Making a Bogeyman from the Cloak and Danger Story

Ever since the Snowden expose about US, Australian and Singaporean intelligence outfits being in espionage against friendly countries, which include neighbors, there have been serious continuous enigma of efforts to cause further uneasiness for the public.

Bloomberg story:

Malaysia Summons Singapore Envoy as Spying Claims Widen

By Barry Porter & Manirajan Ramasamy – Nov 26, 2013 9:15 PM GMT+0800

Malaysia summoned Singapore’s high commissioner today to respond to allegations of spying which risk damaging improved political and business ties between the Southeast Asian neighbors.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and U.S. intelligence cooperation since the 1970s, facilitated in part by Singapore, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday, citing documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it was “extremely concerned” and had already acted against earlier claims of espionage by the U.S. and Australia.

Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong & Malaysia's PM Najib Razak

Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s prime minister, and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak shake hands in front of Malaysia’s landmark Putra Mosque in Putrajaya. Source: Government House/AFP/Getty Images

Johor–Singapore Causeway

Traffic flows in both directions over the one-kilometer long causeway that bisects the Johor Strait and links Singapore in the foreground with Malaysia in the background at dusk. Photographer: Jonathan Drake/Bloomberg

“It cannot be overemphasized that spying against a good friend and neighbor is unacceptable and goes against the true spirit of and commitment to good neighborly relations,” Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s foreign minister, said in an e-mailed statement before this morning’s meeting. “If those allegations are eventually proven, it is certainly a serious matter.”

Relations between Singapore and Malaysia have improved after half a century of tensions over issues such as water supply and ownership of a railway station, with the neighbors cooperating on real estate projects on both sides of the border and seeking to improve transport links. Malaysia is a party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations with Singapore and the U.S.

‘Accepted Norms’

The Sydney Morning Herald cited a map from the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked by Snowden showing Singapore forming part of a global network where cable traffic could be tapped. Michele Batchelor, a spokeswoman for Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (ST), declined to comment. SingTel is 52 percent-owned by Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company.

Ong Keng Yong, Singapore’s high commissioner, said he met with Malaysian Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Othman Hashim today to clarify various news reports. The envoy later said in a phone interview he had referred the articles to relevant agencies in Singapore and didn’t have any information to comment further.

“Singapore values our good relations with Malaysia,” Ong said. “We have no interest in doing anything that might harm our partnership or the friendship between our two countries.”

The secretary-general conveyed Malaysia’s deep concern over the alleged spying bySingapore, which had angered citizens, Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement late today. The alleged activities aren’t done among partners and close neighbors, the ministry said.

Snowden’s Allegations

Malaysia said in a statement last month it had sought clarification from U.S. Ambassador Joseph Y. Yun following allegations by Snowden that the U.S. had 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including at its Kuala Lumpur embassy. Yun said he’d received instructions to review the scope of surveillance, it said, without giving details.

“I don’t think we should be surprised that these sort of diplomatic statecraft are being practiced, even by the closest of neighbors,” said Eugene Tan, an associate law professor at Singapore Management University. “The question now is whether some of the intelligence gathering may have crossed accepted norms.”

The reports could also spur friction between Singapore and Indonesia, Tan said. “The Indonesians would probably be concerned whether the information is also being shared with Singapore intelligence, besides the Australians.”

Indonesia Friction

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has written to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as he seeks to repair relations after claims the phones of Indonesia’s leaders were tapped.

Yudhoyono halted cooperation with the Abbott government on asylum seekers and military operations after withdrawing his ambassador from Canberra last week, as tensions between the two countries reached their highest point in 14 years.

Yudhoyono’s spokesman Teuku Faizasyah didn’t respond to a mobile phone message seeking comment today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Barry Porter in Kuala Lumpur atbporter10@bloomberg.net; Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur atrmanirajan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson atrmathieson3@bloomberg.net

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Riong Kali dot com’s story:

Singapore also spying on Malaysia, says intelligence whistleblower

BY LOOI SUE-CHERN
NOVEMBER 25, 2013

The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, where spying activities allegedly took place. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 25, 2013.The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, where spying activities allegedly took place. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 25, 2013.More top secret documents leaked by American whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed that Singapore had aided the “5-Eyes”, the intelligence group behind a controversial spying activity in Malaysia.

Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad was quoted by Austalia’s Fairfax news agency as saying that Singapore was a key “third party” to provide access to Malaysia’s communications channel to the five nations accused of tapping telephone lines and monitoring communications networks in Malaysia.

The daily published a map showing the US’s stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels through interception facilities on the US’ West coast, Hawaii and Guam.

It depicts the facilities, linked between Australia and Japan, tapping all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean, with Singapore being part of the set up.

The Fairfax report said that since the 1970s, Malaysia and Indonesia have been targeted by Australian and Singaporean intelligence, since most of its telecommunications and Internet traffic goes through the island city-state.

It was reported last August that’s Singaporean intelligence partnered with the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia’s electronic espionage agency, to tap the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, passing through Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

This was allegedly facilitated by Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), the city-state’s government-owned telecomummincation giant.

On SingTel’s board to represent the government is none other than Peter Ong, the man who was once in charge of Singapore’s national security and intelligence coordination, and who is currently the country’s civil service chief.

The Fairfax report further claimed that Singtel has expanded intelligence and defence ties between Australia and Singapore in the last 15 years.

Last month, Snowden, a former Central Intellligence Agency officer who is at the centre of some 200,000 leaked documents showing America’s espionage worldwide revealed that Washington runs a monitoring station in its Kuala Lumpur embassy to tap and monitor phone and network communications.

Germany magazine Der Spiegel published a map showing the existence of some 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including in American embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Yangon.

The map dated August 13, 2010, however did not show any such facilities in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and Japan, Washington’s closest allies.

Last August, Australian intelligence sources confirmed Snowden’s claim that top-secret spying tool XKeyscore was used to spy on Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific countries.

XKeyscore boasted that the tool managed to capture 300 terrorists since 2008. – November 25, 2013.

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Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak admitted that if there was espionage between friendlies and the extend of it is deep and threatening national defense and security, then it might impair relationship.

Email    Print

06 November 2013| last updated at 11:52PM

PM: We oppose spying

By AZURA ABAS AND A. AZIM IDRIS | news@nst.com.my

SEEKING ANSWERS: Govt awaiting outcome of US espionage review, says Najib

PUTRAJAYA:   PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib   Razak said Malaysia opposes, in principle, any spying activity on any government as it touches on national sovereignty.

He said Malaysia had sent protest notes to the United States and Australia on the alleged spying by their Kuala Lumpur missions.

Kuala Lumpur, he added, also expressed concern that the issue could affect the healthy relations enjoyed by Malaysia and the nations involved.

“We have done what is considered an appropriate response on our part and we stand by the question of principle.”

Najib said he had been informed that President Barack Obama had ordered a review of all spying programmes carried out by the US.

“In principle, we are against any spying and surveillance that affects the country’s sovereignty. We are waiting for the review. We hope the matter will not develop into a controversy in future,” he said after the 2013 Maal Hijrah celebrations at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here yesterday.

Najib also questioned the extent of the clandestine ops allegedly carried out on the Malaysian government.

“The question now is, how far have these governments been gathering information on security, terrorism threats, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and transnational crime?”

Whistle-blower and former National Security Agency systems analyst-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden recently revealed that NSA was running a signals intelligence programme, headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland, called “Stateroom”, in which the American, British, Australian and Canadian embassies secretly housed surveillance equipment to collect electronic communications from the host countries, including Malaysia.

The four, along with New Zealand, have an intelligence-sharing agreement known as “Five Eyes”.

Intelligence operations carried out included intercepting radio communications, information, telecommunications and Internet traffic.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman summoned US deputy ambassador to Malaysia, Lee McClenny, and Australian high commissioner Miles Kupa to lodge Kuala Lumpur’s official protest.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said that spying on Malaysia by its allies was a serious matter because it could cause tension in relations that were long established based on trust and sincerity.

“I believe if this (spying) is not fully explained, our long-established good relations can be adversely affected.”

Read more: PM: We oppose spying – General – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/pm-we-oppose-spying-1.393262#ixzz2lmKjmJZ6

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One of the important avenue for the focal point of espionage activities is through diplomatic missions. Intelligence outfits often use the blanket of diplomatic immunity, to be the collection point before information are channeled to their respective beneficiaries.

It is to accuse any diplomatic mission of espionage without proper poofs. Hearsay and reports that appear in international media is not adequate. A more concrete evidence is required.

This morning, the Opposition brought this matter up as an agenda introduced for debate in Dewan Rakyat. Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia decided against it as ‘The matter is under investigation by Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Therefore, there is no urgency for the matter to be debated in Parliament”.

The Speaker is right.

Wisma Putra officials are working on it. They need to ascertain how deep, how long and how much of information obtained and collected by these acts of espionage. Most importantly, by whom and for what purpose.

Espionage is never a straight forward act of crime or against international diplomacy. Sometimes, it is so complex that some materials are allowed to be ‘leaked out’ for strategic ‘cat and mouse game’ using specific counter espionage purposes.

Intelligence community maintains certain rapport and communication system, to ensure that they are within the loop. Especially within the region.

Espionage between a neighbours in South East Asia could be in the end about how China is strategically moving its industrial might and international business clout in a West African country, which is thought to have a huge deposit of hydrocarbon.

Probably how Germany is introducing high technology industrial machineries into new markets in oil rich northern end of Latin America. The permutation is enormous.

It has been said that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was aware of the plan by the Japanese Imperial Navy to spring the surprise bombing on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, with the intention to cripple the US Navy.

Snowden’s revelation itself could be a strategic game, to create an international turmoil and negative reaction between friendlies. The objectives of  Snowden’s revelation with those information has yet to be ascertained.

Another important bit is that espionage isn’t always straight forward and targeted information could be extracted from a single document or file. Usually it is buried in heaps of information, collected and collated through time. Even on tapped recordings or transmissions, it have got to be deciphered and processed.

That is part of the reason why Royal Malaysian Police Special Branch officers are attached to several of Malaysian diplomatic missions abroad. They compliment the ‘research team’ which comprises of career diplomats and subject matter experts of said regions.

Patching up between strained friendlies could be something strategic on its own. One party could make the other commit for a policy or stance, just to prove their willingness to be close friends again.

It is not the time to be jumpy and react to all the media reports, so far based on speculations of several hearsay. In fact, remain calm and allow for professionals to finish their vetting on tons of documents. Let the Wisma Putra work what they need to do. In due time, the Foreign Minister and Home Minister would step forward to furnish after their comprehensive investigations.

What is glaringly clear is that Nurul Izzah’s damning fallacy about Special Branch assigning 30 officers to London and this morning’s attempt to debate and bring the espionage issue into open debate in the Dewan Rakyat was never a coincidence. That, could probably be an intelligence game at play.

Published in: on November 27, 2013 at 00:01  Comments (28)  

Commies Couple Named For Lambeth Slavery

A couple of Indian ethnicity was named by London Metropolitan Police, Arvindran Balakrishnan 73 and wife Chanda 67 . They are believed a breakaway of a small communist group.

Skynews breaking story:

Couple Arrested Over Slave Claim ‘Named’

4:08pm UK, Monday 25 November 2013

The couple suspected of holding three women in London for more than 30 years have been named as Aravindan and Chanda Balakrishnan.

A senior council source confirmed the pair were arrested last week by police amid allegations they held the women for decades and inflicted “physical and mental abuse”.

The couple, aged 73 and 67, are believed to have been well-known to the police in the 1970s after setting up a communist squat, the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre, in Acre Lane, Brixton in 1976.

Balakrishnan, who was known as Comrade Bala, was a former member of the national executive committee of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist) but documents show he was suspended from the party in 1974 for pursuing “conspiratorial and splittist activities”.

Documents also show how in 1978 police raided the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre arresting 14 members of the organisation, including Aravindan Balakrishnan and wife Chanda, referred to as Comrade Chanda.

A source at Lambeth Council said the couple were believed to have been in the property for around 10 years after moving there from a council property, and concerns had previously been raised with police about the education of the youngest woman.

Scotland Yard would not comment on the claims, but previously said two of the victims met the male suspect through a “shared political ideology”, living with him at an address that was effectively called a “collective”.

The alleged victims – a 30-year-old Briton, a 57-year-old Irishwoman and a 69-year-old Malaysian – are now in the care of a specialist non-governmental organisation.

Speaking earlier, Metropolitan Police commander Steve Rodhouse said: “We believe that two of the victims met the male suspect in London through a shared political ideology, and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call a ‘collective’.

“The people involved, the nature of that collective and how it operated is all subject to our investigation and we are slowly and painstakingly piecing together more information. I will not give any further information about it.

“Somehow that collective came to an end and the women ended up continuing to live with the suspects.

“How this resulted in the women living in this way for over 30 years is what we are seeking to establish, but we believe emotional and physical abuse has been a feature of all the victims’ lives.”

The case came to light after the Irishwoman rang the Freedom Charity last month to say she had been held against her will.

Scotland Yard said that part of the agreement on October 25 when the women were removed from the address was that police would not take any action at that stage.

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One of the three women held is a Malaysian. Wisma Putra has yet to ascertain more details on the matter.

Published: Saturday November 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday November 23, 2013 MYT 6:57:53 AM

More info sought on rescued Malaysian kept as slave in London

BY TASHNY SUKUMARAN AND NEVILLE SPYKERMAN

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Go­­­vernment is liaising with British authorities on the rescue of a 69-year-old Malaysian woman who was kept as a slave with two others for 30 years in London’s Lambeth district.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Wisma Putra was seeking details.

“We don’t have many details now. We will disclose more information as we get it,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The Malaysian High Commission in London has also offered to help British police in its investigations.

An official said the high commission had contacted Freedom Charity and British police.

“We are still waiting and ready to extend any help required,” he added in a telephone interview.

The official said the high commission had only found out about the matter via press reports.

“We have yet to meet or speak to the woman,’’ he said, adding that there was no information on where she was being kept.

Details regarding the case continue to be sparse, with British police being tightlipped on the rescue of the three women.

The Malaysian wo­­man, who has not been identified, was rescued along with a 30-year-old British woman and 57-year-old Irish woman on Oct 25.

The rescued women are all “highly traumatised” and are currently being looked after in a safe location. The address of the house where the crime took place is still unknown.

The Metropolitan Police arrested their two alleged captors on Thursday morning in connection with an investigation.

The two, both aged 67, have been granted bail until a date in January. According to a statement from the police, they are “not British nationals”.

The three were freed after one of the captives called Freedom Charity, an NGO, on Oct 18.

According to British news reports, Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, met the three women on Thursday.

At a press conference yesterday evening, Metropolitan Police re­­vealed that the three women had been beaten.

According to British media reports, the victims were physically abused and emotionally controlled in the “complicated and disturbing” slavery case.

The police were quoted as saying that they were looking for “invisible handcuffs used to manipulate the three women.”

The police also said that there was no evidence that the victims had been trafficked.

The two suspects were also charged with immigration-related offences, and were arrested in the 1970s for unspecified reasons.

Police spent 12 hours searching the property and removed 55 bags of evidence and 2,500 exhibits.

Published in: on November 26, 2013 at 00:14  Comments (3)  

Pro-Aktif Pertahan Perjuangan

Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman

NGO Melayu paling berpengaruh dalam politik arus perdana PERKASA mengorak langkah pro-aktif untuk menentukan kuasa politik dikalangan orang Melayu berjaya dikekalkan. Mantan Pengerusi SPR Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman telah menyertai PERKASA dan berazam untuk menambah pengundi dikalangan orang Melayu.

Media pro-minoriti-anti-majoriti Riong Kali dot com melaporkan:

Bekas pengerusi SPR sertai Perkasa untuk pastikan Melayu terus berkuasa

OLEH MUZLIZA MUSTAFA
NOVEMBER 25, 2013

Perjuangan Perkasa menjaga kepentingan Bumiputera khususnya orang Melayu menjadi faktor utama yang menarik penyertaan individu berpengaruh dalam masyarakat. Gambar fail.Perjuangan Perkasa menjaga kepentingan Bumiputera khususnya orang Melayu menjadi faktor utama yang menarik penyertaan individu berpengaruh dalam masyarakat. Gambar fail.

Setelah lama menyepi, bekas pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman menyertai Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) dengan harapan penyertaannya dapat membantu kaum majoriti itu untuk terus berkuasa.

Beliau tampil dalam Mesyuarat Agung Perkasa Wilayah Persekutuan semalam selepas menyertai pertubuhan itu enam bulan lalu.

Sebab menyertai Perkasa: Abdul Rashid mahu memperjuangkan hak orang Melayu dan memastikan ia terus relevan selepas pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Walaupun Perkasa dilihat berpihak kepada Umno, namun nama parti itu tidak pernah disebutkan dalam ucapan mahu pun sidang media.

“Dengan pengalaman dan pengetahuan saya bersama SPR, saya akan membantu Perkasa mencapai matlamat tersebut,” katanya yang ditemui semasa mesyuarat di Kuala Lumpur semalam.

Abdul Rashid, 69, berkata beliau telah berulang kali dijemput menyertai pertubuhan itu oleh presidennya, Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

“Ketika saya memutuskan untuk turut serta, saya memberitahu Ibrahim tidak mengapa sekiranya saya menjadi ahli biasa namun beliau meminta saya untuk menjadi ahli majlis kerana menurutnya lebih mudah bagi saya melontarkan pandangan bagi menambah baik organisasi,” kata Abdul Rashid.

Pastikan Melayu kekal berkuasa

Semalam, Abdul Rashid dalam ucapannya mencadangkan sepintas lalu beberapa perkara yang harus dilakukan pertubuhan Bumiputera itu.

“Banyak perkara yang harus kita lakukan. Bukan sekadar bercakap tetapi harus bertindak. Pertama sekali kita harus hormat pemimpin kita (Ibrahim Ali),” katanya berucap di hadapan 300 ahli Perkasa.

Beliau turut mengingatkan bahawa Perkasa perlu lebih fokus.

Abdul Rashid berkata Perkasa kini bertindak seperti anggota bomba yang bergegas memadamkan kebakaran, Perkasa hanya bercakap dan bertindak jika terdapat isu berkait dengan hak orang Melayu.

“Kita tidak boleh berkejar ke sana sini. Kita perlu fokus dan terus berjuang sehingga sesuatu yang dikerjakan berhasil,” katanya.

Beliau berkata Perkasa bukanlah tempat mendapatkan wang atau pun kuasa dan ahlinya tidak perlu mempersoalkan hal itu.

“Saya tidak ke sini mencari kuasa dan wang. Menyertai Perkasa bermakna saya perlu sedia berjuang,” katanya.

Bekas pengerusi SPR itu berkata, orang Melayu perlu kekal mendapat kuasa politik kerana negara ini kepunyaan mereka.

“Tanah ini dipanggil Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. Semasa mendapatkan kemerdekaan ia telah ditukar kepada Malaya dan selepas beberapa negeri menyertainya, ia ditukar kepada Malaysia Barat.

Beliau berkata selaku bekas pengerusi SPR, beliau tahu cara mengekalkan kuasa orang Melayu.

Katanya, tiga proses persempadanan semula yang berlaku semasa beliau berada dalam SPR telah mengekalkan kuasa orang Melayu.

“Kami lakukan secara sah dan teliti. Mereka yang kalah semasa pilihan raya umum lalu mendakwa kami melakukan kesalahan. Jika betul, mengapa Barisan Nasional tewas di Kelantan, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor?” tanya Abdul Rashid.

Melayu tidak mengenang budi

Beliau berkata terdapat orang Melayu sekarang yang mengkritik bangsanya sendiri kerana melindungi kepentingan orang Melayu.

“Ini yang kita panggil Melayu haprak. Mereka bukan Melayu sebenar tidak seperti (ahli Perkasa). Kita bukan jenis yang menghina kaum sendiri,” katanya.

Abdul Rashid berkata 55% daripada 28 juta populasi rakyat Malaysia berusia 21 tahun ke atas.

Namun, hanya 6.3 juta orang Melayu berdaftar sebagai pengundi dan jumlah sebenarnya harus mencecah 15.3 juta.

Beliau menjelaskan, pengundi Bumiputera seharusnya sekitar 19% namun hanya 10% yang didaftarkan.

“Angka ini diperoleh daripada kajian saya dan sumber yang sah.

Katanya, dengan kombinasi undi Melayu dan Bumiputera, orang Melayu dengan mudah mendapat kuasa politik.

“Sasaran kita adalah memastikan semua orang Melayu yang telah cukup umur mendaftar dan mengundi. Jumlah kita besar. Saya bukan sahaja mahu Melayu berkuasa tetapi perlu lebih kuat,” katanya.

“Lebih ramai yang membenci, kita jadi lebih kuat. Perkasa akan terus maju ke hadapan,” katanya.

Perkasa, organisasi yang tepat

Abdul Rashid berkata beliau telah bersedia berdepan kritik atas tindakannya menyertai Perkasa.

“Saya mencari organisasi yang betul kerana saya banyak melakukan kerja kebajikan dan Perkasa merupakan organisasi banyak terlibat dengan kebajikan yang fokusnya kepada orang Melayu dan agama. Inilah platform terbaik buat saya kerana saya orang Melayu dan beragama Islam.

“Sesetengah pihak tidak suka kepada saya sejak saya menjadi pengerusi SPR lagi namun masih ada yang sayangkan saya. Begitulah juga penyertaan saya ke dalam Perkasa. Malah lebih banyak yang suka daripada membenci,” katanya sambil tersenyum.

Abdul Rashid menguruskan enam daripada 12 pilihan raya semasa beliau bersama SPR. Beliau merupakan Setiausaha SPR dari 1979 kemudian menjadi pengerusi dari tahun 2000 hingga 200. – 25 November, 2013.

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Langkah ini membuktikan PERKASA ialah organisasi politik yang berpascakan nasionalism dan berusaha untuk menjaga dan terus memperjuangankan kepentingan orang Melayu, sebagaimana yang diperuntukkan dan termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia.

PERKASA yang begitu aggressif dalam isu isu dan kontroversi yang ditimbulkan oleh Pembangkang dan minoriti yang sengaja mencabar dan menentang perkara perkara yang dekat disanubari orang Melayu seperti hal ehwal Islam, kedaulatan dan kedudukan Raja Raja dan adat resam dan budaya orang Melayu.

Agenda PERKASA adalah nasionalism, Ianya sama seperti asas orang Melayu berjaya dipadukan untuk menentang Malayan Union pada awal 1946 dan perisytiharan White Hall itu digagalkan, gerakan untuk tanahair ini merdeka, negara ini tertubuh dan kedaulatan negara dan bangsa Melayu ujud dan termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Perkutuan.

Mungkin nafas dan melodi yang didendangkan oleh segelintir pemimpin PERKASA tidak memberikan gambaran dan menampilkan ciri utama sesuatu itu dipertahan atau perjuangkan berdasarkan asas asas spesifik. Acap kali, ianya dimanipulasi dan sengaja disalah tafsir oleh musuh musuh Melayu seperti golongan minoriti yang beragenda dan Pembangkang sebagai pendapat dan pendekatan ekstremis.

Namun hakikatnya, sekiranya setiap isu dan kontroversi yang diperjuang dan pertahankan oleh PERKASA itu ditapis dan suling dengan cermat, maka bakinya merupakan asas nasionalism yang menjadi ciri dan perkara perkara yang amat dekat disanubari majoriti Melayu-Islam dan berpkasikan konservatism.

Oleh demikian, adalah salah untuk memberikan tafsiran bahwa PERKASA adalah NGO Melayu yang rasis dan ektremis kerana perjuangannya tidak lebih dari apa yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Ianya diperkukuhkan dengan penakrifan oleh pakar pakar perlembagaan, dengan menyelami niat dan hasrat peruntukan spefisik ujud sebagai roh mewakili kuasa kuasa Raja Melayu yang berpaksikan Islam sebagai tonggak.

Hakikatnya, membelakangkan prinsip perjuangan PERKASA merupakan menolak ‘kontrak sosial’ yang dipersetujui oleh Raja Raja Melayu apabila berkenan untuk melepaskan hak mutlak pemerintahan kepada kuasa politik rakyat yang diterajui oleh UMNO dalam sistem demokrasi Raja Berpelembagaan.

Penyertaan personaliti seperti Rashid ini adalah merupakan inisiatif pro-aktif invididu dikalangan orang Melayu yang merasa terpanggil dan kepertanggung jawaban mereka untuk menyumbang melalui PERKASA, bagi menentukan kuasa politik itu masih lagi ditentukan dan kuasai oleh orang Melayu.

Ianya mewarnai nasionalis dikalangan orang Melayu sebelum ini seperti Allahyarham Tun Ibrahim Ismail, Mantan Pengarah ITM dan KSU Pertanian Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, Mantan Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad, Mantan KPN Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor, Mantan Hakim Makhmah Rayuan Dato’ Mohd. Noor Abdullah dan ramai lagi individu yang mahu diambil kira berjuang atas platform PERKASA.

Ini secara langsung membuktikan prinsip perjuangan PERKASA adalah atas landasan yang betul dan begitu dekat dihati sanubari begitu ramai orang Melayu, yang amat menghargai ciri ciri nasionalism sebagai wadah tanahair ini merdeka dan masa depan negara-bangsa orang Melayu ini.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on November 25, 2013 at 13:00  Comments (13)  

Commonwealth Kingdom of Scotland

Soon, Scottish would decide whether they want to be part of Great Britain of United Kindom and Eire or be an independent kingdom. There would a referendum for Scottish to decide on the fate of their land 18 September 2014. In two days, a white paper on the separation from the union would be tabled in the Scottish Parliament.

BBC story:

24 November 2013 Last updated at 14:54 GMT

Proposed date for Scottish independence named

British and Scottish flagsThe proposed date of independence is included in the White Paper

Scotland could be independent on 24 March, 2016, if voters back leaving the UK in the independence referendum, the Deputy First Minister has announced.

The date is included in the Scottish government’s White Paper, described as a “blueprint” for independence.

Nicola Sturgeon said it was a “landmark document” which had economic growth, jobs and fairness at its heart.

The Scotland Office said naming a date weakened the government’s negotiating position in the event of a yes vote.

The Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said the vote posed “a very real danger to the future of the United Kingdom”.

Ms Sturgeon said the White Paper, which will be published on Tuesday, would drive the independence debate.

“This guide to an independent Scotland will be the most comprehensive and detailed blueprint of its kind ever published, not just for Scotland but for any prospective independent country,” she said.

“It is a landmark document which sets out the economic, social and democratic case for independence.”

‘Punch and Judy’

Ms Sturgeon said the 670-page document was designed, above all, for the public and urged people to read it, compare it with any alternative future for Scotland and make up their own minds.

An initial print run of 20,000 copies has been produced but it will be made available to everyone who requests a copy.

The independence referendum will take place on 18 September next year, and the proposed Independence Day of Thursday 24 March, 2016, follows the dissolution of the current Scottish Parliament, which is set to be scheduled to take place at midnight on Wednesday 23 March, 2016.

Voters have been speaking about what they want from the white paper

March 24 is also the anniversary of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

A Scotland Office spokesman said: “Naming the date of independence ahead of a referendum result would only weaken the Scottish government’s negotiating position if Scotland voted to leave the UK.

“People in Scotland still don’t know the full terms the Scottish government would try to negotiate but the 28 members of the EU, Nato and the rest of the UK would all know that for the Scottish government the date is more important than the deal.

“We agree people should read the White Paper and the UK government’s evidence and make up their own mind on the referendum issue.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael argued that the union was in the interests of all UK voters.

He said: “I think there are people all over the country who kind of take the existence of the United Kingdom for granted.

“What we’ve got to get across is that this is a very real danger to the future of the United Kingdom and that in fact the United Kingdom is good, not just for Scots.

“It’s good for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well. This should not just be allowed to become some sort of Punch and Judy match between Edinburgh and London.”

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Scottish nationalists made the pre-emptive announcement already.

Scotsman.com story:

Scottish independence: SNP announces date of breakaway

The SNP are set to announce that Scotland's independence day will be 24 March, 2016. Picture: TSPL

The SNP are set to announce that Scotland’s independence day will be 24 March, 2016. Picture: TSPL

  • by TOM PETERKIN, EDDIE BARNES AND EMMA COWING

ALEX Salmond will this week announce that Scotland’s independence day will be 24 March, 2016, when he unveils his blueprint for breaking up the UK amid growing disagreement in the Yes campaign over plans to keep the pound.

In the event of a Yes vote in next September’s referendum, Salmond proposes that Scotland will become a sovereign nation state some 18 months after the poll, on a day that marks the 309th anniversary of the 1707 Act of Union.

The independence day plans are contained in the Scottish Government’s long-awaited 670-page independence White Paper, which will be published in a blaze of publicity on Tuesday at Glasgow’s Science Centre. Writing in Scotland on Sunday today, Salmond’s deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, says the White Paper will be the “most comprehensive and detailed” document of its kind ever produced.

But just 48 hours before its publication, divisions within the Yes Scotland campaign have again opened up over Salmond’s key economic strategy – his intention for an independent Scotland to enter a sterling-zone with the rest of the UK after independence.

Last week SNP finance secretary John Swinney said he expected the UK Government to “respect” the White Paper’s proposition that sterling will remain Scotland’s currency if the people vote for independence.

Yesterday, it emerged that leading figures within Yes Scotland are questioning whether Scotland could demand such a ready-made deal on the currency with Westminster ministers.

Independent MSP and former SNP deputy leader Margo MacDonald said: 
“Even if it [the UK Government] did [agree], I would not expect the state that is going to be left by us to say, ‘Aye, anything you say’.

“I would vote Yes knowing that not everything that had been expected by the government will necessarily come into being. Following a Yes vote, it will be negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.”

Scottish Socialist party leader Colin Fox, who is an advisory board member of Yes Scotland, said the plan for a sterling-zone was “untenable”.

Fox, who favours a separate Scottish currency, said: “This isn’t a left-wing position. I think the idea of a sterling zone renders ridiculous the idea that you have an independent country.

“They’ll say that Ireland had those arrangements for a while but that wasn’t an independent economy either.”

He accused the SNP of promoting the idea purely because the retention of the pound was a more popular ­option than joining the euro.

“I wonder whether the SNP is saying this to placate ­conservative with a small “c” opinion which is frightened of independence.

“That makes political sense rather than economic sense.”

He added: “After a Yes vote, those of us who disagree [with the sterling-zone] will continue to press our case. The idea that the independent Scotland will get everything they want in the negotiations isn’t right.

“Something will have to be given up in order to get other things. I would be strongly of the view that the wider independence movement will put the case in those negotiations.”

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown added his voice to the debate, saying the SNP’s plan for a currency union has all the problems of the Eurozone and that an independent Scotland “could not force the UK into a currency union against its will”.

At yesterday’s Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow, Yes campaigners were urged to set aside any differences they had with the policies, which will be set out in the White Paper.

The Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan said the overall prize of winning independence was more important than disagreements.

“The Scottish Government has not only a right but a duty to lay out what it hopes an independent Scotland will be,” Canavan said.

“Now you may not all agree about every single detail in that plan. You may disagree with the Scottish Government on things like who should be head of state, whether we should have our own currency, whether we should have sterling as our currency or whether we should be members of Nato.

“But I say to you in all honesty do not be sidetracked. Keep your eye on the ball. Concentrate on winning the prize because that prize is within our grasp.

“The prize is an independent Scotland and what unites us in pursuit of that prize is far more important than any points of disagreement.

“No one is being asked to surrender any matter of basic principle. Because the over-riding principle is once an independent Scotland is achieved then it will be the people of Scotland who will be empowered to shape their own future.”

The 170,000 words that make up the White Paper will be divided into five sections and ten chapters. It will have an initial print run of 20,000, and the Scottish Government believes everyone who requests a copy will get one. It will also be available in digital form. The policies contained in the document will fall into two categories.

The first will consist of the policy choices that the Scottish Government would negotiate in the transition period which will provide the starting point for an independent state. More controversially, the second category will consist of the policies that an SNP Government would pursue if Salmond’s party wins the first Holyrood election in an independent Scotland in May 2016.

Last night members of the pro-Union Better Together campaign were concerned that impartial civil servants had effectively been used to write the SNP’s 2016 election manifesto.

The Tory MSP Gavin Brown said: “It think people will be disappointed if this turns out to be taxpayers’ money going towards writing the SNP’s manifesto.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As the Fiscal Commission Working Group – which includes two Nobel Prize winners – has made clear it is in the best interests of the rest of the UK for Scotland to retain sterling, in a currency union.”

Analysis: Yes camp’s big tome gives No a weighty challenge

IF nothing else, Scotland should have no shortage of things to stop doors with over the next few months.

At 670 pages long, Tuesday’s White Paper on independence is – the SNP Government claims today – “the most detailed and comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published”. Critics of the SNP’s preparations for independence have argued that Alex Salmond has been largely making things up on the back a fag packet since his landslide victory in 2011. This sheer bulk of this week’s document, thumping down on peoples’ doorsteps, provides a blunt political riposte: bloody big fag packet.

The decision by ministers to press ahead with this Biblical tome was made in the summer when a “skinny” version was formally dumped in favour of this “fat” one. It reflects the overriding effort by the SNP hierarchy to quell the nerves of undecided voters who may fear that the country is ill-prepared to go it alone. And it is also an attempt to inject some much-needed ambition into the Yes campaign which has found itself wrapped up in the debate’s small print.

The hopes for the White Paper are encapsulated in comments by Alex Salmond’s former chief strategist Alex Bell this weekend who declares that it will be “the most important document in our recent history”. It will be flawed, he agrees “but it will also be astonishing.” And so, with copies likely to be made available for every home in Scotland, the aspiration is that it will trigger a fireside revolution (so long as people have strong enough arms to

hold it).

The No camp knows therefore it has a job to do this week. It is determined to try and prevent what it argues are the assertions of the Yes case elide into received wisdom. Despite the risk of being seen to be nit-pickers and nay-sayers, sources say they will therefore step up questions on the detail and the practicalities of Salmond’s plan. And with the White Paper out and published, it can now capitalise on areas where the answers from the SNP Government don’t – or can’t – provide 100 per cent certainty.

The biggest issue by far is over the currency of an independent Scotland. And with civil servants having already said that the delivery of a pound-sharing “currency zone” depends on negotiations with the rest of the UK and cannot be guaranteed, Salmond has a tricky hand to play.

The SNP will also be wary of the fact that, with their prospectus now out there, they suddenly present a much bigger target, with many interest groups, firms, and professional bodies now likely to start having their say. But this week, the stage is set for the SNP to put on a show, giving people a glimpse of the kind of positive patriotic pizazz which it is planning for next year. For Salmond this week marks a chance to try and show Scotland the city on the hill. But he needs also to show how the country can get there, and prove the city is built to last.

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Tory British Prime Minister David Cameron isn’t too popular in Scotland, despite he is making initiatives to allow Scotland’s more decisive power of her own  destiny.

Daily Telegraph story:

David Cameron’s posh boy image ‘undermining fight against Scottish independence’

Exclusive: Former First Minister Henry McLeish says the Prime Minister is more hated than Margaret Thatcher and will add 5 per cent to support for independence unless he steps back from the campaign

David Cameron's posh boy image 'undermining fight against Scottish independence'

David Cameron’s posh boy image ‘undermining fight against Scottish independence’ Photo: AP

11:32AM GMT 19 Nov 2013

Comments588 Comments

David Cameron is doing irreconcilable damage to the campaign to defeat Scottish independence and must step back before it its too late, the former First Minister of Scotland has said.

The Prime Minister’s “rich posh image” and “damaging” policies epitomise everything that Scots hate about the Conservatives, warned Henry McLeish, who led the country a decade ago.

He said Mr Cameron is a “much scarier figure than Margaret Thatcher ever was” to Scots and could increase support for independence by as much as five percentage points is he fails to take a back seat in the coming year.

The warning marks one of Mr McLeish’s boldest public interventions in the referendum debate and reflects concerns among Unionists that a resurgent Tory Party could drive Scots to support separation from the UK come September 2014.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr McLeish, who was Labour First Minister of Scotland between October 2000 and November 2001, warned that Cameron was undermining the Better Together campaign.

“Cameron is the big risky factor for the Unionist camp. He won’t be seen much in Scotland. His polices are quite damaging … [they] are perceived as being quite poisonous,” Mr McLeish said.

“He has got to take less of a role and I am convinced that he will be forced to take less of a role … It is a very complex, fluid situation in Scotland and that is when the Cameron factor becomes quite crucial.”

Mr McLeish is a grandee of the Scottish Labour Party, which is locked in a bitter fight against Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party (SNP) over the independence referendum. All three Westminster parties are opposing independence.

Asked to explain the reaction of Scottish voters to Mr Cameron, Mr McLeish said that the Prime Minister personified a right-wing Westminster elite which is unrecognisable north of the border.

“It is an alien political culture that he is exuding. Because of the history of Scotland from Thatcher onwards, Scots mainly are very dismissive of Conservatism,” he said.

“Cameron also brings that edge that even Thatcher didn’t bring: the rich, posh image. Osborne is the same … They also exude this political distance so much that I would expect for Scots that Cameron is a much scarier figure than Margaret Thatcher ever was.”

He added: “It is not an intellectual, logical [decision]. It is an instinctive, cultural, political reaction to a party that in many respects is widely despised in Scotland …

“If we get to September 2014 and there is a high likelihood that the Tories – because the economy is recovering – are doing well, that could actually push a lot of people into the lines for voting yes.”

Mr McLeish linked the negative impact Mr Cameron was having on the Better Together campaign to the increasing influence right wing MPs are having in the party, fuelled by Ukip’s high poll ratings.

“I don’t throw these terms around lightly. [Cameron] is illustrative of the worst perceptions of Scots in terms of Toryism, much more beyond Thatcher. I think everything they are doing is anti-welfare, anti-Europe, anti-immigrants, anti-human rights issues.

“He wants to create those common enemies. We don’t have those common enemies now in Scotland. The enemy for most Scots now is the Conservative Party.”

Asked how damaging Mr Cameron’s role could be, he said: “Over the next year Cameron could be worth 5 percentage points to the Yes Campaign.”

Mr McLeish became Scotland’s second ever First Minister in 2000 following the sudden death of Donald Dewar, before resigning in 2001 over a financial scandal. He also served as a Labour MP for Fife for more than 20 years.

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Prime Minister Cameron already warned of British Government contracts for the Royal Navy, a major economic lifeline for the Clyde, as an economic threat against the Scottish independence.

6 November 2013 Last updated at 22:57 GMT

BAE Systems cuts 1,775 jobs at English and Scottish shipyards

Workers at GovanWorkers at Govan were told the news on Wednesday morning

BAE Systems is to cut 1,775 jobs at its yards in Scotland and England and end shipbuilding altogether at Portsmouth.

The firm said 940 staff posts and 170 agency workers will go at the Portsmouth site, which will retain repairs and maintenance work.

Some 835 jobs will be lost at yards in Govan and Scotstoun, on the River Clyde in Glasgow, and Rosyth in Fife and at the firm’s Filton office, near Bristol.

The cuts follow a drop in work after the end of aircraft carriers work.

BAE Systems employs 1,200 in Portsmouth and 3,200 across Govan, Scotstoun, Rosyth and Filton.

The company said it had made the cuts because of a “significant” drop in demand.

Workers at the BAE shipyards in Glasgow react to the announcement

The defence contractor and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have together announced measures which they hope will offset the effect of the job cuts.

Among the plans are more than £100m of investment to expand the dockyard at Portsmouth.

Three new ocean-going Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Navy will also be built at BAE’s Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow.

This could help sustain shipbuilding at the yards until work is due to begin on the Type 26 Global Combat ships.

BAE, which heads a consortium that includes Babcock and Thales UK, said it had agreed changes to the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier contract it signed with the MoD in 2009.

Continue reading the main story

image of Nick RobinsonAnalysisNick RobinsonPolitical editor

I’m told that Govan has two advantages over Portsmouth – a lower cost base and a partnership with the Scotstoun shipyard on the other side of the Clyde.

Tory strategists point out that it’s hardly in their political interests to save a Scottish shipyard and part close an English one.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that there can be no decision on something as significant as the building of warships without a great deal of political calculation.

As I reported yesterday, one well-placed source told me that the government was “acutely conscious of the politics of the Clyde” and did not want to give Alex Salmond a gift a little less than a year ahead of the independence referendum.

This would see the consortium’s fee move to a 50-50 risk share arrangement which would provide greater cost performance incentives.

A statement released by BAE Systems said: “Under these proposals, shipbuilding operations at Portsmouth will cease in the second half of 2014.

“Subject to consultation, Lower Block 05 and Upper Blocks 07 and 14 of the second Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier will be allocated to Glasgow.

“The company remains committed to continued investment in the Portsmouth area as the centre of its Maritime Services and high-end naval equipment and combat systems business.”

BAE said it had agreed with the MoD “that Glasgow would be the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships”.

“The company proposes to consolidate its shipbuilding operations in Glasgow with investments in facilities to create a world-class capability, positioning it to deliver an affordable Type 26 programme for the Royal Navy,” BAE said.

It said the cost of this restructuring would be borne by the MoD.

BAE said it would now begin consultation to cut 1,775 jobs “to result from these restructuring proposals”.

Philip Hammond told the Commons the job cuts were regrettable but inevitable

This would see 940 posts go in Portsmouth in 2014 and 835 across Filton, Glasgow and Rosyth, through to 2016.

The statement added: “The implementation of these restructuring activities will sustain BAE Systems’ capability to deliver complex warships for the Royal Navy and secure the employment of thousands of highly skilled employees across the UK.”

The MoD confirmed that it would commission three new ocean-going Offshore Patrol Vessels to play “a key role in counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti smuggling operations”.

These will be built, it said, at BAE’s Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow.

Work on the new vessels is due to begin next year with the first ship being delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.

‘Vital skills’

The ships are expected to replace the current, smaller River Class vessels which have been policing the UK’s waters since 2003.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “This deal will provide the Royal Navy with three brand new maritime patrol vessels with a wide range of capabilities which will support our national interests and those of our overseas territories.

“This is an investment not only in three ships but in this country’s warship building industry. It prevents workers standing idle and sustains the vital skills needed to build the planned Type 26 frigate in the future.”

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of Jonty BloomJonty BloomBusiness correspondent, BBC News

It has been obvious for years that there is no longer enough work for BAE’s four shipyards.

Barrow in Furness is safe because it is the only site that can make submarines, but Portsmouth, Govan and Scotstoun on the Clyde have too much capacity between them.

At the moment the yards are busy working on the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers, but that work will end possibly two whole years before work is due to start on the Navy’s new Type 26 frigate.

That is still on the design board and no orders have been placed, but current plans are to build 13 ships over a long time period.

That just won’t provide enough work for three shipyards. Not only that, but there is going to be another defence review in 2015.

As one expert told me, the idea that we are suddenly going to start building a large number of surface ships for the Royal Navy is a “fantasy”.

Mr Hammond is also announcing that more than £100m will be invested in Portsmouth.

The money will be used to expand the dockyard to ensure it is ready for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as well as the Type 45 destroyers which are based in Portsmouth.

The defence secretary added: “I am also pleased to announce additional investment in Portsmouth Naval Base to prepare for the significant increase in tonnage as the home port for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers and destroyers.”

The MoD said under the terms of the new arrangements that “Portsmouth will maintain its proud maritime heritage as the home of much of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet and the centre of BAE Systems ship support and maintenance business”.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s questions in the Commons, David Cameron said his thoughts were with the workers affected by these “extremely difficult decisions”.

He added: “We want our Royal Navy to have the best and most modern ships and the best technology.

“That means we will go on building warships on the Clyde, we will be announcing three new offshore patrol vessels, keeping that yard busy rather than paying for it to remain idle as the last government proposed.

“In Portsmouth, yes there will be job reductions, but there are many more people involved in ship servicing than in ship building, so the workforce will go from 12,000 to 11,000.”

Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Vernon Coaker said it was “a difficult day” for the shipbuilding industry and his first thoughts were with those facing job losses.

Referendum issue

He added: “Two things are clear. Firstly, the MoD is to meet the cost of restructuring the naval shipbuilding business across Britain. We need to see all of the detail about how much that will cost and how the cost will be met.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of James CookJames CookScotland Correspondent, BBC News

Just two weeks ago the UK and Scottish governments were standing shoulder to shoulder at Grangemouth as Scotland faced an industrial crisis.

There has been no such unity today.

Indeed, this may come to be seen as the moment the UK government took off the gloves, perhaps a foretaste of how tough negotiations would be if Scotland voted for independence.

But why has it come to this?

The answer is that the Clyde yards, which in their glory days sent thousands of ships across the globe, have become reliant on one customer: the British military.

The Scottish government is suggesting the yards need to diversify and seek new business, pointing out that Norway built more than 100 ships last year by doing just that.

Such advice doesn’t help in the short term of course and, while Glasgow may be in a better position than Portsmouth, there are still hundreds of jobs going here and there is no sense at all of celebration on the Clyde tonight.

“Secondly, Britain must retain a sovereign shipbuilding capability. None of us want to see Scotland leave the United Kingdom, but we need clarity from the government about what safeguards are in place to meet all eventualities after next year’s referendum.”

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC she was relieved Govan was not closing, but said the 800 job losses were a “devastating blow” for the Clyde and Scottish economy.

“The Scottish government will be working very closely with the company and with the trade unions, firstly to minimise the number of job losses, but also to work very hard with those affected to help them into alternative employment,” she said.

Ms Sturgeon the Clyde yards would be the best place to build the new Type 26 ships.

She said: “The investment that we’ve seen in the Clyde yards in recent years, the skill mix of the workers in the Clyde, make the Clyde the best place to build these ships – there’s no doubt about that.”

David Hulse, GMB national officer and chair of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions’ shipbuilding national committee, said the announcements had been part of a “devastating day for the UK shipbuilding industry”.

“We have arranged a two-day meeting with the company at Farnborough next Monday and Tuesday that will be attended by officers and shop stewards from all the yards and all the unions,” he said.

“This meeting will examine in detail the business case and all aspects for scheduling work in the yards to complete building the carriers, starting work on the Type 26 ships and any other work.”

The independent MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, said ending shipbuilding at Portsmouth would be a difficult decision to reverse.

Union convener Jamie Webster: “We are not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater”

He added: “The expertise is very, very much dedicated to shipbuilding. And once they disperse the workforce in various parts of the south of England I don’t think it’s going to be easy to put that back together.”

Workers at BAE’s Scotstoun and Govan yards in Glasgow were sent home for the day after being told the news.

They were told by management there would be about 800 jobs lost in Scotland but no breakdown was given.

Workers who left the yards said they were worried and disappointed, but that the announcement was not unexpected.

Alex Taylor, 63, a plater at Govan, said: “We’ve known for a while that the workload isn’t there to carry the amount of people that we had building the carriers, but hopefully voluntary redundancies will take up the slack.”

He added that those affected by the job cuts at Portsmouth were “working class guys the same as ourselves, they’re just shipbuilders.

“We’re obviously relieved that things are looking better for the Clyde, but that doesn’t mean to say that we’ve not got feelings for our comrades in Portsmouth.”

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The Scottish economy isn’t that healthy, compared against the British economy despite the income per capita of Scottish is 20% higher that an average Brit.

The Economist report:

Scotch on the rocks

A new report on finances north of the border is a headache for nationalists

On November 18th, however, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a non-aligned think-tank, published a study looking at the prospects for an independent Scotland’s tax revenues and public spending over the next 50 years. It analysed three scenarios, including the one predicted by Mr Salmond: that oil revenues will be healthily buoyant over the next decade, that Scotland will get a generous deal when Britain’s national debt is divided up, and that it will not pay any more for government borrowing than Britain does. It also assumed increased productivity and a tripling of net migration, to 26,000 a year.

Alas for Mr Salmond, this would not work out well. Assuming a relaxed austerity target of trimming national debt to 40% of GDP by 2062-63, the IFS says Scotland would need to narrow the gap between taxes and spending by the equivalent of 1.9% of national income—twice as wide as the 0.8% fiscal gap it says Britain faces. Reducing defence spending from the current notional £3.3 billion (as part of the United Kingdom) would save 0.5%. So the IFS thinks another £2 billion has to be found, either by spending cuts, raising basic-rate income tax by 6p, or lifting the VAT rate to 25%. That would fall on top of the tax rises and spending cuts being made by George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer.

In bleaker circumstances—lower oil production, a bigger share of the national debt, higher interest charges and lower gains from productivity and migration—Scotland’s fiscal gap could become a 6.3% income chasm, requiring tax rises or spending cuts of £9.4 billion.

Nationalists disagree. Oil wealth, they say, would make Scots the eighth-richest people in the world, with per person GDP of £26,000 ($42,000). Britain would be in 16th place with £22,000.

True, says the IFS, but Scotland’s population is growing more slowly and ageing faster than the rest of Britain’s. Fewer working people means a smaller tax base paying for a large elderly population.

Mr Salmond agrees there is a demographic burden. But, he adds, independence would enable Scotland to ditch “one-size-fits-all” economic policies that stall business growth. Corporation-tax cuts could counteract the pull of London. Investment and innovation incentives might forge a Scottish version of Germany’s medium-sized manufacturers, while better air links (achieved by cuts in passenger duty) should boost exports.

Opponents are scornful. Mr Salmond claims the best response to the think-tank’s warnings is to promise unfunded business-tax cuts, says Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor running the vote-No campaign. The battle for economic credibility is part of a bitter tussle over the effects of independence. Most recent polls shows the No supporters winning by a margin of slightly less than two to one. The new fiscal warning has further reduced Mr Salmond’s chances of turning that round.

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There are a lot of consideration for Scotland to separate itself from the union.

Published in: on November 25, 2013 at 03:00  Comments (1)  

Damned for Desperation

It is very clear that PAS is divided dead in the centre and heading towards implosion. All recent developments the past two years, have been translated into where the clergies within demanded that co-operation with Chinese Chauvinists DAP and liberalised PKR to be reviewed.

Published: Saturday November 23, 2013 MYT 8:23:00 PM
Updated: Saturday November 23, 2013 MYT 8:25:34 PM

PAS passes resolution to review political cooperation with DAP, PKR



BY RAHMAH GHAZALI

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SHAH ALAM: PAS has appeared to heed the calls from party conservatives as it passed a resolution to review the tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) with its partners PKR and DAP.

The resolution, which was proposed by the Dewan Ulama, was approved without debate.

However, they acknowledged the success of the political cooperation, which was the reason they retained Kelantan, Penang and Selangor.

The Dewan Ulama said that the proposal would be forwarded to the highest policy decision-making body, namely Majlis Syura Ulama and PAS committee, to review and revise the cooperation.

“It also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses, success and failure of the tahaluf siyasi since it was first established, and weigh its pros and cons in order to improve and strengthen Pakatan Rakyat ahead of the next general election,” they said.

Kuala Kangsar PAS division had also called for similar resolution so that the party could strengthen the political cooperation with allies.

“We realise that PAS is known as a party that is supported by ulama and Muslim leaders.

“PAS is also known to be a party that fights on a platform that holds strongly on Islamic principles,” they said.

Therefore, they said that PAS should take a firm stand on matters that touch on its principles and party policies.

Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib had previously called for the review of the party’s political cooperation with allies PKR and DAP in the wake of the party’s dwindling support in the May 5 general election.

He said this was because PAS was no longer dominant in Pakatan Rakyat and its position in the alliance was “weaker than ever” for being “too accomodating” to its allies in order to garner support from non-Malays.

There were also talks that PAS leadership wasn’t firm enough with its stand on the usage of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims and the implementation of hudud law.

Other resolutions passed without debate were to streamline Pakatan Rakyat policies in the three states.

The resolution, which was proposed by the Dewan Ulama, said that it was time that the coalition standardised the administration policies to show that the three parties were united in governing the states.

Meanwhile, PAS also passed a resolution by PAS Teluk Intan division to ensure that the party remained free from Syiah teachings and urged the party to remain vigilant.

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PAS is to review the concept of Tahaluf Siyasi

PAS assembly passes motion to review concept of Tahaluf Siyasi

NOVEMBER 23, 2013

The PAS Muktamar was held at the Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam, Selangor, today. The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 23, 2013.The PAS Muktamar was held at the Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam, Selangor, today. The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 23, 2013.

The PAS assembly today passed without debate the motion made by its Dewan Ulama which calls on the party to study, review and evaluate the concept of Tahaluf Siyasi (political cooperation) in the opposition pact.

The motion stated that this was to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, as well as success and failures, of the concept in terms of “mafsadah” (harm) and “maslahah” (benefit).

It was also aimed at improving and strengthening the opposition pact to face the 14th general election.

Also passed without debate was the motion made by a Teluk Intan PAS delegate calling for the party leadership to ensure that no PAS leaders and staff would become followers of Shia teachings.

The assembly also passed the motion from a Pandan PAS delegate demanding for the status of the Jawi script to be uplifted to preserve the national writing heritage. – Bernama, November 23, 2013.

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The clergy or ulama’ group is getting very restless with issues which are incriminating PAS drifting further away from the fundamentals of its own founding principles such as the ‘Sale of alcohol near the mosque’, ‘protelysation of Malay-Muslim’, ‘kalimah Allah’ and ‘Hudud’.

Where as the bolder and more ambitious New Turks or fondly dubbed by media as ‘Erdogans’, who are getting more prominence and gaining more strategic position within the party which was formed by clergy group dissenters originally from UMNO, are downplaying against all these issues and uphold the position of Pakatan Rakyat.

The stance on ‘kalimah Allah’ alone saw how the two faction within PAS is deeply divided.

Hudud is a very classic case. PAS charged UMNO for being infidels for not enacting and implementing Hudud, where as DAP is vehemently against the syariah criminal law.

How PAS members especially at the grassroot level and amongst the rural folks who are staunch supporters of the party perceive the ongoing second sodomy trial on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is also a divisive factor. The fact that former PAS Selangor Commissioner Dato’ Dr Hassan Mohd. Ali was expelled from the party for questioning PAS stance on Anwar’s sodomy case, which was presented as a ‘private criminal case instead of political’ was taken in the wrong stride.

The fact that incumbent PAS Deputy President Mohamad Sabu only managed to retain his seat scrapping with a wafer thin margin against Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohamad Ammar Abdullah is a evidence that the Ulama faction within the party is figting back to regain their prominence and control.

The Ulama faction is obviously disturbed by the proven weakening of PAS clout amongst the majority Malays. However, the improved number absolute votes and seats won by Pakatan Rakyat served as the political expediency amongst the Erdogans.

This is also evidence that the Erdogans within PAS are just manipulating the popularity for the ideology of a so-called Islamist party amongst the Malays in the rural areas, for the benefit of Pakatan Rakyat gaining more political traction.

The party would eventually suffer being damned by the simpletons of the Malay majority. Just like how PAS was defeated in Kedah six months ago.

The obvious desperation of the Ulama faction to ensure that PAS remain relevant as a so-called Islamist party from the perspective of the majority of the Malays, especially in the rural areas, remains more important than its contribution for the Opposition coalition forming the next Federal Government post 14GE.

Published in: on November 23, 2013 at 20:56  Comments (9)  

Board, Pissed

Screenshot of NST apology to BERSIH 2.0

Screenshot of NST apology to BERSIH 2.0, SUARAM, CIJ and Merdeka Centre

The unprecedented apology by NST on top half of page three last Friday apparently pissed the BoD of Media Prima. The joint ballsy-deficient decision by the NST CEO and Group Managing Editor were said to reprimanded on Monday’s BoD meeting.

It was learnt that the BoD of Media Prima now wants to know and approve anymore apology to be carried out by the paper.

Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, CEO of NSTP

Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, CEO of NSTP

Sources revealed that the CEO of NSTP and GME decided to apologize, to avoid for lengthy and probably costly legal battle with the said entities. This is putting a heavy consideration to risk of a courtroom drama, as it is one these pro-Opposition activists’ traits of strategy in their well planned quest get attention. Especially the foreign media and international community as the drama of being ‘oppressed for the struggle of human rights and freedom of expression’ is unfold and their message across.

The apology basically killed Farrah Naz Karim’s front page picture by-line about BERSIH 2.0, SUARAM, CIJ and Merdeka Centre being funded by entities outside the country.

Farrah Naz Karim winning the MPI award for best investigative journalism

It is an open secret that foreign-based NGOs acting on behalf of Washington D.C. based Neo Con Jewish entities masquerading as think-tank groupings in their sordid excuse to promote ‘democracy’, ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘human rights’ fund these Malaysian entities.

Then Minister of Domestic Trade and Co-operative Development Dato’ Ismail Sabri Yunos had ROS to investigate SUARAM’s linkage with george Soros.

Published: Monday September 10, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday June 1, 2013 MYT 10:43:23 PM

Ministry investigates Soros link in Suaram funding

NILAI: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry is investigating whether an American non-governmental organisation allegedly funding Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is linked to currency speculator George Soros.

Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the NGO was one of two based in the United States allegedly contributing a huge amount of funds to Suaram.

He said the ministry was carrying out the investigation through the Companies Commission of Malaysia. Ismail Sabri said this after opening the Rasah Umno division delegates’ meeting here yesterday.

Key activists in Suaram are mostly made up of PKR leaders. They include MPs R. Sivarasa and Tian Chua, state assemblymen Elizabeth Wong and Dr Nasir Hashim and PKR senator Dr Syed Husin Ali, and activists linked to the party like lawyer Charles Hector, Cynthia Gabriel, Irene Fernandez, Irene Xavier and Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran.

Meanwhile, Wisma Putra has voiced its concern to German Ambassador Dr Guenther Georg Gruber on the funding provided by the German Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, which is directly linked to Suaram.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said it was disappointed to learn of the funding as it could be misconstrued and be seen as an interference in Malaysia’s domestic affairs.

“Foreign missions have to be mindful of the sensitivities of the host country. They should not get involved with activities that show partiality to certain issues that have implications on Malaysia’s domestic situation,” it said.

Dr Gruber, however, clarified that the embassy had only provided funding on a project basis, which is close to German values, including the protection and promotion of human rights.

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

It was even discussed in Parliament:

17 October 2012| last updated at 08:50AM

Call for law on NGO funds

By ILI LIYANA MOKHTAR

NATIONAL SECURITY: Act will curb foreign attempts to destabilise country, says Lipis MP

At the Dewan RakyatA LAW to prevent interference in Malaysia’s affairs and to safeguard national security should be formulated and implemented soon, said Lipis member of parliament Datuk Dr Mohamad Shahrum Osman yesterday.

Shahrum, who is also vice-president of the Armed Forces Veterans Association, said allegations that Suaram and other non-governmental organisations had received foreign funding and were plotting to destabilise the government should be taken seriously.

He said the government needed to take pre-emptive measures by formulating a “Patriotic and Racial Wellbeing Act” (akta patriotik dan kesejahteraan kaum).

“With the act, the government will be able to curb any negative outside influences that poison the minds of the people against the government,” he told reporters at the parliament lobby.

Shahrum noted that even in developed countries such as the United States, foreign funding of groups was monitored through the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which makes it compulsory for NGOs to declare the source of their funding.

“I hope to see this happening in Malaysia as well.

“I also hope that the government provides an official fund for NGOs through the yearly budget and for their accounts to be audited by the Registrar of Societies.”

On Monday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the proposal to have a new law to prevent intervention in the country’s affairs through the influx of foreign funds should be given consideration.

He said the proposal should be studied so that there exists an Act that would prevent intervention aimed at threatening security, peace and harmony in the country.

Read more: Call for law on NGO funds – General – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/call-for-law-on-ngo-funds-1.158052#ixzz2lN8i453b

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

The fact is that, this apology is a few step backwards in the initiatives to finish of all these NGOs which exist to provide the intellectual argument in the Oppositions’ strategy of ‘Politics of Hatred’. It has been proven that these NGOs manipulated stories and facts and perpetuated lies, in providing more political mileage for the Opposition to demonize the Federal Government and BN.

NST has been struggling to maintain its standing as the premier English daily, after it was wrecked by PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s dark five and a half years of weak leadership and scandalous administration. The Riong Kali team brought in was supposed to prop the former’s image otherwise but instead brought the paper’s credibility and integrity standing slide down further.

BoD of Media Prima

BoD of Media Prima

This not withstanding that NST then under the Riong Kali team was under right after the nation gave PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah such a huge mandate in the 11GE. Unlike five years earlier, when NST was under a lot of pressure in the series of drama after the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister and the charges brought against him, where the English daily still managed to hold the fort.

This apology, would just reduce the standing and integrity of the paper further.

Was justice done to NST and news desk editor like Farrah Naz Karim?

Was justice done to NST and news desk editor like Farrah Naz Karim?

Probably NST ballsy-deficient duo Dato’ Jalil Hamid and Azlan Abdullah should start to canvass for business if not outright funding from these foreign entities too. It is deemed necessary to keep check on the cash-flow position will remain in the black since money was the primary consideration to apologise.

*Updated 2300hrs

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 18:30  Comments (8)  

Malaysian woman enslaved, freed

A Malaysian woman is amongst three held as ‘domestic servitudes’ for over thirty years in a house near Lambeth, across the River Thames in a district of South London. They were rescued soon after one of them contacted an NGO, Freedom Charity, after watching the spokeswoman Aneeta Prem being featured on SkyNews.

AP story:

UK Police Rescue 3 Women Allegedly Held as Slaves

LONDON November 21, 2013 (AP)

British police say they have rescued three traumatized women allegedly held as slaves in south London, one of whom claims to have been held against her will for more than three decades.

Metropolitan Police said a 67-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman were arrested on Thursday as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude.

The investigation comes after a charity contacted police in October to relay that a woman had phoned to say she’d been held unwillingly for more than 30 years.

Police said further inquiries revealed the location of the south London house and that with the help of Freedom Charity, a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old British woman were rescued.

The force said the women are in a safe place.

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

And NBC story:

Three women rescued from ‘slavery’ after 30 years in London home – police

By Alexander Smith, NBC News contributor

Three women were rescued from a south London house where they were believed to have been held captive for more than 30 years, police said Thursday.

A man and a woman, both 67, were arrested “as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude,” the city’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Officers rescued a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, 57-year-old Irish woman, and 30-year-old British woman after receiving a call in October from a domestic abuse non-profit called Freedom Charity.

“All three women, who were highly traumatized, were taken to a place of safety where they remain,” the statement added.

“We applaud the actions of Freedom Charity and are working in partnership to support these victims who appear to have been held for over 30 years,” Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, from the Met’s Human Trafficking Unit said.

“We have launched an extensive investigation to establish the facts surrounding these very serious allegations.”

Hyland said a documentary on forced marriages relating to the work of Freedom Charity had prompted one of the women to call for help, claiming she had been held against her will in the house for 30 years.

The Met statement added: “Further enquiries by police revealed the location of the house and with the help of sensitive negotiations conducted by the charity the three women.”

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

Aneeta Prem of Freedom Charity told Kay Burley on SkyNews that these women were rescued a week after the Irish woman called her. She also told Burley “Three of them were afraid of their captors. They were terrified by these people (the couple who held them). They were not allowed any freedom”.

“They were held in an ordinary house in an ordinary street”.

Prem and her NGO has been fighting on human rights issues such as forced marriage. However, there are no details about this ‘domestic servitude’ case or whether or not it is about ‘forced marriage’.

Most interestingly, is there any matrimonial relationship between these women and the couple which was held. An interesting fact is that it is unlawful to practice polygamy in the UK.

SkyNews story:

Women Were ‘Kept As Slaves For Over 30 Years’

3:19pm UK, Thursday 21 November 2013
Police tape cordons off a scene 

Two people have been arrested as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude at a house in London sparked by a report on Sky News.

The inquiry was launched after one of three alleged victims told a charity she had been held against her will for more than 30 years.

She contacted the Freedom Charity after seeing its founder Aneeta Prem in a report last summer about forced marriages on Sky News.

Scotland Yard said the charity, which advises and supports victims of forced marriages or honour-based violence, got in touch after receiving the call.

Further inquiries by police revealed the location of the house and with the help of sensitive negotiations conducted by Freedom, the three women were rescued.

One was a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, the other a 57-year-old Irish woman and the third a 30-year-old Briton.

All three, described by police as “highly traumatised”, were taken to a place of safety where they remain.

Ms Prem told Sky News it was the Irish woman who phoned the Freedom Charity after watching her on television.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, from the Met’s human trafficking unit, said: “We applaud the actions of Freedom Charity and are working in partnership to support these victims who appear to have been held for over 30 years.

“We have launched an extensive investigation to establish the facts surrounding these very serious allegations.

“A television documentary on forced marriages relating to the work of Freedom Charity was the catalyst that prompted one of the victims to call for help and led to their rescue.”

Officers said the two suspects, a man and a woman, both aged 67, have been taken to a south London police station for questioning.

Earlier this year the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) – a joint operation by the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – revealed it helped in 1,485 cases of possible forced marriage in 2012.

These involved 60 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

The statistics for last year show that of the 744 cases where the age was known, more than 600 involved people under the age of 26.

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

The three women were rescued from the house a few weeks ago, after a “Protracted delicate negotiations”. Their ‘captive against their will’ became news only after the arrest of the couple this morning.

Detective Inspector Kevid Hyland of Human Trafficking Unit said in a media conference outside New Scotland Yard the Metropolitan Police has never seen the magnitude of ‘domestic servitude’ before. Hyland said it was a complicated process to establish what had happened in the house before the Metropolitan Police is satisfied for the arrest of the couple.

Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron made a lot of issue about Sri Lanka’s post civil war human rights violations and alleged missing persons as a pre-event and during his visit to the South Asian nation for attending the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting. He even broke protocol to visit the Tamil majority area in the north.

Cameron demanded that Sri Lankan administration for an investigation by an international team, for the alleged war crimes and missing persons, after armistice was achieved to end the civil war caused by Tamil separatist militant forces rebellion against the Sri Lankan government.

It seems that for a nation which is attempting to profess ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’, the crime of ‘modern slavery’ is actually being practiced miles from West Minister Palace.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on November 21, 2013 at 23:00  Comments (4)  

Rumblings about Rosmah II

In the recent visit of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor Qatar International Forum on Women Entrepreneurism IV in Doha, Qatar 11-12 November 2013, we must admit that the Opposition is right.

Event though Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim reported in Dewan Rakyat that the Cabinet authorised for the use of Malaysian Government executive jet 9M-NAA to take Rosmah and her entourage to the event and back, it is against principle because she is not one of those entitled for the facility.

Unless, they can prove otherwise.

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 23:58  Comments (10)  

Rumblings about Rosmah

We have to give credit where and when it is due. In this particular case, the Opposition for questioning the wife of the Prime Minister Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor for using the Malaysian government jet for her and her entourage’s recent trip to Doha.

Riong Kali dot com’s story:

Rosmah’s Qatar trip on government jet questioned by Pakatan lawmakers

BY EILEEN NG
NOVEMBER 18, 2013

Opposition lawmakers grilled Putrajaya on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s use of the official government jet for a visit to Qatar last week to attend an international forum.

Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) started the ball rolling when he interjected Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) during the debate on Budget 2014 at the committee stage, noting that Rosmah had used the jet.

“How can the prime minister’s wife use the government aircraft? We want to know the cost involved and how come she is eligible for this,” Azmin asked.

In reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Cabinet had approved for Rosmah to use the jet for this particular trip.

His reply did not satisfy the opposition ranks and Parliament turned chaotic with several MPs questioning the rationale of the Cabinet decision.

“Isn’t the Cabinet headed by the prime minister? This is a conflict of interest, how can the prime minister give permission to his wife to use the jet?

“Is there a new law where the wife of the prime minister can represent the country to discuss bilateral matters?” asked Azmin (pic) and pointed to a visit by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton where Rosmah met her as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was sick.

Hanipa Maidin (PAS-Sepang) asked whether Najib had recused himself when Cabinet made the decision while Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) feigned astonishment over the latest development, which he claimed has never happened anywhere in world.

However, Shahidan stuck by his reply, insisting that the Cabinet decided Rosmah can use the jet since she is representing the country on official business.

“Her visit was approved by the Cabinet. You can bring it to any court in this world or next, no problem,” he said.

He also disputed the Pakatan MP’s contention for Najib to emulate his Singapore counterpart to use commercial flights for official visits, saying that it is for security reasons as well as to boost the country’s image.

He said it was “illogical” for Najib to take a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight for official visits as the national carrier does not fly to all countries.

“MAS is also bound by its schedule. And if we charter a flight from MAS, we have to pay more,” he said.

He reiterated the jets were not only used by the prime minister but also the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, deputy prime minister and with permission, other ministers too.

Rosmah recently delivered a keynote address at the 4th Qatar International Business Women Forum in Doha.

Organised by the Qatari Businesswomen Association and the Interactive Business Network, the two-day forum was attended by the Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohammed Saleh Al Sada.

The Malaysian delegation included Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who is special advisor to the prime minister on women entrepreneurs and professionals; Datin Seri Siti Rubiah Datuk Abdul Samad, wife of the Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman; Datin Seri Khamarzan Ahmad Meah, wife of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed; and Datin Seri Che Kamariah Zakaria, wife of Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. – November 18, 2013.

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Perdana Putra says it is alright for Rosmah to use the Malaysian government ACJ319 VVIP jet.

No harm in Rosmah representing Malaysia abroad, says Putrajaya

BY SYED JAYMAL ZAHIIDNOVEMBER 18, 2013

Biz Updates From PR Newswire

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives with his wife Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor for a gala dinner for leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 7, 2013. — AFPPrime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives with his wife Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor for a gala dinner for leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 7, 2013. — AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Putrajaya defended today its decision to send Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor for a high-level business meeting overseas recently, a move critics said was inappropriate as the prime minister’s wife holds no government post.

Explaining, Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told the Dewan Rakyat that the Cabinet had agreed to Rosmah representing Malaysia at the 4th Qatar International Business Women Forum in Doha, Qatar, a week ago in a trip financed by taxpayers money.

He said there was nothing wrong with paying for Rosmah’s trip to Doha — where she had travelled using a state-owned private jet — as it was for “official business”.

Federal opposition lawmakers infuriated by the decision are free to challenge it in court, he added.

“Rosmah can use the plane on official business as she represents the country. This is the decision made by the Cabinet.

“You can bring it to court, in this world or the next, no problem,” the minister said in a reply to Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) and Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) during the Budget 2014 committee stage debate.

The two opposition lawmakers also queried Shahidan if there was a law that allows the prime minister’s wife to represent Malaysia in foreign diplomatic affairs but the minister did not reply.

Azmin also pointed out that when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Malaysia in 2010, Rosmah had replaced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the meeting as the latter was sick.

This was also deemed an unprecedented move as while Clinton’s visit was officially made in her position as a government leader, Rosmah was neither in government nor an elected representative in Parliament.

Shahidan, however, evaded the question again and merely said the decision of the Cabinet was final.

On October 3, it was disclosed in Parliament that Putrajaya spends RM28.8 million in annual rental and RM5.5 million to maintain the VVIP government jet ACJ319, the private aircraft used to ferry prime ministers much like the Air Force One in the US.

On top of that, as much as RM44 million of taxpayers money have been used to fund the prime minister’s overseas travel since 2008.

The revelation came amid Putrajaya’s call for the Malaysian public to “change its lifestyle” and adapt to the government’s spending cuts as it aims to trim down its ballooning debt.

Opposition MPs have branded the call hypocritical since government leaders were still living lavishly as seen from their hefty allowances and huge monthly paychecks.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-harm-in-rosmah-representing-malaysia-abroad-says-putrajaya#sthash.mgl1AmPy.dpuf

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As per disclosed in Parliament, Federal Government spend almost RM35 million per annum to pay and maintain the ACJ319. That is a lot of money, to pay for an aircraft. Considering if Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak makes 8 overseas trips and 100 domestic trips in a year or there about, then that is about 32 trips (one overseas trip is equivalent four domestic trips) abroad per annum.

That is roughly RM1.1 million per overseas trips, minus the fuel charges.

Rosmah with Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Bon Khalifa Al Thani

This means that the return trip to Doha would have cost the Malaysian government, in the neighbourhood of one and a quarter million Ringgit in aircraft charges, landing charges, fuel and crew.

In comparison, had the Malaysian government chartered a Malaysia Airlines B777-200 and flew Rosmah and her whole entourage to any destination to West Asia to the maximum of Cairo, the cost would be slightly less than RM1 million (everything included; meals, crew charges and fuel). The mini Jumbo could also carry journalists and other extra well wishers to the amount of probably 200 people in great comfort since the B777-200 is a 290 seater wide body airliner. That is over nine times passenger capacity as compared to the 9M-NAA ACJ319 jet.

Malaysia Airlines B737-800 with One World livery

In another comparison, an 18 seater ACJ318 VVIP jet (similar to the the Malaysian government jet) could be chartered at USD 12-15,000 per flying hour. If the cost include fuel, parking charges and other usual charges, it would be much lesser than RM1.25 million for the trip costed using the ACJ319.

Regardless whether Cabinet approved for Rosmah to use the Malaysian government jet because she is attending the event in Doha representing Malaysia, we still don’t see why she cannot fly commercial to get there. Getting her and her whole entourage to Doha and return on commercial would have cost the Malaysian government a lot less money.

Screenshot of One World

Screenshot of One World

After all, there are direct flights from KUL to DOH. Qatar Airways, for instance is part of One World where Malaysia Airlines is part of the international airlines alliance group.

It is lame for Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim to give an answer like that. Just because she is representing the country, therefore the Cabient decided that she could use the Malaysian government jet. Ultimately it would boils down to entitlement and what the circular stated on the use of Malaysian government assets such as the ACJ319 VVIP jet.

The ACJ319 which was acquired by PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in December 2006

Can the same facilities be extended for the Malaysian team, whenever they go to compete in the next SEA or Asian Games? How about other global sports personalities, like Dato’ Nicole David or Dato’ Lee Chong Wei?

Another interesting fact, Rosmah and her entourage could earn Enrich miles if they had flown on Qatar Airways to Doha because of the One World alliance.

Rosmah Mansor playing the diplomatic role?

All of these ‘excesses’ must end. It is the right and responsible thing to do. Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is the Prime Minister because he is the leader of the party which got the mandate by the majority of seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

Rosmah is the wife of the Prime Minister by default. The voters did not elect her into office. Nor did the voters gave the mandate to BN because of her.

Therefore, she and the Malaysian government must be considerate in how public resources are utilised. She is entitled to be extended some facilities. However, the facilities that is being extended to her should not be more than a Deputy Minister or worse still, a Political Secretary where these appointments are at the pleasure of the Prime Minister.

Let us all be clear of all these parameters. It is not nice when the Opposition highlights indefensible sour points like this, about the indiscriminate spending of the Malaysian government. Especially centred at PMO. This will just compound the many minus perception against her and inadvertently, Prime Minister Najib as well.

*Updated 1100hrs

Published in: on November 19, 2013 at 00:01  Comments (30)  

Caterham cock-up, coming next change

Another of Tony Fernandes’s hair-brain scheme of trying to milk the cow of others, would be translated in the form of executive travel through Caterham Jet. Initially announced two years ago, Caterham Jet failed to get AOC and now tweaking its way of getting airborne by 2014.

Caterham Jet could fly as early as next year, say sources

BY JAHABAR SADIQ, EDITOR
NOVEMBER 18, 2013

AirAsia executive chairman Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 18, 2013.AirAsia executive chairman Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim,

November 18, 2013.Malaysia’s Caterham Jet has signed a preliminary agreement to buy a majority stake in Berjaya Air that could see the super-premium carrier taking to the skies as early as January if local regulators approve its routes, say sources.

AirAsia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes had announced Caterham Jet’s plans two years ago but it failed to get a Malaysian air operator certificate (AOC) that would allow it to run a commercial jet operation from Subang Skypark.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Fernandes and partner Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun have struck a deal where their Tune Air Sdn Bhd will acquire at least 51% of tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s Berjaya Air, which has a full AOC to operate from Subang Skypark. Tune Air is a major shareholder in Asia’s biggest budget carrier, AirAsia.

The Department of Civil Aviation now only allows turbo-prop planes to carry passengers on a commercial basis from Subang Skypark. But a thriving private jet business is growing at the airport, the nearest commercial airport to capital Kuala Lumpur.

“There is a deal on the table between Tune Air and Berjaya. Now, it is up to the regulators to approve it and Caterham Jet can start as soon as that happens,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

“The regulators are to meet soon on this before the year ends,” he added.

In November 2011, Fernandes had said he was launching a new premium airline called Caterham Jet to compete with Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines as well as the recently announced RedQ premium airline from Qantas, aimed at high-flying executives travelling in Asia.

The Sun Daily had reported that the regional airline would initially fly a Bombardier CRJ700, serving Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore from Subang Skypark outside Kuala Lumpur.

The super-premium jet carrier would charge business-class fares but could appeal to businessmen who want a quicker ride from a smaller airport nearer the city rather than take red-eye flights out of KLIA, the international airport which is 70km from Kuala Lumpur.

Tune Air officials have remained tight-lipped about Caterham Jet but Kamaruddin told The Malaysian Insider recently that they had two Bombardier CRJ700 jets that were available immediately to start operations.

Another six were on order and would be delivered soon, he said.

Apart from regional routes, sources said Caterham Jet was eyeing other regional markets including the Middle East which has several premium carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Gulf Air apart from tycoons who own personal jets.

“There is a market for chief executives and others, be it in Southeast Asia or the Middle East. Something like Caterham Jet has huge potential,” an aviation source said.

Caterham Jet would increase business in Subang Skypark where Berjaya Air has turbo-prop flights using the De Havilland Dash 7 and ATR 72 planes to destinations such as Langkawi, Pangkor, Penang, Redang, Tioman and international destinations Hua Hin and Singapore.

The other carriers operating out of Subang Skypark are Malaysia Airlines’ Firefly and Malaysian-Indonesian joint-venture Malindo Air. – November 18, 2013.

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This was thought to be Fernandes’s initial scheme to get himself operating out of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang (SZB), since DCA would not allow his AirAsia to operate from the former Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL).

It is probably true there is a growing market for executive travel, especially amongst the high and mighty and socialites within Klang Valley.

A CRJ700 with Caterham livery

A CRJ700 with Caterham livery

However, most of these travelers who form a very niche market would prefer to be discreet, when they travel. Departing and arriving out of Subang Skypark, which saw tremendous growth in community travel especially single day flyers, is hardly a terminal known for discretion.

Never mind the fact that Caterham Jet would probably carry a gaudy livery, inline with Group’s branding.

An AirAsia A320 airliner with Caterham livery

An AirAsia A320 airliner with Caterham livery

Even if Caterham Jet will provide an exclusive holding lounge, there would be cases where passengers being whisked in and out of these CRJ700s be seen on the tarmac and/or in and out of these terminals.

It is most likely that Fernandes saw this new executive travel scheme for an opportunity for branding, more than the actual business. Thrown in with gleaming white Flying Spur Bentleys as the limousine to collect and send clients from their doorsteps would be a very good advertising material where Fernandes could further prop himself and the Tune Group further.

A CRJ700 with the livery more resembling AirAsia

By the way, Fernandes would have to opt for Bentleys, Mercedes Benzes or BMWs as the limousine since Caterham cars would simply not do the job.

Would Caterham Jet sustain? Frankly, we doubt it. Probably most of the executives who are potential clients where this very niche market is catered for prefer to fly through their existing private contractors, which could provide them with the discretion that they expect.

Published in: on November 18, 2013 at 13:00  Comments (4)