Under-the-coconut-shell echo-hailer

The idea-bankrupt IDEAS trio: Wan Saiful, Wan Firdaus and Tunku Zain-al-Abidine

Young professional Malays who are aspired to be liberal and taking on the path of ‘universal language’ of issues such as transparency, market economy, open opportunities and globalisation themselves must first be practical in the context of the realism of everyday Malaysia, before they come out to give their goodie-two-shoes one liners.

Riong Kali dot com story:

Putrajaya still seen as corrupt, as people sceptical of government’s anti-graft efforts

BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
APRIL 29, 2014

Most Malaysians are sceptical of Putrajaya’s efforts to eradicate corruption and practise integrity despite its efforts to pursue such an agenda, an analyst told a forum today.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan (pic) said most people were convinced that corruption and abuse of power were still a critical issue in Malaysia despite the government’s initiatives to work on them.

“Corruption is still an issue. So, despite the government’s initiatives, people still feel the country is corrupt.
“There is great scepticism of how serious the government is in pursuing this,” he said at a forum on integrity at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the high level of scepticism of the government’s efforts indicated that it was because there were no real efforts to actually eradicate corruption within the government and its departments and agencies.

“It is just like when the government talked about moderation and set up the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), which is a very good initiative to take the moderation agenda to an international level,” Wan Saiful said, referring to the think tank mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2010.

“But people are making jokes about GMM. They are saying, why promote moderation outside Malaysia when there are extremists in the country that the government is not doing anything about?”

It is also because we have strong separation of powers (judiciary and executive) as well as a strong culture of apolitical public administration. – Danish Ambassador Nicolai Ruge
Malaysians, he added, are tired of politicians from both sides of the divide who demand accountability but were corrupt themselves.

Other panelists of the forum included Media Prima chairman Datuk Johan Jaafar and the Danish Ambassador to Malaysia Nicolai Ruge, who said an inclusive political culture was one of the reasons why Denmark had the lowest corruption level in the world.

Denmark tied with New Zealand to take the number 1 spot as the least corrupt countries in the world in last year’s Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, scoring 91 out of 100 points.

Malaysia scored 50 to rank at number 53 out of 177 countries surveyed.

“It is also because we have strong separation of powers (judiciary and executive) as well as a strong culture of apolitical public administration,” he said.

In his speech afterwards, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of governance and integrity Datuk Paul Low said the people are demanding greater accountability and transparency from the government as there is an increased awareness of corruption.

“Expectations are higher than in the past. Especially when a society is placed in desperation where the livelihood of the people is at risk through political oppression and corruption.

“The people are prepared to go to the streets to express their anger and to rise up against a failed regime. We have seen this in the Arab Spring uprising, in Greece and recently in Ukraine,” the former Transparency International-Malaysia president said. – April 27, 2014.

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The fact is that many of people who grouse about ‘corruption’ are themselves are direct and indirect parties of corrupt practices. This include unfair competition and some degree some discrimination, be it monetary or no tariff.

It is the Non Malays, particularly the Chinese who are very loud about ‘corruption’ in any business scene in Malaysia. In actual fact, more often than not they are the ‘givers’ in any deal where corruption or favourtism practices are committed.

Denmark is amongst top countries on the low-corruption list, for many reasons. The country is a nation where the socio-economic system is socialist in nature and everything is provided for. Thus, the dire drive of entrepreneursim isn’t as pressing in states where the people have to survive and going into business is the only way since there are limited opportunities for them to earn from the government.

More over, it is also conveniently because very few Chinese live and do business in that country.

Wan Saiful also must admit that he was given opportunity to get education abroad with full scholarship is because he is a Malay and benefitted immensely from the New Economic Policy, something where majority of the Non Malays want to see end. He is not someone from families which is below poverty line and yet he benefitted from a policy which was designed to eradicate poverty and economic activity ascertained to a particular ethnic group.

‘Corruption’ is a a growing negative perception which had been continuously echoed if not manipulated as the Opposition propaganda. The irony is that, the Opposition themselves are not free from corruption and favourtism practices.

Take in Penang for instance. The Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also the Secretary General for Chinese Chauvinist DAP still has yet to prove that his administration is free from for corrupt practices, which is evidently clear in the Bayan Mutiara project.

So is the Kuala Sementa sand mining project in Selangor and the deal is not without many PKR top echelon dirty hands.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, himself is the father and lord protector of cronyism practices when he was the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister for more than seven years. IPP licenses and deals were harvested, secret deals to take over banks such as Phileo Allied Bank, Hong Leong Bank and KUBB were all engineered by him and his able lieutenants.

That is not withstanding the many deals made from IPOs, which were rampant during his days as the MOF Supremo and his cronies where the masters in Securities Commission, Bank Negara and then KLSE.

Being an undischarged convict, Anwar would have lost all his entitlement having served as Deputy Prime Minister and several Ministry as Minister in terms of pensions and other retirement benefits. And yet, he lives in luxury in a west suburb of affluent KLites and maintained a team of high value counsellors for the past fifteen and a half years of various court cases.

The NGO which Wan Saiful represented IDEAS is forever unfair and unbalanced in their opinion. Never once any of them mentioned about Anwar Ibrahim’s criminal tendencies of buggering his aides such as Azizan Abu Bakar, Sukma Dharma Saasmitatmadja and Anees Munawar, which have been proven in courts of law and propensity to abuse power.

It is a fact that Anwar also manipulated the judiciary and the process for seeking justice in all the cases which was brought by His Majesty’s prosectors against him, for various criminal charges. The latest is the sodomy case where he was charged when his aide Mohd. Saiful Bukhary Azlan made a police report for being buggered by then the Adviser of PKR.

Anwar mocked the judiciary process with all sorts of drama, in and outside the court and pre-empted every step in the case through his well networked international media is the tone and excuse that he has been presecuted because of politics. That is an absolute lie and Anwar manipulated the courts, judiciary process with his careful play of perception especially through international media, to wiggle himself out as being a political victim.

This is one of the major contributor in the diminished perception game for Malaysia, its system and the Federal Government and all its agencies.

IDEAS, which is supposed to be full of the more educated, astute and affluent Malaysians, actually failed to raise all these lies and manipulation by Anwar and his band of bandits. Instead, the NGO with limited members (only to a small group of friends) perpetuated and expanded the Oppositions’ lies and manipulation, especially through intellectual discourse.

Probably, they are naive if not actually that intellectual.

Then again, Tunku Abidin who is the co-founder of IDEAS has proven his tendencies to be obtuse-minded and getting the facts wrong especially chronologically through history in any which way he looked at it, despite being in the full means to learn the truth as it happened from living legends.

If the future of Malaysia wrest of the hands of people like Wan Saiful and his likeminded obtuse-minded dreamers, that expect a not so bright Malaysia especially for the majority who are a lot less fortunate than them.

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Published in: on April 29, 2014 at 17:00  Comments (27)  

Embassy: Tun Dr Mahathir was wrong on Lido Hotel 24 April?

Malaysian Embassy in Beijing was reported to state that the incident where 15 Malaysia Airlines staff were held against their will for more than nine hours in the Lido Hotel Ballroom by the next of-kin (NOK) of the 153 China nationals in the perished Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER flight from KUL to PEK MH370 on the morning of 8 March 2014, as not true.

Published: Monday April 28, 2014 MYT 4:01:00 PM
Updated: Monday April 28, 2014 MYT 4:07:30 PM

MH370: No incident of MAS staff held by relatives, says Malaysian embassy in Beijing

 

BEIJING: The Malaysian Embassy here refuted reports claiming that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) staff were detained by Chinese next of kin of passengers onboard MH370.

“The embassy wishes to clarify that the incident as reported by the media did not take place,” it said in a statement.

It was referring to the incident reported by some media that about 10 MAS staff were held by more than 200 relatives at Lido Hotel during the daily briefing session with the family members on April 24.

It was claimed that this was due to their dissatisfaction in obtaining details on the missing aircraft.

The report said the incident occurred at around 3pm at the hotel’s ballroom and that the group finally released the MAS staff at 1.44am the next day.

MAS Flight MH370, with 239 people onboard left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am the same day.

A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt the plane had veered off course in the southern Indian Ocean.

After an analysis of satellite data indicated the plane’s last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”. – Bernama

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This incident on 24 April 2014 drew a lot of alarming remarks by Malaysians. This include Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who even pen his thoughts down about it in his blog the next day, with an article titled “MH 370”.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed the incident.

South China Morning Post story:

Chinese families take Malaysia Airlines staff captive at hotel

Tempers flare as Malaysia vows to make public report it gave to the UN

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 5:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 5:30am
Agence France-Presse in Kuala Lumpur, Wu Nan in Beijing and Kristine Kwok

 

A relative of a MH370 passenger outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, where he and other relatives have gathered. Photo: AP
Ten Malaysia Airlines staff were held at a Beijing hotel against their will for hours by Chinese relatives of flight MH370 passengers, the airline said yesterday.

The airline employees were “barred from leaving” a ballroom for more than 10 hours on Thursday, and another staff member was kicked in the leg in a confrontation two days earlier, the airline said.

Tempers have repeatedly flared at the Lido Hotel, where Chinese relatives have been put up by the airline since the plane vanished, increasingly lashing out in briefings as Malaysian officials and the flag carrier have been unable to explain the plane’s disappearance.

“Malaysia Airlines confirms that its staff were held at the Lido Hotel ballroom in Beijing by the family members of MH370 as the families expressed dissatisfaction in obtaining details of the missing aircraft,” the airline said.

The more than 200 family members were incensed when a Malaysian government official did not come to brief them on Thursday, and the meeting descended into chaos as relatives angrily confronted airline staff.

An airline spokesman said “the main MAS officials were barred from leaving the ballroom” as about 60 family members left for the Malaysian embassy to demand information from government officials.

The relatives who went to the embassy remained there in an overnight protest, two participants said yesterday.

“We are so tired, as this is the 49th day. We didn’t sleep the whole night, but we are still angry. No update has been made and our loved ones are still missing,” a family representative said.

The carrier also said a Malaysia Airlines security supervisor was “kicked in the left knee” by an “aggressive” Chinese family member at the hotel on Tuesday.

About two-thirds of the 239 passengers aboard the missing plane came from China. Relatives have for weeks complained about the handling of the search for the plane, which vanished on March 8.

It disappeared from radar on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed far out in the Indian Ocean.

A multi-national search, however, has failed to find any debris despite weeks of looking.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday his country has asked Malaysia to “take seriously” the families’ grievances, while urging families to behave in a “rational way”.

In an effort to be transparent, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak promised that a preliminary report submitted to the United Nations’ aviation body would be released publicly.

“In the name of transparency, we will release the report next week,” he told CNN in an interview late on Thursday.

Anthony Brickhouse, a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, said the report was unlikely to contain anything startling.

“This preliminary report is really just a run-down of what you know so far,” he said.

A difficult underwater search of the suspected crash site, using a mini-submarine equipped with a sonar device, is nearing completion with no trace of the plane found.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Families detain airline staff at hotel

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This is so far the most serious reaction by the NOKs, who have been living pro bono courtesy of Malaysia Airlines since 9 March 2014, when the Operation Centre to help them was established at the Lido Hotel with the arrival of the first 97 Malaysia Airlines specially trained employees to handle such crisis the night before.

In the past, they have been place under a lot of duress in their work the past 51 days trying to help the NOKs, which include facilitate what ever information that have been passed to them via the official channels.

This The Star story, which originated from Bernama is totally on the opposite information on what Malaysians already knew what happened to the 15 Malaysia Airlines employee at Lido Hotel last Thursday. It was not at all a pleasant experience. At least to the families of these Malaysia Airlines employees, who were anxious for their release as the night progressed.

Wisma Putra should clarify this matter soon. A lot at stake here.

*Updated 2230hrs

Published in: on April 28, 2014 at 17:30  Comments (10)  

Pua the Pin-head Protagonist

DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua

MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua manipulated events and stories to play the ‘victimized-by-the-BN-corrput-regime’, in his sordid attempt to gain public attention riding on United States President Barack H. Obama’s ongoing three day state visit to Malaysia.

Riong Kali dot com story:

Open letter to the President of the United States – Tony Pua

APRIL 26, 2014
Dear President Barack Obama,

Welcome to my country, my home, my beautiful Malaysia.

We Malaysians are extremely proud that an American president, the first in 48 years, decided to visit our humble country.

Although you are an American, Malaysians together with the rest of the world celebrated with you when you won the historic presidential election in 2008.

To quote your predecessor, President George Bush, your “journey represents a triumph of the American story”.

I was personally moved and inspired by your victory acceptance speech in Chicago, “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer… at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

Hence you would surely remember and appreciate the struggles of African Americans in the history of the United States for freedom, justice and equality.

Article 1, Section 2 of 1787 first constitution of the United States had defined African-Americans as “three-fifths of a person”.
In the landmark US Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), it was decided that African-Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens.

Even after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1865), the white supremacists had subverted the objective of these changes by using various strategies to disfranchise their black citizens.

The subversion of the US Constitution was even endorsed directly and indirectly by the presidents and the Congress of the era to enforce segregation and discrimination.

It is only through the continued political efforts of the African-American civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the Civil Rights Act (1964), which outlawed discrimination, based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, in workplaces and by facilities that served the general public.

Four decades later, the world witnessed the inauguration of the first African-American president of the United States.

We were inspired, and we celebrated because in Malaysia, we face very similar challenges, challenges which we are still struggling to overcome.

Minority races in the country are discriminated politically, socially and economically.

No Malaysian can ever imagine the possibility of a non-Malay ever becoming the prime minister of the country.

Race and religious issues are exploited extensively and openly to entrench the powers of the ruling elite.

Civil liberties are curbed via a web of Draconian laws, with the complicity and collusion of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

The late Karpal Singh, the former chairman of my party, was found guilty of sedition, for simply expressing our Federal Constitution.

The government even wanted him jailed for the “offence”, even though he was pretty much paralysed from the waist down.

The leader of the opposition, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been politically and unjustly persecuted and previously jailed since 1998.

Even I am under the threat of being disqualified as a member of parliament and risk being jailed for up to two years if I were to be found guilty of “illegal assembly” for taking part in a peaceful candlelight vigil.

What’s more, religious freedom in the country is becoming increasingly suppressed, with religious extremism rearing its ugly head.

Malaysia is the only country in the world where the term “Allah” is deemed exclusive to Muslims, a position which our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has openly endorsed.

Malay-language Bibles have been seized. The church is currently prosecuted in the courts while religious leaders are being outrageously investigated for sedition.

Mr President, needless to say, I am certain your diplomatic corps would have also brief you on the extensive corrupt practices as well as abuses of power by our government to enrich the influential elite and their cronies.

More than 50% of Malaysians voted for a change of government in the last general election held a year ago.

Unfortunately, due to extensive gerrymandering, media manipulation as well as corrupt electoral practices, the aspirations of change by the ordinary Malaysians could not be achieved.

Hence it is our hope that your visit will not just be about “trade-relations”, the diplomatic euphemism for “profit maximization”, and “regional security”.

Malaysians hope that your visit to Malaysia can be a beacon of light in these difficult times.

We hope that you will be able to share your personal journey and the fight by great American leaders against institutionalised racism and discrimination to make it possible for you to become elected as the president of United States, the leader of the free world.

Malaysians too, dream of the day discrimination, marginalization and segregation by race, religion, colour and sex will be a thing of the past, and all Malaysians will be given equal opportunities and just treatment.

Mr President, with all due respect, we do not need you to visit our country to tell us that our country is a standout example of moderation, because it is not.

Or for you to praise our government that it is a model plural society living in peace and harmony, because it is a facade.

We need you, Mr President, to speak of the universal virtues of humankind, of the principles your forefathers upheld and sacrificed for.

We want you to speak of the importance of basic human rights, equality, freedom and fundamental democratic principles.

We want to know that the president of United States still believe in the protection and promotion of civil liberties throughout the world – those very liberties which allowed you to be in your position today.

We hope, Mr President, you will carry on the legacy of one of the world’s best loved civil rights activist, Dr Martin Luther King, who believed in non-violent civil disobedience.

You have rightly honoured his achievements in your speech celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s famous speech in November last year. You told us:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“…We rightly and best remember Dr King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions, how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike. His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.

“…and because they kept marching, America changed. Because they marched, the civil rights law was passed. Because they marched, the voting rights law was signed. Because they marched, doors of opportunity and education swung open so their daughters and sons could finally imagine a life for themselves beyond washing somebody else’s laundry or shining somebody else’s shoes. Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually the White House changed. Because they marched, America became more free and more fair…”

We Malaysians hope that you, Mr President will share your dreams with Malaysians and the rest of the world, just as Dr King did so with Americans, in that “soaring oratory”, where he said:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

Mr President, Malaysians have a dream too, and we hope, from the bottom of our hearts, you will share our dreams.

Thank you, Mr President. We hope you will enjoy our acclaimed Malaysian hospitality. – April 26, 2014.

* Tony Pua is a member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara and DAP’s National Publicity Secretary.

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It is obvious Pua wanted to berate the Malaysian Government, by manipulating judiciary decisions made from provisions enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Former DAP Chairman the late Karpal Singh clearly committed sedition when uttered obnoxious words against HRH Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak Tuanku Sultan Azlan Shah Muhibuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuf Izzuddin Shah.  Karpal spoke against HRH’s role as Constitutional Head of Perak when DAP-puppet MB Nizar Jamaluddin was removed from office, was in accordance to the Perak State Constitution and Federal Court decided on the legality for the removal of the DAP-puppet Menetri besar of Perak and his Exco.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was jailed for abuse of power in 1997 when he was the Deputy Prime Minister and he exhaustively tried all avenues to turn the Kuala Lumpur Hugh Court decision for the six years prison incarceration. In the case of sodomy of Azizan Abu Bakar, he was found guilty and jailed for nine years. However, almost 10 years ago at Federal Court the decided that Anwar was not innocent from committing sodomy but two of three judges found it there was technical error to uphold with the High Court conviction.

In the recent Sodomy II case, it was when Anwar Ibrahim’s  own political aide Mohd. Saiful Bukhari Azlan made a Police report about being sodomised by the PKR Adviser on 28 June 2008. Anwar manipulated the case mainly through international media for the propaganda that the Malaysian Government was prosecuting him for political intent.

The fact is that, Anwar and his team of lawyers submitted 30 different applications which include the attempt to recuse the trial judge and the case was actually postponed 69 times, in three years of trial. When it was appealed by the Public Prosecutor, Anwar and the same team managed to postponed it for 25 times in two years.

The provision for Islam as the Religion of the Federation of Malaysia and prohibition to prosetylise Muslims into Christianity, with relevant enactment instituted by State Constitution for the implementation of the prohibition. This include Selangor in 1988.

It is definitely with malice intent that Pua manipulated the story about the Malay bibles were seized by JAIS from Bible Society of Malaysia, is about some of the minority within the Christian faith are out to blatantly disregard provision in the laws and out right mount the challenge.

The fact that Pua failed to mention that these provisions on Islam are enacted as part of the ‘Social Contract’ between the elected representatives of the rakyat Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra who then was the Chief Minister of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu and HRH Rulers, were fundamental basis when this nation was formed.

The State Constitution enactments were instituted by the process of democracy.

Pua statement that “Minority races in the country are discriminated politically, socially and economically” is nothing but a total lie with malice intent, clearly bordering provocation for ugly reaction form the majority.

ADUN DAP blatantly stood on the bench and was yelling  despite HRH Regent of PerakDYTM Pemangku Raja Perak was still present in the DUN Perak chambers

ADUN DAP blatantly stood on the bench and was yelling despite HRH Regent of PerakDYTM Pemangku Raja Perak was still present in the DUN Perak chambers

If the minority races in Malaysia are politically discriminated, then the Chinese Chauvinist DAP would not obtain 38 Parliamentary seats out of 51 contested in the 13GE just a  year ago. Out of those YBs, 31 are Chinese.

It should not be deemed as nothing but seditious to utter the simplistic statement that the minority are socially discriminated. The nation recognised all the minority social requirements.

As an example, license are issued for the sale of alcohol beverage to Non Muslim and it is very open. The Chinese are openly issued license to operate ‘entertainment’ outlets. There is almost no restriction for these outlets to operate, even in Muslim holiest month and Muslim religious holidays.

However if Pua is implying that there is a restriction for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) to open practice their skewed sexual tendencies, then it is very unfair for Pua to raise this in his open letter to Obama without making similar references elsewhere. For example, the same laws against the taboo of homosexuality is being enforced in Singapore, India and Pakistan.

Malaysia’s 20 richest sons. Notice how many of them are of Chinese ethnicity, if they have been “Economically discriminated”.

The Chinese would not be the ethnic group which is controlling the economy, where many of the sectors are actually being monopolised by them if they have been economically discriminated. The fact is that most of the sectors these Chinese cartels and wide scale control of the market by the single race entrepreneurs made it almost impossible for entry into the sector.

Despite in their form as a minority ethnic, in the practice by contrast it is the Chinese business community through majority of the markets’ cartel and sectors which are economically discriminating others. Especially the majority.

As an instance, it is almost a practice within the Chinese business community that they don’t hire top and senior position amongst the Malays despite how the Malays have proven themselves professionally.

It is a grave irony to raise about ‘democracy’ when the fact is that Pua’s own party, Chinese Chauvinist Democratic Action Party, time and again has been proven neither democratic nor non racialist. No Malays are voted as Central Executive Committee, either in the rigged party election on 15 December 2012 or the recently party  CEC re-election.

If Pua is being disqualified as a member of Parliament and even incarcerated in jail, it is by his own disobedience against the rules and regulation and for breaking laws which have been enacted through a democratic process where Pua himself was a distinguished elected representative in the Parliament which passed the law.

“Race and religious issues are exploited extensively and openly to entrench the powers of the ruling elite”, is clear a statement should be also deemed nothing but seditious against HRH Rulers. This should also be construed as attempting to instigate hatred against HRH Rulers, who are the custodian for all matters pertaining to the Malay culture and heritage and Islam.

The ultra huge Calvary Church in Bukit Jalil, a testimony that there is no restriction to build Non Muslim houses of worship

Until recently, all these years there have been no serious issues about Non Muslims being allowed and having the freedom to practice their faith and maintain their place of worship. They are free to erect house of worship even though the Religion of the Federation of Malaysia is Islam. Take any Semenanjung Malaysia states, where the Malay-Muslim is the majority, the number of Non Muslim house of worship usually is more than the mosques and suraus, combined.

It is when the practice of these Non Muslim faiths encroach into attempts to prosetlytise Muslims or advocate apostasy, then that where the laws are broken. That is very clear and attempts to manipulate this bit is in direct collusion with the Federal Constitution, Articles 3.1 and 11.4.

In a nutshell, it is also morally wrong for Pua who is a philosophy, politics and economics graduate from Oxford University to manipulate and lie. The truth is the very opposite from the simplistic claim that Pua made in this article.

The Police should open an investigation paper on all these seditious statements by Pua, which was published by pro-Opposition portal Riong Kali dot com. Of course, in the due course of any investigation Pua should be allowed to give his statement why he made all these seditious statements.

Published in: on April 27, 2014 at 23:55  Comments (25)  

Islamophobia, Midlands-diaspora

The CEO of British non-ministerial inspector for quality in schools and learning institutions OFSTED would be taking charge on investigations about schools in Birmingham area allegedly imposing values coherent to Islamic principles and beliefs, which have created outcry for predominantly Christian society of United Kingdom.

BBC story:

20 April 2014 Last updated at 16:58

Ofsted chief Wilshaw takes charge of Trojan Horse

Sir Michael Wilshaw is taking charge of Ofsted’s Birmingham investigation

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw is to take personal charge of the watchdog’s investigation into claims that a number of schools in Birmingham have been taken over by Muslim hardliners.

Ofsted has carried out inspections in 18 schools in the city.

Sir Michael is expected to go to Birmingham this week to finalise the reports from these inspections.

Ofsted and the Department for Education are expected to publish their findings in early May.

The Department for Education has ordered its own review of the evidence in the so-called Trojan Horse conspiracy.

There have been claims that a hardline Muslim faction had sought to gain influence over schools and remove staff who were not sympathetic to their religious agenda.

Ofsted has not commented on claims that leaked inspection reports show serious problems in some schools.

Segregation
There have been reports of gender segregation in schools, the undermining of staff and the unfair treatment of non-Muslim pupils.

Birmingham City Council has launched its own investigation into 25 schools.
Park View Educational Trust warns against “irresponsible” speculation
But the chair of governors of one of the Birmingham schools caught up in the claims has denied that his school has faced an Ofsted inspection.

Roger King, chair of governors at Springfield primary school and a delegate at the National Union of Teachers conference in Brighton, said that Ofsted last visited the school “maybe two years ago”.

Mr King, a local NUT representative in Birmingham, said he had not come across extremism or segregation in the city’s schools.

“I can say I’ve never had a concern raised from members who have said ‘In our school they are segregating the girls from the boys’.

“We’ve never received an email about anything of that sort of thing, or that there have been inflammatory Islamic assemblies.

“I would have thought that if those things were going on they would have been brought to us.”

Mr King said there were questions about whether Ofsted was inspecting schools in an even-handed way.

“The Ofsted team were going to the staff of the school and saying ‘we’re going to fail you’ and some of the staff were saying ‘why are you failing us’ and they were saying ‘well, you’re not teaching anti-terrorism and therefore there’s a safeguarding issue in the school’.”

He said that staff were “really upset” about being asked whether they were homophobic. And girls sitting with other girls were asked whether they had been made to sit there.

In response, an Ofsted spokesman said: “Inspectors are required to uphold the highest professional standards in their work and to ensure that everyone they encounter during inspections is treated fairly and with respect. These standards are assured through a code of conduct.”

Park View Educational Trust, which runs schools linked to the allegations, also warned that it was “highly irresponsible” for anyone to suggest that schools will face interventions when neither the Department for Education or Ofsted had completed their reports – and when pupils at the secondary schools were about to take GCSEs.

Park View school served a disadvantaged area and had gone from special measures to outstanding and had a waiting list of children wanting places, said a statement.

‘Demonise’
Douglas Morgan, a teacher from Birmingham, warned the NUT conference that the inquiries could “demonise the Muslim population of this country”.

During a debate on racism and immigration Mr Morgan called for the teachers’ union conference “to send a message that we are against Islamophobia”.

The NUT is to consider an emergency debate on the Trojan Horse claims on Monday.

Education Secretary Michael Gove appointed former counter-terror chief Peter Clarke to examine whether there was any substance to the allegations.

“No pupils should be exposed to extremist views or radicalisation while at school,” said Mr Gove.

On Saturday, Labour’s shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt warned against religious extremism in schools.

“We cannot have head teachers forced out, teachers undermined, curricula re-written and cultural or gender-based segregation,” he told the NASUWT teachers’ conference in Birmingham.

The inquiry has become known as Trojan Horse because this was the name of a plan for an organised take over of schools in an anonymous letter.

It has not been established whether the letter is authentic or a hoax.

The Department for Education, in a statement this weekend, said investigations into the “very serious” allegations must be “carried out impartially, without pre-judgement” and as such it would be “inappropriate to comment further”.

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

This came on a report, highlighted by Neo Con Jewish controlled media SkyNews about individuals allegedly in 25 schools in the Birrmingham City area in the process of being ‘Islamised’.

‘Muslim Plot’ To Take Over Schools Investigated

Over 200 complaints – including claims of segregation and bullying of non-Muslim staff – are made after a letter alleges a plot.

6:15pm UK, Monday 14 April 2014

 

By Lisa Dowd, Midlands Correspondent
Twenty-five schools are being investigated in connection with an alleged plot by conservative Muslims to force out headteachers and governors.

A new chief advisor is now being appointed by Birmingham City Council to handle the at least 200 complaints received in relation to Operation Trojan Horse after an unsigned, undated document was sent to the council and teaching unions last year.

It apparently set out a blueprint for seizing control of the governing bodies of schools, and forcing out those who do not agree. It claimed to have forced a change of leadership at four schools.

Whistleblowers – including former staff – have made a number of allegations against schools in Birmingham since the accusations came to light, including one claim the teachings of an al-Qaeda-linked preacher were praised in front of pupils.

Other complaints include the alleged segregation of boys and girls in lessons and assemblies, a ban on sex education and bullying of non-Muslim staff.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was “very, very concerned about allegations that taxpayer-funded schools have become vehicles of particular ideologies”.

“I have always supported faith schools but the best faith schools use their religious identity as engines of integration rather than silos of segregation,” he added.

The council’s investigation, running alongside a separate inquiry by the Department for Education (DfE), is due to initially report back in May.

At a briefing, councillors said the 25 schools being investigated in Birmingham included primaries, secondaries, community schools and academies. Fifteen of the schools have so far been inspected by Ofsted.

Birmingham City Council also confirmed that it was in contact with authorities in Bradford and Manchester who had been experiencing “similar” issues.

Sir Albert Bore, the council leader, told Sky News: “It’s about the day-to-day practices in schools we’re concerned about, it’s also the impact these allegations are having on community cohesion in Birmingham.

“Certainly there is a feeling amongst the Muslim community in Birmingham that there is a ‘hue and cry’ on at the present moment in time, we have to be concerned about that, just as we’re concerned about what is actually happening in the schools themselves.”

Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said: “It’s a whole range of allegations, some concerning the governance of schools, some concerning the quality of teaching and everything in between, covering a period of around 20 years.

“I do worry about the children in those schools, we know they’ve felt increasing community tensions as a result of it and a lot of people have felt marginalised and stigmatised. This is something we don’t want whatsoever.”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said there is no official investigation but they were being kept informed of developments.
Local MP Shabana Mahmood says Ofsted could have questions to answer
Khalid Mahmood, Birmingham Perry Barr, MP told Sky News: “I believe fundamentally there has been a serious bid by a very small minority trying to get under the radar against the wishes of the mainstream Muslim community.”

Mr Mahmood said he had been told of the “bullying and harassment” of senior teaching staff and governors at some of the schools involved.

He said: “What they were trying to do is change the theological beliefs of the majority of the Muslim community into a more hardline belief for young people coming through, and if you put all the schools together you’re talking somewhere in the region of 3-4,000 children and that in a community of young people coming though is huge.

“What I’ve said to them is be honest and transparent. If you want to do this then apply for a free school, say this is your ethos, this is what you want to do, and this is the way to deal with it.”

Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood said she and her fellow Birmingham parliamentarians had written to the Government asking for it to lead any investigation, as some of the schools involved were academies and not under local authority control.

She also claimed Ofsted could have questions to answer.

“I’m in regular contact with schools in my constituency and the first I have heard is when allegations were made in the media,” Ms Mahmood told Sky News.

“I recognise disclosures have been made elsewhere and that’s why I think we need a proper process. I think there are questions here for Ofsted to answer if it’s found that some of these schools have got failing governance procedures and there have been attempts at takeovers.

“Some of these schools have been judged outstanding recently – and it begs the question, if this is found to be true, why these schools were found to be outstanding when there are problems there.”

Children in the city have been set two pieces of homework over the summer. One is entitled “What does a good inclusive education in Birmingham look like?”, the other poses the question: “What does a safe and resilient citizen of the future look like?”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The allegations made in relation to some schools in Birmingham are very serious and we are investigating all evidence put to us in conjunction with Ofsted, Birmingham City Council and the police.

“It is absolutely vital these investigations are carried out impartially, without pre-judgment. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

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

Homophobia is never an exclusive taboo for fundamental Muslims exclusively. Orthodox Jews and conservative Christians are also against the recent move for United Kingdom lawfully to allow gay marriages.

Daily Mail story:

Conservative UK: Almost half of Britons still oppose gay marriage

By STEVE DOUGHTY, SOCIAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT
CREATED: 22:31 GMT, 22 September 2011
UPDATED: 12:00 GMT, 13 February 2012

Most people still oppose gay marriage and the adoption of children by same-sex couples, a Government report revealed yesterday.
Almost half believe homosexual marriages should not be allowed and two thirds think the adoption of children by same-sex couples should not have become legal nine years ago.
The findings from the Office for National Statistics suggest the Coalition’s plans to upgrade civil partnership laws to let gay couples describe themselves as married may prove unpopular.

Lib Dem Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said last week that to deny marriage to same-sex couples was ‘simply not fair’.
But the ONS findings show many Britons still cling to conservative values and suggest Miss Featherstone’s claim that the UK is ‘a world leader in gay rights’ only applies to a minority of the population.
The report, based on sources including the annual British Social Attitudes survey and research by the EU’s Eurobarometer research arm, said only 45 per cent of British people agree that ‘homosexual marriages should be allowed throughout Europe’.

America remains split on gay marriage issue according to latest figures
How the Tories became the gay-friendly party: As the Government backs gay marriage, a unique – and surprising – insight into David Cameron’s thinking
Christian groups oppose the idea on the grounds that it undermines the rights of married couples and their children. The ONS findings suggest they may command majority support.

Since Labour’s 2007 Sexual Orientation Regulations, at least ten Roman Catholic adoption agencies have ceased trying to find families for children because the law now compels them to consider offering children to gay couples.
The law, however, is out of step with opinion, the ONS report found. It put support in Britain for the proposition that ‘adoption of children should be authorised for homosexual couples throughout Europe’ at only 33 per cent, with two thirds opposed.
The ONS report said: ‘While the majority of British people now accept the concept of same-sex couples as being rarely wrong, or not wrong at all, fewer people approve of same-sex couples adopting children.

‘On average females have more liberal attitudes to same-sex partnerships than males.’ Civil partnerships for same-sex couples were first registered at the end of 2005, giving a gay couple the same legal rights as married couples.
The process for dissolution of a civil partnership is identical to the legal process of divorce.
But gay couples may not describe their partnership as a marriage.

The report said the number of civil partnerships being registered has declined after an initial rush when many couples who wanted to put their relationship on a legal footing took advantage of the new law.
There are around 1,000 civil partnerships each year.
One in 14 of the couples have children, most of whom are adopted or were born in a previous marriage or relationship.
Further to this article, we have been asked to make clear that while the ONS report did show that only a minority of Britons are in support of gay marriage, the more detailed statistics from the EU poll on which it was based suggest that the percentages for and against are about the same – 46% and 45% respectively – with a further 9% who ‘don’t know’. We are happy to clarify the position.

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

Obviously, these aren’t normal practices even in predominantly Muslim majority areas in the United Kingdom. Moreover in local council funded schools opened for public. At large, the conservative British public is not actually comfortable with the minority’s choice of homosexual practices.

If the ‘homophobia scare’ is actually a strategic game of Islamophobia within the United Kingdom, then it is an awful shame. Then again, study shows that anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise.

The Independent UK story:

Islamophobia: Surge revealed in anti-Muslim hate crimes

Many forces reported a particular rise in anti-Islam hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby
TOMAS JIVANDA Friday 27 December 2013

Islamophobic hate crimes across Britain have risen dramatically this year, new figures have revealed.

Hundreds of offences were perpetrated against the country’s Muslim population in 2013, with the Metropolitan police alone – Britain’s largest force – recording 500 Islamophobic crimes, compared with 336 incidents in 2012 and 318 in 2011.

A large number of forces across the country reported a particular surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two Islamic extremists in Woolwich, south-east London.

In May, the month in which Fusilier Rigby was killed, Scotland Yard recorded 104 anti-Muslim hate crimes, followed by a further 108 in June.

The figures were obtained by the Press Association which sent Freedom of Information requests to every police force in England and Wales.

However of the 43 forces, just 24 provided figures on the number of anti-Muslim crimes and incidents recorded – with some forces admitting they do not always record the faith of a religious hate crime victim.

It is therefore likely that the actual numbers of incidents of hate crimes against Muslims perpetrated in 2013 was much higher.

Tell Mama, a group which monitors anti-Muslim incidents, said it has dealt with some 840 cases since just April – with the number expected to rise to more than 1,000 by the end of March.

This compared with 582 anti-Islam cases it dealt with from March 2012 to March 2013.

Fiyaz Mujhal, director of Faith Matters, which runs the Tell Mama project, said reaction to the murder of Fusilier Rigby had caused the number of Islamophobic crimes to “significantly jump”.

“The far right groups, particularly the EDL (English Defence League) perniciously use the Internet and social media to promote vast amounts of online hate,” he added.

Branding guidelines by the Crown Prosecution Service to monitor social media as “not fit for purpose”, Mr Mujhal said tougher sentencing was needed to tackle Islamophobic crime.

“They raised the bar of prosecution significantly,” he said. “Now unless there is a direct threat to somebody on Twitter or Facebook, the CPS will not prosecute. The CPS is just plainly out of sync with reality.

“We also need more robust sentencing. In one case, a pig’s head was left outside a mosque and the perpetrator came away with a community sentence. When you target a mosque, you are targeting the whole community.”

Tell Mama also called for police forces to introduce a system which improves monitoring and recording of Islamophobic crimes, ensuring the faith of a religious hate crime victim is recorded.

“There are three problems we come across,” Mr Mujhal said.

“Firstly, there is a lack of understanding of the language of Islamophobia thrown at victims in any incidents.

“Secondly, there is very little training on how to ask relevant questions to pull out anti-Muslim cases.

“Thirdly, recording processes are not in line with each other. One force will allow an officer to flag an incident as anti-Muslim, another force will flag it as religious hate crime. There is no uniformity.

“There must be guidelines for all forces so we can know the level of the problem.”

A CPS spokeswoman said that for online communications, only those that are “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false” are prohibited in order to “preserve the right to free speech”.

“Online communication can be offensive, shocking or in bad taste. However, as set out in CPS guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media, content has to be more than simply offensive to be contrary to the criminal law,” she said.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has previously said over five days after Fusilier Rigby was murdered 71 anti-Muslim incidents were reported to its national community tension team.

Superintendent Paul Giannasi, Acpo’s spokesman on hate crime, said: “The police service is committed to reducing the harm caused by hate crime and it is vital that we encourage more victims who suffer crimes to report them to the police or through third party reporting facilities such as Tell Mama.

“We would obviously want overall crime levels to reduce and to see fewer victims, but we welcome increases in reported hate crime, as long as they are a sign of increased confidence of victims to report.

“We are working with local police forces, to help improve the way we respond to hate crime and to provide robust and transparent hate crime data.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “These are despicable crimes that devastate lives and communities. The courts already hand out tougher punishments where race or religion are found to be aggravating factors.”

“The number of people receiving a custodial sentence for these appalling crimes is higher than ever before.”

Additional reporting from Press Association

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

Islamophobia in the United Kingdom from the growth of Muslim population is actually an irony reflecting on the illustrious British Empire history. Throughout 200 years of British Empire rule on one-third of the land on this planet which systematically ended 50 years ago, Christianity and Christian values have been spread and thought as guiding principles towards a modern and civil society.

Probably a fraction of British Christians have changed their minds on principles such as homosexuality, particularly the past two decades with growing demands for universal rights fighting for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) minority and some people within United Kingdom have opened up for the liberalisation of their conservative values.

The fact still remains majority if not almost wholly of any Muslim communities which uphold the fundamental beliefs and principles of Islam and teachings of Al Quran and Hadith, even in more advanced societies such as the United Kingdom subscribe to traditional values of rejecting LGBT.

Birmingham native writer Assed Baig said it best via The Huffington Post on the recent Islamophobia in Birmingham:

The Muslim Plot That Wasn’t

Posted: 07/04/2014 15:28

A secret document purporting to expose an undercover Muslim conspiracy to take over schools in Birmingham hit national news recently, prompting journalists to fall over themselves heralding a sinister ‘Islamic plot’, while eliciting both public statements from the Prime Minister and snap Ofsted inspections for the places of learning allegedly targeted by the conspirators.

From the outset I would like to be clear about my interest in the subject. I grew up in Birmingham, in the areas where some of these schools are based. I know Park View, one of the places mentioned, very well. I used to play football there once a week in the evenings as a teenager, and trained on the astro turf on Friday nights with Alum Rock FC. I still have family and friends playing for the local side. I also remember the reputation of Park View. It was the last place you wanted to go to school, it was the last place most parents in the area wanted to send their children and those of my friends were educated there would admit it with embarrassment.

The school since then has completely turned around. It is regarded as outstanding. There is a waiting list to get into the school. But now this so-called plot has overshadowed the school’s achievements and the hard work of those that have helped it progress. Its success is particularly worthy of celebration due to the fact that it has now become a place where people from poorer backgrounds can develop a brighter future; 72% of the school children are on free school meals. Journalists usually fail to mention this and the fact that the school is in one of the most economically deprived areas of Birmingham.

Rather, the emphasis is fixed around religion and culture. The narrative attached to this story fits neatly into the anti-Muslim rhetoric that we have seen increasing over the years. For those that buy into Islamophobic paradigms this is a gift: what more could any self-respected bigot want as vindication for their beliefs than the exposure of a clandestine plot by Muslim hardliners to oust non-Muslim heads and staff and replace them with Muslim fundamentalists? A plot to segregate girls from boys. Girls forced to wear headscarves – it has all the makings of a racist melodrama and an EDL wet dream.

There’s only one problem: none of it is true.

The letter that stirred up the recent hysteria about the school is an unattributed, undated text, unsigned by anyone- a fact that seems to have been completely overlooked by those journalists braying for the blood of Muslims of late.

How many Muslims do you need for a plot? Two? Three? Or more? What constitutes a plot? There is a very sinister Islamophobic narrative taking place here, one that, for all intents and purposes, accuses an entire minority community of surreptitiously plotting away to infiltrate the country’s institutions and changing its very values, or so we are led to believe. Would journalists ever call something a ‘Jewish plot’ or ‘Christian plot’? Should we now re-visit the Gunpowder plot and rename it the ‘Roman-Catholic plot’? Why is the religion of the governors and students been mentioned as if it were any worthier of emphasis than Guy Fawkes’ faith? Why does this become the central issue?

I’ve spoken to teachers at the school, as well as parents and governors. There is no forced segregation. Children sit where they want and- shock! Horror!- teenage boys want to sit with their male friends and girls sit with their female friends. The issue appears to be gaining so much focus simply because the children are Muslim. Arabic is taught in school, for a simple reason: it’s actually the preferred option by students.

Regarding the claims that a teacher praised the extremist preacher Anwar Awlaki in a school assembly- I have yet to find any evidence of this. We do not know when this has supposedly taken place and which staff member said it. Yet it has been broadly taken as gospel truth and ‘evidence’ of the claims of pro-terrorist Muslim scheming.

Let us look at a few facts that contradict the dominant narrative at hand about Park View: the executive principle is not a Muslim, the assistant principle is not Muslim but the acting principle is a Muslim. Surely if there was a ‘plot’ taking place all the heads of the school would be Muslim, instead the executive principle is a white non-Muslim woman. She must be a crypto-Muslim agent no doubt.

In the last 17 years all three permanent appointments at the school for head teacher have been non-Muslims. If this plot started 20 years ago as it is claimed, then where are the Muslim heads?

Tahir Alam, chair of governors at Park View, is named in the letter and ‘plot’. Mr Alam for years has tried to get Muslim parents involved in the education of their children. He has made no secret about this, he has held public events and told parents the importance of participation. The Muslim community often gets criticised for not engaging but when they do they are accused of infiltration, plots and extremism.

According to one BBC report a former teacher, Mike White, said the plot started 20 years ago. White was removed for gross misconduct and he took the school to a tribunal but lost. What the BBC fails to mention is that when Mr White was head of maths only one in 120 students got a C grade. Now, 99 out of 120 students get a C+ grade.

BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme did a report on the school. A journalist accosted students and asked them if they were forced to wear the hijab- you know, because this school is run by the Taliban, where every woman must cover themselves in order to appease their fastidious schoolmasters. This biased and loaded piece of so-called journalism also claimed that there were no pictures of girls and boys together in the school. The reporter was either blind or deliberately neglected to mention the fact that the school demonstrably displays pictures of boys and girls together and that several people have refuted her claim- but why let facts get in the way when you are on a mission to prove that there is a plot, however low your journalistic standards have to sink in order to do this?

We all know from former Daily Star reporter, Richard Peppiatt, how the drive for anti-Muslim stories in the press can lead to a skewing of facts or just simply making things up.

I do not have much hope in the Ofsted report either. I have already spoken to parents and was shocked by the questions that Ofsted and Department of Education investigators have been asking students and teachers. “Are you forced to wear that scarf,” they asked one girl who was wearing a long skirt, “Isn’t it very difficult for you to move around?”. One teacher was asked, “Are you homophobic?”, because all Muslims must be homophobic, right?

There is extremism is schools, I agree and accept this. Extremism exists in schools were parents pay tens of thousands a year to have their boys segregated from girls. Where an ideology of superiority is taught, where young rich boys are taught that it is their God given right to rule over the commoners. Where a skewed version of history is taught, colonialism was a good thing and the empire brought good to the world and civilized the savages. In these schools boys are forced to learn Latin, not Arabic. But we won’t see or hear politicians talking of that kind of extremism or segregation, we won’t see journalists peering through windows there, because it is not Muslims involved. Extremism of the rich is applauded, not questioned.

I would like to thank the teachers, governors and staff at Park View school. I would like to thank them for giving hope to so many children from a deprived area, an area I grew up in. I wish I had had this hope as a youngster. I would like to thank them for making the children believe that they can achieve and making them feel comfortable as themselves. I would like to thank them for going to such a school and not leaving it to fail, when so many others are willing to spend a short stint at an inner-city school and then move on once they have the ‘diversity’ and ‘difficult’ school on their CV’s. I would like to thank them for caring about children that once no one cared about- because no one thought we were capable of achieving anything.

Theirs is a story that should have made the news for this reason, long before they were smeared by a press addicted to sensationalist, dog-whistle journalism- which a growing market of uncritical bigots will happily pay to read.

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The true teachings of Islam from practices demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad SAW the Messenger of Allah is about inclusivity. Discriminatory isn’t the practice of what progressive Muslims especially in the United Kingdom are holding firmly onto. Especially, when their beliefs and values are challenged in the tone of politicising Homophobia, at the expense of the indirect promotion of Islamophobia.

This is a test case for the British Government.

The 5% British Muslim is definitely far bigger in number as compared to the practitioners and hard core supporters of LGBT in the United Kingdom. If the push comes to shove, the odds for holding onto beliefs and principles of Islam as per in the Al Quran and Hadith and Sunnah overwhelms any support upholding universal rights even for the LGBT minority.

That is without doubt, is a fact.

Published in: on April 23, 2014 at 04:00  Comments (8)  

Striking the balance between journalism, patriotism and commercialisation of media reporting

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin reminded the journalism profession to stay true to their ethics and integrity of professional conduct, amidst mounting pressure to balance between journalism, patriotism and media being commercialised.

TEKS UCAPAN

Y.A.B. TAN SRI DATO’ HJ. MUHYIDDIN BIN HJ. MOHD YASSIN

TIMBALAN PERDANA MENTERI MALAYSIA

MALAM WARTAWAN MALAYSIA 2014

ANJURAN MALAYSIAN PRESS INSTITUTE (MPI)

JUMAAT, 18 APRIL 2014

DI HOTEL ONE WORLD, PETALING JAYA

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
Salam Sejahtera dan Salam 1Malaysia

Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Shabery Cheek,

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia

Tuan Arif Mahmood

Naib Presiden Kanan, Perancangan Strategik Korporat Kumpulan Petronas

Yang Berbahagia Dato Chamil Wariya

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Institut Akhbar Malaysia

Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Puan Sri-puan sri, Dato-dato, Datin-datin, Dato-dato ketua-ketua pengarang dari pelbagai media, pengamal-pengamal media, tuan-tuan dan puan-puan sekelian

1. Alhamdulillah, pertama-tama marilah kita sama-sama memanjatkan rasa syukur ke hadrat Allah S.W.T kerana dengan limpah kurnia dan izin-Nya jua, dapat kita bertemu pada malam ini bagi menjayakan Malam Wartawan Malaysia 2014.

2. Saya juga ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Malaysian Press Institute (MPI), selaku penganjur majlis ini, kerana sudi mengundang saya sebagai tetamu kehormat dan seterusnya menyampaikan hadiah kepada para pemenang Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia 2013 tajaan PETRONAS sebentar lagi.

3. Bagi saya, penganjuran Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia (HKM) yang diperkenalkan pada 1980 dan mula ditaja oleh PETRONAS pada 1994 adalah satu usaha murni yang mempunyai matlamat tersurat dan tersirat yang tersendiri dalam mengangkat bidang kewartawanan di negara kita.

4. Secara tersurat, Malam Wartawan Malaysia bukan sahaja diadakan untuk mengiktiraf karya-karya terbaik para wartawan di Malaysia tetapi ia juga menjadi lambang semangat setiakawan yang tinggi dalam kalangan pengamal media di negara ini. Kehadiran para peneraju media dan para supremo editorial pada majlis tahunan ini adalah testimoni nyata hakikat itu.

5. Saya percaya masing-masing berkongsi matlamat yang sama iaitu mahu meraikan kejayaan para wartawan dan jurugambar merangkul anugerah serta membawa pulang hadiah, walaupun kejayaan itu belum tentu lagi milik organisasi mereka. Tetapi atas nama untuk mengangkat profesion wartawan dan meningkatkan mutu karya-karya mereka seperti yang diserlahkan pada malam ini, ternyata mereka nampaknya bersatu hati.

6. Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia juga adalah satu wahana untuk mencapai matlamat tersirat kewartawanan kita iaitu untuk memupuk kewartawanan yang bertanggungjawab atau responsible journalism berpaksikan acuan kita sendiri dalam kalangan pengamal media di negara ini.

7. Dalam perjalanan kita untuk membina sebuah negara bangsa Malaysia yang bersatu padu, stabil, aman, makmur dan berjaya, peranan kewartawanan yang bertanggungjawab ini adalah amat penting.

8. Namun saya harus akui bahawa mencapai matlamat tersirat ini adalah lebih payah berbanding memenuhi hasrat tersurat HKM. Barangkali analoginya adalah membina jauh lebih sukar berbanding menghancurkan.

9. Kewartawanan bertanggungjawab adalah untuk membina, menjaga dan memelihara apa yang telah kita bina sedangkan kewartawanan tidak bertanggungjawab adalah sebaliknya – memusnahkan.

10. Bagaimanapun, apa yang melegakan dan membanggakan saya adalah komuniti wartawan di negara ini, terutama dalam kalangan media arus perdana, mempunyai komitmen yang bersungguh-sungguh untuk menjadikan prinsip kewartawanan yang bertanggungjawab sebagai pegangan mereka.

11. Hal ini dapat kita saksikan dalam laporan mereka sewaktu kita menghadapi tragedi kehilangan pesawat MH370 yang sehingga sekarang masih kekal misteri, walaupun sudah memasuki hari yang ke-42 hari ini.

Saudara-saudari sekalian

12. Tragedi MH370 itu telah menarik perhatian media seluruh dunia pada tahap yang belum pernah kita saksikan sebelum ini. Boleh dikatakan sejak 8 Mac 2014 sehinggalah ke hari ini, kehilangan MH370 serta usaha kita mencari dan menyelamat serta cara kita menguruskan krisis itu menjadi makanan ruji liputan media global.

13. Boleh saya katakan laporan mengenai MH370 pada era moden ini lebih mendalam, lebih intrik, lebih misteri, lebih sofistikated, dan jauh lebih komprehensif berbanding dengan laporan media dalam tragedi-tragedi bersejarah lain dan sebanding dengan kisah tenggelamnya kapal RMS Titanic di utara Lautan Atlantik pada 15 April 1912.

14. Ketika tragedi itu berlaku kira-kira 102 tahun lalu, Titanic yang dalam pelayaran dari Southampton, United Kingdom ke New York, Amerika Syarikat membawa 2,224 penumpang dan anak kapal. Dalam tragedi itu, lebih 1,500 orang terkorban. Kisahnya menjadi berita besar di seluruh dunia pada era ketika dunia hanya dihubungkan dengan telegraf dan telefon berwayar.

15. Misteri kehilangan pesawat MH370 bersama 239 penumpang dan anak kapal ketika dalam penerbangan dari Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ke Beijing, China pula telah menarik perhatian komuniti jurnalisme global, daripada akhbar-akhbar, stesen televisyen dan radio serta portal berita di seluruh dunia.

16. Apabila kita meneliti kembali pendekatan kewartawanan dalam pelaporan MH370, kita akan dapati bahawa apa yang dipanggil standard antarabangsa dalam jurnalisme adalah sesuatu yang abstrak, tidak seragam dan tidak konkrit. Sebenarnya, tiada satu panduan yang jelas tentang standard tersebut.

17. Yang tergambar dalam laporan wartawan dan pengamal media mengenai tragedi MH370 ialah elemen patriotisme kumpulan wartawan dari negara-negara yang terlibat dalam pencarian MH370.

18. Wartawan Amerika Syarikat dengan caranya, China dengan pendekatannya, Australia dengan gayanya, tetapi semua wartawan daripada organisasi media yang berbeza itu diikat dengan suatu unsur psikologi yang sama. Mereka bersaing memaparkan kebenaran dengan objektif untuk mengekalkan rating bisnes media, tetapi pada masa yang sama menyerlahkan aspirasi nasional masing-masing.

19. Berdasarkan tingkah laku yang ditunjukkan oleh media-media dari pelbagai negara dalam melaporkan kehilangan MH370, kita harus sedar bahawa kepelbagaian itu adalah sesuatu yang bersifat global. Jadi, janganlah kita terikut-ikut dengan momokan kononnya wujud keseragaman atau standard tertentu kewartawanan. Kononnya set nilai antarabangsa perlu dipatuhi dan dilaksanakan oleh wartawan tempatan di mana-mana negara termasuk di Malaysia.

20. Saya harus menggunakan kesempatan pada Malam Wartawan Malaysia ini untuk memberi pujian dan mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih kepada semua wartawan dan media Malaysia yang terlibat dalam laporan tragedi antarabangsa kehilangan MH370.

21. Anda semua telah memainkan peranan masing-masing dan menjadi penyumbang kepada pembinaan negara bangsa. Adalah jelas bahawa kita bergerak melaksanakan tanggungjawab kepada audiens – dalam bentuk menyampaikan maklumat serta berjuang memaparkan kebenaran -dengan suatu kesedaran nasional.

Saudara-saudari yang dihormati,

22. Saya berharap wartawan di Malaysia sentiasa mempertahankan kepentingan nasional dan bumi yang kita pijak.

23. Akan ada usaha-usaha untuk mendominasi perdebatan mengenai isu-isu yang berlaku dengan sudut pandangan negatif oleh pihak-pihak tertentu dari dalam negara dan juga dari seberang laut, tetapi saya yakin media dan wartawan di Malaysia telah cukup matang untuk menanganinya.

24. Saya yakin komuniti media di Malaysia bersatu hati dalam tugas-tugas memperjuangkan kewartawanan yang kompeten, memiliki jati diri dan progresif.

25. Wartawan Malaysia tidak boleh lagi berasa apologetik apabila mempertahankan kepentingan nasional, kerana seperti yang telah diperlihatkan, media di negara lain juga mempertahankan kepentingan nasional negara masing-masing.

26. Menjadi responsif kepada kepentingan nasional dan memajukannya adalah sebahagian daripada karakter media global.

27. Apatah lagi dengan peledakan perkembangan teknologi informasi komunikasi maklumat, dunia jurnalisme yang menyaksikan kemunculan akhbar-akhbar dalam talian, penyebaran berita melalui twitter juga facebook, maka cabaran mempertahankan agenda nasional sesungguhnya menjadi amat besar. Portal-portal berita dan juga sosial media mengemaskini berita mereka hampir setiap minit. Aliran maklumat menjadi terlalu pantas, informasi samada yang sahih atau tidak disebar kepada orang awam dengan sekelip mata sehingga ada kalanya tidak memberi ruang kepada otak pembaca untuk mencerna intipati yang disampaikan.

28. Saya percaya biar secanggih mana pun teknologi yang digunakan dalam dunia kewartawan baik di media cetak, elektronik mahu pun portal-portal berita, etika serta tanggungjawab anda sebagai wartawan tidak pernah berubah. Arus pemodenan tidak boleh menyanggah prinsip asas pemberitaan yang hakikatnya bersifat universal dan terpakai dahulu, kini dan selama-lamanya. Berita yang ditulis tidak boleh semberono, mesti berpaksikan fakta dan paling penting adil kepada subjek yang ditulis. Kesungguhan untuk memartabatkan profesion kewartawanan dalam menyampaikan maklumat yang adil, tepat, jujur dan sahih harus diberi tumpuan dan penekanan yang jitu.

29. Tuntutan itu sejajar dengan peranan wartawan sebagai cerdik pandai yang tahu apa sebenarnya yang mereka ingin sampaikan. Terlalu ghairah menulis berita tanpa ada usaha untuk memastikan kesahihan fakta dan membiarkan maklumat tersebut sampai kepada pembaca adalah menyalahi etika dan boleh merosakkan profesion sebagai wartawan. Jangan jadi wartawan kering minda atau pun wartawan yang popular kerana menulis berita-berita tidak benar, mengejar sensasi dan didorong oleh agenda tertentu yang kemudiannya tanpa ada rasa bersalah menyebarkan pula kepada pembaca.

30. Peranan media bukan sekadar menyampaikan maklumat terkini kepada masyarakat, malah media juga melibatkan diri dalam pendidikan, perkembangan ekonomi negara, politik semasa, kebudayaan dan hiburan. Tanggungjawab media dalam menyampaikan informasi, mendidik, membentuk jati diri masyarakat dan seterusnya menjadi agen transformasi minda dalam kalangan masyarakat sehingga membentuk sesebuah masyarakat itu yang lebih bermoral, bermaruah dan berdaya saing merupakan prinsip yang harus dipegang teguh oleh pengamal media.

Saudara-saudari yang dihormati,

31. Berada bersama rakan-rakan wartawan pada majlis ini memberikan saya kegembiraan kerana saya dapat merakamkan sendiri penghargaan kepada wartawan dan pengamal media yang begitu banyak membantu pembangunan negara serta menjadi pengkritik yang membina selama ini.

32. Saya sekali lagi mengucapkan tahniah kepada MPI kerana berjaya menganjurkan Malam Wartawan Malaysia 2014.

33. Saya juga ingin mengambil kesempatan ini mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi tahniah kepada semua pemenang yang telah berjaya menghasilkan karya-karya cemerlang dalam pelbagai genre penulisan. Semoga pengiktirafan malam ini dapat meningkatkan lagi kualiti kewartawanan tanah air. Sekian, Wabillahitaufik Walhidayah Wassalamu’alaikum wbt. Terima kasih.

-end-

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

This message came in the episode over-zestful reporting by media, especially foreign, in the globally shocking yet highly mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines B777-200 scheduled flight to Beijing MH370 on the early hours of 8 March 2014.

Published in: on April 18, 2014 at 21:00  Leave a Comment  

Defending the Constitution and right of the majority

The action of Selangor State Government in the case of Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor’s raid on Bible Society Malaysia (BSM) is clearly upholding the concept and principles of democracy where as the Chinese Chauvinist party masquerading as ‘Democratic Action Party’, is blatantly defying what the majority decided through democratic channels.

Pro-minority news portal Riong Kali dot com story:

In Bible group’s move, DAP pressures Khalid to ensure minorities are protected

APRIL 16, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: APRIL 16, 2014 10:29 AM

The DAP today pressured the Selangor government to take full responsibility in ensuring that the rights of minorities are protected, following The Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) shift to Kuala Lumpur to avoid being hassled by state Islamic authorities.

Party national publicity chief Tony Pua said: “BSM’s decision to move has embarrassed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in our ability and sincerity to uphold the rights of minorities.

“There can be no biggest insult to PR when BSM chairman Lee Min Choon claimed that Putrajaya offered better protection to religious minorities.
“However, what was more disappointing was the response from Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who nonchalantly wished BSM ‘all the best’.”

Pua warned that such a response towards the incident may not bode well for PR and the Selangor government’s long-term plans.

“If we fail to make Selangor a showcase PR state, we will not only kiss our Putrajaya ambitions goodbye, even our hold on the state will be in jeopardy.

“The very same voters who turned their backs on Barisan Nasional can also do the same to us if we take them for granted,” he said.

DAP Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo also said that Khalid must take steps to solve the bible issue and address the government’s failure in dealing with it:

“The menteri besar has displayed a total lack of interest and political will in his handling of the issue. And this has resulted in a serious loss of faith of not only the Christians, but other Malaysians under his leadership in Selangor.”

Gobind also echoed Pua’s sentiment that the BSM move will be costly:

“Situations like these, needless to say, will cost Pakatan dearly in the next general election. This is precisely the reason why many have expressed great concern about Khalid’s leadership in Selangor.”

On January 2, 2014, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) raided the BSM offices in Damansara Kim, and seized more than 300 copies of Alkitab and Bup Kudus (Iban Bibles) during the raid.

The raid was carried out under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.

Until today, the seized Bibles have yet to be returned to the BSM, with the Selangor state government passing the buck to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Khalid even told BSM to write to the Attorney-General to ask for the return of their seized holy books.

Pua said PR’s position over the term Allah could not be any clearer as the term could be used by other religions such as Christianity and Sikhism.

“The term must not be abused and used for purposes of propagation among Muslims, a position which PR respects as part of the Federal Constitution,” Pua said.

“The Selangor state government has clearly failed to uphold the PR’s stand on this issue.” – April 16, 2014.

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

It is inline with the Federal Constitution Article 3.1 where sanctity Islam as the religion of the Federation and the Selangor Constitution Enactment 1988. The Malay bibles confiscated from Bible Society of Malaysia on 2 January 2014 are deemed to be part 0f the process to proselytising Malay-Muslims in the Selangor into Christianity.

That is against Article 11.4 of Federal Constitution and HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, the Constitutional Head of Selangor, decreed against the matter twice.

The provocation against the matter became so acute that His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV also issued the same titah on the exclusivity of the name ‘Allah’ for the use of Muslims only.

Defending the right of the majority is preserving that have been democratically provided within the Federal Constitution and State of Selangor Constitution. It is too bad for the minority who by their own choice defy what the law has prohibited clearly and now challenging it.

That is typically Min Yuen mentality when the Malayan Communist Party wanted power and take control of Malaya in June 1948, they defied the wishes and aspiration of the majority and blatantly used brutal force to impose themselves onto the majority against their will and take what doesn’t belong to them.

That disobedient and anti-Constitution attitude though translated through different modus operandi, is very much reflective on DAP’s charge and NGOs representing Chinese Chauvinist and anti-Malay/Islam minority in controversy such as the JAIS inspection of Damansara Utama Methodist Church 3 August 2011 and the BSM on 2 January 2014.

In many ways, their defiance and statements against the Federal and State Constitution and authorities upholding provisions of the said law pertaining to preserving the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia should be deemed as seditious.

Expect reciprocity, from the majority.

Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 10:00  Comments (9)  

Paying for making the wrong choices

The current self-inflicted issue that the 673 former citizens of Malaysia, who once willingly by their own choice and accord gave up their nationality and allegiance to this tanahair for perceived greener postures abroad, would have to face the consequence of making the wrong choices.

The Star story:

Published: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 11:07:21 AM

Zahid: BOC holders in for a long wait to be Malaysians again

 

Document in hand: Dr Ahmad Zahid showing the press statement on the status of BOC holders during the press conference in Putrajaya.

Document in hand: Dr Ahmad Zahid showing the press statement on the status of BOC holders during the press conference in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians who have allegedly become stateless after failing to get British citizenship may have to wait at least 17 years before they can regain their Malaysian citizenship.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this in reference to hundreds who had renounced their Malaysian citizenship allegedly in order to receive British citizenship through the British Overseas Citizenship (BOC).

The approval of Malaysian citizenship for these former citizens would also be subjected to their show of loyalty to the country and passing a Bahasa Malaysia proficiency test, he added.

“The Malaysian Government will not automatically grant citizenship to anyone who has already let go of their Malaysian citizenship.

“Anyone who wishes to re-apply for citizenship will have their application reviewed carefully while they are given only a residence pass, not citizenship or permanent residence.

“This is because there were those among them who had torn up their (Malaysian) passports with feelings of hatred towards the country and an intention to no longer return to this country – there was no more loyalty in them,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said at a press conference here yesterday.

He said 673 individuals – and not 1,000 as previously reported – had renounced their Malaysian citizenship allegedly to obtain the BOC between 2005 and 2013, ending up in this predicament of being stateless.

The British government had on July 4, 2002, decided that it would no longer consider citizenship applications involving BOC holders from Malaysia.

The BOC is a travel document that is not equivalent to British citizenship, even though BOC holders could be considered for British citizenship before the British Nationality Act 1981 was amended in 2002.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said a residence pass would permit those re-applying for Malaysian citizenship to reside in the country for up to five years, after which the pass will be up for renewal.

“These individuals should apply for the residence pass while in the United Kingdom through the Malaysian High Commission in London.

“They can only take off for Malaysia after their application (for a residence pass) has been approved by the Malaysian Immigration Department.

“A special counter will be opened at the KL International Airport on their arrival day, where the BOC document-holder will be issued with the residence pass and briefed on the rules pertaining to the pass,” he said.

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

Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s position on the matter is more than fair. These 673 ‘Stateless Persons’ made the choice to be disloyal to this nation and give up their citizenship and privileges, guaranteed under the Federation of Malaysia Constitution, as a condition for them to apply for British citizenship.

Their gambit backfired.

It is not the Malaysian Government obligation is any manner or count to accept them back as status quo, and re-institute them back as citizens of this nation. They should be treated as any other aliens and given the same consideration to stay in this nation, without exception.

Bernama report on Home Ministry Dato' Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's explanation of the Article 16 of the Immigration Act

Bernama report on Home Ministry Dato’ Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s explanation of the Article 16A of the Immigration Act

At best, a work permit and resident status.

This is the reality of life. There is no ‘reset button’. When one makes the wrong choices, one have to live with the consequences. Neither this is a work of fiction where these is a ‘happy ending’.

This should also be a lesson to all who are thinking and contemplating about being disloyal to His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Federation of Malaysia Constitution. Being a citizen is a very valuable privilege. Otherwise, this nation would not be hosting more than 2.5 million economic immigrants.

Article 12 of the Federation of Tanah Melayu Treaty inked on 21 Feb 1948 that came into force on 1 Feb 1948

Article 12 of the Federation of Tanah Melayu Treaty inked on 21 Feb 1948 that came into force on 1 Feb 1948

Continuation of Article 12

Continuation of Article 12

HRH Malay Rulers compromised Article 12 of  the 1948 Federation of Tanah Melayu Treaty to accept almost 1 million Non Malays classified as ‘Stateless Persons’ as ‘citizens’, without being processed properly and fulfilling the set criteria for consideration. It  was part of the ‘Social Contract’ for Federation of Tanah Melayu to earn Kemederkaan as a sovereign nation.

That could only happened once. It is something extremely rare and the Non Malays and/or ‘Stateless Persons’ should follow the normal process to become citizens of Federation of Malaysia.

This is a nation of law and order and proper Federal Constitution exist and enforced, on top specific regulations set for administrative purposes. The rule of law shall take precedence.

Hence, the lesson ends.

Published in: on April 13, 2014 at 22:30  Comments (20)  

Lessons from Paracels Pt IX: The ‘Panda Gambit’

The geo-political game of 'Risk': China Vs Japan military capability and assets

The geo-political game of ‘Risk’: China Vs Japan military capability and assets

In the series of apparent China’s expansionary traits in the region reflective in the form of increased spending, number and quality of military assets in the past ten years, which grew into threatening position against her neighbours, has been reciprocated by United States’ more apparent projection of power and military might.

 

AFP st0ry:

China’s booming military spending belies caution

By Kelly Olsen
April 10, 2014 8:04 PM

Beijing (AFP) – With the world’s biggest military, China far outnumbers rival Japan in manpower, ships, aircraft and defence spending, but analysts say underlying weaknesses leave it still wary of a fight.

Beijing’s latest double-digit rise in its defence budget, announced last month, will only increase its numerical superiority, but Japan enjoys technological and training advantages, and the key asset of a US security umbrella.

Hagel reiterated Washington’s support for Tokyo while criticising Beijing in blunt exchanges with top People’s Liberation Army (PLA) generals.

China, for its part, told the Vietnam War veteran that sovereignty over islands in the East China Sea at the heart of the dispute with Japan was non-negotiable and that it would “make no compromise”.

Despite such tough talk, analysts say China’s top strategists know an armed conflict, intentional or accidental, is not in their interest and could detract from their long-term goal of expanding their regional and global power.

View gallery
Graphic comparing the military strength of China and Japan, based on an analysis by the Internationa …
“The Chinese high command has got to be very prudent and cautious in terms of the launch of any kind of military operation,” said Arthur Ding, an expert on the PLA at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University.

Even without the benefit of the US security alliance, Japan currently has better training, facilities and equipment, Ding said, although the long term situation was less clear.

“Right now Japan is in better shape,” he told AFP.

Even Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the military — which is beset by corruption, with high-ranking officers under investigation — to improve its abilities to “win battles”.

The dispute over the uninhabited islands, administered by Japan as the Senkakus and claimed by China as the Diaoyus, has heated up since Tokyo bought islands in the chain from private Japanese owners in 2012.

Ships and aircraft from both countries, mostly dispatched by non-military maritime and coastguard agencies, regularly patrol the area.

In a tense incident early last year, however, Japan accused a Chinese frigate of directing its weapon-targeting radar at one of Tokyo’s naval vessels, fuelling worries about a clash.

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, went into service 18 months ago and according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Military Balance 2014 report, published in February, the country’s forces outnumber Japan in virtually all areas.

China had approximately 2.3 million active duty troops last year compared with Japan’s 247,150, the report said. China also enjoyed huge leads in combat aircraft at 2,525 to 630, main battle tanks at 6,840 to 777 and tactical submarines at 66 to 18.

View gallery
Soldiers take part in an exercise in Heihe, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, April 9, 20 …
China’s defence budget was $112.2 billion last year, while Japan’s came to $51 billion, according to the report.

“The PLA is engaged in a modernisation programme fuelled by the country’s rapid economic development that has seen it surpass the armed forces of less developed countries in Asia,” the report said.

It added, however, that China had shortfalls including a lack of combat experience, questions about training and morale, and weaknesses in command and control, anti-submarine warfare and other areas.

China’s military “remains qualitatively inferior, in some respects, to more technologically advanced armed forces in the region — such as South Korea and Japan — and it lags far behind the US”, the report said.

– Art of War –

View gallery
Soldiers take part in an exercise in Heihe, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, April 9, 20 …
Tokyo and Washington, once bitter wartime enemies, have had a close defence relationship since Japan’s World War II defeat in 1945, with the US obligated to defend its ally if it is attacked.

The US military has nearly 50,000 troops stationed in Japan at key strategic bases including on the southern island of Okinawa, a short flight to the disputed islands.

Kazuhisa Ogawa, a respected Japanese military affairs analyst, said that Japan’s capabilities cannot be looked at as separate from those of the US.

“The Japanese military is not designed to stand on its own,” Ogawa said, referring to its Self-Defense Forces.

“Japan is facing the Chinese military together with the US force, so it is nonsense to compare the capabilities of the Japanese military and the Chinese military without the presence of the US,” he told AFP.

Though the Chinese Communist Party and state media regularly chastise Japan over the territorial dispute and accuse it of nascent militarism and denial of wartime atrocities in China, pronouncements by top officials can be more prudent.

In his exchanges with Hagel, China’s defence chief Chang Wanquan suggested the country would not take pre-emptive action in the island dispute.

But Ogawa said Beijing had a clear strategy despite its reluctance to start an armed conflict.

“China is sending non-military ships to the area,” he said, to assert its claim, gauge the reactions of Japan and the US, and show nationalistic elements at home it is flexing its muscles.

“China’s policy is to win without a battle, taking the path of Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’.”

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

China’s arrogance and stubborn attitude towards her neighbours over multinational claims in several blocks within South China Sea ad East Asia Sea and thumping of chest threatening “The use of deadly force to defend ‘territtories’ (Senkaku Islands and ‘Nine-Dash-Line’)”, is reciprocated of the Americans further antagonising moves deploying sophisticated diplomacy.

US Defence Secretary Hagel in his first official to China five days ago, did not mince his words in warning to China against the latter’s increasingly aggressive claim over Senkaku Islands, with renewed military commitment for Japan.

Fox News story;

Hagel squares off with Chinese defense minister over dispute with Japan over islands

Published April 08, 2014Associated Press

 

April 8, 2014: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, and Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan, right, take seat prior to their meeting at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters in Beijing. Hagel arrived in Beijing after a stop in Japan, where he told reporters that China must be more open about its military buildup and better respect its neighbors - a pointed allusion to Beijing's ongoing territorial dispute with Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea. (AP Photo/Alex Wong, Pool)

April 8, 2014: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, and Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan, right, take seat prior to their meeting at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters in Beijing. Hagel arrived in Beijing after a stop in Japan, where he told reporters that China must be more open about its military buildup and better respect its neighbors – a pointed allusion to Beijing’s ongoing territorial dispute with Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea. (AP Photo/Alex Wong, Pool)

BEIJING – The defense chiefs of China and the U.S. faced off Tuesday over Beijing’s escalating territorial disputes in the region, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, wagging his finger, said China doesn’t have the right to unilaterally establish an air defense zone over disputed islands with no consultation.

And he said America will protect Japan in a dispute with China.

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said his country will not take the initiative to stir up troubles with Japan, but Beijing is ready to use its military if needed to safeguard its territory. And he warned that the U.S. must “stay vigilant” against Japan’s actions and “not be permissive and supportive” of Tokyo.

The two men were speaking to reporters after a meeting here.

The U.S. has criticized Beijing’s recent declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including disputed islands controlled by Japan.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Chang at the Ministry of Defense, the two men aired their countries’ well-known positions about the territorial disputes.

The meeting focused on how the U.S. and China can build stronger ties, in the wake of years of frosty relations over Beijing’s military buildup, persistent cyberattacks against U.S. government agencies and private industry, and aggressive Chinese territorial claims in the East China Sea.

Beijing’s recent declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including disputed islands controlled by Japan has raised complaints from the U.S., deepening concerns that it could spark a confrontation.

Washington has refused to recognize the zone or follow China’s demands that its aircraft file flight plans with Beijing’s Defense Ministry and heed Chinese instructions. China has warned of unspecified retaliatory measures against aircraft that do not comply, but has so far taken no action.

He also said the U.S. and China must be more open with each other about their cyber capabilities, saying that greater openness “reduces the risk that misunderstanding and misperception could lead to miscalculation.”

Hagel pointed to the ongoing threat from North Korea, which recently threatened additional missile and nuclear tests. And he said the U.S. and China have a shared interest “in achieving a verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

In recent weeks the North has conducted a series of rocket and ballistic missile launches that are considered acts of protest against annual ongoing springtime military exercises by Seoul and Washington. North Korea says the exercises are rehearsals for invasion.

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

On top of telling off China with regards to Japan, Hagel threw another wild card in this game of regional geo-politics. This is demonstrated when he asked China “To contain North Korea”, which is China’s biggest ally in East Asia and growingly project her capability to threaten US allies South Korea and Japan.

Wall Street Journal story:

Hagel Asks China’s Xi Jinping to Do More to Contain North Korea

Amicable Talks Follow Blunt U.S. Exchanges With Beijing’s Military Leaders During Three-Day Trip

By DION NISSENBAUM CONNECT
April 9, 2014 12:37 p.m. ET

 U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Wednesday. Getty Images


U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Wednesday. Getty Images

BEIJING—U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrapped up a three-day visit to China on Wednesday by urging President Xi Jinping to play a larger role in containing the dangers posed in the region by North Korea.

The amicable meeting with Mr. Xi came in contrast to a series of pointed discussions the day before with top Chinese military officials, who criticized U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific.

While Tuesday’s military talks cast a pall over Mr. Hagel’s first trip to China as defense secretary, U.S. officials characterized the trip as a modest success overall in bridging differences between the nations.

Mr. Xi said deepening military ties between the two countries would help strengthen broader U.S.-China relations. “Your visit this time will definitely push forward the development of our new model of military-to-military relationship,” he told Mr. Hagel at the start of their meeting in the Great Hall of the People.

The Chinese leader also noted that Mr. Hagel had been provided with a “robust itinerary” during his visit, an apparent nod to the open access China granted Mr. Hagel to its lone aircraft carrier and military officers.

Throughout the visit, Chinese officials prodded Mr. Hagel over U.S. support for Japan and the Philippines in tense territorial disputes with China. The U.S. defense secretary encouraged Chinese leaders to do more to restrain North Korea’s destabilizing military tests in the region.

While the U.S. announced no breakthroughs over the North Korea issue or concerns about cybersecurity, U.S. officials praised China for granting Mr. Hagel a rare tour of its aircraft carrier, a step seen as a signal of China’s willingness to be more open, albeit cautiously, with the U.S. The two countries also announced modest steps to deepen ties between their militaries, such as higher-level talks over divisive issues.

American officials said the pointed, public criticism from Chinese military leaders was unfortunate but not unexpected. “You’re dealing with a China that is still trying to find its way,” one U.S. defense official said.

While Mr. Hagel played down the differences, one of America’s top military leaders warned that China’s actions were creating a “witches’ brew” for miscalculation. “I’m concerned by the aggressive growth of the Chinese military, their lack of transparency and a pattern of increasingly assertive behavior in the region,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. , commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said on Wednesday at a naval conference in Canberra, Australia.

“There’s both growing uncertainty in the region and increasing tensions—a witches’ brew, if you will, for miscalculation,” he said. “Our continued diplomacy in Asia amid these challenges underscores the importance of the United States remaining active and strong in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”

—Jeremy Page contributed to this article.

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

Hagel’s request to President Xi Jinping marks the fresh sophisticated diplomatic move of the ‘Panda Gambit’. Despite expressing the expectation for “China’s  greater role in regional geo-political stability”, it is clear United States do not expect China would be stern in getting North Korea ‘contained’. For China, it would be nothing less than ‘Damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.

Thus, failure to honour this request would be US’s sordid excuse for ‘sour point’ with regards to relation with China, via-a-vis its strengthening military commitment to ally around the region namely South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Despite China Minister of Defense Gen Chang Wanquan attempt to show off PLA Navy’s (PLAN) brand new aircraft Laoning to US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel’s official visit a few days ago, the Americans are rounding up support around the region in the tradition Western style of ‘Circling the Eagon’.

 

During Hagel Visit, China Showed Its Military Might, and Its Frustrations

By HELENE COOPERAPRIL 10, 2014

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia — When Robert M. Gates visited China in 2011 as the United States defense secretary, the military greeted him with an unexpected and, in the view of American military officials, provocative test of a Chinese stealth fighter jet, a bold show of force that stunned the visiting Americans and may even have surprised the Chinese president at the time, Hu Jintao.

When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited China this week, the military greeted him with a long-sought tour of the country’s lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in what many American officials interpreted as a resolve to project naval power, particularly in light of recent tension between Beijing and its neighbors over disputed islands in the East and South China Seas.

The displays of China’s military power reveal some dividends from years of heavy investments, and perhaps a sense that China is now more willing to stand toe-to-toe with the Americans, at least on regional security issues.

 

In Mongolia, a Gift Horse for Hagel APRIL 10, 2014
But American officials and Asia experts say the visits also showed a more insecure side of China’s military leadership — a tendency to display might before they are ready to deploy it, and a lingering uncertainty about how assertively to defend its territorial claims in the region.

Mr. Hagel encountered both combative warnings in public forums and private complaints that Beijing felt besieged by hostile neighbors, especially Japan and the Philippines, which it asked the United States to help address. The impression for some American officials was that China still has not decided whether it wants to emphasize its historical status as an underdog or adopt a new posture as a military powerhouse.

On the tough side, China’s minister of defense, Gen. Chang Wanquan, announced that his country would make “no compromise, no concession, no treaty” in the fight for what he called its “territorial sovereignty.”

“The Chinese military can assemble as soon as summoned, fight any battle, and win,” he said.

But the tough stance belies a different reality on the ground, a military with little or no combat experience, outdated or untested equipment, and a feeling of being under siege. The Liaoning, according to American defense officials who toured the ship, still lags well behind the United States’ 10 aircraft carrier groups. While Mr. Hagel spoke expansively about how impressive he found the Chinese sailors he met aboard the ship in his public remarks, one American defense official who accompanied Mr. Hagel noted privately that the Liaoning was “not as big, it’s not as fast,” as American carriers.

Some experts on China were more dismissive. The Liaoning is “a surplus ship from the Soviet era that had been used as a hotel after it was decommissioned,” said Andrew L. Oros, an associate professor of political science at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and a specialist on East Asia.

“In my view this is about national pride, about being on the cusp of being able to challenge the powers that wrought such destruction and misery on China in the 19th and 20th centuries,” Mr. Oros said. “I think this leads them to over-flaunt, both out of genuine satisfaction in being able to do so, but also as a domestic crowd-pleaser.”
In Beijing, standing next to Mr. Hagel at the Ministry of Defense this week, General Chang likened himself to the American defense secretary, who has two Purple Heart medals from combat during the Vietnam War. “Secretary Hagel and I are both old soldiers who fought on the battlefield,” he said, prompting a number of raised eyebrows among the Americans in the room. “We have a deep understanding of the atrocities of war.”

That may be so, but no one in China’s political or military leadership, which has focused for three decades on national economic development, has significant experience in war, and its troops are not trained in combat. Even Japan, which eschewed combat after World War II, is believed by American officials to have a superior navy, one that regularly trains with American marines and sailors and with a technical sophistication that counterbalances the heavy investment China has made in recent years.

In private meetings with Mr. Hagel, Chinese officials sounded more defensive, American officials said, expressing frustration over what they presented as a Japan and a Philippines made bolder by their treaty alliances with the United States, and ganging up on Beijing.

The American response, that the United States takes no position on competing claims for disputed islands in the East China Sea — which the Japanese call Senkaku and the Chinese call Diaoyu — or the islands and reefs claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea, seemed only to further inflame the Chinese. Beijing also objects to the standard Obama administration line that the United States has treaty obligations to Tokyo and Manila.

Beyond that, American officials say the stronger public statements by leaders of the People’s Liberation Army are aimed partly at the Chinese public at large, noting a headline in the newspaper China Daily on Wednesday that spoke of Mr. Hagel’s being “urged” by General Chang to “restrain Japan.”

Still, no one at the Pentagon denies that China’s military has made huge leaps in the last decade. China now spends more on its military than any country except the United States, and will increase military spending to $148 billion this year from $139 billion in 2013, according to IHS Jane’s, a military industry consulting and analysis company. While that is still only about a fourth of what the United States spends, American military spending is declining, to $575 billion this year from $664 billion in 2012. By next year, analysts estimate that China will spend more on its military than Britain, Germany and France combined.

Moreover, for Beijing, the Liaoning is a launching pad for future naval operations, military experts said.

“Back in August 2011, when the carrier later to be known as the Liaoning took its first test voyage, I happened to be aboard the U.S.S. John C. Stennis witnessing flight operations,” said Andrew Scobell, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, referring to one of the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. “I recall shaking my head in amazement and thinking to myself, ‘The Chinese will never be able to do this!’ ”

But now, planes are taking off from the Liaoning. “The P.L.A. is seen as extremely capable,” Mr. Scobell said, “and one of the clearest indications of this is that the Pentagon now focuses considerable attention on countering what it dubs China’s ‘anti-access/area denial capabilities’ ” — military jargon for the doctrine that could be used by Beijing to deny the United States military the ability to operate in certain areas of the sea near China during a crisis.

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

In less than two weeks, President Barack H. Obama would visit South Korea, Japan and Malaysia and the growing China PLAN’s apparent threat in South China Sea and East China Sea is expected to be on the agenda. It is expected that Obama would escalate the ‘Panda Gambit’ further by extending United States’ existing commitment and role to “ensure regional stability and freedom”.

The US sophisticated game of geo-politics is translated in Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s official visit to China.

In the recent close cooperation between RAAF and RAN and PLAN for the joint multinational operation led by Australia’s former RAAF Chief Air Vice Marshall Angus Houston in his capacity as the Head of Joint Agency Co-ordiating Centre for the search of Malaysia Airlines’ MH370 calculated to have crashed in the South Indian Ocean,  it has been used as a geo-political currency. PM Abbott is extending the co-operation further, for Australia and China to do joint military exercises.

Sydney Morning Herald story:

Tony Abbott’s China visit nets closer military relations

April 13, 2014

Philip Wen, Mark Kenny

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has foreshadowed closer military co-operation and joint military exercises with China, and revealed President Xi Jinping has accepted his invitation to address both houses of Parliament later this year.

Speaking in Beijing the morning after a state dinner and bilateral talks with Mr Xi, Mr Abbott said personal relationships at senior levels of government had ”very much been enhanced”.

”We had a very warm and constructive discussion last night,” he told reporters on Saturday, the last day of his week-long visit to Japan, South Korea and China. Mr Xi will visit Australia in November for bilateral meetings attached to his attendance at the G20 summit in Brisbane.

Mr Abbott said he was ”quite confident” of building on high-level meetings and exchanges with the world’s largest army through the form of ”multilateral exercises in the months and years ahead”.

”That’s got to be good for peace and understanding in our region and the wider world,” he said.

Australia already co-operates with New Zealand and China on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drills. China’s People’s Liberation Army has asked to operate under Australian command in the US-led Rim of the Pacific maritime exercises, when the navies of more than 20 nations converge on Hawaii for warfare drills in July.

”Without going into specific detail, I express the hope and confidence that there can be greater and deeper involvement [from China] in the time ahead,” Mr Abbott said.

The breakthrough in military relations follows close co-operation in the search for Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370.

China’s state-run media outlets prominently reported Mr Abbott’s meeting with Mr Xi, with reports of the Prime Minister’s personal update on the search running as the lead item of official news agency Xinhua, as well as dominating the front page of a number of newspapers, including the English-language China Daily.

 

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/tony-abbotts-china-visit-nets-closer-military-relations-20140412-36jz8.html#ixzz2yi1aiDwr

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Radio Australia story:

Tony Abbott returns to dragon’s den in bid to secure free trade deal with China

Updated 9 April 2014, 19:42 AEST
By China correspondent Stephen McDonell

Australian PM Tony Abbot and President Xi Jinping t is the first official visit to China

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has left the most challenging part of his North Asia tour to the last – with his visit to Beijing to negotiate a free trade deal.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott sits next to China’s president Xi Jinping during the APEC summit in Bali last year. (Credit: Reuters)
The last time Tony Abbott walked into the Great Hall of the People flanked by advisers and diplomats, it was as if he was entering the castle of an enemy for post battle peace talks.

His body language read something like this: “Alright now I don’t know how much I should trust you but we both know that we need each other. They’re telling me that times have changed here in Beijing but I’m not so sure.”

Australia now has free trade agreements in the bag with Japan and South Korea but China is the big one, and the Prime Minister has left the most challenging part of his North Asia tour to the last.

In examining the complexity of China’s relationship with Australia it is hard to know where to begin.

In terms of Western countries Australia is treated differently here.

Taxi drivers will gush on about what an awesome country Australia is, even when Canberra is having a fight with Beijing.

What this means is that the message which filters down to ordinary Chinese people all the way from the top regarding Australia, is that it is OK.

Even the way Australian correspondents are treated here by officials is telling.

Like everyone, we are at times hindered and harassed in our reporting, but we are also at times welcomed by government-run companies, especially if what we are covering is the economy.

Chinese military and nationalism expanding

Yet neither country’s governments are under any illusions as to the difficulty of managing this “friendship”.

That is why face-to-face meetings Mr Abbott will have with president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang are considered so crucial.

I suppose the feeling is, if you can look someone in the eye and tell them what you think, that builds trust.

However the region is entering a difficult period where trust is concerned.

Video: Australia and China’s relationship needs rebuilding ahead of an FTA (7.30)
In a nutshell, China’s military might is expanding along with an ever-emerging nationalism.

A few years ago hardly anybody had ever heard of the huge lumps of rock in the East China Sea which China claims as the Diaoyu Islands and Japan as the Senkakus.

Now at times it is as if the very existence of these ancient civilisations hangs on the ownership of them.

Late last year China announced a new Air Defence Identification Zone which overlapped the islands. It required prior notification by planes wanting to fly through this air space – air space that Japan obviously sees as its own.

So Australia, in supporting Japan, called in the Chinese Ambassador to voice its displeasure at the handling of the matter. China was furious.

Tension over Australia’s stance on East China Sea dispute

When Foreign Minister Julie Bishop later travelled to Beijing she walked straight into a trap.

World leaders hold meetings and, behind closed doors, say all sorts of things. But for the first few minutes of these meetings they let a couple of cameras and a handful of reporters into the room to capture what are invariably banal pleasantries about “the emerging friendship between our two great countries” and the like.

But, when Ms Bishop met her Chinese counterpart that is not how the script ran.

With the Beijing-based Australian press corps in the room, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi let her have it.

Photo: Julie Bishop meets her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi amid a row over the East China Sea
“What Australia has said and done with regard to China’s Air Defence Identification Zone has jeopardised bilateral mutual trust and affected the sound growth of bilateral relations,” he said.

“Across all of Chinese society the general public are deeply dissatisfied,” he continued.

Australia’s Ambassador to China, Frances Adamson, passed Ms Bishop a note which said something to the effect of: “You know that stuff we were going to bring up later on, you better pull it out now.”

So Australia’s Foreign Minister stepped up “…I must take issue with you on the matter of the East China Sea.”

And before she had a chance to say anything else journalists were being bundled out of the room by Chinese officials.

Later Ms Bishop told us: “Friends are able to discuss issues, air their differences and move on.”

“Australia and China will not always line up exactly in the same place on every issue… Australia has its view, its position and we should never be afraid to stand by our values and our views,” she said.

It seems China’s concern over this issue stems from more than just the loss of face in having Australia dress down its ambassador over a dispute in its own backyard.

China ‘testing the limits’ of Australia’s independence on foreign policy
China is also testing the limits of Australian independence when it comes to foreign policy.

As deputy director-general of the Institute of International Strategy in Beijing, Han Feng specialises in China’s relations with countries in the Asia Pacific including Australia.

He is also close to what the Chinese government is thinking about this part of the world.

“Lots of Chinese people are worried that, because of this special relationship with the US, Australia will stand on America’s side in international politics and ignore the facts of right and wrong in the region,” Professor Han told 7.30.

“I’m not saying that China doesn’t trust Australia but it’s worried that, in regional politics, there should be right and wrong, not decisions built on the relations of allies.”

He thinks Mr Abbott faces a challenge convincing Mr Xi that Australia has a mind of its own. Yet, in the end, this may not really matter when it comes to economic cooperation.

Just months after the Ms Bishop-Mr Yi meltdown China’s National People’s Congress opened with the traditional keynote address by premier Li.

More than a speech, the Government Work Report – as it is known – is the Communist Party’s most important annual document. It is an analysis of the state of the nation and a policy pledge for the next 12 months.

Trip could be pivotal in securing future relations

Mr Li announced that this year China would aim to sign a free trade agreement with Australia.

If the China-Australia free trade deal is in the Government Work Report it is going to happen.

So this does bring into question just how detrimental it really is for China and Australia to have it out in public. In the end business is business.

At the trough of Canberra-Beijing tension over the arrest and eventual jailing of Australian Rio Tinto employee Stern Hu, the two countries signed a major gas deal.

Yet many analysts would say that you cannot take this for granted, and certainly the Australian Government does not seem to.

At the same time that the Prime Minister is in China, Trade Minister Andrew Robb is in Shanghai this week with a delegation of more than 500 Australian business people as well as all the premiers.

It is as if everyone who runs Australia will be in China’s financial capital in the coming days.

As for Mr Abbott, Professor Han thinks he has a clear mentor in mind when it comes to China.

“Prime Minister Howard had some problems with China when he first took office,” he said.

“But later on both sides established smooth relations. I think Mr Abbott wants to inherit what Mr Howard eventually achieved in Sino-Australia relations but we still have some issues to be settled.”

In Mr Xi, China has a president who knows Australia pretty well. Again, that cannot be a bad thing.

Yet this trip could prove to be quite pivotal in terms of securing the future of a crucial relationship.

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

In the past two decades since Paul Keating and Howard’s premiership, Australia has been seen as United State’s ‘Deputy’ for ‘Policing the New Word Order’ around the East Asia and Pacific region. Definitely, United States would want Australia to play and commit to a more meaning role in the China’s expansionary moves around South China Sea and East China Sea.

The ‘Panda Gambit’ is definitely in-play.

China's military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

China’s military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

If China is not careful, she would be lured into the United States’ counter measure against the ‘Panda Trap’. That alone is another sophisticated game of complex geo-politics games, where China’s reaction with any projection of force would be drawn into a military stand off with her immediate and regional neighbours in a Neo Cold War.

How could we all forget the last Cold War, which lasted 42 years and United States’ power of capitalism defeated communism, dismantled the ‘Iron Curtain’ and broke the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. In China’s zest of gaining global economic prowess, the near-exponential economic growth and transformation of China’s ‘Two System in One State’ could be manipulated into a sophisticated but complex economic-geo-political time-bomb.

Needless to say, Hagel’s and Abbott’s visit to China within this week is the precursor to the ‘Panda Gambit’. It is a classic intricate but enigmatic play by layers of United States’ diplomats, strategists and military to maintain its role, position and status as the world’s most strategic economy and Super Power.

 

Published in: on April 13, 2014 at 04:00  Comments (2)  

Nut forgetting the shell, nursing the monkeys from the wild

It has to come to our attention that Malaysian companies involved in oil and gas industry, which have benefitted immensely from Petronas, is believed to not do their bit in corporate social responsibility  for the Malaysian masses, particularly  for the unskilled youths and school leavers.

These contractors and service and solution providers have been awarded projects and amassed a lot of wealth from Petronas due to the Federal Government policies  towards their status as ‘Malaysian companies’  and not on their competency  and capability alone. That provided space and opportunities for capacity building, which later became beneficial in these companies’ growth and multidimensional expansion.

Now that they are there, they are conveniently turning a blind eye towards the strategic initiatives to develop the Malaysian youth masses. The excuse is “Market forces”. The fact is that, not only do little to train Malaysian youths  and provide them  will  upskilling opportunities, they are pitting their fellow Malaysians to compete against the imported labourers.

The Federal Government is providing training and up-skilling opportunities for Malaysian youths classified under ‘Not in Education or Training’ (NIET), to earn basic skills and necessary competencies for the industry. Never-mind the fact these contractors and service providers to Petronas not willing to do it.

Now, the expect these Malaysian youths to be paid equally with foreign labourers, particularly from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Myanmar. “We have to go with market forces and get who ever offers the lowest”.

It is convenient for executives of these home grown oil and gas contractor and service providers and support companies reflect on their roots and journey to this point of their corporate history.  If they think why they shouldn’t pay Malaysian youths more than the labourers because of “Market forces”, then how about when Petronas awarded them their first job back then. Where they they the best, against foreign contractors?

Probably what they should be also reminded is that more than 90% of  the RM7.00 per hour wages that they are willing pay foreign labourers would flow out  as opposed to if Malaysians youths were to be given the opportunity instead. Even if these Malaysian youths are paid 10-15% more, their wages would be recycled back into the domestic economy.

This is the same domestic economy which provided the  resilience and drive to the eco-system were these oil and gas contractors and service providers benefitted from, right from the start.

 

Published in: on April 10, 2014 at 09:30  Comments (9)  

Lessons from Paracels VIII: The neo ‘Gun Boat’ diplomacy, Panda Projection of Power

China's military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

China’s military maneurvress intimidating neighbour nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

United States gets sounding out despite iterated their presence and projection of power in East Asia and South East Asia is the Yankees’ interpretation of ‘Re-Balance of Power’, amidst China’s expansionary mode, arrogance and attitude playing the role of ‘neigbourhood bully’ and protagonist.

The Wall Street Journal story:

U.S., China Defense Chiefs Trade Barbs Over Regional Ambitions

Chang Wanquan Tells Chuck Hagel: China ‘Can Never Be Contained’

By DION NISSENBAUM CONNECT
Updated April 8, 2014 1:26 p.m. ET
Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, left, and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday. Reuters
BEIJING—Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s call for a new model in relations with Beijing’s military swiftly ran into headwinds Tuesday as China’s defense minister castigated the U.S. and its allies for raising tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

Standing side-by-side during Mr. Hagel’s first official trip to Beijing since he became defense secretary a year ago, the two men traded pointed jabs over the geopolitical ambitions of both nations in the region.

Over the course of an hour, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan criticized Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and the U.S. for various measures he said undercut stability.

And he pushed back against America’s plans to shift more military resources to the region—a move widely seen in Beijing as an attempt to contain China’s expansionist aims.

China “can never be contained,” Gen. Chang told reporters during a one-hour news conference at the defense ministry with Mr. Hagel standing by his side.

Gen. Chang castigated Japan for stirring up trouble in the East China Sea over who should control a group of disputed islands there and accused the Philippines of illegally occupying other islands in the South China Sea. He blasted U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and urged America to take a more measured approach to regional disputes.

In turn, Mr. Hagel criticized China for unilaterally establishing an air-defense zone over the East China Sea islands without conferring with its competitors in the region.

“That adds to tensions, misunderstandings and could eventually add to and eventually get to a dangerous conflict,” said Mr. Hagel, who wagged his finger as he emphasized his concerns.

The sharp exchanges came as Mr. Hagel worked to promote a “new model” of military cooperation and transparency during his three-day visit to China.

The divide re-emerged later in the day when Mr. Hagel trumpeted the new chapter in military relations in a speech to 150 Chinese military officers. Mr. Hagel diverged from his prepared remarks several times to cut the most pointed barbs at China and argued that “great powers must resolve their disputes peacefully.”

Chinese officers questioning Mr. Hagel accused the U.S. of stoking tensions in the region by backing China’s rivals and trying to curb the country’s influence.

“The American rebalance to Asia-Pacific is not to contain China,” Mr. Hagel said in response to one skeptical officer.

Despite the friction, neither government said it viewed the encounter as a sign of hostility or deterioration in relations.

As if to underscore that, both men salted their comments with words of conciliation. Gen. Chang said the Pacific was big enough to hold the ambitions of both China and the U.S. And Mr. Hagel praised China as essential to the stability in the region.

Defense officials said they had expected the sharp questions from the Chinese defense minister and the students at the military school.

“I certainly didn’t sense hostility.” said Col. Steve Warren, the Pentagon spokesman, who reviewed the transcripts. “It was a good dialogue.”

Gen. Chang’s comments were unusually direct for a Chinese official hosting a foreign counterpart and were likely directed primarily at China’s domestic audience.

Still, Mr. Hagel’s visit still represents progress of sorts given the volatile history of China-U.S. military relations. When then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited in 2011, his visit was emphatically overshadowed by the first test flight of China’s prototype stealth fighter—just a few hours before he met then-President Hu Jintao.

U.S. officials noted that the Chinese military also demonstrated openness by granting Mr. Hagel a rare tour of its lone aircraft carrier.

Military ties between the two countries will become increasingly important as the U.S. presses ahead with attempts to expand its influence in the Asia-Pacific by shifting more ships, planes and military personnel to the region.

The U.S. and China agreed on moderate measures to reduce military tensions over relations with North Korea and disputes over who should control the region’s seas.

It remains to be seen how deep the military ties will go. Tuesday’s measures mainly create new channels for dialogue between the two and lay out plans for a humanitarian-aid exercise when details can be worked out.

“Moderate steps are still steps in the right direction, so these are good steps,” said one U.S. defense official.

The relationship has been tested in recent months by accusations between the two countries over cyberattacks, China’s claims to vast expanses of the South China Sea and a territorial standoff with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Last fall, the U.S. military directly challenged China’s unilateral declaration of an air-defense identification zone over the East China Sea islands by flying two B-52 bombers through the area.

China’s move has raised concerns among the U.S. and its Asian allies that Beijing would try to expand its influence by declaring a similar zone over the South China Sea.

But Washington’s plans to increase its influence in Asia are likely to be tempered by a tightening U.S. defense budget and China’s increasing military spending.

The Pentagon’s push for a new military model is part of America’s broader campaign to build a new relationship with China following the formal appointment last year of Xi Jinping as China’s president.

Mr. Xi met with President Barack Obama in June at a private estate in southern California to discuss major issues of contention. Last month, Michelle Obama and her two daughters visited Beijing.

—Carlos Tejada, Jeremy Page and Julian E. Barnes contributed to this article.

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More of China’s Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan gives US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel an earful as the latter made his first official visit to the largest communist country after appointed to the cabinet post over-sighting the largest free-world and most modern armed forces.

Reuters story:

U.S. defense chief gets earful as China visit exposes tensions

BY PHIL STEWART
BEIJING Tue Apr 8, 2014 2:15pm EDT

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) and Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan participate in a joint news conference at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters in Beijing April 8, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ALEX WONG/POOL

(Reuters) – Tensions between China and the United States were on full display on Tuesday as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faced questions in Beijing about America’s position in bitter territorial disputes with regional U.S. allies.

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, standing side-by-side with Hagel, called on the United States to restrain ally Japan and chided another U.S. ally, the Philippines.

Then, Hagel was sharply questioned by Chinese officers at the National Defense University. One of them told Hagel he was concerned that the United States was stirring up trouble in the East and South China Sea because it feared someday “China will be too big a challenge for the United States to cope with.”

“Therefore you are using such issues … to make trouble to hamper (China’s) development,” the officer said.

Hagel assured the audience that America had no interest in trying to “contain China” and that it took no position in such disputes. But he also cautioned repeatedly during the day that the United States would stand by its allies.

“We have mutual self defense treaties with each of those two countries,” Hagel said, referring to Japan and the Philippines. “And we are fully committed to those treaty obligations.”

The questioning came just a day after Hagel toured China’s sole aircraft carrier, in a rare opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military ambitions. Chinese Defense Minister Chang called Hagel, the top civilian at the Pentagon, the first foreign military official to be allowed on board the Liaoning.

Chang and Hagel spoke positively about improving military ties and announced steps to deepen them. But the effort could do little to mask long-standing tension over a range of issues, from cyber spying and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to China’s military buildup itself.

At a seminar in New York, China’s ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said Washington needed to think hard about the purpose of its military presence in Asia and whether its political agenda and those of its Asian allies were the same.

He spoke of the need to move away from “outdated alliances” and warned against any attempt to create an Asian version of the NATO Western military alliance to contain China.

“If your mission there is to contain some other country, then you are back in the Cold War again, maybe,” he said. If your intention is to establish an Asian NATO, then we are back in the Cold War-era again. This is something that will serve nobody’s interest, it’s quite clear.”

Beyond developing an aircraft carrier program, China’s People’s Liberation Army is building submarines, surface ships and anti-ship ballistic missiles, and has tested emerging technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.

“RISK OF MISCALCULATION”

That expansion carries risks as Chinese forces come into greater contact with U.S. forces the Pacific, Hagel said.

“As the PLA modernizes its capabilities and expands its presence in Asia and beyond, American and Chinese forces will be drawn into closer proximity – which increases the risk of an incident, an accident, or a miscalculation,” Hagel said in a speech at the National Defense University.

“But this reality also presents new opportunities for cooperation.”

The risks of a mishap were highlighted in December when the American guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens had to take evasive action in the South China Sea to avoid hitting a Chinese warship operating in support of the Liaoning.

China’s military modernization has also been accompanied by a more assertive posture in its territorial disputes.

China claims 90 percent of the 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) South China Sea, where the Philippines, along with other countries, stake claims. China has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea over uninhabited islets that are administered by Japan.

Chang asked the United States to “keep (Japan) within bounds and not to be permissive and supportive”, and railed against the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who Hagel met in Tokyo last weekend.

“It is Japan who is being provocative against China,” Chang told a news conference after talks with Hagel.

“If you come to the conclusion that China is going to resort to force against Japan, that is wrong … we will not take the initiative to stir up troubles.”

Chang called the Philippines a nation “disguising itself as a victim” and renewed its opposition to Manila’s pursuit of international arbitration in its territorial dispute.

Hagel, who met the defense minister from the Philippines last week, said he raised U.S. concerns in Beijing over the tension in the South and East China Sea.

He cautioned that no countries should resort to “intimidation, coercion, or aggression to advance their claims.”

The U.S. State Department has accused China’s coastguard of harassment of Philippine vessels and called an attempt to block a Philippine resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed atoll, provocative and destabilizing.

Also speaking at the New York seminar, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who led the U.S. effort to engage with Communist China in the 1970s, compared the rivalries in Asia, particularly between China and Japan, and the latent threat of the use of force, to 19th Century Europe.

“I would give both of them the same advice – to be extremely restrained and not to permit that situation to develop into a military confrontation,” he said, referring to the leaders of Japan and China.

“We as Americans, being allied with Japan, but in partnership of some kind with China; we should not be put in a position to chose. We should make clear to both sides that we will be sympathetic and helpful, but we are strongly opposed to a military confrontation, which really would have huge consequences in the region.”

(Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Robert Birsel and Grant McCool)

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China’s progressively threatening maneuvres getting systematically more aggressive since 2008. These projections of power and force, deemed to be ‘unfriendly’ gestures  especially in areas believed to have rich hydro-carbon deposits all over South China Sea and East China Sea.

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

ASEAN EEZ Vs China’s claims over South China Sea with the imaginary Nine-Dash-Line

These projection of force maneuvres guised as “Training exercise” within the imaginary and unsubstantiated claim of ‘Nine-Dash-Line’, China also instilled fear to fishermen.

China which is a signatory of United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) since 1982 and Declaration of Code of Conduct (DOC) with ASEAN nations on 4 November 2002, is expected to honour her commitments to resolve issues in the South China Sea by consultations, negotiations and diplomatic dialogues.

However China is not interested to hold multilateral diplomatic dialogues but instead demanded that each of the ASEAN countries do separate bilateral dialogues to resolve border and territorial disputes.

Existing oil and gas fields, multiple claims and China's 'imaginary territory' dubbed 'Nine-Dash-Line' in South East Asia

Existing oil and gas fields, multiple claims and China’s ‘imaginary territory’ dubbed ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ in South East Asia

It is very clear that China intends to arm-twist her way around during these mutually exclusive bilateral dialogues and push of joint development programs and terms for areas with rich hybdro-carbon deposits which is beneficial to her. This cannot be achieved if the resolution is obtained through multilateral diplomatic dialogues.

China is also in stern opposition of the Philippines’s decision to go to United Nations International Court of Justice at the Hague, to seek resolution for areas such as Scarborough Shoal and Second Thomas Shoal.

The Philippines is in no position to oppose China’s projection of force with her own military assets and capabilities.

The over lapping claims between the Phillippines and China in the South China Sea

The over lapping claims between the Phillippines and China in the South China Sea

In reciprocity, United States pronounces her commitment to stand by the Philippines in this stand of, which translated of the mobilisation of military might. This is a commitment made by the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the annual Singapore  international military and geo-political forum, Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2012.

China’s neighbours particularly South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia can’t help it but the presence of the United States projection of power and force provide some degree of sanity and better predictability to an aggressive People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of over 3 million active personnel.

PLA is independent from China’s administration as it is under the China Central Military Commission (CMC), which answers directly to the communist party politburo.

Defense Secretary Hagel’s visit to China today is an initial step of ‘repositioning’ United States role and commitment to reduce or escalate the ‘Panda Stand Off’ which China. It interesting to watch the development from President Barack H. Obama’s tour of South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines in slightly over two weeks time.

Three days ago Defense Secretary Hagel reassured Japan of the US military commitment. More over in the escalation of China’s expansionary behaviour and arrogant attitude. Otherwise, there is no reason “To contain China”.

Published in: on April 9, 2014 at 02:00  Comments (13)