Tun Dr. Mahathir: “Envisioning a New World Order and its Implications on the Digital Age”

SPEECH BY

TUN DR MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD

AT THE SEOUL DIGITAL FORUM

IN SEOUL, KOREA

ON 28 MAY 2009

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“Envisioning a New World Order and its Implications on the Digital Age”

 1.         Firstly I would like to thank the Seoul Digital Forum for this invitation to speak on Envisioning a New World Order and its implication on the Digital Age.

 2.         In my view envisioning is not about wishful thinking, or planning about what the future should look like.

 3.         Envisioning is about guessing or trying to foretell what the future is likely to be like, about predicting the future based on what we know from our observation of the happenings in the past and at present and upon the trends and where they are likely to lead us. No crystal ball will be needed for this but long experience may help.

 4.         For centuries now we have been living in a Eurocentric world.  Our thoughts and our ideas, our values, systems and ideologies, our overall behaviour are largely due to European influence if not of European origins.  The way we conduct our lives and we dress are basically European.  The way we manage our economy and our Governments are European, including of course the belief that Democracy is the only form of Government that everyone must have.

 5.         And when the Europeans went to war with each other the whole world was dragged in.  Like them we have come to believe that war is a way to settle dispute between nations. And like them we expend huge sums of money on armaments. This must have a bearing on any New World Order.

 6.         But not all the influence of the Europeans is bad.  The greatest contribution of the Europeans to the world is the introduction of systematic and universal education.  Prior to this education in even the most advanced non-European civilizations was about religion and philosophy.  They were important but they did not directly lead us to progress and development.  It is the Europeans who introduced what we may call secular education in which the focus is on facts and scientific truth together with mathematical accuracy rather than on spiritual and social values.  True much of this knowledge originated in Asia but the separation between truth and fantasy was made by the Europeans.

 7.         As secular education spread throughout the world the mystery of progress and development was resolved and it became possible for the rest of the world to develop.  To succeed in life one no longer had to rely on omens and fate but one can largely design the route by accessing the knowledge of the properties and the character of the resources around us.

 8.         Secular education is a great leveller and soon the rest of the world was able to catch up with the Europeans.  Very quickly the East Asians in particular became able to do almost everything that the Europeans can do.  Mastery of science, technology and mathematics enabled East Asians in particular to grow their industries and develop their countries until the gap between them and the Europeans was largely reduced.  As we shall see this equalisation between the capacities of the countries of East Asia and Europe will affect the shape and character of the new world, and the New World Order.

 9.         When Japan was defeated in the last Great War the condition imposed by the Europeans on Japan was that it may not spend more than 1% of its GDP on its defence forces.  That was 1946 when Japan was bankrupt because of the war.  1% of Japan’s GDP was practically nil.  Today 1% of Japan’s GDP is probably bigger than what most European countries spend on defence.   Japanese military power would therefore match its economic power and by extension its influence over the world.

 10.       There is no such restriction on other countries.  Thus if China for example spends just 1% of its GDP on defence it would already become a great military power.  The likelihood is that China would spend more than 1% on defence.  Again this means that China’s influence on the world and its future would be very considerable.

 11.       Japan, China, South Korea, India have all become richer than in the heyday of European domination and their wealth and thus their military strength and international influence would be able to match those of the West.  A military confrontation between East and West can literally destroy the whole world.  This is no longer an option.

 12.       The European powers, in particular the United States, presently the greatest military power in the world must accept that things have changed.  The old equation no longer holds true.  Western hegemony cannot be sustained.  Like it or not the ethnic Europeans must accept that if there is to be a New World Order, the emergence of the new powers in Asia must be given due consideration.

 13.       There must clearly be a sharing of power between East and West, between Europeans and non-Europeans.  There is now much talk about this among the Europeans and also the Asians.

 14.       Ideally the world would like to see a smooth devolution into a new world order without need for confrontation and violence.

 15.       There has been some talk about a 2-G world, a world dominated by the United States and China.  If our experience of the Cold War confrontations between the United States and the Soviet Union is anything to go by, a smooth sharing of power by the two is not likely to happen.

 16.       The third world had only recently gained their independence.  I do not think they would relish the idea of a world dominated by two great powers any more than they did a world dominated by one great power.

 17.       During the Cold War they had to seek protection from one or the other of the two superpowers.  Will they now have to align themselves with one or the other of the 2-G powers?

 18.       Besides there is still Russia, a resuscitated world power.  It is not going to stand on the sidelines and watch the Unites States and China shape the New World Order.  It will want to play a major role and be one of those whose opinions must be sought as the new World Order is shaped.

 19.       If the weak nations are to be asked their preference in a New World Order, I think they would prefer there being no world powers dictating to them.  They would prefer a truly democratic world centred perhaps on the United Nations with no one having veto powers.  They would opt for decisions based on majority interest rather then the might of the nations.  Unfortunately this is not what we can envision. The weak will still have to submit to the strong.

 20.       From what I think is the present situation and the trends we can envision a world that is slightly less Eurocentric but with European influence moderated somewhat by the emergence of powerful economies, and therefore military clout in Asia.  If common sense prevails the transition would be gradual and smooth.  But common sense has no place in international relations. The rivalry would still go on as each one of the three super powers manoeuvre to promote their interest. That is the way of the world.

 21.       How would this less Eurocentric World Order affect the Digital Age.  The Digital Age would mature whatever the shape of the New World Order.  This is because this new age has been able to resist pressures from the politically or militarily powerful.  But over the years it has been noticed that the brains which move the Digital Age are very mobile and much influenced by the compensation they receive.  As a result there has been an increasingly massive brain drain from the poor countries to the rich.  Without doubt this will result in the poor getting poorer and the rich richer. The Digital Age is thus going to see an even more lopsided development and greater disparity between rich and poor.

 22.       In the rich countries the digital age brains may be employed in developing new ideas for the general good. It may also be for the development of unhealthy ideas such as the financial markets or for inventing newer weapons to kill more people more efficiently. All these are already happening of course but as the digital age develops, we can expect more abuses of the digital age brains.

 23.       Currently we are facing a financial and economic crisis. Some of the best brains have used the computer to work out schemes for making money without producing any goods or creating any employment. By promoting freedom of the market place they have been able to abuse the financial systems and to make literally tons of money for themselves. Unless Governments restore their power to rule, the Digital Age will bring frequent disasters to the world.

 24.       But of greater consequence is the implication of the Digital Age on the New World Order itself.  Obviously the rich and the powerful would be able to make greater use of the knowledge of the Digital Age.  This is because money would be needed to do research in the applications of the Digital Age knowledge.  Digitization has enabled greater precision to be achieved in every product or application.  Thus it is possible for satellites to be located in a pre-designated location in outer space and for a shuttle to dock with it even as the earth from where the shuttle-bearing rocket is fired moves in space. The mathematics of the Digital Age is clearly very precise because finding the moving space station in the vastness of space is far harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

 25.       Just as miraculous is the digitisation of sound and colour so that their reproduction is perfect and does not fade even over very long periods of time.

 26.       Cameras are now carried by satellites which can take very high resolution pictures of earthly objects including human beings.  Already data on everyone is carried on microchips and electronic records.  With the ability to take clear pictures from satellites there will be no privacy for anyone.  The data collected on any person can be incriminating.  The Government or the agency which collects these data will be in a position to blackmail.

 27.       It could be like George Orwell’s “1984” where everyone would be under scrutiny, where Big Brother controls everything through the information that he gets.  Already we are being finger printed, undressed electronically and scanned by powerful machines, and tracked through GPS etc. Will the three big powers and the other rich nations collect and store data on people so as to control them?  What we are seeing today about the war on terrorism is not very reassuring.

 28.       These are the implications of having a New World Order in the Digital Age or of a Digital Age affecting a New World Order.

 29.       Actually present day human civilizations are quite unable to cope even with the technological advances which we have already achieved.  Certainly our superior knowledge of science and technology today has not created for us a world order worthy of the human race, a world order of peace and prosperity. Currently we are facing a financial and economic crisis of unprecedented proportion partly as a result of the abuse of the knowledge of the Digital Age.  As the Digital Age advances, as new knowledge becomes available to more and more people, our capacity to bring order in a New World may not be adequate.  The Digital Age has outstripped our civilizational capacities.

 30.       In envisioning the New World Order I wish I can be optimistic.  Unfortunately I cannot. We are really still a primitive people.  We still believe in killing people in order to solve our problems.  Right at this moment scientists are busy developing newer and more efficient ways of killing people.  This is the sum total of our mastery of the digital age, the age of knowledge, the age of science and technology.

 31.       There must be a radical change in our values and culture if we are going to see a New World Order enhanced by the advances of the Digital Age  or a digital age benefiting from a New World Order.

 

 

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Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 23:58  Comments (8)  

Liberalization of GLC markets: Charity begins at home

Recently, much has been talked about Sixth Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s financial and capital liberalization policies. It was supposed to open up Malaysian markets to new opportunities, especially in these stormy global financial recession that many of the matured and saturated Western economies are fighting hard to weather through.

The Reuters has the story:

UPDATE 1-Malaysia sees recovery and ‘gradual’ reform

05.26.09, 01:09 AM EDT

 

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (Reuters) – Malaysia, Asia’s third most export dependent economy, expects growth to return in the third quarter of this year and will gradually open up its economy to boost long-term prospects, a top official said on Tuesday.

Malaysia will release first quarter gross domestic product data on Wednesday and economists in a Reuters poll expect it to show the economy shrank by 4 percent from a year ago, the worst quarter since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

Article Controls

Official forecasts see the economy shrinking just 1 percent this year, a number that many private sector economists say is over-optimistic.

‘We believe that for the third quarter we will continue in terms of recovery…because in the third and fourth quarters, the stimulus package impact will be felt. Next year we believe will be very positive in terms of growth,’ the country’s Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah told journalists on the fringes of an economic conference. Malaysia’s government earlier this year unveiled a 60 billion ringgit ($17.21 billion) package of government spending and loan guarantees over two years to boost domestic demand.

It has also pledged to reform its economy, which is heavily dependent on oil and commodities exports and low-value-added electronics, produced by a low paid immigrant workforce.

Since taking office in April Prime Minister, Najib Razak has unveiled liberalisation measures on the country’s services sector and financial industry, although many of these measures were already planned as was his announcement that he aimed to boost services to 60 percent of the economy.

The Malaysian Insider website (www.themalaysianinsider.com) said on Tuesday that Najib would scrap the country’s foreign investment committee, undertake some reforms of government-linked companies and establish new rules for private finance initiatives.

Husni declined to comment on the report but said that Malaysia was looking at liberalisation to attract investment.

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There are obvious positive nodes to these liberalization policies. The opening up of the once ‘protected’ Malaysian market is supposed to improve on the productivity and products. Better processes and system are put in place. However, what is the extend on how this will effect and impair the Malaysian homegrown firms of the same industry and nature. Till now, they are able to provide the same products and services to Malaysian corporations but it seems they have to compete on the economies of scale which these multinational financial services enjoy for their size and network.

The first phase of this liberalisation policy is for service providers in the financial and capital markets. Americans and West European corporations prefer service provider firms who are associated to their own first. Even corporate advisory and consultancy work, goes to ‘preferred’ firms like McKinsey, Hays, Booze, Allen & Hamilton and Boston Consulting. The fact is that, many Malaysian firms, especially new investment banks in the market could do equally good, if not better for their understanding and ‘feel’ of the Malaysian and regional economy. Many Malaysian IP providers find it impossible to serve these ‘tightly controlled’ markets. The decision makers within GLCs are also too blinded by the ‘branding’ game.

A case in point is the recruitment industry. The global financial storm has now affected a lot of MNCs, particularly American and West European firms to downsize their operations. It means that, the Malaysian job market will be flooded with professionals, semi professionals, skilled and semi skilled workers. It is upto the recruitment firms to work hard on getting these displaced workforce, placed at the soonest opportunity available.

Some of the American and Singaporean recruitment firms which have offices here in Malaysia, should look into this. After all, they have enjoyed the accounts of major MNCs, like Intel, IBM, Dell and Western Digital and they have benefitted immensely on these ‘fat and highly lucrative’ accounts. On the other hand, Malaysian recruitment firms were never given the opportunity to penetrate these MNCs recruitment market, especially in the best times, despite 95% of the work force are Malaysians. It is simply because the Americans and Europeans favour their own and fully capitalize to provide all downstream and peripheral industries within themselves, as much as they can.

Now the times are bad and MNCs are downsizing, in fact some are uprooting themselves to a ‘cheaper’ market. These localized foreign recruit,rmy firms are now ‘hunting’ on the grounds where Malaysian indigenous recruitment firms roam and dwell. With their brand, network and economies of scale, Malaysian firms finds the competition all too stiff.

It was strongly rumoured that American recruitment firms like Kelly Services are now focusing on Malaysian GLCs, especially Telekom Malaysia, Celcom and TNB. They have also been said trying to edge themselves into Khazanah Holdings stable. As they are globally hurt by the American and Western European shrinking economy, they are now focused on lucrative and expanding Malaysian job markets. This is coupled with Federal Government induced recruitment programs, designed to stimulate the economy and address the unemployment issues, especially amongst the fresh graduates and recently retrenched workers from MNCs which downsized their operations.

It was said that they play unfairly in their bid to win. A senior Telekom executive was recently said to have been ‘entertained’ in Singapore, in their bid to win highly lucrative contracts. What baffles many is that these firms are known to defy these ‘dirty tactics’ in the past to win. Now, as they say, “Desperate times, people do desperate measures”.

Our contention is that, should we allow this ‘sacrifice’ of Malaysia’s own in favour of the Americans, who change goal posts at their convenience? Does firm like Kelly Services, Manpower, Select and Adecco have a ‘Malaysian agenda’ or better still, a ‘Malay agenda’?

Despite being the laissez faire economy of the world, Americans and Europeans have been very protective with their markets. The non price competition is really mind boggling and more often than not, it has been used strategically as an unended ‘bully tactics’. Malaysians have a moral obligation to look out for our own, especially in these trying times. The Malays have a saying, “Kera di hutan disusukan, anak di riba mati kehausan“. Khazanah and GLCs should favour Malaysian indigenous firms. After all, “Charity begins at home”.

Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 11:14  Comments (2)  

An appeal to Omar Ong

The appointment of Ethos Consulting Supremo Omar Ong as a member of Petronas board of director (BOD) recently drew so much attention, here in bloggosphere, and now to people in the capital market and media. It was said that the appointment will take effect almost immediately (pending the ‘formalisation’ at Petronas BOD level, “any time soon”).

Our contention is that, there had been  so much bad presses which have plagued Sixth Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘infant’ Cabinet and Leadership. The ‘kick-off’ of losing two by-elections was a blow, regardless how some people want that to be perceived as ‘baptism of fire’. Then the on going Perak political tug-of-war, which turned the whole episode into an unprecedented media circus.

At this juncture, it is paramount that the ‘institution’ be protected. The biggest challenges for PM Dato’ Seri Najib are the global financial storm, not yet reached our shores with the full wrath of fury and his own personal issue pertaining to public perception, especially amongst the more educated and IT savvy Malaysians. The nation has to move forward, in these most trying times.

PM Najib does not need another element to diminish public and even at some point, international confidence on him. Petronas being the nation’s most prize gem, contributes the most for the Malaysian Government coffer from taxes and dividends, for the last 30 years. It had been calculated that 55% of Federal Government revenue comes from Petronas. It is the world’s most profitable and productive state owned oil company and listed on the Fortune 500.

Omar Ong’s ultra close association to the ‘Level Four Boys’ is unmistakable. As far back when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was still the Deputy Prime Minister and Omar and co-founder late Dr. Liew Boon Horng who were still in McKinsey, they were doing consultancy projects for then Special Function Officer to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zaki  Zahid.  His attempt to shred off the ultra close association is futile. The Malaysian public, especially people in the capital, financial and securities market are all too familiar of the name Omar Ong and Ethos & Co. When people make their mind up, it is a herculean task to change the public perception. Then again, the 12th General Election 8 March 2008, which saw BN’s humilating defeat in 5 + 1 states and worst ever performance since 1955, is attributed almost entirely on ‘perception’.

If Omar Ong is a real patriot, who selflessly puts the interest of the nation first before his own and being a true ‘friend’, as he claim to be to PM Dato’ Seri Najib, then he should do the right thing. Omar Ong should not accept the offer of the Petronas BOD appointment.

After all, shouldn’t Omar Ong focus and really build up the competencies with his success of Ethos & Co? Ethos should be the Malaysian McKinsey and sell our indigenous developed products and capabilities to compete in this exciting global consultancy game. Prove to the world, his ability to give PM Dato’ Seri Najib a sound advice on the strategy of this nation, as reflected on the success stories of the economic corridors, especially Iskandar Malaysia, NCER, ECER and specifically SDC, where Ethos & Co. was singled out and accorded in the speech during the launching.

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 14:48  Comments (32)  

PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah is out and yet its still ‘The Year of the Fox’

More on the far reaching tentacles of ‘Level Four Boys’, despite PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi no longer in office. As many as relieved that these thirty-something-lack-of-macro-management-text-bookworms no longer can ‘influence’ the direction, policies and implementation processes, which also include public perception of the current sixth Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s administration.

It seems that Fox Communications Sdn. Bhd., who was retained as the PR and media consultants for much of Khazanah Holdings Bhd. prized steeds which include the economic corridors, Sime Darby and even the Royal Malaysian Police. They are is also being ‘retained’ by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) for a handsome fee of RM 40,000.00 monthly. Brenden Perreira, a former bureau Chief for Singapore Straits Times in Kuala Lumpur, turned Editor of NST and a partner-in-crime to much loathed spinmaestro Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan, is the personality behind Fox Communications.

Perreira was said to have attended strategic EPU meetings where classified materials are presented and discussed. Conveniently, some of these issues and information mysteriously appeared Malaysian Insider and there onwards, reported in the media conglomerate Singapore Press Straits Times.

Perreira and Riong Kali are also thought to be the key players behind online newspaper Malaysian Insider. How two individuals could ‘damage’ so much of public perception on the Federal Government and Leadership is beyond comprehension and baffling. Some believe that they are implementing an ulterior agenda of a so-called ‘friendly’ neighbour. Malaysian Insider is truly a virtual media with serious ‘inside information’!

One the most recent Malaysian Insider reporting, which suspiciously has a tangy tinge of being seditious, is portraying the appointment of former Cabinet Minister Dato’ Ong Ka Chuan as Malaysian Ambassador to Beijing as being ‘controversial’.

These are the very issues that Malaysians to be worrisome about. Considering that Riong Kali ‘failed’ security vetting the week he was appointed Press Secretary to then Deputy Prime Minister En. Ghaffar Baba more that 20 years ago, for being “closely associated to Singapore”.

It is time to serious get rid of these ‘Level Four Boys’, once and for all, from any form of hand in any part of the Government. Malaysia has some serious business of nation building to do and these ‘Level Four Boys’, with their personal agenda, is making the process counter productive.

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 12:56  Comments (10)  

Omar Ong continued to be bashed in bloggosphere

Ethos Consulting Supremo Omar Ong is being bantered again in the blogosphere. This time, it is about a strong rumour that he would be or want to be appointed as Petronas director.

Omar Ong, once closely linked to the much talked about ‘Level Four Boys’, was bashed by bloggers, which include Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. As far back as 2006, someone posted how Omar was ‘linked’ to former abuse-of-power convict Anwar Ibrahim. It was not a much of a surprise because of his close association with then Deputy Chief of Staff in PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s private office, Khairy Jamaluddin. Khairy, was said to have the desire to be the Malaysian Prime Minister by the age of forty. Omar and Khairy shared the same alma matta, Oxford University and both read philosophy, politics and conomics.

Not too long ago, Another Brick in the Wall warned about Omar ‘weaving’ his way into Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’ private office. Slightly earlier than that, A Voice commented and dissected clinically on Omar’s and Rohanna’s statements (what he calls “nauseating!”) on The Edge’s 13 October 2008 write up of “Tapping private equity amid credit crunch”. Earlier in the month, A Voice dared Omar to publicly disavow his relationship with Khairy.  A few days earlier, A Voice 1429H Hari Raya Aidil Fitri’s ‘gift’ for Omar, “If Pak Lah is leaving, why is a ‘Level Four Boys’ still in command?”.

We are not sure how reliable this rumour about Omar’s ascension on the nation’s most prized vehicle, which provided taxes and dividends for the Government’s coffer in size more than majority of the under developed nations’ annual GDP, on behalf of the rakyat. But for A Voice to be consistent about his warnings, much like scandals he uncovered like Sime Darby taking over IJN, AirAsia’s LCCT, ECM Libra –Avenue merger, Malaysia Airlines’ inner workings of the new management and others, are developments worth to be watched.

As the say in Malay, Kalau tiada beruk, masakan pohon bergoyang. Regardless if A Voice’s expose’ is wholesomely true, partially true or otherwise, the other pertinent issue here is, ‘perception’. Perception is very important nowadays, especially when the rakyat demand more transparency on Government’s spending. As 55% of the Federal Government income comes from Petronas, it is important that its directors are of selfless (non opportunistic) character.

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 15:43  Comments (18)  

“Bloggers are VIPs”

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“Bloggers are VIPs”. That was what Fourth Prime Minister, turned Malaysia’s most progressive blogger Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said today at B.U.M. 2009 “Bloggers need to behave”.

He agreed some sort of code of ethics is appropriate. Bloggers need to uphold their integrity, as providing views of the people.

“We should not victimise our target. As how we hate it to be victimised, ourselves”. Tun Dr. Mahathir was vehemently against bloggers who made up or skewed stories instead of dicussing the facts.

He said that in the context how he started blogging. As a politician in Government for almost 30 years, hew as used to the attention of the mainstream media. Somehow, when he retired, mainstream media eventually ‘refused’ to publish his thoughts and comments, which was systematically ‘blocked’. Of course, he was a strong critic of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration.

His skepticsm was whether he could entertain all the comments made. He finally overcame the ‘mental block’, much with encouragement of noted bloggers at the time.

So he started blogging. And his blog became a sensational hit instantly, in the Malaysian bloggsophere scene. Especially amongst the SOPO surfers. Within less than 15 days, it hit its first million. Now, with commenters from all over the world, chedet.cc has had almost nineteen million visitors.

Many people the manner Tun Dr. Mahathir articulate onmuch complicated issues are made into very simple language and angle to understand. His intepretations of history is also refreshing.

Rocky, who was the founding pro-tem President of All-Blogs and now National Press Club President for the second round, noted that Tun Dr. Mahathir was the first Malaysian leader that gave bloggers the respect during the Perdana Global Peace Forum on ‘Criminalising War’, February 2007. The blogs carried various angles to expand the message of the forum.

Published in: on May 16, 2009 at 21:17  Comments (9)  

Recapture of Mas Selamat: Malaysia should capitalise and ask for a straight bridge

The most wanted man in Singapore, Mas Selamat Kastari, who had been a fugitive since 27 February 2008 for the freak escape from Whitley Road Detention Centre was apprehended recently in Skudai, Johor. The Jemaah Islamiah (JI) operative has been in hiding in Malaysia since his daring escape and swam across the Johor Straits for find refuge here.

The Channel News Asia has the story:

 

 
 

Mas Selamat’s re-arrest not the end of Singapore’s problem

By Cheryl Lim, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 09 May 2009 1851 hrs  

   
   
   
   

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said Singapore’s security challenge is to keep up its guard without getting fatigued or complacent.

In his first remarks on the capture of Mas Selamat Kastari, Mr Lee said Singapore must not think that the re-arrest of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leader is the end of its problem.

He said the terrorism situation in Southeast Asia is under control, but the threat is far from over. He added that the price of security is eternal vigilance.

In a statement to the media on Saturday, the Prime Minister also said information about the capture of Mas Selamat on April 1 was not made public earlier because of a prior agreement with the Malaysian authorities.

Mr Lee said he was told about the arrest by his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak on April 11 during an impromptu four-eye lunch in Thailand’s Pattaya after the ASEAN meeting was called off due to demonstrations.

He thanked Datuk Seri Najib for Malaysia’s generous support and help, and told him Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Wong Kan Seng had earlier told him of the arrest.

Mr Lee said he was happy and relieved that Mas Selamat had been found and arrested before he could do any harm.

But Malaysia had asked Singapore to keep this information quiet for the time being, so Singapore respected this and held the information very tightly in order not to jeopardise the operation.

However, on the afternoon of May 7 during a weekly pre-Cabinet meeting lunch, Mr Wong received a phone call informing him that the Internal Security Department (ISD) had received a request from the The Straits Times to confirm a scoop that Mas Selamat had been arrested by the Malaysian authorities.

As the news had leaked, the Singapore government had no choice but to confirm the story.

Ministers who were present at the lunch were completely taken by surprise when Mr Wong told them that Mas Selamat had been arrested.

In his statement, Mr Lee also thanked all officers involved in tracking down Mas Selamat over the past year. He said he never had a doubt that Mas Selamat would be found because he knew the quality and commitment of the ISD officers working on this.

He said the ISD had recovered quickly from the mistakes which led to Mas Selamat’s escape from the Whitley Road Detention Centre in February last year.

Mr Lee also thanked the ISD and its Malaysian counterpart, the Special Branch, for working closely together.

- CNA/ir

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Since the capture by an operations lead by the Bukit Aman Special Branch, Mas Selamat is now being held in Malaysia under the Internal Securities Act (ISA).

According to Singaporean authorities, the success of capturing Mas Selamat was a joint concerted effort by Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian security and intelligence agencies. Singaporean Prime Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong will discuss with Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak when the latter is coming for a courtesy call on 21 May.

Another story from Channel news Asia:

PM Lee, Najib to discuss Mas Selamat arrest next week

By Channel NewsAsia’s Malaysia Bureau Chief Melissa Goh | Posted: 13 May 2009 2138 hrs

   
   
   
   

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to discuss the arrest of terror suspect Mas Selamat Kastari when he meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong next week.

Mr Najib, who was sworn in early last month, is scheduled to be in Singapore for an introductory visit from May 21-22.

Speaking at his office in Putrajaya, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein declined to say if Malaysia will hand over the terror suspect to Singapore.

The 48-year-old terrorist escaped from Singapore’s detention centre last year.

Mr Hishammuddin reiterated that the arrest of Mas Selamat – who escaped detention three times – would not have been possible without the cooperation of intelligence services from Singapore and Indonesia.

He said the Malaysian Cabinet has also approved the setting up of an Aseanapol permanent secretariat. To be based in Kuala Lumpur, the office will allow the intelligence agencies of ASEAN members to cooperate and share resources to better fight crime as well as terrorism.

Mr Hishammuddin said: “For instance, one recent issue relating to Mas Selamat – it involves three countries. If there was no cooperation between the three, it will not lead to the arrest of the person concerned.”

- CNA/ir

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This is a very good opportunity for the two leaders to discuss issues stalled between the two closest nations in the world. One of the issue which PM Dato’ Seri Najib should capitalize in this visit is the Bridge Replacing Johor Causeway.

Dato’ Seri Najib should now use the ‘brownie points’ from the success of recapturing Mas Selamat as an important bargaining chip. Singapore, which has been under ‘seize mentality’ and more chronic after the daring escape of Mas Selamat’, where they went into a ‘state of paranoia’.

The ‘state of paranoia’ only demonstrate how insecure the Singaporeans are, especially with JI terrorists looming actively in the region and the Singaporeans policies on and for the United States and Israel. The past eight years, many untoward and brutal incidences in Indonesia and the Phillipines have been blamed to the JI, which include kidnapping, execution and bombings.

It is expected since the recapture of Mas Selamat, other JI cells around the region would now be reactivated. And obviously, Singapore would be a ‘favourite’ target. Especially with many American interests based in the city state and the global financial meltdown already hit Singapore and beginning to show its effect. Singapore is not in a position to see American and West European investments pulled out and relocated elsewhere, due to psychologically damaging ‘security’ issues.

Hence, Singaporean authorities would definitely need closer co-operation with the Malaysian authorities, to ensure the security is intact and psychological effect on their own citizens and expatriates is good and uplifting. The fact that Mas Selamat managed to escape from Whitley’s and went on undetected to cross the border, demonstrate that the Singaporean security services, so-called highly trained and after deploying the latest surveillance technology,  is not that good after all.

This is despite the recent acquisition of strategic and offensive weapons that the Singaporean Armed Forces (SAF), now in the process of delivery. Lately, SAF acquired the F15 ST multirole fighters, AH 64 Longbow D attack helicopters (both from the US) and Leopard III main battle tanks (from Germany), on top billion SG dollars spending on sensors, surveillance and ICT technology. Singapore Technologies also developing their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), for surveillance purposes. With the alarming military buildup, it shows that the apparent threat Singapore is facing is actually terrorism in nature and not conventional warfare.

Singaporeans, claimed the 6% GDP, which is almost SG $ 12 billion annual spending on millitary as to provide ‘comfort for their citizens and investments’. Hence, they felt that the acquisition of strategic and offensive military assets, for the purpose of ‘defense’ is justified. Some analysts in the region see this trend as ‘worrying’ and reflective of the ‘kiasu’ness of what Singaporeans are noted for.

For the benefit of Singaporeans, it is now much better for them to be less ‘kiasu’ and adopt a more ‘accommodating’ attitude, especially with neighbours like Malaysia. They should work hard to ensure that their neighbours, who are of the Nusantara stock and noted for their selfless-ness, are treated as how close friends should be. A co-operation to build a straight bridge replacing the Johor Causeway is a good illustration of that dis-kiasu attitude, as the effort should promote better commerce, communications and social relationships between nations used to be ‘brothers and sisters’.

As they say, carpe diem. This is the perfect opportunity to seize the moment. The shortchanges should stop and tide turned into Malaysia’s favour.

Published in: on May 16, 2009 at 11:44  Comments (16)  

Malaysian Insider ‘melagakan’ intra-etnik dengan niat jahat

Akhbar on-line Malaysian Insider nampaknya mempunyai niat jahat, untuk mengagalkan proses perpaduan dan kesefahaman antara kaum. Terutama dalam keadaan lewat ini dimana terlalu banyak berlaku keadaan insiden yang boleh menjadi pertelingkahan antara kaum, akibat dasar ‘Liberalisasi’ PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dipetik dari Malaysian Insider:

 china

Artikel ini menyebut dua keadaan yang menimbulkan keresahan dan kemungkinan perasaan syak wasangka dan kemarahan antara kaum:

  1. Perlantikan seorang rakyat Malaysia etnik Cina sebagai Duta Besar ke Republik Rakyat China melenyapkan sebarang prasangka mengenai ketaat-setiaan etnik Cina kepada negara berbanding kepada negara ‘asal’ mereka
  2. Sepanjang ujud Kerajaan Persekutuan Malaysia, yang dterajui oleh orang Melayu, pihak Kerajaan merasa ‘berat’ (reluctant) untuk melantik etnik Bukan Melayu, terutama Cina kejawatan Duta Besar atau Pesuruhjaya Tinggi

Ini merupakan ‘permainan bahaya’ Malaysian Insider. Ini kerana artikel ini seolah olah ingin ‘melaga lagakan’ dan menimbulkan keadaan prasangka antara kaum.

  1. Orang Melayu keatas etnik Cina (kerana mempersoalkan ‘ketaat setiaan’ mereka kepada Raja dan Negara berbanding negara asal keturunan mereka); satu cara halus untuk menimbulkan ‘kebencian’ Orang Melayu keatas etnik Cina
  2. Etnik Cina keatas Orang Melayu (kerana tidak memberi peluang dan kepercayan kepada etnik Cina untuk mewakili Malaysia, kenegeri yang dianggap kuasa paling besar dalam Asia)

Malaysian Insider, yang dipercayai di’kuasai’ oleh Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan dan Brenden Perreira, suka mengambil pendekatan bias dan di’putar’ (spin), dipercayai dengan niat provokasi. Kedua personaliti yang pernah menjadi tunggak NST untuk seketika kerana persahabatan rapat dengan PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah, merupakan personaliti media Malaysia yang amat akrab dengan Singapura. Malah, kedua ini pernah berkhidmat dengan Straits Times Singapura.

Banyak artikel dan sudut yang dipaparkan Malaysian Insider muncul dalam Straits Times, dengan sudut dan pendekatan yang hampir sama.

Ini merupakan perkembangan yang membimbangkan. Apakah Riong Kali dan Perreira merupakan ‘agen’ Singapura untuk menimbulkan keresahan, kegusaran dan perasaan ‘tidak mempercayai’ intra-etnik sehinnga memecah belahkan masyarakat majmuk dan muhibbah Malaysia? Bukankah ini unsur hasutan?

Untuk rekod, Riong Kali pernah ‘gagal’ tapisan keselematan apabila mula mula cuba diambil sebagai Setiausaha Akhbar Timbalan Perdana Menteri ketika itu, En Ghaffar Baba atas alasan “hubungan akrab dengan Singapura”. Kemudian, kerjaya beliau kembali dalam senario politik perdana menyerlah apabila dingakat sebagai Timbalan Pengerusi Kumpulan NSTP semasa PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah mula mula menjawat Perdana Malaysia V. ‘Kegagalan’ media arus perdana semenjak PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah mula mentadbir juga di’salah’kan keatas Riong Kali.

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 18:50  Comments (10)  

Raja Petra’s compulsion to perpetually lie

Raja Petra’s compulsion to lie, is perpetual. In his latest posting, “Open letter to the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim”, he alleged that I called him on 5 September 2008 that the Special Branch would arrest him.

Raja Petra & Mukhriz

The truth is that, I have not called or spoken to Raja Petra for a very long time. Even at the time when he was picked up for investigation for seditions, which was in May, I was already no longer having the possesion of  his phone number. Most probably, the last time I spoke to him was at the All Blogs do, sometime early July at the Bloghouse.

On top of that, I was busy that Friday. In fact, I was busy the whole week. As a Head of Department in a financial services firm, I had a few of very important proposals to deliver within the month (since early October would be Hari Raya week and the whole month of October and November, many decision makers would be busy with their own thingy). Then again there is the Q4 business plan that must be done in a two weeks time. By end of office day that Friday, I was already on the way to Alor Setar, braving the torrential rain, during fasting time. I would not have time to talk to bloggers, especially people like Raja Petra.

Why would the Special Branch tells me information that Raja Petra is on any arrest list? Especially they know that I am a blogger as well and amongst the bloggosphere fratenity, Raja Petra is a friend and I have been seen with him in public, several times.

In fact, on the day Raja Petra was arrested, I was in Johor Bahru and Singapore for official company  business. By the time the Sin Chew Jit Poh lady was arrested in Penang, I was on the way to Changi International, to catch a flight back. Then I checked in and switched off my phone. When I arrived in KLIA, it was Maghrib. So I did my prayers first. By the time I switched my phone on, which right after iftar, there had been at least 22 missed calls. Most of them from journalists I know. Then one call came through moments after I got both phones on. Rumour has it, the Police was looking for me, after Raja Petra and the Sin Chew journalist. Then more calls coming in, asking me whether I am alright or already under Police custody.

By the time DAP Seputeh MP YB Theresa Kok was picked up, there exist a strong rumour about “a list of 12 bloggers wanted  in by the Special Branch, for investigations”. And BigDog was on that list!

Many mainstream and alternative media journalists knew of this so-called ‘list’ and called me the whole of the Friday night and early Saturday morning. They were very concerned and on top of wanting the latest news on who had been picked up by the Police, after Raja Petra, the Sin Chew lady and Theresa Kok.

How could I be a Special Branch informant, if I am also a ‘target’, on the same ‘list’ as Raja Petra? Shouldn’t the Special Branch be ‘taking care’ of their informants especially those “important enough to be passed a copy of an SD alleging the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister and two serving army Col.s in association of a murder of a foreign national”, instead hunting them down and hauling them up?

So, Ungku, I dare you again:

1. Name the Special Branch officer who is supposed to be my neighbour and passed me a copy of your SD alleging Datin Seri Rosmah and two army officers in the association of the murder of  Mongolian national Altantuyaa Shaariibuu

2. Please provide proof that I called you on 5 September 2008 and your allegations that I warned you that you would be picked up by the Special Branch, under the Internal Security Act.

Again, failing which will ONLY AFFIRM YOUR COMPULSION TO PERPETUALLY LIE!

Hitler’s Nazi Chief of Propanganda Joseph Goebbels once said “If you lie and continue to lie, it will become the ”truth’ “. Most likely, this is something that Raja Petra managed to achieve, with his gullible Malaysia Today conspiracy addicts.

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 15:33  Comments (58)  

Lim Guan Eng ‘Flip-Flop’ed

It seems the Pakatan Rakyat never put their money where their mouth is. In Malay, “Cakap tak serupa bikin” (Put his money where his mouth is). Case in point is Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng’s stance on the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

This is The Sun’s report on the story:

WEB EDITION :: Local News

Penang probe into secrets leak


by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN (May 12, 2009): Chief Minister  Lim Guan Eng said today a probe in underway to flush out the culprits responsible for leaking confidential information from the state government’s offices.

 

“During the previous state legislative assembly, it seemed that the Opposition was privy to some details including the minutes of the state executive councillors’ meeting which are supposed to be confidential, so there is a leak of information,” he said.

Lim said immediately after the state assembly, the state secretary had initiated investigations to uncover the leaks, adding that stern action will be taken against whoever found to have leaked information to outsiders.

While categorically stating that the state government has nothing to hide and that it was not worried about the Opposition having such information , Lim said he was more worried about other information being leaked out to interested parties for profit or benefit of other parties, especially business interests.

“I wish to remind all civil servants that they are under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) oath and they should know that they must not leak confidential information to outsiders,” he told a press conference after four of his new special assistants took the OSA oath at his office.

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

However, like everything else about Pakatan Rakyat, there is never consistency on their policies. Not long ago, in a matter of fact, hardly two weeks ago, the DAP Chairman was against the OSA. This is what was chronicled in DAP-puppet former Perak MB Dato’ Seri Mohd. Nizar Jamaluddin’s blog.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders just pick-and-choose what ever and when ever anything and everything is convenient to them. Now that Lim as a Chief Executive of a State Government finds the convenience of the OSA, they are all for it. When they are back as full time Oppositions, they vehemently are against it.

OSA is the second most dreaded “draconian” law, after the Internal Security Act (ISA). We here at BigDogDotCom are willing to bet: If and when PR gains control of the Federal Government fully, they would find it useful and religiously defend the law.

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 16:06  Comments (29)  
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