Lessons from Paracels XVII: Panda Bluff and Snuff, Continuum

China encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards

China encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards

Panda bluff. Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying calls for the Asia-Pacific community to work together and form greater trust in the region, for mutual co-operation and progress.

CCTV story:

Asia-Pacific region should work together to reduce differences, build trust: Chinese official

Editor: Bai Yang 丨Xinhua

05-30-2014 21:46 BJT
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Xinhua)– All countries in the Asia-Pacific region should work together to find a way to reduce differences and build trust, Fu Ying, chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, said on Friday.

Fu Ying (R), chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress, attends the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, May 30, 2014. Shangri-La Dialogue, which opened on Friday in Singapore, is a multilateral security dialogue forum that brings together senior military and political officials from nearly 30 countries to discuss regional security and cooperation. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)

Fu Ying (R), chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s
Congress, attends the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, May 30, 2014. Shangri-La Dialogue,
which opened on Friday in Singapore, is a multilateral security dialogue forum that brings together
senior military and political officials from nearly 30 countries to discuss regional security
and cooperation. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)

Over the past 20 years, the Asia-Pacific region has seen the largest poverty alleviation and fast economic growth in the world, due to sustained stability and peace, Fu said when attending the 13th Asia Security Summit, or Shangri-La Dialogue.

Fu said in order to tackle the regional security challenges and for a better development, closer and greater cooperation are needed.

She said the Asia-Pacific region currently stands at the doorstep of choices.

It is time to reflect on whether to continue the path of building trust, having cooperation and resolving differences that have been proven correct in the past decade, or to enlarge the differences.

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently said at the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit that China would like to see a new security approach in Asia focusing on cooperation, coordination and sustainability.

Xi emphasized the importance of candid dialogues and peaceful means in addressing challenges confronted China.

Fu said China is faced with difficult challenges such as the incident that Japan’s government nationalized Diaoyu Islands.

China has to respond effectively to protect China’s interest and prevent provocation from escalating clashes as well.

“That’s important for preserving peace and stability as well. But in the final analysis, it’s very important to come back to dialogue, negotiations and consensus that we are trying to resolve the issues through peaceful means,” Fu said.

She expressed her concern that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is “making Diaoyu Islands a bigger issue” and tried to convey the message to the world that China had posed a threat to Japan, using that as an excuse to amend the security policy of Japan.

On China-ASEAN relations, Tommy Koh, Chairperson on the High- Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter who also attended the activity, said ASEAN’s mission and agenda is to promote peace, cooperation and mutual trust in the Asia-Pacific region.

He noted that ASEAN needs to play a positive role in increasing trust of the region, given that both the phenomena of high-degree of cooperation and deficit of trust coexist in the region.

Koh believe that the ASEAN-China relation is mutually beneficial and develops in a positive direction.

“Do we have a deficit or do we have a newly created mistrust? It’s a question we need to reflect on. But it’s important that all the leaders in the region are duty-bound to continue build the trust,” Fu responded to Koh in this way.

The Shangri-La Dialogue, a multilateral forum organized by the London-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, has been one of the key events for defense professionals in the region to exchange views on security issues.

Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), leads the Chinese delegation to the dialogue this year.

The Chinese delegation will expound China’s point of view on security during the dialogue and discuss with other parties on ways to jointly safeguard regional peace, security and stability.

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What China’s top diplomat conveniently omit when she was on stage is the fact that the aggressor in the region is China. Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has been  playing the protagonist role, eminently threatened its neighbours and countries around the region with the aggressive military maneuvres as projections of force and power.

China invaded the Paracel Islands (then part of South Vietnam) in January 1074. China also exerted claims over Scarborough Shoal and the imginary ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

Despite a signatory of the United Nations Convention Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS) and Document of Conduct (DOC) with ASEAN countries in November 2002 where all agreed to resolve multiple claims and disputed territories through diplomatic channel and using UNCLOS as the basis for terms of reference, China rejected the Philippines move to bring the Scarborough Shoal case to ICJ at the Hague.

A detailed map of China's claims into ASEAN nations' EEZ

A detailed map of China’s claims into ASEAN nations’ EEZ

How would China expect ‘trust and working together’ when it cannot honour its own commitments?

The fact China’s interpretation of ‘working together’ is to submit the communist nation’s whims and fancies and jointly develop resources in disputed territories where it would benefit China more than the others, despite these areas are within areas stipulated as ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ (EEZ) clearly defined under UNCLOS.

US Defence Secretary described China’s maneuvres mobilising military assets, units in aggressive fashion around the region especially around disputed areas in South China Sea and Sea of Japan as “Destabilising the region” and warned against strong-arm tactics against neighbours Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

BBC story:

31 May 2014 Last updated at 09:17

Chuck Hagel: Beijing ‘destabilising’ South China Sea

 

The US defence secretary has accused China of “destabilising” the South China Sea, saying its action threatened the region’s long-term progress.

Chuck Hagel said the US would “not look the other way” when nations ignored international rules.

Mr Hagel was speaking at a three-day summit – the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore – that involves the US and South-East Asian countries.

He also urged Thailand’s coup leaders to restore democratic rule soon.

The forum comes amid growing tensions between China, Vietnam and the Philippines, with Japan-China ties also strained over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The summit gives senior delegates from the region a chance to meet face-to-face to try to resolve tensions.

‘No to intimidation’
“In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” Mr Hagel said in his address on Saturday.
Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have confronted each other in disputed waters in the South China Sea
“We firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims,” he added, referring to the way China has claimed territorial rights over areas of the South China Sea close to Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“All nations of the region, including China, have a choice: to unite, and recommit to a stable regional order, or, to walk away from that commitment and risk the peace and security that has benefited millions of people.”

He said he supported Japan’s offer to play a greater and “more proactive” role in regional security, as promised by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his keynote speech on Friday.

Michael Bristow, BBC Asia analyst

These are strong words from the US defence secretary. Although a number of nations make loud claims for parts of the South China Sea, Chuck Hagel sees China as the destabilising force in the region.

He could point to a number of unilateral moves taken by Beijing over recent months. Deploying a giant oil rig off the coast of Vietnam is just one.

Analysts see a trend. Many think that while the squabbling continues over who has sovereignty over the South China Sea – and the East China Sea – Beijing has quietly decided to take action: by changing the situation on the ground, it makes it hard for other nations to resist its demands.

And China appears to be testing the resolve of the Americans to defend US interests, and those of its allies, in the region. Defence Secretary Hagel said the US would not look the other way. But what can America do? And how far does China have to go before Washington decides to resist?

What are the disputes in South China Sea?
Prime Minister Abe earlier offered to provide coastal boats to neighbouring countries wary of Beijing’s tactics.

Chinese officials said Mr Abe was using the “myth” of a China threat to strengthen Japan’s security policy.

Tensions have flared recently, with China declaring an air defence zone in the East China Sea and adopting a more confrontational stance over the disputed islands in the South China Sea, correspondents say.

Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
Japan’s prime minister wants to play a more active role in regional security, Sharanjit Leyl reports
They say that although some Asean members will be reluctant to antagonise China because of their economic and political ties, others are likely to welcome an increased role from Japan.

Beijing claims a U-shaped swathe of the South China Sea that covers areas other South-East Asian nations say are their territory.

Military aid suspended
Turning to recent events in Thailand, Mr Hagel called on the coup authorities to release those it had detained and immediately to hold free and fair elections.

Until this happened, he said, the US would suspend all military assistance and engagement with Bangkok.
Thailand’s Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha gave his first televised address since the coup
His remarks came hours after Thailand’s coup leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said elections would not be held for more than a year, speaking in a televised address.

Gen Prayuth announced a three-phase plan leading up to the new elections, which includes two to three months of reconciliation and a year of drafting a new constitution and reforms.

The US and Thailand have long been allies – and have particularly strong military ties – so this will hurt more than the general condemnation that has been heard since the coup, says the BBC’s Jonah Fisher.

But it is still unlikely to make much difference to Gen Prayuth, our correspondent adds.

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

In immediate reaction, China described Hagel’s statement and call as a “Threat”.

 

NST story:

31 May 2014| last updated at 07:47PM

China slams US defence chief for ‘threats’

BEIJING: A Chinese military official on Saturday blasted the United States for making “threats” after the US defence chief accused Beijing of inflaming tensions in the disputed South China Sea, state television reported.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had denounced China’s “destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” at a security forum in Singapore which both officials are attending.

The Chinese army’s deputy chief of staff Wang Guanzhong described Hagel’s comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue as baseless.

“Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of threats and intimidating language.

Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of encouragement, incitement for the Asia region’s instability giving rise to a disturbance,” state broadcaster China Central Television quoted Wang as telling reporters.

“Secretary Hagel, in this kind of public space with many people, openly criticised China without reason. This accusation is completely without basis,” Wang said.

Tensions have recently flared in the South China Sea, claimed almost entirely by China, which has lately taken bold steps to enforce what it says are its historical rights.

Wang added the value of the Shangri-La Dialogue was to encourage exchanges, sometimes blunt, between governments and think-tanks but China should not be accused without basis, CCTV said.

China’s official Xinhua news agency on Saturday accused the United States of raising tensions in Asia, following Hagel’s speech.

“The United States has been trying to practise its approach of ensuring the safety of its allies by maintaining its military dominance,” it said.

“It even adopted the strategy of stoking fires to do this with the influence felt and visibly seen behind the tensions on the South China Sea.”

China has sought to counter Washington’s foreign policy “pivot” to Asia, but it has also angered Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines — the latter two US allies — with what those countries say are aggressive moves in separate maritime rows.

Relations between China and Vietnam have worsened after Beijing sent a deep-water oil drilling rig into contested waters in the South China Sea.

The Philippines accuses China of reclaiming land on a disputed reef within its exclusive economic zone under a United Nations convention, while Beijing and Tokyo have a long-running feud over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

On Friday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, vowed that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia and called for the rule of law to be upheld in the region.

Another commentary published by Xinhua on Saturday dismissed the speech as seeking to mask Japan’s military ambitions.

“Such rhetoric is fundamentally flawed when it came from the nationalist leader who has been trying to conjure up the militarist past of Japan in a drive to re-arm his country,” it said.

— AFP
Read more: China slams US defence chief for ‘threats’ – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/china-slams-us-defence-chief-for-threats-1.608996#ixzz33JY4yRiA

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The fact is that China’s protagonism strengthened United States allies within Asia-Pacific nations such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan and formed closer co-operation with Singapore, the Philippines and now Veitnam.

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Published in: on May 31, 2014 at 23:59  Comments (2)  

Lessons from Paracels XVI: The Panda Bluff and Snuff

China encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards

The imaginary and unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ where China is encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards

At the annual military-diplomacy Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, it is expected that China through Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) maintained that Asian nations should not form military alliance with third parties, without directly naming the United States, as their ‘defense mechanism’.

Deputy Chief General Staff PLA Lt. Gen. Wang Gunzhong is expected to delivery this at his speech titled “Major Power Perspective on Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific” at the Fourth Plenary session of Shangri-La Dialogue 2014 on Sunday 1 June 2014. He would share the platform with Russian Deputy Minister of Defence Anatoly Antonov.

Channel News Asia story:

China to promote its security theory at Shangri-La Dialogue

China said on Friday it would promote its own security theory at an Asian defence forum this weekend, setting the scene for a clash with neighbour and rival Japan.
BEIJING: China said on Friday it would promote its own security theory at an Asian defence forum this weekend, setting the scene for a clash with neighbour and rival Japan.

Beijing’s delegation to the so-called Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore will be headed by Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

The Chinese delegation will “fully elaborate on China’s security concept in Asia”, he said at a regular briefing.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is attending, will lay out at the meeting a vision of Tokyo — which has a security alliance with the US — as a counterweight to Beijing’s growing might, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported on Thursday.

But at a regional summit last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that countries should not build up military alliances in Asia.

“To beef up an entrenched or military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security,” Xi said, without naming names.

Beijing and Tokyo are embroiled in a bitter dispute over Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea.

Fu Ying, head of the foreign affairs committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, will also attend the Dialogue, Hong added.

Fu is a former vice foreign minister and ex-ambassador to London, and is considered a more effective communicator than most Chinese officials.

The three-day Asia Security Summit, starting on Friday, comes amid heightened tensions between China and its neighbours over maritime territorial rows.

As well as the dispute with Japan, China claims almost all of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, all members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and non-member Taiwan.

The row between Beijing and Hanoi is currently the most volatile, after China deployed a drilling rig in contested waters, and escalated this week when Vietnam accused a Chinese vessel of ramming and sinking a fishing boat nearby.

No one was hurt in the incident, which Beijing blamed on the Vietnamese vessel.

– AFP/gn

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The irony is that China has been behaving very aggressive with immediate neighbours and around the region, with little regards towards diplomacy and international pressures. PLA has been flexing its muscle by demonstration of projection of power and force, which is actually reflective of its ‘expansionary attitude’.

In late April week long visit to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, President Barack H. Obama reaffirmed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s earlier in the month commitment of United States’ readiness to come into the aid of allies around the region, when the threat is eminent, ‘clear and present danger’.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his keynote address tonight committed readiness to play a more active role in region security, amidst rising tension between China and Vietnam in disputed territories.

30 May 2014 Last updated at 15:14

Shangri-La dialogue: Japan PM Abe urges security role

Mr Abe said Japan would support Southeast Asian countries in ensuring regional security

Japan’s PM says his country will play a greater role in regional security and support South-East Asian countries in territorial disputes with China.

Shinzo Abe made the comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

The three-day summit involves the US and South-East Asian countries, and comes amid growing tensions between China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Chinese officials said Mr Abe was using the “myth” of a China threat to strengthen Japan’s security policy.

Japan-China ties have also been strained over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

‘Seas and skies’
Mr Abe gave the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue, also known as the Asia Security Summit, on Friday.

Japan, he said, would play “a more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain”.

“Japan will offer its utmost support for the efforts of the countries of Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] as they work to ensure the security of the seas and the skies.”
Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have confronted each other in disputed waters in the South China Sea

Top Chinese official Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying (centre) said Tokyo, not Beijing, was threatening regional security

Top Chinese official Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying (centre) said Tokyo, not Beijing, was threatening regional security

Mr Abe added that he supported efforts by the Philippines and Vietnam to resolve territorial disputes with China.

Earlier this month, the Japanese prime minister called for a new interpretation of the country’s constitution, which currently bans “the threat or use of force” to settle international disputes.

China, which had parts of its territory occupied by Japan during World War Two, has criticised the move.

On Friday, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying, who is also at the summit, said Mr Abe was “trying to amend the security policy of Japan” in a move that was “worrying for the region”.

Mr Abe had exacerbated regional tensions and the “myth” that China was “posing a threat to Japan”, she added.

Analysts say that although some Asean members will be reluctant to antagonise China because of their economic and political ties, others are likely to welcome an increased role from Japan.

‘Overplaying its hand’
China continues to unsettle its neighbours after declaring an air defence zone in the East China Sea and taking a more confrontational stance over disputed islands in the South China Sea, the BBC’s Sharanjit Leyl in Singapore reports.

The forum is a chance for senior delegates from the region to meet face to face and attempt to resolve tensions, our correspondent adds.

Beijing claims a U-shaped swathe of the South China Sea that covers areas other South-East Asian nations say are their territory.
Analysis: Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent

Mr Abe wants to step up support for countries locked in maritime disputes with Beijing. He condemned those who wished to”consolidate changes to the status quo” by dictating to others – another stab at China.

Mr Abe wants to change Japan’s post-war consensus to allow the country to take a more active role in collective defence. And it wasn’t just what Mr Abe said – it was where he said it.

There is no collective security organisation like Nato in Asia and thus the conference known as the Shangri-La Dialogue has become the main annual security “event” in the region.

This was the first time that a Japanese leader had given the keynote address there – a sure sign that Mr Abe wants Japan to take a more expansive role in the wider security debate.
On Tuesday, a Vietnamese fishing boat sank after it collided with a Chinese vessel near a controversial oil rig in the South China Sea, with both countries blaming the other for the incident.

Vietnam has protested against China moving its oil rig to waters also claimed by Hanoi, at a spot near the disputed Paracel Islands.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is in the process of taking China to a UN court over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said he would use the summit to raise issues “where we think China is overplaying its hand and presenting new challenges”.

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China which signed the United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) and the Document of Conduct (DOC) with ASEAN nations in November 2002 where it has been outlined that issues pertaining multiple claims and disputed territories should be be resolved through diplomatic channels such as dialogues, chose to deploy military units instead.

When the Philippines brought the contentious multiple claims on Scarborough Shoal to the International Court of Justice for arbitration, China’s rejection of the  move with the reaction that the United Nations body did not possess the necessary qualification to resolve the case.

It is obvious that China’s bluff can no longer hold water and their blatant and gross disregard to international opinion is reflective of their greed and self-serving attitude surpass even its own pride as an upcoming global economic and diplomatic power.

 

Published in: on May 31, 2014 at 02:00  Comments (3)  

Dirgahayu, A Malay Ruler

HRH Raja Muda Perak Raja Nazrin Shah accompanying His Majesty Seri paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV Tuanku Sultan Abdul Halim Al Muadzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah paying his last respect

HRH Raja Muda Perak Raja Nazrin Shah accompanying His Majesty Seri paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV Tuanku Sultan Abdul Halim Al Muadzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah paying his last respect

HRH Raja Muda Perak Tuanku Raja Nazrin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah has been proclaimed 35th Paduka Seri Sultan Perak, assuming the name Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah a few moments before the remains if HRH Sultan Azlah Muhibbuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Shah Gharafulullahu-Lah was taken for prayers at Ubudiah Mosque.

Soon after, HRH Almarhum laid to rest at the Royal Mausoleum.

58 years old HRH Sultan Nazrin is a Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduate from Oxford University and obtained MA and Ph.D from Kennedy School of Political Science, Harvard University, is probably the most academically learned Ruler. He is also honoured as a leading geo-political analysts, when appointed Royal Fellow at Institute of Strategic and International Studies.

He often speaks his mind about preserving Islam and Malay identity, tradition and values, in many opportunities to speak and address intellectual discourses. He has so far proven to have played his role as Constitutional Head very well and very firm about the Constitutional Monarchy democratic system.

As a Regent, his speeches about the development of Muslims are strong messages where the international community should take note.

The most remarkable was when Perak was in a deep political mess when DAP-puppet MB Ir. Nizar Jamaluddin and his DAP infested Perak State Government Excos were dismissed by HRH Paduka Seri Sultan on 9 February 2009, convinced that the Opposition lost the majority support in the State Assembly after 3 ADUNs left their respective parties and became pro-BN independent.

He also reminded that the Judiciary is not a platform for political dramas and stunts.

It is without doubt HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Shah thought process and impartiality provided the perfect example for a Ruler in the times of greatness Malay Sultanate.

Hence, he brought the glimmer of hope that the Constitutional Monarchy, Federal Constitution and separation of duties between the Crown, Executive and Judiciary should be preserved and uphold, to ensure stability, harmony, prosperity and progress for nation building process is followed through and the nation be brought to greater heights.

An intellectual. Articulate. Composed. Humble. Compassionate. An obedient son and a family man. A great Regent. Now, a model Ruler.

DAULAT TUANKU

Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 23:59  Comments (1)  

Lessons from Paracels XV: Umpire in the Game of Screaming Eagle Vs Panda

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

United States President Barack H. Obama reiterates its commitment to resolve international issues more aggressively which include commitment armed forces, “Military adventures”. Speaking aloud at US Army premier West Point Academy is designed for China and Russia which started to be rogue nations, starting to impose themselves into neighbours territories.

Fox News story:

Obama signals reset in US foreign policy, urges against ‘military adventures’

Published May 28, 2014 FoxNews.com May 28, 2014:

President Obama delivers the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.AP President Obama, in a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, signaled a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy — one that pulls back from what he described as “military adventures” while wielding American power in other ways.

The president described the new American foreign policy as one of “collective action” and restraint, deploying unilateral U.S. military force only when the American people are threatened. He outlined the approach a day after announcing his plan for gradually drawing down the U.S. force in Afghanistan once the war formally ends later this year. “The landscape has changed,” Obama told the graduating class at West Point on Wednesday, citing the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The president took on what he described as “interventionists” from both parties, and said that while “isolationism” is not an option, “U.S. military action cannot be the only — or even primary — component of our leadership in every instance.”

The president advised that crises around the world that don’t directly threaten Americans be met first with non-military options: diplomacy, sanctions and “collective action.” The president pointed to Syria as one battlefield where allies could work together to ease the crisis. He pledged to work with Congress to “ramp up support” for certain elements in the Syrian opposition who “offer the best alternative to terrorists and a brutal dictator.”

Separately, administration officials told The Associated Press that Obama and his team are weighing sending a limited number of U.S. troops to Jordan as part of a mission to train and equip certain moderate members of the Free Syrian Army. Republicans treated the president’s remarks Wednesday with skepticism. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the “new focus” on Syria, but voiced concern that the administration has been “weak” and squandered U.S. credibility abroad. “Since President Obama took office, a series of foreign policy plans and visions have been put forward; assurances have been made. But too often, strong words have been followed by weak actions, or no actions,” he said in a statement.

“The result has been a general loss of U.S. credibility, making successful foreign policy nearly impossible. President Obama’s diplomatic efforts cannot work if our allies lack confidence in U.S. commitments, and our opponents do not fear U.S. warnings.” The president’s address on Wednesday comes against a backdrop of numerous political and humanitarian crises around the world.

His administration, as it draws down troops from Afghanistan, is grappling with how to address violence and upheaval in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria, Libya and beyond. His address strongly suggests that Obama, in his final term, would be very reluctant to use military force for anything short of a direct threat on the homeland.

The president said the most direct threat continues to be terrorism, but called for partnering better with countries where those networks thrive. As part of that, he called for a fund of up to $5 billion to help governments in the Middle East and North Africa fight terrorism. “We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield,” he said, describing that as the test for intervention. Saying he is “haunted” by the deaths of U.S. troops, Obama said: “I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed.”

If Obama signs off on the Syria program, it would mark a significant boost in U.S. support to the rebels, who have repeatedly asked the U.S. for military help in their four-year-long war against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Administration officials said there is still internal discussion at the White House about the merits and potential risks of the program, which would involved instructing carefully vetted members of the Free Syrian Army on tactics, including counterterrorism operations.

However, the State Department, Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community, along with many in Congress who back the move, have concluded Assad will not budge without a change in the military situation on the ground, according to the officials. At the same time, there are growing fears about the threat posed by Al Qaeda-linked and -inspired extremists fighting in Syria, the officials said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee last week passed a defense bill that authorizes the Defense Department to provide training and equipment to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition. The U.S. already has covert support operations in place for the Syrian opposition, and it is not yet clear how the new program would work. The United States has spent $287 million so far in nonlethal aid on the civil war, now in its fourth year.

Rebel commanders for three years have been asking the U.S. for lethal assistance as they’ve seen gains wiped out one after another, but the U.S. has been reluctant to move to that kind of aid for fear weapons could end up in the hands of extremist rebels who might then turn on neighboring Israel or against U.S. interests.

The proposed mission would be coordinated by the U.S. but involve many of the regional players that are already active in assisting the rebels, including Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the officials said. Saudi cooperation is critical and has been a main topic of conversation between Washington and Riyadh, including Obama and Saudi King Abdullah, in recent weeks, the officials said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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China Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has been very aggressive in disputed territories around the region, in imaginary and unsubstantiated borders which they call as ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

China PLAN has had military stand off in very aggressive nature with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and now, soon to be expected a skirmish would erupt with Vietname for CNOPC USD1 billion deepwater gas platform being towed into what clearly is under Veitnam’s EEZ, as defined by the United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

On the other hand, Washington Post report that Obama wanted more ‘Non Military’ approach to resolves these issues and even contention.

 

Obama lays out new postwar foreign policy, stresses nonmilitary options

Video: During his commencement address at West Point, President Obama declared that the U.S. remains the world’s most indispensable nation, even after a “long season of war,” but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures. 1123 Sh Obama lays out new postwar foreign policy, stresses nonmilitary options

Video: During his commencement address at West Point, President Obama declared that the U.S. remains the world’s most indispensable nation, even after a “long season of war,” but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures.

By David Nakamura, Published: May 28 | Updated: Thursday, May 29, 1:10 AM E-mail the writers

WEST POINT, N.Y. — President Obama on Wednesday laid out a new, postwar foreign policy after more than a decade of combat overseas, outlining a global counterterrorism initiative and arguing for a balance between interventionism and “foreign entanglements.” In a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, he stressed the importance of nonmilitary options in addressing the world’s foreign policy challenges, as well as collective international action.

Video In a statement on Tuesday, President Obama marks 2014 as the year that combat operations in Afghanistan conclude and offers a preview of what the U.S.-Afghan relationship will look like in the future.

Read more: In Afghanistan, Obama’s troop withdrawal plan stirs fear Kevin Sieff MAY 28 Financial and security concerns are paramount, with one Afghan saying that “we will be in full crisis.” Transcript: Obama’s West Point commencement speech MAY 28 The president delivered the following remarks Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. P

resident Obama’s West Point speech explained in 13 tweets Aaron Blake MAY 28 The Post’s chief White House correspondent, Scott Wilson, owns Twitter. Coming more than six years into a presidency that has been devoted to winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement of his new foreign policy approach also featured a defense of his administration’s handling of foreign crises and a suggestion that some critics are out of step with a nation weary after 13 years of war.

He sought to strike a balance between those who want to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts and “interventionists on the left and right” who want to apply U.S. power to solve various world problems. “Each side can point to history to support its claims,” Obama said. “But I believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment. It is absolutely true that in the 21st century, American isolationism is not an option. . . . But to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution.”

[Read the text of Obama’s commencement speech.]

With the United States drawing down its forces in Afghanistan, Obama called on Congress to support a new $5 billion “Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund” to respond to evolving terrorist threats around the world. The White House said the program “will provide the flexibility and resources required to respond to emerging needs as terrorist threats around the world continue to evolve.”

Obama also defended his decision during his first term to surge forces in Afghanistan. “America’s security demanded those deployments,” he said. “But I am haunted by those deaths. I am haunted by those wounds. And I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.”

He said that “for the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” However, he added, “a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable. I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy — drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.”

As the United States transitions to a military training and advisory mission in Afghanistan, Obama said, “our reduced presence allows us to more effectively address emerging threats in the Middle East and North Africa.”

He said he asked his national security team earlier this year to “develop a plan for a network of partnerships” from South Asia to northern Africa. “Today, as part of this effort, I am calling on Congress to support a new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines,” Obama said. “These resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in Yemen who’ve gone on the offensive against al-Qaeda, supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in Somalia, working with European allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in Libya, and facilitating French operations in Mali.”

He said one critical focus of the effort would be the ongoing crisis in Syria, where three years of civil war have left more than 150,000 people dead and much of the country in ruins. He said the additional resources would allow the United States to step up efforts to support countries bordering Syria, which have had to host refugees and confront terrorists.

“The partnerships I’ve described do not eliminate the need to take direct action when necessary to protect ourselves,” Obama warned. “When we have actionable intelligence, that’s what we do.” But he said direct actions must conform with U.S. values. “That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where . . . there is near certainty of no civilian casualties,” he said. “For our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield.”

Obama added that he would increasingly ask the U.S. military “to take the lead and provide information to the public about our efforts.” While the intelligence community “has done outstanding work,” the need to protect sources and methods means that “when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion, we erode legitimacy with our partners and our people, and we reduce accountability in our own government.” In concluding his 40-minute address, Obama paid tribute to Gavin White, a 2011 West Point graduate who lost a leg in Afghanistan and whom Obama met last year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Now White is watching his sister, Morgan, graduate from the academy, Obama said. “We have been through a long season of war,” the president said. “We have faced trials that were not foreseen, and we’ve seen divisions about how to move forward. But there is something in Gavin’s character, there is something in the American character that will always triumph.”

Obama’s speech appeared aimed less at changing the terms of the national foreign policy debate in Washington than appealing to a war-weary electorate. It echoed Obama’s earlier defenses of his foreign policy — stressing such themes as multilateralism, Muslim outreach and ending torture — as a corrective to the approach of the George W. Bush administration.

Obama also aimed to use the images this week of him visiting troops and addressing the new Army officers to reaffirm his commitment to the Armed Forces after new reports emerged this month of falsified wait times at veteran hospitals, a problem the administration has struggled to respond to. Obama has long since moved past his initial skepticism about the United States’ role as an “indispensable nation.” He said Wednesday: “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

The administration’s request for $5 billion for the new counterterrorism partnerships in fiscal 2015 would also cover expanded or enhanced Defense Department efforts, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and Special Operations activities, the White House said in a fact sheet. Secretary of State John F. Kerry previewed the announcement early Wednesday in appearances on morning television programs. He also defended Obama’s decision to terminate the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 while keeping a residual force of 9,800 for another year and gradually reducing it to a small presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016. Kerry said on NBC’s “Today” show that Obama is telling the Afghans “by a specific time they have to take over management of their own security and military.” He said the Afghans must realize that they do not have “all the time in the world.” He added, however, “This is not an abandonment of Afghanistan. . . . This is an empowerment of Afghanistan.” Interviewed on “CBS This Morning,” Kerry said the pullout would allow the United States to put resources into fighting terrorism in other parts of the world. In announcing the new counterterrorism fund, the White House said it was finalizing the Defense Department portion of the fiscal 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations consistent with Obama’s decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. It said the request would “reflect a continued downward trajectory of war-related spending.” The new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund would “build on existing tools and authorities to allow the administration to respond to evolving terrorist threats,” the White House said. “It will allow us to pursue a more sustainable and effective approach to combating terrorism that focuses on empowering and enabling our partners around the globe.“ Branigin reported from Washington. Scott Wilson in Washington contributed to this report. ************ are to Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Add to PersonalPost Share via Email Print Article More By David Nakamura, Published: May 28 | Updated: Thursday, May 29, 1:10 AM E-mail the writers WEST POINT, N.Y. — President Obama on Wednesday laid out a new, postwar foreign policy after more than a decade of combat overseas, outlining a global counterterrorism initiative and arguing for a balance between interventionism and “foreign entanglements.” In a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, he stressed the importance of nonmilitary options in addressing the world’s foreign policy challenges, as well as collective international action. Video In a statement on Tuesday, President Obama marks 2014 as the year that combat operations in Afghanistan conclude and offers a preview of what the U.S.-Afghan relationship will look like in the future. Read more: In Afghanistan, Obama’s troop withdrawal plan stirs fear Kevin Sieff MAY 28 Financial and security concerns are paramount, with one Afghan saying that “we will be in full crisis.” Transcript: Obama’s West Point commencement speech MAY 28 The president delivered the following remarks Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. President Obama’s West Point speech explained in 13 tweets Aaron Blake MAY 28 The Post’s chief White House correspondent, Scott Wilson, owns Twitter. Coming more than six years into a presidency that has been devoted to winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement of his new foreign policy approach also featured a defense of his administration’s handling of foreign crises and a suggestion that some critics are out of step with a nation weary after 13 years of war. He sought to strike a balance between those who want to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts and “interventionists on the left and right” who want to apply U.S. power to solve various world problems. “Each side can point to history to support its claims,” Obama said. “But I believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment. It is absolutely true that in the 21st century, American isolationism is not an option. . . . But to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution.” [Read the text of Obama’s commencement speech.] With the United States drawing down its forces in Afghanistan, Obama called on Congress to support a new $5 billion “Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund” to respond to evolving terrorist threats around the world. The White House said the program “will provide the flexibility and resources required to respond to emerging needs as terrorist threats around the world continue to evolve.” Obama also defended his decision during his first term to surge forces in Afghanistan. “America’s security demanded those deployments,” he said. “But I am haunted by those deaths. I am haunted by those wounds. And I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.” He said that “for the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” However, he added, “a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable. I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy — drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.” As the United States transitions to a military training and advisory mission in Afghanistan, Obama said, “our reduced presence allows us to more effectively address emerging threats in the Middle East and North Africa.” He said he asked his national security team earlier this year to “develop a plan for a network of partnerships” from South Asia to northern Africa. “Today, as part of this effort, I am calling on Congress to support a new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines,” Obama said. “These resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in Yemen who’ve gone on the offensive against al-Qaeda, supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in Somalia, working with European allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in Libya, and facilitating French operations in Mali.” He said one critical focus of the effort would be the ongoing crisis in Syria, where three years of civil war have left more than 150,000 people dead and much of the country in ruins. He said the additional resources would allow the United States to step up efforts to support countries bordering Syria, which have had to host refugees and confront terrorists. “The partnerships I’ve described do not eliminate the need to take direct action when necessary to protect ourselves,” Obama warned. “When we have actionable intelligence, that’s what we do.” But he said direct actions must conform with U.S. values. “That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where . . . there is near certainty of no civilian casualties,” he said. “For our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield.” Obama added that he would increasingly ask the U.S. military “to take the lead and provide information to the public about our efforts.” While the intelligence community “has done outstanding work,” the need to protect sources and methods means that “when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion, we erode legitimacy with our partners and our people, and we reduce accountability in our own government.” In concluding his 40-minute address, Obama paid tribute to Gavin White, a 2011 West Point graduate who lost a leg in Afghanistan and whom Obama met last year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Now White is watching his sister, Morgan, graduate from the academy, Obama said. “We have been through a long season of war,” the president said. “We have faced trials that were not foreseen, and we’ve seen divisions about how to move forward. But there is something in Gavin’s character, there is something in the American character that will always triumph.” Obama’s speech appeared aimed less at changing the terms of the national foreign policy debate in Washington than appealing to a war-weary electorate. It echoed Obama’s earlier defenses of his foreign policy — stressing such themes as multilateralism, Muslim outreach and ending torture — as a corrective to the approach of the George W. Bush administration. Obama also aimed to use the images this week of him visiting troops and addressing the new Army officers to reaffirm his commitment to the Armed Forces after new reports emerged this month of falsified wait times at veteran hospitals, a problem the administration has struggled to respond to. Obama has long since moved past his initial skepticism about the United States’ role as an “indispensable nation.” He said Wednesday: “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.” The administration’s request for $5 billion for the new counterterrorism partnerships in fiscal 2015 would also cover expanded or enhanced Defense Department efforts, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and Special Operations activities, the White House said in a fact sheet. Secretary of State John F. Kerry previewed the announcement early Wednesday in appearances on morning television programs. He also defended Obama’s decision to terminate the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 while keeping a residual force of 9,800 for another year and gradually reducing it to a small presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016. Kerry said on NBC’s “Today” show that Obama is telling the Afghans “by a specific time they have to take over management of their own security and military.” He said the Afghans must realize that they do not have “all the time in the world.” He added, however, “This is not an abandonment of Afghanistan. . . . This is an empowerment of Afghanistan.” Interviewed on “CBS This Morning,” Kerry said the pullout would allow the United States to put resources into fighting terrorism in other parts of the world. In announcing the new counterterrorism fund, the White House said it was finalizing the Defense Department portion of the fiscal 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations consistent with Obama’s decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. It said the request would “reflect a continued downward trajectory of war-related spending.” The new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund would “build on existing tools and authorities to allow the administration to respond to evolving terrorist threats,” the White House said. “It will allow us to pursue a more sustainable and effective approach to combating terrorism that focuses on empowering and enabling our partners around the globe.“   Branigin reported from Washington. Scott Wilson in Washington contributed to this report.

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

United States is a strong ally with Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, which have border or multi-claimant issues and contention against China’s imaginary and unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’. United States is also a strong ally of Singapore and issues the Changi Naval Base as the region staging and technical support base even though Singapore is not in loggerheads with China.

Recently, Malaysia is also trying to be getting ‘chummy-chummy’ with the US Armed Forces, reflective in Defense Minister Dato’ Sri Hishammuddin Hussein’s commitment when he visited US Navy Pacific Command HQ in Pearl Harbour and Pentagon.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is making a unscheduled brief return home, to pay respects at Almarhum Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Tuanku Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Ghafarullahu Shah. HRH Almarhum Paduka Seri Sultan Perak’s  remains would be laid for the lie-in-state at Balai Rong Seri Iskandariah Palace in Bukit Chandan Kuala Kangsar for dignitaries and public to play respects.

Then a quick dash back to China, to continue his visit to commemorate the anniverasy of 40th year friendship with China, pioneered by his late father Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein on 30 May 1974 and made friends then with China Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong.

As part of the itinerary in this China visit, Malaysia would request a ‘softer’ approach to resolve border and multi claimant issues through dialogues and consultations, which has been outlined in the Document of Conduct (DOC) inked in November 2002 by ASEAN and China. In DOC, it was agreed to use UNCLOS as the reference basis, as a precursor to the Code of Conduct, which is the basis to resolve international and border disputes.

Probably the offer would be in the form of holding a regional summit hosted by Malaysia under the ASEAN sanction, where issues are brought to be resolved through consultations.

In reciprocity, it is expected that China would want Prime Minister Najib and Malaysia to play more extensive and effective roles in unwinding tensions build up so far with China PLAN’s arrogance and foreign policy attitude, by bridging diplomatic channels with ASEAN states such Veitnam and the Philippines and Japan.

President Barack H Obama and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak making a joint media conference after a four-eyed meeting in Perdana Putra

Malaysia is also expected to slowly bridge the same message to the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. This is in tandem with Prime Minister Najib’s growing capacity and role as a promising regional leader within ASEAN and, effective role and visibility and popularity in the international arena of Global Moderate Muslim.

There are very interesting developments to watch, especially when issues pertaining to China PLAN maneuvres all over South and East China Sea off late have been nothing but aggressive if not hostile in nature.

After all if it is hydrocarbon is the prize, then the best route to resolve this stand off is to move towards a win-win situation such as joint development programs.

 

Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 07:00  Comments (7)  

Belasungkawa

HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Tuanku Sultan Azlan Shah Ibni Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Shah

Reliable sources told that HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Tuanku Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Shah just passed away in Kuala Lumpur. He was 86.

A barrister by profession, he was with the Malayan Judicial and Judiciary Service and appointed a High Court judge in 1965 at 37 years old, at the time the youngest in Commonwealth.In 1973, he was made a Federal Court judge and six years later in 1979, Chief Justice of Malaya, an office which he held until his appointment as the youngest-ever Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia on 12 November 1982.

Kissing the Cura SiMajna Kini Keris, which marks the installation of HRH Sultan Azlah Shah as Paduka Seri Sultan Perak

Kissing the Cura SiMajna Kini Keris, which marks the installation of HRH Sultan Azlah Shah as Paduka Seri Sultan Perak

Nine months later, he was made HRH Raja Muda Perak by his uncle HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Tuanku Sultan Idris Almutawakkil Al Lallahi. Another twist fate happened when slightly over seven months later, Tuanku Sultan Idris passed away and HRH Sultan Azlah Shah was appointed by Dewan Negara Perak as the Paduka Seri Sultan.

Five years later brethren HRH Rulers appointed him as His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong IX between 26 April 1989 to 25 April 1994. He hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain of United Kingdom and Eire and Commonwealth, and many Presidents and Head of Countries when Malaysia oganised the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 1989.

HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah at the Lumut Naval base receiving Perdana Class Scorpene submarine KD Tun Razak, which sailed in with HRH Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idrs Shah, Deputy Defense Minister Dato’ Dr Latif Ahmad and Chief of Navy Laksamana Tan Sri Aziz Jaafar, July 2010

HRH Sultan Azlan was a keen sportsman and contributed immensely in the sporting of hockey, bicycle racing and golf. He also played his duty as the Constitutional Head for all military and diplomatic role very well.

He came into the political line of fire when he dismissed DAP-puppet Menteri Besar Ir Nizar Jamaluddin and the DAP led Perak Exco on 9 February 2009 after convinced that the Opposition coalition lost majority support in the Perak State Assembly, with the defection of two PKR and one DAP ADUNs. Instead, he appointed Pulau Pangkor ADUN Dato’ Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the 10th Perak Menteri Besar and invited him to form the Perak State Government.

His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong IX with HM Queen Elizabeth II on the state visit to United Kingdom

It became a point of contention from the Oppositions’ perspective where the appointment was challenged in High Court. The process went all the way upto Federal Court where it was ruled that HRH Paduka Seri Sultan lad constitutional powers to dismiss a Menteri Besar when one no longer enjoy majority support in the State Assembly.

*Updated 1545hrs

Perak Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir just officially announced the passing of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah on national TV. His remains would be brought back to Kuala Kangsar and would lie-in-state in the Iskandariah Bukit Chandan Palace Throne Room for the public to pay last respect between 1100am to 200pm tomorrow. HRH Rulers and foreign dignitaries shall pay their respect between 200-300pm.

HRH Sultan Azlan Shah would laid to rest after Asar prayers tomorrow in the Royal Mausoleum

Published in: on May 28, 2014 at 14:15  Comments (2)  

Lessons from Paracels XIV: The Dangerous Panda

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

China demonstrated its aggressive nature another step when vessel rammed into a Vietnamese fishing vessel and sink her, a few miles from the disputed Paracel Islands which was invaded by China in January 2014.

New York Times story:

China Tensions Grow After Vietnamese Ship Sinks in Clash

By JANE PERLEZMAY 27, 2014

BEIJING — Hair-trigger tensions in the South China Sea escalated Tuesday as China and Vietnam traded accusations over the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity of a Chinese oil rig parked in disputed waters off Vietnam’s coast.

The incident was almost certain to aggravate the already charged diplomatic and economic tensions between China and Vietnam, whose relations have plummeted to the worst in decades following anti-Chinese riots two weeks ago that killed at least four people.

In the latest incident, a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat about 17 nautical miles southwest of the rig on Monday afternoon, the state-run Vietnamese television network, VTV1, reported. All 10 crew members were rescued, the network said.
But Beijing labeled Vietnam as the aggressor, with the Chinese state-run news agency, Xinhua, saying the Vietnamese fishing boat “capsized when it was interfering with and ramming” a Chinese fishing vessel from Hainan, a province of China. Then China accused Vietnam of sabotage and interfering with the operations of the oil rig, which has become a flash point of tensions ever since Vietnam learned that the Chinese had set up the rig in waters contested by both nations.

Photo

A Chinese coast guard vessel, right, saiied near China’s oil drilling rig in disputed waters earlier this month in the South China Sea. Credit Hoang Dinh Nam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
At sea, armadas of ships from both countries are jousting with each other as the Chinese try to protect the $1 billion oil rig operated by the energy giant Cnooc and the Vietnamese attempt to disrupt its operations.

Chinese and Vietnamese boats have rammed each other in the area around the oil rig, and the Chinese have acknowledged that they used water cannons to keep the Vietnamese away from the rig, which stands as tall as a 40-story building.

The rig arrived in the waters off the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both China and Vietnam, on May 1, a unilateral move that showed China was willing to create “facts” establishing its control of the waters of the South China Sea without consulting with other claimants.

“Suddenly Chinese fishing boat #11209 crashed into Vietnamese fishing boat DNa 90152 with 10 fishermen on board,” the VTV1 television report said. A deputy colonel in the Vietnamese Coast Guard, Ngo Ngoc Thu, said the Chinese ship had a steel hull.

An armada of as many as 80 boats, including some from the Chinese Coast Guard, now patrol around the rig, creating a wide perimeter established by the Chinese, according to Vietnamese accounts.

Warships from both countries, including five Chinese frigates, have been observed from outside the perimeter, American officials say.

Chinese social media sites lit up Tuesday with nationalistic postings inspired by the placement of the oil rig and Monday’s clash at sea. Users of ifeng.com, the website of Phoenix Television, a Hong Kong-based satellite network, sent congratulations to the Chinese ship for its action in sinking the Vietnamese vessel.

“Now this is showing some backbone,” said one anonymous user. “Good going, finally seeing some news of concrete action,” said another.

And the depth of anti-Chinese sentiment in Vietnam was on stark display last Friday when a 67-year-old Vietnamese woman set herself on fire and died in Ho Chi Minh City, an echo of the self-immolations by Buddhist monks in South Vietnam in the early 1960s during the Vietnam War.

In the latest incident, the woman burned herself at dawn in the center of the city, and she left behind papers imploring the Vietnamese government to act more aggressively against the Chinese oil rig, city officials said.

Continue reading the main story

Map: Territorial Disputes in the Waters Near China
Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
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The episode between the Chinese and Vietnamese fishing vessels came after anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam resulted in the deaths of four Chinese workers and injuries to more than 100. China evacuated several thousand workers from Vietnam last week.

A report by Xinhua on Tuesday cited Cnooc as saying that the rig had finished its first phase of operation and would stay in the area until mid-August. The Vietnamese Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department said the rig was moved about a few hundred feet north on Sunday, but the significance of the move was not immediately clear.

In a signal of how China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, now views the South China Sea as a top foreign policy priority, the country’s vice foreign minister said Tuesday that the sea was central to China’s very existence as a global economic power.

“Being the lifeline for China, the South China Sea is far more important to China than to other countries,” the minister, Liu Zhenmin, told reporters in Beijing.

China and Vietnam have enjoyed good relations between the Communist parties that run the two governments, and according to people close to the Vietnamese, the parking of the oil rig in disputed waters came as a surprise.

Since May 1, China has declined to hold substantive talks with Vietnam on the rig or the territorial claims in the South China Sea, a further indication of China’s resolve to make its claims unilaterally, Asian diplomats say. In response, Vietnam has threatened to take the matter to international arbitration, as the Philippines has already done.

The United States has urged restraint on both sides, and Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, the commander of the Pacific Fleet, warned last Friday that the proximity of the boats around the oil rig could lead to a collision.

It was initially impossible to determine whether the Chinese government controlled the Chinese fishing vessel involved in the clash, said Dennis J. Blasko, a former military attaché at the American embassy in Beijing. “We don’t know enough yet if this was coordinated or an individual action,” he said.

Many fishing boats are part of the Chinese militia, which are part of the Chinese armed forces, he said. “If the boat was part of the militia, it could have gotten an order fro the People’s Armed Forces Department,” he said.

The Chinese have publicly acknowledged that 80 percent of China’s fishing boats, including those operating out of Hainan, carry navigation equipment that is subsidized by the Chinese government.

The Beidou navigation satellite system, considered to be a Chinese version of GPS, allows the boats to send instant alarms and short messaging services, according to Qi Chengye, a manger of BDStar Navigation, which provides the Beidou system to Chinese vessels.

“The Chinese government is giving large subsidies to encourage fishermen to install BDS,” Mr. Qi said in an interview in Xinhua last year.

Chau Doan contributed reporting from Hanoi and Chris Buckley from Hong Kong. Bree Feng contributed research from Beijing.

NEXT IN ASIA PACIFIC

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

At another disputed island, China scrambles jet against Japanese aircraft near Senkaku.

CNN story:

 

Close call as China scrambles fighter jets on Japanese aircraft in disputed territory

By Tim Hume, CNN
May 26, 2014 — Updated 1923 GMT (0323 HKT)

This disputed islands in the East China Sea are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Hong Kong (CNN) — Territorial tensions between China and Japan have flared after a close encounter between their military jets in disputed airspace over the East China Sea.
The neighboring rivals accused each other of potentially triggering a dangerous incident, after two pairs of Chinese fighter jets were scrambled and flew unprecedentedly close to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane and a YS-11EB electronic intelligence aircraft Saturday.
The fly-bys occurred in airspace claimed by both countries as part of their “air defense identification zones,” while China carried out joint maritime exercises with Russia at the weekend.
Japan claims the flights were part of a routine reconnaissance mission near a group of uninhabited islands claimed by both nations, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
Japan, China in dispute over claimed space Tensions rise over Asian islands Japan arrests 14 pro-China activists
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of National Defense described the move as a justified enforcement of the country’s air defense zone.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said it was the closest that Chinese jets had come to Japanese aircraft — passing about 30 meters from one plane and 50 meters from another.
“We believe this proximity and behavior does not follow common sense,” he said.
He said the flight crews reported the Chinese planes were armed with missiles. “The crews were on edge as they responded.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that Japan had lodged a protest to China through diplomatic channels over the incident.
“This should never happen,” he said.
Beyond meeting the Japanese aircraft, the Chinese jets took no further action, and the Japanese pilots returned to base.
READ MORE: China’s ‘air defense identification zone,’ explained
In response, a statement from China’s Ministry of National Defense blamed Japan for the incident, saying that the Chinese and Russian navies had issued “no-fly” notices in the area ahead of the maritime drill.
According to the statement, carried by Chinese state media, the ministry had since lodged a complaint with Japan and called on it to “stop all surveillance and interference activities.” “Otherwise, all the consequences that might be caused will be borne by the Japanese side,” read the statement.

An image of a Chinese fighter jet released by Japan’s Defense Ministry after the incident.
Tensions in recent years over China’s increasingly assertive stance towards territorial claims escalated in November when it unilaterally declared an “air defense identification zone,” or ADIZ, that included stretches of disputed territory.
An ADIZ is essentially a buffer zone outside a country’s sovereign airspace, in which nations request that approaching aircraft identify themselves. The United States and Japan have both declared such zones around their territories.
Both countries immediately challenged China’s declaration of its ADIZ in November, with the United States sending two unarmed B-52 bombers through the airspace without notifying Chinese authorities.
The disputed island standoff regularly sees the coast guards of China and Japan tail each other around the island chain.
While the islands are uninhabited, their ownership would allow for exclusive oil, mineral, and fishing rights in surrounding waters, and their status has been a regular flashpoint in Sino-Japanese relations.

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

These incidents are rude demonstrations of arrogant attitude towards neighbours. Clearly, the reciprocity would neither be kind nor condescending. It is interesting what is the remark if not reaction of United States, which is regard Japan as a strong ally and recent found friendship with once enemy Vietnam.

What is more interesting is Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s remarks, who is in China from today to commemorate 40th anniversary of friendship on 30 May 2014, where his father Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein pioneered from ASEAN. Prime Minister Najib is expected to attend a private four eyed dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China has had border disputes with Japan, Vietnam, India and Pakistan and territorial disputes which are against principles outlined under the United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) with South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

China’s cry to its neighbours to resolve territorial disputes “Through talk, amongst ourselves as Asians”. However, China’s recent escalation actions are not reflective of neighbourly behavior and attitude.

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 22:00  Comments (10)  

DAP Dyana the Liar

DAP candidate for P76 Teluk Intan by-election Dyana Sofya Mohd. Daud, who is effectively Emperorissimo of Middle Malaysia Lim Kit Siang’s political concubine, clearly lied about her mother Kak Yammy Samad’s involvement in Right Wing Malay NGO PERKASA.

Unequivocally, she lied about her involvement too not too long ago.

DAP candidate for Teluk Intan Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud and mother Kak Yammy Daud, in a PERKASA membership counter at the launch of the Malay NGO website

DAP candidate for Teluk Intan Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud and mother Kak Yammy Daud, on duty in a PERKASA membership drive counter at the launch of the Malay NGO website, 21 Oct 2008

This is the true colours of Dyana and Kak Yammy. Opportunists, political failures and now being manipulated as a tool by the Chinese Chauvinist DAP to break the Malay ‘inherent taboo’ towards the party and at the same time, project the ‘New Malay’.

In reality, Chinese Chauvinist DAP stalwarts would not provide room and space of Malay leaders, except to front for specific purposes. The experience of Tunku Aziz who was once idealistic about democracy and brought in as Vice Chairman in DAP and Penang based Zulkifli Mohd. Noor, who was brought in as the front when Tunku Aziz left.

*Video and photo courtesy of bloggo-photo-journo Minaq Jinggo

 

Published in: on May 25, 2014 at 14:30  Comments (18)  

Aimless, Oppositionotopia

Malaysians have been hoodwinked by the Opposition in their alternative-media-charged systematic and continuous ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy which is nothing more than repackaged dramatisation of victimisation perspective, manipulated for several intents of malice.

The hard facts of Malaysian politics point that the loose coalition of Opposition in the unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bed-fellows got nothing substantial at all to offer but hatred towards BN’s uninterrupted success of nation building since almost 60 years ago.

They cry against malpractice and abuse of the democracy and democratic process but they themselves, clearly proven in the DAP CWC election 2012 and PKR CWC elections, twice, are marred with deception, manipulation and denial of rights.

They acuse BN of controlling and abusing the Judiciary but in reality, they are the ones who demonstrated blatant disrespect which some tantamount to contempt of court.

They can’t agree amongst themselves with issues fundamental and principle in nature. For instance is Hudud.

In the run up to the last GE, they cannot even come up with a ‘Shadow Cabinet’ where demonstrates clearly how each party distrust each other and do not have a formula to govern, if and when they can form a Federal Government.

In the ongoing Bukit Gelugor Parliamentary by-election, DAP dont really have a substantial campaign except “I am Karpal Singh” because BN refused to contest. It is the damning proof that DAP has nothing progressive to offer.

The truth is that, without doubt Karpal Singh was a very famous lawyer, did not do much for the people of Bukit Gelugor.

Published in: on May 24, 2014 at 18:00  Comments (6)  

The Panda-Bear Deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin inspecting a guard of honour with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the former’s official visit to China

Russia and China sealed a very large energy deal, in Russian President Vlaidimir Putin’s second day official visit to China. Gazprom would be supplying natural gas to CNPC for an amount believed to be USD400 billion over the next 30 years.

BBC story:

21 May 2014 Last updated at 12:58

Russia signs 30-year gas deal with China

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller (centre) and CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping shake hands as Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during the signing ceremony in Shanghai

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed a multi-billion dollar, 30-year gas deal with China.

The deal between Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has been 10 years in the making.

Russia has been keen to find an alternative energy market for its gas as it faces the possibility of European sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

No official price has been given but it is estimated to be worth over $400bn.

President Putin said in a statement to the Russian news channel Rossiya: “The price is satisfactory for both sides.

“It is tied, like it is envisaged in all our international contracts with Western partners, specifically our partners in Western Europe, to the market price on oil and oil products. It is an absolutely calibrated, general formula for pricing.”

Gazprom shares rose 2% on the news.
How significant is the deal?
The agreement, signed at a summit in Shanghai, is expected to deliver some 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year eastward to China’s burgeoning economy, starting around 2018.

The main argument has been over price and China is thought to have been driving a hard bargain.

Over the last 10 years it has found other gas suppliers. Turkmenistan is now China’s largest foreign gas supplier, and last year it started importing piped natural gas from Myanmar.

Alexei Miller, Chief Executive of Gazprom said the new deal was “the biggest contract in the entire history of the USSR and Gazprom – over 1 trillion cubic metres of gas will be supplied during a whole contractual period.”
Analysis: Jamie Robertson, BBC News
The gas deal between Russia and China was signed at 04:00 China time, which gives some indication of the level of urgency over these talks. Mr Putin appears to have been determined not to leave Shanghai without a deal – and he got one.

But the financial details are a “commercial secret”, so we don’t know how much he had to give away to get it. Certainly China needs the gas to help it cut its coal-fired smog levels, and it wants to diversify supply. But it had the luxury of time in which to negotiate, something Mr Putin was short of.

The perceived motive for the deal is that Russia needs a second market for its gas, so it can face up to European sanctions. Given that the “Power of Siberia” pipeline won’t start pumping gas into Chinese factories until 2018 at the earliest, its economic effect on the European crisis will be limited.

More important may be the investment that China will make into Russia’s power and transport infrastructure. Putin may not have managed to sign the most advantageous of gas deals on Wednesday but the opening of economic doors with China could well be the greater achievement.
Rain Newton-Smith, head of emerging markets at Oxford Economics, said: “The whole tenet of the deal has a symbolic value – it says that the two countries are prepared to work with one another. For instance there were other elements such as Chinese participation in Russian transport infrastructure and power generation.

“It is similar in many ways to China’s investments in Africa where they drive a hard bargain over the price of raw materials but then provide infrastructure for the economies they are doing business with.

Jonathan Marcus, the BBC’s defence and diplomatic correspondent said tensions between Russia and the west were not just over Ukraine: “There are fundamental differences over Syria and about the whole direction in which President Vladimir Putin is taking his country.

“Thus this deal could symbolise an important moment of transition – when both in economic and geo-political terms, Russia’s gaze begins to look more towards the East than towards the West.”

Siberian power
Another sticking point on the deal has been the construction of pipelines into China.

Currently there is one complete pipeline that runs across Russia’s Far East to the Chinese border, called The Power of Siberia. It was started in 2007, three years after Gazprom and CNPC signed their initial agreement in 2004.

But financing the $22-30bn cost of sending it into China has been central to the latest discussions.

China is Russia’s largest single trading partner, with bilateral trade flows of $90bn (£53bn) in 2013.

The two neighbours aim to double the volume to $200bn in 10 years.

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

The deal inked after a ten year initiative is the largest energy deal in the world.

Meanwhile, this first visit since China President Ji Xinping came into power also renewed the ‘Eastern Bloc military co-operation’.

The Guardian story:

Putin looks to improve China relations amid rising tensions with the west

China trip interpreted as part of a pivot toward Asia, coming after multiple rounds of sanctions from the US, EU and Japan

Alec Luhn in Moscow
theguardian.com, Tuesday 20 May 2014 21.18 BST

Chinese president Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for Russian president Vladimir Putin after his arrival in Beijing. Photograph: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media
Vladimir Putin arrived in China on Tuesday set on increasing cooperation after Russia’s relations with the west soured over the Ukraine crisis. But Beijing holds far more cards at the negotiating table, and the most significant deal, a gas export agreement, had yet to be signed as the visit wound down.

Meanwhile, the two countries began joint military exercises in the East China Sea in a clear show of strength against Japan, a western ally that has long-running territorial disputes with both Russia and China.

Coming after multiple rounds of sanctions from the United States, the European Union and Japan, Putin’s China trip has been interpreted as part of a pivot toward Asia.

“This is where it’s important for Putin to demonstrate that he has other centres of geopolitical power to turn to … to demonstrate to domestic society and to the international community that relations with the west are not as important as people think,” said Vladimir Milov, a former deputy energy minister who is now director of the Moscow-based Institute of Energy Policy. “He wants to show he has partner in the east. If the west doesn’t want our energy, then we’ll sell it to China.”

“The US sanctions upgrade China’s importance to Russia as the one major economy in the world that is not susceptible to the US-led sanctions drive,” wrote Carnegie Moscow Centre director Dmitri Trenin in a post published on Monday.

Closer ties between Moscow and Beijing have been expected since long before the Ukraine crisis, however. Russia has been looking eastward to diversify its energy customers since Europe, which gets 24% of its gas from Russia, is expected to reduce its dependence. A new foreign policy concept published by the Russian government in 2013 noted the importance of friendly relations with China and India, and Russia and China have often joined together to oppose the western members of the United Nations security council.

Nonetheless, trade has remained relatively small at $89bn in 2013, and Russia has not been able to ink a gas export deal that has been in the works since 2006. Moscow has long been resistant to allowing Chinese investment in strategic oil and gas infrastructure in Russia.

But that informal ban has reportedly been lifted, and in an interview with Chinese media before his trip, Putin said Russia and China were “moving toward the formation of a strategic energy alliance.” He also pledged to increase trade volumes to $200bn by 2020 and said $20bn was being invested in joint projects between the countries.

A number of deals were signed during the visit: Russia’s state-owned United Aircraft Corporation and China’s Comac also signed a memorandum to cooperate on creating a long-distance airliner to compete with Boeing and Airbus, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced the construction of a railway bridge across the Amur River between China and Russia. Putin and Xi were also expected to discuss possible arms deals offering China favourable conditions to purchase Russian weapons.

But the centrepiece of the visit was clearly meant to be the long-awaited gas deal, and some of the most powerful men in Russia’s fossil fuels industry reportedly accompanied Putin, including Gazprom head Alexei Miller and recently sanctioned Rosneft head Igor Sechin. The final list of documents signed during the trip, however, didn’t contain the gas agreement.

The sticking point, by all indications, was the price: Although the details are secret, China was reportedly demanding $10-11 per cubic foot of gas, below Gazprom’s typical minimum of $12. Chinese financing is also needed to develop the virgin east Siberian gas fields and build a new pipeline, which will cost tens of billions of dollars.

Milov said he expects Russia to eventually cave to Chinese demands “because it needs the contract more.”

Putin is making this deal “keeping in mind that most of his trade ties are with the west, which is quickly becoming an adversary,” Milov said. “He thinks russia needs to develop new partners and he’s willing to pay for it.”

Meanwhile, military exercises involving a total of 14 ships, two submarines and 15 aircraft began in the East China Sea, near the disputed Senkake Islands controlled by Japan. Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Centre for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said the conditions of the war games were more advantageous for China, but Russia had to accept them due to the “strategic solitude” following the Ukraine crisis.

“Chinese support in Ukraine is tacit, not proactive, but here they are trying to use us to show that we are doing joint exercises against Japan,” Pukhov said. “It’s like two bargaining chips but the Chinese chip is cheaper and smaller than ours.”

“We have powerful enemies but we don’t have powerful friends, that’s why we need the support of such a giant as China,” he added.

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

The current military exercise off the disputed islands with Japan, Senkaku, is China’s projection of force reciprocity to United States renewed commitment for military backing to Japan during President Barack S. Obama’s visit to East and South East Asia four weeks ago.

Published in: on May 22, 2014 at 01:00  Comments (5)  

Belasungkawa

HRH Tunku Bendahara Kedah Tunku Annuar awarding MB Kedah Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir with Darjah Setia DiRaja Kedah (DSDK) on 20 Jan 2014

Deepest heartfelt condolences to His Majesty Sultan of Kedah and Kedahans for the sudden passing of Almarhum HRH Tunku Bendahara Kedah Tunku Tan Sri Annuar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, Chairman of Kedah Royal Advisory Council and Regent of Kedah on very early hours of 21 May 2014.

On 12 December 2011, Almarhum was appointed Chairman of the Council of Regency after HRH Sultan Kedah Tuanku Abdul Halim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badli Shah became Seri Paduka baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong XIV. Other members of the council include his brothers Tunku Sallehuddin, Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani, and Tuanku Abdul Halim’s daughter Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz.

HRH Almarhum Tunku Bendahara Kedah Tunku Annuar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah signing the instrument of appointment as the Chairman of the Kedah Royal Council and Regent of Kedah

May Allah S.W.T. bless his soul.

Al Fatihah.

The Kedah State Government has not announced the funeral plans for Almarhum. It is expected the State Secretariat would make the official announcement at the first order of the day.

Published in: on May 21, 2014 at 02:30  Comments (1)