Premonition Vs Proton preservation precedence

Proton opted to go with Geely Automation as a solution to end its decline, as the new foreign strategic partner from China has a track record of turnaround and projected a brand new series of product and image for a brand universally synonymn with boring cars known preservation of life.

The Star story based on Bernama report:

Thursday, 25 May 2017 | MYT 3:27 PM

Li Shufu, the man who dared to buy Proton

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/05/25/07/28/li-shufu.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=1A28A1D0184BC9A8EB47A4BEA7D84FFD964C3897

 Filepix of Li Shufu

Filepix of Li Shufu

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese entrepreneur and founder of Geely Automobile, Li Shufu, is the man who dared to buy loss-making national car maker Proton.

After years of dwindling sales and financial losses, it is hoped that finally now, Shufu is the man who would work his “magic”’ in reviving Proton as he did with prestigious Swedish auto maker Volvo.

Given his proven track record in turning round loss-making auto companies, the Malaysian government and Proton’s parent company DRB-Hicom are confident he will herald a new era of growth for Proton.

Yesterday, DRB-Hicom signed an agreement with China-based Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Ltd for the Chinese car group to acquire 49.9% in the national car maker.

Under the deal, Proton would also dispose its entire stake in British sports carmaker Lotus for 100 million pounds (£1=RM5.57), a move that will enable Proton to cut its losses.

As Geely’s owner, Shufu owns 100% of Volvo, yet many might not be aware that the owner hails from China.

Shufu is rare among today’s many Chinese entrepreneurs for taking on auto manufacturing as it is a sector dominated by state enterprises and multinationals.

He founded Geely in 1986 to build refrigerators and became an automaker in 1997 when he wanted to produce a cheap car for the masses.

Geely Group now has reached 1.3 million car sales in the financial year 2016.

And, Shufu is now reportedly worth a staggering US$7bil.

As an entrepreneur-owner, his almost 50% ownership is a major plus point which Proton would derive from the partnership.

This is because Geely is a “entrepreneur driven” auto company and one of the few left in the world as opposed to car firms owned by state enterprises and multinationals.

As an entrepreneur-owner, there would undoubtedly be a greater sense of personal commitment to ensure that Proton achieves success at the domestic, regional and possibly global levels.

No wonder he is sometimes referred to as the ‘’Henry Ford of China.’’  Before he bought Volvo in 2010, the Swedish car maker owned by Ford then was on the brink of extinction.

He also owns the iconic London taxi Company.

With Geely’s expertise, one can expect new Proton models, transfer of technology, more jobs, auto engineers and bigger orders for parts vendors.

The partnership can also help ramp up production capacity of its under-utilised Tanjung Malim plant to its full annual capacity.

The Chinese firm’’s acquisition of Proton nicely fits into its plans to make its presence felt in South-east Asia for which it has been on the lookout for a manufacturing plant in the region.

Investor sentiment on Geely has been immensely favourable with its share price on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange having risen from HK$3.77 in 2014 to HK$11.50 as of May 22, 2017.

Only time will tell whether Proton would emerge as a formidable automative player again.

Nevertheless, with Shufu and Geely providing solid backing, our very own and much-loved Proton brand now has a real chance of making a comeback, and probably a huge comeback at that- Bernama


Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/05/25/li-shufu-the-man-who-dared-to-buy-proton/#qSG4qW5GWAfjQlAT.99

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The most popular blog and leading cybersphere automotive industry authority Paul Tan dot org is bullish on Geely’s partnership with Proton.

Geely’s revitalisation of Volvo augurs well for Proton

Zhejiang Geely offered an insight into the company’s background at the announcement of the Proton-Geely deal yesterday, and one of the presentation slides made note of Volvo Cars and of its revival and current growth, something the Chinese automaker was naturally proud to highlight, albeit subtly.

For good reason – when it purchased the Swedish automaker from Ford in August 2010 for US$1.5 billion in cash and debt, Volvo wasn’t in the pink of health, the company shifting just 335,000 units in 2009. Many didn’t think that the acquisition would amount to much in terms of success, that the brand could be saved by the Chinese company.

As developments have shown, the gamble paid off, and handsomely at that. Geely accomplished the turnaround with an injection of capital to the tune of US$11 billion, the investment used to revitalise the line-up with fresh models and develop innovative technologies. Key Volvo personnel were retained, which helped stability and continuity.

Products and technologies brought about by the transformation programme include the XC90, S90 and V90as well as new modular platforms, the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). Developed for larger and smaller cars respectively, both vehicle platforms are capable of incorporating either hybrid or fully electric car technologies.

An emphasis on electrification has also come about. In October 2015, the automaker announced a comprehensive series of electrification strategies, and these will see the introduction of plug-in hybrids across its entire range, the development of an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars and the advent of a fully electric car by 2019.

Underpinned by the CMA platform, the latter is set to be built in China for global export. The lofty ambitions on this front also targets to introduce up to a million electrified vehicles into the market by 2025.

All this has been reflected in strong sales growth over the last few years. By 2014, sales had climbed to 466,000 cars, and 2015 saw the automaker registering 503,127 units, the first time Volvo sold more than half a million cars in its 89-year history. Last year, it achieved its aim for a hat-trick of annual record sales, with 2016 sales amounting to 534,332 units.

The success Geely has had with Volvo augurs well for a similar transformation to take place with Proton. The Chinese company has stated it aims to revitalise Proton, and has pledged to make its global resources, knowledge and management skills available to the national carmaker.

Do you think Geely will be able to achieve its target of making Proton the number one Malaysian brand again, and into a leading brand in Southeast Asia? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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The opinion is also shared by global business paper Bloomberg dot com.

Geely’s Proton Therapy

By David Fickling

ay 24, 2017 2:48 AM EDT

GEELY AUTOMOBILE HOLDINGS LT

+0.04

AT CLOSING, MAY 25TH

11.70 HKD

China’s most acquisitive auto mogul is at it again.

Li Shufu, founder and controlling shareholder of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., is adding another distressed asset to the trophy cabinet he’s assembled over the past decade. His holding company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, has agreed to buy half of Proton Holdings Bhd., Malaysia’s former national champion carmaker, the Chinese company said in a statement Wednesday.

49.9%

Li can add Proton — propped up by Kuala Lumpur with a 1.5 billion ringgit ($349 million) loan last April — to a collection of waifs and strays that includes Volvo Car AB and the London Taxi Corp., makers of that city’s famed black cabs. The question for Proton’s employees and current owner DRB-Hicom Bhd., which will hold on to the other half of the business, is whether the deal means a trip to the hospital, or the hospice.

There is actually reason for optimism. Volvo, which Li bought from Ford Motor Co. for $1.8 billion in 2010, has performed rather well since the deal. While Ford’s operating margin has flailed around the low single digits, contributing to the company’s decision to replace Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields this week, Volvo’s has steadily risen. Its net income was about 1 percent of Ford’s in 2011, the first full year of Li’s ownership; in 2016, it came to about 19 percent of its former parent’s.

Not every acquisition has gone so well. London Taxi continues to hemorrhage money, with 8.8 million pounds ($11.4 million) of losses since Li took the group under his wing in 2013. Even there, though, the underlying business is arguably performing better, with operating income of 1.5 million pounds in 2015 versus a 1.8-million-pound operating loss two years earlier.

Li’s strategy in many way resembles that of Carlos Ghosn, who has likewise stitched together a global automotive group by picking up stakes in companies at distressed prices, assembling the sprawling alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co., and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. As with Renault-Nissan, Zhejiang Geely has been trying to reduce duplicated costs at its various brands by building its Volvo and Geely cars off a common platform, sharing production lines and collaborating on developing hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

Country and Western

Volvo’s sales into China have been rising faster than Geely’s sales to the world

Source: Company reports

That’s probably a better strategy than the one followed by Ratan Tata. While Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover acquisition has proved an even greater success than Geely’s investment in Volvo, there’s been little opportunity for synergies between that high-end operation and Tata’s low-cost domestic brand. As a result, the British business continued to supply the overwhelming majority of Tata Motors’ group profits in annual results Tuesday.

Proton would provide a better opportunity for integration. In geographic terms, it would play a similar role to Mitsubishi’s standing within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, delivering the broader group an entree into Southeast Asia. Its relatively affordable cars could also provide a nice bridge between the premium Volvo segment and Geely’s own-brand vehicles, while Proton’s Lotus marque provides a bit of diversification into sexier sports cars. The dealer network around Asia, Australia and the U.K., while modest, could help revive Geely’s flagging export sales, too.

Whether that will be enough to knit together Li’s disjointed network of automotive investments is another matter — but the odds are certainly better for entrepreneurial outfits like Geely than they are for the giant state-owned enterprises that dominate China’s domestic industry in volume terms.

The Dead Hand

Return on equity at China’s state-owned joint venture carmakers is worse than at independents

Source: Bloomberg

Note: Latest fiscal year figures.

As Gadfly has argued previously, most SOEs are still a long way from acting as anything more than parasites on their foreign joint-venture partners — one reason that they’ve argued so vociferously against government plans to relax the restrictionsaround international ownership.

While Geely’s state-owned rivals focus on taxing offshore automakers who want to sell cars in China, Li has a vision for the world. In China’s parochial car industry, that’s a refreshing change.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

  1. London Taxi counts some slightly odd costs as one-time items and excludes them from what it considers underlying earnings. In 2015, those included 1.1 million pounds for “legal fees in connection with litigation against a competitor” and 2.4 million pounds that was described as “operational readiness” in connection with the establishment of a new factory for zero-emission taxis. It’s not clear why the latter figure isn’t capitalized to the balance sheet.

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The strategic partnership with a credible foreign partner was a condition as per announced by MITI Minister Dato’ Seri Mustapha Mohamad slightly over a year ago on the RM1.5 billion rescue plan for Proton.

The announcement by Minister of Finance II Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani stated the cinqco-factor is very apt and timely.

The Volvo story the past five years is an interesting one. The investment by Geely Automation enabled the Swedish automaker to progress a one time dying brand, which Ford was not able to do.

Volvo proceeded into rapid research and development programs with provided the ability to introduce refreshed brand new models with top of the line technology and quality, manifested in the VC90 T8 SUVs and S90 saloons.

The revitalisation of Proton would bring about progression to existing Malaysian automotive industry SMIs. The infusion of Geely Automation into Proton as the strategic partner is the much needed growth for the national car project with better funds for research and development, opening up new market like China and eventually the repackaging of the brand.

The competitive advantage for Proton and the entire Malaysian automotive manufacturing industry would propel the eco-system into higher position.

It is expected that automotive giant DRB-Hicom, which invested to takeover Proton from Khazanah in 2012, ends its financial haemorrhage with this partnership.

The Star story:

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 | MYT 7:00 PM

Proton weighs on DRB-Hicom, RM991m net loss in FY16

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2016/01/18/10/35/proton-badge.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=42931971732789CB8228A59AC57A752E524A445D

Weak foreign exchange affected Proton's raw material cost.

Weak foreign exchange affected Proton’s raw material cost.

KUALA LUMPUR: DRB-Hicom Bhd posted net losses of RM991.90mil in the financial year ended March 31, 2016, mainly due to the poor performance of Proton, which was a stark contrast for the diversified group with the earnings of RM300.19mil a year ago.

The group announced on Tuesday its revenue fell 11% to RM12.17bil from RM13.68bil a year ago.

It incurred a pre-tax loss of RM821.27mil compared with a pre-tax profit of RM501.83mil a year ago.

“The losses were attributed largely to the poor performance of Proton’s group with lower sales of motor vehicles amidst stiff competition, volatility in foreign exchange rates and weak consumer sentiment.

“The weak foreign exchange affected Proton’s raw material cost, the lack of new models during the financial period and reduced profit margins. In addition, Proton made provisions relating to certain non-recurring charges which had affected its bottom-line,” it said.

DRB-Hicom said if Proton’s results were excluded, the group’s performance in FY16 was commendable.

For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016, DRB-Hicom posted net losses of RM790.76mil compared with earnings of RM89.79mil a year ago.

Its revenue fell 17.9% to RM2.63bil from RM3.21bil. Loss per share was 40.90 sen compared with earnings per share of 4.64 sen. It recommended a dividend of two sen per share.

DRB-Hicom said it expected the outlook to remain challenging given the tough operating environment, but it “remains confident in a turnaround of Proton”.

It started on a strategic turnaround plan for Proton, working with the government including Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning Unit and Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

It pointed out the Turnaround Plan involved a RM1.5bil soft loan from the government to help it turnaround its fortunes and expand the carmaker’s domestic and international markets.

“Proton is scheduled to roll out several new models in the coming months ahead including the new Perdana, Persona and the popular Saga. It will also be introducing a new model in collaboration with Suzuki by the end of this year,” it said.

DRB-Hicom said aside from Proton, its unit Alam Flora’s solid waste management recorded increasing demand for its public cleansing services while Honda Malaysia reported record-breaking sales.

Another subsidiary, Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) reported an order book of RM12bil. New contracts signed or extended during the financial period included those with MD Helicopters US, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and UTC Aerospace Systems.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/05/31/proton-weighs-on-drb-hicom-rm991m-net-loss-in-fy16/#4msmdBHWQDvRGgij.99

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This could be the strategy for DRB-Hicom to benefit from the partnership with China’s second most successful independent automotive producer Geely Automation through Proton.

Proton was born as a national car project out of the dream of then Fourth Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The first product Proton Saga rolled out into the Malaysian automotive market in July 1985, which was a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer.

Track record of Proton from first roll out till when DRB-Hicom took over from Khazanah

Under Dr Mahathir’s watch, the protectionism policy in favour of Proton saw the Shah Alam based motorcar manufacturer soared into an annual production and sales over 200,000 units.

However, even ambitious Dr Mahathir and his profound ability “To sell Malaysia into the world” was unable to oversee the success of the brand overseas.

If the success story of Volvo could be extrapolated and replicated as a bespoke solution for the the one time pride of many Malaysians, Proton would enable to repackage itself and reposition the sliding brand.

In the final analysis, Malaysian consumers would be offered brand new and much improved Malaysian made automotive products.

The Edge Daily story:

Johari: No more subsidies for Proton

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 25, 2017.

PUTRAJAYA: National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd will no longer be receiving subsidies from the Malaysian government after DRB-Hicom Bhd sold a 49.9% stake to China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

The government will also reimburse only RM1.1 billion of the RM3.5 billion that Proton has spent on research and development (R&D) over the years, according to Johari.

“We want the company [to be run] as a private entity,” Johari said at the signing of the heads of agreement between DRB-Hicom and Geely. “The government will be here to watch [over] and support the future of Proton in any way we can,” he said, “but of course, there is no more subsidy.”

He added that although the deal is a private transaction between DRB-Hicom and Geely, the government had an interest in it because of the RM1.25 billion soft loan that was provided to Proton in June last year.

“Geely has already agreed to pay the redeemable convertible cumulative preference shares according to the time schedule,” Johari said.

He added that the government would facilitate the agreement to ensure that Proton, established 32 years ago as a government enterprise by then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, remains a national carmaker.

“Proton will always remain a national car and a source of national pride. Geely, being one of the best automotive players in the world with a brand like Volvo, certainly will give a lot of assistance to Proton.

“The government has a stake in this because Proton currently employs 10,000 people and it is important that we hold intact the entire ecosystem of [Proton’s] vendors intact,” he said. On the R&D reimbursement grant, Johari said: “At the time [that the grant was agreed on], the government agreed to give [RM3.5 billion], but we want to make sure that whatever they spend on R&D they are able to recover through the volumes they produce. To do that, they need a strategic partner. The government doesn’t think Proton alone is capable of achieving the numbers to justify all the R&D,” he said.

“We were supposed to reimburse Proton much earlier, but we decided not to because they needed to get a strategic partner,” said Johari, adding that “if the deal is not completed, the reimbursement will not be given”.

“There’s no point spending the money on R&D and building this new platform if you are not able to get the volumes or the markets to cover the cost. That’s why we are reluctant to give the money because we are not sure whether this money will benefit the company and the entire industry,” Johari said.

As for Proton staff, vendors and suppliers, Johari gave assurance that they would not have to worry as Proton’s tie-up with Geely is expected to help realise the latter’s goal of achieving 500,000 car sales in Asean by 2020.

“We want Proton to be the No 1 brand in Malaysia and to bring it to the Asean region. Certainly, China is one of the markets we will look at. And we want all vendors and suppliers to be given the priority to participate in this development,” he said.

With Geely’s experience in developing vendors and suppliers, Johari expects Proton’s existing supply chain members to benefit in terms of numbers and volume. “Geely fully understands that to make cars competitive, it is necessary to have that supply chain. We already have the entire ecosystem; it’s just a question of putting the volume into it,” he said.

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Achieving a target of 500,000 units is something Proton never did able to do during the glory days of the national car maker when Dr Mahathir was still the prime minister. A target set with commercial solution is most welcome.

Proton as a business entity, would be responsible to maintain its operation and survival through commercial means without putting that financial burden further to the parent corporation DRB-Hicom nor the Government.

It is a win-win proven bespoke solution, for the preservation of the brand and commercially making Proton viable again.

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Published in: on May 25, 2017 at 23:59  Comments (1)  

Operation Temperer activated

In the wake of the horror of the brutal terrorism attack at a teeny-bop pop concert in Manchester on Sunday evening where 22 persons dead and 59 others injured, some critical which include children, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Operation Temperer be activated.

The Independent story:

Theresa May upgrades terrorist threat level to ‘critical’ and puts soldiers on streets

‘It is a possibility that we cannot ignore, that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,’ PM says

The Independent Online

Theresa May has announced the terror threat level in the UK is being raised to “critical” and soldiers will now be deployed on the streets to protect key sites, in a significant escalation of the policing response following the Manchester attack.

The Prime Minister said that police in Manchester were working to establish whether or not arena bomber Salman Abedi, 22, was working alone.

However, she added: “The work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility that we cannot ignore, that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”

The threat level has been raised “for the time being”, meaning “a further attack may be imminent”, she said.

In a live address, Ms May said: “The change in the threat level means that there will be additional resources and support made available to the police as they work to keep us all safe.

“As a result of [the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s] decision the police have asked for authorisation from the Secretary of State for Defence to deploy a number of armed military personnel in support of their armed officers.

“This request is part of a well-established plan known as Operation Tempora in which both the armed forces and the police officers involved are well-trained and well-prepared to work in this kind of environment.

“The Secretary of State for Defence has approved this request and Operation Tempora is now in force.

“This means that armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations.

“You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe.”

The UK’s terror threat level has been set at “severe” for some time.

The last time it reached “critical” was in 2007.

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The ITV story:

  1. ITV REPORT
  2. 23 May 2017 at 9:43pm

PM Theresa May raises UK threat level to ‘critical’

The UK’s terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, meaning a terrorist attack is considered imminent.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the sombre announcement in a live television statement from Downing Street.

The move comes because authorities have been unable to say for certain that the perpetrator of the Manchester Arena attack, in which 22 people were killed and 59 others injured, was working alone.

“It is a possibility that we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” Mrs May said.

Raising the level to critical means that military personnel could be deployed to support armed police officers – part of a plan known as Operation Temperer.

“The change in the threat level means there will be additional support available to the police as they work to keep us safe,” she said.

“Operation Temperer is now in force.”

The UK’s international terrorism threat level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), based in MI5 headquarters in London.

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Operation Temperer is designed for British Army to be armed and involved in the deployment for security and patrol in civilian area, to complement armed British Police in the event of critical threat of terrorism attack is eminent.

Armed military presence with assets such as mechanised infantry fighting vehicles and light tanks would be felt. It is the most drastic response to establish feeling of blanket of security provided for people to continue in their daily life.

Prime Minister May isn’t a leader without deep understanding of security matters. She was Secretary of State for Home Affairs under Prime Minister David Blair for six years.

By default of her being in Cabinet since May 2010, Prime Minister May has been privileged to sensitive matters pertaining to security. Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA) meetings is where key personnel pertaining to defense and security matter discuss information and advise on course of action.

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Manchester attack as described by Prime Minister May as “Appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent and defenceless you people who should be enjoying a memorable night of their lives”.

The ongoing campaign for early June general election has been suspended. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn joined Prime Minister May in Britain’s darkest moment since the London bus attack almost twelve years ago and condemned the mad cowardice attack on innocent civilian.

World leaders expressed their sorrow and dismay for the horror of such atrocious violence. IS terrorists have been mounting similar attacks against French civilian establishment the past two years.

Published in: on May 24, 2017 at 05:00  Leave a Comment  

Reflection of the desperate and delusional

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leaders should come to terms with reality the party of disgruntled, frustrated and deposed UMNO people are voyaging of into oblivion and lost in their own lies.

More and more leaders are jumping of the ship even before the vessel set sail.

Utusan online story:

Exco Srikandi PPBM umum letak jawatan

Srikandi PPBM letak jawatan
EXCO Srikandi PPBM, Zulaiha Sidek (dua dari kanan) mengumumkan peletakan jawatan dalam sidang akhbar di Ipoh hari ini. – UTUSAN ONLINE

IPOH 23 Mei – Exco Srikandi Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Zulaiha Sidek mengumumkan peletakan jawatan hari ini.

Beliau yang juga Ketua Srikandi Penaja PPBM Bahagian Batu Gajah berkata, keputusan tersebut dibuat kerana beliau sudah hilang kepercayaan terhadap PPBM Perak yang kini bergolak.

“Keputusan ini adalah atas desakan diri sendiri sebagai tanda sudah muak dengan kemelut dan pergolakan dalaman parti,” katanya dalam sidang akhbar di sini hari ini.

Turut mengumumkan peletakan jawatan ialah Ketua Srikandi Penaja PPBM Bahagian Gopeng, Aflatuniah Md. Norani. – UTUSAN ONLINE

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/berita/politik/exco-srikandi-ppbm-umum-letak-jawatan-1.485298#ixzz4hvna6Mm4
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

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This was a domino effect on the demand of senior level leaders in PPBM Perak for party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin to go for nepotism practices, over the weekend.

Utusan online story:

Muhyiddin didesak letak jawatan

PPBM-IPOH
KETUA Pendaftar PPBM Perak, Azrul Suhadi Ahmad Mokhtar (tengah) mengadakan sidang akhbar mendesak Muhyiddin Yassin meletak jawatan di Ipoh hari ini.-UTUSAN ONLINE

IPOH 20 Mei – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Perak mendesak Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin supaya meletak jawatan sebagai Presiden parti itu.

Ketua Pendaftar PPBM Perak, Azrul Suhadi Ahmad Mokhtar berkata, desakan itu dibuat oleh sebahagian besar daripada 24 Bahagian PPBM di Perak setelah mendapati Muhyiddin bertanggungjawab di atas segala kepincangan yang berlaku dalam PPBM di peringkat kebangsaan dan Perak.

Menurutnya, ini kerana Muhyiddin tidak pernah ikhlas kepada Pengerusi parti, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, penyokong dan pendokong parti.

Katanya, Presiden PPBM itu sepanjang masa menangguk di air yang keruh dengan mengambil kesempatan di atas populariti Tun Mahathir bagi mencatur parti.

“PPBM Perak memberi tempoh seminggu kepada beliau supaya memberikan respon terhadap desakan kami ini.

“Jika masih tiada apa-apa respon daripada beliau, kami iaitu lebih daripada separuh ahli dan pemimpim PPBM Perak akan meletak jawatan,” katanya dalam sidang akhbar di sini hari ini. – UTUSAN ONLINE

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/berita/politik/muhyiddin-didesak-letak-jawatan-1.483835#ixzz4hvortSz9
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

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Not quite a month ago, one of the founding members and propagator Kamarul Azman Habibur Rahman abruptly resigned in deep displeasure, for the same complain of nepotism practices of leaders are the highest level.

Then, high council party leaders issued a statement that dissenters would be dealt with.

The fact is the party even not getting its act together as a political movement which was approved by the registrar of societies to be a political party, quite quickly after application.

The fundamentals of the party is getting weaker despite senior leaders like party Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin and Deputy President Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir continuously repeating stale lies.

The desperation is more apparent when Dr. Mahathir had to personally respond, to the uprising with the party. It is evidently clear the party is withering as confidence of middle level leaders and grassroots has been shaken.

1MDB is proven to be a commercial cock up more than the scandal in their contentious overtones, especially one by one of its woes are being resolved in the usual commercial practices and fashion.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister admitted that there was a donation by the royal family to Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak without expecting anything in return.

The virtue of conduct proven that His Majesty King Salman Ibni Abdul Aziz Al Saud is a close friend to Prime Minister Najib.

There is no development on US Attorney General Loretta Lynch so called ‘explosive’ press statement on the platform of the Depart of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service on 21 July 2016, pertaining to “Returning stolen and ill gotten funds from Malaysian Government to the Malaysian people”.

The fact that individuals named in the AG Lynch’s-DoJ announv=cement is reported to be in negotiations with DoJ for the case which was brought to a civil court, be settled out of court.

Dr. Mahathir, whom many regarded as a man-possessed obsessed to topple Prime Minister Najib for personal reasons, has reduced himself from a retired but respected leader and Statesman, to be a desperate gutter politician.

Teaming up with lifetime political nemesis of half a century in the likes of Lim Kit Siang and Chinese Chauvinist DAP and PKR, which was born from his own doing of sacking his own Deputy Anwar Ibrahim almost nineteen years ago, is really low.

There is a limit to how far Dr Mahathir & Co. could hoodwink the larger of Malaysians. The fact that he went to town campaigning for twin by-election of Kuala Kangsar and Sungei Besar almost a year proven that voters proven his otherwise.

Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 23:59  Leave a Comment  

Lessons from Paracels XXXI: Panda-monium Gambit

The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte should seriously consider China’s resolve to get what the new bully-in-the-block desire, ahead of his own domestic politics.

Reuters story:

Duterte says China’s Xi threatened war if Philippines drills for oil

By Manuel Mogato | MANILA

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea.

In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines.

Duterte said he discussed it with Xi when the two met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm, but friendly warning.

“We intend to drill oil there, if it’s yours, well, that’s your view, but my view is, I can drill the oil, if there is some inside the bowels of the earth because it is ours,” Duterte said in a speech, recalling his conversation with Xi.

“His response to me, ‘we’re friends, we don’t want to quarrel with you, we want to maintain the presence of warm relationship, but if you force the issue, we’ll go to war.”

Duterte has long expressed his admiration for Xi and said he would raise the arbitration ruling with him eventually, but needed first to strengthen relations between the two countries, which the Philippines is hoping will yield billions of dollars in Chinese loans and infrastructure investments.

The Hague award clarifies Philippine sovereign rights in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, 85 nautical miles off its coast.

It also invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim on its maps denoting sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

Duterte has a reputation for his candid, at times incendiary, remarks and his office typically backpeddles on his behalf and blames the media for distorting his most controversial comments.

Duterte recalled the same story about his discussion with Xi on oil exploration in a recorded television show aired moments after the speech.

He said Xi told him “do not touch it”.

He said Xi had promised that the arbitration ruling would be discussed in future, but not now.

Duterte said China did not want to bring up the arbitral ruling at a time when other claimant countries, like Vietnam, might also decide to file cases against it at the arbitration tribunal.

It was not the first time the firebrand leader has publicly discussed the content of private meetings with other world leaders.

His remarks came the same day that China and the Philippines held their first session in a two-way consultation process on the South China Sea.

They exchanged views on “the importance of appropriately handling concerns, incidents and disputes involving the South China Sea”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that gave few details.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Martin Petty)

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President Duterte should be mindful of China’s hard handedness on security and defense. Energy, if of China’s priority in a nation of 1.3 billion people and within two decades, would be the largest economy in the world.

Perhaps he should consider a more diplomatic approach and not risk getting a threat from the President of China. It would worse mistake to openly share on a privacy of the two Asian leaders’ conversation.

It is not clear what President Duterte was trying to achieve.

If in his mind, getting the global attention by going public with his exchange of words with President Xi Jinping and thus attempting to get the international backing in the attempt to reign in the latest addition of world super power, then President Duterte is wrong.

It is unlikely any other super power would stand up for the Philippines if there is a physical conflict with China. Not even the Phillippines’ status one time as part of United States commonwealth.

The Philippines and China recent stand off on the matter of Scarborough Shoal which is part of the disputed area under the latter’s unsubstantiated claim of ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ saw the former not able getting issues resolved.

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

China unilaterally turned its back on the decision made by the ICJ, after the Philippines took their complaint to the Hague.

The People Liberation Army (PLA) has been modernising since the late 80s and embarked on a more rapid modernisation especially the PLA Navy (PLA-N) since the mid 1990s, in line with the aggressive economic growth embarked under Deng Xiao Ping.

The increased PLA-N capability enabled China to do continuous projection of force in the region, especially in South China Sea where the unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ claim was first laid by the Kuomintang Republic of China Government in 1948.

When the communist under Mao Zedong defeated the Kuomintang under Gen. Chiang Kai-Shek in 1949, the claim was recognised and follow through. China did not aggressively pursuit the claim with military till 2008, though the invasion of the Paracels which happened in 1974.

The latest development in the execution of twenty Langley agents proven China’s resolve for security matters.

New York Times story:

Photo

An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last month. The Chinese government killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 C.I.A sources from 2010 through 2012. CreditWang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A.

Still others were put in jail. All told, the Chinese killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 of the C.I.A.’s sources in China, according to two former senior American officials, effectively unraveling a network that had taken years to build.

Assessing the fallout from an exposed spy operation can be difficult, but the episode was considered particularly damaging. The number of American assets lost in China, officials said, rivaled those lost in the Soviet Union and Russia during the betrayals of both Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., who divulged intelligence operations to Moscow for years.

The previously unreported episode shows how successful the Chinese were in disrupting American spying efforts and stealing secrets years before a well-publicized breach in 2015 gave Beijing access to thousands of government personnel records, including intelligence contractors. The C.I.A. considers spying in China one of its top priorities, but the country’s extensive security apparatus makes it exceptionally hard for Western spy services to develop sources there.

At a time when the C.I.A. is trying to figure out how some of its most sensitive documents were leaked onto the internet two months ago by WikiLeaks, and the F.B.I. investigates possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, the unsettled nature of the China investigation demonstrates the difficulty of conducting counterespionage investigations into sophisticated spy services like those in Russia and China.

The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. both declined to comment.

Details about the investigation have been tightly held. Ten current and former American officials described the investigation on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing the information.

Photo

Investigators still disagree how it happened, but the unsettled nature of the China investigation demonstrates the difficulty of conducting counterespionage investigations into sophisticated spy services.CreditCarolyn Kaster/Associated Press..

The first signs of trouble emerged in 2010. At the time, the quality of the C.I.A.’s information about the inner workings of the Chinese government was the best it had been for years, the result of recruiting sources deep inside the bureaucracy in Beijing, four former officials said. Some were Chinese nationals who the C.I.A. believed had become disillusioned with the Chinese government’s corruption.

But by the end of the year, the flow of information began to dry up. By early 2011, senior agency officers realized they had a problem: Assets in China, one of their most precious resources, were disappearing.

The F.B.I. and the C.I.A. opened a joint investigation run by top counterintelligence officials at both agencies. Working out of a secret office in Northern Virginia, they began analyzing every operation being run in Beijing. One former senior American official said the investigation had been code-named Honey Badger.

As more and more sources vanished, the operation took on increased urgency. Nearly every employee at the American Embassy was scrutinized, no matter how high ranking. Some investigators believed the Chinese had cracked the encrypted method that the C.I.A. used to communicate with its assets. Others suspected a traitor in the C.I.A., a theory that agency officials were at first reluctant to embrace — and that some in both agencies still do not believe.

Their debates were punctuated with macabre phone calls — “We lost another one” — and urgent questions from the Obama administration wondering why intelligence about the Chinese had slowed.

The mole hunt eventually zeroed in on a former agency operative who had worked in the C.I.A.’s division overseeing China, believing he was most likely responsible for the crippling disclosures. But efforts to gather enough evidence to arrest him failed, and he is now living in another Asian country, current and former officials said.

There was good reason to suspect an insider, some former officials say. Around that time, Chinese spies compromised National Security Agency surveillance in Taiwan — an island Beijing claims is part of China — by infiltrating Taiwanese intelligence, an American partner, according to two former officials. And the C.I.A. had discovered Chinese operatives in the agency’s hiring pipeline, according to officials and court documents.

But the C.I.A.’s top spy hunter, Mark Kelton, resisted the mole theory, at least initially, former officials say. Mr. Kelton had been close friends with Brian J. Kelley, a C.I.A. officer who in the 1990s was wrongly suspected by the F.B.I. of being a Russian spy. The real traitor, it turned out, was Mr. Hanssen. Mr. Kelton often mentioned Mr. Kelley’s mistreatment in meetings during the China episode, former colleagues say, and said he would not accuse someone without ironclad evidence.

Those who rejected the mole theory attributed the losses to sloppy American tradecraft at a time when the Chinese were becoming better at monitoring American espionage activities in the country. Some F.B.I. agents became convinced that C.I.A. handlers in Beijing too often traveled the same routes to the same meeting points, which would have helped China’s vast surveillance network identify the spies in its midst.

Some officers met their sources at a restaurant where Chinese agents had planted listening devices, former officials said, and even the waiters worked for Chinese intelligence.

This carelessness, coupled with the possibility that the Chinese had hacked the covert communications channel, would explain many, if not all, of the disappearances and deaths, some former officials said. Some in the agency, particularly those who had helped build the spy network, resisted this theory and believed they had been caught in the middle of a turf war within the C.I.A.

Still, the Chinese picked off more and more of the agency’s spies, continuing through 2011 and into 2012. As investigators narrowed the list of suspects with access to the information, they started focusing on a Chinese-American who had left the C.I.A. shortly before the intelligence losses began. Some investigators believed he had become disgruntled and had begun spying for China. One official said the man had access to the identities of C.I.A. informants and fit all the indicators on a matrix used to identify espionage threats.

After leaving the C.I.A., the man decided to remain in Asia with his family and pursue a business opportunity, which some officials suspect that Chinese intelligence agents had arranged.

Officials said the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. lured the man back to the United States around 2012 with a ruse about a possible contract with the agency, an arrangement common among former officers. Agents questioned the man, asking why he had decided to stay in Asia, concerned that he possessed a number of secrets that would be valuable to the Chinese. It’s not clear whether agents confronted the man about whether he had spied for China.

The man defended his reasons for living in Asia and did not admit any wrongdoing, an official said. He then returned to Asia.

By 2013, the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. concluded that China’s success in identifying C.I.A. agents had been blunted — it is not clear how — but the damage had been done.

The C.I.A. has tried to rebuild its network of spies in China, officials said, an expensive and time-consuming effort led at one time by the former chief of the East Asia Division. A former intelligence official said the former chief was particularly bitter because he had worked with the suspected mole and recruited some of the spies in China who were ultimately executed.

China has been particularly aggressive in its espionage in recent years, beyond the breach of the Office of Personnel Management records in 2015, American officials said. Last year, an F.B.I. employee pleaded guilty to acting as a Chinese agent for years, passing sensitive technology information to Beijing in exchange for cash, lavish hotel rooms during foreign travel and prostitutes.

In March, prosecutors announced the arrest of a longtime State Department employee, Candace Marie Claiborne, accused of lying to investigators about her contacts with Chinese officials. According to the criminal complaint against Ms. Claiborne, who pleaded not guilty, Chinese agents wired cash into her bank account and showered her with gifts that included an iPhone, a laptop and tuition at a Chinese fashion school. In addition, according to the complaint, she received a fully furnished apartment and a stipend.

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As such, the Philippines Foreign Minister Alan Cayetano was quick to downplay President Dueterte’s revelation in the latter’s recent visit to Beijing.

“There was no language or even tone that would lead any of the two Presidents to believe that the was any disrespect to them or their country”.

Reuters story:

China War Talk Not Serious, Philippine Foreign Minister Says

May 22, 2017, 2:01 PM GMT+8 May 22, 2017, 4:40 PM GMT+8
  • President Duterte claimed China’s Xi threatened war at meeting
  • ‘We hate the sin but we love the sinner’: Cayetano on China

China’s President Xi Jinping wasn’t trying to bully the Philippines at a recent meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Southeast Asian nation’s top diplomat.

In a speech last Friday, Duterte said Xi had threatened to go to war with the Philippines after Duterte expressed an intention to drill for oil in the disputed South China Sea.

“It is but natural that when you talk about peace and you talk about conflict that the word ‘war’ may or may not come up,” new Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said at a televised briefing in Manila on Monday. “My interpretation of the meeting is that there was no bullying or pushing around.”

Since taking power last year, Duterte has sought to improve ties with China while deflecting criticism at home that he’s failed to assert Philippine claims to disputed territory. China’s claim to more than 80 percent of the South China Sea has prevented the Philippines and Vietnam from exploring valuable oil and gas deposits.

An international court ruled last July that China had no historic rights to resources in waters claimed by the Philippines in a case brought by Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino. Duterte has sought to put the ruling aside in his dealings with China, which has ignored the ruling. That stance has won Duterte $24 billion in loan and investment pledges from China.

‘Common Development’

Cayetano said Duterte only disclosed details of the meeting with Xi because he was “being barraged with comments with what he should do.” He added that the Philippines won’t form a military alliance with China, nor would it try to raise emotions against the Chinese.

“I hate the fact that China is claiming part of the territory of the Philippines but I love the Chinese,” Cayetano said in a speech during a flag-raising ceremony in Manila on Monday. “Why? Because we hate the sin but we love the sinner.”

Without specifying when or where his meeting with the Chinese president took place, Duterte said Xi had threatened to go to war with the Philippines after Duterte asserted his nation’s sovereignty over the South China Sea by citing last year’s arbitration tribunal ruling upholding the Philippine claim.

“Well, if you force this, we’ll be forced to tell you the truth. We will go to war. We will fight you,” Duterte quoted Xi as saying.

When asked to confirm Xi’s comments at a press briefing on Monday, China foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying referred reporters to Cayetano’s earlier remarks.

“We are committed to resolving the dispute with parties directly concerned, including the Philippines, through dialogue and negotiation,” Hua said. “Pending final settlement, we advocate shelving the dispute for common development.”

Officials from both countries agreed to discuss “mutually acceptable approaches” to South China Sea issues during a bilateral consultation in the Chinese city of Guiyang last Friday, according to a joint statement released by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.

No Disrespect

Cayetano, who claimed to have been present at the meeting, said he couldn’t divulge the exact conversation between the two leaders but claimed it was meant to “increase mutual trust and respect.”

“There was no language or even tone that would lead any of the two presidents to believe that there was disrespect for them or their countries,” he said.

After hosting a meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders in Manila last month, Duterte said discussing China’s recent actions in the South China Sea would have been useless.

“For those who are peace loving just like me, I don’t want trouble,” Duterte said. “You have to be very careful. Whenever we talk about a buildup it would be useless. It would be useless except for fighting terrorism,” he said, adding that the Philippines intended to ask China for more help to develop its economy.

In a communique released after the summit, Asean welcomed “progress to complete a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea” by the middle of this year, and recognized the long-term benefits of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.

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In the final analysis, it is only diplomacy left as the path of resolution for President Duterte to partake. China is very serious about its economic and trading power, in the recent power projection with the ‘One Belt, One Road’ global economic initiative.

China has agreed to enter into dialogue, to resolve the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ unsubstantiated unilateral claim.

The Document of Conduct (inked 2002)

Despite signing the Code of Conduct with ASEAN in November 2002 where it stated disputed matters amongst signatories should be resolved through dialogue and diplomatic means as per stated under the United Nations Combined Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS), handling China is a complex feat.

China would hold the dialogue on one-on-one basis against a multilateral discourse of parties involved in the disputed areas.

Published in: on May 22, 2017 at 23:59  Leave a Comment  

All for One, One for All

In the landmark US-Islamic Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia hosted by King Salman Ibni Andul Aziz Al Saud, global leaders vowed to come as one to fight against terrorism.

Al Arabiya story:

Defeating terror key message of Arab Islamic American Summit

Saudi King Salman and US President Donald Trump spoke of cooperation between the Muslim world and the US. (AFP)

Saudi King Salman and US President Donald Trump spoke of cooperation between the Muslim world and the US in order to halt terrorism and extremism in the world at the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh on Sunday.

“We will cooperate in ending terrorism and extremism in all its shapes and forms,” the king said, “Islam was and will continue to be a religion of tolerance and peace.”

Trump said he was “honored to be received by such gracious hosts, King Salman, continuing King Abdulaziz’s legacy.”

“I bring the message of love from the US – that is why I chose Saudi Arabia for the first foreign trip. US vision is one of peace, security and prosperity in the Middle East region and throughout the world.”

WATCH: Donald Trump’s speech at the US-Islamic Summit

“This special gathering may be the beginning of peace in the Middle East and maybe all over the world. We are not here to lecture. We are here to offer partnership, to pursue a better future for us all.”

“Most of the world has suffered from horrific terrorist attacks, but not more than the Arab world. This isn’t a battle between different faiths, sects, or civilizations… but with barbaric criminals.”

WATCH: King Salman’s speech at the US-Islamic Summit

The Saudi king announced a historic agreement with the US to track and target sources of terrorist financing.

Trump said that the “Iranian regime is responsible for so much instability in the region,” and that it “funds arms, trains militias that spread destruction and chaos.”

King Salman also spoke of how “the Iranian regime has spearheaded terrorism since Khomenei’s revolution.”

The Arab-Islamic-American Summit kick started in the Saudi capital Riyadh with more than with 50 leaders from the Muslim world participating.

King Salman on Sunday tweeted that the upcoming Arab-Islamic-American Summit hosting Trump would cement a global anti-terror alliance.

“I welcome my brethren and friends to the Arab-Islamic-American Summit, which will bring  positive horizons for our region and the world, we will cement our alliance against extremism and terrorism,” the king tweeted following a meeting between Trump and Gulf leaders, which aimed at addressing security and defense issues.

Trump meeting with Gulf leaders earlier in the day. (Reuters)

Last Update: Monday, 22 May 2017 KSA 00:36 – GMT 21:36
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Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak spoke about Malaysia’s approach to help eradicate the evil of terrorism through Wassatiyah (‘moderate path’), where dialogue and engagement at the strategic level and rehabilitation at the tactical level.

1. It is always a pleasure to be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but I am especially glad to be here in Riyadh for what His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has rightfully referred to as this “historic” US-Arab Islamic summit. Our meeting could not be more timely or more necessary, and I am confident that this gathering will renew and re-energise the friendship between all present and produce new roadmaps for cooperation, security and understanding.

2. High on the agenda will be the fact that although the so-called caliphate established by Daesh in Iraq and Syria is diminishing, none should doubt that the threat from terrorists who blaspheme the name of Islam remains high. For the nations gathered here for the summit it may in fact be higher, as fighters fleeing the land they have occupied and despoiled return to their own countries and plot to bring terror to our cities.

3. Few have been spared. In Malaysia we suffered our first attempted Daesh-linked attack last year, and it is only through the determined, heroic actions of our police and security forces that there were no fatalities and further atrocities have been thwarted. Now more than ever the world needs the new partnership to confront extremism and terrorism that His Majesty King Salman proposes we build at this summit, and I thank him for his invitation and welcome the participation of the other states attending.

4. It is crucial that all Muslim countries and leaders make it absolutely clear that there is nothing Islamic about terrorism. Any who say it is have been deceived by false preachers and by those who are ignorant of or misinformed about our religion. Authentic Islam is a religion of enlightenment, civilisation and scholarship, not of destruction and death.

5. The true Islam is a religion of peace, as is shown by the way that for over one thousand years Muslims, Christians and Jews have lived and traded with and befriended each other in the Middle East, just as in Malaysia Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Taoists and others work and play side by side in harmony.

6. To reinforce that the Malaysian Government has promoted the concept of wasatiyyah, the Quranic injunction towards moderation, and I am pleased that our efforts will be further boosted by the establishment of the King Salman Centre for International Peace in our capital, Kuala Lumpur.

7. Saudi Arabia is a true friend to Malaysia, and we were delighted to host His Majesty on his recent state visit, during which Saudi confidence in our economy was shown by Aramco’s announcement of its US$7 billion investment in a refinery project with our state oil and gas company, Petronas.

8. These historic high ties are just one of the reasons that Malaysia fully supports this summit. We are in total accordance with its aims to increase tolerance and coexistence and to enhance security, stability and cooperation.

9. Both at home and abroad, Malaysia is fully committed to fighting the threats of terrorism and violent extremism. As a member of the United Nations, Malaysia has fully supported UN efforts such as the Secretary General’s ‘plan of action in preventing violent extremism’, which calls for intelligence sharing among member states. We are a state party to nine out of 14 international legal instruments concerning counter terrorism, and we are part of the global coalition against Daesh.

10. Malaysia also supports the Centre for Dialogue, Peace and Understanding, an initiative of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah.

11. This strong stance has been translated into reality with considerable practical effect in our own country. We have placed great emphasis on pushing counter narratives through social media, and have founded the Regional Digital Counter-Messaging Centre to combat extremism in Malaysia, Southeast Asia and beyond.

12. We in Malaysia also have considerable experience in rehabilitating people who have succumbed to the siren voices of terrorism. This is something we have pursued because we know we should not give up on those who have been led astray, but could still return to being useful members of society.

13. Our deradicalisation programme has worked with hundreds of extremists, and has had a 95 percent success rate in reintegrating them so that they can return to the mainstream and show that even those who have fallen prey to false and evil ideologies can ultimately reject them, and be a warning, an example and an instruction to others.

14. We are willing and happy to share our experience and expertise in this with all countries at the summit. For just as with my call for a Global Movement of Moderates at the UN in 2010, and our establishment of a foundation to support it in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will never falter in our efforts to fight for moderation and the true path of Islam, and to say loudly and clearly to the extremists that they do not speak for us.

15. I believe that this summit represents an important attempt to bring ties between the Muslim world and the US to new levels. With even greater mutual understanding, we can work together all the better to fight the ignorance, exclusion and sense of grievance that can fuel violent extremism,

16. We know that President Donald Trump is committed to eradicating Daesh. Under my leadership, so will Malaysia be – as should all Muslim countries at this summit and beyond.

17. We must ensure that the barbarism we see in Syria and Iraq is rooted out. We must show that we stand ready to confront terror swiftly and decisively wherever and whenever it manifests itself. We must never surrender.

18. It is up to all of us at this summit to forge this partnership and prove, once and for all, that there is no clash of civilisations, with the Muslim world on one side and the West on the other. There is only a clash with civilisation, and on that we all – members of all religions – must stand united together as one; firm, determined and ready to act.

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Recently elected United States President Donald J Trump in his landmark speech to the Muslim world, urged radicalisation be stopped.

The BBC story:

Trump urges Muslim leaders to lead fight against radicalisation

Media captionTrump tells Muslim nations to “Drive out the terrorists”

US President Donald Trump has urged Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation in a major speech in Saudi Arabia.

“Drive them out of this earth,” he told regional leaders in Riyadh, as part of his first official trip abroad.

Mr Trump blamed Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival, for instability in the region.

His speech is seen as an attempted reset with Muslims after his harsh campaign rhetoric stirred concerns in the Islamic world.

Mr Trump had previously suggested he would be open to creating a database of all the Muslims in the US. And he had also called for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns.

But, speaking in the Saudi capital to leaders of 55 Muslim-majority countries, Mr Trump called this a “new chapter”, saying he was not there to “lecture” them or impose the American way of life.

The fight against extremism, he added, was not a battle between different faiths or civilizations: “This is a battle between good and evil”.

Media captionMelania Trump didn’t wear a headscarf, but does it matter?

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists, and drive out the extremists”.

But, he added, the countries could not wait for “American power” to act, and had to “fulfil their part of the burden”.

He singled out Iran for criticism, accusing it of fuelling sectarian conflict and supporting “unspeakable crimes” by the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Responding on Twitter, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mockingly called Saudi Arabia “that bastion of democracy and moderation” and suggested that the US was milking the country for billions of dollars in newly-signed arms deals worth more than $350bn (£270bn).


A tough message: By Frank Gardner, BBC Security correspondent, Riyadh

Tea servers watch US President Donald Trump deliver remarks to the Arab Islamic American SummitImage copyrightREUTERS

Behind the lavish praise heaped on his hosts, President Trump used this speech to deliver a tough message to Arab and Muslim governments: deal with the ideology that fuels terrorism now or live with it for generations to come.

He went out of his way to avoid the sort of inflammatory language he’s more usually known for. His repeated condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran will have pleased the Gulf Arab leaders listening.

Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, this US president made no mention of human rights or democracy. But he did condemn the oppression of women.

And amongst several cynical reactions to the speech from around the region on social media, some have pointed out that here in Saudi Arabia women are forbidden to drive and there are no parliamentary elections. In Iran, the country accused by Mr Trump of being behind much of the current terrorism across the Middle East, they have just had a free election and women are free to drive.


Analysts said the speech was a change for Mr Trump, who is trying to redefine his relationship with the Muslim world after several controversial remarks, including an interview last year in which he famously said: “I think Islam hates us.”

His highly anticipated address did not include the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism”, which he had used before and is considered offensive by many Muslims. A transcript of the text published on his Facebook page included a mention of “Islamist extremism” and “Islamist terror groups”.

But in his speech Mr Trump said: “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.” It was not immediately clear if he stumbled over the word or decided to change the script.


Islamist and Islamic: The difference

  • Islamist: Referring to those who aim to reorder government and society in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia
  • Islamic: Relating to Islam

Meanwhile, the US and six Gulf states announced a deal to co-ordinate their efforts aimed at cutting off sources of money for extremist groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS).

Media captionDonald Trump sways along with a traditional Saudi sword dance

The countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – are involved in the fight against the militants, but have been accused of backing the group and other Sunni militants – most notably in a 2014 email by Hillary Clinton released by Wikileaks.

“The unique piece of it is that every single one of them are signatories on how they’re responsible and will actually prosecute the financing of terrorism, including individuals,” said Dina Powell, US Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy.


The agenda for the rest of Mr Trump’s trip

Mr Trump’s eight-day trip will also take in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Brussels, the Vatican, and Sicily.

The president’s visit has been overshadowed by his political difficulties at home, namely the fallout over his sacking of FBI chief James Comey.

Map showing Donald Trump's first foreign trip - May 2017
  • Monday-Tuesday, 22-23 May: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, before visiting the West Bank on Tuesday
  • Wednesday 24 May: Rome and Brussels. Mr Trump will meet Pope Francis, then Belgian officials
  • Thursday, 25 May: A Nato summit in Brussels
  • Friday, 26 May: Sicily, for a meeting of G7 members

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It is very important these messages are transmitted and US are standing with the greater Muslim world where terrorism is not only Islamic, it is evil and against all the concepts, perspective and ideology of humanity.

Continuous dialogue and engagement is the strategic way to move forward and preserve the co-existence between ethnicity, faith and nationalism,

On that score, the United States should take a more impartial stand and play a more engaging role to resolve the Palestinian issue, which saw the illegal creation of the criminal state of Israel 69 years ago.

Most the affected Palestinians have lived as refugees for the generation now and the solution for Palestinians and Jews co-exist in peace, is one of the fundamental excuse for the breed in silence of radicalism within the Muslim world.

Now that US and the Islamic world is on the same page against terrorism, it is also the right time for the amicable solution for the Palestinian people is laid on the table.

The brutal suffering of Palestinians under organised state terrorism by IDF since the days of Haganah have not stopped.

In this trip, President Trump would be in the three Abrahamic nations; Saudi, Israel and Vatican. There are more commonalities between the faithful of the three Abrahamic faith lineage than distinction and differentiation.

President Trump could prove to the world and make history by achieving ever lasting peace in the West Asia region, where unended conflict has been ongoing for the past seventy two years.

It is time for All for One, One for All.

Published in: on May 22, 2017 at 12:00  Leave a Comment  

Lambasting the Lion City

There recent economic development with Asia particularly the omission of Singapore at the One Belt, One Road initiative kick-off in Beijing last week gotten Prime Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong into bad light of criticism, especially in the kiasu perspective of fellow city-state-countryman.

The Straits Times Review story:

Lee Hsien Loong retiring from premiership in shame

written by Admin May 19, 2017

Losing over S$50 billion, getting boycott by China, Singapore having the most expensive cost of living and endangering the country’s principles of meritocracy and democracy, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong committed too many costly mistakes for a rich country like Singapore to bear.

Unfortunately, the son of Lee Kuan Yew has little to prove his worth or justify his S$1.87 million salary too. Since his premiership in 2004, all aspects of the society and economy have taken a beating. Wages stagnating, income gap peaking, job losses piling, poverty reaching worst ever since Independence, return of Tuberculosis/Hepatitis outbreak and the increasing frequency of anarchic train breakdowns – Singaporeans’ complains are fully backed with statistics and actual events with real victims of his disastrous policies in immigration, healthcare, public transport, retirement, education and basically all faucets of government. The Lee Hsien Loong administration is also the costliest in the world at S$53 million a year – excluding MP salaries and bonuses.

Domestic issues aside, Lee Hsien Loong destroyed the diplomatic relations of long-standing allies due to his irresponsible choice of words. Lee Hsien Loong mocked China at a US official dinner in 2013, saying that in China’s most influential city, Shanghai, one just need to turn on the tap to have pork soup or open the window to smoke. Lee Hsien Loong were laughing hard with the white men in US then, mocking his ethnic Chinese roots for having poor record of quality – such amateurish mistake making public closed-door jokes – but Beijing was not laughing for sure.

Lee Hsien Loong’s colonial mentality of white supremacy may sound like an unfair criticism, but the fact remains that Singapore under his leadership has been acting against China. When US want China to back off from the territorial disputes in South China Sea, Lee Hsien Loong volunteered himself and, again, cracked jokes about China saying they are no longer “the middle kingdom”. The Prime Minister of the 719km² island state also told China to give up their claims on the South China Sea and obey his “code of conduct”. Worse, Lee Hsien Loong hijacked the ASEAN agenda to push for fellow ASEAN leaders to act against China.

China later in response in 2016 detained the SAF vehicles at their Hong Kong port, and stated that Singapore should respect the One-China policy as ratified and stop military operations in Taiwan. Again another diplomatic disaster, the Singapore Prime Minister defiantly told China to buzz off.

China has now officially boycotted the most expensive Prime Minister, and the United States could not be bothered with Singapore more than a strategic naval outpost in South East Asia. Despite repetitively acting for US’s interests, the US administration – then under Obama – strategically stayed silent and made zero comments when the China-Singapore dispute drama unfolded. The new US administration under Donald Trump is worse, with the first executive by Trump is to obliterate the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP). However, Trump is also unlikely to further relations with Singapore and expectedly so, because Lee Hsien Loong has always been dissing Donald Trump since before the US Presidential Election. With the death of TPP and being ostracized from China’s Belt and Road economic plan, Singapore is suddenly no longer in a strategic position linking the East and West – no thanks to Lee Hsien Loong. How did one screw up so badly and single-handedly destroyed a thriving trading port and a former crown colony?

Nobody is asking for Singapore to kowtow to China or be their vessel state – not even China themselves. China understand the position of Singapore very well, and are ready to provide concessions, as they have done so over the past two decades. Telling a joke is fine but when not one that denigrate others. Lee Hsien Loong lacks the sophistication of a statesman, and the tact and craftiness of a diplomat. The real problem lies with himself not realising so – no thanks to the lack of fair criticisms and the greenhouse he created at home with the abuse of defamation lawsuits and the sedition act.

Unlike his father, Lee Hsien Loong is retiring from premiership in shame. While Singaporeans have mixed responses to Lee Kuan Yew’s leadership, most would acknowledge the quality of living had significantly improved. The same cannot be said for Lee Hsien Loong, who weld a similar iron fist but with no favourable report card to prove.

Lee Hsien Loong has since signaled his intention to retire with repeated talks over “leadership renewal”. Unfortunately, the dictator is still undecided over who to take over as the next Prime Minister because every candidate seems like a bad choice. Former army generals Chan Chun Sing, Ng Chee Meng and Tan Chuan Jin are complete leadership wreckage – the three knows nothing about managing finances and are incapable of anything else other than taking orders with the two shuffling ministerial profiles and holding a ministry less than two years each due to mismatch of skills. The only “younger” intellectual left in his Cabinet is probably Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, but karma hit him hard with a sudden stroke. With less than 3 years to retirement, Lee Hsien Loong remains undecided who the “least-worst” candidate among the few can be Prime Minister.

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Missing out on China’s remake of the historical Silk Road with One Belt, One Region where the three main features where is the principle of the seemingly largest trade initiative in history are extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit .

The Independent story:

S’pore sought formal invitation for PM Lee from China for OBOR forum: Bloomberg

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The Singapore Government had sought a “formal invitation” from China for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to attend the recent One Belt One Road (OBOR) forum in Beijing. The Chinese, however, apparently declined to extend such an invitation, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The forum in Beijing saw 29 heads of states, including several from Asean countries, being invited to attend the event.

OBOR is China’s ambitious plan to rebuild the ancient Silk Road trade route through a network of new ports, railways and roads across the world.

While a few countries did not attend the Beijing meeting, the absence of Singapore’s Prime Minister has focused questions on the relationship between the Southeast Asian nation and the Government of Xi Jinping.

Bloomberg reports (Friday) that “China views Singapore as being less supportive of Xi’s plan because unlike other countries that announced their leaders would attend without requiring a formal invitation, Singapore sought an invite, according to people familiar with the matter.”

“They asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information,” the Bloomberg report says.

The request by Singapore seems to be confirmed by Singapore’s representative at the forum, Minister of National Development, Lawrence Wong.

When asked by reporters on the sidelines of the forum why PM Lee was not attending the forum, Mr Wong would say only that “the invitation was decided by the Chinese”, according to the Straits Times.

“It was the first official acknowledgement that [PM] Lee was not invited,” said the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Thursday. “In sharp contrast, regional counterparts including Malaysia’s Najib Razak, Indonesia’s Joko Widodo and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte prominently highlighted their participation in the summit on social media.”

M’sian PM Najib posted his attendance on Twitter

Neither Singapore nor China has given official explanations on why PM Lee was not officially invited, but observers point to recent events which left China wondering whose side Singapore is on.

It all started with “the public exchange of words between Stanley Loh, the Singaporean envoy in Beijing, and the state-linked Global Times newspaper over a report on the city state’s position on the South China Sea dispute during last year’s Non-Aligned Movement Summit,” SCMP said.

It then escalated to the seizure of 9 Singapore military vehicles by Hong Kong last November. This followed remarks made by PM Lee in Washington, DC, during a visit to the White House where he was feted by then US President Barack Obama.

“As President, your personal leadership and decision to rebalance to Asia has won America new friends and strengthened old partnerships, including with Singapore,” PM Lee said during a toast to Mr Obama.

He went on to describe the American leader as “America’s first Pacific President”.

China saw this as Singapore becoming an “ally” of the US.

Chinese officials have also publicly chided Singapore for trying to influence Asean countries to support the International Court of Justice’s decision over the South China Sea issue, an allegation which Singapore has strenuously denied.

“The cooler political relationship between Singapore and China could have ripple effects which influence economic and trade relations,” said Lu Jianren, a researcher at the China-Asean Research Institute at China’s Guangxi University. “Singapore has been less proactive to work with China while many leaders in the region showed greater enthusiasm that they want Beijing to be more involved in Southeast Asian growth.”

Singapore has, however, said ties between the two countries remain “strong”, and observers say that the foundation of their relationship can withstand this temporary spat.

China is Singapore’s biggest trading partner, while Singapore is China’s second largest investor.

The present cold shoulder from China is not the first time that China has been unhappy with PM Lee.

In 2004, just weeks before PM Lee was sworn-in as the country’s 3rd Prime Minister, he incurred the wrath of the Chinese with a visit to Taiwan, although the trip was described by PM Lee later as a “private and unofficial visit”.

During the visit, then Deputy Prime Minister Lee had offered Singapore as an intermediary in the relationship between Taiwan and China, an offer which upset the Chinese.

“The Taiwan issue is China’s internal affair,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue then. “China has never had, nor does it need to have, any country or person to pass messages between the two sides.”

In fact, China was offended by DPM Lee’s visit itself.

“As the deputy prime minister of Singapore, it doesn’t matter in what capacity or what excuse Lee Hsien-loong uses to visit Taiwan, it seriously violates the Singapore government’s promise to support the ‘one China’ policy and damages the political basis of China-Singapore relations,” Zhang told a news briefing.

“It is also unavoidable that it will produce consequences for relations and cooperation between China and Singapore.”

In his first National Day Rally speech as Singapore’s leader, PM Lee explained his visit, and said he “[regrets] that my visit to Taiwan has caused this severe reaction in China which affected relations.”

“This isn’t going to be the last time our relations with a major friendly power are strained,” PM Lee said.

“We strive for good relations with all countries, but from time to time issues are going to arise and big powers have their own interests and will exercise their influence to get their way.  We may be old friends, but when our interests diverge, or even when our approaches to the same problem differ, they have to put their interests first and their approaches first and so must we.  This is a reality of the compelling pressures of international politics and of national interests and we must remember this.”

Straits Times, 2015

But 10 years later, China’s position on an intermediary seemed to have changed as PM Lee’s government brokered a historic meeting between Taiwan’s then President Ma Ying-jeou, and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, in Singapore.

So, what PM Lee says is right – Singapore, being a small country with limited clout, will always be expected to “toe the line” when it comes to the interests of bigger powers whose position on issues will change according to the prevailing time and tide of events.

Singapore will just have to negotiate and navigate the best possible outcome for its people in such instances.

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The ambitious economic project would transform the global trade and China would be in the driving seat and playing the maestro role in a very large trade belt, both over land and maritime passage from Asia to Central Asia, West Asia and Europe.

Malaysia has stood up and offered very strong interest to be a collaborative partner in the One Belt, One Road project and sees the huge benefits to be gained.

Channel News Asia story:

One Belt, One Road initiative is a game changer for region: Najib

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on May 13, 2017. (Photo: Jason Lee/AFP)

BEIJING: China’s One Belt One Road initiative is a game changer for the entire region, stretching to Europe and Africa, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday (May 13) when he met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Mr Najib is on a five-day working visit to China where he will also attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 14 and 15.

One Belt One Road, initiated by Mr Xi, is an ambitious development plan to link Asia to Europe with an unbroken chain of modern infrastructure such as ports and railways, and in doing so, boost trade between countries.

On his part, the Chinese President said Malaysia is an early supporter of the initiative and has become one of the countries that benefited the most, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mr Xi told Mr Najib that China will push for more bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative.

Since the two leaders last met in November, Mr Najib said many initiatives that were agreed upon by both countries have been implemented or were about to be implemented.

“I agree with you (President Xi) that Malaysia and China are not only neighbours but are trusted friends,” Mr Najib said.

He added that although bilateral relations between Malaysia and China was at the highest level, there was scope to deepen and enhance it further.

Mr Najib later met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang before joining the Malaysian delegation at a bilateral meeting with the Chinese government and both witnessed the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding involving the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.

image: data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 13, 2017. (Photo: Thomas Peter/AFP)

Malaysia’s transport ministry will work with China to develop infrastructure such as railways, ports and airports. Both countries will also cooperate on the mutual recognition of standards and information sharing as well as to encourage the utilisation of local supply chains and facilitate cross-border e-commerce.

China, for the next five years, is committed to import goods worth US$2 trillion (RM8.6 trillion), investing up to US$150 billion and offering 10,000 places for training and studies in China.

The agreement involving the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry was for the export of fresh pineapples to China.

Total trade between Malaysia and China grew by 20.3 per cent to US$29.33 billion, with imports worth US$12.9 billion and exports worth US$16.43 billion.

Source: Bernama/gs

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/one-belt-one-road-initiative-is-a-game-changer-for-region-najib-8844490

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The critics went on about the Chinese most powerful and influential businessman, teamed up with Malaysia instead pop Singapore for his E-hub initiative.

 

The Straits Time Review story:

Jack Ma chooses Malaysia over Singapore as E-Hub of ASEAN

written by Admin May 21, 2017
 

Founder and chairman of the world’s biggest E-commence company Alibaba, Jack Ma, confirmed on Wednesday (May 17) that Malaysia has been chosen as the preferred e-fulfilment hub in ASEAN over Singapore due to the political bad blood between China and Singapore.

Jack Ma praised Malaysia’s efficiency over their setting up of a Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ):

“Malaysia is very business-friendly and much more efficient than I thought. It took only 10 minutes for him and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to agree on introducing the DFTZ when they met in China in November last year. My team and I thought – is four months possible? We have been discussing it with many European and ASEAN countries.”

The new centralised customs clearance, warehousing and fulfilment facilitywill be completed by the end of 2019 and operate from Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s Aeropolis. According to Reuters, the multi-billion dollar hub will deliver at least S$2.24 billion (RM7 billion) in foreign and domestic investments each year.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak also appointed Jack Ma as the country’s digital economy advisor – dealing yet the biggest blow to Singapore’s recent push for a Smart Nation initiative.

Singapore is losing out many trade deals and billion-dollar projects from China due to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s opposition against China. The Singapore PM openly called for ASEAN countries to oppose China’s claims on the South China Seas, and have repetitively made jokes about China’s environment issues e.g. calling their tap water “pork soup” and air “free smoke”. Lee Hsien Loong also allowed US military to conduct surveillance operations on China’s movements in Asia Pacific and refuse to respect the One-China Policy by continuing military operations in Taiwan.

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This has been seen as China expanding its trading opportunities to establishment of stronger geo-political clout, especially both as fast emerging economic and super power status.

It is by far the largest collaboration around trade.

This is one global trade initiative the city-state which was developed as a regional hub for trading and entre-port into the regional hub for financial services would want to mis out when the music stops.

Published in: on May 21, 2017 at 23:59  Comments (1)  

Fake News Fide

Fake news about a Sarawak Dayak Dance Troupe at KLCC Park

The notoriety of viraling fake news especially through social media could cause serious disunity amongst the multi-ethnic and multi-faith Muhibbah Malaysians, generally understanding, tolerant and accommodating of each other which is fundamental feature of the Federation.

Case in point is about a Dayak Dance Troupe from Sarawak, which was asked to discontinue performing in the KLCC park grounds for failure to produce a permit or approval to perform in a public place.

This is as per Dewan Bandar Kuala Lumpur by-laws.

It was believed the group consisting of ten dancers arrived at KLCC Esplanade on 14 May 2017 at 1000am. As they performed their moves, KLCC security approached them to enquire about permit to perform.

Checks on the e mail were made to sought whether a request or approval was made. However, it was non avail.

The security personnel had asked the group to discontinue performing even though they claimed to be practising, for a purported show on one of the tv channels later in the evening.

As there was no approval obtained, the group was advised to seek the necessary approval should they wish to continue their activity. Relevant contact details were provided to the group leader and they proceeded to leave the area.

Conveniently, tweet messages such as featured and blog posting started to viral. No enquiries were made to verify any of these social media postings.

This is conveniently less than two weeks ahead before our fellow Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak celebrate their Hari Ka’amatan and Gawai respectively.

Malaysians should use social media to foster unity and strength instead of sensationalising fake news and proof the peril of information democracy, which could consequentially build into ill feelings.

*Updated 1900hrs 19 May 2017

Apparently the source of the fake news admitted in his Facebook account the story is fake.

Published in: on May 18, 2017 at 23:59  Comments (1)  

Man about town, Minister of the Crown

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak should put up 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy as a member of Dewan Negara and seriously consider appointing him as a Cabinet Minister in charge of all development under TRX City, instead of a civil servant.

Prime Minister Najib’s statement today:

PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK ANNOUNCES NEXT BANDAR MALAYSIA MILESTONES

17th May 2017

1.      Over the past decade, Kuala Lumpur has taken its rightful place as one of the leading capitals of Asia. It is a city that brings together people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures, which attracts tourists from around the world, and increasingly serves as a regional and international business hub.

2.      This is a result of our unwavering focus on economic development, and the significant investments we have made across infrastructure and transport, that together have had a marked impact on Kuala Lumpur. While we can all be proud of the city it is today, I have a bigger vision – of a city that is one of the leading capitals of the world, driving forward Malaysia’s national transformation.

3.      Bandar Malaysia is key to this.

4.      The biggest development site in Malaysia, in a key strategic position in our capital, it will become a new city centre for Kuala Lumpur – a vibrant new community for young people and families to live in, a thriving new centre for businesses both big and small, and a truly exciting new destination for those, including tourists, looking to enjoy the arts, culture and all Malaysia has to offer.

5.      Rather than just office and residential towers, we want Bandar Malaysia to be a catalyst for fast-track economic development and employment, including the new KL Internet City – the key hub of the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone. We want to create an iconic development to drive tourism. And we want to create a transport nucleus for Malaysia, with Bandar Malaysia set to host the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore high speed rail, MRT lines, KTM Komuter, Airport Express Rail Link and twelve highways.

6.      Given the importance of this project, it is critical that Bandar Malaysia has the right leadership, the right partners and the right ownership structure to ensure that its full potential is realised – to serve the people and the national interest.

7.      To this end, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah – the Secretary General of Treasury – as the Chairman of both TRX City and Bandar Malaysia. He will head a team with overall responsibility for these projects and the monetisation of 1MDB’s remaining real estate assets. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the nation and the people benefit to the greatest extent possible, the Ministry of Finance will retain 100% ownership of Bandar Malaysia.

8.      With these developments, the work of the Budiman Committee – which was established in 2015 to oversee the rationalization exercise of 1MDB – will come to an end.

9.      TRX City and Bandar Malaysia will shortly be announcing a request for proposal (RFP) process, inviting expressions of interest for the role of master developer of Bandar Malaysia. Contrary to some erroneous reports, the termination of the previous agreement is final, and it will not be reinstated. The selection process for the master developer will involve very strict criteria, including a proven track record, speed of delivery, content creation, and the financial capability to deliver a project of this scale. The highest possible value will be sought to ensure that the best deal for the taxpayer is obtained.

10.  I have full confidence that, under Tan Sri Irwan’s leadership, the prospects for and development of Bandar Malaysia will go from strength to strength.

DATO’ SRI NAJIB TUN RAZAK

PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA

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The Old Putra who is a law graduate of the prestigious London School of Economics have extensive corporate experience, mainly in investment banking and international finance, at various institutions in London, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

It befits the role which has been announced to be filled by the Chief Secretary of the Treasury Tan Sri Dr Irwan Siregar. The civil servant has no practical corporate experience except representing the Federal Government in many corporations of strategic interest.

Two days ago, Prime Minister Najib announced that Arul would continue to serve 1MDB.

The Malaysian Digest story:

Arul Kanda Remains 1MDB CEO, To Be Involved In TRX Development, Says Najib

Pic: Bernama

Pic: Bernama

BEIJING: Arul Kanda will continue to remain the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and will also be involved in the development of the iconic Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.

“I have full confidence in him,” he said.

Arul Kanda has provided good leadership for the resolution of the rationalisation of 1MDB and “he will continue to be there,” Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, told Malaysian journalists at the end of the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation here today.

As far as Bandar Malaysia is concerned, Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah would be in charge.

“But, Tan Sri Irwan will be in consultation with Arul Kanda with respect to the future development of Bandar Malaysia,” he said.

-BERNAMA

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The announcement in Beijing is two weeks short of the second anniversary of Arul presenting the ‘Rationalisation Plan’ of 1MDB to the Cabinet and approved.

1MDB financial woes have since been resolved with the successful decoupling of Edra Energy Bhd from strategic investment corporation portfolio and disputes with IPIC is solved with amicable solution.

The notion to appoint Arul is not without precedent. Previously, former Maybank CEOs Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz and Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar have been appointed Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning under two Prime Ministers.

The slight difference is that both are chartered accountants. However, law trained investment banker Arul had served the board of several corporations under RHB Group, namely RHB Investment Bank Bhd., RHB RHB Islamic Bank Bhd. and RHB Capital Bhd.

The extensive experience and exposure of this Kuala Lumpur-born, Kelantan-raised  and living in Perak when offered admission to the Royal Military College barely at thirteen, the 41 years old man would bring a lot of benefit and input to the Cabinet.

He would equally be very useful as a participating member at the forum for Federal Government’s strategic decision making and drive the EPU and ICU of the Prime Minister’s Department, as well as TRX City.

Arul would unlikely be interested in politics. Just like Amirsham and Wahid, he would prefer to remain as a professional whilst serving in Prime Minister Najib’s administration.

Hence the appointment at present time would actually add value to the Government, way ahead of the much anticipated 14GE. One area which his extensive turnaround experience could provide is the custodian to the transformation program of ETP and GTP.

Using Wahid as a model, Arul could just serve for the duration of a senatorship term which is three years.

He would also complement Cabinet Ministers such as Minister of Finance II Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, MITI Minister Dato’ Seri Mustapha Mohamad and Minister in PM’s Department Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan up at arms in Parliament against the Opposition on economics and finance matters, in the likes of Tony Pua, Rafizi Ramli and the lot.

It seems that the right strategic decision is to get the man about town who has proven to be a strategic asset, as part of Prime Minister Najib’s strategic decision making team.

Published in: on May 17, 2017 at 23:59  Leave a Comment  

Incorrigible ignominious

It would be impossible to describe a stubborn man who simply refuse to see things except from his own personal vision, on a personal agenda and ridicullously obsessed about it, all and in sundry.

NST story:

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he has not and will not apologise to his former deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. File pix.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has revealed that he has not and will not apologise to his former protégé-turned-enemy and now ally, incarcerated opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In an interview with Australian broadcast agency SBS World News, Tun Mahathir said this is because he has never asked his detractors to apologise for criticising him.

“We have all said nasty things about each other. I don’t ask people to apologise for calling me all kinds of names and accusing me of all kinds of wrongdoings.

“What happened is in the past and we can’t be apologising for something that happened in the past,” he was quoted as saying.

Anwar was Tun Mahathir’s deputy until they had a falling out in 1998, an event which sparked protests by Anwar supporters calling for political reform in the country.

He was imprisoned on charges of corruption and sodomy shortly after, though Anwar claimed he was innocent and that the charges were politically-motivated.

The former Umno man was released from prison in 2004 and went on to lead the opposition coalition, but was jailed again in 2015 on separate sodomy charges and is currently behind bars serving a five-year sentence.

In Sept last year, the two nemeses met face-to-face, under friendly circumstances, for the first time in 18 years – but the reunion has been described as a political ploy which “demonstrates the depth of their political opportunism and desperation”.

Aside from Anwar, Tun Mahathir has also showed support for the DAP and its advisor, Lim Kit Siang, who has been one of the former premier’s harshest critics for decades.

When asked who will be named prime minister should Pakatan Harapan win the upcoming 14th general election, Tun Mahathir responded by saying “party infighting” has prevented the opposition pact from uniting and discussing the issue.

“It is divisive. The moment you name a (candidate for) prime minister, there is going to be a lot of unsatisfied people who may sabotage the new opposition coalition.

“So it is better for us to name a prime minister (once) we win. It becomes irrelevant to name a prime minister now and then we lose,” he added.

It is believed that Tun Mahathir was referring to Anwar’s party, PKR, which recently lost an ally, Pas, which ended its ‘tahaluf siyasi’ (political cooperation).

Pas’ Syura Council decided that the move was necessary in order to defend the party’s Islamic agenda, aside from accusing PKR of breaking many terms of its conditional cooperation, including failing to support Pas in its Islamic agenda, and working against it in two by-elections last year.

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His interview to Aljazzera is so misleading and wrong on so many counts. He said “If you refuse to see evidence, then I cannot help you”.

Yet, he is someone who refused to see evidence presented in his face which proven him wrong.

Firstly, Attorney General is not compelled to reveal the investigation of any papers forwarded to the Attorney General’s Chambers to the public.

Secondly, there is no need to list down the corrupt and abuse of power practices which he is involved, under his watch or having the knowledge but did not stop the rot throughout his administration of 22 years as the Prime Minister and UMNO President.

Example is the rape and plunder of Bank Bumiputra a few times, which started with the deception of Hong Kong businesses and careless disbursement of funds through Bumiputra Malaysia Finance. That led to the brutal murder of Assistant General Manager A Jalil Ibrahim in 1983.

Thirdly, Bank Negara Malaysia had a negative capital of RM30 billion a quarter of century ago, due to negligence of the central bank gambling into forex market.

The negative capital provided the opportunity of rogue money traders such as George Soros to attack and manipulate the Ringgit, till had a serious adverse effect on the nation’s economy, financial, capital and debt market and triggered a recession.

Fourthly, the Malaysian Government had to bail out many corporations.

Fifthly, the fact that the authorities never pushed for all of his wrongdoings through the proper channel and procedures like being charged and submitted to trial is about his stature as a Statesman. The window of consideration that he is very old and it is unfashionable to trump an OAP as an accused in a criminal court, is being manipulated by him.

Sixthly, he interference into Judiciary is incredible and became a landmark case amongst the Commonwealth where a Lord President was sacked and five other Supreme Court Judges were adversely affected in 1988.

Seventhly, Dr. Mahathir the past two  and a half years conspired and used Neo Con Jewish controlled media to rubbish, manipulate information, lie and slander Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s administration and him personally.

Eighthly, in his obsession to oust Prime Minister Najib, the nation and global confidence towards Malaysia as the 17th globally most important trading nation has been adversely affected.

An example is about Malaysia’s economy going bad to due mismanagement of the economy, over-borrowing and kleptocratic practices, which many times almost flushed several trade deals and projects, which are impetus to the economy.

Ninthly, Dr. Mahathir’s accusations without proper verified facts and in fact, some fabricated information and documents about strategic investment corporation 1MDB has yet to be proven otherwise.

Yet, he still harp on it despite one by one evidence are being unravelled against to his charge, attacks, allegations and slanderous remarks.

Bloomberg story:

Saudi Arabia Says Donation to Malaysian Premier Was Genuine

April 15, 2016, 10:22 AM GMT+8 April 15, 2016, 5:59 PM GMT+8

Saudi Arabia said a large donation to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was “genuine,” providing some clarity on the source of the funds amid reports the money came via a Malaysian state investment company.

Saudi authorities were aware of the donation and it came without strings, Malaysia’s official news agency Bernama reported, citing Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir. He was speaking to reporters in Istanbul on Thursday after meeting with Najib during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit.

“It is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return,” Al-Jubeir was quoted as saying. “We are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing. So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed.”

The Saudi comments follow earlier reports by media including the Wall Street Journal that the money came instead from entities linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the debt-ridden state fund whose advisory board Najib chairs. 1MDB, which is selling assets to pare its debt, is the subject of various probes both at home and abroad into its finances.

‘Exhaustive Investigations’

“This confirms what the prime minister maintained all along, and what multiple lawful authorities concluded after exhaustive investigations: the funds were a donation from Saudi Arabia,” Najib’s press secretary Tengku Sariffuddin said in a statement Friday.

Najib is facing his biggest political crisis since coming to power seven years ago amid questions over the $681 million that appeared in his accounts before the 2013 election, which the ruling coalition, in power since independence in 1957, won with its slimmest margin yet. Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali in January closed the door on a graft probe of Najib, clearing him of wrongdoing over the “personal contribution” from Saudi royals.

The premier returned $620 million in August 2013 that was not utilized, Apandi said, without specifying what the rest of the funds were used for. Najib has maintained the funds were not used for private benefit.

Najib allegedly received millions of dollars in his personal accounts between 2011 and 2013 from the Saudi finance ministry and two men identifying themselves as princes from the Middle Eastern nation, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported late last month.

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s longest serving leader who governed until 2003, has waged a public campaign to get Najib out of office. The feud has grown increasingly acrimonious as Mahathir attacked the prime minister over the financial scandals and his economic record.

“This also proves that the wild allegations pushed for one year by Tun Mahathir Mohamad and his Anti-Najib Campaign are completely false,” Tengku said.

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Tenthly, Dr Malahathir refused to accept Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubair’s explanation on their position about the “USD681 million donation and its genuine donation and do not expect anything in return”. This also include the refusal to accept the close association with the Saudi Monarch demonstrated by conduct when his Majesty King Salman Al Saud’s state visit to Malaysia two months ago.

He conveniently makes no qualms about making seditious remarks which include lying about “(His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan) Agong is under house arrest”.

That is not withstanding the fact he continuously propagate the false notion about “(Prime Minister) Najib would be arrested if he sets foot in United States or United Kingdom”, since over 18 months ago.

We could go on and on this. However, Dr. Mahathir has been harping so many allegations against Prime Minister Najib without him once ever personally made a report with the Police and MACC but instead getting his minions to offer their heads to be slaughtered for wrongful allegations.

That is a classic impossible game of an incorrigible ignominious.

Published in: on May 14, 2017 at 23:59  Leave a Comment  

It is in the numbers, ad volarem 

There is no better way to tell a story but based on facts. Like, presenting it with numbers and the right interpretation.

An quick example is that many people are trying very hard and adamantly to highlight that Barisan Nasional (BN) votes obtained in the last GE did not warrant the mandate of forming the Government by the people.

Taking into argument is that BN only obtained 47.4% of votes casted.

However, the Constitutional Monarchy democratic system practiced here in the Westminster styled ‘First-Past-The-Post’, where number of MPs shall be the determining factor for His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong to invite the party with most MPs in the Dewan Rakyat to form the Government.

GE results

BN’s best performance in GE was in 11GE, where the coalition of 13 parties controlled over 90% of Dewan Rakyat seats. Even that, BN only obtained slightly less than 65% of votes casted.

The last Parliament saw despite obtaining a little over 47% votes casted BN got 60% of the seats of Dewan Rakyat, which is 54 seats majority over the combined Opposition MPs.

BN lost 3% votes casted in the 13GE which only translated to 7 seats lesser in the Dewan Rakyat compared to the previous GE on 8 March 2008, dubbed ‘Political Tsunami’.

Of course the upcoming 14GE would be a very interesting to watch, considering since a year ago when BN and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak were at their lowest ebb, BN won handsomely in the Sarawak State Elections and Sungei Besar and Kuala Kangsar twin by-elections.

Many are still bent that BN won because the opposition votes split between PAS and PAN.

However, grieving widow and housewife Datin Mastura Yazid obtained 2,032 votes more than the aggregated votes of all her opponents. The previous BN MP Allahyarham Dato’ Ir Wan Khairil Anwar got 1,082 votes majority in 13GE.

YB Budiman Zohri’s 2,289 votes majority over the aggregated opposition votes is much improved compared to Deputy Minister Allahyarham Dato’ Noriah Kasnon’s 399 votes majority at 13GE.

This is not withstanding the fact that former BN Chairman and UMNO President for over 22 years Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad actively campaigned for both PAN candidates, despite the fasting month challenges.

Datin Mastura, then a widow in grief, never left her home during the entire campaign. She won purely on the effectiveness BN machinery.

So, a year has past and the political landscape somewhat changed more favourable towards BN and PM Najib’s advantage, with its own merits and many politically challenging issues such as 1MDB is no longer as prickly as what it was exactly a year ago.

The demerits on the Opposition side is also glaring. The ‘rebellion’ within DAP where 2MPs and 4 ADUNs quit, the break away between PAS and PKR, PKR’s internal fighting and teething problem which somewhat quickly developing worse for the new-kid-on-the-block PPBM.

DAP strategist Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong in his ‘Black Swan’ outlined these backbiting issues for the Opposition:

There are certainly challenges for the Opposition to overcome in order to precipitate change.

First, while there are serious discontents among the Malays, the Opposition must stand for something inspiring and visionary, and not depends solely on the anger against Najib as forward strategy. The Opposition must stand for more than just removing Najib. The economy and the well-being of the people should be the number one priority.

Second, the coming together of Bersatu and the Pakatan Harapan parties, namely Parti KeADILan Rakyat, Parti Amanah Negara, and Democratic Action Party, is a reconciliation of unlikely former foes. Who would imagine Dr. Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim forming an alliance nearly 20 years after their very bitter fallout in 1998. But the coming together of the once political father-and-son can unleash huge energy if handled properly. After all, both Mahathir and Anwar are positive leadership figures compared to Najib, and they each appeal to some segments of the Malay electorate.

Third, to present a common agenda for Mahathir’s audience and DAP’s supporters is another challenge. If Mahathir and Bersatu go on a racial campaign, it will depress the support of non-Malay voters, which in turn creates a lose-lose situation for the entire Pakatan Harapan coalition. Likewise, the regime’s attack on Mahathir and Bersatu is that they are associated with the DAP. The presence of DAP can also depress the support for Bersatu and other Malay-based parties like PKR and Amanah if the Opposition is unable to break out of UMNO’s racial playbook, and articulate new narratives that can bridge all groups in a larger vision.

Fourth, PAS as UMNO’s “new friend”, as Zahid Hamidi calls them, is a reality, and the sooner a clear line is drawn between the genuine/official Opposition, Pakatan Harapan, and the pseudo “third force” of PAS, the better it is to condition the voters to vote along the line of those “for Najib”, and those “against Najib”.

Fifth, the ultimate challenge for the newly re-aligned Pakatan Harapan that included Bersatu, is that Najib could just exit the scene and take out the raison d’être of the Opposition and the anger in the community.

If this is to happen, can the Opposition survive this unlikely but not impossible Black Swan?

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Taking all that and other factors into consideration, the matrix would translate into a projection which is mathematically possible to do so.

That is not withstanding PM Najib’s administration in keeping up the boost of the ‘Feel Good Factor’, in the run up and continuous implementation of the SEA Games, 60th Merdeka celebrations and Special SEA Games.

It is on top on the many trade deals recently clinched with the super active Prime Minister Najib visits to China, India, Germany and reciprocity of King of Saudi and Bahrain and Crown Princes of Qatar and Japan.

Malaysian economic transformation plan (ETP) growth

The Malaysian economy has seen growth and sharper incline, since Prime Minister Najib launched his economic transformation plan and the various strategy, to drive the nation towards a high GNI nation in the impelementation and ad valorem of the Vision 2020.

The strategic economic agenda for the Malays and Indians, which are part of his economic transformation plan to bring Malaysians to the high income status, is a strategic boost.

In the final analysis, is in the numbers and directionally, it is plausible to plot a bullish projection.

Published in: on May 13, 2017 at 12:30  Comments (1)