Japan, Australia and the US,” said Mr Kajita.

A unique “Australia-Japan Defence Co-operation Office” was established within Japan’s Ministry of Defence on April 1 this year in order to handle the rapid escalation of activity.

Publicly, especially in Australia, officials have been circumspect about the pace of change in part to avoid triggering an escalatory response from China.
Officials say there are no plans to progress the relationship into a formal treaty that would include reciprocal obligations to defend each other in the event of war.

And Japan is constrained by a sceptical population and pacifist constitution imposed in the wake of World War II that, among other things, requires its armed forces to operate as the Japanese Self-Defence Forces.

But some analysts warn that the Australian public has not yet grasped the dimensions and implications of deepening military ties, including the possibility of being drawn into armed conflict over the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu in Chinese) in the East China Sea.

“The dual-tightening of Australia’s alliance with the US and its defence partnership with Japan is the most important strategic decision that Australia has made in the post-cold war era,” said Malcolm Cook, a regional security expert at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian studies.

“If there is fighting in the East China Sea then the US will be drawn in. And can you imagine the pressure for Australia to become involved?”

Japanese sources say that the two most dangerous incidents occurred just months ago, in May and June, when Chinese fighter planes used provocative measures including firing afterburners to intercept Japanese surveillance planes at a time of Sino-Russian military drills.

But the temperature has cooled considerably since then.

A high-level maritime co-operation forum resumed on September 25, after a 28-month interregnum. And what had been almost daily Chinese maritime incursions into Japanese-controlled waters have dropped substantially in frequency and intensity.

“Chinese ships now enter Japanese territorial waters every two weeks, for exactly two hours,” said one Japanese official who was present at the maritime meeting. “It used to be four, six or even eight ships but now it is only three or four,” said the official, while noting that Chinese activities in the “contiguous zone” had not diminished at all.

Japanese officials say the continuing incursions are “unacceptable” but nevertheless the atmosphere had become conducive to a first meeting between Mr Abe and China’s President Xi jinping on the sidelines of next month’s APEC meeting in Shanghai.

The new Australia liaison office in Tokyo illustrates how Australia has leapfrogged all nations except the US in Japanese military thinking.

South Korea was listed as Japan’s second most important military partner in a strategy document released less than a year ago, but those ties have cooled due to disagreements over the memory of World War II.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/australiajapan-military-ties-are-a-quasialliance-say-officials-20141026-11c4bi.html#ixzz3HFyCH2fS

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Japan  under Prime Minister Shintaro Abe is seeking to reinterpret ate and probably to amend the ‘pacifist’ post World War Two Constitution, paving the way for Japanese military forces to fight abroad. Since the times of General of the Army Douglass McArthur, Japan only allowed to have a ‘Defence Forces’.

United States supports this notion with the excuse that Japan should play a more significant role to defend itself.

Obviously, China is disturbed by this development.

The BBC story:

9 October 2014 Last updated at 07:10

China media criticise ‘growing’ US-Japan military ties

Papers in China criticise the US for pursuing closer military ties with Japan and Vietnam.

Ties between China and Japan have been strained in recent months over territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

According to reports, Japan and the United States are revising their mutual defence guidelines to pursue a wider partnership.

The US, in an interim report released on Wednesday, said that the new guidelines “are in response to new threats extant in the world and to a new willingness of Japan to embrace a greater role in the world”.

Responding to the report, an article in the Liberation Army Daily warns the US is “inviting calamities by nurturing a tiger”.

“By requesting Tokyo to support its military actions, the US is still sticking to the old arrangement of Japan taking instructions,” notes the article written by Liu Qiang, a strategic expert at the Liberation Army Institute for International Relations.

Japan may become the “destroyer of peace” because it feels threatened and wants to expand its military, and Washington may not be able to control it, he cautions.

“If Washington is not on its guard against Tokyo’s military development and continues to allow it to expand, the US may not be able to control its development effectively in the future. By turning a blind eye to Japan’s actions, Washington is inviting trouble, and that is worrisome,” he adds.

A commentary in the People’s Daily overseas edition points out that the US and Japan are treating China as an “imagery enemy”.

“The idea of sharing hegemony between Washington and Tokyo is secretly developing. With the permission of the US, Japan may become a new international police…Such dangerous development is worrying many countries,” it says, warning that the alliance will instead “increase distrust and worsen conflicts” in the region.

Chen Yan, an expert on Japan affairs with the Qianjiang Evening News, however, points out that the new guidelines will not affect China.

“The US will not confront China because of Japan, and in reality, Japan will not want to go to war with China too. Both are only putting up a gesture to pressurise China,” he argues.

Defence capability
Meanwhile, several state-run media outlets, including Xinhua News Agency and the People’s Daily website, have published photos of a completed airport runway and ongoing construction works on Yongxing Island (Woody Island), the largest of the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

The Philippines and Vietnam are two of several nations currently engaged in territorial disputes with China over the islands.

Several other media outlets note that the completion of the 2,000m-long runway will allow military jet to station, and “it will hugely raise China’s defence capability in the Spratly and Paracel Islands”.

Elsewhere, some state-run media outlets criticise US-Vietnam ties as Washington eases its ban on arm sales to Hanoi.

The US announced last week that it would partially lift its decades-old embargo on providing lethal military support to Vietnam to help improve its maritime security.

“Hanoi is looking to the US for support in its maritime territorial dispute with China, especially since tensions between Vietnam and China escalated earlier this year amid a dispute over China’s oil drilling operations in the South China Sea,” notes an article in the China Daily.

However, the commentary reminds the Southeast Asia state that “it is only one small piece on the US’ strategic rebalancing chessboard” and there is “deep acrimony and distrust” between the two countries.

“Besides, both need to be mindful that their strengthened military ties do not compromise each country’s relationship with Beijing. After all, a head-on confrontation in the South China Sea would serve no one’s interests,” it warns.

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In the wake against China’s aggressive military-centric expansionary attitude and premonition, Japan started to exert herself into the clout of anti-China sentiments around Asia. Despite China’s strong opposition, Japan has continued on the new policy which would see a balance to China’s military might in East Asia.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on October 26, 2014 at 21:00  Comments (9)  

Eagles Vs Dragon

The most productive and economically progressive region in the world has come much closer into threats of Super Powers flexing their muscle in more aggressive manner, which in turn would compound the escalation into a race of demonstration of serious military presence and projection and power.

President Barack H. Obama is asserting a more protagonist role in East and South East Asia as “A top priority”, in the wake of China’s ‘expansionary attitude and manoeuvres’ of late.

A detailed map of China's claims into ASEAN nations' EEZ

A detailed map of China’s claims into ASEAN nations’ EEZ

This China’s ‘expansionary attitude’, is vastly demonstrated in the claims over disputed territories all over South China Sea at the ‘Nine Dash Line’. Most of these territories have been defined as part of an ASEAN nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), which China is a signatory.

Reuters story:

Chuck Hagel Accuses China Of ‘Destabilizing’ Asia Over South China Sea Claims

Reuters
Posted: 05/31/2014 7:50 am EDT Updated: 07/31/2014 5:59 am EDT

HAGEL

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By David Brunnstrom and Lee Chyen Yee

SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) – The United States and China squared off at an Asian security forum on Saturday, with the U.S. defense secretary accusing Beijing of destabilizing the region and a top Chinese general retorting that his comments were “threat and intimidation”.

Using unusually strong language, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took aim at Beijing’s handling of territorial disputes with its Asian neighbors.

“In recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” Hagel said.

He warned Beijing that the United States was committed to its geopolitical rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and “will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged”.

Hagel said the United States took no position on the merits of rival territorial claims in the region, but added: “We firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims.”

His speech at Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialog, Asia biggest security forum, provoked an angry reaction from the deputy chief of staff of the Chinese Army, Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong.

“I felt that Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of hegemonism, threat and intimidation,” he told reporters just after the speech.

Wang said the speech was aimed at causing trouble in the Asia-Pacific.

Hagel’s comments followed the keynote address by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the same forum on Friday evening, who pledged “utmost support” to Southeast Asian countries, several of which are locked in maritime disputes with China.

“I felt that they were just trying to echo each other,” Wang said.

Hagel later held a bilateral meeting with Wang, where the Chinese military leader expressed his surprise at the U.S. defense secretary’s speech.

“You were very candid this morning, and to be frank, more than our expectations,” he said. “Although I do think those criticisms are groundless, I do appreciate your candor  likewise we will also share our candor.”

A senior U.S. defense official said that, despite Wang’s opening remarks, the tone of the meeting had been “businesslike and fairly amicable”.

While Hagel went over ground he covered in his speech, Wang spent most of the meeting talking about U.S.-China military-to-military contacts, including Chinese participation in forthcoming military exercises, the official said.

The U.S. official said Hagel’s speech had been well received by other Asian delegations with the exception of China.
ONLY IF PROVOKED

In Beijing, President Xi Jinping said China would not initiate aggressive action in the South China Sea but would respond if others did, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

“We will never stir up trouble, but will react in the necessary way to the provocations of countries involved,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in a meeting on Friday with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia.

China claims almost the entire oil- and gas-rich South China Seas, and dismisses competing claims from Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. Japan also has a territorial row with China over islands in the East China Sea.

Tensions have surged in recent weeks after China placed an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam, and the Philippines said Beijing could be building an airstrip on a disputed island.

Japan’s defense ministry said Chinese SU-27 fighters came as close as 50 meters (170 ft) to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane near disputed islets last week and within 30 meters of a YS-11EB electronic intelligence aircraft.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Tokyo perceived an “increasingly severe regional security environment”.

“It is unfortunate that there are security concerns in the East and South China Seas,” he said. “Japan as well as all concerned parties must uphold the rule of law and never attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pitched his plan for Japan to take on a bigger international security role and told the Singapore forum that Tokyo would offer its “utmost support” to Southeast Asian countries in their efforts to protect their seas and airspace.

In a pointed dig at China, he said Japan would provide coastguard patrol boats to the Philippines and Vietnam.
JAPAN OFFER SNUBBED

Wang, China’s deputy chief of staff, also snubbed an offer for talks with Japan made by Defense Minister Onodera, the semi-official China News Service said.

“This will hinge on whether the Japanese side is willing to amend the erroneous policy towards China and improve relations between China and Japan,” he said. “Japan should correct its mistakes as soon as possible to improve China-Japan ties.”

The strong comments at the Shangri-La Dialog come as Abe pursues a controversial push to ease restrictions of the post-war, pacifist constitution that has kept Japan’s military from fighting overseas since World War Two.

Despite memories of Japan’s harsh wartime occupation of much of Southeast Asia, several countries in the region may view Abe’s message favorably because of China’s increasing assertiveness.

Hagel repeatedly stressed Obama’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific rebalance and said the strong U.S. military presence in the region would endure.

“To ensure that the rebalance is fully implemented, both President Obama and I remain committed to ensuring that any reductions in U.S. defense spending do not come at the expense of America’s commitments in the Asia-Pacific,” he said. (Additional reporting by Rachel Armstrong and Masayuki Kitano in Singapore and John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Alex Richardson)

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United States, which is maximising this “China’s expansionary attitude and manoeuvres” by exerting its diplomatic and military might around the region, is also attempting to play the international diplomacy drama by asking China to ‘cool off’. As expected, it was ignored.

Reuters story when ASEAN Head of Government met at Myanmar:

U.S. call for South China Sea ‘freeze’ gets cool response from China

BY PAUL MOONEY AND LESLEY WROUGHTON
NAYPYIDAW Sat Aug 9, 2014 1:46pm EDT

CREDIT: REUTERS/NICOLAS ASFOURI/POOL
RELATED NEWS
Kerry presses Myanmar leaders on human rights, reforms

(Reuters) – A U.S. proposal for a freeze on provocative acts in the South China Sea got a cool response from China and some Southeast Asian nations on Saturday, an apparent setback to Washington’s efforts to rein in China’s assertive actions.

To China’s annoyance, the United States is using a regional meeting in Myanmar this weekend to step up its engagement in the maritime tension by calling for a moratorium on actions such as China’s planting of a giant oil rig in Vietnamese waters in May.

Its ally the Philippines has also called for a freeze as part of a three-step plan to ease tension in the resource-rich sea, through which passes $5 trillion of trade a year.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw, on Saturday for the ASEAN Regional Forum, joining foreign ministers and other top diplomats from China, Russia, Japan, India, Australia, the European Union and Southeast Asia among others.

“The United States and ASEAN have a common responsibility to ensure the maritime security of critical sea, lands and ports,” Kerry said in opening comments.

“We need to work together to manage tensions in the South China Sea and to manage them peacefully, and also to manage them on the basis of international law.”

But Le Luong Minh, secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the U.S. proposal was not discussed by ASEAN ministers because there was already a mechanism in place to curtail sensitive action such as land reclamation and building on disputed islands.

CHINA SAYS SITUATION STABLE

The top ASEAN diplomat said it was up to ASEAN to work with China to reduce tension by improving compliance with a 2002 agreement, as they also work to conclude a binding Code of Conduct for maritime actions. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also lay claim to parts of the sea.

“It is up to ASEAN to encourage China to achieve a serious and effective implementation of this commitment, rather than ASEAN asking whether it should support or not support the (U.S.) proposal,” he said.

Most claimants have flouted the 2002 guidelines, leading to rising tension in the South China Sea between four ASEAN claimant nations and China, which claims 90 percent of the waters. The rancour has split ASEAN, with several states including some of the claimants reluctant to antagonize Asia’s economic giant.

China rejects U.S. involvement in the dispute and has already dismissed the proposal for a freeze. China accuses the United States of emboldening claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam with its military “pivot” back to Asia.

“Currently the situation in the South China Sea is stable on the whole. There has not been any problem regarding navigation in the South China Sea,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters.

“Someone has been exaggerating or playing up the so-called tensions in the South China Sea. We don’t agree with such a practice.”

Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario also appeared to tone down his proposal for a freeze or moratorium on activities causing tension in the South China Sea, calling instead for a “cessation” in remarks to reporters on Friday.

A senior U.S. official said the change in language was not significant. “Maybe they just want to differentiate their proposal from our proposal.”

ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

(Editing by Stuart Grudgings and Robert Birsel)

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Also the dispute which has escalated into a military stand off with Japan at Senkaku Island, a couple of rocks in the middle of huge hydrocarbon deposits off Taiwan.

Reuters:

China criticizes U.S. missile defense radar in Japan

BEIJING Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:56am EDT
(Reuters) – The United States is damaging stability in the Asia-Pacific region by positioning a missile defense radar in Japan, China said on Thursday.

Japan, an ally of the United States, has voiced growing anxiety over China’s more assertive posture in the East China Sea, where the neighbors are locked in a dispute over control of a group of uninhabited islets.

North Korea has carried out a series of missile tests this year, including two medium-range missiles capable of hitting Japan. Pyongyang has also threatened another nuclear test.

Japan’s defense ministry has said an X-Band radar system was delivered on Tuesday to the U.S. military’s communication facility in Kyoto in the western part of the country. It is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the year.
“Neighboring countries pushing forward the deployment of anti-missile systems in the Asia-Pacific and seeking unilateral security is not beneficial to strategic stability and mutual trust in the region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing.

“It is not beneficial to peace and stability in Northeast Asia.”

Countries should not use “excuses to harm the security interests of other countries,” Hua added, describing the situation as “deeply concerning”.

China has racheted up military spending in recent years, putting in place new submarines, surface ships and anti-ship ballistic missiles, which the U.S. sees as a counter to its military presence in the region.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said two Navy destroyers equipped with missile defense systems would be deployed to Japan by 2017 in response to provocations from North Korea.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan, Additional reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in TOKYO; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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That invited reciprocity from the Dragon of East Asia. The fact is that as part of China’s military build up, the Peoples’ Liberation Army has planned and acquired various nuclear weapon systems and programs, which include nuclear submarines with ICBM capability.

A Wall Street Journal story:

Deep Threat

China’s Submarines Add Nuclear-Strike Capability, Altering Strategic Balance

BY JEREMY PAGE

One Sunday morning last December, China’s defense ministry summoned military attachés from several embassies to its monolithic Beijing headquarters.

To the foreigners’ surprise, the Chinese said that one of their nuclear-powered submarines would soon pass through the Strait of Malacca, a passage between Malaysia and Indonesia that carries much of world trade, say people briefed on the meeting.

Two days later, a Chinese attack sub—a so-called hunter-killer, designed to seek out and destroy enemy vessels—slipped through the strait above water and disappeared. It resurfaced near Sri Lanka and then in the Persian Gulf, say people familiar with its movements, before returning through the strait in February—the first known voyage of a Chinese sub to the Indian Ocean.

The message was clear: China had fulfilled its four-decade quest to join the elite club of countries with nuclear subs that can ply the high seas. The defense ministry summoned attachés again to disclose another Chinese deployment to the Indian Ocean in September—this time a diesel-powered sub, which stopped off in Sri Lanka.

China’s increasingly potent and active sub force represents the rising power’s most significant military challenge yet for the region. Its expanding undersea fleet not only bolsters China’s nuclear arsenal but also enhances the country’s capacity to enforce its territorial claims and thwart U.S. intervention.

China is expected to pass another milestone this year when it sets a different type of sub to sea—a “boomer,” carrying fully armed nuclear missiles for the first time—says the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, or ONI.

China is hardly hiding its new boomers. Tourists could clearly see three of them at a base opposite a resort recently in China’s Hainan province. On the beach, rented Jet Skis were accompanied by guides to make sure riders didn’t stray too close.

These boomers’ missiles have the range to hit Hawaii and Alaska from East Asia and the continental U.S. from the mid-Pacific, the ONI says.

“This is a trump card that makes our motherland proud and our adversaries terrified,” China’s navy chief, Adm. Wu Shengli, wrote of the country’s missile-sub fleet in a Communist Party magazine in December. “It is a strategic force symbolizing great-power status and supporting national security.”

To naval commanders from other countries, the Chinese nuclear sub’s nonstop Indian Ocean voyage was especially striking, proving that it has the endurance to reach the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s headquarters in Hawaii.

“They were very clear with respect to messaging,” says Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, a former submariner who commands the U.S. Seventh Fleet, “to say that, ‘We’re a professional navy, we’re a professional submarine force, and we’re global. We’re no longer just a coastal-water submarine force.’ ”

In recent years, public attention has focused on China’s expanding military arsenal, including its first aircraft carrier and stealth fighter. But subs are more strategically potent weapons: A single one can project power far from China and deter other countries simply by its presence.

China’s nuclear attack subs, in particular, are integral to what Washington sees as an emerging strategy to prevent the U.S. from intervening in a conflict over Taiwan, or with Japan and the Philippines—both U.S. allies locked in territorial disputes with Beijing.

And even a few functional Chinese boomers compel the U.S. to plan for a theoretical Chinese nuclear-missile strike from the sea. China’s boomer patrols will make it one of only three countries—alongside the U.S. and Russia—that can launch atomic weapons from sea, air and land.

“I think they’ve watched the U.S. submarine force and its ability to operate globally for many, many years—and the potential influence that can have in various places around the globe,” says Adm. Thomas, “and they’ve decided to go after that model.”

China’s nuclear-sub deployments, some naval experts say, may become the opening gambits of an undersea contest in Asia that echoes the cat-and-mouse game between U.S. and Soviet subs during the Cold War—a history popularized by Tom Clancy’s 1984 novel “The Hunt for Red October.”

Back then, each side sent boomers to lurk at sea, ready to fire missiles at the other’s territory. Each dispatched nuclear hunter-killers to track the other’s boomers and be ready to destroy them.

The collapse of the Soviet Union ended that tournament. But today, as China increases its undersea firepower, the U.S. and its allies are boosting their submarine and anti-sub forces in Asia to counter it.

Neither China nor the U.S. wants a Cold War rerun. Their economies are too interdependent, and today’s market-minded China doesn’t seek global revolution or military parity with the U.S.

Chinese officials say their subs don’t threaten other countries and are part of a program to protect China’s territory and expanding global interests. Chinese defense officials told foreign attachés that the subs entering the Indian Ocean would assist antipiracy patrols off Somalia, say people briefed on the meetings.

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Underwater Drones Join Microphones to Listen for Chinese Subs
Asked about those meetings, China’s defense ministry said its navy’s activities in the Indian and Pacific Oceans “comply with international law and practice, and we maintain good communication with all relevant parties.”

Submarines help Beijing fulfill international duties without changing its defense policy, says China’s navy spokesman, Sr. Capt. Liang Yang. “If a soldier originally has a handgun, and you give him an assault rifle, you’ve increased his firepower, but his responsibilities haven’t changed.” He declines to comment on boomer patrols.

Still, the U.S. has moved subs to the forefront of its so-called rebalancing, a strategy of focusing more military and diplomatic resources on Asia. Sixty percent of the U.S. undersea force is in the Pacific, U.S. naval commanders say, compared with half the U.S. surface fleet. The U.S. Navy plans to station a fourth nuclear attack sub in Guam next year, they say.

Since December, the U.S. has positioned six new P-8 anti-submarine aircraft in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. has also revitalized an undersea microphone system designed to track Soviet subs and is testing new technologies such as underwater drones to search for Chinese subs.

Related Article: As China Deploys Nuclear Submarines, U.S. P-8 Poseidon Jets Snoop on Them

Several nearby countries, including Australia, have said they plan to expand or upgrade their submarine and anti-sub forces. Vietnam, which is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China, has since December received at least two of the six Russian-made attack subs it has ordered.

Australia’s navy chief, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that the 12 subs his country is buying to replace its six-strong current fleet would need to operate far afield, potentially in contested areas of the South China Sea. “There are other nations in the area that are building their submarine forces as well,” he said. “The issue for us is to be able to consider that we may need to counter those things.”

Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, the commander of U.S. submarine forces in the Pacific, says that many more submarines are now operating in the region than during the Cold War. “One of my biggest concerns truthfully is submarine safety,” he says on a recent dive aboard the USS Houston, a nuclear-attack sub based in Hawaii. “The more submarines you put in the same body of water, the higher the probability that they might collide.”

China now has one of the world’s biggest attack-sub fleets, with five nuclear models and at least 50 diesel models. It has four boomers, the ONI says.

Beijing’s quest for a nuclear-sub fleet dates to the 1960s, say Chinese historians. Mao Zedong once declared, “We will build a nuclear submarine even if it takes us 10,000 years!”

China has used diesel subs since the 1950s, but they have proved easy to find because they must surface every few hours. Nuclear subs are faster and can stay submerged for months. China launched its first nuclear sub on Mao’s birthday in 1970 and test-fired its first missile from underwater in 1988, although its first boomer never patrolled carrying armed nuclear missiles, U.S. naval officers say.

China officially unveiled its nuclear undersea forces in October 2013 in an unprecedented open day for domestic media at a nuclear-sub base. Its capabilities aren’t close to those of the U.S., which has 14 boomers and 55 nuclear attack subs.

The U.S. concern is how to maintain that edge in Asia when the Navy projects that fiscal constraints will shrink its attack-sub fleet to 41 by 2028.

Beijing isn’t likely to try matching the U.S. sub force, having studied the way the Cold War arms race drained the Soviet Union’s finances. “We’re not that stupid,” says retired Maj. Gen. Xu Guangyu, a former vice president of the People’s Liberation Army Defense Institute.

“But we need enough nuclear submarines to be a credible force—to have some bargaining chips,” he says. “They must go out to the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the world.”

On his desk is a glass-encased naval chart with white labels marking China’s submarine bases. Drawn on the map are two lines marking “First Island Chain” and “Second Island Chain.”

Over the past few years, Chinese attack subs have broken beyond the first chain to operate regularly in the Philippine Sea and have started patrolling year-round, Adm. Sawyer says. Penetrating the second chain is the next logical step, he adds: “They are not just building more units and more assets, but they’re actually working to get proficient with them and understand how they’d operate in a far-away-from-home environment.” Related article: When Sub Goes Silent, Who Has Control of Its Nuclear Warheads?

Adm. Sawyer declines to say whether China has sent a sub as far as Hawaii but says the December Indian Ocean expedition shows that it has “the capability and the endurance” to do so.

That was a Shang-class sub, a type naval experts say China first launched in 2002 that can carry torpedoes and cruise missiles. In peacetime, China would probably use these hunter-killers to protect sea lanes, track foreign vessels and gather intelligence, naval experts say. But in a conflict, they would likely try to break through the First Island Chain to threaten approaching vessels and disrupt supply lines.

Still, the two recent sub voyages highlighted a weak point for China. Its subs must use narrow straits to reach the Pacific or Indian Oceans. Those chokepoints—among them, the Malacca, Sunda, Lombok, Luzon and Miyako Straits—can be relatively easily monitored or blockaded.

Moreover, China’s anti-sub capabilities remain relatively weak. U.S. subs can track their Chinese counterparts even near China’s shores, where U.S. ships and planes are vulnerable to Chinese aircraft and missiles, American naval officers say.

Adm. Sawyer declines to say whether the U.S. tracked the Shang or how close U.S. subs get to China, saying only: “I’m comfortable with the U.S. submarine force’s capability to execute whatever tasking we’re given.”

The USS Houston returned recently from a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific. Its commanding officer, Cmdr. Dearcy P. Davis, declines to say exactly where the sub went but adds, “I can say that we went untracked by anyone. We have the ability to break down the door if someone [else] can’t. That’s not trivial.”

China’s missile-carrying boomers present a longer-term challenge.

From the Lan Sanya beach resort in Hainan, guests can easily make out the matte-black hulls of what naval experts say are three of China’s new boomers, known as the Jin-class, and one Shang-class attack sub. As he threw open a hotel room’s curtains, a bellboy beamed with pride and pointed out the vessels across the bay. “Better not go that way,” joked a Jet Ski guide on a recent ride. “They might shoot at us.”

China hasn’t said when it might launch boomer patrols. But Western naval officers saw the October nuclear-sub event as a signal that the Jin subs and their JL-2 missiles were ready to start.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, a former submariner who is now the U.S. chief of naval operations, says that the U.S. is waiting to see how China will use its new boomers. “Is it an occasional patrol they’re going to choose to do? Is it going to be a continuous patrol? Are they going to try to be sure that this patrol is totally undetected?” he says. “I think that’s all going to be in the equation as to our response.”

Soviet boomers ventured far into the Pacific and Atlantic into the 1970s because their missiles couldn’t reach the U.S. from Soviet waters. As missile ranges increased, Soviet subs retreated to so-called bastions, such as the Sea of Okhotsk. The U.S. deployed hunter-killers around those bastions.

Similar dynamics are at play as China decides whether to send its own boomers into the Pacific. Their JL-2 missiles can travel about 4,600 miles—possibly enough to strike the U.S. West Coast from East Asia, the ONI says. To strike more U.S. targets, they would need to lurk throughout the Pacific.

But China’s boomers probably couldn’t pass undetected through many straits, say U.S. officers and Chinese experts. “The Jin class is too noisy: It’s probably at the level of the Soviets between 1970 and 1980,” says Wu Riqiang, a former missile specialist who studies nuclear strategy at Beijing’s Renmin University. “As long as you are noisy, you won’t even go through the chokepoints.”

Early in the Cold War, the U.S. built a network of seabed microphones to listen at chokepoints leading to the Pacific and Atlantic. In recent years, the U.S. has revitalized parts of that network, called the Sound Surveillance System, or Sosus. The U.S. is also now adding mobile networks of sensors—some on underwater drones—and seeking surveillance data from Asian countries. Related Article: Underwater Drones Join Microphones to Listen for Chinese Subs

Meanwhile, China is trying to replicate Sosus, say several naval experts. A government-backed scientific journal reported last year that China had built a fiber-optic acoustic network in the South China Sea.

Last November, China declared an “air-defense identification zone” over the East China Sea and warned of measures against aircraft that entered without identifying themselves in advance. Many U.S. officials expect China to do the same over the South China Sea, although Chinese officials say they have no immediate plans for that.

In August, the Pentagon said a Chinese fighter had flown dangerously close to a U.S. P-8 near Hainan. China’s defense ministry publicly said that its pilot flew safely and asked the U.S. to cease such operations.

The problem with confining boomers to the South China Sea is that Beijing fears that missiles fired from there could be neutralized by the next stages of a U.S. regional missile-defense system, Chinese nuclear experts say.

Prof. Wu, who has taken part in nuclear-strategy negotiations with the U.S., predicts that over the next two decades, China will make quieter boomers that can patrol the open sea even as the U.S. pursues a global missile-defense system.

“I hope the U.S. and China can break this cycle,” he says, “but I’m not optimistic.”

—Rob Taylor in Canberra contributed to this article.

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Another interesting fact is that the truth about the United States has never faced with a Super Power like what China is today, so economically driven and progressing but backed and controlled by sophisticatedly strategically minded communists leaders and their plans to move forward.

The Hufftington Post story:

Bob Hawke Headshot

America Has Never Faced a Power Like China

Posted: 06/19/2014 11:38 am EDT Updated: 08/19/2014 5:59 am EDT 125941046
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The article is an excerpt from a speech delivered at the 2nd International Symposium on Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region, hosted by the China Institute for International Strategic Studies in Beijing.

BEIJING — There can be no doubt that the biggest question today about Asia’s future order revolves around the relationships among three nations — the United States, China and Japan. If a solid and durable foundation can be found for cooperative relations among the three powers, building a sustainable new order in Asia will not be difficult. If rivalry among them escalates, it might become impossible.

STATUS QUO VS. A NEW ORDER

The differences between their separate visions are not hard to see. America wants to preserve the status quo in which its leading position remains the keystone of the regional order, and the Chinese acceptance of U.S. leadership is the basis of U.S.-China relationship. While it is willing to consult more closely with China on a wide range of issues as China’s power grows, it does not envisage any fundamental change in the nature of their relationship, or of China’s role in Asia, over the coming years.

Americans argue that this status quo has worked very well for Asia — including for China — for many years, and they believe that it remains the best basis for regional stability in the future.

China, on the other hand, wants to change the status quo. President Xi Jinping has made this quite clear in his repeated calls for a “new type of major-power relationship.” By this, he does not just mean that he hopes the U.S. and China can avoid the rivalry that throughout history has so often escalated between rising and established powers.

He also means that to avoid escalating rivalry, America and China should agree on a new basis for their relationship, different from the basis that was agreed between Chairman Mao Zedong and former U.S. President Richard Nixon back in 1972. Clearly, China does not believe that Chinese deference to the U.S. leadership is any longer an acceptable basis for U.S.-China relations.

From America’s side, there seems to be increasing concern that China’s real aim is to push America out of Asia and establish its own version of regional primacy. They point to China’s assertive diplomacy over regional maritime sovereignty questions as evidence of China’s malign intentions, and its willingness to use force to shape the regional order in its favor.

From China’s side, there is an equal but opposite fear that America’s real aim is to contain China’s rise in order to preserve U.S. primacy. China points to U.S. President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” including its highly-publicized military elements designed to bolster U.S. combat power in Asia, as evidence of America’s mala fide intentions and its willingness to use force to achieve them. These suspicions clearly make it much harder for the two sides to contemplate serious accommodation with one another.

Many Americans seem still to underestimate just how much China’s wealth and power have grown, and how strong China’s ambitions have become. They do not yet take China’s challenges to the status quo in Asia seriously.

On April 30, London-based Financial Times had a front-page banner headline that read, “China to take over from U.S. as top economic power this year.” The story beneath the headline reported the World Bank’s latest comparative survey of the size of national economies in 2011 based on their relative purchasing power.

It showed that on this measure, China’s economy in 2011 was 87 percent the size of America’s, and was trending to overtake it this year. Perhaps it has already done so.

The word “historic” is often applied rather freely, but this really is a historic moment. As the Financial Times noted, America overtook Britain to become the largest economy in the world in 1872. For almost 150 years U.S. economic preeminence has been the foundation and the source of American power, and the American power has done more than anything else to define a whole era in world history, and shape the world as we know it today.

It would be a profound mistake for America not to see what this means. It does not mean that America is in decline. Nor does it mean that China will necessarily replace America at the pinnacle of global power that it has occupied for so long: China will not “rule the world.”

But it does mean that China today is a country that is fundamentally more powerful than any that America has ever had to encounter before. It is also a country that has a stronger sense of its place and status than any country in the world except perhaps America itself.

Both need to rid themselves of the assumption that the other cannot be a trusted partner in such a deal. There is no reason at all to assume that a mutual accommodation cannot be reached between them. America will not accept the establishment of Chinese primacy over Asia, but it might well be brought to accept that it should share the leadership in Asia with China, thus according China far more status and influence in Asia than it has enjoyed for centuries.

As Japan considers how far it can rely on U.S. assurances of support for its position on the disputed islands, it is also wondering how far it can continue to rely on the U.S. for Japan’s overall security as America’s relative power and influence in Asia decline.

Likewise as America considers how far it should go in supporting Japan in the East China Sea dispute, it is also thinking about the consequences for the U.S.-Japan alliance, and for the whole U.S. position in Asia, of any failure to fulfill its alliance commitments.

The stakes therefore could hardly be higher for all three countries, which is what makes the situation rather risky. And it suggests that to reduce those risks, it will be necessary not just to reach some agreement on the islands themselves, but to address the underlying questions about the roles of the U.S., China and Japan in Asia’s new order.

MORE:

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Since 2008, China has openly demonstrated its aggressiveness to be a Super Power when it embarked on various nuclear weapon programs that followed suit the admission of its military might expansionism.

That actually brought various Asian nations to work closer together and in a metaphoric way diplomatically isolating China as the ‘neighbourhood bully’.

The Bloomberg story:

Japan and India Pledge to Strengthen Ties as China Rises

By Isabel Reynolds and Maiko Takahashi Sep 2, 2014 10:05 AM GMT+0800 – Comments Email Print

Japan, India Look to Strengthen Ties
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged an upgrade of economic and security ties with India, saying Japan would double investment and expand defense cooperation amid concerns about China’s growing influence in the region.

Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at a summit meeting in Tokyo yesterday agreed to elevate ties to a special strategic and global partnership. Abe offered 50 billion yen ($480 million) in infrastructure loans and pledged 3.5 trillion yen of public and private investment and financing in India in five years.

“I often say that Japan-India relations have more potential than any other ties in the world,” Abe said. “This time, hand in hand with Prime Minister Modi, I want to boost ties in every possible field and elevate this to a special strategic and global partnership.”

The declaration comes three months after Modi took office pledging to take a tougher stance with neighbors China and Pakistan on border disputes, and hours after Japan said three Chinese coast guard vessels entered waters near disputed islands. Japan is courting India as it seeks to counter China and deter the use of force in disputes over contested territory.

The two leaders are known to have a close relationship, and Abe made the unusual gesture of traveling to the ancient capital of Kyoto at the weekend to host an informal dinner for Modi. Abe also accepted an invitation to visit India for a summit in 2015. Modi, 63, brought a delegation of executives with him on the four-day trip. He was set to meet Emperor Akihito and deliver a speech today, before leaving Tokyo tomorrow.
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, gestures as he makes a speech during a luncheon… Read More
‘Strong Bond’

China remains India’s largest trading partner, accounting for about 9 percent of the country’s total commerce, more than four times that of Japan, according to Indian Commerce Ministry data. Japan is the fourth-largest foreign direct investor in India, while China is not in the top 10, the data show.

“We are determined to increase our economic cooperation and the magnitude to which Japan is offering financial support signals a strong bond between our two countries,” Modi said after the meeting. “The success of the 21st century will largely depend on the path our two nations follow.”

Japan and India agreed to speed up talks on the transfer of US-2 amphibian rescue aircraft to India and on the signing of an agreement on civil nuclear power. They consented to look into ways to cooperate on defense technology.

Territorial Spats

The two leaders also affirmed their commitment to maritime security, freedom of navigation and the peaceful settlement of disputes under international law, a veiled dig at China, which is involved in disputes with at least half a dozen Asian nations over territory in the East and South China Seas and in the case of India, on land.

Modi earlier criticized the expansionist policies of some countries during a speech to business leaders in Tokyo.

“The world is divided in two camps. One camp believes in expansionist policies while the other believes in development,” Modi told a gathering of business leaders in Tokyo. “We have to decide whether the world should get caught in the grip of expansionist policies or we should lead it on the path of development and create opportunities that take it to greater heights.”

Japan and China have been embroiled in a dispute over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, while India accuses China of occupying 38,000 square kilometers (about 15,000 square miles) of its territory.

When asked about these comments, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China and India are strategic partners that seek common development.

“The increasing intimacy between Tokyo and New Delhi will bring at most psychological comfort to the two countries,” China’s Global Times said today in an editorial. “If Japan attempts to form a united front centered on India, it will be a crazy fantasy generated by Tokyo’s anxiety of facing a rising Beijing.”

2

To contact the reporters on this story: Isabel Reynolds in Tokyo at ireynolds1@bloomberg.net; Maiko Takahashi in Tokyo at mtakahashi61@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Davis at abdavis@bloomberg.net Andy Sharp, Neil Western

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It is no mystery that China is hungry for energy, around the region, to power and drive its near galloping economy. That is a threat to the West. Never the less, China too is very aggressive to exert control over the world’s most productive and potential trade area, where the second most busiest and strategic waterway runs through.

The fact that China’s attitude of ‘Take All and Sundry’, is the worrying bit for the rest of Asia plus friends (United States and Australia) that when China devours, there would nothing left to be shared by others.

The rest of East and South East Asia do not wish to be sovereign but subservient states and serve China, economically and most of all, politically.

Published in: on October 25, 2014 at 12:00  Comments (5)  

Congratulations, Anifah

Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

It has just been confirmed that Malaysia is the new Non Permanent Member of United Nations Security Council for 2015-6, after polling 187 out of total 192 votes casted. The South East Asian nation is in the cohort of New Zealand, Venezuela and Angola, for a two years term beginning 31 December 2014.

UN General Assembly voting to elect non-permanent Security Council members

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16 October 2014 –

With one round of voting complete, the United Nations General Assembly has just elected Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2014.

The new members will take up their seats on 1 January 2015 and will serve on the Council until 31 December 2016.

The Assembly will move into a round of restricted balloting to choose either Spain or Turkey to fill the remaining seat on the Council open to the Western European and Other States Group.

The five seats available for election in 2014, distributed regionally, are: one seat for the African Group (currently held by Rwanda); one seat for the Group of Asia- Pacific Group (currently held by the Republic of Korea); one seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, (currently held by Argentina); and two seats for the Western European and Others Group (currently held by Australia and Luxembourg).

Lithuania will maintain for another year, the seat for the Eastern European Group.

The respective contenders for the upcoming vacancies were Angola (Africa), Malaysia (Asia-Pacific) and Venezuela (Latin America and the Caribbean). There were three nations vying for the two seats designated for Western European and Other States – New Zealand, Spain and Turkey.

New Zealand was selected in the first round of voting.

The five permanent Council members, which each wield the power of veto, are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Along with Lithuania, the non-permanent members that will remain on the Council until the end of 2015 are Chad, Chile, Jordan, and Nigeria.

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Each of the Council’s members has one vote. Under the Charter, all UN Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The Security Council also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations. And, together with the General Assembly, it elects the judges of the International Court of Justice.

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The Malaysian foreign policy of a moderate muslim nation under Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and consistent hardwork of Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman in the international politics and diplomacy arena, provided the confidence of this membership the most strategic defense and security forum.

Malaysia also provided pivotal role in regional security when peace was managed to be brokered in South Thailand and Southern Philippines.

Malaysia’s foreign policy is an extension of the attitude and strategy as a trading nation, which befriends all nations based on universally accepted international law and bi-lateral relationship.

This is the fourth time Malaysia was accepted into the UN Security Council as a Non Permanent Member, after stints in 1965. 1989 and 1999.

*Updated 17 October 2014 0830hrs

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak who is in Milan, Italy for the ASEM summit with EU leaders, accolades Malaysia’s consistent policy as a moderate muslim nation as they point of getting the international community trust and confidence for the two years stint at UNSC:

The Star story:

Published: Friday October 17, 2014 MYT 8:36:00 AM
Updated: Friday October 17, 2014 MYT 8:46:38 AM

Najib: Malaysia’s stand in moderation helped country clinched UN seat

BY ESTHER NG

MILAN (Italy): Malaysia won a seat in the United Nations Security Council largely because of the country’s stand in moderation and its international relations, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Prime Minister, who described the success in securing a seat in the 15-man body as “extremely meaningful”, said he believed the international community reacted positively to Malaysia’s policies, its responsible approach to issues and principle-based measures.

“They know we absolutely reject extremism which I made very clear in my speech at the United Nations last month,” he told reporters here, Friday.

Najib, who was delighted with the results, said Malaysia’s success in winning over 187 out of 193 votes was excellent.

On Thursday night, Malaysia was “returned” to the UN Security Council after a 15-year absence, representing the Asia Pacific region.

Malaysia had officially put in its bid for the seat, one of five vacancies of the total 10 non-permanent seats. Five others are permanent members.

He said the number of countries, which supported Malaysia exceeded that of the two previous occasions – 143 votes (for the 1989 to 1990 term) and 174 votes (the 1999 to 2000 term).

Najib said Malaysia’s success reflected the acceptance of the international community towards the country’s principled-based foreign policies.

“This also means they think we are highly credible and deserve to have a say in the Security Council,” he added.

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Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 23:30  Comments (17)  

Militant Wahabism on global dominance

The current self declared ‘Islamic State’ crisis (previously known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) is sending never before shivers deep along the spine of leaders and people alike around the West Asia region and most of the free Western world.

The Guardian posting:

Obama meets foreign military chiefs to discuss Isis strategy

US president gathers foreign defence chiefs at Andrews air force base in attempt to strengthen coalition response to crisis

 

Agencies in Washington and Mursitpinar
The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014 08.06 BST

Obama critic Senator John McCain said on Sunday that ‘they’re winning and we’re not,’ referring to Isis.
Barack Obama is to discuss the US-led strategy to counter Islamic State (Isis) with military leaders from 20 countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, amid growing pressure for the US-led coalition to do more to stop the militants’ advance.

President Obama will attend a meeting on Tuesday led by Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, with foreign defence chiefs at Andrews air force base outside Washington.

“It is part of ongoing efforts to build the coalition and integrate the capabilities of each country into the broader strategy,” said Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the White House national security council.

The meeting comes after the US-led coalition launched air strikes on Monday evening on Isis positions in Syria, most on the town of Kobani near Turkey.

The coalition’s strategy is being called into question. The Republican senator John McCain, a frequent Obama critic, said on Sunday that “they’re winning and we’re not”, referring to Isis.

The UN said on Monday that fighting in Iraq’s western Anbar province had forced up to 180,000 people to flee after Isis captured the city of Hit.

“This is a long campaign. It hasn’t gone badly, but it certainly hasn’t gone well,” said Anthony Cordesman, national security analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

“It is very important, quite aside from trying to show Americans that he’s [Obama is] leading, that he shows other countries he’s committed,” Cordesman said, adding that the defence officials from abroad were in many cases more involved in setting policy than their US military counterparts.

Representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were expected to attend.

Col Ed Thomas, Dempsey’s spokesman, said no major policy decisions were expected at the meeting, adding: “It’s about coming together in person to discuss the vision, the challenges, the way ahead.”

Having Turkey at the table will be key. Ankara has come under some pressure to send its own ground troops into Syria against Isis forces. The country could announce after the meeting that it will join Saudi Arabia in training moderate Syrian rebels, Cordesman said.

Turkey has not reached a new agreement to let the US use its Incirlik air base but reached an agreement with Washington on training Syrian rebels, sources at the Turkish prime minister’s office told reporters on Monday, without saying who would train the insurgents or where.

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These are some interesting perspective on ISIS and political development around the Arabian subcontinent and the West Asia region.

Former MI6 analyst Alastair Crooke’s posting on The Hufftington Post:

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 08/27/2014 11:56 am EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 5:59 pm EDT

BEIRUT — The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.

THE SAUDI DUALITY

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.

One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.

MUSLIM IMPOSTORS

The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised “the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”

In Abd al-Wahhab’s view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their “superstition” (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).

All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida — forbidden by God.

Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the “best of times”), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).

Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi’ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that “any doubt or hesitation” on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should “deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life.”

One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.
“Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. “

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

“Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. “
Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.'”

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).

In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman’s behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.

HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.

The Al Saud — in this 20th century renaissance — were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi “Ikhwan” in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’s earlier fighting proselytisers.

The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist “moralists” who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary “Jacobinism” exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted — leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.

For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.

So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da’wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King’s absolute power.

OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM

With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life — and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

“On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.”
But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system — hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

ISIS is a “post-Medina” movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis’ claim of authority to rule.

As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal’s modernization campaign). The “Ikhwan approach” enjoyed — and still enjoys — the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.

Today, ISIS’ undermining of the legitimacy of the King’s legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.

In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.

After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.

Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised — knowing a little about Wahhabism — that “moderate” insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of “One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed” could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?

Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

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And the continuum:

Alastair Crooke Become a fan
Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, ‘Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution’

Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia

Posted: 09/02/2014 8:43 pm EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 5:59 pm EDT

This article is Part II of Alastair Crooke’s historical analysis of the roots of ISIS and its impact on the future of the Middle East. Read Part I here.

BEIRUT — ISIS is indeed a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East. But its destructive power is not as commonly understood. It is not with the “March of the Beheaders”; it is not with the killings; the seizure of towns and villages; the harshest of “justice” — terrible though they are — that its true explosive power lies. It is yet more potent than its exponential pull on young Muslims, its huge arsenal of weapons and its hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.”

Its real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.

The clue to its truly explosive potential, as Saudi scholar Fouad Ibrahim has pointed out (but which has passed, almost wholly overlooked, or its significance has gone unnoticed), is ISIS’ deliberate and intentional use in its doctrine — of the language of Abd-al Wahhab, the 18th century founder, together with Ibn Saud, of Wahhabism and the Saudi project:

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the first “prince of the faithful” in the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2006 formulated, for instance, the principles of his prospective state … Among its goals is disseminating monotheism “which is the purpose [for which humans were created] and [for which purpose they must be called] to Islam…” This language replicates exactly Abd-al Wahhab’s formulation. And, not surprisingly, the latter’s writings and Wahhabi commentaries on his works are widely distributed in the areas under ISIS’ control and are made the subject of study sessions. Baghdadi subsequently was to note approvingly, “a generation of young men [have been] trained based on the forgotten doctrine of loyalty and disavowal.”
And what is this “forgotten” tradition of “loyalty and disavowal?” It is Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine that belief in a sole (for him an anthropomorphic) God — who was alone worthy of worship — was in itself insufficient to render man or woman a Muslim?

He or she could be no true believer, unless additionally, he or she actively denied (and destroyed) any other subject of worship. The list of such potential subjects of idolatrous worship, which al-Wahhab condemned as idolatry, was so extensive that almost all Muslims were at risk of falling under his definition of “unbelievers.” They therefore faced a choice: Either they convert to al-Wahhab’s vision of Islam — or be killed, and their wives, their children and physical property taken as the spoils of jihad. Even to express doubts about this doctrine, al-Wahhab said, should occasion execution.

“Through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.”

The point Fuad Ibrahim is making, I believe, is not merely to reemphasize the extreme reductionism of al-Wahhab’s vision, but to hint at something entirely different: That through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.

For it was precisely this idealistic, puritan, proselytizing formulation by al-Wahhab that was “father” to the entire Saudi “project” (one that was violently suppressed by the Ottomans in 1818, but spectacularly resurrected in the 1920s, to become the Saudi Kingdom that we know today). But since its renaissance in the 1920s, the Saudi project has always carried within it, the “gene” of its own self-destruction.

THE SAUDI TAIL HAS WAGGED BRITAIN AND U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Paradoxically, it was a maverick British official, who helped embed the gene into the new state. The British official attached to Aziz, was one Harry St. John Philby (the father of the MI6 officer who spied for the Soviet KGB, Kim Philby). He was to become King Abd al-Aziz’s close adviser, having resigned as a British official, and was until his death, a key member of the Ruler’s Court. He, like Lawrence of Arabia, was an Arabist. He was also a convert to Wahhabi Islam and known as Sheikh Abdullah.

St. John Philby was a man on the make: he had determined to make his friend, Abd al-Aziz, the ruler of Arabia. Indeed, it is clear that in furthering this ambition he was not acting on official instructions. When, for example, he encouraged King Aziz to expand in northern Nejd, he was ordered to desist. But (as American author, Stephen Schwartz notes), Aziz was well aware that Britain had pledged repeatedly that the defeat of the Ottomans would produce an Arab state, and this no doubt, encouraged Philby and Aziz to aspire to the latter becoming its new ruler.

It is not clear exactly what passed between Philby and the Ruler (the details seem somehow to have been suppressed), but it would appear that Philby’s vision was not confined to state-building in the conventional way, but rather was one of transforming the wider Islamic ummah (or community of believers) into a Wahhabist instrument that would entrench the al-Saud as Arabia’s leaders. And for this to happen, Aziz needed to win British acquiescence (and much later, American endorsement). “This was the gambit that Abd al-Aziz made his own, with advice from Philby,” notes Schwartz.

BRITISH GODFATHER OF SAUDI ARABIA

In a sense, Philby may be said to be “godfather” to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to “manage” Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) — and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia’s soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam’s intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

“In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success. But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous ‘gene’ within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.”

As a result — from then until now — British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous “gene” within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.

Winning western endorsement (and continued western endorsement), however, required a change of mode: the “project” had to change from being an armed, proselytizing Islamic vanguard movement into something resembling statecraft. This was never going to be easy because of the inherent contradictions involved (puritan morality versus realpolitik and money) — and as time has progressed, the problems of accommodating the “modernity” that statehood requires, has caused “the gene” to become more active, rather than become more inert.

Even Abd al-Aziz himself faced an allergic reaction: in the form of a serious rebellion from his own Wahhabi militia, the Saudi Ikhwan. When the expansion of control by the Ikhwan reached the border of territories controlled by Britain, Abd al-Aziz tried to restrain his militia (Philby was urging him to seek British patronage), but the Ikwhan, already critical of his use of modern technology (the telephone, telegraph and the machine gun), “were outraged by the abandonment of jihad for reasons of worldly realpolitik … They refused to lay down their weapons; and instead rebelled against their king … After a series of bloody clashes, they were crushed in 1929. Ikhwan members who had remained loyal, were later absorbed into the [Saudi] National Guard.”

King Aziz’s son and heir, Saud, faced a different form of reaction (less bloody, but more effective). Aziz’s son was deposed from the throne by the religious establishment — in favor of his brother Faisal — because of his ostentatious and extravagant conduct. His lavish, ostentatious style, offended the religious establishment who expected the “Imam of Muslims,” to pursue a pious, proselytizing lifestyle.

King Faisal, Saud’s successor, in his turn, was shot by his nephew in 1975, who had appeared at Court ostensibly to make his oath of allegiance, but who instead, pulled out a pistol and shot the king in his head. The nephew had been perturbed by the encroachment of western beliefs and innovation into Wahhabi society, to the detriment of the original ideals of the Wahhabist project.

SEIZING THE GRAND MOSQUE IN 1979

Far more serious, however, was the revived Ikhwan of Juhayman al-Otaybi, which culminated in the seizure of the Grand Mosque by some 400-500 armed men and women in 1979. Juhayman was from the influential Otaybi tribe from the Nejd, which had led and been a principal element in the original Ikhwan of the 1920s.

Juhayman and his followers, many of whom came from the Medina seminary, had the tacit support, amongst other clerics, of Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Juhayman stated that Sheikh Bin Baz never objected to his Ikhwan teachings (which were also critical of ulema laxity towards “disbelief”), but that bin Baz had blamed him mostly for harking on that “the ruling al-Saud dynasty had lost its legitimacy because it was corrupt, ostentatious and had destroyed Saudi culture by an aggressive policy of westernisation.”

Significantly, Juhayman’s followers preached their Ikhwani message in a number of mosques in Saudi Arabia initially without being arrested, but when Juhayman and a number of the Ikhwan finally were held for questioning in 1978. Members of the ulema (including bin Baz) cross-examined them for heresy, but then ordered their release because they saw them as being no more than traditionalists harkening back to the Ikhwan– like Juhayman grandfather — and therefore not a threat.

Even when the mosque seizure was defeated and over, a certain level of forbearance by the ulema for the rebels remained. When the government asked for a fatwa allowing for armed force to be used in the mosque, the language of bin Baz and other senior ulema was curiously restrained. The scholars did not declare Juhayman and his followers non-Muslims, despite their violation of the sanctity of the Grand Mosque, but only termed them al-jamaah al-musallahah (the armed group).

The group that Juhayman led was far from marginalized from important sources of power and wealth. In a sense, it swam in friendly, receptive waters. Juhayman’s grandfather had been one of the leaders of the the original Ikhwan, and after the rebellion against Abdel Aziz, many of his grandfather’s comrades in arms were absorbed into the National Guard — indeed Juhayman himself had served within the Guard — thus Juhayman was able to obtain weapons and military expertise from sympathizers in the National Guard, and the necessary arms and food to sustain the siege were pre-positioned, and hidden, within the Grand Mosque. Juhayman was also able to call on wealthy individuals to fund the enterprise.

ISIS VS. WESTERNIZED SAUDIS

The point of rehearsing this history is to underline how uneasy the Saudi leadership must be at the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Previous Ikhwani manifestations were suppressed — but these all occurred inside the kingdom.

ISIS however, is a neo-Ikhwani rejectionist protest that is taking place outside the kingdom — and which, moreover, follows the Juhayman dissidence in its trenchant criticism of the al-Saud ruling family.

This is the deep schism we see today in Saudi Arabia, between the modernizing current of which King Abdullah is a part, and the “Juhayman” orientation of which bin Laden, and the Saudi supporters of ISIS and the Saudi religious establishment are a part. It is also a schism that exists within the Saudi royal family itself.

According to the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, in July 2014 “an opinion poll of Saudis [was] released on social networking sites, claiming that 92 percent of the target group believes that ‘IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.'” The leading Saudi commentator, Jamal Khashoggi, recently warned of ISIS’ Saudi supporters who “watch from the shadows.”

There are angry youths with a skewed mentality and understanding of life and sharia, and they are canceling a heritage of centuries and the supposed gains of a modernization that hasn’t been completed. They turned into rebels, emirs and a caliph invading a vast area of our land. They are hijacking our children’s minds and canceling borders. They reject all rules and legislations, throwing it [a]way … for their vision of politics, governance, life, society and economy. [For] the citizens of the self-declared “commander of the faithful,” or Caliph, you have no other choice … They don’t care if you stand out among your people and if you are an educated man, or a lecturer, or a tribe leader, or a religious leader, or an active politician or even a judge … You must obey the commander of the faithful and pledge the oath of allegiance to him. When their policies are questioned, Abu Obedia al-Jazrawi yells, saying: “Shut up. Our reference is the book and the Sunnah and that’s it.”
“What did we do wrong?” Khashoggi asks. With 3,000-4,000 Saudi fighters in the Islamic State today, he advises of the need to “look inward to explain ISIS’ rise”. Maybe it is time, he says, to admit “our political mistakes,” to “correct the mistakes of our predecessors.”

MODERNIZING KING THE MOST VULNERABLE

The present Saudi king, Abdullah, paradoxically is all the more vulnerable precisely because he has been a modernizer. The King has curbed the influence of the religious institutions and the religious police — and importantly has permitted the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence to be used, by those who adhere to them (al-Wahhab, by contrast, objected to all other schools of jurisprudence other than his own).

“The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom. If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.”

It is even possible too for Shiite residents of eastern Saudi Arabia to invoke Ja’afri jurisprudence and to turn to Ja’afari Shiite clerics for rulings. (In clear contrast, al-Wahhab held a particular animosity towards the Shiite and held them to be apostates. As recently as the 1990s, clerics such as bin Baz — the former Mufti — and Abdullah Jibrin reiterated the customary view that the Shiite were infidels).

Some contemporary Saudi ulema would regard such reforms as constituting almost a provocation against Wahhabist doctrines, or at the very least, another example of westernization. ISIS, for example, regards any who seek jurisdiction other than that offered by the Islamic State itself to be guilty of disbelief — since all such “other” jurisdictions embody innovation or “borrowings” from other cultures in its view.

The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom.

If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.

“They hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of ‘purity’ lost”

In short, this is the nature of the time bomb tossed into the Middle East. The ISIS allusions to Abd al-Wahhab and Juhayman (whose dissident writings are circulated within ISIS) present a powerful provocation: they hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of “purity” lost and early beliefs and certainties displaced by shows of wealth and indulgence.

This is the ISIS “bomb” hurled into Saudi society. King Abdullah — and his reforms — are popular, and perhaps he can contain a new outbreak of Ikwhani dissidence. But will that option remain a possibility after his death?

And here is the difficulty with evolving U.S. policy, which seems to be one of “leading from behind” again — and looking to Sunni states and communities to coalesce in the fight against ISIS (as in Iraq with the Awakening Councils).

It is a strategy that seems highly implausible. Who would want to insert themselves into this sensitive intra-Saudi rift? And would concerted Sunni attacks on ISIS make King Abdullah’s situation better, or might it inflame and anger domestic Saudi dissidence even further? So whom precisely does ISIS threaten? It could not be clearer. It does not directly threaten the West (though westerners should remain wary, and not tread on this particular scorpion).

The Saudi Ikhwani history is plain: As Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab made it such in the 18th century; and as the Saudi Ikhwan made it such in the 20th century. ISIS’ real target must be the Hijaz — the seizure of Mecca and Medina — and the legitimacy that this will confer on ISIS as the new Emirs of Arabia.

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The truth is the ISIS phenomena became a very quick developing crisis where exactly a year ago, the concentration was only on the several factions fighting along the Western backed Free Syrian Army and the involvement of several ‘terrorist organisations’ namely the Al Qaeda in their attempt to topple Bashar Assad’s regime.

Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 00:01  Comments (11)  

Aidil Adha 1435H: Position and role of HRH Rulers and Constitution shall be preserved

NajibRazak_AidilAdha-300x298

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak promised the position and role of HRH Rulers which include Constitutional Head of Islam and the Federal Constitution shall be preserved in the identity to reflect Malaysia’s moderate Muslim stance, in his Aidil Adha 1435H message.

From NajibRazak.com:

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Walillahil hamd

1. Alhamdulillah, segala pujian dan penuh kesyukuran hanya kepada Allah SWT. Selawat dan salam buat junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad SAW, jua buat sekalian keluarga serta sahabat baginda.

2. Bertepatan dengan nama Aidil Adha itu, perayaan agung ini diikoni oleh dua ibadah besar iaitu ibadah haji dan ibadah sembelihan korban. Intisari kedua-dua ibadah ini ialah sifat dan semangat pengorbanan demi mencari redha Allah dan meninggikan syiar serta syariat agama Allah. Pengorbanan ini, melangkaui dimensi material dan jasadi, malahan ia merangkumi sama aspek jiwa-rohani kita sebagai hamba.

3. Demikianlah kita mengiktibari semangat pengorbanan silam, untuk kita garap dalam perjuangan kita memakmurkan negara yang tercinta ini dengan berteraskan keadilan dan keharmonian. Tiga rencah utama wasatiyyah iaitu keadilan, seimbang dan cemerlang tetap kekal menjadi nilai dalam membangunkan negara Malaysia ini. Kita akan terus beriltizam untuk menjadikan Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara Islam yang progresif, maju dan berpendapatan tinggi menjelang tahun 2020 nanti.

4. Sebagaimana yang saya ikrarkan di dalam debat umum pada Perhimpunan Agung PBB (UNGA) ke-69 di New York baru-baru ini, Malaysia akan terus berpegang erat dengan pendekatan kesederhanaan sebagaimana yang digariskan oleh agama Islam. Kita bertekad untuk meneruskan agenda transformasi negara, yang mana ini tentunya memerlukan komitmen dan kesediaan untuk melakukan pengorbanan yang tinggi daripada kita semua.

5. Dalam masa yang sama, kita sedia untuk berkorban masa dan jiwa bagi memastikan kestabilan dan kemakmuran yang kita kecapi akan terus dipertahankan. Perlembagaan negara serta kedaulatan raja-raja akan kekal menjadi jatidiri bangsa Malaysia. Pengkhianatan mahupun pencerobohan daripada sesiapapun ke atas kedaulatan ini akan kita tentang dengan tegas dan tuntas.

6. Pada kesempatan ini, saya dan keluarga mendoakan, buat mereka yang berada di Tanah Suci, selamat mengerjakan ibadah haji dan semoga mendapat Haji Akbar yang mabrur. Manakala kepada yang berada di tanah air, marilah kita hiasi hari raya ini dengan takbir dan tahmid, sama-sama melaksanakan solat Aidil Adha serta melakukan ibadah korban. Semoga sembelihan korban kita ini benar-benar diterima oleh Allah SWT serta meneguhkan lagi takwa kita.

Sekian, wabillahitaufik walhidayah wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

**************

This should be the guiding policy of the interpretation of many issues in recent times being brought into centre stage as being prickly and contentious by so few, manipulated to be reflecting the sentiments of the majority.

This include Articles 153 on Special Malay Rights and 3 on Islam.HRH Rulers are not only Constitutional Heads but also sovereign.

Challenging the role and positions of these provisions in the Malaysian Federal Constitution which include the position, role and authority of HRH Rulers has been regarded as “Seditious” and subjected under the Sedition Act, which itself is contentious.

Of late, many pockets of individuals and minority groups are working towards to disband this provision, with the explicit to continuously challenge the role and position of Islam and Special Malay Rights, openly. Some even challenge the validity of the law, which was enacted as the extension of the Emergency Ordinance which was repealed two years ago.

The fact is that when Parliament was re-insitituted in February 1971 after the brief suspension due to the bloody race riots of 13 May 1969, the amendments to the Sedition Act was tabled and passed with two-third support of Parliamentarians.

The fifth para of this Hari Raya Haji speech is clear that provisions such as Articles 153 on Special Malay Rights and 3 on Islam are the basis to define the nationhood of the Federation of Malaysia, which which was formed when nine states under nine different Rulers agreed to form the union which was extended to the Federation of Malaya Agreement dated 21 Jan 1948.

Aidil Adha is the Muslim second holiest holiday, which signified God’s gift to man after prophet Abraham demonstrated submission by carrying out the command to sacrifice his own son prophet Ismail in the name of God.

In this context, Prime Minister Najib reflected the readiness of the Malay-Muslim majority to defend the liberty and the definitive description of this nation as provided in the Federal Constitution.

Published in: on October 4, 2014 at 23:00  Comments (15)  

Yellow-bellied ferral boar

The Facebook posting depicting disgusting portrayal of four strategic Malaysia Government office bearers

The Facebook posting on 27 September 2014 depicting disgusting portrayal of four strategic Malaysia Government office bearers

This is the work of a very coward ferral boar, who was not even man enough to face the music like a real man.

This wasn’t Alvin Tan’s first venomous posting in his Facebook account since arriving in the United States recently, after jumping bail and soon to be classified as a fugitive for scooting away from criminal charges current in the court.

The Malay Mail online:

Fugitive sex blogger Alvin Tan again under sedition scope

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 ― Already deemed a fugitive for skipping town and violating his bail terms, Malaysian sex blogger Alvin Tan is now facing yet another probe under the Sedition Act back home ― this time for criticising the country’s leaders on Facebook

According to Astro Awani, Deputy Federal CID chief Deputy Comm Datuk Amar Singh confirmed today that Tan is being investigated under the 1948 law for criticising, among others, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Members of the public have lodged reports against Alvin Tan. Upon this, we initiated an investigation under the Sedition Act,” DCP Amar was quoted saying by the news portal.

Asked how the authorities plan to bring Tan, who is now believed to be in the United States, back to Malaysia to face his charges, DCP Amar said: “Let us complete the investigation first. Then, we will liaise with the Attorney General’s department to decide the next course of action.”

Tan, who is now seeking asylum in the US purportedly to escape Umno, recently took to Facebook to vent his frustrations against the government’s recent sedition crackdown on dissenters.

The controversial sex blogger also referred to IGP Khalid as the German nazi commander Heinrich Himmler and said Zahid was “the closest thing to true evil”.

A Twitter user was charged earlier this month under the Penal Code for “deliberately humiliating and provoking” Khalid when he too likened the IGP to Himmler.

Yesterday, IGP Khalid vowed to search every “wormhole” for Tan until the blogger is found, saying the youth’s repeated insults against the authorities on social media is “unforgivable”.

Tan, the fugitive Malaysian blogger slapped with multiple charges over his now-defunct sex blog and controversial Hari Raya greeting involving pork dish “bak kut teh”, resurfaced in cyberspace recently, saying that he is now seeking political asylum in the US.

Singapore media agency Channel News Asia (CNA) reported Tan as saying he is fleeing from Umno — the mainstay party of Malaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), and had applied for asylum in the US in May.

Tan and his ex-girlfriend Vivian Lee May Ling, 25, were hauled to court last July 18 and slapped with three charges, but the couple known as “Alvivi” managed to get the court to struck off a charge under Section 298A of the Penal Code.

Tan and Lee still face a charge under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act for publishing a seditious photograph and the words “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” (dengan Bak Kut Teh…wangi, enak, menyelerakan!) [Happy breaking fast with bak kut teh...fragrant, delicious, appetising]” on their Facebook page last July 11 that also showed a halal logo.

They are also being tried for a second remaining charge under subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 for displaying pornographic images on their blog, alviviswingers.tumblr.com, between July 6 and July 7 last year.

The court had previously ordered the duo to surrender their passports and allowed them to be released on bail, but allowed them to temporarily take back their travel documents on May 18 this year to travel to Singapore to shoot a documentary.

Only Lee returned the passport on June 3, while Tan failed to show up on the scheduled date and went missing, leading the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to issue an arrest warrant and forfeit his RM20,000 bail.

Interpol are also reportedly on the hunt for Tan.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/fugitive-sex-blogger-alvin-tan-again-under-sedition-scope#sthash.ZcYnrZdv.dpuf

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Apparently, there are so many Malaysians like this. The come out from the woodworks and antagonise the majority as they like, with all sorts of excuses. When the law is thrown at and against them, they cry foul and as if as the majority is out to oppress and persecute them.

Alvin Tan's Facebook posting 26 September 2014

Alvin Tan’s Facebook posting 26 September 2014, which was mentioned by IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar

Aren’t they the sort who consciously and intentionally utilise free-to-use medium for public exposition to make many people anguish and sow hatred?

This is why there is the Sedition Act. It is not mere intellectual irritation. This is an example of continuous irritation that unless dealt with, would compound into hatred.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 15:00  Comments (15)  

From being the village idiot into an international laughing stock

Alvin Tan’s and Vivian Lee’s ‘Selamat Berbuka Puasa’ message via FB, which landed them facing charges under the Sedition Act

Malaysians lashed against seditiously stupid social media abuser Alvin Tan who sought asylum in the United States after hoodwinking Malaysian immigration authorities for a work excuse in Singapore, who conveniently blamed UMNO and Federal Government for his troubles. He also ditched his current seditious case insulting the Muslims last year’s Ramadhan and former girlfriend Vivian Lee, to face the case alone.

Recently acquired news portal by Anwaristas story:

Malaysians flay sex blogger Alvin Tan for fleeing to US

BY ANISAH SHUKRY

Published: 28 September 2014 | Updated: 28 September 2014 6:35 PM

Alvin Tan (red t-shirt) being led to court following his arres following his alleged offensive post online last year. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 28, 2014.
Sex blogger Alvin Tan’s decision to seek asylum in the United States has drawn flak from Malaysian social media users, many of whom believe he should face up to his actions rather than flee the country.

Tan and his former partner, Vivian Lee, had been charged under the Sedition Act for uploading a bak kut teh posting during Ramadan last year, but he violated his bail conditions while on a supposed working trip to Singapore.

Tan, 26, had insisted in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider that leaving Malaysia was “the only rational action” as he was powerless to fight “tyranny and ignorance”.

However, most Facebook users felt otherwise, noting that Tan should have been brave enough to face the consequences of the law after knowingly breaking it.
“The reason he ‘tak suka Malaysia’ is because he’s being prosecuted for a crime under Malaysian law. In my opinion, he deserves to be punished for his puerile acts in the past,” wrote Facebook user Josh Wu.

“He openly admitted to deceiving the courts by fleeing to the United States after Malaysian courts were kind enough to allow him to go to Singapore for some film-shooting.

“The law shouldn’t protect those who misuse the law. He who seeks equity must do equity.”

Another Facebook user, Eugene Leong, said Tan had started the entire episode with his Ramadan wishes, which he said were uncalled for.

“That was indeed a silly and stupid thing to do. Yes, he was punished by the courts. Yes, he fled Malaysia via some excuses.

“But, what I would really like to know is how he feels now, knowing that he got his mum to lose the bond money of 20k when he ran away, instead of defending himself in court!” wrote Leong.

In his interview with The Malaysian Insider, Tan had defended the post, which carried a photo of a pork dish, as political satire.

He said it had highlighted the danger of using Islam “as a basis to govern other people’s life” by legislating personal morals, without making a distinction between what is immoral and what is illegal.

Tan added that he did not believe he was a coward by seeking refuge in the US, but that he was “smart, pragmatic, calculative and mercenary”.

“When the government and its institutions decide to ruin your life and jail you for years just because you hurt their feelings, you do not sit back and try to fight the overwhelming wave of emotional, irrational force coming down on you,” he had said.

But most Facebook users dismissed this, saying his actions were cowardly and idiotic.

“I think he is humiliating himself becoz of his ego! Nothing so smart, also more like childish!” wrote Vivian V. Kulasingham.

“It’s either he is a coward or he is an idiot!!!” wrote Augustin Anthony.

They also warned Tan that he would be extradited back to Malaysia and still have to face the courts.

“Don’t be confident. Soon he will realise that he will be extradited back to Malaysia. But I really pity the girl because he left her,” wrote Mohd Shafian Noordin, referring to Lee.

Anastasia Pertiwi said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was well known for “covert negotiations” and a single phone call to US President Barack Obama would have Tan on the first flight back to Malaysia.

“How long can he stay there? Unless he possess the green card, else it will be deported back. Know yourself first before the enemy,” wrote Chai KL.

However, a handful of Facebook users defended Tan, with one even hailing him a “hero”.

“He is battling the political system not race and religion. Don’t be confused,” wrote Brian Low.

Clement Leong Ern said that while he did not condone Tan’s past actions, the sex blogger was “speaking sense” now.

“Bravo Alvin Tan!” wrote Rosa Rosa.

Tan and Lee are facing criminal charges under Malaysia’s Sedition Act as well as the Film Censorship Act for their controversial online uploads, including a photo deemed insulting to Islam on Facebook.

They were both allowed a total bail of RM30,000 each, with two sureties, by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur in July last year. – September 28, 2014.

***********

The Malaysian Insider published an exchane of e mail interview with Tan, to explain himself:

Sex blogger Alvin Tan says not a coward, but smart to seek asylum

Whatever one thinks about sex blogger Alvin Tan, the controversial Singapore scholar has rather opinionated views of politics, Malaysian society and religion. The 26-year-old is seeking asylum in the United States but told The Malaysian Insider that his decision to flee his homeland was to escape the government’s “tyranny” as well as the…
Malaysia Insider

Whatever one thinks about sex blogger Alvin Tan, the controversial Singapore scholar has rather opinionated views of politics, Malaysian society and religion.
The 26-year-old is seeking asylum in the United States but told The Malaysian Insider that his decision to flee his homeland was to escape the government’s “tyranny” as well as the “ignorance” of ordinary Malaysians.

The butt of criticism by many Malaysians after his offensive and controversial Ramadan greeting on Facebook in July last year, Tan defended the post, which carried a photo of a pork dish, as political satire.

He revealed that this entire episode highlighted the danger of using Islam “as a basis to govern other people’s life” by legislating personal morals, without making a distinction between what is immoral and what is illegal.

The former law student at the National University of Singapore, and his then partner Vivian Lee, first came under the spotlight after uploading raunchy sex postings on their blog.

But it was their bak kut teh posting during Ramadan last year that landed them in hot water, and even in jail briefly – after they were charged under the Sedition Act and the Film Censorship Act.

Tan violated his bail conditions while on a supposed working trip to Singapore and is now on Interpol’s wanted list.

After lying low for a while, he recently emerged on social media to make known his plans for asylum in the US.

In this bare all e-mail interview, Tan admits that he may even have been “young and stupid” once, but is determined now to face the consequences as a man, and in a strange and unexpected way, adds to the debate over Malaysia’s ongoing struggle to define its secular-Islamist identity.

TMI: What are your feelings now compared to when you were charged on July 18 last year, given what you have been through?

Tan: My focus now is to start afresh and pursue my dreams in the greatest country in the world, now that there is no tyrannical government in the way. Upon leaving Malaysia, I felt a huge burden being lifted off my back, and I feel safe enough, because I know that extradition between USA and Malaysia will not be an easy task.

Dr Wan Junaidi (Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar) himself said that an extraditable offence is an offence that is a crime in both Malaysia and the US, otherwise the extradition request will fail.

Remember how the A-G’s Chambers tried to extradite Raja Petra Kamaruddin in 2009 and the UK government essentially told them to sod off? Either way, just because I am in a better position to speak up now does not mean that I will.

The last thing I want to be is one of those exiled dissidents who is forever attacking his home country from abroad, bitter and jaded and never really settling down and starting a new life overseas.

TMI: What can you say about the Malaysian approach to freedom of speech and expression?

Tan: The underlying problem is that we’re somehow brainwashed into genuinely believing that words are dangerous and can cause riots, killings, etc. With this belief permeating every average Malaysian’s mind, they find themselves supporting laws like the Sedition Act with a straight face “in order to keep the peace.”

With the people’s support of so-called hate speech laws as justification, the government thus keeps the Sedition Act around and uses it whenever it sees fit.

But history has taught us that any hate speech law will eventually be abused by the government for unjust censorship, 100% of the time, which is why the American founding fathers stressed that all forms of speech, ESPECIALLY offensive speech, should be immune to prosecution with Article 1 of the 1791 Bill of Rights.

They understood this idea more than 200 years ago, and look where it has led them politically, economically, culturally, and militarily today. The correct way to deal with a difference in opinion, particularly when it is a moral opinion, is education or, at most, social condemnation in the form of disassociation or boycotts, not jailing people.

TMI: How is your family back home taking all this, in particular the fact that you are seeking asylum, are they supportive? What about your friends?

Tan: My family is trying to live their lives as normally as possible. They have ceased to offer opinions on my life decisions at this stage, because, really, they are ill-equipped to understand and advise on what I am up to, considering the depth of the mess that I have got myself into thus far.

My friends seem to believe that my only and best option, for someone of my temperament, is to get out of Malaysia, and undoubtedly I have taken their advice seriously.

TMI: Why are you seeking asylum, is it because you do not have trust in the local justice system?

Tan: I am seeking asylum not only from the tyranny of Umno, but from the ignorance of ordinary Malaysians. The tyranny of Umno is obvious: they want to jail me to show how much of a stalwart of Islam they are. They control the police force, the A-G’s Chambers, the lower courts, the media, and, via the media and the education system, the minds of the people.

The ignorance of ordinary Malaysians is more stealthy but equally lethal. When people believe that it is okay to jail people just because they are immoral or objectionable or offensive, even though they never harmed anyone, you know that this is a primitive country which does not know that immorality and illegality are two different things.

When they call for Ibrahim Ali to be jailed for saying things, I knew it was time to get out as soon as possible.

It is often said that we deserve the government that we get. In Malaysia, Umno manages to stay in power precisely because many people actually subscribe to the Umno mindset, at least in part, without even realising it.

Put simply, the reason I left to seek asylum is that I am powerless to fight against such tyranny and ignorance. The only rational action for me is to leave, instead of wasting my precious life to fight a Sisyphean battle.

TMI: This might mean that you will be remembered among those who do not know you here in Malaysia as a fugitive. Does this bother you in any way?

Tan: Many Malaysians claim that I was a coward for running away. I do not think so at all. When the government and its institutions decide to ruin your life and jail you for years just because you hurt their feelings, you do not sit back and try to fight the overwhelming wave of emotional, irrational force coming down on you.

That is a very unfair situation to expect me to put up any type of fight. I was alone, and even those heartless mercenaries known as Pakatan Rakyat leaders (Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng) called for my imprisonment in Parliament just so that they did not lose the Muslim vote. Imagine fighting literally the entire country just on your own and your lawyer.

The only rational thing to do is to leave in an act of self-preservation. First, I was stupid for inviting Muslims to break fast with pork during Ramadan. Now, I am a coward for running away from a trial that will be anything but fair.

Either way, they will have something to criticise me about. What I know is that I am done being stupid. The current Alvin Tan is smart, pragmatic, calculative and mercenary.

TMI: At what point did you decide to seek asylum?

Tan: I first knew about the concept of political asylum when I was in Sungai Buloh prison in July 2013. My Iranian cellmate urged me to apply to the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) for asylum after hearing about my situation. When I was released on court bail, the court, however, took away my passport.

I waited for the right time for almost a year, slowly cutting off my ties in Malaysia (eg liquidating assets, ending contracts), and, when the court approved my going to Singapore to supposedly film a documentary in Singapore in May this year, I seized the opportunity and fled.

TMI: Is there a possibility that your asylum application to the US will not succeed? What happens then?

Tan: I have two layers of appeals, should my initial asylum claim fail. I am still free to put in similar claims in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, England, etc, if I happen to fail in my bid in America.

TMI: Your rebuke appears to be targeted at the government and Muslims, can you explain why this is so?

Tan: The reason I target Muslims is that they do not seem to understand the concept of separation of church and state. They seem to want to legislate every single religious principle or rule into the law book, and they seem to be especially blind to the distinction between immorality and illegality. In any country with such a situation, Islam is really a political idea, not merely personal faith.

If they insist on applying Islam in politics and governance, they should also know that criticism to Islam would be inevitable and part and parcel of political discourse. They can no longer say it is something sacred and untouchable and impervious to flak, because Islam is now used as a basis to govern other people’s lives.

This is, in fact, the basis of my political asylum claim. My satirical attempts at ridiculing Muslims is an expression of my political disapproval of Muslims and Islam. Given how pervasive the influence of Islam is in our government institutions, ridiculing Muslims is tantamount to, say, ridiculing conservatives or socialists. It is the same thing.

The American courts know it. Even my San Francisco asylum officer in his independent assessment agrees that my Ramadan pork photograph was political satire, nothing more.

TMI: On hindsight, do you have any regrets over your Ramadan greeting or do you think it all happened for a reason?

Tan: This is too early to say. If my asylum claim succeeds, I am on track to become a US citizen in five years, an awesome dream come true. If not, well, I just have to be content in knowing that I was once young and stupid, and deal with the consequences like a man. My life is now in the hands of the immigration judge hearing my asylum case.

TMI: What about Vivian, are you concerned about her having to face the charges alone now?

Tan: I did convince her to flee, but she did not see the point of it. I already applied to the court to get our passports released using my personal funds, at no expense to her. What more does she want? What I did not do was to fund her escape, because, why should I? We are both independent adults who are supposed to be able to take care of ourselves.

She has a lot of growing up to do if she believes that it is my responsibility to take her along. I mean, hello, she is the university graduate here, not me. She should be more than capable – much more than me – to take care of herself. – September 27, 2014.

***********

Alvin Tan's and Vivian Lee's sexual exhibitionism, which video has been deleted from public consumption

Alvin Tan’s and Vivian Lee’s sexual exhibitionism, which video has been deleted from public consumption

The above said video landed Alvin Tan into much trouble. Singapore Minister of Education Heng Swee Keat spoke of the matter in Parliament, “The conduct of the student is reprehensible and unbecoming as a scholar”. National University of Singapore withdrew their ASEAN scholarship which Tan benefitted.

Singaporeans are not shy to criticise Tan, for his conduct which is deemed unacceptable even by the values of modern and dynamic society and western-wannabe Singaporeans.

Vivian Lee, who was Alvin Tan’s girlfriend and co-sexual exhibitionist faced a lot of flak from her family for her private acts with Tan being made explicitly public on purpose via social media network.

Tan has since be called a ‘coward’ in bold letters since he abandoned his former girlfriend and co-conspirator in their sexual exhibitionism and insults against the predominantly Malay-Muslim Malaysia in the most holiest month for Muslims, to face the music all by herself.

Another story by recently acquired news portal by Anwaristas

Alvin Tan’s second act – Hanna TGV

Published: 27 September 2014 | Updated: 28 September 2014 12:11 AM

The fugitive and coward is now thriving in the land of the free and home of the brave.

He has upped his homogeneous firebrand of lashing out against the Malaysian authorities by taunting political leaders and the head of police to come at him.

In the current political atmosphere, Alvin knows that’s a fast track to gain popularity.

He thinks he deserves to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Adam Adli, Ali Abd Jalil, Edmond Bon and the resilient few who actually mattered in making a change in Malaysia.
But what has he done, besides uploading raunchy sex postings on their blog and not being able to respect the Muslims during their holy fasting month?

When faced with a fight-or-flight situation – Alvin chose the latter, and not without leaving behind collateral damage. His partner, Vivian Lee, continues to face the charges alone.

He has stated before that he created a new personal Facebook account to disassociate himself from Vivian, on the basis to protect her.

If he really wants to be respected – by doing something more concrete and not merely symbolic for Vivian’s well-being – he should immediately make a Statutory Declaration to absolve her from any and all responsibilities that got them into trouble in the first place.

Such gesture, would earn him even more respect from Malaysians – including myself.

Owing to the fact that if he aspires to start afresh and pursue his dreams in the greatest country in the world, he should not leave a trail of mess for the people who still care for him to clean up. – September 27, 2014.

*Hanna TGV reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/alvin-tans-second-act-hanna-tgv#sthash.r7YDsniu.dpuf

************

It is clearly Tan was charged for his seditious posting, intended to hurt the feelings and insult the sensitivities of Muslims in predominantly Malay-Muslim Malaysia in Ramadhan last year. Ramadhan is Muslims’ holiest month.

That makes his charge criminal in nature as his seditious posting Facebook posting had malice intention.

Renown human rights lawyer Edmund Bon opined that escaping criminal charges may not be sufficient grounds for United States or any other countries to grant someone like Tan an asylum.

Rakyat Post story:

‘Political asylum not a way out of a criminal charge’

Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon says the success of applying for political asylum depended entirely on the country where refiuge was sought. — TRP file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27, 2014:
The grounds for applying for political asylum are important and the success depends on the country where refuge is sought.
Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon said a person could seek asylum when he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution, based on sexual, political, religious or racial orientation, as this is permitted by international law.
He told The Rakyat Post that the success of the application, for instance the one said to have been made by sex blogger Alvin Tan recently, depended on the country he applied to.
Bon said Malaysia had also accepted people under political asylum, saying that a very good example of cases of political asylum in Malaysia were the refugees.
“Refugees who are prosecuted, like the Rohingya community from Myanmar, are given political asylum in Malaysia and are protected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“However, this is granted only after a strict assessment of the case.”
Bon said for Tan’s application to be successful. there must be evidence of well-founded fear and truth.
“The application can’t be applied just to run away from a criminal charge.”
When asked if Tan had a strong case, Bon said it depended on the facts of the case which, at this time, he was not familiar with.
Bon said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had the right to request the government for Tan to be returned from where he was seeking asylum to stand trial..
It was reported earlier that Tan was currently in the United States and that he was seeking for political asylum.
Speaking to a Singaporean blogger, Tan detailed his journey from Singapore to Mexico, after which he made it to the US-Mexico border and expressed his desire to be granted political asylum there.
Tan had gone missing after he failed to return his passport to the Sessions Court on June 3, which was the date set to enable him and his then girlfriend, Vivian Lee, to be allowed to go to Singapore.
Both were undergoing trial for two charges under the Film Censorship Act and the Sedition Act.
Lee, who returned to Malaysia, was reported to have surrendered her passport. However, Tan failed to do so, following which an arrest warrant was issued for him.
His last known Facebook and Twitter update was in late May before “resurfacing” recently, with Facebook postings indicating he was in Los Angeles, California.
He then began taunting the government, Umno and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, among others.
Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/09/27/political-asylum-way-criminal-charge/#ixzz3EdNXpCEW

**************

Tan is not so smart for blaming the Malaysian Government for the troubles that he is currently facing by his own misconducts against the law. Especially, when President Barack H. Obama regarded Malaysia as a progressive Muslim state where “positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith”, in his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speech on 24 September 2014.

Excerpts of the speech:

And such positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith. We see this in Iraq, where a young man started a library for his peers. “We link Iraq’s heritage to their hearts,” he said, and “give them a reason to stay.” We see it in Tunisia, where secular and Islamist parties worked together through a political process to produce a new constitution. We see it in Senegal, where civil society thrives alongside a strong democratic government. We see it in Malaysia, where vibrant entrepreneurship is propelling a former colony into the ranks of advanced economies. And we see it in Indonesia, where what began as a violent transition has evolved into a genuine democracy.

****************

Americans also regard Malaysia as a ‘moderate Muslim nation’ and Islam drives predominantly Malay-Muslim forward and towards progress, on top of being tolerant. Until recent times, Non Muslims are free to carry on with their daily lives without any of the majority predominantly Malay-Muslims encroaching into their belief and cultural system.

It is social rogues like Tan and Lee who are interpreting and taking their opinion on the ‘freedom of speech and expression’ beyond the extreme end, especially at the gross displeasure within the value system of the majority of middle Malaysia.

It is obvious for Alvin Tan was a very stupid young man for attempting to gain attention for his abuses of social media, which include postings of his sexual relationship act and deliberately insulting the Muslims in Ramadhan.

Now, it seems that he is making a bigger fool of himself by seeking asylum instead of being a man and standing by his former girlfriend and face the music, like what a responsible and accountable gentleman should be expected to do.

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 01:00  Comments (16)  

Semenanjung lucifers instigating Sabah secession

The Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flag

The Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flag

This is the perfect time for the Sedition Act be used against Semenanjung lieutenants of the Devil, who are actively going around Sabah and instigating the fire of secession call, in the midst of Sabahans being proud of being Malaysians.

Daily Express story:

Sabah DAP launches new movement

Published on: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Democratic Action Party (DAP) has initiated the Post Malaysia Generation Movement (PMGM) meant to be the platform for political advocacy especially on issues affecting the natives of Sabah.

The launching ceremony of the new movement was done by DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang on Aug 31 in Keningau. “Well-known activists Adrian Lasimbang and Kit Siang’s political secretary Dyana Sofya spoke during the event where they expressed their generation’s dreams and aspirations for the country.

“They are well aware that the future of the country depends on the young generation and they must have good, committed and responsible leaders to carry the nation forward,” said DAP Sabah Secretary and Kapayan Assemblyman Edwin Bosi.

At the same time, Bosi added, the young generations must be well informed of the political situation and wellbeing of the country so that they can help steer the country in the right direction.

“This is the right time to take the initiative to fight for the future and for the rights of the young generations,” he added. The objectives of PMGM in Sabah are to build up the leadership capacity as well as to identify and expose the talents of the young people.

It hopes to realise the concept of Malaysians Malaysia, nationalise the native issues and to bring about positive political change in Putrajaya and the country while staying true to its motto of ‘Not Just a Facebook Hero’. Lim (fourth left) during the launching of the PMGM.

Also in the picture are Dyana (third right), Jimmy Wong (third left), Chan Foong Hing (left) and Stephen Wong (second left).

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Another is militant and HINDRAF extremist Wathyamoorthy and a long time Sabah secessionist Dr Jeffrey Kittingan, who is the ADUN for Bingkor.

Malaysiakini story:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Borneo nationalists mull Putrajaya protest

A group of Borneo nationalists are mulling a protest in Putrajaya on the federal government’s continued refusal to revisit the Malaysian Agreement over complaints that Sabah and Sarawak are being short-changed.

“Why not (protest)? We should do anything that will advance our cause for a solution.

“It is a choice between doing something or doing nothing,” Bingkor assemblyperson Jeffrey Kitingan said at a forum on The Malaysian Agreement 1963 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Jeffrey was responding to a suggestion raised at the forum organised by the Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (Sapa) and Borneo Heritage Foundation.

Jeffrey said the forum was deliberately held in Kuala Lumpur to send a signal to the federal government.

“We are trying to send a message to the federal government to open up and respond.

“Don’t leave us hanging and boiling down there (in East Malaysia),” he told journalists later.

He added similar forums were also being held overseas to mobilise support.

Sharing his views on building political momentum, Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia (PHM) chairperson P Waythamoorthy said the group should learn from Hindraf’s massive protest in 2007.

“I told them if you do this in Kuching or Kota Kinabalu, they (Putrajaya) can’t care less.

“But if you do it in Kuala Lumpur, they get worried, so it’s time for them to be worried.

“I was told that there are 120,000 Sarawakians and Sabahans in Johor alone, imagine if you can get 20 percent of them to do a roadshow or whatever,” Waythamoorthy told an audience of some 80 people.

Waytha: Sue the British government

Waythamoorthy, who served a short stint as a deputy minister in Najib’s cabinet, also suggested that Sabah and Sarawak should consider taking the British government to court for the seemingly lopsided Malaysian Agreement.

He said Hindraf is also suing the British government for bringing Indian immigrants to then Malaya without adequate protection for their rights, resulting in today’s marginalised Indian community.

Meanwhile, Sapa president Lina Soo argued that the Malaysian Agreement 1963 was invalid as Sabah and Sarawak were not independent states when they formed the Malaysian Federation.

Soo argued that under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, only independent states may enter into treaties.

She added that Putrajaya’s failure to comply with the agreement’s terms – such as the Borneo-nisation (hiring locals only) for the civil service in Sabah and Sarawak – and Singapore’s expulsion without consulting the two other partners, also made it void.

Among the other speakers at the forum were Sabah Progressive Party supreme council member Ken Yong, anthropology professor Awang Hasmadi Mois and Angkatan Perubahan Sabah vice-president Kalakau Untol.

Participants at the forum also passed a resolution on the right of self-determination for Sarawak and Sabah.

‘Form reconciliation committee’

The motion reads: “We, the peoples of Sarawak and Sabah in the Convention assembled, do hereby unanimously declare and ordain on this 15th day of June 2014 that it is the peoples’ wishes that the nation-states of Sabah and Sarawak shall seek the right to self-determination as enshrined in international law on human rights and civil liberties by people of independent states.

“And to do so would protect our citizens’ standard of living and re-secure our inalienable rights and freedoms in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which have been compromised by the rule of the Malaysian government.”

Jeffrey said if this problem was resolved and power was redistributed to Sabah and Sarawak, it would only serve to strengthen the Federation of Malaysia.

To this end, he called for a “Reconciliation and Reform Committee” comprising East Malaysian stakeholders and the federal government.

Sabah and Sarawak have become more assertive in recent years as BN has become more reliant on the two to retain federal power following declining support in Peninsular Malaysia.

BN has often boasted the two are their ‘fixed deposits’ owing to the large number of parliamentary seats in Borneo.

Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last year called on Putrajaya to review the 20-point Agreement for Sabah and 18-point Agreement for Sarawak, which are safeguards for the states when forming the Federation of Malaysia.

Tengku Razaleigh, who is the MP for Gua Musang, said the agreements were supposed to have been reviewed 10 years after the formation of Malaysia but this never materialised. However, his call fell on deaf ears.

Msiakini News

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Sabahans are not interested in all these.

They are proud to be part of the Federation of Malaysia and striving hard to make their home a much better place. Hence, they want better deals from the Federal Government on how more programs of infrastructure, development and progress in nature can could be brought and benefit the state and the proud Sabahans.

That, would naturally derive on the more opportunities for Sabahans to better themselves. The state has a lot of potential and they want these potential to be developed, so that more Sabahans would benefit from them.

In short, Sabahans are like the Scots. They want to remain in the union but getting better deals.

They want the sort of deals where more opportunities can be made available to them, from programs being developed as a mid and long term strategy for Sabah to grow.

It is not the kind which did not happen when Tengku Razaleigh was the Bank Bumiputra Chairman, Petronas Chairman and eventually Minister of Finance and Trade and Industry. It was the period where he had the clout and power to invoke changes for more than twenty years.

After all, the political failure Kelantanese prince actually had the first chance to do so in Sabah’s toddler years within the Federation of Malaysia.

Neither it is the sort of radical and hatred politics that Chinese Chauvinist Emperorissimo Lim Kit Siang trying to sow to Sabahans for an anti-Federal sentiment.

It has been a wet dream of Lim in his hard tries to sow hatred sentiments against the BN Sabah leaders. But it is proven to be very unproductive.

It is nothing but simply evil for bankrupt Semenanjung political extremists, radicals and rejects, to waltz around Sabah and instigate the rakyat to rise against the Federal Government and the Sabah State Government, which backs the Federal Government and BN strongly.

This is what the much dreaded Internal Security Act (repealed in 2011 to be replaced with SOSMA and PCA) and Sedition Act designed for. They are the true secessionists and anti-Fedralists.

Home Ministry should focus on this lot carefully.

Published in: on September 21, 2014 at 20:00  Comments (20)  

Anwar: Saya senang mengalu ngalukan Wee Choo Keong

Something of the past, to remind us what and where our future lies. This is what Santaya taught us and still relevant, then and now.

“Sahabat lama saya, saudara Wee Choo Keong”, Anwar Ibrahim.

“Lawan tetap lawan. Kita nak gulingkan Barisan Nasional. Parti Barang Naik. BN itu Bangkrap Negara!”, Wee Choo Keong. “Kertas (undi) itulah yang puak puak UMNO-Putra takut. Kita akan gulingkan, hancurkan Barisan Nasional pada hari itu!”

Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 18:00  Comments (14)  
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