Saying it right

Recently concluded ADMM-Plus in Bandar Seri Begawan

The current position of Malaysia when it comes to regional maritime issues from the goe-poltical stand point is very important. Our neutrality and open-ness should not be misconstrued that we are taking a position for any of the more powerful forces to flex their muscle and throw their weight around. More over, at the expense and behest of another nation especially our regional economic partners and neighbours.

Bangkok Post report:

Malaysia, Asean split on sea threat

Malaysia differed with fellow Southeast Asian claimants in the South China Sea on the threat posed by China, dismissing concerns about patrols off its coast.

A Chinese marine surveillance ship is seen offshore of Vietnam’s central Phu Yen province on May 26, 2011. (Reuters photo)

Malaysia is not worried about how often Chinese ships patrol the areas it claims in the waters, Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in an interview in Brunei yesterday. Chinese Navy ships in March visited James Shoal off Malaysia, near where Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Petroliam Nasional Bhd have oil and gas operations.

“Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies,” Hishammuddin said on the sidelines of meetings with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as well as the United States. The Chinese “can patrol every day, but if their intention is not to go to war” it is of less concern, he said. “I think we have enough level of trust that we will not be moved by day-to-day politics or emotions.”

Malaysia is one of six claimants to land features in the South China Sea, an area where competition for gas and fish has led to boats being rammed and survey cables cut. The Philippines and Vietnam reject China’s map of the sea, first published in the 1940s, as a basis for joint exploration.

“Asean is divided on the South China Sea dispute because all the members have different interests in the South China Sea and their relationships with China also differ,” said Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

“Vietnam and the Philippines see the dispute as a major national security concern while Malaysia and Brunei always downplay tensions.”

US Concerns

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel met Hishammuddin on Thursday, alongside defense ministers from Asean, China, Japan and South Korea, for the second ADMM-Plus security summit. Hagel told ministers he was concerned by a rise in maritime incidents and tensions in the waters.

“Actions at sea to advance territorial claims do not strengthen any party’s legal claim,” Hagel said, according to remarks prepared for delivery. “Instead, they increase the risk of confrontation, undermine regional stability, and dim the prospects for diplomacy.”

The situation in the South China Sea is “stable,” said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, after meeting his Thai counterpart Surapong Tovichakchaikul in Beijing on Thursday. “Such a stable situation does not come easily and we should dearly cherish it,” he said.

“There is no real problem with freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, nor will there be a problem in the future.”

Collaboration Option

Malaysia could consider collaborating on the development of oil and gas resources with China in the area, Hishammuddin said in the interview.

“Provided our friends in Asean know, those who have an interest in the region know, and if they want to object, I would like to know why?” Hishammuddin said. “If they’re just objecting for the sake of objecting, that doesn’t make sense.”

China National Offshore Oil Corp estimates the South China Sea may hold about five times more undiscovered natural gas than the country’s current proved reserves, according to the US Energy Information Administration. In June, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak called for parties to jointly develop resources to avoid conflict and prevent “extra-regional states” from becoming involved.

Najib cited a joint development zone in waters claimed by Thailand and Malaysia as a precedent that could be applied in the South China Sea. China has agreed to talks on a code of conduct for the area, with discussions to begin in September.

Brunei Meetings

“China is somewhat reluctant to reach a consensus on the code of conduct with Asean members, if the area covered by the code of conduct is in certain portions of the South China Sea claimed by China,” said Arthur Ding, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Taiwan.

Meeting host Brunei, which claims some of the South China Sea, has suggested setting up a hotline to address disputes in the waters, said a senior US defense official who can’t be named according to government policy. That has been under discussion for some months with Asean talking about other ways to avert conflict, such as no first use of force and holding exercises on avoiding collisions at sea, the official said.

Hagel will visit Vietnam next year at the invitation of Vietnam’s defense minister, according to the US official. Hagel also met his counterpart from Myanmar for talks in Brunei on Wednesday, the first meeting of top defense figures from the two countries in 20 years, the official said.

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

Malaysia enjoys the cordial and highly workable but firm geo-political relationship between ASEAN partners and other international forces with vested interest in the region. It is imperative that the nation maintain the neutrality and avoid trying to be seen as ‘leaning’ or even posses any tendencies to any of the superpowers trying to wrestle the bigger clout in the region.

Malaysia also maintain the strong ‘non violence’ principles, approach and more frequent consultations for resolving issues in the region, which include closer diplomatic relationship amongst ASEAN members and between the economic grouping with the member of ADMM-Plus forum.

Bernama report on Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein’s take on the recently concluded ADMM-Plus forum in Brunei

ADMM Agrees To Pursue Non-violence Principle In Disputes

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 (Bernama) – The Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) has agreed to pursue the non-violence principle in resolving disputes, especially in the South China Sea.Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said it also agreed to establish cooperation in cyber security and social media management.”The defence ministers also agreed to enhance defence ties and interaction between military and defence officials at all levels,” he said in a statement at the end of ADMM in Bandar Seri Bagawan, Brunei, Thursday.Other consensus reached was to address accountability for the ADMM 10th anniversary and explore cooperation in security and defence with partner countries.Hishammuddin also held bilateral talks with the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos and ADMM-PLUS members Australia and China.”Among those discussed were sharing of ideas and views on regional and international security issues, including what is happening in Egypt and Syria.”

–BERNAMA

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

However, the connotation on Malaysia’s position must be expressed in the purview of diplomacy. It is not adequate that only the military and diplomatic professionals understand what is going where else some of the errand media could manipulate and general public could easily misconstrued and make a totally adverse conclusion.

Defense Minister Hishamuddin has been described by military professionals as “An apt and able defense minister, very quick to adapt and high ability to grasp and understand prevailing issues. A very diplomatic leader”. Another military analyst remarked “Easily warm up to defense ministers. Be it (US Defense Secretary Chuck) Hagel or (China Defense Minsiter Wanquan) Chang”.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kuala Lumpur, last Sunday

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kuala Lumpur, last Sunday

In the recently concluded regional defense ministers (plus China and United States) forum ADMM-Plus in Brunei, 90% of the issues raised, discussed and special focus given is on the maritime issues. This is because the score of balancing between the multiple claims, international maritime law of the sea and geo-political interest of certain nations within the South China Sea.

The South China Sea is right in the middle between all of the ASEAN nations (with the exception of Myanmar and Laos) and the other ADMM-Plus members such as China and United States. It is one of the most busiest and strategic waterways in the world. All the ADMM-Plus members have strategic and vested interest in the South China Sea.

Hishamuddin took over from Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the Defense Minister on 15 May and continued his predecessor’s work and policies. This include the role in the ADMM-Plus forum. The position of Malaysia in the perspective of maritime is very strategic and the cordial and strong working relationship either within ASEAN context and/or bi-lateral demonstrated Malaysia’s significant role in the region.

Xinhua report on the recently concluded ADMM-Plus:

Defense ministers vow to strengthen defense cooperation at ADMM-Plus

English.news.cn | 2013-08-29 19:19:10 | Editor: Chen Zhi

BRUNEI-BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN-ASEAN-CHINA-DEFENSE MINISTERS' MEETING-PLUS

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (R, front) attends a signing ceremony of the 2nd ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei, on Aug. 29, 2013. The 2nd ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus concluded here Thursday with the signing of the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration, in which the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to enhance peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai) 

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Defense ministers from ASEAN and its regional dialogue partners on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening defense cooperation in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Brought together by the second ASEAN defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), which concluded here Thursday, defense ministers reiterated the strategic importance of the ADMM-Plus and the need of closer cooperation.

The ADMM-Plus mechanism has played a major role in ushering a new wave of multilateralism among ASEAN and its dialogue partners, said Mohammad Yasmin Bin Umar, chairman of the second ADMM-Plus, who described the meeting as “a significant milestone” in the evolving security architecture of the region.

Firstly convened in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi on Oct. 12, 2010, the regional event has involved 18 member states, including ministers from the 10 ASEAN nations, as well as those from Australia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

Practical cooperation and activities have been conducted among the defense forces of the ADMM-Plus countries since the event’s establishment, which have promoted understanding and improved interoperability of all member countries, according to the meeting.

On this basis, ministers agreed to further promote capacity- building through greater engagements and interactions, enhance interoperability through training and joint exercises, and establish mechanisms for effective response, said a statement issued after the meeting.

“We must continue to strive for securing the future of our peoples by responding effectively to current and future challenges and opportunities through the spirit of solidarity, compassion and collective responsibility,” said Yasmin, who is also Minister of Energy of Brunei Darussalam.

The ministers also agreed to establish practical measures that will reduce vulnerability to miscalculations, and avoid misunderstanding and undesirable incidents at sea, the statement said.

Asia-Pacific nations should take a route of pragmatic cooperation and shared prosperity and maintain common security through dialogues and negotiations, as well as increasing mutual trust, said Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan at the meeting.

After the meeting, the ministers signed the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration of the second ADMM-Plus.

The third ADMM-Plus is scheduled to be held in Malaysia in 2015.

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

The two super-powers have been trying to flex their muscle and throw their weight around, to gain the psychological if not physical dominance in the region and particular the South China Sea. Malaysia’s neutrality means that the nation’s approach to both super-powers in the position of a friendly nation and earning significant respect.

In Defense Minister Hishamuddin’s own words “We are straddling between the US and China”.

However, it is unfortunate that all that are not transpired whenever he engages the media.

“Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies,” Hishammuddin said on the sidelines of meetings with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as well as the United States. The Chinese “can patrol every day, but if their intention is not to go to war” it is of less concern, he said. “I think we have enough level of trust that we will not be moved by day-to-day politics or emotions.”

Defense Minister Hishamuddin should not have said these in the connotation and context that he could be misquoted. Even if he was responding to a question. He must be mindful that some of these media have a premeditated agenda, serving their political masters.

The famous line between personal tutor Reginald Johnstone and His Majesty Chinese Emperor Aisin-Gioro Puyi “A gentleman will always say what he means and means what he said” comes to mind, when a statement is made by an official. The official must foremost be mindful of the diplomatic implication from how things are said and in the context that it was said.

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Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 20:00  Comments (42)  

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  1. Bro if you listen to the darndest statements Hisham says as minister you’ll wonder how he is currently in line for the PMship in future. He is holding the important portfolio bcoz cuz Najib had to move him away from Home Affairs as his position there was no longer tenable. The sentiments against hisham’s continued stewardship of KDN was getting too loud among the UMNO rank & file. The last straw was his poor handling of the Lahad Datu incursion by the Filipino rag tag army. Remember his infamous gaff when he stated that the invaders were not terrorists but visitors with family ties in Sabah? I was made to understand that officers and men in bukit Aman were hopping mad at Hisham after the death of the two VAT69 commandos. But PM had to send him to an equally senior portfolio to reflect his position as UMNO VP. unfortunately, that position is the important ministry of defence!

    • Is he “currently in line for the PMship in future”? Who says that? Maybe I missed a lot of reading or I haven’t been reading the right stuff. But I have never got the impression that he is in line. God forbid.

      If they vote him as Vice President again, then sad for the Malays. Giving undue regard to sons of past leaders, voting without thinking whether they have brains or not.

  2. Sir, you described defense professionals describing Hisham as ” an apt and able defense minister, able to adapt…”. I think these so called defense professionals were being careful and diplomatic themselves. Obviously they were not being honest. Has Hisham ever been articulate? Even the selected sounbites over friendly media have proven quite a challenge to fathom from his Youth And Sports days until now!

  3. For how long does the country have to put up with Mediocre Ministers in Strategic posts just because of family Connections?

  4. Come to think of it, its actually very scary having such a person helming MinDef. I shudder to think if war were to break out, how will the officer corps put up with such clueless leadership! If and when that moment comes, lets hope it’ll be another person sitting in the chair.

  5. Some people try to over say things. More than is necessary. To show off what little they know or understand. In dealing with a major issue concerning disputes in the South China Sea, it is best to articulate the common stand as jointly agreed in an official statement, rather than to be clever by saying things that were meant for internal consumption. There’s a saying that ‘ an enemy of an enemy is a friend’ but his is ‘ doesnt mean your enemy is our enemy’. I guess I know what he meant but wish he had reserved it for internal consumption. But the cat is out of the bag and our neighbours could already read into Malaysia’s position for better or for worse.

  6. But good to know that Malaysia has taken a middle ground position i.e neither tilting to the US nor to China.

  7. postgrad 23:19, u think we hv many options? china almost has a bluewater navy and is projecting power. the americans are counteracting, hence the repivoting of their pacific forces to asia. the pragmatic policy stance, therefore, is for msia to engage regional actors but recognise the reality of the american strategic interests. the challenge,however, will be to ensure extra-regional forces do not complicate the situation which is already tense owing to overlapping territorial claims.

    • Why are you asking me that question. Didn’t I say I was glad to know that Msia had taken a middle ground position. Any different from what you tried to advocate?

      • Do read my past comments on China’s military modernisation and its path towards a blue water navy, and its Corbett & Mahanian approaches in protecting its trading routes. And also do read my past comments on hegemonic transition occurring in the Asia Pacific region.

      • “recognise the reality of the american strategic interests” -

        If that means accomodating the US presence and “pivoting” role in the South China Sea and befriending the ASEAN members, I support that.

    • I support SeaPatrol’s opinion. I have not been happy with China’s show of strength since its rise to the world’s No.2 economic power. Flexing their muscle against the Japanese, the Philippines and God knows who next in terms of territorial claims. And they are a huge country already, next only to Russia, I think.

      No doubts they have 1.2 billion population. And it has been overflowing for a long time already. But what can relative small islands – some are mere rocks – do to help with their hunger for land? For oil and food resources within the territorial waters, yes. But aren’t they already No.2 in the world and can think out and implement new technologies to increase their existing and new- found food resources.

      But I fear the natural consequence of naik kepala in terms of territorial conquest and aggrandizement. Nations and leaders have been that way for hundreds of years in history. The League of Nations lasted only 20 years and now the United Nations 60 years but after Iraq, the UN Security Council is again divided over Syria. Yes, the deterrence of nuclear bombs and apocalypse. But will it be permanently so, if geopolitics is not properly handled?

      Will it be proper handling of the south China Sea situation if the US “pivoting scheme” is not supported and “Menteri Amaran” now becomes “Menteri Tak Berhaluan”? Saying “‘doesn’t mean your enemy is our enemy’” to the press at a conference where ASEAN Defence Ministers were present? Has he had full discussions with his ASEAN colleagues and a joint press release issued stating the common stand and common strategies or the variations of fellow members defence strategies?

    • My fear of disturbance in the status quo in this region (including of, course, the Far East) may not be seen as borne out of naievity. I want to avoid seeing a situation where my lecturer once said, “little amuses the nuisance, what more the fool”. And he was talking of demagogues, power hungry despots and mentally crazy autocratic blokes that included Indonesian President Sukarno who had an undeclared war against Malaysia called “Konfrontasi”.

      And the Chinese, after the tumultuous hundreds of years of foreign conquest, occupation and rule (Mongols and Manchus – Manchuria was a foreign country until the 20th Century) and many decades of experimenting with communism, may harbour thoughts of political ascendancy and world domination. All sorts of factors came into play leading to the Iraq War and now possibly the Syrian War. China may be homogenous in its population composition but may not be so in the political thoughts among members of its Politbureau the membership of which changes from time to tome.

      The average older-generation Chinese in China I’m quite sure would like a head on collision with the Japanese (who have a war-renouncing Constitution since the end of World War II), who have been seen as bullying the Chinese many times in history. This has been borne out by the reports on Chinese reaction to the stand off on the island that Japan has claimed for a long time and China has recently tried to assert its right to it.

      • “little amuses the nuisance, what more the fool”.

        Do observe the photograph above and others showing him laugh. Very heartily. More so than others around him.

        But the man is loyal to his cousin Najib till death. Politically, that is.

        Only question is, did he consult Abang Jib before the Brunei conference? Or just read Ah Jib Gor’s pronouncements on foreign policy, TPPA, Tun Mahathir’s differing views etc? And made such a stupid mistake as saying “doesn’t mean your enemy is our enemy”.

        And spent the next few hours and days explaining to ASEAN colleagues what he meant.

  8. BD,

    Its comforting to see Malaysia is still adopting the neutral standing, instead of leaning either towards US or China.

    Although Najib the Felinist has been seen to be pro-Obama (a huge thanks to overtly unstable-hormone ambassador with ministerial status JJ), then again he is also been trying hard to be in the close friendship circle with China. Of course he is also renewing relationship with PM Cameron.

    Not to forget his cordial relationships with PMs Yinkluck, BG Lee and Hun Sen and Presidents SBY and Nonoy III around the region.

    When it comes to internal security, we are the best in the neighbourhood. Coupled with careful and very tight inteligence handiwork, diplomacy and regional co-operation are Malaysia’s proven success story of combatting communism without using excessive brute and deadly force.

    Never the less, Malaysia is a maritime nation with huge body of water between Semenanjung, Sarawak and Sabah. Add the near 4,500km of coastline, it is almost impossible to keep our borders from being porous.

    Look at the Lahad Datu incidence. Or the number of illegal immigrants and value of smuggling via our coast. At the current capability, it is a security nightmare to prevent from situation getting worse.

    Pls dont tell us Hisham the Cousin-Brother will continue with his ‘Amaran’ and ‘Amaran Keras’ tactics now in MINDEF!

    The armed forces, police, customs and MMEA are in dire need of assets, materiel and personnel. Definitely the need to move into blue ocean navy.

    But pls be realistic! The last frigates acquired were delivered almost 15 years ago. The six Kedah class OPVs are “Fitted for but not with”. There are still no maritime patrol/AWACS/AEW a/cs. Govt has delayed to announce the acquisition of MRSS and LCS.

    Thanks to the poor communications, to ward off all the Oppo lies and manipulation that resorted military assets acquisition as ‘controversial’ and ‘corrupt’. Najib the Felinist’s govt is now seen as weak, to decide on development programs for defense and security.

    Poor communications is actually demonstrated in this Bangkok Post story!

    In the role of strategically supporting and sustaining continuous economic growth, development programs for defense and security must be consistent and regenerative.

    Unfortunately, it is not the case. Our military assets are getting old and becoming obsolete.

    I doubt on the statement that Hisham the Cousin-Brother is “An apt and able defense minister, very quick to adapt and high ability to grasp and understand prevailing issues. A very diplomatic leader”.

    He could prove to be otherwise IF and WHEN HE PROVIDE SOME BALLSY LEADERSHIP and announce new and substanstial defense and security development programs. This incl acquisitions of much needed assets.

    How he gets it, that’s his job as the minister in charge of defense!

    Otherwise, I shall remain a skeptic when it comes to the man who brought keris into UMNO as a ritual, but later flip-flopped.

    • “When it comes to internal security, we are the best in the neighbourhood.”

      Really? Spore and Brunei will certainly disagree with you. They have been reading the maddening situation in Malaysia as a result of the repeal of the ISA, EO, RRA, and the effects of just the announcement on the repeal of the Sedition Act (what more after the actual repeal by Ajib).

    • Ex AA & Co. I agree with your bit on neutrality. Willy nilly, our beloved Malaysia has become the MOST IMPORTANT STRATEGIC GEO-POLITICAL CHOKE POINT IN THE WORLD . Thanks to the great United States re-balancing act. Now even more so as the US of A fumbled in Syria and lost credibility. Because of our stable politics, good population and natural resources and location astride the Straits of Melaka and the South China Sea, THE BIG GUYS WILL COME A-CALLING. I sincerely hope our Ministers remember ‘ SOVEREIGNTY, NATIONAL INTEREST, AND SELF-ESTEEM ‘ LIKE THE GOOD TUN DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD. Otherwise our beloved Malaysia may lose money, assets, territories etc in PEACETIME OVER A ROUND OF GOLF. The Tun does not understand or play golf !

      It is TIME OUR MINISTERS THINK OF BEING VESTRAL VIRGINS AND BE FRIENDS OF ALL AND SUNDRY !

      • Addendum. The loss of money, assets, territories etc in peacetime and not in War.2002-2013.apart from parachuting a PAP cadre into the Chief Editor’s seat of the UMNO owned New Straits Times !!!

        1. The Re-arrangement of the UN Saddam Hussein Sanctions
        2…The Re-arrangement of 2 blocks of territory for oil exploration.
        3. The loss of Pulau Batu Putih in 2008
        4. In 2008, the Indonesian International Bank was purchased from Temasek Singapore and Kookmin Bank. The DAP now alleges the Maybank will lose billions and billions soon.
        5. The huge sale and repurchase of shares, TNB etc. And the other sale of shares.
        6. The 25 miles of steel rails in Singapore rightlfully belongs to KTM
        7. The 1962 Water Agreement with Singapore in which our beloved Malaysia delivering free water and paid for this as well.
        8. The the very early 1980s Indian Palm Oil Tariff Bungle.
        9. What we do not know we do not know !

      • Out of the 10 instances of losses in peacetime instead of War, 7 involved Singapore.

    • The very fact that we have 4,500 km of coastline .. “almost impossible to keep our borders from being porous”, and jointly responsible for keeping the highly used Straits of Malacca, shows we need more than the 2 submarines that we have.

      Heck, Little Red Dot Singapore also has 2 submarines, don’t they? And some one said our defence equipment are generally obsolete and antiquated.

      Yet, in rushing to developed nation status, Najib is not willing to spend much on defence. He’d have some cash to give away to Chinese schools and the like. So, where do we stand? in a wooden bath tub in the South China Sea? With Hishamuddin wavering his keris and shouting coarse?

      And we talk about defending our territorial integrity and national sovereignty without arranging for assistance from those whose overall interests may coincide with ours? Not even having the same strategies as the ASEAN neighbours? Stand offish to US overtures for working together in this region?

      Who are we kidding, man? Ourselves? Let’s get real for goodness sake.

      War is not an option by anybody? Then why the hell was there an Iraq War? And now possibly a Syrian War? What the hell do they mean by “War is an extension of diplomacy”? The world over have there not been totally conflicting and irreconcilable stands?

      US may be involved in Iraq and Syria, but is China a saint? Have they been one by flexing their muscles of late? We simply cower behind whoever others may be menacing when the time comes? No deterrent factor at all for a big power which may have any interest beyond the normal, especially when ASEAN Defence Ministers heard our apparently disunited stand, “doesn’t mean your enemy is our enemy”?

      Excuse the many questions, people. Please feel free to answer.

      • Singapore, a one street town, with a full Cabinet of Ministers capable of ruling a country of 50 Millions, a complete Military and spies and Embassies around the World, imploded without being attacked or to go into action in October 2008. She lost US$108 Billions (RM350 Billions) overnight. This hurts because Singapore wherewithal is based entirely on MONEY, MONEY, MONEY !

      • History hv shown that the war against communism in Malaysia (be it in Semenanjung or Sarawak) was won with a lot Intel (SB & MIO) work. Not indescriminate bombing or shelling.

        Malaya couldnt afford a large conventional force to support that kinda war.

        It must be the fancy and skillful on intel work, where the Security Forces exactly knew who were the bandits and their maneuvres.

        We cant win on assets Vs assets game of the regional military upmanship. Then again, that is not withstanding the fact that the RMN and RMAF need to upgrade on their assets. At least to be at par, to provide the psychological feeling that our forces are able to defend any incursion over our sovereignty.

        2 Scorpene subs and 16 SU30MKMs are simply not enough against RSN’s 6 subs and RSAF’s F15SGs.

        This is something Hisham the Cousin-Brother must stand up and be heard.

  9. Hishamuddin is stupid and nothing intelligent has ever come out from his mouth. Typical Melayu UMNO who is maximizing the goodwill of his father’s and grandfather’s name. Bodoh punya Menteri.

    • Who is the untypical Melayu UMNO? Anwar Al Juburi? Remember he is an ex-Melayu UMNO. Maybe not even Melayu. When people spoke about Ketuanan Melayu, he spoke about ketuanan rakyat. He bullshitted all over the places.

      I don’t mind you say Hishamuddin bodoh. But idiotic of you to say “Typical Melayu UMNO”.

  10. Sorry for digressing, but can any one tell me why there needs to be a Police report before any investigations is made -

    Police to investigate parties putting up Sang Saka Malaya flags
    Astro Awani – ‎4 hours ago‎

    KUALA LUMPUR: Police would investigate the waving of the ‘Sang Saka Malaya’ flag if there was a police report lodged on it, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

  11. “Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies,” Hishammuddin said on the sidelines of meetings with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as well as the United States.

    This “gaff” has been picked-up and reported all over the world. It is no longer about our neutrality, instead it is reflective of our minister incompetency and lack of diplomacy in international forum. You would not say such things openly to those you consider as your friends. There are other ways to make your position known.

    That statement in itself has been interpreted by our ASEAN neighbors as indicative that we are no longer neutral. Thanks to the minister, we just like Cambodia; are now lump together as the Chinese lackey in ASEAN.

    ASEAN has been pushing the idea of ASEAN Centrality (and with that neutrality) for a long time, and by committing a diplomatic blunder of this magnitude on such critical issue to ASEAN, the minister had not only undermined it, but also successfully set those effort back by several years.

    “The Chinese “can patrol every day, but if their intention is not to go to war” it is of less concern, he said. “I think we have enough level of trust that we will not be moved by day-to-day politics or emotions.”

    Does the minister aware of how we lost Pulau Batu Putih? To recollect, one of the main reason was us responding with “Tiada Bangkangan” to Singapore effort at building and maintaining the light house. The ICJ translated that as we couldn’t care less about who is exercising its sovereign right over the disputed territory, which was further interpreted as; either we never see it as ours or we have given up our ownership and right to that territory. Good thing that they did not erect anything on Middle Rock and South Ledge, otherwise we would have lost that too.

    Clearly the minister does not have the slightest clue as how it is out at sea when you are confronted with warship able, and will if they want to, cause serious damage and fatalities to your own. And I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Chinese PLA-N had been the most aggressive as well as the only side to have engaged other claimant’s naval assets with deadly force. They have also remove by force other claimants structures and personnel from their respective atolls and replace them with their own, subsequently claiming it as theirs henceforth. Currently their Maritime Surveillance ships patrolling that part of South China Sea are preventing Philippines fishermen from fishing in an area that they have been fishing since time immemorial. They have also forcefully prevented and damaged oil exploration vessels from other countries from conducting exploration well within their own boundary as define by UNCLOS. They have even challenged ours! In each situation stating that it is illegal and not in accordance with Chinese Law. At one point recently, they conducted blockade and prevent food and supplies from being sent to personnel manning their countries atolls. And while doing this, the Chinese kept on saying that they “want peace and the situation is stable”.

    Is it war? No it is not. But is it detrimental to our interest? Should we not care?

    I am just too disappointed to comment further.

    • I will continue to comment for you and for me.

      I’m damn glad you see it that way as you stated above. I support the view that the Chinese must be observed closely, and we must prepare plans to counter them should they start raising their flag or constructing light houses on the island that we have claimed. And not counter by raising our fists or Hishamuddin’s keris.

      Damn it, if we, as a small fry, haven’t the resources to stand up to China on our own, why be so damn arrogant and sombong bongkak not to have defence treaties like we used to have in the past?

      And if we don’t want to be tied up with military pacts in deference to espirit de corps with Asean etc, what’s wrong in having a loose arrangement with a Super Power like US? They have not asked to build bases on any of our territories. Why not some other kind of arrangement where they’ll come to our side should any bullying by China occurs, like they did to the Philippines? And the Philippines have to rush up bringing back Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base north of Manila to somewhere near the standard when the US had military bases there during the Vietnam War etc.

      And wherefore is the Asean spirit in just one little whimper by China? The Philippines now collaborating with US, Vietnam maybe, Thailand had always been well disposed to US, Cambodia regarded as a Chinese lackey – damn it, now Malaysia, too, eh? And if we have to be seen as aligned, for goodness sake, let’s get aligned with the proper fellas, please side.

      So what now, fellas? Mau berlagak macam orang kuat dan pandai, mau lawan pun pakai keris saja? Crazy!

      • Aiyyo, my typing or my thoughts jumping – it should be

        “let’s get aligned with the proper side, please.:.

      • Thanks Haba,

        On choosing side, the things is we may not agree with US with regard to their worldview and at times, their actions. However we do not have a dispute with them as far as our core interest is concern. With China, it is a different ball game altogether. The South China Sea dispute have serious repercussion to our core interest – it affect our territorial integrity!

        US is a known “quantity” if you like, it is the largest economy, most powerful in all instrument of national power, democratic and a country that generally adhere to the rule of law and respect treaties. China on the other hand is a rising power, communist, known to have killed their own people when they see fit (which includes thousands of muslims), and in the South China Sea disputes, have acted aggressively while singing a different tune. US interest is freedom of navigation which also benefit us, while China is intent on controlling the traffic, going as far as saying that it has the right to board any ship that pass through that area – which is against the established international rules and norm; an action clearly detrimental to our interest. (and oh don’t trust/quoted what they said, their action so far had proofed otherwise)

        I am not espousing that we side with the US immediately and become part of the larger China containment effort, instead what I am saying is lets cooler heads prevail. Let us examine carefully where our national interest lies. What is of the utmost importance to us? How best can we go about protecting or advancing it?

        Just because we hate the American “bully” (particularly for their preaching and it make people, especially politician popular for being seen as a stand-up guy), doesn’t mean we should side with another, possibly even worst bully. US has helped us directly or indirectly in times of crisis (WW2, confrontation, communist insurgency etc), China on the other hand has been either the source or part of the source of some of those problems.

        I know it is not as straight forward as a couples of paragraphs can explain, but that should give us a good idea of the state of things.

        p/s Just imagine this – the Central Committee of the Communist Party (popularly refer to as CEC) that effectively run China is currently populated by the same character as those in the DAP CEC. Will you trust them?

      • Nope, I won’t trust them, bro. For the many reasons you have explained and others that have been explained before. I don’t trust many of the 23% Chinese in this country. Especially after the Chinese tsunami. The DAP, especially. Many would sure become Fifth Columnists in the event of any physical conflict between this country and China. Lim Guan Eng officiated the opening of a building named Sun Yat Sen in Penang, a chap who had nothing to do with this country, except tumpang in Penang bila cabut lari dari pergolakan revolusi di China dahulu. That shows Guan Eng has been China First, not Malaysia First, cakap tak serupa bikin bloke.

        US’ traditional ally Taiwan has been no more – became part and parcel of China. Japan has a war-renouncing constitution they themselves volunteered to General Douglas MacArthur who ruled Japan after the Japanese surrender in 1945. Of course, in the event of looming physical conflict with China, the Japanese can suspend their constitution, turn their huge heavy industries factories with all sorts of machines for making precision equipment into producing arms, missiles, tanks and rockets very quickly – like has been pointed out by many people for decades – but the US may still be weary and object to the possible unleashing of another wave of Japanese patriotism of the kind seen in World War II.

        So Barrack Obama has made an official visit to our region beginning with Burma some time back, looking for a “pivot” in their policy of containment of China. They have been talking with the Australians about moving their “front line” there but the Chinese bullied the Filipinos on the island the Filipinos have been claiming. Now unclear whether, with the Filipinos allowing US ships and aircraft using Subic Bay and Clarke air fields, their front line will be the Philippines.

        I would like Malaysia to have a defence arrangement with the US so long as it does not involve them stationing their troops here – takut the old Malay proverb becoming a reality – “gajah dan harimau bertarung, pelanduk mati di tengah tengah.”

      • Singapore’s full Cabinet of Ministers which could rule a country of 50 Millions, a complete Military satrap with spies galore and a web of embassies around the World are not for Malaysia but Indonesia. With Malaysia, a round of golf of 19 holes would be sufficient to win territories, money, assets etc.hands down.

  12. Wan 17:39: obviously you are not abreast of the machinations in UMNO. The top five (Prez, Dep, 3 VPs) hv agreed for status quo. Perhaps incl Wanita & Youth chiefs (Pu3 chief not eligible as she has passed age limit). the incumbent VPs have started campaigning together. Their respective machineries (party operatives) are being coordinated. Hisham himself chaired one of the earliest meetings to coordinate the campaign for himself, shafie & zahid.

    Assuming the 3 incumbent VPs are retained, they are “in line for the PMship in future.” Shud the deputy president’s post become vacant, the president is obliged to choose from among the VPs to be the number two and presumably the heir apparent. Hint: some boys (i wont say whose) are already alluding to TS Muhyiddin’s age!

    If i disclose more about the unfoldingl manouvres you may not be able to go to sleep tonite. Lets save it for another day, shall we old chap!

  13. Could you guys trust these two super powers while you are trying to be neutral? There are racks of stories to tell about the Communist on the road to the dictatorship of Bourgeoisie versus the American psychic bids.

    The Cool Guy:

    We often wonder why in the hell the United States had to drop the atomic bombs (little Boy) on Hiroshima 6 August, followed by another bomb three days later over Nagasaki on 9 August 1945?  Options not to drop the atomic bombs were denied and dissented by Truman Administration.

    The worst Truman could have done was to give a little time for the Japanese emperor to consider for an unconditional surrender. Japan was militarily paralyzed and totally defenseless, the cities were heavily bombed and ruined by countless air strikes. Japanese war ships were none in operation and millions of Japanese soldiers  were scattered all over Asia.  A sea blockade should be enforced as an option by the American but it was withheld. If the sea blockade was to take effect, it be a matter of time before the Japanese would have surrendered. Then hundred thousand of Japanese countless lives would have been saved.

    Yet, after three days of the first atomic bomb was dropped, the second bomb was dropped over Nagasaki. Was that necessary for the second bomb? Had Truman made his point clear after dropping the first bomb?

    Prior to that, Truman had the second option before him. The atomic bomb could have been dropped somewhere on the Atlantic ocean before the eyes of the Japanese high command who were still in communication. They could have witnessed the impact of the bomb. It would have been devastating over Tokyo. A chance to forward to encountering the emperor for surrendering. But Truman withheld that option too.

    Truman Administration was blamed. The decision was deeply racist. Many would not think that barbaric act would being used against white civilians. Further, the dropping of the Atomic bombs were the first test on human population. A remarks, “who care about the yellow creatures”. Secondly, the objective was to demonstrate the weapon of mass distraction to the Soviet Union on the expenses of the yellow creatures. A showdown of the American military supremacy was an avowal.

    On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered. More than 150,000 Japanese citizens killed. Five days before 70,000 were vaporized and additional 100,000 were burned and died of radiation sickness. Regardless, the United States remains the only nation in the world to have used a nuclear weapon on another nation.

    What is repulsing, the American continue its policy of concealed aggression. In  1947 under the American National Security Act, the CIA was authorized to lead and legally allowed to carry out covert action. Then in 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 which further defined covert action of special activities, both political and military.

    This covert policy has uncovered its legitimacy that the US Government could not legally deny anymore. Like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, American involvement were obviously presence directly and indirectly. Promptly to make sure that prevailing American democracy and human rights charters fundamentally be commenced in the making for the new democratic Government. And at the same time, the American gives fullest assurance to defend his allies, declaring that Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the region are at risk. Besides, Bashar al-Assad has joined behavioral partnership with Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Assad was accused of turning his back against his own innocent Syrian people who have been slaughtered by the gas and subjected to more chemical attacks if America do not stand up to this.

    There were evidences of Special Activities of the CIA’s operational division involved in clandestine services overseeing by the United States Secretary of State in all the conflicts in the Middle East. Also, the inevitable strike on Syria would be a convention for Iran and North Korea to take note is the thinking of Obama’s Administration.

    The inclination for American military intervention is likely to happen very soon in Syria with or without the United Nation approval. As believed, the matter has brought before the American congress. Congress is unlikely not to turn its back on the President to soon military strikes on Assad’s regime.

    The fact of veracity, the Russian has sided arms with Syrian Government. Subtlety, the American is telling the Russian to tread the conflict lightly or to back off. Just like the event when the Soviet declared war on Japan two days after Nagasaki in 1945.

    The per-long conflict in the Middle East is an oppressed situation. However, the American is in a vital position in the making to prevent another cold war situation. Being the sole military power after Soviet Union crumbled, the US Government with its self-designation has the determination to lead and influence the Middle East for a new order.

    In the middle East, Syria is seen to be a buffer zone of the Iranian American conflict. In addition, Russia and China have been supportive to Syrian regime. Their military armaments are of great help to keep the Syrian military equipped to resist back the rebels and to stay foot as a sovereign Government. The beginning of the undeclared second cold war.

    Syria Government is most likely to win the civil war if without direct American military intervention. But the American’s call that the Syrian Government is in a defensive position. The usage of chemical weapon was an evidence of proof. But the chemical weapons if used is an excuse for the American to strike on behalf of innocent Syrian citizens. The justification is on for decisions and the new undeclared ‘COOL’ war is about to begin.

    • Hindsight always appears wiser than decisions made at the crucial time. Those were over 60 years ago.

      Imagine everybody’s anxiousness and desperation to stop the war after 4-5 bloody years of bang here and boom there all over the places. The hardships and sufferings so many people had to endure day after day, month after moth, year after year. Almost anything that would have stopped the war would have been used. The atom bombs did stop the war.

      And what if the bomb dropping was delayed and the Japs somehow got the upper hand? Example, you yourself said, “Japanese war ships were none in operation and millions of Japanese soldiers were scattered all over Asia.” Millions were a huge number, however scattered they might have been. But was the Allied military intelligence at that time faultless? Could there have been battleships that escaped Allied radar?

      Did any Army have a “perfect network of spies and informers and system of communication with HQ” so as to be 100% sure a wait would have saved the atom bombs from being used? No, I don’t think so. No hand phones, no satellites, no CCTVs at that time. So, I sure would defend the US decision in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      But you haven’t said anything about whether the Chinese can be trusted. I sure would like to hear your views on those.

    • The Americans say the Syrian government uses poisonous gas on its people. The Russians (who may have more secret agents in Syria than the Americans) say there is no clear proof.

      So many parties could have done exploded a few poisonous gas canisters. Including Israeli Mossad or even American CIA agents. The Zionist Israelis have always been having the agenda of weakening or bringing down Muslim governments the world over. The Israeli Lobby has “unmatched power” in the US, said Professor John Mearsheimer of Harvard University and one other Professor at Chicago University, in their jointly written paper pointing out the role of the Zionist Israelis in the decision to bomb Iraq for allegedly having Weapons of Mass Destruction which have not been found until now.

      So, do we believe the Americans this time? I do, though I don’t trust the Zionist Israelis and the Israeli Lobby in the US. Obama cannot run for President again but maybe he is asked to payback for the votes the Jews have given him at the last elections.

      But in our region, the influence of the Zionist Jews has not reared its ugly head. Maybe in Singapore, but rather muted or clandestine so far. So even if we “ada kira” with US in the containment of China, I think I can trust the Yanks. What say you?

      • PS:

        I “believe the Americans this time” only in so far as affairs in our region and pertaining to the containment of China is concerned.

        On Syrian government allegedly gassing their own people, I agree with Russian Vladimir Putin saying it’s not logical for Assad to want to do it as they were standing steady and would have lost all sympathy if they were to do it.

        My finger is on the Israeli Intelligence Service Mossad dirty tricks department. They have been doing such things even before they proclaimed a state of Israel in Palestine some 60 years ago. They have been so damn nasty since ancient history. Not just Adolf Hitler, so many others in Europe disliked them.

        Me racist? No, the Europeans were. Ask William Shakespeare – he wrote The Merchant of Venice in the 16th Century about a Jew demanding a pound of flesh of the man who couldn’t repay the loan he gave at very high interest, called usury, identified with Jews money lenders. Should you be in London, try attending the play in a West End theater, if it’s still on.

  14. I would think we were desensitized by the American and the Chinese constant exposures, especially the American.  Asean and partners may lose the  senses of urgency. The phenomenon of our regional maritime may seem static and wishful hope the conflict won’t materialize. Meaning, the next area of sea conflict would possible be in our region, the South China Sea.

    There were ample warnings of related insensitive of their nude arsenals, the two super powers by inception of their global politics, economics and governances.

    The new conflict front would not be about the  beneath energy in the South China Sea. Though the zone which amount is insignificant but it would be the beginning engagement of direct political contact between American and Chinese Navies if the American presence and intervention being obvious. 

    The American should learn to keep away from Asean matters. I would think the Chinese has the political sensitivity not because of their being communists but of theirs inoffensive foreign policies, as for the moment.

    • Sori, difficult to understand this comment of yours compared to the previous one.

      “we were desensitized”? “warnings of related insensitive of their nude arsenals”? “Chinese .. inoffensive foreign policies, as for the moment”? (Did you read what they did to or on the Philippine-claimed island and sending their ships to the Japanese-claimed one?)

      Won’t mind hearing your clarifications.

    • “I would think the Chinese has the political sensitivity not because of their being communists but of theirs inoffensive foreign policies, as for the moment.”

      MANILA, Philippines – Concrete blocks, believed to have been laid out by the Chinese, were spotted in the disputed Panatag Shoal (Scarborough) off Zambales which appears to be “a prelude to construction,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was quoted as saying in a radio report Tuesday.

      A reef located 124 nautical miles from Zambales, Panatag Shoal, once named as Bajo de Masinloc, is being disputed by China and Philippines. Chinese presence continues in the area with its surveillance and fishing vessels.

      The concrete blocks were spotted over the weekend by a Navy plane patrolling the area. A military source confirmed the presence of concrete blocks and said the scenario appeared to be heading towards the same situation with Mischief Reef or Panganiban Reef near Ayungin Shoal, which is located 70 nautical miles from Palawan.

      Structures built by China in the reef were sighted in 1995. The Chinese reportedly built structures initially to provide shelter for fishermen, but were later transformed into a military garrison.

      The Philippines had sought arbitration as provided under the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea to pursue its claims over the West Philippine Sea. It filed a diplomatic protest as Chinese ships continued to come and go into the resource-rich areas of Panatag and Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal), which were both within the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

      China claims nearly the entire sea and had been showcasing its aggressive behavior there, but the Philippines and other neighboring countries are claiming parts within their EEZ.

      Only last week, President Benigno Aquino III canceled a scheduled visit to a trade fair in China after Beijing reportedly withdrew its invitation. On Monday, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said that China relayed conditions for Aquino to attend the China-Asean Expo in Nanning. He did not give details of the conditions but said these were “absolutely inimical to our national interest.”

      Reports said however, that China wanted Manila to withdraw its arbitration case over the West Philippine Sea.

      - Inquirer, 3 September (today).
      ………………………………………………………………………………………..
      This might soon happen to us, thanks to our laissez-faire attitude toward our maritime borders (there is no political point to score, no issue for PRU)

      While doing this China keep saying “we want peaceful resolution to the non-disputable and non-negotiable sovereignty that China has over the South China Sea” (I am not kidding)

      They certainly are against external powers involvement and any arbitration. Ever wonder why? because without US it is much easier for them to just bulldoze and impose their will over a weak and (thanks to a certain Malaysian minister) disunited ASEAN.

      Arbitration put them at disadvantage because their claim is simply based on made-up historical account and they knew it. In any case, claim based on historical account are considered to be the weakest basis for territorial dispute.

      That is why they are against both, internationalization and arbitration on the South China Sea issue.

  15. Believe it or not, Kuala Lumpur is now the top espionage centre of the Far East as the capital of one of the most important strategic choke point in the World which stands astride from the Straits of Melaka to the South China Sea, a distance of 1,200 miles from end to end.

  16. […] late August, Defence Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein did a faux pas when he spoke to the media after the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting hosted in Bandar Seri […]

  17. […] Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein was reported to slip his tongue when meeting the press right after the ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting Plus meeting in […]


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