Moral Vacuum

This is a punt from BBC’s ‘Yes, Minister’ series, episode “Whiskey Priest”. It is very much applicable and could be extrapolated into the way things are done in Malaysia. Even how information and feedback is passed back to the Prime Minister.

Considering that there are several ‘inner circle rings’ that have been ‘circling the wagon’ around the Prime Minister, it is likely that the information never got to reach upstairs in the proper context, tone or even perspective. Thus, it would contribute to decisions and/or actions stalled if not the poor decision made.

Execution and implementation is something else. Nevermind the complexity of mastering how things are done in the civil service way.

Then, there is the process of measuring it. In 2010, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak introduced the planning the matrix and measurement of Government’s performance and planned policies being rolled out via the ‘consultants’s way’ by mixing inexperienced macro-economic planners and so-called management professionals from the private sector and hand picked cvil servants.

That is a total new creature, to deal with.

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Published in: on January 31, 2014 at 22:00  Comments (2)  

Made in Malaysia

Proton Preve launched in 2011, is the fifth of indigenous products designed, developed and manufactured by Proton since the first one Proton Waja was launched 11 years earlier.

Many goodies installed, for a car offered in this segment and at this price. It is actually fully loaded. It is even rated as 5 Star on the ANCAP built-safety quality band.

Don’t just take our word for it. Jean Alesi is a world class Formula 1 driver. This is one steed, worthy of his accolades.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone. To those who are on the road, please be extra careful.

Published in: on January 31, 2014 at 12:30  Leave a Comment  

Year of the Equine

chinese-year-horse

It is the time for the people of Chinese ethnicity to celebrate their lunar calendar new year. It is a major national holiday in Malaysia, despite they are only 26% of the population.

Generally, the year of the Rat was bad for many if not for the majority of non-Chinese ethnicity in Malaysia. They had to endure very challenging and provocative re-occuring events, statements and ridiculous demands made by probably a group of minority within minority.

The leader of these group apparently is a DAP and contested for the Bentong Parliamentary seat as a DAP candidate

First, some of the minority demons within areas like Kuantan and Raub tried to instigate the local folks with imported support from elsewhere, about ghosts in make believe world without substanting it. Coincidentally, more than 90% of their imported cheer leaders are of Chinese ethnicity.

Then there were other demons who systematically tried to provoke the more dormant and tolerant Malay-Muslim majority with ultra contentious issues such as Islam, through apostasy, prosetylisation and challenging Home Minister’s ban on the use of kalimah “Allah” in place of God (particular, Christianity materials in Malay). The role and position of Islam as the Religion of the Federation of Malaysia, HRH Rulers as Constitutional Head of Islam and administration of Islam are also distastefully provoked, in perpetuity.

This continuous manipulated and distasteful ‘intepretations’ and provocations, which is actually realising the Opposition’s ‘politics of hatred’ strategy started to bear fruit when a Malaysian Chinese man showed the ‘finger’ to Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong in Bayan Lepas International Airport.

Then 13GE came with the rude awakening of the “Chinese Tsunami”, expressed by none other than Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak personally despite his effort to make a lot of concessions to woo the Malaysian Chinese to support his administration.

The majority of the same group of Malaysian Chinese actually believed the perpetuated lies about the 13GE was being adulterated and marred by cheating, which include Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s blatant lie “Government flew in 40,000 Bangladeshis to be phantom voters for BN” and the “Blackout in Bentong, during the counting of votes”. With that, they thronged the roads and do illegal public assemblies all over Semenanjung in the mobstreet political move of ‘Black 505’, in the sordid attempt to topple the legally elected Federal Government through the pre-planned ‘Malaysian Spring’ rallies.

The majority of enthnic group supported and were bold in 'Black 505' rallies is clearly demonstrtated by the most flags paraded

The majority of enthnic group supported and were bold in ‘Black 505’ rallies is clearly demonstrtated by the most flags paraded

Economically, they have demonstrated their will and determination in not allowing Malay entrepreneurs and businesses gain a footing even though they are capable and have demonstrated their ability to do so. An example is the continuous campaign against businesses and projects undertaken by Al Bukhary Group.

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary and Co. have been systematically presented as a ‘crony’ in a simplistic single breadth when the example of Government-Private co-operation or privatisation is brought forth be it in a forum or any of the Malaysian Chinese controlled media. Especially, through business publications.

These same people never take any opportunity to question projects such as the ‘School IT Bestari Program’, which is completely under the control of YTL Corporation.

An example of anti Gardenia campaign, which became viral in social media network and blogs right after 13GE

The aggressive below-the-line campaign against Gardenia is another damning example.

Johor, which is regarded by many as the core the Malay civilisation and fixed deposit of power has been in the systematic agenda and program to be devoured, by Chinese ethnic entrepreneurs be it Malaysians, Singaporeans or from mainland China.

The departure of Communist Party of Malaya Secretary General Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng in Bangkok was also the demonstration on the attitude of how Malaysian Chinese were willing to easily forget and forgive amongst their ethnic kin, despite that this man was instrumental in the brutal murder of stimated 18,000 souls in waging an armed rebellion between 15 August 1945 to 1 December 1989.

Chinese Chauvinist DAP MP for Jelutong paying respect to the remains of Chin "Butcher of Malaya" Peng in Bangkok

Chinese Chauvinist DAP MP for Jelutong paying respect to the remains of Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng in Bangkok

That is just internally. Externally, the Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) flexed the military muscle on their unsubstantiated imaginary ‘Nine Dash Line” to continuously show their blatant disregard for United Nation’s Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) and ASEAN’s Document of Conduct (DOC) signed in 2002. They rudely demonstrated their ‘Projection of Power’ and continous presence in areas 50 nautical miles of the coast of Sarawak, deep within the Malaysian EEZ.

All these systematic initiatives and encroachment by persons of Chinese ethnicity, be it from within or outside, must at some point reach a point of discontent and the will of reciprocity by the majority.

ASEAN EEZ Vs China's imaginary 'Nine Dash Line' claims over South China Sea

ASEAN EEZ Vs China’s imaginary ‘Nine Dash Line’ claims over South China Sea

The fact is that the Malay-Muslim majority who are indigenous people of Nusantara (historically, was part of Malay civilisation and empire like Srivijaya, Langkasuka, Melaka Sultanate and Johor-Riau empire), have proven in their reception, tolerance and accommodation. This blessed land has room for everyone. Its just that all parties must be mindful as not to thread onto other people’s toes.

May the year of the horse be prosperous to all, not just the Malaysian Chinese. Its a symbol of strength, dynamism and reliability. The prosperity, is something that should be shared portions deemed to be suffice if being offered in right dosages and taken in the good faith of togetherness, tolerance, spirit of reconciliation and accommodation.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR

GONG XI FA CAI

Published in: on January 30, 2014 at 18:00  Comments (9)  

Being fair to Proton (Pt II)

Proton badge, present day

Proton badge, present day

Proton is moving into a new era on the matrix of quantity-quality. Both, in the context and perspective of the corporation which started from the national car project and the brand of a Malaysian made car.

The opportunity arises from the take over and under the control of the present DRB-Hicom leadership and management, which managed to turn around, restructure, add value and expand in the activity thrusts, operational growth and market capitalisation since been under the Al Bukhary Group beginning in 2006.

The rationalisation and realisation of assets, resources, competency, strength and current market potential and opportunities, Proton would embark into even bigger growth. It is committed into production of 500,000 units by 2018.

Several strategies have been outlined. It starts with beefing the customer experience, improving and offering variables in packages and marketing campaign and continuous expansion of existing market from the rationalisation of qunatity and quality at branches and dealership level. Proton is very serious and committed in attacking to the Malaysian motoring consumer market.

The quality of current and upcoming products would be determined from the supply chain and vendor programs. More emphasis would be given on materials, component and built quality. This would complement the customer experience strategy.

Technology benchmarking would part of the product definition.

The action plan outlined for moving forward is Proton is within internal resources  systematically working its way out of the comfort zone and depend lesser of protectionism but instead focus on the business acumen and commercial forces.

“We would like to shout less but do more”, remarked Deputy CEO and COO Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim. “We would be redeeming on our previous domestic market and fully realise its potential, offer value for money products and market oriented. We would also capitalise on the brand loyalist and loyalty”.

Speaking to BigDogDotCom recently, Lukman got his plans outlaid and being rolled out.

“Give us twelve months. You would see the results”.

The confidence is easily substantiated. Proton has developed the platform, seen in the Preve and Suprima S models. Recently, it acquired the NE01 engine from Petronas, which was developed from their experience and technology derived from Sauber. Product development would based on the commonality.

Export market is very much into its sight. Proton would embark into ‘fit-for-purpose’ strategy for different export markets. In some emerging markets, it is building strategic collaboration which include making selected Proton models made available as CKD.

It is not far fetch to see Proton seriously  is having the domestic market of China and India in its sight. Proton is fully realising from an earlier strategic collaboration and partnership.

On Lotus, the brand is moving on a very encouraging direction since the management changeover. Presently, Lotus is experiencing a backlog of 600 cars. Proton is targettng the annual demand for Lotus is 10,000 units by 2018. That is minus the market from China.

Part of the rationalisation of resources is to optimise Lotus’s design team, in Norwich, United Kingdom and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The experience and exposure, coupled with the Petronas NE01 engine design and development team (brought into Proton when the engine was acquired), would be synergised together with Proton’s design and development team which already proven their mettle in products such as Waja, Gen-2, Persona, Saga BLM, Preve and the most recent, Suprima S.

Proton is probably looking to introduce an SUV either being developed or under the Lotus brand by 2018. There is a huge potential for this segment in emerging and growing markets such as China, India and West Asia.

It is within sight that Proton would be fulfilling the export market outlined by NAP 2014 far ahead of the 2020 target. If by then the export number is 100,000 units and  average realised value per unit is RM50,000.00, Proton would add RM 5 billion per annum into Malaysian export value every year.

*Updated by Noon

Published in: on January 28, 2014 at 06:30  Comments (14)  

Lessons from Paracels, Pt II

James Shoal and proximity to Sarawak

The three Chinese Naval Forces vessels which include an amphibious landing ship complemented with armed marines detachments have been conducting ‘exercise’ in the James Shoal, 50 nautical miles off Bintulu.

Riong Kali dot com story:

Chinese ships patrol area contested by Malaysia

JANUARY 26, 2014

'A' marks the location of James Shoal, about 80km off the coast of Sarawak. - January 26, 2014.‘A’ marks the location of James Shoal, about 80km off the coast of Sarawak. – January 26, 2014.

Three Chinese ships patrolled the James Shoal, that is also claimed by Malaysia, as soldiers and officers on board swore to safeguard its sovereignty, in the latest sign of Beijing’s territorial assertiveness in the South China Sea, Reuters reported today.

This latest act of aggression by China is a slap in the face of the Najib administration that has talked up China’s benign intentions in Asean meetings as well as touted Malaysia’s special ties with Beijing.

James Shoal is located about 80km from Sarawak, however, Beijing regards it as the southernmost part of the country’s territory.

The Chinese vessels comprised an amphibious landing craft, the Changbaishan, and two destroyers, state news agency Xinhua said.

“During the ceremony held in the Zengmu Reef area, soldiers and officers aboard swore an oath of determination to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and maritime interests,” Xinhua said. Zengmu Reef is the Chinese term for James Shoal.

Xinhua said the fleet commander Jiang Weilie “urged soldiers and officers to always be prepared to fight, improve combat capabilities and lead the forces to help build the country into a maritime power”.

China is in an increasingly angry dispute with its neighbours over claims to parts of the potentially oil and gas-rich South China Sea. China lays claim to almost the whole of the sea, which is criss-crossed by crucial shipping lanes.

Last March, Malaysia protested against the incursion of four Chinese ships in James Shoal. Chinese sailors fired guns in the air during the visit to the shoal.

In April, a Chinese maritime surveillance ship returned to James Shoal to leave behind steel markers to assert its claim.

China upset the Philippines and the United States this month when rules went into force demanding fishing boats seek permission to enter waters under the jurisdiction of China’s southern province of Hainan, an area the provincial government says covers much of the South China Sea.

Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines also claim other parts of the South China Sea. China has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea. – January 26, 2014.

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

Chinese state TV news channel story, based on Xinhua report:

Chinese ships patrol southernmost territory

01-26-2014 16:44 BJT

ABOARD CHANGBAISHAN, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — A flotilla with China’s Nanhai Fleet on Sunday morning patrolled the Zengmu Reef, the southernmost part of the country’s territory, and held an oath-taking ceremony to safeguard sovereignty.

The three-ship flotilla consists of amphibious landing craft Changbaishan and destroyers Wuhan and Haikou, according to military sources.

During the ceremony held in the Zengmu Reef area, soldiers and officers aboard swore an oath of determination to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and maritime interests.

Fleet commander Jiang Weilie urged soldiers and officers to always be prepared to fight, improve combat capabilities and lead the forces to help build the country into a maritime power.

The Zengmu Reef is a key maritime traffic juncture as well as a strategic spot. The Chinese navy patrols the area on a regular basis.

James Shoal is definitely within Malaysia’s continental shelf and economic exclusive zone (EEZ).

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

This reflective of China’s attitude towards the sensitivities of the regional neighbours and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) where she is a signatory.

China is also a signatory on the Declaration of Conduct (DOC), inked 4 November 2002 between ASEAN nations and China. It is obvious that China diplomatically commit to a position but the military casually dishonour it.

China’s claim on the James Shoal which is more than 600 nautical miles from her own undisputed territories being part of her territories is baffling to experts.

South China Morning Posty story:

How a non-existent island became China’s southernmost territory

Bill Hayton says records show that a translation error some 80 years ago may be to blame

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 6:37am

Bill Hayton

  • china-military-maritime-dispute_bej6563_30096749.jpg
An aerial view of the city of Sansha on an island in the disputed Paracel chain. Photo: AFP

Where is the “southernmost point of Chinese territory”?

It’s a controversial question and the least controversial answer might be Hainan Island . More controversial options would be the Paracel (Xisha) islands or the Spratlys (Nansha). But officially the southernmost point is even further south – as far south as the James Shoal, about 100 kilometres from the coast of Borneo. What’s more surprising is that this piece of the motherland is actually invisible. There’s nothing there to see, unless you have diving equipment.

The James Shoal lies 22 metres below sea. Yet this inconvenience doesn’t prevent PLA Navy ships visiting the shoal from time to time to demonstrate Chinese sovereignty over it. This ritual involves heaving a large piece of engraved stone over the side of the ship. There is now a small collection of Chinese stelae gathering organic encrustations on the sea floor, more than 1,000 kilometres from Hainan.

How did the Chinese state come to regard this obscure feature, so far from home, as its southernmost point? I’ve been researching the question for some time while writing a book on the South China Sea. The most likely answer seems to be that it was probably the result of a translation error.

In the 1930s, China was engulfed in waves of nationalist anxiety. The predation of the Western powers and imperial Japan, and the inability of the Republic of China to do anything meaningful to stop them, caused anger both in the streets and the corridors of power. In 1933, the republic created the “Inspection Committee for Land and Water Maps” to formally list, describe and map every part of Chinese territory. It was an attempt to assert sovereignty over the republic’s vast territory.

The major problem facing the committee, at least in the South China Sea, was that it had no means of actually surveying any of the features it wanted to claim. Instead, the committee simply copied the existing British charts and changed the names of the islands to make them sound Chinese. We know they did this because the committee’s map included about 20 mistakes that appeared on the British map – features that in later, better surveys were found not to actually exist.

The committee gave some of the Spratly islands Chinese names. North Danger Reef became Beixian (the Chinese translation of “north danger”), Antelope Reef became Lingyang (the Chinese word for antelope). Other names were just transliterated so, for example, Spratly Island became Sipulateli and James Shoal became Zengmu. And this seems to be where the mistakes crept in.

But how to translate “shoal”? It’s a nautical word meaning an area of shallow sea where waves “shoal” up. Sailors would see a strange area of choppy water in the middle of the ocean and know the area was shallow and therefore dangerous. James Shoal is one of many similar features in the Spratlys.

But the committee didn’t seem to understand this obscure English term because they translated “shoal” as ” tan” – the Chinese word for beach or sandbank – a feature which is usually above water. The committee, never having visited the area, seems to have declared James Shoal/Zengmu Tan to be a piece of land and therefore a piece of China.

In 1947, the republic’s cartographers revisited the question of China’s ocean frontier, drawing up what would become known as the “U-shaped line”. It seems that they looked at the list of Chinese names, assumed that Zengmu Tan was above water and included it within the line. A non-existent island became the country’s southernmost territory.

But in a parallel process around the same time, the republic government gave new names to many of the sea features. Spratly Islands became Nanwei (the noble south), for example, and James Shoal was changed from a sandbank ( tan) into a reef ( ansha). Perhaps, by this time, the authorities had realised their mistake. Nonetheless Zengmu Ansha retained its official southernmost status.

By now, the translation error had become a fact, setting the region on course for conflict 80 years later.

This is more than a piece of historical trivia; James Shoal is a test of whether Beijing really is committed to the rule of international law in the South China Sea. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, no state can claim sovereignty over an underwater feature unless it lies within 12 nautical miles of its land. James Shoal is over 1,000 kilometres from undisputed Chinese territory.

Last month, the Philippines government announced it would seek a ruling from an international tribunal about whether China’s claims in the sea were compatible with the UN convention. James Shoal would be a clear example of a claim that is not compatible. Perhaps this might be a good moment for Beijing to review how it came to claim this obscure piece of submarine territory in the first place.

Bill Hayton is writing a book on the South China Sea for publication later this year

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as How a non-existent island became China’s southernmost territory
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As a comparison, 600 nautical miles is about one and half day steaming in the sea.

One of the Chinese Naval Forces vessel which is part of the flotilla off Bintulu is the 19,000 tonnes amphibious landing ship Changbanshian. Armed marine detachments are onboard. The ship is believed to carry upto 1,000 armed marines (one and half battalion), armoured vehicles and tanks and helicopters.

Changbanshian is supported by two guided missile destroyers.

This is not the first time this happened. Last March, Changbanshian’s sister ship Jianggangshan and three other guided missile warships conducted live firing exercise using missiles near James Shoal.

It is obvious despite China being a ‘friend’ to Malaysia and the two leaders embraced each other as symbol of friendship and continuous trade, working and diplomatic relations, the military is very intimidating against Malaysia and at the brink of provoking an international row.

It is obvious too that Malaysian political and diplomatic leaders have not learned anything when China invaded the Paracel Islands, off the coast of Vietnam exactly forty years ago this week.

Defence Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein was reported to slip his tongue when talking the American press right after the ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting Plus summit held at Bandar Seri Begawan in late August:

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

It is naive to treat that Chinese PLA’s and military might as toeing all the diplomacy and international politics lines that China’s formally agree. The fact is that Chinese PLA is independent from the government and only adhere to what the Communist Party decide.

Military dominance based on the communism paranoia is reflective on China’s military build up and expansionary track, more rapid and aggressive since the past decade. China has been flexing its military muscle and filling the void in the region ever since the Americans withdrew all major bases from The Phillipines, after the end of the Cold War with Soviet Union 20 years ago.

Energy demand forecast, between the soon to be mega economies

Energy demand forecast, between the soon to be mega economies

China’s determination of dominance in the multiple claim areas in the South China Sea has took prominence coupled with her own rapid economic growth and corresponding increasing demand for energy. The multiple claim in dispute held huge deposits of valuable oil and gas, which is a very important component to drive the economic uptrend.

The popular notion around the ASEAN bloc to resolve these multiple claim issues within South East Asia is continuous multilateral discussions. As mutilateral talks progresses and develop into productivity, the end result would point towards a joint development co-operation to explore and extract produce in the multiple claim area, where hydrocarbon is the key objective.

Existing oil and gas fields, multiple claims and China's imaginary 'territory' in South East Asia

Existing oil and gas fields, multiple claims and China’s imaginary ‘territory’ in South East Asia

However, China is more interested in being the neighbourhood bully with the ‘divide and rule’ policy of bilateral talks on country-to-country basis.

The military does not correspond to this diplomacy, despite Chinese diplomats insistence on mutually exclusive bilateral talks. China’s political willingness is also hampered with the aggressiveness of the PLA, to flex its military muscle and might. They are bent on the heavy handed approach to resolve in meeting China’s strategic intent and economic objective.

China’s is also not shy to assert their interest on these hydrocarbon deposits, with glee and greed.

New York Times story:

China Asserts Sea Claim With Politics and Ships

By 
Published: August 11, 2012

HAIKOU, China — China does not want to control all of the South China Sea, says Wu Shicun, the president of a government-sponsored research institute here devoted to that strategic waterway, whose seabed is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas. It wants only 80 percent.

Multimedia
Related

Mr. Wu is a silver-haired politician with a taste for European oil paintings and fine furniture. He is also an effective, aggressive advocate for Beijing’s longstanding claim over much of the South China Sea in an increasingly fractious dispute with several other countries in the region that is drawing the United States deeper into the conflict.

China recently established a larger army garrison and expanded the size of an ostensible legislature to govern a speck of land, known as Yongxing Island, more than 200 miles southeast of Hainan. The goal of that move, Mr. Wu said, is to allow Beijing to “exercise sovereignty over all land features inside the South China Sea,” including more than 40 islands “now occupied illegally” by Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In the past several weeks, China has steadily increased its pressure, sending patrols with bigger ships and issuing persistent warnings in government-controlled newspapers for Washington to stop supporting its Asian friends against China.

The leadership in Beijing appears to have fastened on to the South China Sea as a way of showing its domestic audience that China is now a regional power, able to get its way in an area it has long considered rightfully its own. Some analysts view the stepped-up actions as a diversion from the coming once-a-decade leadership transition, letting the government show strength at a potentially vulnerable moment.

“They have to be seen domestically as strong and tough in the next few months,” Kishore Mahbubani, the dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said of the senior leadership. “They have to make sure they are not seen as weak.”

The Obama administration, alarmed at Beijing’s push, contends that the disputes should be settled by negotiation, and that as one of the most important trade corridors in the world, the South China Sea must enjoy freedom of navigation. The State Department, in an unusually strong statement issued this month intended to warn China that it should moderate its behavior, said that Washington believed the claims should be settled “without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and without the use of force.”

Washington was reacting to what it saw as a continuing campaign on the South China Sea after Beijing prevented the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at its summit meeting in Cambodia in July, from releasing a communiqué outlining a common approach to the South China Sea.

The dispute keeps escalating. On July 31, the 85th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese Defense Ministry heralded the occasion by announcing “a regular combat-readiness patrol system” for the waters in the sea under China’s jurisdiction.

The government then said it had launched its newest patrol vessel: a 5,400-ton ship. It was specifically designed to maintain “marine sovereignty,” said People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s leading newspaper.

Adding to the anxiety among China’s neighbors, a Chinese Navy frigate ran aground in July near a rocky formation known as Half Moon Shoal, in waters claimed by the Philippines. The accident raised questions about the competence of the Chinese Navy and suspicions about what the boat was doing there.

Mr. Wu, who is the president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies as well as the director general of the Hainan provincial government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that none of China’s actions were untoward.

Interviewed in his spacious office decorated with landscape paintings from Italy and Russia, he had recently returned from a day of festivities for the expanded legislature and garrison on Yongxing Island.

Yongxing, a sand-fringed island of less than a square mile dominated by an airstrip that can handle midsize passenger jetliners, is part of what China calls the Xisha Islands. They are known as the Paracels in Vietnam, which also claims the territory.

A Boeing 737 flew special guests to the party, including the Communist Party chief for Hainan Province, to celebrate the newly inducted legislators, and the garrison, Mr. Wu said.

The increased military presence on the island makes the Philippines especially nervous because it thrusts China’s presence closer to the islands in the South China Sea that the Philippines claims as its own.

Since the 1990s, the approximately 620 Yongxing Island residents have enjoyed drinking water, electricity and air-conditioning, Mr. Wu said. The new 45-member legislature, which sits in a two-story brick building with pillars and a dome draped with blue and red bunting for the celebrations, is intended to issue laws on maritime issues, he said.

At Mr. Wu’s institute, here on Hainan Island in a handsome new building, visitors are invited into a modern screening room where they are greeted with a video that is a policy sales pitch. The video says that China enjoys maritime rights over “a vast area” of the South China Sea, though it does not specify how much. The 1.4 million square miles of the sea are “crucial to the future of China as a growing maritime nation,” since the sea is a trade conduit between China and the United States, Africa and Europe, the video says.

The deputy director of the institute, Liu Feng, said that China not only claimed sovereignty over most of the islands in the South China Sea, but also transportation, fishing and mineral extraction rights over “all waters within the nine-dash line.”

The nine-dash map, which appears in government documents and even in Air China’s in-flight magazine, is one of the central points of conflict in the South China Sea dispute. The U-shaped line south of China passes close to Vietnam, then around Malaysia and north to the Philippines. It was drawn by China before the Communist takeover but is not recognized by any other country.

On how long it would take China to win back the islands that it claims sovereignty over, Mr. Wu said he could not estimate. The other claimant countries were standing firm, he said. Moreover, the re-engagement of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region “means we will have obstacles in solving the South China Sea questions between China and the relevant claimant states.”

The sustained attention to the South China Sea has been almost certainly coordinated from the senior ranks of the central government, Chinese analysts and Asian diplomats said. “Suddenly, the top leaders have taken a more hard-line policy,” said Shi Yinhong, a foreign policy adviser to the State Council, China’s equivalent to the cabinet.

After the State Department criticized China’s actions, Beijing immediately accused Washington of taking sides with smaller Asian nations against China. On Aug. 4, the Foreign Ministry summoned Robert S. Wang, the deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in Beijing, and in an accompanying statement said the State Department had shown “total disregard of facts, confounded right and wrong, and sent a seriously wrong message.”

Bree Feng contributed research.

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History has proven China’s military resolve on their expansionary track is consistent.

Paracel Islands, which is closer to Vietnam than China, were invavded by Chinese Naval Forces forty years ago

Paracel Islands, which is closer to Vietnam than China, were invavded by Chinese Naval Forces forty years ago

Changbaishan flotila, like Jinggangshan’s live exercise last March, is more than capable to invade any island belong to Malaysia in the size of Tioman or Banggi and hold the position till more military units and logistics are able to join and fortify their position. Just like the Paracel Islands, they are ready to occupy indefinitely. And no international political pressure nor diplomacy could overturn the PLA’s aggression.

The naval and air force capability of Malaysia and ability to ward of a flotilla of this size, would be discussed in Part III.

Published in: on January 26, 2014 at 23:59  Comments (92)  

Being fair to Proton

Pride is a virtue, when it comes to coming to common sense for a Malaysian made product. A lot of Malaysians probably look at the the right angles to agree but the louder minority, nit-pick to justify themselves otherwise.

Regardless, August next year will mark Proton or its original name, Perusahan Otomobil National, of 30 years in automobile assembly and production mainly for the Malaysian market. It has been an enigma of erratic bumpy ride, all the way.

Proton sales, the past ten years

Proton sales, the past ten years. Notice the huge dip in 2006.

Proton started in late 1984 with re-badging of then the Mitsubishi Lancer. That opened opportunities for Malaysian automotive part manufacturers to begin operations   by supplying components to the first generation Proton Saga. As the local content increases, more opportunities are being opened. By 1987, Proton started to introduce variants to the Proton Saga with automatic transmission and later hatchback models.

By then, Proton had become an automotive household name. By early 1990s, Proton is the major mark on the streets where the market share stands in the neighbourhood of 65% of new cars sold. The growth provided progression.

In 1993, Proton introduced the model Wira which was a move away from the many variants of Saga. By end of the year, Proton market share is 74% of new cars sold and registered in Malaysia.

In 1996, the ownership and control of Proton was handed to automotive king DRB founder Tan Sri Yahya Ahmad. He was destined to transform the Malaysian automotive industry and had big plans. By October 1996, Yahya acquired British renown design, R&D and racing car production house Lotus Ltd., as part of Proton’s strategic plan to move forward.

However, it was short-lived when he was killed in a helicopter accident on 2 March 1997.

His effort did not go to waste. As a matter of fact, it was carried through by his successor. Proton started its own design team and the engineers started to develop their own design.

The outcome is  by 2000, Proton introduced its own indigenous product Waja 1.6L. It replaced the second Mitisubishi Lancer-derived product, Proton Wira. Proton was realising the vision envisaged of Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to take Malaysia as an industrial nation with technical and technology competency and capability.

When it was exported abroad, it was well received. Even in the critical British market. Proton earned the title “Fastest growing imported car in so short of time”.

The collaboration and synergy with wholly owned-subsidiary Lotus of Norwich brought a lot of goodies for Proton models, which are categorised under the compact segment. Examples are the first and second generation Satria and Satria Neo.

Proton was incepted and incorporated 1983 under Heavy Industries Company (Hicom) because Tun Dr. Mahathir saw the strategic values from the ability for Malaysians to have automotive technology capability. It was a starting point for the learning curve, for an eventual capability of a fully industrialised nation and technological competency as a developed nation status.

The strategy was even bigger than that. Using automotive as a starting point, Malaysia could eventually move into the design and manufacturing for defense equipments such as armoured vehicles and battle tanks.

However, Tun Dr. Mahathir’s vision which started to show potential from growth,  was not followed through when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over. In fact, not only the strategy of developing a full blown automotive industry capability was totally neglected, in the excuse of open-ness to global trade and doing away with protectionism policies for specific industries.

An Ethos Consulting developed National Automotive Policy (NAP) was introduced where Malaysian automobile market was opened to more imports and the liberalisation began. The lame excuse was Malaysian motoring consumer deserve the bigger options of imported cars.

At the same time, Proton was treated as an investment and placed and restructured under Khazanah Nasional Bhd., where then trusted Chairman Dato’ Azlan Abdullah started a process of cannibalising and eventually the beginning of slow death.

Never the less, Proton manged to design and develop their own indigenous products such as the Preve and Suprima S models. Considering the amount of CAPEX which was invested for the development of these two products compared to the other in the same class, the outcome was brilliant.

On merit, these two models should able to win against any other brands in Malaysia since both came into the market as ‘fully loaded’. However, there are minority within the targeted market who are bold in their criticism to these models.

The Proton Perdana based on the 8th generation Honda Accord

The Proton Perdana based on the 8th generation Honda Accord

In 2012 Proton ownership was again reverted to DRB Hicom for a cash consideration of RM 1.2 billion. Proton under the new management was quickly synergised with marks under he DRB belt. Proton collaborated with Honda.

Under the pressing demand by the Malaysian Government to replace the Proton Perdana model which was introduced in 1995 based on Mitsubishi Eterna, Proton struck a deal with Honda to develop the new generation choice staff car for Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Chief Secretaries and Chief Executives of Government bodies and senior civil servants based on the 8th generation of Honda Accord.

The Petronas developed 2.0L turbo-charged engine

In mid-2015, Proton would introduce a Malaysian indigenous designed and produced which was developed and acquired from Petronas.

Currently, it is a 2.0L turbo-charged four in-line engine which produces 190HP and planned for the second generation Proton Perdana, which recently being introduced based on the 8th generation Honda Accord. A 1.6L and 1.8L are being planned, to power the Preve and Suprima S models.

Proton badge, in mid 80s

The saying of “Proof in the pudding is in the eating”. All those critics of Proton products should give the current models available in the market Saga FLV, Satria Neo, Preve and Suprima S and upcoming Perdana the fair chance based on merits due.

In the exercise to rationalise the Malaysian automotive industry which include the imports via the AP system, the Federal Government introduced the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 on 20 January 2014.

NST story:

20 January 2014| last updated at 06:02PM

NAP 2014: Highlights

KUALA LUMPUR: Following are highlights of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 unveiled by the International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed today:

Objectives:

* to promote competitive and sustainable domestic automotive industry including the national automotive companies.

* to transform Malaysia into a regional automotive hub in energy-efficient vehicles (EEV)

* to promote higher value-added activities

* to bolster exports of vehicles and components

* to encourage participation of Bumiputera companies in total value chain of the domestic automotive industry

* to safeguard consumers’ interest by offering safer and better quality products at competitive prices.

* Overall, the NAP 2014 provides a total financial package of about RM2 billion and measures and implementation plans to realise the NAP 2014

* The NAP 2014 targets at least 200,000 units of cars to be exported while exports of components will reach a minimum value of RM10 billion in 2020

* The government is open to possibilities to reduce excise duties gradually when the fiscal situation permits.

* On Approved Permits (APs), the government has decided an indepth study to be undertaken to asses the impact of the termination of Bumiputera participation in the auto industry.

* The NAP 2009 has specified for termination of the open AP by Dec 31, 2015 and the franchise AP by Dec 31, 2020

CAR PRICE REDUCTION

* A car price reduction framework has been developed to fulfil the promise of gradual reduction ranging 20 per cent to 30 per cent over the next five years.

* More new national car models and variants will be introduced at competitive prices this year.

* The NAP 2014 will see a bigger base of new models being introduced in the domestic market. These models will not only be greener but also safer.

* The government is constantly reviewing its fiscal position and is open to possibility to reduce excise duties when the fiscal situation permits.

* Models such as Saga SV, Persona SV, Viva, Alza and MyVi S Series, the new Honda Jazz and Nissan Almera were introduced at reduced prices of between three and 17 per cent. These models accounted for 30 per cent of market share in 2013.

ENERGY-EFFICIENT VEHICLE (EEV)

* Malaysia to become an energy-efficient vehicle (EEV) hub. This encompasses strategies and measures to strengthen the entire value chain of the automotive industry and will also lead to environment conservation, high-income job creation, transfer of technology and create new economic opportunities for local companies.

* The EEV includes fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid, electric vehicles and alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

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Proton is confident that the NAP 2014 would be the ‘push factor’ for the corporation and brand to do better.

The Malay Mail story:

Proton says will ‘survive’ greater competition in new auto policy

BY IDA LIMJANUARY 20, 2014UPDATED: JANUARY 21, 2014 12:14 AM

Tan Sri Khamil Jamil, the chairman of Proton, also said today that Proton was not ‘for sale’. — Picture by Choo Choy MayTan Sri Khamil Jamil, the chairman of Proton, also said today that Proton was not ‘for sale’. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — National carmaker Proton insisted today it will “survive” the greater competition from foreign vehicle producers now that the government has liberalised the auto industry to woo others into the market, under new guidelines in the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014.

Tan Sri Khamil Jamil, the chairman of Proton, said the company — which critics have seen as heavily relying on the government’s past protection from competition — will grow further.

“Proton will continue to survive and be stronger and better,” he told reporters today at the unveiling of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 here.

He later disagreed that Proton was “for sale”, saying that the company had undertaken “structural changes” and “structural improvement”, but did not provide further details.

“I believe, like what the minister has said, Proton is still very relevant together with Perodua, two national automotive companies that will play a vibrant and focal role to enhance the local automotive industry,” said Khamil, who is also the managing director of DRB-Hicom Bhd, which is the sole owner of Proton.

Earlier, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed acknowledged that Proton has been facing stiffer competition than before as the car market becomes increasingly liberalised.

Mustapa said the government did the “right thing” when it set up Proton in 1983, but noted that the country’s inking of free trade agreements with the Southeast Asian region and countries like Japan and Australia was opening up the car market.

“At present, the market is becoming more and more open because of AFTA, ASEAN, cars are imported duty-free, so the market is more liberalised now,” he said.

Mustapa said that MITI previously controlled car prices to protect Proton, but said it was now dictated by market forces which will result in a competitive industry.

“There was a time when car companies have to come to MITI for approval to set prices, that was to protect Proton, but the policy has been dismantled in 2004,” he said.

Mustapa also said Proton has undergone changes in the past few years in a bid to be more efficient and competitive.

Today, Khamil touched on Proton’s plans to produce energy efficient vehicles (EEV), saying that it was already in partnership with carmaker Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Honda, in which Proton owns a stake, has committed to pouring in RM 1,000 million to build hybrid cars in Malacca.

Proton is also working on its own EEV model, Khamil said.

“We are on track, hopefully by end of 2015, we will see some results for Proton,” he said.

Even before the NAP’s unveiling today, three car companies had already agreed to invest in EEV production here — including Honda, Perodua’s RM1,300 million investment and Mazda’s RM300 million investment.

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

Based on the NAP 2014, it is likely single largest portion of the 200,000 units of exported Malaysian made or assembled cars would come from Proton. On top of that, emphasis have been given to the development of ‘green cars’ (EEV), which Proton is deep into the development its own electrical and fuel cell models.

Proton success story for the export markets

Proton success story for the export markets

The affordability range models, where Saga FLV and Persona SV are categorised under, are two products offered by Proton with a lot of goodies. It is not just the value of the car, with the equipment and trim but also affordability ownership programs where consumers ‘Buy now, pay later’ schemes.

Proton is also the car manufacturer which opened the biggest opportunity for the participation of home grown automotive vendor development program for component and parts manufacturers. At the moment, there 360 companies serving the entire Proton supply chain.

The rationalisation of the new models plus re-strategising the brand and marketing and product placement programs is part of DRB’s commitment to make Proton a success story.

These are the mitigating justification part of the RM2 billion financial package offered and made available should be allocated for Proton. Under DRB-Hicom, Proton is set to maximise its production capability and optimumise all assets and resources the new roadmap laid out.

That would justify even if being analysed in the context as a corporation, the criticism should be made in the right perspective and consideration taking into consideration the variance in ownership and management, through time and spectrum of current events and mitigating circumstances and environment. It is very easy and probably fashionable in some quarters to make generalisation based on perception and taking re-phrased and re-packaged sweeping pot shots.

In reality, Proton came a long way through in the dynamism of a globally very competitive and challenging industry. It had been a volatile learning curve in the past thirty years and the national car project did follow through and now ready to move into the next phase, as part of a promising automotive group which has proven its steady growth and to add value.

Proton badge, present day

Proton badge, present day

Then again to be balanced and the same time correct, is an intellectual virtue which distinguishes one’s sense of observation and analysis, differentiating from any intent to express one’s thoughts tinged with omni-lethal concoction of the mixture between mischief and malice.

Published in: on January 25, 2014 at 23:59  Comments (8)  

Lessons from Paracels, Pt I

Paracel Islands, which is closer to Vietnam than China, were invavded by Chinese Naval Forces forty years ago

Paracel Islands, which is closer to Vietnam than China, were invaded by Chinese Naval Forces forty years ago

Forty years ago, the Republic of Vietnamese Navy had a rude awakening of  People’s Liberation Army of China occupying part of the Paracel Islands, which supposedly were under South Vietnam. A firefight broke out and saw intensive reinforcement from the Chinese Forces which include air force bombardment from the Hainan.

Lessons from the Battle of the Paracel Islands

Forty years on, the battle has enduring lessons for Vietnam’s naval modernization.

By Ngo Minh Tri and Koh Swee Lean Collin
January 23, 2014
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On January 16, 1974, the Republic of Vietnam Navy (RVN) discovered the presence of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Crescent Group in the western Paracel Islands, which was held by South Vietnam. This was an unexpected development, because notwithstanding the reduced U.S. military assistance to Saigon after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, and subsequent reduction of South Vietnamese garrisons on the islands, the Chinese had not taken unilateral actions to subvert the status quo – by which the Amphitrite Group in the eastern Paracels and the Crescent Group were respectively under Chinese and South Vietnamese control.

Over the next two days, the opposing naval forces jostled with one another in close-proximity maneuvers off the islands, before a firefight erupted as the South Vietnamese troops attempted to recapture Duncan Island. The skirmish subsequently escalated with overwhelming Chinese reinforcements deployed to the clash zone, including close air support staged from nearby Hainan Island and missile-armed Hainan-class patrol vessels. Shorn of American naval support, given that the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet was then scaling down its presence in the South China Sea following the peace accords of 1973, the RVN was utterly defeated. Beijing swiftly exploited the naval victory with an amphibious landing in force to complete its control of all the Paracel Islands.

The Battle of the Paracel Islands has since gone down history as the first Sino-Vietnamese naval skirmish in the quest for control over the South China Sea isles. The Sino-Vietnamese naval skirmish in the nearby Spratly Islands in 1988 was the second and final such instance. Since then, tensions have eased. There have been continued exchanges at the ruling party level and between the countries’ militaries (including the hosting of a PLA Navy South Sea Fleet delegation to a Vietnamese naval base). Beijing and Hanoi have also recently inaugurated mutual consultations on joint marine resource development in the South China Sea.

However, the Battle of Paracel Islands in 1974 yields some useful and enduring lessons for Hanoi and its ongoing naval modernization in the South China Sea, particularly in the face of geopolitical developments.

Enduring Lesson #1: Diplomacy is the First Recourse… But Not the Sole Recourse

No international and regional treaties constitute perfect safeguards against unilateral action, including threat or use of force. The landmark Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea inked in 2002 between China and the Southeast Asian claimants has not been entirely successful. In fact, unilateral actions aimed at subverting the status quo in the South China Sea by threat or use of force has continued to dominate. Recent video footage revealed by China’s CCTV in January 2014 showed a standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese law enforcement ships off the Paracel Islands back in 2007. More recent, recurring incidents included the harassment of Vietnamese survey ships by Chinese vessels, the Sino-Philippine maritime standoff in the Scarborough Shoal in April 2012 and, later, the show of force by Chinese surveillance ships and naval frigates off the Philippine-held Second Thomas Shoal. These episodes bear an eerie resemblance to the sort of naval jostling that led to the skirmish back in 1974.

Even as the South China Sea claimants engaged in consultations on a Code of Conduct, upon unilaterally declaring an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea in December 2013, Beijing declared indisputable rights to create ADIZs in other areas if it so desired. An ADIZ over the South China Sea, if ever established, would undoubtedly strengthen Beijing’s hand over the disputed waters, augmenting regular unilateral fishing bans, an earlier expanded maritime law enforcement authority for the Hainan authorities as well as the latest Chinese fisheries law requiring foreign fishing vessels to seek permission from Beijing to operate in much of the South China Sea. These developments, if they continue unabated, will only heighten the risk of accidental or premeditated clashes in the disputed waters.

Enduring Lesson #2: Extra-regional Powers Neither Always Stay… Nor Always Help

There has been growing interest among extra-regional powers in the South China Sea. Besides the U.S. Asia-Pacific rebalancing, Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has intensified its Southeast Asian diplomatic offensive, one of the objectives being to promote Tokyo’s territorial stance in the East China Sea. Vietnam has become one of the major beneficiaries of this development. During the 4th U.S.-Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue held in Washington in late October 2013, an agreement was reached to enhance maritime security cooperation. In the same month, Tokyo was reportedly keen to supply patrol vessels as part of a plan to bolster Vietnam’s maritime security capacity-building efforts. Also notable, Hanoi is enjoying budding defense ties with New Delhi, having hosted regular Indian Navy port visits in the past decade.

Still, none of the extra-regional powers has taken any side on the South China Sea disputes, preferring to focus only on freedom of navigation. This means that even though Washington or Tokyo have legitimate reasons to intervene if vital sea lines of communications through the South China Sea are threatened by the specter of armed conflict, any extra-regional help is far from certain. For instance, even if the U.S. Pacific Command is able to detect tell-tale signs of unusual Chinese military movements in the South China Sea, it may not be able to react in time. The U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet, as part of the rebalancing strategy, has intensified maritime surveillance in the area: the new Littoral Combat Ship U.S.S. Freedom is said to be conducting more than mere training missions in the area while the U.S. Navy was reported to have stepped up maritime aerial surveillance since July 2012.

However, during the skirmish in 1974 Saigon sought assistance from the U.S. Seventh Fleet, but it was under orders not to intervene in the disputes and no help arrived for the RVN off the Paracels. Washington is likely to adopt the same stance today, even if a renewed Sino-Vietnamese naval clash were to erupt, especially in localized contexts that do not necessarily impinge upon freedom of navigation by other users. Moreover, the present and future PLA Navy South Sea Fleet is no longer the same run-down, coastal-oriented force operating Soviet-era small patrol and attack forces it used to be. With its steady accumulation of force projection capabilities, including amphibious assault, the PLA Navy is in a better position than back in 1974 to deploy sizeable forces over sustained durations at greater distances to assert sovereignty, and its overall combat power will be far more potent if ever unleashed in the South China Sea.

Enduring Lesson #3: The Need for At Least Limited Sea Control Capabilities

There is no way for Vietnam to quantitatively match the PLA naval capabilities in the South China Sea. Consistent with Hanoi’s policy pronunciations, an arms race with China is not only impossible in the first place, but is considered potentially detrimental to Vietnam’s ongoing Renovation process. Vietnam’s post-Cold War naval modernization has been predicated on filling capacity shortfalls after previous decades of neglect. In recent years, the Vietnam People’s Navy had made notable strides in acquiring new hardware to replace the ageing Soviet-era equipment. However, the new, mostly Russian-supplied capabilities, such asGepard-3.9 light frigates, Kilo-class submarines, Su-30MK2V Flanker multi-role fighters equipped for maritime strike and Yakhont/Bastion coastal defense missile batteries, Dutch-built SIGMA-class corvettes as well as locally-built coastal patrol and attack craft all point to a force modernization pathway based primarily on denying an adversary access to the disputed zone. They do not suggest an ability to secure Vietnam’s own access.

Yet, the Battle of the Paracel Islands in 1974 highlighted the need to not just deny an adversary from blockading the South China Sea features but also to secure Vietnam’s own access to those exposed and vulnerable garrisons. Only a shift from sea denial to sea control can hope to attain that. Given the durable peace along the land borders with her neighbors, Vietnam should logically emphasize air-sea warfighting capabilities. For status quo-oriented Vietnam, much akin to what Saigon was back in 1974, the foreseeable combat scenario in a renewed South China Sea clash will encompass the need for Vietnamese forces to recapture seized features, or at least reinforce existing garrisons in the face of hostile attack. Under this scenario, Vietnam’s defense predicament is perhaps no different from Japan’s with respect to the East China Sea dispute. Tokyo has outlined in its recent new defense strategy the need for robust, integrated mobile defense, which envisaged the need for the Self-Defense Force to recapture the East China Sea isles in times of hostilities. Certainly Vietnam cannot hope to muster the same range of capabilities as Japan could, given economic constraints. To build at least limited sea control capabilities, Hanoi ought to focus on improving early warning and expanding amphibious sealift capacity.

Existing Vietnamese early warning capabilities are vested in a static electronic surveillance network arrayed along the Vietnamese mainland coast and in occupied South China Sea features, augmented only in recent years by maritime patrol aircraft of the Vietnamese navy and coastguard. These planes are mainly designed for surface surveillance, yet are handicapped in endurance and lack adequate anti-submarine warfare capabilities especially in view of the increasing PLA submarine challenge. A high-endurance maritime patrol aircraft fitted with longer-range sensors will be appropriate, and arguably more survivable than static installations. The Vietnam Naval Infantry, which specializes in amphibious assault and has been streamlined over the decades, has become a leaner yet meaner force with the acquisition of better equipment. Still, it remains short on amphibious sealift capacity, given that the Soviet and ex-U.S. vintage landing ships were too old and mostly no longer operational. Hanoi’s fledgling naval shipbuilders have so far produced a small handful of new assault transports ostensibly to fill this gap. However, more such vessels are required to enable the Vietnam Naval Infantry to project more substantial forces with greater rapidity in order to reinforce the South China Sea garrisons or to recapture them from an adversary.

Final Thoughts

The Battle of the Paracel Islands might have happened a long forty years ago. Still, even though the South China Sea has seen relative peace, it pays for Hanoi to remain vigilant by sustaining the pace of its naval modernization attempts. While diplomacy is the preferred recourse and extra-regional powers have become more heavily involved in the region, adequate military power in the form of defense self-help remains necessary, especially when the area continues to be fraught with uncertainty. Compared to the RVN, for now and in the foreseeable future the Vietnam People’s Navy and Air Force faces a challenge far greater than before in preserving the status quo in the South China Sea.

Ngo Minh Tri is Managing Editor of the Thanh Nien newspaper, based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Koh Swee Lean Collin is an associate research fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University based in Singapore. This article reflects the personal viewpoints of the authors and not representative of their respective organizations.

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The Vietnamese vividly remember this invasion.

AFO story:

Vietnam marks 40th anniversary of China’s invasion of Paracel Islands

Conflict with China in 1974 over the contested Paracel Islands marked for first time by Hanoi

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 January, 2014, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 January, 2014, 11:01pm

Agencies in Hanoi

  • vietnam.jpg
Protesters mark the invasion’s anniversary yesterday. Photo: AP

Activists chanted anti-China slogans and laid flowers yesterday at a protest in Hanoi marking the 40th anniversary of the Chinese invasion of contested islands in the South China Sea.

In 1974, as US troops withdrew from Vietnam, China invaded the Paracel Islands, called the Xisha Islands by Beijing and the Hoang Sa Islands by Hanoi. The islands had been held by the US-backed South Vietnamese regime.

More than 70 Vietnamese soldiers died during the invasion. China has controlled the island chain ever since.

While overseas Vietnamese groups and dissidents have traditionally marked the battle, it was the first time that Hanoi had marked the anniversary of the battle, apparently seeking to boost its legitimacy at home as tensions over the disputed waters flare anew.

The two countries are locked in long-standing territorial disputes over the Paracel and Spratly islands, which both claim, and often trade diplomatic barbs over oil exploration and fishing rights in the contested waters.

Dozens of activists laid flowers at a statue of Ly Thai To, the founder of Hanoi and a nationalist figurehead, in the capital.

Activists waved banners and shouted “Hoang Sa [Paracels], Truong Sa [Spratlys] belong to Vietnam!” before hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police forced them to leave the area.

“We gathered here to commemorate the event … Forty years ago the Chinese invaded the island and killed many Vietnamese soldiers,” academic Nguyen Quang A said.

The protest was the first display of public discontent in Hanoi this year against Beijing’s perceived aggression over territory, following a handful of anti-China demonstrations last year, which were broken up by authorities.

The memory of people of Vietnam is vivid. Nobody can eradicate [it]
NGUYEN QUANG A, ACADEMIC

“The government of Vietnam is in a very difficult situation,” Quang A said, calling the police presence at the event ridiculous. “The memory of people of Vietnam is vivid. Nobody can eradicate that memory,” he said. There was no official comment from the government.

Although yesterday’s protest was not covered in the local press, state-run media had been running stories on the anniversary, as well as interviews with families of the victims, who have never received any support from the government. Vietnamese media do not report on issues concerning China without the approval of the government.

“After a long time, the deaths of my husband and others seemed to fall into oblivion, but I’m very glad that they have been mentioned,” online newspaper Vietnamnet quoted Huynh Thi Sinh, the widow of the captain of the naval ship who died along with 73 others, as saying. “Maybe in his world he’s feeling satisfied. His sacrifice is very meaningful. I’m proud.”

Authorities in central Vietnam said they were organising exhibitions and workshops to mark the anniversary of China’s “illegal occupation” of the Paracels.

Dang Cong Ngu, chairman of the Hoang Sa People’s Committee, said candles would be lit on Danang beach to commemorate those who died fighting for the Paracels.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press

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Today, the Paracel Islands are a forward military operations base for the Chinese Forces, where heavy duty naval patrol vessels are berthed and regular patrol conducted from these islands.

South China Morning Post story:

Chinese patrol ship to be based at disputed islands in South China Sea

It will sail in areas of South China Sea where the Philippines and Vietnam make claims

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 January, 2014, 3:14am
  • china-military-maritime-dispute_bej6563_30096749.jpg
An aerial view of Sansha on Woody Island in the Paracels chain. Photo: AFP

China is to base a 5,000-tonne marine patrol ship at disputed islands in the South China Sea, a government newspaper said yesterday, a move that is likely to fuel territorial disputes with its Asian neighbours.

The China Ocean News, which is published by the State Oceanic Administration, said the vessel would be based at the small town of Sansha on one of the Paracel Islands and that a regular patrol system would be set up from the base gradually.

Sansha was established two years ago to administer areas of the South China Sea that are also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines.

The decision to base the patrol boat in the area was part of an agreement between Sansha and the maritime authorities in Hainan , the report said.

The agreement covered search-and-rescue missions, marine conservation and overseeing safe navigation in the area, the newspaper said.

China’s biggest patrol vessel is a 4,000-tonne ship, suggesting it will build a bigger vessel to carry out the patrols from Sansha.

Meanwhile, the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, one of the country’s two shipbuilding giants, said yesterday it was to build a 10,000-tonne marine surveillance ship.

It will be the world’s biggest marine patrol ship, bigger than the Japanese coastguard’s 7,000-tonne Shikishima PLH 31 vessel.

A mainland maritime expert denied the move to build bigger patrol vessels was aimed at challenging the authority of neighbouring countries involved in territorial disputes with China.

“What China has done is to defend the country’s rights and interests because it needs more bigger ships to oversee maritime security in the huge area covered by the South China Sea,” said Professor Wang Hanling , a maritime expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“The establishment of a patrol system and other improvement works at Sansha reflects that Beijing is trying to narrow the disadvantage it has in maritime development, which was neglected over the past six decades.”

Beijing has said it has 27 patrol ships, all of at least 1,000 tonnes, patrolling disputed waters in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, with some equipped with light weapons and helicopters. Another 36 larger vessels have been under construction since 2012, according to a Xinhua report.

The State Oceanic Administration has increased surveillance around the Diaoyu islands since the Japanese government, which calls them the Senkaku islands, bought some of the disputed territory two years ago.

Among the vessels patrolling in the area are China’s largest patrol ship, the Haijian 50; its sister ship, Haijian 83; and Haijian 66, the mainland’s fastest surveillance vessel.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Patrol ship to be based at disputed islands
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This invasion of South Vietnamese territories happened when the US as an ally, who were was still backing the South Vietnamese and their military presence in the region as a super power was overwhelming. US military forces were still within South Vietnam.

This is not withstanding that facts that several armed and attack squadrons of the US Air Force were then based in Clarks Air Base and where else the US Navy was maintaining full operational naval base presence in Subic Bay, just across the South China Sea in the Phillipines.

The Chinese forces did not stop at the Paracel Islands. In the more recent development of their aggressive presence further south, encroaching into territories that is clearly part of a sovereign nation such as the Phillipines’ Scarborough Shoals.

The Forbes story:

OP/ED
6/02/2013 @ 5:08PM |28,799 views

China And The Biggest Territory Grab Since World War II

Filipinos protest in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, as part of a global protest over an escalating territorial row in the South China Sea. The territorial row centres on Scarborough Shoal, a tiny rocky outcrop in the South China Sea which the Philippines says is part of its territory because it falls within its exclusive economic zone. China, however, claims virtually all of the South China Sea, which is believed to sit atop huge oil and gas reserves, as its historical territory, even waters close to the coasts of other Asian countries. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

Yesterday, the New York Timesreported that China’s mapping authority, Sinomaps Press, issued a new map of the country showing 80% of the South China Sea as internal Chinese water.

What’s at issue?  Each year, more than half of the world’s annual merchant tonnage passes through the South China Sea as well as a third of the global trade in crude oil and over half of LNG trade.

Beijing’s assertion of sovereignty over that body of water does not necessarily mean it will close the South China Sea off to international commerce.  Yet that would be the next step.  Given its extremely broad view of its right to regulate coastal traffic, Beijing will undoubtedly define the concept of “innocent passage” narrowly and require vessels entering that sea to obtain its permission beforehand and similarly require aircraft flying over it to do the same.  The South China Sea, bordered by eight nations, has long been considered international water.

The New York Times noted Asian diplomats have seen the map with the stunning claim.  Its release, the Times article states, was delayed from late 2012 “so that it could be formally authorized by the Chinese senior leadership.”  The map is not yet publicly available.

Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China in 1947 issued maps with dashes at the edge of the South China Sea.  The ambiguous markings led to the term “cow’s tongue” because of the shape of the area defined by the dashes.  Mao Zedong’s victorious People’s Republic in 1949 adopted as its own Chiang’s expansive South China Sea claims.

Hopeful analysts had long maintained that the dashes—nine or ten of them depending on the map—signified China’s claim to only the islands inside the cow’s tongue.  Those islands are subject to competing claims by other shoreline nations, specifically, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Taiwan.  Moreover, there was great optimism when China ratified the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea in June 1996. That multilateral treaty includes detailed rules on the calculation of territorial waters—generally limiting territorial claims to waters no further than 12 nautical miles from shore—and those rules were inconsistent with Beijing’s general assertion of sovereignty over the South China Sea.  Accordingly, analysts naturally thought—hoped, actually—that China had abandoned its expansive 1947-based claim.

Yet Beijing, despite treaty obligations, had long been laying the groundwork to close off the South China Sea to other nations.  For instance, in August 2011 the official Xinhua News Agency issued a report stating China had “three million square kilometers of territorial waters.”  It was impossible for the country to get to that figure without including its claim to most of the 2.6 million square kilometers of the South China Sea.

Moreover, in that same month Xinhua was even clearer when it asserted that the islands in the South China Sea “and surrounding waters” were “part of China’s core interests.”  By using “core interests,” Beijing was signaling it could never compromise China’s sovereignty over either the islands or those waters.

In any event, Beijing’s new map, according to those who have seen it, removes any ambiguity by converting the dashes into a national boundary.  All islands and waters inside the line, therefore, are China’s, at least according to the Chinese.  It is the biggest attempted grab of territory since World War II.

The new map will roil Asian nations, of course.  Last year, Beijing used force to seize Philippine territory, Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.  The United States, despite its treaty obligations to defend the Philippines, let the Chinese take what they wanted.  Nobody in the White House wanted to confront China, and there were voices in the Pentagon saying that China’s aggression served the Philippines right for kicking American forces out of the Clark and Subic bases.  Now, the Chinese are going after Ayungin Shoal, long considered Philippine territory.

The ongoing seizure of pieces of the Philippines is an indirect challenge to America.  Now, however, the issuance of the new map means Beijing has taken on Washington directly.  If there has been any consistent American foreign policy over the course of two centuries, it has been the defense of freedom of navigation.

Why is this important?  The world has prospered because of trade conducted freely over wide seas lanes and air routes.  So China’s claim to the South China Sea, if permitted to stand, will mark the end of the open architecture of the Post-War world.

At the end of this week, President Obama will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Rancho Mirage for two days of intensive talks.  The White House, in announcing the meeting on May 20, said it wanted to “discuss ways to enhance cooperation.”  The administration is hoping to build an enduring partnership with China’s increasingly militant one-party state and is trying to avoid disagreement.

Yet on the Beijing’s sea claims there can be no compromise.  Either the South China Sea is Chinese or it is international water.  The stakes—for China, for the United States, for the international community—are hard to overstate.

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Like ‘Salami tactics’, the obvious expansionary intention is translated via the continuously aggressive  of Chinese naval forces ‘flexing the muscles’ especially in the disputed multiple claims area within South China Sea.

There are lessons to be learned from the past forty years. Especially, the last fifteen years. Chinese naval forces have increased their capability in size, assets and application of assets tremendously.

ASEAN EEZ Vs China's claims over South China Sea

ASEAN EEZ Vs China’s claims over South China Sea

What is at the dismay of all the nations bordering the South China Sea is the attitude and ‘expansionary vision’ of China, which is also demonstrating their readiness to grossly disrespecting the United Nation Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

APRIL 4, 2013

The South China Sea is an important world energy trade route

Map of South China Sea trade routes, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

 

Note: Click map to enlarge.



Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca chokepoint in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one of the most important energy trade routes in the world. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) passes through the South China Sea each year. Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca chokepoint in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one of the most important energy trade routes in the world. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) passes through the South China Sea each year.

The Strait of Malacca is the shortest sea route between African and Persian Gulf suppliers and Asian consumers. The strait is a critical transit chokepoint and has become increasingly important over the last two decades. In 1993, about 7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and petroleum products (20% of world seaborne oil trade) passed through the Strait of Malacca, according to the Center for Naval Analysis. EIA estimates that by the end of 2011, trade through Malacca was greater than 15 million bbl/d, or about one-third of all seaborne oil. In comparison, the world’s most important chokepoint for maritime transit, the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, had an oil flow of about 17 million bbl/d in 2011 (see World Oil Transit Chokepoints).

Average daily oil consumption worldwide in 2011 was about 88.3 million bbl/d. The Strait of Malacca is the shortest sea route between African and Persian Gulf suppliers and Asian consumers. The strait is a critical transit chokepoint and has become increasingly important over the last two decades. In 1993, about 7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and petroleum products (20% of world seaborne oil trade) passed through the Strait of Malacca, according to the Center for Naval Analysis. EIA estimates that by the end of 2011, trade through Malacca was greater than 15 million bbl/d, or about one-third of all seaborne oil.

In comparison, the world’s most important chokepoint for maritime transit, the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, had an oil flow of about 17 million bbl/d in 2011 (see World Oil Transit Chokepoints). Average daily oil consumption worldwide in 2011 was about 88.3 million bbl/d.A significant amount of crude oil arriving in the Strait of Malacca (1.4 million bbl/d) goes to terminals in Singapore and Malaysia instead of continuing on to the South China Sea. After processing, this crude oil is shipped out again to Asian markets through the South China Sea as refined petroleum products, such as motor gasoline and jet fuel. The rest of the crude oil passes through the South China Sea to China and Japan, the two largest energy consumers in Asia. Finally, about 15% of crude oil moving through the South China Sea goes on to the East China Sea, mostly to South Korea.

A significant amount of crude oil arriving in the Strait of Malacca (1.4 million bbl/d) goes to terminals in Singapore and Malaysia instead of continuing on to the South China Sea. After processing, this crude oil is shipped out again to Asian markets through the South China Sea as refined petroleum products, such as motor gasoline and jet fuel. The rest of the crude oil passes through the South China Sea to China and Japan, the two largest energy consumers in Asia. Finally, about 15% of crude oil moving through the South China Sea goes on to the East China Sea, mostly to South Korea.

Crude oil flow in the South China Sea also comes from intraregional trade, particularly from Malaysian,Indonesian, and Australian crude oil exports. Intraregional trade is distributed evenly among Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China, with smaller amounts going to other Southeast Asia countries.

Crude oil flow in the South China Sea also comes from intraregional trade, particularly from Malaysian,Indonesian, and Australian crude oil exports. Intraregional trade is distributed evenly among Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China, with smaller amounts going to other Southeast Asia countries.

Map of South China Sea trade routes, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.
 

Note: Click map to enlarge.



The South China Sea is also a major destination for LNG exports. About 6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of liquefied natural gas, or more than half of global LNG trade, passed through the South China Sea in 2011. Half of this amount continued on to Japan, with the rest of it going to South Korea, China, Taiwan, and other regional countries. Almost 75% of all LNG exports to the region came from Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia. The South China Sea is also a major destination for LNG exports. About 6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of liquefied natural gas, or more than half of global LNG trade, passed through the South China Sea in 2011. Half of this amount continued on to Japan, with the rest of it going to South Korea, China, Taiwan, and other regional countries. Almost 75% of all LNG exports to the region came from Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.
With growing demand for natural gas in East Asia, the South China Sea’s share of global LNG trade will likely increase in the coming years. Moreover, Japan has increased its LNG imports to replace the energy lost from nuclear power outages following the Fukushima crisis. Much of the new supply will come through the Strait of Malacca, although some countries like Indonesia are investing in their own LNG export capacity. With growing demand for natural gas in East Asia, the South China Sea’s share of global LNG trade will likely increase in the coming years. Moreover, Japan has increased its LNG imports to replace the energy lost from nuclear power outages following the Fukushima crisis. Much of the new supply will come through the Strait of Malacca, although some countries like Indonesia are investing in their own LNG export capacity.
Finally, large quantities of coal from Australia and Indonesia, the world’s two largest coal exporters, pass through the South China Sea to markets around the world, especially to China, Japan, and India. These coal shipments include both steam coal used for generating electricity and process heat as well as metallurgical coal that is a key ingredient in primary steel production. Finally, large quantities of coal from Australia and Indonesia, the world’s two largest coal exporters, pass through the South China Sea to markets around the world, especially to China, Japan, and India. These coal shipments include both steam coal used for generating electricity and process heat as well as metallurgical coal that is a key ingredient in primary steel production.
For more information, see the South China Sea Regional Analysis Brief. For more information, see the South China Sea Regional Analysis Brief.
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Malaysia is a very important maritime nation, which economy and national blood-life is dependent in the water ways that surround her. The South China Sea mass body of water separates Semenanjung, Sabah and Sarawak.

Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone as per the Malaysia Act 1984 and under jusrisdiction of the MMEA

Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone as per the Malaysia Act 1984 and under jusrisdiction of the MMEA

The same mass body of water provides almost 50% of Malaysia’s protein requirement and almost 20% of national income, from oil and gas exploration in the EEZ of the coast of Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak and joint development areas with Thailand and now Vietnam.

In the interest of Malaysia, we are very dependent these water ways. As the 17th most important world trading nation, more than 90% of Malaysian trade are made through the passages of these water ways.

It is pertinent that Malaysia is able to ensure these water ways are protected and remain open for safe passage of international shipping.

*Updated 2200hrs

Chinese Navy along with marines detachments continue to do aggressive ‘training’ in South China Sea.

Xinhua story:

China’s naval helicopters finish low-altitude flight training

(Xinhua)    19:05, January 24, 2014
Email|Print|Comments       twitter     facebook     Sina Microblog     reddit    

ABOARD CHANGBAISHAN, Jan. 24 — Shipboard helicopters with a patrolling Chineseflotilla successfully completed low-altitude flight training missions in the South ChinaSea on Friday night.

Pilots from the Nanhai Fleet flotilla, which is patrolling the South China Sea, fulfilled theflight task in dim light and against strong winds.

The move means that the Chinese pilots have mastered the technique of landing roundthe clock on all types of Chinese naval vessels equipped with landing platforms, said ZhouXun, deputy commander of the helicopter regiment.

The low-altitude flight training missions are part of the flotilla’s annual schedule, whichincludes combat drills in the South China Sea, the West Pacific Ocean and the east IndianOcean.

The three-ship flotilla, which consists of amphibious landing craft Changbaishan and destroyers Wuhan and Haikou, left from a military port in south China’s Hainan Provinceon Monday.

Changbaishan is the country’s largest landing ship by gross tonnage and is equipped withan advanced weapons system. Both Wuhan and Haikou have experience with major drills and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden.

Three helicopters and a company of marines are stationed aboard the ships.

Since Monday, the helicopter regiment has successfully completed about 100 trainingflights, which have improved its combat capability in a “complex environment,” said LiuDehua, a naval air force official with the Nanhai Fleet.

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

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 15:59  Comments (16)  

Mother knows best

PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter PKR Vice President Nurul Izzah Anwar

Like mother, like daughter. The latest marital controversy of hitting PKR top echelon when the summon for divorce is filed by Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah at Kuala Lumpur syariah court was confirmed.

23 January 2014| last updated at 06:51PM

Court confirms Nurul Izzah filed for divorce

KUALA LUMPUR: The Lower Syariah Court here today confirmed that Lembah Pantai PKR member of parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar has filed for a divorce from her husband Raja Ahmad Shahrir Iskandar Raja Salim.

A check of the court’s records showed that Nurul Izzah, 34, who is the eldest child of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had filed the application early this month.

It was filed under the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984 which provides for the annulment of a marriage by ‘talaq’ or court order.

The case was first mentioned before Syariah Judge Ab Malek Awang two days ago with remention scheduled for Feb 18.

The couple were married on May 9 2003 and have a daughter, 7 and son, 4.  – BERNAMA

Read more: Court confirms Nurul Izzah filed for divorce – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/court-confirms-nurul-izzah-filed-for-divorce-1.469020#ixzz2rF3aQvzB

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This is not something new for the family. PKR Vice President Nurul Izzah Anwar should consult her mother PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail about dealing with her marital issues head on, which has now made public attention instead of side-stepping the media whenever this hot gossip is raised by press to her.

Riong Kali dot com story:

Leave us alone, we are working out our marriage, says Nurul Izzah

JANUARY 23, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: JANUARY 23, 2014 07:08 PM

Amid reports and speculation that they are heading for a divorce, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has announced that she and her husband are continuing with “our union”.

In a statement issued by her office, the Lembah Pantah MP said: “Our family is our priority, as is our time together.

“We are deeply saddened by the undignified intrusion into our private lives and will do our utmost to work out our continuing union.

“We appeal to all to accord us privacy.”

Earlier today, Nurul Izzah, 33, in replying a question on Twitter, on whether she had filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years, simply answered: “Nope.”

The question was fielded by a member of the public following rumours in cyberspace that she had petitioned for a Fasakh (annulment of marriage) at the Syariah Court in December.

Her husband, Raja Ahmad Shahrir Iskandar Raja Salim, 35, was said to have received the notice on January 16. He was also said to have requested on Monday for a two-week postponement of the divorce trial.

This morning, when approached at Asli’s 16th Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference, Nurul Izzah declined to comment on the issue.

“I’m leaving now. Thank you for respecting my privacy,” she said, before leaving the premises after her panel discussion ended.

Meanwhile, the Lower Syariah Court in Kuala Lumpur today confirmed that Nurul had filed for a divorce from her husband.

According to Bernama, a check of the court’s records showed that Nurul, who is the eldest child of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had filed the application early this month.

It was filed under the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984 which provides for the annulment of a marriage by “talaq” or court order.

The case was first mentioned before Syariah Judge Ab Malek Awang two days ago with remention scheduled for February 18, Bernama reported.

The couple were married in May 2003 and have a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. – January 23, 2014.

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This is because since 20 years ago of multiple contentious stories, reports and testimonies in court cases about her father Anwar Ibrahim’s adulterous and bi-sexualism, which is prohibited and punishable under Penal Code by Malaysia law, Wan Azizah still remained married to him.

This include a few times Wan Azizah also sought divorce from Anwar, just like what Nurul Izzah is doing today.

The Guardian story somewha almost 15 years ago:

Malaysian leader adds insult to rival’s injury

The election campaign of Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, hit new depths yesterday with the allegation that the wife of his chief political rival, the jailed Anwar Ibrahim, had sought a divorce, writes John Gittings in Kuala Lumpur. Dr Wan Azizah `asked for divorce twice over the years after she found out `the truth’ about (Anwar),’ the pro-government Sun tabloid reported on its front page.

The not-so-subtle insinuation is that Wan Azizah had learnt about her husband’s alleged bisexual behaviour – a charge which he says has been fabricated by his political enemies. The story also claims that she was beaten by Anwar when she asked for a divorce a second time.

Wan Azizah has dismissed it as `totally unfounded’. Anwar is standing trial on sodomy charges which Dr Mahathir has several times declared to be proven. No action has been taken against the Prime Minister for his statements which, like yesterday’s article, appear to be in contempt of court.

The source for the Sun’s story is Khairuddin Abu Hassan, Anwar’s cousin. The Sun also quotes an official in the Prime Minister’s department, Abdul Hamid Othman, saying there had been a `family dispute between husband and wife’.

The star witness in the Anwar affair is the sultry Ummi Hafilda Ali, whose appearances at Anwar’s first trial made her a national celebrity.

On Friday, a thousand voters heard her give an impassioned account of how she followed her sister-in-law to an apartment block and then accused her of sleeping with Anwar. Both the sister-in-law and her husband – Anwar’s former private secretary who is now an opposition candidate – have denied her claim.

The government’s obsession with the jailed former Deputy Prime Minister has grown daily throughout the short campaign. `It’s really a contest between Mahathir and Anwar’, says one Malaysian journalist. `The problem simply will not go away.’

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

Yet, till present day Wan Azizah never did get her day in court and her matrimony annulled.

After all, Anwar did not wed her in an auspicious event with her consent of her father. It was said she eloped with him to Thailand, to be in union with then a fiery student leader, who keeps getting into one trouble after another. Like being detained under ISA for instigating the 1974 students riot, for a yet to be proven “Death in Baling due to perils of poverty”.

Despite suffering in silent,  the purpose of politics and Wan Azizah’s own political expediency as a President political party Anwar Ibrahim has been portrayed a dotting husband, married to Wan Azizah the model timid wife who had to endure the challenges of being the wife of a victimised politician by the very cruel and oppressing regime.

What ever Nurul Izzah’s marital issues are, it cannot be bigger, more challenging and complex to those faced by her mother.

Hence, it is undoubtedly Wan Azizah is the best consultant for her. It has worked for the political expediency of Anwar Ibrahim, since 15 years ago since he was sacked from Cabinet and UMNO and the mobstreet movement of ‘Reformasi’ was launched. Wan Azizah has been the formidable pillar of granite for Anwar, which is purpose of so many got hoodwinked into the notion of Anwar being victimised, by a corrupt regime struggling to maintain power for the sake of multiple rings of cronies.

Even when he was caught on video red handed with the Chinadoll almost two years ago and the specially ordered Omega went missing. Wan Azizah maintained her equivocal steadfast of innocence and purity of the model wife.

Or has the gold Omega actually re-appeared but Wan Azizah still purposely has not made it known to the media, so that she has a strategic tool against so many people?

Regardless, probably Nurul Izzah has her own ‘Omega’ story too. As they say in Malay, “Kemana tumpahnya kuah kalau tidak ke nasi?” (Where should the gravy go if not on the rice?)

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 23:59  Comments (7)  

Anelka Ban: Anti-Semitism Paranoia and Prejudice

The probable FA decision to reprimand West Bromich Albion footballer Nicolas Anelka for five matches due his so-called “Anti-Semitic gesture” after scoring against West Ham Unite on 28 December 2013 is another example how the Jewish race is over-bearingly paranoia and prejudice against gentiles.

BBC story:

Nicolas Anelka: FA charges West Brom striker over gesture

West Brom’s Nicolas Anelka faces a minimum five-match ban if found guilty by the Football Association of making the controversial “quenelle” gesture.

The striker made the sign, described as an inverted Nazi salute, after scoring against West Ham on 28 December.

Anelka was given a 34-page document detailing the allegations and has until 18:00 GMT on Thursday to respond.

West Brom sponsor Zoopla will end its agreement with the club at the end of the season because of the incident.

The former France international used the “quenelle” the day after the French government announced it was trying to ban the shows of controversial comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala’s, who is a friend of Anelka’s and uses the gesture as a trademark.

France’s Sport Minster Valerie Fourneyron accused Anelka of a “shocking and disgusting” act, saying “there was no place for anti-Semitism on the football field.”

What is a quenelle gesture?

  • It is a hand gesture devised by French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who says it’s an anti-establishment symbol
  • However, many view it as an anti-Semitic gesture, reminiscent of the Nazi salute
  • People have been photographed making the sign at synagogues and Holocaust sites

In a statement, the FA said it had charged the 34-year-old, who started Monday’s draw with Everton, with making a gesture that was “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper”.

It added it was “an aggravated breach in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief”.

The minimum suspension for the offence is five games, but the FA, who appointed an expert to help with its investigation, can increase that if they see fit.

“The player is now considering his options,”West Brom said in a statement. 

“Under FA rules, Anelka remains available for first-team selection until the disciplinary process has reached its conclusion. Following this, the club will conclude its own internal enquiry.”

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out also issued a statement, expressing frustration over the length of time it has taken the FA to act.

“Any behaviour on or off the pitch with racist connotations should be addressed with zero tolerance”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews

It claimed the governing body had “spent a longer time than desirable”, adding that it hoped “this matter can now be quickly concluded”.

Jewish groups had complained to France president Francois Hollande, describing the gesture as a “Nazi salute in reverse”. They linked it to increasing anti-Semitic remarks and acts in the country.

Comedian Dieudonne has threatened to sue the groups for calling it a Nazi salute and says it stands for his anti-Zionist and anti-establishment views, rather than anti-Semitism.

However, a leading Jewish organisation, The Board of Deputies of British Jews,  issued its own statement backing the FA.

“We support the FA in treating this incident seriously and we look to them to follow through with equal determination,” it read.

“The board believes that any behaviour on or off the pitch with racist connotations should be addressed with zero tolerance and should be kicked out by the football authorities.”

Alan Cleverley, secretary of the West Bromwich Albion Official Supporters’ Club, said if Anelka is found guilty by the FA, he “deserves everything he gets”.

He added: “You can’t go on doing that. It sounds as if he did it on purpose because he knew the match was being shown live in France. So if the book gets thrown at him, I’ve got no sympathy whatsoever for him.”

Anelka leaves the West Brom training ground on TuesdayAnelka leaves the West Brom training ground on Tuesday

Anelka, who made the gesture after scoring in the 3-3 draw at Upton Park, has promised not to repeat the sign, which he said was made in support of Dieudonne.

If Anelka is found guilty and suspended, it would reduce the number of attacking options for new Baggies head coach Pepe Mel, who has already seen Shane Long move to Hull City in a £7m deal.

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

French national team footballer Anelka is a French citizen and a Muslim convert, who takes on the Abdul Salam Bilal.

The agenda of media in the West to sought the sentiments of British Jews to commen on Anelka’s  “Quenella” gesture without giving the same opportunity for British and French Muslims to express themselves is another good instance of the International Jewish paranoia and prejudice.

If the English FA makes a decision to reprimand Anelka, proves the point that the football organisation is pro-Jewish and prejudice against Non-Jews, whenever there is a doubt in determining what is “Anti Semitic” or otherwise.

British property online search engine Zoopla severed their sponsorship for this:

Nicolas Anelka: West Brom sponsor Zoopla to end deal

West Brom sponsor Zoopla have decided to end their sponsorship of the club at the end of the season because of Nicolas Anelka’s “quenelle” gesture.

Anelka, 34, made the sign, described as an inverted Nazi salute and declared by some to be anti-Semitic, after scoring against West Ham on 28 December, 2013.

Zoopla, co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, will focus on other marketing activities.

The incident is being investigated by the Football Association.

Analysis

David OrnsteinBBC Sport

“After Anelka’s celebration there was uproar in France in some sections of society and that spread to the UK. He immediately said he meant no offence by it and West Brom said they would take no action until the FA have investigated. Zoopla co-owner Alex Chesterman is Jewish and will have played a key role in the decision.”

West Brom asked Anelka not to repeat the celebration and have since selected the Frenchman on three occasions.

The former Arsenal striker defended his actions in the days following the incident, but, with the FA verdict due any day, the club’s sponsor made its stance clear.

In a statement, the property company said: “Zoopla has been reviewing its position over the past few weeks in light of the actions of striker Nicolas Anelka during the match against West Ham over the Christmas period.”

The agreement, which started in May 2012, was due to finish at the end of the season and Zoopla has decided not to renew.

West Brom say they were “aware the deal could expire” and have been “planning accordingly”.

Baggies head coach Pepe Mel said he had no issues when selecting Anelka for Monday’s 1-1 draw against West Brom.

“Nicolas is a very good player and a very good professional and I am only the head coach,” said Mel.

“If he is suspended by the FA, then he is not able to play, but here at the club we must think about winning football matches and he was available.

“My obligation is just to think about the football and the best interests of West Bromwich Albion.”

Play media

Anelka meant no offence – Downing

The FA has brought in an expert to help determine whether the gesture, which Anelka made after scoring in a 3-3 draw at Upton Park, was used in an offensive manner.

In the meantime, West Brom have refrained from punishing Anelka.

Lord Ouseley, chairman of anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out,  told BBC Radio 5 Live some clubs are guilty of “hiding behind the FA”.

He added: “I think the situation has always been from day one that we have clubs who will not take responsibility.

“This has caused a lot of offence to a lot of people. We know that from the complaints we are getting.

“As an employer, you have a responsibility to your fans and have to carry that responsibility out by making sure your players’ conduct does not offend. If this happened in any other arena, your employer would be disciplining you.”

“The meaning of quenelle is anti-system… I do not know what religion has to do with this story”

Nicolas Anelka

Anelka said he made the gesture in support of performer Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, whom the French government has tried to ban from making the sign at his shows.

The former Real Madrid player’s actions were branded “disgusting” by France’s sports minister.

“Of course, I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic and I fully assume my gesture,” Anelka tweeted the day after the controversial celebration.

“The meaning of quenelle is anti-system. I do not know what religion has to do with this story.

“With regard to the ministers who give their own interpretations of my quenelle, they are the ones that create confusion and controversy without knowing what it really means. I ask people not to be duped by the media.”

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This over-bearing decision to punish WBA as a football club by Neo Con Jewish owners of Zoopla Alex Chesterman and simon Kain is an extension to the prejudice by British Jews whenever the opportunity arises.

These same media failed to highlight the voracious anti-Muslim attacks by organisations such Jewish Defence League UK.

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 02:00  Comments (3)  

PM Najib: Government will intervene if price mechanism fails

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak assured that the Federal Government would intervene if price mechanism fails, to ensure that goods and services especially pertaining to grocery and food items remain at the affordability of Malaysians.

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21 January 2014| last updated at 10:29AM

PM: Vital to reconstruct nation’s economy

By AZURA ABAS and KOI KYE LEE | news@nst.com.my
 2  8 Google +0  0 0 comments

PUTRAJAYA: Restructuring of the nation’s economy is vital as it would ensure a continuous and upward trend of growth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said if a reform of the economy was not made, the economic growth would remain stagnant.

For Malaysia to achieve its objective in becoming a developed nation by 2020 and a high income nation, Najib said the restructuring of economy was a must.

“If we do not do a restructure, the country’s economy will grow slower and we will not be able to achieve our objective which is to be a country with an advanced economy,” he added.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, attended the ministry’s first monthly assembly, earlier today.

He said that to achieve advanced economy, the country’s resources have to be managed efficiently and used productively.

Najib added the government would intervene if the current price mechanism has failed to function properly.

“The intervention will be done so that the people will not be burdened by the price hikes,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers his speech at the Ministry of Finance’s first monthly assembly in Putrajaya. Pix by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

Read more: PM: Vital to reconstruct nation’s economy – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/pm-vital-to-reconstruct-nation-s-economy-1.467258#ixzz2r0ZlqtDO

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The process of ‘intervention’ has already started. However, it is being addressed at source instead at end user.

Presently efforts are being made to address the specific issue that many Malaysians are complaining, the steep rise in grocery and food items of late. On Saturday, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob announced that the price of raw paddy supplied by farmers to millers would be standardised to RM1,200 per metric ton.

Prior to this ruling, the price of raw paddy acquired by millers varied between states. As such, some millers started to buy at lower prices from farmers in the states and affected the supply from where the millers are based. The practice of cartel has been seen as ‘economically oppressing’ the famers.

When met in Ministry of Agriculture yesterday, Ismail questioned what are the Opposition led State Governments doing about the rising price of goods and services.

He noted that many of the city councils and local authorities in these states have been hiking up licenses, permits, quit rents and even rental of premises owned by the local authorities. As such, the cost is passed to the consumers.

Therefore in most of the urban areas, price of prepared food have been rising and affecting the fixed income earners, especially in the lower bracket and those elastically affected due to urban poverty.

He asked Opposition Leaders to make the rising price of goods and services lesser of a political issue and come together with the Federal Government to ensure that the well being of the rakyat comes first.

Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 13:00  Comments (6)