220 years old French style failed democracy

The chaos of a court just after the French Revolution

The chaos of a court just after the French Revolution

In his speech to commemorate the official birthday of His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong, Prime Minister Dato’ Srì Mohd. Najib Tun Razak announced a Special Panel comprising of BN and Opposition MPs to oversee and monitor the Election Commission. The purpose is to add more credibility of the EC.

Sunday June 2, 2013

New panel to oversee Election Commission

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission’s integrity and credibility will be strengthened with a special committee comprising Barisan Nasional and Opposition MPs set up to oversee it, the Prime Minister said.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said: “With this move, it is hoped the impartiality of the EC will not be questioned and the people’s confidence in the commission is strengthened.”

He was delivering his speech congratulating Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on his birthday at Istana Negara yesterday.

He said the Government would cooperate fully with the EC to improve further the credibility of general elections in the country although the last one went without a hitch.

He urged those “fuelled by self-interest” not to damage the credibility of the EC by making unfounded allegations against the commission.

Bernama quoted him as saying that the commission was not a government agency or department but a mechanism set up based on provisions under the Federal Constitution.

Najib also reported to the King that the country had for the 13th time seen the smooth running of a general election to select the people’s representatives and form the federal and state governments.

He gave an assurance that he and his Cabinet would safeguard the trust placed on them by the King to take the country to greater heights.

Najib also said that upgrading governance and integrity across all segments were among new focus areas of the Government.

He said the Government would intensify efforts to fight corruption and abuse of power.

To this end, the Government has developed a comprehensive integrity plan that “crosses borders”, he said, adding: “I will announce the details of the implementation of this plan soon.”

“The people have spoken and voiced the priority that should be championed by your majesty’s Government. Our duty and responsibility are to discharge the trust in the best way.”

Present at the investiture ceremony in conjunction with the King’s birthday were Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Cabinet ministers.

Najib said the Government would in the next five years improve the implementation of the National Transformation Policy to ensure sustained economic growth, reduce inflation and cost of living, strive for low unemployment and control crime rate.

It will also ensure equal access to quality education, narrow the infrastructure and income gap between urban and rural people, boost foreign and domestic investments and increase competitiveness, he added.

“These plans will not be successful without the support of all Malaysians. It should not be the Government’s agenda alone and we should make it the mission of all parties,” Najib said.

“Let us chart a new and better future together for us and our children.”

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Many have started to question the rational of the creation of this panel. This is because the independence and integrity of the EC has never been as an issue to the majority of Malaysians.

The Opposition have used the integrity and independence EC as a convenient during the last two general elections. However, they failed to bring upon credible evidence to substantiate their claims. They had three BERSIH rallies and many of their demands were actually implemented by EC.

The Opposition and all the pro-Opposition NGOs are not interested on improvement of the electoral process and system. They are looking excuses to manipulate, like finding ways how the indelible ink to be taken of the finger of voters. And they blatantly lie, like the so-called ‘Blackout in Bentong during vote counting’, for the explicit motives of ill intent to get some Malaysians mad and on street demonstration fury.

Black 505

Black 505

Yet, the manipulation of facts without any credible evidence provided to substantiate and blatant lies continued post the 13GE. ‘Black 505’ series of rally all over the nation is designed to infuriate Malaysians which the lying notion that EC manipulated the 13GE and denied the majority of their ‘true government’.

His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV Tuanku Sultan Abdul Halim Al Muadzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah in his official birthday titah yesterday asked everyone to accept the result of the 13GE and move on. Yet, the Opposition refused and vow to continue the ‘Black 505’ mobstreet rally.

Despite Agong’s call to accept GE13 result, ‘Black 505’ will continue

BY ZURAIRI AR
JUNE 01, 2013

File picture of Datuk Seri Najib Razak (right) taking his oath in front of DYMM Yang di-Pertuan Agong during a swearing-in ceremony at the palace in Kuala Lumpur. — Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — PKR stressed today that the Black 505 rallies will go on to show the people’s disapproval towards the Election Commission (EC), and are not meant as a sign of disrespect against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The rallies will continue to protest against alleged electoral fraud during Election 2013, despite calls by the King, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, who wants the people of this country to accept the results of the 13th general election (GE13) which they themselves have determined.

“The reason why we gather is to state our dissatisfaction towards the EC’s action, there is no intention to disrespect Your Highness,” PKR’s Datuk Johari Abdul told The Malaysian Insider through a phone call here.

“That is why every time we end our gatherings, we would sing “Negaraku” to show our obedience and loyalty towards Your Highness,” said the rally’s programme director, referring to the national anthem.

Johari explained that the rallies will continue until the chairman, deputy chairman, and every member of the EC that were elected by the King himself resign.

“As a leader, I “menjunjung kasih” (honour with love) Your Highness’ advice. However, the citizens under Your Highness ask to inform Your Highness that there is clear fraud that was done by the EC,” he said.

Last night, Tuanku Abdul Halim said that any political change in the country must be done in a peaceful manner, through the ballot box guided by the principles of the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.

“If there are differences of opinion, use the channels to resolve them as outlined in the Federal Constitution and the country’s laws,” Tuanku Abdul Halim said in conjunction with the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today in his speech that was carried live by RTM last night.

The King said: “The act of casting doubts on an institution that has been entrusted under the Federal Constitution to conduct the general elections in this country is very dangerous and might only cause a never-ending conflict.

“Don’t we ever weaken and destroy our constitutional monarchy system, parliamentary democracy and federal philosophy which all this while have formed the basic ingredients for Malaysia’s success.”

Earlier this week, Johari had said that the rallies will continue next month and be held every week until all PKR’s demands are met.

This comes even as Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders and analysts criticised the rallies and called for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to accept the results and move on towards nation building efforts instead.

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The Opposition is determined to use the ‘Black 505’ and other street demonstration, coupled with the utterance of seditious words and other acts of crime, to create the anger amongst Malaysians and hoped to reach a point of critical mass. It is where a massive civil demonstration dubbed ‘Malaysian Spring’ (after the ‘Arab Spring’ which toppled Tunisian, Libyan and Egyption governments) is staged where the Federal Government is toppled.

EC Chairman Tan Sri Abd Aziz Yusof in audience with His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV

The EC’s authority is directly from His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong, with the agreement and approval of Conference of Rulers. This is clearly stated in the act, which also governs the operation limits of the officers appointed to carry out EC duties.

So far, the Conference of Rulers has never complained about the independence and intergrity of the EC. After all, Opposition leaders took oath of office as the Chief Minister and Menteri Besars before HRH Rulers very quickly in states where they controlled the State Assemblies without any hang ups.

Commissioners are appointed by His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong with agreement of Conference of Rulers. Having MPs as a body to oversee the EC, , demeans the authority and integrity of persons already appointed by His Majesty and HRH Rulers.

The trial of Charles, King of England, January 1649

The trial of Charles, King of England, January 1649

Democracy is good. However there is a limit of democracy as the freedom to decide indescriminately based on popularity, emotions and perception or worse still, manipulation of public oppinion could be proven destructive. Democracy  also doesn’t warrant to defend the rights of individuals at he expense of the interest of the majority.

After the French Revolution, the French people demanded they have the complete say to decide on aspect like law and the process of administering justice. They resorted to tribunals based on hatred sentiments and France saw the indescriminate brutal execution on the monarchs and nobilities.

So was almost 150 years earlier when the Parliamentarians revolted against the King of England and a republic was instituted for only the time in the island’s 6,000 years of civilisation.

The EC meeting the press and media, for 13GE

Just like the Judiciary, the EC should be answerable to His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong and Conference of Rulers. It should be considered ‘Thinning of the Wedge’ to allow persons elected by the process of democracy with the means of popularity instead of qualification, to play that role instead. After all, this election panel consist of MPs could be a new precedent to instituting MPs as a ‘Judiciary Panel’.

It is doubtful that the appointment of MPs in the cohorts of Bung Mokhtar Raden, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Rafizi Ramli, Azeez Rahim and/or Mahfuz Omar would provide credence to the panel, which is supposed to supervise the independence and integrity of the EC.

Unless, this idea is in competition to Astro’s talent search reality show Maharaja Lawak.

*Updated 2345hrs

Published in: on June 2, 2013 at 20:00  Comments (24)  

BigDogDotCom article translated into French

This blog produced a story about the naming of the first of two TLDM’s submarine squadron, a Perdana Menteri Class Scorpene SSK submarine, at Cherbourg, France today, last week. It will be officiated by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak while Chief of Navy Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan Mohamed Ali, Malaysian Ambassador to France Dato’ Hamidah Yusof and Head of Submarine Project Team Laksmana Pertama Mohd. Rosland Omar bear witness.

The article was translated into French and published in the French Navy portal:

Cérémonie de baptême du premier Scorpène Malaisien

Par Rédacteur en chef
Publié le 20 octobre 2007, dernière mise à jour le 20 octobre 2007.

Le vice-premier ministre et ministre de la défense de Malaisie, Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, présidera la cérémonie de baptême du premier sous-marin Malaisien en début de semaine prochaine à Cherbourg. Le premier sous-marin construit par DNCS sera baptisé KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, le premier Premier Ministre et père de l’indépendance de la Malaisie.

Sous-marin Scorpène
Sous-marin Scorpène
De la Marine Malaisienne

La cérémonie aura lieu à l’arsenal de Cherbourg. Le chef de la Marine Malaisienne, Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan Mohamed Ali, assistera à cette cérémonie ainsi que de hauts responsables des forces armées dont l’attaché de défense à Paris. Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan se trouve actuellement aux Etats-Unis assistant à un syposium sur les sous-marins.

Un mélange d’Air Yassin (eau sainte) et d’eau du puits de Zam-Zam à La Mecque (la ville la plus sainte de l’Islam) sera utilisé pour bénir lors du baptême du premier des 2 sous-marins de la première escadrille de sous-marin du pays, au lieu de la traditionnelle bouteille de champagne.

Ce premier sous-marin a été jonctionné (avec toutes les installations principales déjà installées) le 15 mars 2007. Il sera prochainement prêt pour des essais à la mer. La livraison de ce premier sous-marin de la classe Perdana Menteri à la marine Malaisienne est prévue en janvier 2009. Le deuxième, qui sera baptisé KD Tun Razak, a été jonctionné en juillet dernier. Il est actuellement en finition au chantier Navantia Izar de Carthagène et devrait être livré en 2010.

Tun Abdul Razak est le deuxième premier ministre et le père de Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

Le sous-marin école Agosta
Le sous-marin école Agosta

Actuellement, 140 officiers et marins sont formés à l’école de formation sous-marine d’élite de la Marine Nationale (NAVFCO) à Brest, en utilisant un sous-marin d’entraînement de la classe Agosta, le “Ouessant”. Les commandants désignés pour les 2 sous-marins, le Lt. Cdr. Zulhelmi et le Lt. Cdr. Baharuddin Md. Nor, sont les 2 sous-mariniers les plus expérimentés de la Marine Malaisienne.

Remarque :Cette cérémonie devrait se dérouler en présence du ministre Français de la défense, Hervé Morin.

 

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It is an honour for Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia) and BigDogDotCom indeed.

Published in: on October 23, 2007 at 11:56  Comments (7)  

Trigger-no-metry

Is the game is afoot with the arrest of political aide to PKR President Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim in the high profile investigation of the ultra-sensational ‘Semburit’ shocking video during the Sandakan by-election?

The Star story:

Anwar’s aide arrested in connection with Haziq sex video case


  • NATION

  • Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019

PETALING JAYA: Perak PKR leader Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak has been identified as the politician arrested by the police to assist in investigations into a sex video scandal that has embroiled Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.   

Farhash, who is the political secretary of PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was nabbed along with two other suspects in Pasir Gudang, Johor on Tuesday (July 16), according to sources.

Farhash had previously asked Azmin to quit if the evidence over the sex video clips was overwhelmingly against him.  

Prior to this, Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz, as well as five others, were picked up by the police as part of ongoing investigations into the scandal.

Haziq has confessed to being one of the two men involved in sexual acts in the video and claims that the other is Azmin.

Azmin has, however, categorically denied this.

Haziq was first detained at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on June 14, and three days later, the police set up a special task force, led by Comm Huzir to investigate the case.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/17/anwars-aide-arrested-in-connection-with-haziq-sex-video-case/#MrcCxpi0SozQkbxe.99

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It is very interesting to what the Police might find from the investigation after the arrest.

The permutation of questions is almost infinite.

Who is the person in bed with Haziq Abdullah Abd Aziz, who complained through his video posting viralled through the Facebook platform about his despicable act at the Sandakan Four Points Sheraton.

How is Wafa Salvador involved in this?

How is Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim?

Could it be the chap committing the Section 377A of the Buggery Act under Penal Code, is a Cabinet Minister?

Then, if there are any definitive answers to all ambiguities, individually all and sundry, most of the average person on the street watching stories about this topic would there on, asks a few more.

Is Gerontocracy Prime Minister really sincere about handing over the Premiership to Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim, now that the ambiguity of “Two years” is from the point PH took over from BN or the last time it was asked to the former?

Then again, what is the most likely ‘succession plan’ in the head of the Gerontocracy Prime Minister?

Is it to at some point of time, pass over the baton to Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim or stretch as long and create the opportunity for the latter falls into the conniving trap of “He is unfit to become Prime Minister again!”.

Of course, that could be the more likely succession plan in the head of the Gerontocracy Prime Minister.

This theory fits with the conspiracy of two different prongs manoeuvred by Gerontocracy Prime Minister.

The first one is about PPBM strengthening themselves, at least at Dewan Rakyat Level by ‘encouraging’ defectors from UMNO.

It is a serious change of heart (Or U-Turn on the policy of NOT accepting defectors outside PH upon their thunderous but schocking in toppling BN on 14GE).

So far 16MPs abandoned the nationalist party but only 14 out of the joined Mahathir’s party, which simply more than doubled PPBM’s seat in Dewan Rakyat from 13 to 27.

The second one is Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim didn’t waste much time to enthroned himself as the heir apparent by quickly getting to win the Port Dickson Parliamentary seat and the Presidency of the party that was created for and about him, PKR.

Regardless how eager and impatient Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim is to ascend the PM VIII seat, he is trying his best to be nonchalant about it.

Which is not exactly successful. Politic pundits are giving the opinion otherwise, especially as Gerontocracy Prime Minister fortifying himself with manoeuvres and getting his agents in the likes of Chairman of Council of Elders Daim Zainuddin and Economic Adviser Dr Muhammed A Khalid to put their ‘hands’ all over the place within the Federal Government eco-system.

Back to the first bit of Gerontocracy Prime Minister strengthening his position. He and/or his agents managed to get UMNO MPs in the likes of Mas Ermieyati, Mustapha Mohamad, Nor Azmi, Ikmal Hisham, Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad, Hamzah Zainuddin and others to abandon UMNO in quite just sixth months after BN unable to retain power in the Federal Government and all but two State Governments.

It was said the exercise was ‘engineered’ by a ‘shadow’ UMNO. He either was asked or volunteered to broker the ‘exodus of UMNO MPs as Independent’, with the specific objective to quite soon there on join PPBM and strengthen the party which started as the most junior in the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Many was made to believe that if this ‘shadow’ UMNO leader manage to create a ‘substantial UMNO crossover into PPBM’, then he would be part of the ‘equation for the succession plan’, which is very high on the stake by global eyes watching on the Malaysian politics.

‘Succession planning’ is utmost in the order of priority when Malaysia’s scorecard is measure. At present, it is substantially low as globally, the feeling on the:

1. Lack and defective of political stability and moving ahead

2. Lack of clarity of policies and decisions made

3. Grave lack of implementation and follow through of policies, which include knee-jerk reversals and cancellation, not withstanding mega projects and worse of all, the ones involving G-to-G as direct stakeholders

In the second act of the ‘Succession Plan’ schedule, it is believed that the DAP is throwing itself firmly behind Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim and the substantial faction of PKR.

It means that this is the single most substantial component within the PH ‘unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenient-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows’.

It was said the day after DAP thunderous win in Sandakan two months ago, some senior DAP leaders demanded that Gerontocracy Prime Minister announce the time table of the Succession Plan.

That, sent the PPBM inner circle helter skelter trying to manoeuvre their political position.0

The current ‘Semburit scandal’ is probably a major spanner thrown in the works of Gerontocracy Prime Minister’s Succession Plan.

The man-of-the-season Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Mohamed Ali’s name has suddenly been peppered with shock and shame.

The Star story:

Video casts a shadow over Azmin


The beleaguered Datuk Seri Azmin Ali seems to have the support of the most influential man behind the Prime Minister but the burning question is why the police investigation into the sex video is taking so long. 

THE Hari Raya open house of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was one of the grandest he has hosted in his political career.

There were thousands of guests at his official residence in Putrajaya but notably absent were many of the top PKR figures, including party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The Azmin team has been seething over the sex video issue and had apparently “rescinded” – the term used by the team – invitations sent out to PKR’s power couple.

Several PKR leaders and journalists who received formal invitations to the open house were also informed a few days before the event that they had been uninvited.

The move was the talk of PKR circles because to be uninvited is unusual to say the least. 

It was a rather petty and childish move but it showed how angry the Azmin team is about what they see as a plot to destroy their boss.

The video implicating Azmin in a sex tryst does not seem to have affected his appeal if the crowd at the open house was anything to go by.

But it was the presence of Tun Daim Zainuddin, arguably the most influential man behind the Prime Minister, that sent a potent signal that evening.

The low-profile tycoon, who arrived with his wife, was in one of his ill-fitting shirts that looked two sizes too big for him and which almost reached his knees. 

Daim’s silence on the video issue has been read as a sign of disapproval but his appearance that evening gave Azmin a much-needed boost.

The Azmin team is elated because they think that their man now not only has the support of the Prime Minister but also an influential man behind the Prime Minister.

Azmin also crossed an important hurdle last week when the police established that the bank transaction documents in the video accusing Azmin of corruption were forgeries. 

It would be tempting to think that the worst is over for Azmin, that the issue seems to be tapering off rather than escalating. 

But this is one sex scandal that just won’t go away yet.

“Nothing ever disappears once it gets into the Internet,” said political commentator Tawfik Ismail.

The hidden hands behind the expose have been relentless, systematically releasing more videos related to the sex allegations that are aimed at shaping public opinion.

There have also been protests calling for Azmin’s resignation and labelling him a “semburit” or homosexual.

“Azmin has survived as a Cabinet member but to go a step further, that is out of the question for now,” said a political insider.

In that sense, the “vicious libel”, as Azmin calls it, may have disqualified him as a prime minister candidate in the foreseeable future.

Many have noted the lack of outrage or urgency like when Anwar was slammed with all manner of sex-related accusations 20 years ago.

Lawyer Khaw Veon Szu said people are simply tired of the constant politics. 

“Things like the rising cost of living are more worrying to them. I sense people are also disgusted with this kind of politics,” said Khaw.

Back in 1998, Anwar came under fierce attack from the mighty Barisan Nasional while the Opposition, especially PAS, rallied to his support.

This time, the Opposition has gone to the sidelines to watch the show while those within Pakatan Harapan pretend that all is well, reluctant to judge or to show support for Azmin.

But the burning question at this point in time is the progress of the police investigation.

The impression, said Tawfik, is that the police seem to be tip-toeing around the matter.

This is a politically sensitive case and the first big test for Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Ab­­dul Hamid Bador since his appointment. 

He probably does not wish to make any missteps and has promised not to pressure the special taskforce set up to look into the case.

Azmin loyalist Dr Afif Bahardin has urged the police to also investigate the mastermind behind the accuser Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz, who is clearly not acting alone.

“We must identify who is behind it. These are dangerous people especially if they are bidding for power,” said Afif, who is also a Seberang Jaya assemblyman.

The police have kept a tight lid on their probe, including the all-important question of whether the video is authentic or a deepfake.

The veil over the investigation has also generated all kinds of rumours, including claims that there will be a cover-up.

The fact that the Prime Minister has pre-empted things by saying that he does not believe the allegations and declaring the video fake does not make things easy for the investigators. 

Those critical of the way the issue is being handled complain that Dr Mahathir has unfairly set the tone and that his statements are the soundbites that people will remember.

“Who would dare go against the narrative of the No. 1?” said a PKR division chief.

As of now, even the most seasoned of politicians are unable to predict how this issue will turn out.

What is clear though is that it has dented Pakatan’s image.

The ball is at the feet of the special police taskforce.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2019/07/07/video-casts-a-shadow-over-azmin/#8AmR4SUu8E67z0rj.99

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The tainted Minister’s role and place in the Gerontocracy Prime Minister’s Succession Plan is either at best compromised or worse still, fizzling away systematically.

What added to the ‘Succession Plan’ was the commentaries on the opportunity arisen from Gerontocracy Prime Minister’s 94th birthday.

The Star story:

Play for Malay votes on Dr M’s birthday


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was flooded with birthday greetings but the Malay parties probably gave him the best present by pushing for a Bill that will inject some 3.9 million new Malay voters into the voting pool. 

VIDEOS and pictures of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s birthday are still streaming on social media.

The “birthday boy” has been round the block 94 times but he is still able to bring on his own unique responses to the occasion that makes it a talking point each year.

However, Dr Mahathir’s recent birthday was probably the most scrutinised for hints of what lies ahead.

His tweet was accompanied by a trio of carefully picked photos – one of him seated at his work desk, another of him by the French windows in his office gazing out to the horizon and a close-up shot of him smiling broadly and flashing the V-sign.

The subtext to that was that his work and the country are his priorities, but what was the V-sign about?

The V-sign is associated with victory after Winston Churchill used it at the end of World War II.

Political aide and film-maker Syed Azidi Syed Aziz read it as an encrypted signal that Mahathir will be up there for “two more years”.

Dr Mahathir had described his birthday wish as “very simple” and that is to set the country on the road to recovery.

“Sounds like a journey that’s going to take more than two years,” said Syed Azidi with a laugh.

There was also a certain poignant tone to many of the birthday wishes coming in for Dr Mahathir. 

“For once, there was little nastiness or exchanges. People know that time is not on Dr Mahathir’s side, they want to celebrate the occasion while they can and if he is still around next year, then that’s good,” said former MP Jeff Ooi, who is also a widely-read columnist for several Chinese newspapers.

But the most interesting was the way those whose careers were built on running him down but are now fawning over him with sweet wishes.

Even opponents, including Datuk Seri Najib Razak, put aside their rivalry to wish him well. 

Some even suspect a grudging admiration on the part of Najib for the elder man, who at 94, is still up there and fighting.

“It was a gentlemanly gesture because birthdays are always a good occasion for all of us,” said Lanchang assemblyman Datuk Seri Sharkar Shamsudin.

Bersatu supreme council member Akhramsyah Sanusi said people out there see Dr Mahathir as a reliable pair of hands at the steering wheel given the burden he is carrying from the previous government and his largely inexperienced team.

“No need to read too much into politicians wishing each other well, that is politics. What the common people think is more important. There is some disappointment in Pakatan Harapan but this has been cushioned by the level of trust in Dr Mahathir,” said Akhramsyah.

Dr Mahathir’s return to the top post was initially seen as revenge politics and he spent much of last year adapting to his new partners and the new way of running things.

“He has shown he is in charge, he’s asserting his powers as PM. Other parties (in Pakatan) may be bigger but they know he is the boss. No one will be able to tell him to go off before he is ready, that much is clear,” said Syed Azidi.

In short, there is no way he will agree to naming the transition date until he is ready to call it a day.

Surveys and polls have pointed to a decline in ratings for Dr Mahathir. Yet, politically speaking, he is much stronger and more secure than a year ago. 

“Of course, he is stronger than before. The number of MPs in Bersatu shot up by 100%,” said Sharkar, referring to the Umno crossovers to Bersatu.

A great deal of Dr Mahathir’s clout in Pakatan also has to do with the way he has played the game. 

For instance, a senior Umno figure claimed that Dr Mahathir’s Malay unity call was less about getting Malay parties to come together than a veiled warning to his coalition partners.

“How can two big Malay parties join a tiny party? His message was aimed at DAP and PKR, that if they push him to the wall, he can rope in PAS and Umno for support. He is also telling Anwar to go slow if he wants to make it.

“There is also a message for Umno and PAS – he is saying that if the Malays continue to break up, don’t blame him because he has tried his best,” said the senior Umno man.

The Umno figure said Dr Mahathir is a stubborn creature who dislikes getting advice or being told what to do. 

He said that another thing to remember is that Dr Mahathir does not concede defeat in a fight. If you take him on, be prepared to go the distance.

Pakatan leaders know him well as a former arch enemy and are only now learning to work with him as their ally.

He is still springing surprises on them like what happened in Parliament a few days ago. 

He chaired a discussion with Opposition party leaders on the Bill to lower the voting age and when they emerged, they had reached a stunning decision to amend the Bill to enable the automatic registration of voters at age 18.

According to Sharkar, a whopping 3.9 million new Malay voters would be added to the voter registration list under the automatic registration move.

The main beneficiaries would be Malay-Muslim parties like PAS, Umno and Bersatu.

The Malay parties had basically come together in a sophisticated play for Malay votes ahead of the next general election. 

It will be like a huge blood transfusion for these Malay parties and pose a huge challenge to Chinese-dominated parties like DAP.

During the press conference to announce the decision, Dr Mahathir could be seen smiling indulgently at Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. 

It was a smile that said: Mission accomplished!

And suddenly, people could understand what was behind the cosy picture of Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman chatting with Najib on the sidelines of Parliament.

All this happened on Dr Mahathir’s birthday and the joke is that this might be his favourite birthday present.



Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2019/07/14/play-for-malay-votes-on-dr-ms-bday/#Dd5BT3UX1pBhSLBS.99

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Now comes to the interesting theory.

This week, saw the landmark Dewan Rakyat bi-partisan passing of the Bill to allow automatic voting age and qualification for 18 year olds.

After tweaking the original proposed Bill, Gerontocracy Prime Minister managed to obtain unequivocal support from the Opposition, UMNO, PAS and GPS.

It is a step up from the humiliating defeat for the amendment Bill to the Federal Constitution brought forth by Gerontocracy Prime Minister, not quite three months ago in the last Parliamentary session.

All the recent developments, independently or all and sundry, would be a ‘trigger’ on the move to ‘dethrone’ Gerontocracy Prime Minister?

More so, a little over a week ago Gerontocracy Prime Minister invited UMNO and PAS to join PPBM.

UMNO President Dato Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi rejected the invitation as “UMNO is not willing to work with DAP” and yesterday, PAS President Tuan Guru Dato Seri Hj Hadi Awang coyly said, “No appetite (Tiada selera)” to the invitation.

Hence, for the so called failed UMNO leader who aspires with the “Prime Ministerial quality”, his manoeuvres to amalgamate all the Malay and Bumiputra MPs from UMNO, PAS and GPS and fortify the Gerontocracy Prime Minister against the possible heightening pressure from Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim with his PKR faction and strong DAP plus PAN support is withering away.

At least for the moment.

And the latest arrest on the investigation of the ‘Semburit Scandal’ which is believed to include Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim’s own Political Secretary, is likely to diminish to trigger within PH to openly run Gerontocracy Prime Minister down?

Then again there are those who believe that however impatient Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim is, he would not dare to try and run Gerontocracy Prime Minister down openly.

Not even when DAP is willing to do the bidding for him.

Published in: on July 17, 2019 at 10:00  Leave a Comment  

God, King and Country

The close and personal relationship between Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and His Majesty King Salman Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid of with the kick off pf the pilot project of immigration clearance for Hajj pilgrims at source, instead upon arrival.

New Straits Times story:

 

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi conduct checks on the new POC system at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Malaysian haj pilgrims will be the first in the world use the Proof of Concept (POC) system for pre-clearance at the point of departure to Saudi Arabia. Pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

SEPANG: Malaysian haj pilgrims will be the first in the world use the Proof of Concept (POC) system for pre-clearance at the point of departure to Saudi Arabia.

The POC system enables immigration checks on Malaysian pilgrims to be done at the point of departure in Kuala Lumpur, instead of upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said this initiative will eliminate the need for long queues by pilgrims at immigration points in Saudi Arabia, as experienced in the past.

The system, he said, would also benefit the pilgrims by freeing up more time for them to perform their ‘ibadah’.

“Saudi Arabia’s immigration authorities have been working closely with ELM Saudi Arabia, a Saudi based company, and Xybase Sdn Bhd, a local company, to implement the POC system in phases.

“The Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been chosen as the pilot site.

“All immigration processes will be done here in KLIA by Saudi immigration officers before the pilgrims’ departure.

“With the implementation of the POC, our pilgrims can go straight to the luggage area (upon arrival in Saudi Arabia) and they do not have queue up at the immigration counter. It will help them save time,” he said.

He said the POC trial system will be operating for the next four days, starting today.

This project will involve the last few flights of Tabung Haji pilgrims, beginning with Malaysia Airlines charter flight MH8146 ferrying 287 pilgrims.

Also present at the event was Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali.

Abdul Azeez said the pilot project was initiated thanks to Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak strong relationship with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“We should be grateful and honoured with this new National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative by our government with the Saudi government,” he said.

Abdul Azeez said at the completion of the trial period, the Transport Ministry will provide its feedback to the Saudi government.

“We are hoping for the POC system to be permenantly implemented, subject to the Saudi government’s approval,” said Abdul Azeez.

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

This is a landmark relationship and confidence between leaders which is benefitting the citizens, where upon full implementation would shortened time and provide more convenience for Hajj pilgrims from Malaysia to by-pass the congestion at arrival either Jeddah or Medinah international airports.

Two million of international pilgrims made the way for the annual fifth tenet of Islam.

King Salman did his landmark visit on 25 February 2017, which fortified the close relationship between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, which an extension of the previous King’s visit 11 years ago.

It demonstrated the intimate personal relationship between His Majesty King Salman and Prime Minister Najib.

Reuters story:

Malaysia rolls out red carpet as Saudi king kicks off Asia tour

KUALA LUMPUR/DUBAI (Reuters) – Malaysia welcomed Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday for the start of a rare, month-long Asian tour, where the monarch will build ties and seek to draw more investments to the oil-rich gulf nation.

The visit is the first by a Saudi king to Malaysia in more than a decade, as the Arab nation courts Asian investors for the sale of a 5 percent stake in state firm Aramco in 2018, expected to be the world’s biggest IPO.

Malaysian state television on Sunday showed live footage of the octogenarian king descending from his plane on an escalator flown in with his delegation. He was received by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak before being whisked away in a heavily guarded convoy for a state ceremony at Malaysia’s parliament grounds.

The leader was greeted in parliament with a 21-gun salute, local media reported.

King Salman also plans to visit Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan “to meet with the leaders of those countries to discuss bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common concern,” a royal court statement carried on Saudi Arabia’s state media SPA reported.

Government sources with knowledge of the visit said a 600-strong delegation will accompany the king on his four-day visit to Malaysia, where cooperation on energy developments will be on the agenda.

State oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco will sign an agreement on Tuesday to collaborate in Malaysia’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, a boost for the Southeast Asian economy which has been reeling under weak global oil prices.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman inspects an honour guard at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia February 26, 2017.Edgar Su

Relations between the two countries have been in the spotlight over the last two years after Saudi Arabia was dragged into a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at Malaysian state fund 1MDB, founded by Najib.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing in the money-laundering case which is now being investigated by several countries including the U.S, Switzerland and Singapore.

A Malaysian government inquiry found that nearly $700 million transferred to the Prime Minister’s bank account in 2013 was a donation from the Saudi royal family and most of it was returned.

The last time a Saudi king visited Malaysia was in 2006, when King Abdullah, King Salman’s half-brother and predecessor, flew in with a 300-member delegation.

“Saudi Arabian investment in Malaysia is expected to create thousands of jobs and we are proud that Malaysian firms have been chosen to undertake projects at some of the most prestigious locations in Saudi Arabia,” Najib said in a statement on Friday.

Besides traveling with his own private escalator, King Salman has also flown in two personal cars. His entourage has also completely booked out three luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur for the duration of the visit.

After Malaysia, the King is expected to travel to Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia from March 1-9 with an even larger entourage of 1,500 people, followed by a trip to Japan from March 12 to 14, officials in those countries said.

King Salman is expected to spend the last two weeks of March on holiday in the Maldives, according to a Maldives diplomat. Local newspaper Mihaaru reported that three resorts have been reserved for his stay.

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

On top of the close diplomatic, commercial, military, administrative, monarchy and religious relationship, there is a progression of the close cultural an civilisation relationship between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Both nations are partners in the commitment to the promotion of global understand and peace of Islam and Muslims.

Prime Minister Najib also offered a 16 ha land in Putrajaya for the King Salman Centre, an institution incepted to promote the global understanding of Islam and Muslims. Islam means Peace.

 

The Star story:

Sunday, 9 July 2017 | MYT 5:33 PM

Najib: 16ha land in Putrajaya allocated for King Salman Centre

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/07/09/09/40/najibsalman-bernama-220517.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=78C53410288139D8B66FDCCCE180CF0A061B2226

A file picture of Najib (left) and King Salman during his visit to the Saudi kingdom in May this year. - Bernama

A file picture of Najib (left) and King Salman during his visit to the Saudi kingdom in May this year. – Bernama

PEKAN: A permanent structure for the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) will be built on a 16ha piece of land in Putrajaya, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the matter was decided after a discussion with assistants to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman who visited his official residence in Putrajaya, Saturday night.

“The construction of KSCIP in Putrajaya reflects the importance of the institution, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself will come to Malaysia to launch the centre together with me.

“This is because King Salman could have chosen any other country to build the centre, but the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chose this country,” he said at an Aidilfitri open house hosted by him and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar here Saunday, which was attended by more than 50,000 people.

The KSCIP currently operates from Kuala Lumpur, and the Government has been given two years to build the new centre, which is a brainchild of King Salman aimed at deflecting the influence of extremism and terrorist activities, as well as promoting universal peace.

Najib also urged the people not to be angry and critical about what the Government had done for the country, as it was only for their own wellbeing.

“What we do has earned praise and recognition from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

“That’s why it’s not true if the Opposition says that the country is a failed state and needs to be saved. In fact, we have been safe and successful, as well as commended by foreign countries.

“For those who say that the country needs to be saved…even our leaders in the past had never received such acclaim from that country (Saudi Arabia), so there is no need to ‘save’ Malaysia,” he said.

On Saturday’s meeting, Najib confirmed that the additional Haj quota given by the Saudi Arabian government to Malaysia would be maintained, and talks on the construction of two Tabung Haji complexes in Makkah and Madinah were still underway.

Najib, who is also Pekan MP, said that if the complexes were built, it would help reduce the cost of Malaysians performing the Haj in the future.

Najib also said that the government had spent RM3bil on five Aidilfitri aid packages throughout the month of Ramadan, benefiting 9.6 million people.

“Among the assistance given were in the form of rice aid to civil servants and pensioners, dividends to smallholders, the second stage of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) given to seven million recipients, as well as Raya incentives.

“These are part of our efforts, which not only focus on physical development, but also the welfare of the people. Before, people used to say that Government assistance was only for non-domestic purposes, but now, we even provide assistance for the household kitchens,” he said.

Najib also hit out at the Opposition for playing up the sentiment of Malaysia being a failed state because, according to him, the Government had strived to the best of its ability to ensure that Malaysia was on the right track.

As proof, the Prime Minister referred to the 5.6% economic growth rate in the first quarter of 2017 and exports surging to RM80bil, which was unprecedented in the country’s history while the price of oil in Malaysia was the 10th cheapest in the world.

“Therefore, we should feel grateful and if we continue to give support and encouragement to the Government, I believe we can chart a brighter future for our country,” he said. – Bernama

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/07/09/najib-16ha-land-in-putrajaya-allocated-for-king-salman-centre/#35oGyFcRX3WsyioB.99

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On the same note, His Majesty’s Navy previewed its latest warship the Gowind Littoral Class Ship named ‘KD Maharaja Lela’, designed and built by Boustead Naval Shipyard in collaboration with DCNS.

In the tradition of navy inherited from the Royal Navy, she was launched by female member of the monarchy. HRH Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Zara Salim of Perak honoured Royal Malaysian Navy’s most sophisticated surface warship at Lumut Naval Base, Perak.

IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly story:

Malaysia names and launches first Littoral Combat Ship

23 August 2017

Key Points

  • Malaysia has named and launched the country’s first Littoral Combat Ship
  • Platform will provide the Royal Malaysian Navy with all-round offensive capabilities against air, surface, and underwater threats

Malaysia's first-of-class Littoral Combat Ship, Maharaja Lela, just prior to its launch on 24 August 2017 (Royal Malaysian Navy)Malaysia’s first-of-class Littoral Combat Ship, Maharaja Lela, just prior to its launch on 24 August 2017 (Royal Malaysian Navy)

Malaysia’s Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) has launched the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

The vessel, which has been given the pennant number 2501, was launched on 24 August at BNS’ facility in Lumut by the Queen of Perak, Zara Salim. In attendance at the launching ceremony was the Sultan of Perak Nazrin Muizzudin Shah, Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, and RMN Chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.

Just prior to its launch, the queen also revealed that the warship will be known in service as KD Maharaja Lela , named after the 19th century anti-British Malay nationalist who was executed by the colonial government in 1877.

Maharaja Lela is the first of six LCS platforms ordered under a MYR9 billion (USD2.1 billion) contract awarded to BNS in July 2014, and was laid down in March 2016. According to specifications provided by the RMN, the 3,000-tonne LCS platform features an overall length of 111 m, an overall beam of 16 m, and a hull draught of 3.85 m.

The warship, which derives its design from French shipbuilder Naval Group’s Gowind 2500 corvette, has been incorporated with reduced radar cross section (RCS), acoustic, infrared (IR) and magnetic signatures for a stealthier disposition. It has a crew complement of 118 including 18 officers, and can accommodate one helicopter on its flight deck.

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

The first Gowind LCS warship is named after Dato’ Maharaja Lela, the second tier Perak nobleman who was responsible for the opposition against British intervention into the state’s wealth.

He was found guilty for the assassination of British Resident James W. W. Birch on 2 November 1975. He was tried by the British and hanged near Taiping on 20 January 1877.

The other glaring story about the royals is HRH Sultan Ibrahim of Johor took a swipe against Minister of Youth and Sports YB Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Johor Sultan slams Khairy, calls for polo match

Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/johor-sultan-slams-khairy-calls-for-polo-match#4o0k38wJBJ6Ok8LD.99

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar accused Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today of trying to claim credit for Malaysia’s win against Singapore in the SEA Games polo tournament.

It is unclear as to what had prompted his salvo against the Umno Youth chief, but the Johor ruler took to Facebook to slam the federal minister, accusing him of ordering a player to fake injury so he could play at the last minute and appear as the leading man of the moment.

“Today they played against Singapore. When the team was already winning, he came on and asked the performing player to pretend to be injured,” Sultan Ibrahim wrote on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, the official page of the state’s main football club Johor Darul Takzim.

 

“So there’s a photo of him in the team to be featured in the print media and spread the propaganda to cheat people as if he was victorious and reliable,” he added.

This is the first time the Johor sultan publicly blasted Khairy, who had also been the subject of criticism by his son and Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Idris.

Tunku Ismail had repeatedly labelled Khairy an opportunist, claiming the Umno leader to be a manipulative politician who used sports to boost his own popularity.

Khairy is the first ever Malaysian minister to compete as a professional athlete in the SEA Games tournament, leading the country’s first ever polo team.

But the Johor ruler suggested that the current polo team was mediocre and that its winning streak was only due to the poor standards of the teams competing in tournament.

To measure the national team’s true strength, Sultan Ibrahim has challenged Khairy and his men to a game against his two sons and the state’s polo team. The Johor ruler, now 58, had also expressed the willingness to play for the Johor side.

“The polo teams competing in the 2017 SEA Games are merely meeting the necessary conditions set forth by the games committee.

“There are some that have come with lower handicap thus making it easy to be defeated. I challenge the SEA Games polo team to come to Johor and show your fangs since news of your greatness supersedes you,” he wrote.

The Johor ruler also said he would readily admit that the national polo team is good if the Johor team is defeated.

“I’d like to extend the invitation to the the Youth and Sports Minister and hopefully he won’t disappoint the requests of the people to see your team defeat the Johor team.

“I will send 2 of my sons and 2 of our horse trainers or perhaps myself, as I believe I still have what it takes. Should my team lose, I will admit that the SEA Games team are represented by the best there is,” he said.

Polo, a game usually reserved for aristocrats, was first played and introduced in Johor since 1884.

This year’s edition of the SEA Games tournament is the first to have polo as part of its fixture.

Sultan Ibrahim claimed he had once represented Malaysia in the polo World Cup and that Johor had been at the forefront in the sport.

“Polo in Johor did not start yesterday. Polo was first played and introduced in Johor since 1884. When I was the Crown Prince, I was already playing around the world and even played in the World Cup. Hence, the SEA Games is almost insignificant in comparison. If you want a more competitive match, do come to Johor”.

Khairy could not be reached for comments.
Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/johor-sultan-slams-khairy-calls-for-polo-match#4o0k38wJBJ6Ok8LD.99

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

The Minister is participating as an Olympic Council of Malaysia sanctioned athlete representing the nation in the noble game of polo in the 29th Sea Games Kuala Lumpur 2017.

A few days ago, the nation celebrated as HRH Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu handsomely won the gold representing Malaysia in challenging event of 80km equestrian endurance of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games 2017.

Tuanku was His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIII was the Constitutional King for the Federation of Malaysia for five years between 2006 and 2011.

He was then the Field Marshall of the Armed Forces, Head of Islam in five states and the Parliament, Judiciary, Administration and Civil Service was under the auspicious of his office.

Unlike Tuanku Sultan Mizan, Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim has yet been appointed by HRHs Brethren Rulers to the office of Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong.

All and sundry, Malaysians are in very good spirits.

All gearing up for the this year’s Hari Raya Haji ul Akbar, sixtieth celebration of nationhood and seemingly the champion of the XXIX Sea Games as the nation host, after five days post officially launched bienieally regional sports meet with 63 gold medals in hand.

 

Published in: on August 24, 2017 at 23:59  Comments (4)  

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.

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

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.

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

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  

Faulty equipment and mis-communication an isolated case?

It is worrying that air crash investigators of Air Asia Indonesia QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore three days after last Christmas which attributed to ‘faulty equipment’ and ‘miscommunication between both technical crew in the flight deck’ was an isolated case and not a reoccurring situation.

BBC.com story:

AirAsia crash: Faulty part ‘major factor’

A section of AirAsia flight QZ8501's tail is loaded onto a boat for transportation to Jakarta from Kumai Port, where it had been stored since it was recovered last month, near Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan 7 February 2015 in this file photo taken by Antara

A section of AirAsia flight QZ8501’s tail is loaded onto a boat for transportation to Jakarta from Kumai Port, where it had been stored since it was recovered last month, near Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan 7 February 2015 in this file photo taken by Antara

18 minutes ago
From the section Asia
Faulty equipment was a “major factor” in the AirAsia plane crash last December that killed all 162 people on board, Indonesian officials say.
The plane’s rudder control system malfunctioned four times during the flight, officials said in a report.
The crew’s response to the fault also contributed to the disaster, the report added.
The Airbus A320-200, travelling from Surabaya to Singapore, crashed into the Java Sea on 28 December 2014.
Investigators had initially indicated that stormy weather was a major factor in the crash – however, they now say that this was not a cause of the crash.
The new report from the National Transport Safety Committee, released after a year-long investigation, found that the soldering on a tiny electronic part in the system that controlled the rudder was cracked, causing it to send four warning signals to the pilots.
The crew tried to fix the problem by resetting the computer system, but this disabled the autopilot. They then lost control of the plane.
The plane then entered “a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover”, the report said.
Maintenance crews were aware of the problem as it had occurred 23 times in the past year, and resetting the system was one of several methods used previously to address it, the report added.

The report also said that:
Inadequacies in the maintenance system led to “unresolved repetitive faults occurring with shorter intervals”
There appeared to be miscommunication between the pilot and co-pilot – at one point, the pilot commanded “pull down” but the plane was ascending
At another point, the two men appeared to be pushing their controls in opposite directions.
The report does not apportion blame or liability, but is intended to help the industry avoid future accidents.
Eka Santoso, who lost several family members in the crash, told AFP news agency: “AirAsia must find the people who were responsible for this problem [with the faulty component].”
Those who failed to fix the fault should be prosecuted, he added. “It has been proven there was a weakness.”
Caskets containing the remains of AirAsia QZ8501 passengers recovered from the sea are carried to a military transport plane before being transported to Surabaya, where the flight originated, at the airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan in this 2 January 2015 file photoImage copyrightReuters

Only 106 bodies have been retrieved
Malaysia-based AirAsia’s Chief Executive Tony Fernandes thanked investigators on Twitter and added that “there is much to be learned here for AirAsia, the manufacturer and the aviation industry”.
“We will not leave any stone unturned to make sure the industry learns from this tragic incident.”
Since the crash, AirAsia had carried out 51 measures to improve safety standards, the report said.
Meanwhile, an Airbus spokesman said: “Airbus has just received the final accident report. We are now carefully studying its content. With safety being top priority Airbus is fully committed to push the safety track record of our industry even further.”
Analysis: Karishma Vaswani, BBC News, Singapore
Families of the 162 people on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 have been waiting anxiously for the results of this investigation.
Indonesian investigators did not release their preliminary findings earlier this year, saying they were under no legal obligation to do so.
Covering the crash at the time, the working theory was that pilot error must have been a major contributor, or that bad weather was a factor.
But this report shows that it was actually the response of the crew to a chronically faulty component on the plane that caused the plane to crash and that bad weather had nothing to do with it.
AirAsia will now have many questions to answer about why the aircraft was not better maintained and why its pilots were not better prepared to handle these problems.
Read more: Who were the victims of the AirAsia crash?
The plane’s wreckage was found days after the crash at the bottom of the Java Sea near Borneo.
Most of the passengers were Indonesian, and others on board included a French citizen, a Singaporean, a Malaysian, a Briton, and three South Koreans.
Only 106 bodies have been retrieved so far.
The crash came at the end of a year of major air disasters, including the disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17- both flights operated by Malaysia Airlines.

***********

The air crash investigators also reported that the component controlling the rudder recorded 23 times fault in the past 12 months prior to the accident.

Channel News Asia story:

AirAsia plane crash caused by faulty component, crew action: Probe

Repeated problems with the system led to the pilots disengaging the autopilot in stormy weather in a bid to fix the situation, and then losing control of the Airbus A320-200.

POSTED: 01 Dec 2015 15:27 UPDATED: 01 Dec 2015 18:44

JAKARTA: A faulty component and the crew’s inadequate response caused an AirAsia A320 to crash into the Java Sea last year, killing all 162 people on board, an Indonesian report said on Tuesday (Dec 1).

Flight QZ8501 plunged into the ocean in stormy weather on Dec 28, during what was supposed to be a routine flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

The crash of the Airbus A320-200 triggered a huge international search, with ships and aircraft from several nations involved in a lengthy hunt that was hampered by strong currents and bad weather.

The bodies of 56 of those who died have never been found.

In their final report into the accident released on Tuesday, Indonesia’s official National Transportation Safety Committee said poor maintenance and a fault with the system that helps control the rudder’s movement was a major contributing factor to the crash.

Cracked soldering in the component caused it to malfunction and send repeated warning messages to the pilots, it said. In response, they tried to reset a computer system but in the process turned off the plane’s autopilot, sending it into a sharp roll from which they were unable to recover.

“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft,” said the report. The plane went into a “prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the crew to recover”, it said.

Investigators said there was miscommunication between the pilots as the plane plunged towards the sea, with the men at one point pushing their control sticks in opposite directions.

Investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said that AirAsia pilots flying Airbus aircraft had not received adequate training for when their planes became severely destabilised, as it was not recommended by the manufacturer.

Up to the time of the crash, Airbus was indicating in its training manual that it was not necessary for pilots to be trained in the recovery of aircraft in an ‘upset condition’, which is when a plane loses control and is in a dangerous position.

Airbus said this was because it never anticipated that one of its planes would ever be in such a position. NTSC said the aircraft went into an ‘upset condition’ during its flight after encountering a failure in its rudder travel limiter system four times.

The report said the faulty component, the Rudder Travel Limiter, had suffered 23 problems in the past 12 months, citing maintenance records. “The investigation found some inadequacy in the maintenance system, leading to the unresolved, repeated problem” with the rudder system, said Utomo.

Before crashing, the plane climbed fast and went into an aerodynamic stall, losing lift. The French co-pilot, Remi Plesel, was at the controls in the moments before the crash, rather than the more experienced pilot.

Following the accident, AirAsia Indonesia performed 51 safety actions in order to prevent similar future incidents. These included training its pilots on how to recover an aircraft from an ‘upset condition.’

‘FIND THOSE RESPONSIBLE’

Family members of those killed in the accident had been waiting anxiously for the report, and Eka Santoso – whose brother, sister-in-law and their two children died in the crash – urged AirAsia to take action following its recommendations.

“AirAsia must find the people who were responsible for this problem,” he told AFP, referring to the faulty competent, and adding those who failed to fix it should be prosecuted. “It has been proven there was a weakness.”

The crash was the first major setback for Malaysia-based AirAsia, which has enjoyed a spectacular 13-year run of success, and the group’s flamboyant boss Tony Fernandes thanked the transport committee for their work.

“These are scars that are left on me forever but I remain committed to make AirAsia the very best,” he said.

An Airbus spokesman said the company was studying the report.

Rescuers faced difficulties in the choppy waters of the Java Sea, but the main body of the plane was eventually located on the seabed by a Singapore navy ship and both black box data recorders were recovered.

Search efforts were finally called off in March after almost three months.

The crash was one of several aviation disasters in the sprawling archipelago in the past year.

In August, a turbo-prop plane operated by Indonesian domestic carrier Trigana crashed in the remote eastern region of Papua during a short flight in bad weather, killing all 54 people on board.

And in June an Indonesian military plane went down into a residential neighbourhood in the city of Medan, exploding in a fireball and killing 142 people.

Indonesian airlines are expanding rapidly after years of strong economic growth and the emergence of a new middle class, but carriers are struggling to find enough well-trained personnel to keep up with the boom, experts say.

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

It is important for the CEO of the Air Asia Group Tony Fernandes to assure the public especially those who frequent services on the region’s most successful low cost carrier that the attributes of the crash is something extraordinary.

It the past, Air Asia have been talked about on ‘questionable operating procedures’. This include the various mishaps during landing.

The Independent story:

Another AirAsia plane overshoots runway on landing in Philippines as concerned passengers say they are ‘following the QZ8501 news’

The flight to Kalibo was, like QZ8501, already delayed by bad weather
Adam Withnall @adamwithnall Tuesday 30 December 20140 comments

An AirAsia plane has overshot the runway on landing in the Philippines, forcing passengers to evacuate the aircraft on emergency slides, it has been reported.

Those on board the domestic Flight Z2 272 from Manila to Kalibo had already endured an anxious wait as bad weather caused two-hour delays, according to a journalist travelling on the plane.

The incident comes just days after AirAsia flight QZ8501disappeared during a storm while on route from Surabaya to Singapore. Search teams on Tuesday recovered at least 40 bodies from the sea near where the plane was lost.

Rappler’s Jet Damazo-Santos reported that today’s short flight to Kalibo airport came down with “a hard, abrupt landing” followed by “a very abrupt stop”.

Emergency services were waiting on the grass at the end of the runway, she said, and elderly passengers received medical attention in the wake of the evacuation.

Prior to this week, AirAsia had an excellent safety record, with none of its planes having ever been involved in a fatal incident.

*********

Three low cost carriers under the AirAsia Group have been listed by The Daily Mail for ‘questionable  \\safety standards’.  AirAsia Indonesia was quick to announce their rectification for the low cost carrier.

Reuters story:

AirAsia Indonesia says upgrades training, enhances safety after crash

Reuters
1 hour ago

JAKARTA (Reuters) – AirAsia Indonesia said on Tuesday the firm has upgraded pilot training and enhanced safety standards following the crash of its plane last year, killing all 162 onboard.

Earlier on Tuesday, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) released the first public report on the disaster of the Airbus A320 that crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28.

“KNKT’s final report on QZ8501 highlights that a combination of several factors contributed to the tragedy,” AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement.

“There are many lessons to be learned for the entire aviation industry.”

(Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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

However, AirAsia in Malaysia is the biggest within the Group.

The issue here is not merely rectification, as per announced by AirAsia Indonesia. How would the Group ensure that the factors in this QZ8501 deadly air crash and other mishaps, do not reoccur.

It would cost the Group a lot of money. The heavily debt-burdened Group would be expected to be affected, if stricter technical audits are carried out. Then again, it is only money versus the risk.

*Updated Wednesday 2 December 2015, Noon.

It seems that AirAsia dominoes of bad luck has started to topple the rippling effect. The low cost carrier now has been ‘plagued’ with pilots’ influenza, which left tens of thousand of passengers fuming mad.

NST story:

Flight delays, cancellations left AirAsia passengers fuming

BY NST TEAM – 2 DECEMBER 2015 @ 11:17 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget carrier AirAsia was hit by multiple flight delays and cancellations on Monday and yesterday after 13 of its pilots were allegedly grounded by flu.

The havoc caused to flight scheduling left hundreds of passengers fuming as many were forced to endure multiple lengthy delays and cancellations.

Some had no choice but to spend the night on airport floors. The delays affected not only local flights but also to and from international destinations, including flights from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport. Passengers on flight AK6130 bound for Kota Baru from klia2, scheduled for 7.05pm on Monday, were initially told their flight was delayed, then moved to another flight, which was cancelled.

A reader, who contacted the New Straits Times, said the passengers were given food packs at 11.30pm shortly after being told their flight was cancelled due to technical requirements by AirAsia ground staff.

Another reader confirmed that a flight from klia2 to Penang on the same day was also cancelled, with some passengers left to sleep on the airport floor as accommodation was not provided. AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes confirmed in a text message that the problem was due to a number of the airline’s pilots being down with flu.

“There was a flu epidemic in AirAsia and 12 captains were sick. So, no choice,” he said. Efforts to contact AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar for more details proved futile, but the airline’s corporate communications department later confirmed that by yesterday evening the number of their pilots struck by flu was 13.

“We do not have the official data yet, but several flights were delayed or cancelled. “As of now, 13 of our pilots are down with flu,” a spokesman said. Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said they had not received any official complaints, but the matter seemed like an operational issue which would usually not involve his department.

“This is an issue which AirAsia will have to solve,” said Azharuddin.

Reports by: Arnaz M. Khairul, Hani Shamira Shahrudin, Tasnim Lokman And Hashini Kavishtri Kannan

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/12/115017/flight-delays-cancellations-left-airasia-passengers-fuming

***********

Maybe the Executives of AirAsia now have to take up ‘Flu Insurance’ and draw up a ‘Influenza Crisis Plan’. of course it would add up to the annual operation and eventually passed down to the passengers.

No fancy marketing strategy and tactical plan could deal with ‘Flu Risk’.

Published in: on December 1, 2015 at 19:59  Comments (3)  

Putih mata, tiada hendaknya

Artist impression of the TRX

Artist impression of the TRX

The 67,954 sq. ft. residential plot which Tabung Haji took up within Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) that became highly contentious after a blog maliciously drawn controversy with the connotation that 8 million plus depositors’ funds are being made to “Bail out 1MDB financial woes”, is still available and yet to be hived-off.

Pro-Anwarista newsportal story:

Tabung Haji yet to sell 1MDB’s TRX land despite claims of ready buyers

BY RAM ANAND Published: 15 June 2015 11:41 PM

Pilgrims fund Lembaga Tabung Haji has yet to finalise the sale of its parcel of land at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project, which it bought from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in April, Putrajaya said today. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said Tabung Haji was still evaluating potential buyers, even though its chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim had in early May said that the sale will be completed in “a week or two”.

“Tabung Haji is still evaluating all the offers in its effort to make the best decision so that the whole process remains Shariah compliant,” Jamil Khir told the Dewan Rakyat today in response to a question from Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara). The minister did not provide a specific timeline as to when the sale will be completed.

“We must be very thorough and careful in this sale, it involves the interests of the Muslims, so it’s important that we look after their interests,” he said. Pua later said that the delay was an indication that Tabung Haji was struggling to sell the land.

“The response from the minister is clearly an excuse to cover up the fact that Tabung Haji is having difficulty convincing any buyer to purchase the land for a price higher than what it has paid,” the DAP lawmaker said. Pua said the process to determine a bid for a piece of land would not take six weeks, and warned that a failure to complete the transaction as promised would only prove that no other buyers were interested in the land.

Tabung Haji purchased the land for RM188 million in April to develop a residential tower, 43 times the price the debt-ridden 1MDB had paid for the same plot, which it had bought from the federal government four years ago.

Mindful of a backlash and sensitivity among its depositors over the purchase, Tabung Haji quickly vowed to sell off the land at a profit soon after buying it, saying it had ready buyers which proved that the land had appreciating value and was a profitable venture.

Azeez said the decision to sell the land was on the advice of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board. – June 15, 2015. –

See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/tabung-haji-yet-to-sell-1mdbs-trx-land-despite-claims-of-ready-buyers#sthash.7ZsWR2Ym.dpuf

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

If this story is true, then TH should not hive-off the only residential parcel within the TRX mega development area.

DAP Chief Propaganda Tony Pua has no right to give unsolicited opinion, because he does neither has the qualification to represent the TH depositors nor qualify to be a depositor to begin with. In fact, he is grossly out of place to make any comments about the TH deal in TRX.

The parcel could be made into a very productive asset with the current development order of 10.47 plot ratio. It means the land now could have a development area (gross floor area – GFA) of 710,000 sq. ft. Of that, a net build up and lettable area of 500,000 sq. ft.

The layout of TRX

The layout of TRX

At current market prices of similar luxurious residential in the area of between RM9.00-12.00, a prudent rental income of RM4.5-6million per month should be attainable.

That is between RM55-72million of income per annum, which is syariah compliant.If factored to the market four years away  on an expected to cater for demand of growth for high end properties, then an annual revenue of RM80-85million could be projected.

There are some points that the public should consider. The RM2,774 psf price that TH paid to TRX isn’t outrageous at all considering that TRX would be spending about RM1,500.00 psf to provide infrastructure for the mega development, which include 3 MRT lines.

The process for the acquisition of this parcel was made across the board, by professionals. TH was pre-qualified by valuers CH Williams in June 2014 and the due diligence by both parties were made from that point. The initial offer by TRX for the parcel was at the value of RM210million.

TH businesses which include income from property investments are being ploughed back as subsidy to undertake pilgrimage on top of dividends paid to depositors annually

TH businesses which include income from property investments are being ploughed back as subsidy to undertake pilgrimage on top of dividends paid to depositors annually

However the came into agreement in Dec 2014 for the deal to be sealed at RM194million. Then came the opportunity for TH to evaluate the proposal for the development of the TRX Signature Tower. After deliberation, TH investment panel deemed that the TRX Signature Tower is unable to be a property of wholesome ‘Syariah Compliant’ because of the nature of potential tenants.

Hence, they decided only for the parcel meant for luxurious residential. So the deal  initial 67,954 sq. ft. parcel was put in back burner and wasn’t inked till April 2015, when TH agreed to pay RM188.5million provided it was done in a bullet payment.

By far, TH got the first mover advantage for TRX where they are in the position to draw the first offers to take up the lease when it is completed. This could be substantiated by the other buildings that is coming up around the area.

It was said the plot where the Harrods Hotel is being built at the moment is acquired and valued at RM7,000 psf.

Star Property story:

Bukit Bintang Harrods Hotel part of RM30bil to be pumped into Malaysia by Qatar

Posted on January 29, 2013 | 5162 views | Topic : Featured, News & Articles. The Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur Artist’s impression of the Harrods Hotel mixed development project at the corner of Jalan Raja Chulan-Jalan Conlay

By Chee Su-Lin | sulin.chee@thestar.com.my

Due to sit on the land off Jalan Raja Chulan that is now occupied by the Seri Melayu restaurant and Chulan Square (which are slated to be demolished), the new Harrods Hotel mixed development recently broke ground and is expected to be completed by 2018.

Besides the hotel, the project comprises two residential towers with apartments, an office building and a retail podium, with direct connectivity to Pavilion mall. The link is not just physical.

The mixed development is a joint venture between Tradewinds Corporation Bhd (controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar), the Pavilion Group (controlled by Malton Bhd’s Datuk Desmond Lim, among others), and Qatar Holding LLC (controlled by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund).

The latter two were also owners of Pavilion mall before it was listed as part of the Pavilion REIT. Qatar Holdings bought out London’s famous Knightsbridge shop from Egyptian Mohamed Al-Fayed in 2010. Since then, the new owners have aimed for Harrods to become a “global enterprise that defines the luxury retail and leisure sectors”. Dr Hussain briefing on the Harrods Hotel Dr Hussain brought with him good news of billions of dollars of investment from Qatar.

The company in fact already has stakes in several luxury companies, including French conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, US jeweller Tiffany and German car maker Porsche.

Since the credit crunch of 2008 and 2009, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has become the world’s global banker of sorts, having also picked up shares in British bank Barclays, British supermarket Sainsbury’s, and US film studio Miramax, among others.

Qatar decided for Malaysia to house one of the world’s first three Harrods hotels because of the country’s good investment environment and because Malaysia gets up to 25 million tourists every year, said Qatar Holding LLC vice chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdullah at the recent groundbreaking ceremony.

Qatar plans to invest a total of US$10bil (RM30bil) into the country over the next three to four years. Around half of this will be pumped into Johor’s petrochemical hub in Pengerang, he said. Qatar was also a cornerstone investor in Felda Global Ventures, injecting US$100mil (RM300mil) into the listing.

Asked on whether this money would continue to be invested into the country if the government were to change in the next general elections, Dr Hossein said, ““We love Malaysia and we love the people of Malaysia so we will always invest in Malaysia.”

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

The fact is that good parcels around the financial and high end districts of Kuala Lumpur especially around the ‘Golden Triangle’ and KLCC neighbourhood are somewhat scarce. TH landed a good opportunity to build a luxurious residential building, where even in the current market, the demand is in high and encouraging.

TH BoD announcing the hasty decision to hive off the 1.6ha TRX parcel a month ago

TH BoD announcing the hasty decision to hive off the 1.6ha TRX parcel a month ago

TH BoD should seriously reconsider Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘suggestion’, especially the heat on the the pressure on the question of the parcel made contentious through social media had withered.

Indonesian Mulia Group’s acquisition of the TRX Signature Tower which was initially offered to TH provided the ‘Putih Mata‘ effect to many level headed Malaysians, including the non-Muslims who are not depositors in TH.

The Star story:

Indonesia’s Mulia Group to develop TRX’s Signature Tower

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia leading property developer Mulia Group will develop the international financial district Tun Razak Exchange’s (TRX) landmark Signature Tower building. TRX’s master developer 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd and the Mulia Group signed a sale and purchase agreement for the development rights of the plot.

The land transaction is valued at RM665mil. A joint statement released on Wednesday said the Signature Tower building will be a highly visible focal point for TRX. As it will be TRX’s tallest building and have its largest floor plates, the tower is poised to be a Prime Grade A office space in Kuala Lumpur. Mulia Group is the latest investor in the TRX after Lend Lease International, a global property and infrastructure group, which is developing the RM8bil Lifestyle Quarter.

The other investor is Veolia Water Technologies, whose water management technology will halve potable water use in TRX. Commenting on Mulia Group’s entry, 1MDB RE chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib said: “We are pleased to have the Mulia Group on board towards realising the potential of the Tun Razak Exchange. This significant investment underscores foreign investor confidence in Malaysia.”

The Mulia Group, which has a leading market share for premium commercial properties in Jakarta, developed, owns and manages seven premier office buildings in Jakarta’s central business district, including the Wisma Mulia 1 and 2. Wisma Mulia 1 and 2 are ranked amongst Jakarta’s tallest and most prestigious office buildings that together house key global and local blue-chip companies in Indonesia.

The Mulia group has also developed and managed internationally renowned hotels, and residential and shopping mall properties. Mulia Group president director and owner Eka Tjandranegara he was excited to embark on the project to develop the Signature Tower to become the new landmark of Kuala Lumpur city. “Our Mulia Group wishes to be an integral part of this iconic state-of-the-art development not only for Malaysia but for the region and beyond.”

“We see TRX’s potential to further develop the city’s role as a financial capital, and the Tun Razak Exchange aids our growth and expansion plans. I am committed to personally seeing this project through, drawing from our vast experience,” he said.

The Mulia Group’s properties also include their award-winning Hotel Mulia Bali which essentially comprises of The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas in Nusa Dua, Bali. In the past two years, the resorts have been awarded six prestigious awards by Condé Nast.

TRX’s significant investment in its infrastructure is to create a truly accessible world-class financial hub. Tenants can connect to the city centre and the rest of Greater KL, via the largest integrated underground MRT interchange station.

The MRT will connect TRX to the proposed High Speed Rail terminus station at Bandar Malaysia, linking TRX to Singapore’s financial centre.

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

Later in the month (next two weekends to be exact), 1MDB real estate arm would reveal the mega master plan of the Bandar Malaysia after the request for proposal (RFP) has been issued last week.. The 486 acres mixed mega development where 220,000 people are expected to work, live and past through daily, is expected to bring a gross development value (GDV) of RM145-150 billion. 

The perception and expectation of 1MDB is expected to change and confidence of moving forward towards the right direction would slowly be restored.

That is hopefully would add confidence that TH did make the sound business decision and should keep and develop the 67,954 sq. ft. TRX residential plot, at the right time and opportunity. Thus, provide the 8 million plus TH depositors the feeling of ‘Putih mata, tiada‘.

*Updated Tuesday 16 June 2015 0800hrs

MPs have stood up and in strong messages urging that TH to hold on to the 67,954 sq. ft. parcel meant for luxurious residential within the TRX mega development.

The Star story:

Published: Tuesday June 16, 2015 MYT 9:38:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday June 16, 2015 MYT 9:40:00 AM

MPs urge Tabung Haji not to sell TRX land

BY YUEN MEIKENG AND RAHIMY RAHIM
KUALA LUMPUR: Several Barisan Nasional MPs have urged Lembaga Tabung Haji to keep the parcel of land it bought from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as it could appreciate in value.

“From a businessman’s point of view, perhaps it is better not to sell the land first. What’s wrong with keeping the land if it could appreciate in value?” Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) said during a minister’s winding up speech for the debate on the 11th Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN-Kalabakan) added Tabung Haji is not a RM2 company, implying that it has vast experience in investments.

“Don’t sell the land because if we keep it, we stand to gain from it as it will increase in price,” he said of the parcel of land located at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX).

Amran Ab Ghani (BN-Tanah Merah) also urged for Tabung Haji to reconsider selling the land, saying that those who criticised the decision had ill intentions.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said he would take note of the MPs calls and convey them to the Tabung Haji board to review.

He said all investments are made based on business transactions and not from orders from him or the Government.

Earlier, to a question by Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) on the update of offers to buy the TRX land, the minister said Tabng Haji was still evaluating the best offers.

“When we sell the land, we do not just want a return of our capital but we want to make a profit,” he said.

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

Clearly, the sentiments are for doing the right thing quite against the one being spooked for the sinister instigation by a cowardice blogger who is believed to be obsessed to topple Prime Minister Najib.

*Updated 1100hrs

Published in: on June 15, 2015 at 23:59  Comments (28)  

Militant Wahabism on global dominance

The current self declared ‘Islamic State’ crisis (previously known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) is sending never before shivers deep along the spine of leaders and people alike around the West Asia region and most of the free Western world.

The Guardian posting:

Obama meets foreign military chiefs to discuss Isis strategy

US president gathers foreign defence chiefs at Andrews air force base in attempt to strengthen coalition response to crisis

 

Agencies in Washington and Mursitpinar
The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014 08.06 BST

Obama critic Senator John McCain said on Sunday that ‘they’re winning and we’re not,’ referring to Isis.
Barack Obama is to discuss the US-led strategy to counter Islamic State (Isis) with military leaders from 20 countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, amid growing pressure for the US-led coalition to do more to stop the militants’ advance.

President Obama will attend a meeting on Tuesday led by Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, with foreign defence chiefs at Andrews air force base outside Washington.

“It is part of ongoing efforts to build the coalition and integrate the capabilities of each country into the broader strategy,” said Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the White House national security council.

The meeting comes after the US-led coalition launched air strikes on Monday evening on Isis positions in Syria, most on the town of Kobani near Turkey.

The coalition’s strategy is being called into question. The Republican senator John McCain, a frequent Obama critic, said on Sunday that “they’re winning and we’re not”, referring to Isis.

The UN said on Monday that fighting in Iraq’s western Anbar province had forced up to 180,000 people to flee after Isis captured the city of Hit.

“This is a long campaign. It hasn’t gone badly, but it certainly hasn’t gone well,” said Anthony Cordesman, national security analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

“It is very important, quite aside from trying to show Americans that he’s [Obama is] leading, that he shows other countries he’s committed,” Cordesman said, adding that the defence officials from abroad were in many cases more involved in setting policy than their US military counterparts.

Representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were expected to attend.

Col Ed Thomas, Dempsey’s spokesman, said no major policy decisions were expected at the meeting, adding: “It’s about coming together in person to discuss the vision, the challenges, the way ahead.”

Having Turkey at the table will be key. Ankara has come under some pressure to send its own ground troops into Syria against Isis forces. The country could announce after the meeting that it will join Saudi Arabia in training moderate Syrian rebels, Cordesman said.

Turkey has not reached a new agreement to let the US use its Incirlik air base but reached an agreement with Washington on training Syrian rebels, sources at the Turkish prime minister’s office told reporters on Monday, without saying who would train the insurgents or where.

********

These are some interesting perspective on ISIS and political development around the Arabian subcontinent and the West Asia region.

Former MI6 analyst Alastair Crooke’s posting on The Hufftington Post:

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 08/27/2014 11:56 am EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 5:59 pm EDT

BEIRUT — The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.

THE SAUDI DUALITY

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.

One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.

MUSLIM IMPOSTORS

The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised “the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”

In Abd al-Wahhab’s view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their “superstition” (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).

All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida — forbidden by God.

Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the “best of times”), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).

Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi’ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that “any doubt or hesitation” on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should “deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life.”

One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.
“Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. ”

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

“Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. ”
Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.'”

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).

In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman’s behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.

HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.

The Al Saud — in this 20th century renaissance — were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi “Ikhwan” in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’s earlier fighting proselytisers.

The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist “moralists” who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary “Jacobinism” exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted — leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.

For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.

So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da’wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King’s absolute power.

OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM

With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life — and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

“On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.”
But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system — hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

ISIS is a “post-Medina” movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis’ claim of authority to rule.

As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal’s modernization campaign). The “Ikhwan approach” enjoyed — and still enjoys — the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.

Today, ISIS’ undermining of the legitimacy of the King’s legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.

In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.

After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.

Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised — knowing a little about Wahhabism — that “moderate” insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of “One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed” could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?

Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

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And the continuum:

Alastair Crooke Become a fan
Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, ‘Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution’

Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia

Posted: 09/02/2014 8:43 pm EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 5:59 pm EDT

This article is Part II of Alastair Crooke’s historical analysis of the roots of ISIS and its impact on the future of the Middle East. Read Part I here.

BEIRUT — ISIS is indeed a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East. But its destructive power is not as commonly understood. It is not with the “March of the Beheaders”; it is not with the killings; the seizure of towns and villages; the harshest of “justice” — terrible though they are — that its true explosive power lies. It is yet more potent than its exponential pull on young Muslims, its huge arsenal of weapons and its hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.”

Its real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.

The clue to its truly explosive potential, as Saudi scholar Fouad Ibrahim has pointed out (but which has passed, almost wholly overlooked, or its significance has gone unnoticed), is ISIS’ deliberate and intentional use in its doctrine — of the language of Abd-al Wahhab, the 18th century founder, together with Ibn Saud, of Wahhabism and the Saudi project:

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the first “prince of the faithful” in the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2006 formulated, for instance, the principles of his prospective state … Among its goals is disseminating monotheism “which is the purpose [for which humans were created] and [for which purpose they must be called] to Islam…” This language replicates exactly Abd-al Wahhab’s formulation. And, not surprisingly, the latter’s writings and Wahhabi commentaries on his works are widely distributed in the areas under ISIS’ control and are made the subject of study sessions. Baghdadi subsequently was to note approvingly, “a generation of young men [have been] trained based on the forgotten doctrine of loyalty and disavowal.”
And what is this “forgotten” tradition of “loyalty and disavowal?” It is Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine that belief in a sole (for him an anthropomorphic) God — who was alone worthy of worship — was in itself insufficient to render man or woman a Muslim?

He or she could be no true believer, unless additionally, he or she actively denied (and destroyed) any other subject of worship. The list of such potential subjects of idolatrous worship, which al-Wahhab condemned as idolatry, was so extensive that almost all Muslims were at risk of falling under his definition of “unbelievers.” They therefore faced a choice: Either they convert to al-Wahhab’s vision of Islam — or be killed, and their wives, their children and physical property taken as the spoils of jihad. Even to express doubts about this doctrine, al-Wahhab said, should occasion execution.

“Through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.”

The point Fuad Ibrahim is making, I believe, is not merely to reemphasize the extreme reductionism of al-Wahhab’s vision, but to hint at something entirely different: That through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.

For it was precisely this idealistic, puritan, proselytizing formulation by al-Wahhab that was “father” to the entire Saudi “project” (one that was violently suppressed by the Ottomans in 1818, but spectacularly resurrected in the 1920s, to become the Saudi Kingdom that we know today). But since its renaissance in the 1920s, the Saudi project has always carried within it, the “gene” of its own self-destruction.

THE SAUDI TAIL HAS WAGGED BRITAIN AND U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Paradoxically, it was a maverick British official, who helped embed the gene into the new state. The British official attached to Aziz, was one Harry St. John Philby (the father of the MI6 officer who spied for the Soviet KGB, Kim Philby). He was to become King Abd al-Aziz’s close adviser, having resigned as a British official, and was until his death, a key member of the Ruler’s Court. He, like Lawrence of Arabia, was an Arabist. He was also a convert to Wahhabi Islam and known as Sheikh Abdullah.

St. John Philby was a man on the make: he had determined to make his friend, Abd al-Aziz, the ruler of Arabia. Indeed, it is clear that in furthering this ambition he was not acting on official instructions. When, for example, he encouraged King Aziz to expand in northern Nejd, he was ordered to desist. But (as American author, Stephen Schwartz notes), Aziz was well aware that Britain had pledged repeatedly that the defeat of the Ottomans would produce an Arab state, and this no doubt, encouraged Philby and Aziz to aspire to the latter becoming its new ruler.

It is not clear exactly what passed between Philby and the Ruler (the details seem somehow to have been suppressed), but it would appear that Philby’s vision was not confined to state-building in the conventional way, but rather was one of transforming the wider Islamic ummah (or community of believers) into a Wahhabist instrument that would entrench the al-Saud as Arabia’s leaders. And for this to happen, Aziz needed to win British acquiescence (and much later, American endorsement). “This was the gambit that Abd al-Aziz made his own, with advice from Philby,” notes Schwartz.

BRITISH GODFATHER OF SAUDI ARABIA

In a sense, Philby may be said to be “godfather” to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to “manage” Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) — and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia’s soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam’s intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

“In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success. But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous ‘gene’ within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.”

As a result — from then until now — British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous “gene” within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.

Winning western endorsement (and continued western endorsement), however, required a change of mode: the “project” had to change from being an armed, proselytizing Islamic vanguard movement into something resembling statecraft. This was never going to be easy because of the inherent contradictions involved (puritan morality versus realpolitik and money) — and as time has progressed, the problems of accommodating the “modernity” that statehood requires, has caused “the gene” to become more active, rather than become more inert.

Even Abd al-Aziz himself faced an allergic reaction: in the form of a serious rebellion from his own Wahhabi militia, the Saudi Ikhwan. When the expansion of control by the Ikhwan reached the border of territories controlled by Britain, Abd al-Aziz tried to restrain his militia (Philby was urging him to seek British patronage), but the Ikwhan, already critical of his use of modern technology (the telephone, telegraph and the machine gun), “were outraged by the abandonment of jihad for reasons of worldly realpolitik … They refused to lay down their weapons; and instead rebelled against their king … After a series of bloody clashes, they were crushed in 1929. Ikhwan members who had remained loyal, were later absorbed into the [Saudi] National Guard.”

King Aziz’s son and heir, Saud, faced a different form of reaction (less bloody, but more effective). Aziz’s son was deposed from the throne by the religious establishment — in favor of his brother Faisal — because of his ostentatious and extravagant conduct. His lavish, ostentatious style, offended the religious establishment who expected the “Imam of Muslims,” to pursue a pious, proselytizing lifestyle.

King Faisal, Saud’s successor, in his turn, was shot by his nephew in 1975, who had appeared at Court ostensibly to make his oath of allegiance, but who instead, pulled out a pistol and shot the king in his head. The nephew had been perturbed by the encroachment of western beliefs and innovation into Wahhabi society, to the detriment of the original ideals of the Wahhabist project.

SEIZING THE GRAND MOSQUE IN 1979

Far more serious, however, was the revived Ikhwan of Juhayman al-Otaybi, which culminated in the seizure of the Grand Mosque by some 400-500 armed men and women in 1979. Juhayman was from the influential Otaybi tribe from the Nejd, which had led and been a principal element in the original Ikhwan of the 1920s.

Juhayman and his followers, many of whom came from the Medina seminary, had the tacit support, amongst other clerics, of Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Juhayman stated that Sheikh Bin Baz never objected to his Ikhwan teachings (which were also critical of ulema laxity towards “disbelief”), but that bin Baz had blamed him mostly for harking on that “the ruling al-Saud dynasty had lost its legitimacy because it was corrupt, ostentatious and had destroyed Saudi culture by an aggressive policy of westernisation.”

Significantly, Juhayman’s followers preached their Ikhwani message in a number of mosques in Saudi Arabia initially without being arrested, but when Juhayman and a number of the Ikhwan finally were held for questioning in 1978. Members of the ulema (including bin Baz) cross-examined them for heresy, but then ordered their release because they saw them as being no more than traditionalists harkening back to the Ikhwan– like Juhayman grandfather — and therefore not a threat.

Even when the mosque seizure was defeated and over, a certain level of forbearance by the ulema for the rebels remained. When the government asked for a fatwa allowing for armed force to be used in the mosque, the language of bin Baz and other senior ulema was curiously restrained. The scholars did not declare Juhayman and his followers non-Muslims, despite their violation of the sanctity of the Grand Mosque, but only termed them al-jamaah al-musallahah (the armed group).

The group that Juhayman led was far from marginalized from important sources of power and wealth. In a sense, it swam in friendly, receptive waters. Juhayman’s grandfather had been one of the leaders of the the original Ikhwan, and after the rebellion against Abdel Aziz, many of his grandfather’s comrades in arms were absorbed into the National Guard — indeed Juhayman himself had served within the Guard — thus Juhayman was able to obtain weapons and military expertise from sympathizers in the National Guard, and the necessary arms and food to sustain the siege were pre-positioned, and hidden, within the Grand Mosque. Juhayman was also able to call on wealthy individuals to fund the enterprise.

ISIS VS. WESTERNIZED SAUDIS

The point of rehearsing this history is to underline how uneasy the Saudi leadership must be at the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Previous Ikhwani manifestations were suppressed — but these all occurred inside the kingdom.

ISIS however, is a neo-Ikhwani rejectionist protest that is taking place outside the kingdom — and which, moreover, follows the Juhayman dissidence in its trenchant criticism of the al-Saud ruling family.

This is the deep schism we see today in Saudi Arabia, between the modernizing current of which King Abdullah is a part, and the “Juhayman” orientation of which bin Laden, and the Saudi supporters of ISIS and the Saudi religious establishment are a part. It is also a schism that exists within the Saudi royal family itself.

According to the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, in July 2014 “an opinion poll of Saudis [was] released on social networking sites, claiming that 92 percent of the target group believes that ‘IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.'” The leading Saudi commentator, Jamal Khashoggi, recently warned of ISIS’ Saudi supporters who “watch from the shadows.”

There are angry youths with a skewed mentality and understanding of life and sharia, and they are canceling a heritage of centuries and the supposed gains of a modernization that hasn’t been completed. They turned into rebels, emirs and a caliph invading a vast area of our land. They are hijacking our children’s minds and canceling borders. They reject all rules and legislations, throwing it [a]way … for their vision of politics, governance, life, society and economy. [For] the citizens of the self-declared “commander of the faithful,” or Caliph, you have no other choice … They don’t care if you stand out among your people and if you are an educated man, or a lecturer, or a tribe leader, or a religious leader, or an active politician or even a judge … You must obey the commander of the faithful and pledge the oath of allegiance to him. When their policies are questioned, Abu Obedia al-Jazrawi yells, saying: “Shut up. Our reference is the book and the Sunnah and that’s it.”
“What did we do wrong?” Khashoggi asks. With 3,000-4,000 Saudi fighters in the Islamic State today, he advises of the need to “look inward to explain ISIS’ rise”. Maybe it is time, he says, to admit “our political mistakes,” to “correct the mistakes of our predecessors.”

MODERNIZING KING THE MOST VULNERABLE

The present Saudi king, Abdullah, paradoxically is all the more vulnerable precisely because he has been a modernizer. The King has curbed the influence of the religious institutions and the religious police — and importantly has permitted the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence to be used, by those who adhere to them (al-Wahhab, by contrast, objected to all other schools of jurisprudence other than his own).

“The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom. If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.”

It is even possible too for Shiite residents of eastern Saudi Arabia to invoke Ja’afri jurisprudence and to turn to Ja’afari Shiite clerics for rulings. (In clear contrast, al-Wahhab held a particular animosity towards the Shiite and held them to be apostates. As recently as the 1990s, clerics such as bin Baz — the former Mufti — and Abdullah Jibrin reiterated the customary view that the Shiite were infidels).

Some contemporary Saudi ulema would regard such reforms as constituting almost a provocation against Wahhabist doctrines, or at the very least, another example of westernization. ISIS, for example, regards any who seek jurisdiction other than that offered by the Islamic State itself to be guilty of disbelief — since all such “other” jurisdictions embody innovation or “borrowings” from other cultures in its view.

The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom.

If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.

“They hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of ‘purity’ lost”

In short, this is the nature of the time bomb tossed into the Middle East. The ISIS allusions to Abd al-Wahhab and Juhayman (whose dissident writings are circulated within ISIS) present a powerful provocation: they hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of “purity” lost and early beliefs and certainties displaced by shows of wealth and indulgence.

This is the ISIS “bomb” hurled into Saudi society. King Abdullah — and his reforms — are popular, and perhaps he can contain a new outbreak of Ikwhani dissidence. But will that option remain a possibility after his death?

And here is the difficulty with evolving U.S. policy, which seems to be one of “leading from behind” again — and looking to Sunni states and communities to coalesce in the fight against ISIS (as in Iraq with the Awakening Councils).

It is a strategy that seems highly implausible. Who would want to insert themselves into this sensitive intra-Saudi rift? And would concerted Sunni attacks on ISIS make King Abdullah’s situation better, or might it inflame and anger domestic Saudi dissidence even further? So whom precisely does ISIS threaten? It could not be clearer. It does not directly threaten the West (though westerners should remain wary, and not tread on this particular scorpion).

The Saudi Ikhwani history is plain: As Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab made it such in the 18th century; and as the Saudi Ikhwan made it such in the 20th century. ISIS’ real target must be the Hijaz — the seizure of Mecca and Medina — and the legitimacy that this will confer on ISIS as the new Emirs of Arabia.

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The truth is the ISIS phenomena became a very quick developing crisis where exactly a year ago, the concentration was only on the several factions fighting along the Western backed Free Syrian Army and the involvement of several ‘terrorist organisations’ namely the Al Qaeda in their attempt to topple Bashar Assad’s regime.

Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 00:01  Comments (11)  

Profiteering from misconduct

The Instagram of the passenger onboard MH20 KUL-CDG which arrived on 4 August 2014, believed to be Laura Bushney

The Instagram of the passenger onboard MH20 KUL-CDG which arrived on 4 August 2014, believed to be Laura Bushney

The woman believed to be the passenger onboard of MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris Charles De Gaulle on 4 August 2014 who made a complaint about “A Chief Steward attempted to rape her during flight”, is probably making financial demands to get her to shut up.

AFP story on the ‘Sexual assault onboard MH20’:

Malaysia Airlines steward ‘sexually assaulted’ passenger

Published: 14 Aug 2014 at 18.45 | Viewed: 922 | Comments: 0Online news: AsiaWriter: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysia Airlines cabin crew member has been detained in France over allegations that he sexually assaulted a passenger who was scared of flying with the disaster-prone airline.

File picture taken on May 14, 2014 shows a Malaysia Airlines staff member walking up to a flight prior to departure at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang

The case, involving the chief steward of a Paris-bound flight, is the latest setback for the struggling national carrier, which was struck by twin tragedies this year when one of its passenger jets went missing and another was shot down over conflict-torn east Ukraine.

The airline said in a statement Thursday that French police had detained a crew member for questioning following allegations by a passenger of “inappropriate sexual behaviour” on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur on August 4.

The Australian passenger complained to authorities about the incident after touchdown at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, saying she had told crew at the beginning of the flight about her apprehension of flying with the airline in the wake of the two disasters.

The steward sat beside her and sexually assaulted her under the pretext of “comforting” her, she said, according to a source close to the French probe.

Malaysia Airlines vowed to assist French authorities in their investigation, adding “the safety, comfort and well-being of our passengers is always our highest priority”.

“Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously,” it said.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared mysteriously in March with 239 people aboard, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace has been found and the airline was widely criticised for its handling of the crisis.

On July 17, MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, with 298 people killed.

The airline stands on the financial brink after the disasters.

State investment fund Khazanah Nasional, which has controlled the airline for years via a 70 percent ownership stake, said last week that it plans to buy all remaining shares and de-list the company before undertaking a “complete overhaul”.

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The Star report:

MAS crewman held over sexual assault

Friday, 15 August 2014
By: VICTORIA BROWN

KUALA LUMPUR: A cabin crew member of Malaysia Airlines has been detained for questioning by the French police for alleged inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a passenger.

The alleged incident occurred on Flight MH20 that was travelling from here to Paris on Aug 4.

MAS expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously, the airline said in a statement yesterday.

“We will naturally assist the French authorities as they conduct their investigations and would stress that the safety, comfort and well-being of our passengers are always our highest priority,” the airline added, confirming a report by French news portal FranceTVInfo that a MAS crew member was being investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting an Australian passenger.

The incident purportedly happened when the passenger expressed nervousness about flying following the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March and the downing of Flight MH17 in July.

The report stated that the crew member sat next to the passenger under the pretext of comforting her before “sexually assaulting” her.

AFP reported that the passenger lodged a report with the French border police upon her arrival in Paris and the crew member was detained on Aug 7.

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The Chief Steward, believed to be a cabin crew by the name of Mohd. Rosli Abd. Karim, is now under custody in a Paris lock up pending investigations. Non relatives have been denied access to the accused.

It is believed that lawyers reprising the passenger, probably someone by the name of Laura Bushney and believed to be an Australian, was said to have demanded £300,000.00 from the accused for the case to cease from proceeding any further.

It is believed that Bushney would appear on Channel 7 Australia on the evening of Sunday 24 August 2014, to tell her story.

Sydney Morning Herald story:

Laura Bushney breaks silence over sexual assault on Malaysia Airlines flight

Date
August 22, 2014

Tom Decent
Journalist

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Laura Bushney tells of her alleged sexual assault.

An aircraft steward believed he was comforting an Australian woman when he allegedly put his hands down her pants on a Malaysia Airlines flight, the female passenger has revealed.

Channel Seven’s Sunday Night will air a tell-all interview with 26-year-old Laura Bushney, who recorded the moment Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim, a married man with three children, put his hands under a blanket and down her pants while working.

Mr Rosli allegedly touched Bushney’s upper thigh before putting his hands under her clothing after being under the impression he was “comforting her”.

“He’s massaging my legs, I’m so scared I just want to get off this plane,” Bushney can be heard saying on the recording. “I don’t want to see you, go away, you give me the creeps you dirty old man.”

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Bushney was travelling by herself when the 54-year-old steward allegedly sexually assaulted her, causing her to “freeze in panic”. Bushney recorded the incident on her iPhone under a blanket as well as another face-to-face altercation after the incident when Rosli realised he had been in the wrong.

“I just keep saying, ‘Why didn’t I scream, why didn’t I shout?'” Bushney told Sunday Night reporter Ross Coulthart. “I am a strong person because I can do that, I know I can. But when I was in the moment, I couldn’t. I felt so scared and so petrified.”

After MH20 touched down on August 4, Mr Rosli was detained by police at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and remains in custody after making admissions relating to the sexual assault.

Given the disappearance of MH370 in March and the MH17 tragedy last month, Malaysia Airlines confirmed the allegations but has done very little to improve its tarnished image after making no attempt to offer compensation or counselling to the victim.

“Malaysia Airlines can confirm that the following allegations by a passenger travelling on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpar to Paris of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a member of the cabin crew, the member of staff has been detained for questioning by the French police,” said the statement.

“Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously.”

Sunday Night airs 8.45pm Sunday, August 24 on Seven.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/laura-bushney-breaks-silence-over-sexual-assault-on-malaysia-airlines-flight-20140822-107f72.html#ixzz3BEcckE8B

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If the French Police and authorities is still investigating the case, then it is unsure why Bushney is going in front of Australian TV to bare all about her alleged rape cry against Chief Steward Rosli.

Unless she and Australian media have ulterior motives to paint the picture against  Chief Steward Rosli and/or Malaysia Airlines.

An Instagram account believed to be Laura Bushney

An Instagram account believed to be Laura Bushney

Searches shown that Bushney is a person of dubious morality. An Instagram believed to be hers, shows that she is someone who is willing to share her lewd photos in public domain.

If Chief Steward Rosli did commit the ‘sexual assault’ as alleged, the he should be charged and tried under the French law. He must be allowed to defend himself. After all, as a National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM) Exco, the union should step up to assist him.

Search on Laura Bushney's Instagram

Search on Laura Bushney’s Instagram

Many wondered where exactly onboard the A380 aircraft that Chief Steward Rosli could progressed so far in ‘Sexual assault’ on Bushney, without the risk of someone ran into or saw them. Especially when she is an economy class passenger.

It is also funny if Bushney couldn’t cry for help when she was onboard, that she is courageous enough to appear on Australian national TV to tell her story.

A note from "Gran" to "Laura" in the Instagram

A note from “Gran” to “Laura” in the Instagram

Then again, there is a suspicion if not the possibility that Bushney through her lawyers is trying to profit from a case which has yet to be proven through the means of the legal system, including French.

That is immoral.

*Updated Monday 25 August 2014 1100hrs

Refresh on the Instagram account strongly believed to be Laura Bushney’s shown that all the photos, featured here as screenshots over 30 hours ago have been deleted.

The Instagram account strongly believed to be Laura Bushney's have been wiped clean after this blog's posting on her

The Instagram account strongly believed to be Laura Bushney’s have been wiped clean after this blog’s posting on her

That is a demonstration that Laura Bushney isn’t a credible person.

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Some content on this page was disabled on December 16, 2019 for the publication of private information. You can learn more about this guideline here:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/user-guidelines/

Published in: on August 24, 2014 at 00:30  Comments (352)  

Nentanyahu’s Butchery

The ultimate arrogance of the zionists in their zest to butcher the unarmed civilian Palestianians in Gaza, mainly women and children is demonstrated when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu telling off the American allies in the midst of international outcry against the merciless slaughter. So far over 1,700 souls perished in 17 days of brutal military operation.

The Daily Main online story:

Netanyahu warns the US: Do not ‘ever second guess me again’ on Hamas

The Israeli Prime Minister hit out after a truce was broken Friday morning
In a phone call with U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented
He said Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas
He now ‘expected’ the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 09:10 GMT, 2 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:37 GMT, 2 August 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the White House not to force a truce with Palestinian militants on Israel following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza,
Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration ‘not to ever second guess me again’ on the matter.
The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be ‘trusted’ on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, at the cabinet meeting at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday. On a phone call with the US Ambassador Friday, shortly after a cease fire was broken, he vented his anger and said he expects US support on how he chooses to deal with Hamas
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, at the cabinet meeting at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday. On a phone call with the US Ambassador Friday, shortly after a cease fire was broken, he vented his anger and said he expects US support on how he chooses to deal with Hamas
The Obama administration on Friday condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action.
The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms.

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The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply.
With the cease-fire in tatters fewer than two hours after it took effect with an attack that killed two Israeli troops and left a third missing, President Barack Obama demanded that those responsible release the soldier.
Obama and other U.S. officials did not directly blame Hamas for the abduction. But they made clear they hold Hamas responsible for, or having influence over, the actions of all factions in the Gaza Strip.
The language was a distinct change from Thursday when Washington was focused on the deaths of Palestinian civilians.
‘If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible,’ Obama told reporters.
President Barack Obama spoke on Friday afternoon, in part about he Middle East. His administration condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action
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President Barack Obama spoke on Friday afternoon, in part about he Middle East. His administration condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action
He added that it would be difficult to revive the cease-fire without the captive’s release.
‘It’s going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can’t feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment,’ he said. His comment reflected uncertainty in the U.S. and elsewhere that Hamas was actually responsible for the incident or if some other militant group was to blame.
At the same time, Obama called the situation in Gaza ‘heartbreaking’ and repeated calls for Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties.
Despite the collapse of the truce, Obama credited Kerry for his work with the United Nations to forge one. He lamented criticism and ‘nitpicking’ of Kerry’s attempts and said the effort would continue.
Kerry negotiated the truce with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in a marathon session of phone calls over several days while he was in India on an official visit.
Kerry had spent much of the past two weeks in Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and France trying to mediate a cease-fire with Qatar and Turkey playing a major role because of their close ties with Hamas.
A Palestinian supporter of Hamas holds the Quran as others shout slogans against the Israeli military action in Gaza, during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Tulkarem town on Friday
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A Palestinian supporter of Hamas holds the Quran as others shout slogans against the Israeli military action in Gaza, during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Tulkarem town on Friday
Man tinkers with unexploded Israeli shell after bombardment

Those efforts failed with Israel saying it could not trust Hamas and some Israelis and American pro-Israel groups complaining that the U.S. was treating the group — a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department — as a friend.
Late Thursday, however, Israel accepted Kerry and Ban’s latest proposal, despite its reservations. Once the truce was violated, though, Israeli officials hit out at not only Hamas, but the United States and Qatar for its failure.
An Israeli official said the Netanyahu government viewed both Hamas and Qatar as having violated the commitment given to the U.S. and the U.N. and that it expected the international community to take practical steps as part of a ‘strong and swift response,’ especially regarding the return of the abducted soldier.
In a phone call with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call.
Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was ‘not to ever second-guess me again’ and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to the people.
Netanyahu added that he now ‘expected’ the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.
They said Netanyahu made similar points to Kerry, who himself denounced the attack as ‘outrageous,’ saying it was an affront to assurances to respect the cease-fire given to the United States and United Nations, which brokered the truce.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2713967/Netanyahu-US-Dont-second-guess-Hamas.html#ixzz39I73cLWl
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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Even Jewish British politician Ed Milliband is attacking British Prime Minister David Cameron for the nonchalant attitude on the incessant but heavily indiscriminate massacre of Palestinian population in Gaza.

Another Daily Mail online story:

Miliband and PM in war of words over Gaza conflict: Accused Cameron of ‘silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians’

 

Ed Miliband accused Cameron of ‘silence’ regarding death of Palestians
Remarks sparked angry response from Downing Street amid claims Prime Minister’s views had been misrepresented
Labour leader has called on UK Government to condemn the escalating violence on both sides

By BRENDAN CARLIN, MAIL ON SUNDAY POLITICAL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 23:31 GMT, 2 August 2014 | UPDATED: 23:31 GMT, 2 August 2014

Ed Miliband last night sparked a furious political row over the conflict in Gaza by accusing David Cameron of ‘silence’ regarding the death of Palestinian civilians.
In an outspoken statement, Mr Miliband said Mr Cameron’s ‘silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action will be inexplicable to people across Britain and internationally’.
The remarks sparked an angry response from Downing Street, with aides accusing the Labour leader of misrepresenting Mr Cameron’s views.
David Cameron, pictured, was accused by Ed Miliband of ‘silence’ regarding the death of Palestinian civilians
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David Cameron, pictured, was accused by Ed Miliband of ‘silence’ regarding the death of Palestinian civilians
The No 10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister has been clear that both sides in the conflict need to observe a ceasefire.
‘We are shocked that Ed Miliband would seek to misrepresent that position and play politics with such a serious issue.’

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‘If we don’t get our soldier back we should start levelling Gaza’: Palestinians face new wave of bloodshed as ceasefire breaks down after Israeli soldier is ‘kidnapped by Hamas’
Mr Miliband stressed that he was ‘a supporter of Israel’ but branded its military actions in the past two weeks as ‘wrong and unjustifiable’.
He called on the UK Government ‘as a whole’ to condemn the escalating violence on both sides.
Yesterday, in the 26th day of the conflict, Israel carried out fresh attacks on Gaza while militants launched more rockets into Israel as a hunt continues for missing Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin.
The remarks by Ed Miliband, pictured, sparked an angry response from Downing Street, with aides accusing the Labour leader of misrepresenting Mr Cameron¿s views
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The remarks by Ed Miliband, pictured, sparked an angry response from Downing Street, with aides accusing the Labour leader of misrepresenting Mr Cameron’s views
Palestinian officials said 55 people had died in Israeli strikes on Saturday, most in Rafah. Some 1,655 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 66 Israelis, all but three soldiers, have so far died.
Last night Israeli officials said they would not attend truce talks in Cairo, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation in Gaza would continue ‘if required’ after the demolition of Hamas’s tunnels.
So far some 31 tunnels have been destroyed under the border with Israel.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2714441/Miliband-PM-war-words-Gaza-conflict-Accused-Cameron-silence-killing-hundreds-innocent-Palestinian-civilians.html#ixzz39IA9sg2q
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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Seasoned British politician Lord Paddy Ashdown felt the extreme Israeli Forces handedness against the Palestinians in Gaza would escalate the problem further.

The Daily Mirror story:

Gaza crisis: Paddy Ashdown brands Israel’s attacks ‘foolish and disproportionate’

Aug 02, 2014 11:24 By Nina Massey
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Lord Ashdown also said that neither side could simply ‘blast their way to victory’
Flynet / BarcroftLord Ashdown’s says Israel and Hamas need to sit down and talk
Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown has branded Israel’s attacks on Gaza as “foolish” and “disproportionate”, saying both sides need to talk to each other.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the peace envoy also said that neither side could simply “blast their way to victory”.

He compared the situation to the conflicts in Bosnia and Northern Ireland where peace deals had been brokered.

Lord Ashdown said: “Neither side can blast their way to victory, so there is only one way to get peace now, and that is for the sides to sit down and start talking to each other.

“Hamas has to be at the table. Who’s firing the rockets? It’s Hamas, and so you have to talk to them… If an individual or an organisation has the support of the people who it represents, in the end you have to talk to them. We had to talk to the IRA, for goodness’ sake.”

Lord Ashdown also said there was “no question” that Israel’s military action was “disproportionate”, telling the show: “Is it disproportionate? Yes it is, there’s no question about it.

“Israel makes the excuse that because weapons are being fired from civilian areas, it’s entitled to use indiscriminate total force against civilian areas. No you’re not.”

He added that had British troops retaliated to civilian attacks in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, they would “have been guilty of a crime”.

The former Lib Dem leader continued: “To have accidentally, in the course of trying to be careful, hit a single UN school and haven, you could put down to an error in the process of trying to be careful. But to hit six, you have to conclude that’s either criminally careless or carelessly indiscriminate.”

Lord Ashdown described Israel’s military action as “really foolish “, adding that its actions had “created hundreds if not thousands of terrorists, created the enmity of the entire Middle East and lost the support and sympathy of world opinion”.

“That doesn’t seem to me to be a very good dividend from military action,” he concluded.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/gaza-paddy-ashdown-says-israels-3951450#ixzz39I62Jkhn
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

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Lord Ashdown is right. Apparently, Anti Semitism feeling in Europe is rising and more and more Europeans condemn the brutal Zionist Israeli Forces massacre against Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.

The New York Times story:

Anti-Semitism Rises in Europe Amid Israel-Gaza Conflict

By MELISSA EDDYAUG. 1, 2014
Photo

Protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza last weekend displayed a swastika at a Paris rally. The demonstration had been banned by the government and prompted deployment of police. Credit Etienne Laurent/European Pressphoto Agency
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BERLIN — Across Europe, the conflict in Gaza is generating a broader backlash against Jews, as threats, hate speech and even violent attacks proliferate in several countries.

Most surprising perhaps, a wave of incidents has washed over Germany, where atonement for the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes is a bedrock of the modern society. A commitment to the right of Israel to exist is ironclad. Plaques and memorials across the country exhort, “Never Again.” Children are taught starting in elementary school that their country’s Nazi history must never be repeated. Even so, academics say the recent episodes may reflect a rising climate of anti-Semitism that they had observed before the strife over Gaza.

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This week, the police in the western city of Wuppertal detained two young men on suspicion of throwing firebombs at the city’s new synagogue; the attack early Tuesday caused no injuries. In Frankfurt on Thursday, the police said, a beer bottle was thrown through a window at the home of a prominent critic of anti-Semitism. She heard an anti-Jewish slur after going to the balcony to confront her assailant, The Frankfurter Rundschau reported. An anonymous caller to a rabbi threatened last week to kill 30 Frankfurt Jews if the caller’s family in Gaza was harmed, the police said.

The string of incidents comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned anti-Semitic chants from pro-Palestinian demonstrators and President Joachim Gauck called on Germans to “raise their voices if there is a new anti-Semitism being strutted on the street.”

But even as the police have clamped down on demonstrators, banning slogans that target Jews instead of Israeli policies, a spike in violence has spread fear among Jews, not only in Germany but also in other European countries.

More Jews have begun leaving France in recent months, following anti-Semitism that has spilled onto the streets since the start of the Gaza conflict almost a month ago. While most of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been peaceful, a small number of violent protesters, many of them young Arab men, has targeted Jewish businesses and synagogues.

French authorities have strongly condemned the violence and, citing public-safety concerns, have refused to authorize a small number of pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Others have spoken of a need to counter anti-Semitism among certain segments of the country’s Muslim youth.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke last week of a “new,” “normalized” anti-Semitism. “It blends the Palestinian cause, jihadism, the detestation of Israel and the hatred of France and its values,” he told the National Assembly.

Even in historically tolerant Italy, anti-Semitic smears have appeared on the streets of Rome. Jewish shop windows in several neighborhoods were defaced this week with swastikas and tags reading “Torch the synagogues” and “Jews your end is near.” Police suspect that right-wing extremists, possibly along with pro-Palestinian activists, carried out the acts.

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Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, said he believed that the threats were linked to tensions in the Middle East. “There is cyclically a common thread running between the dramatic tensions in the Middle East and the increase of anti-Semitic episodes,” he said.

In Austria, a preseason soccer match between the Israeli team Maccabi Haifa and Germany’s Paderborn was moved to a more secure location last weekend after a group of youths bearing Palestinian and Turkish flags stormed the field and attacked players during a previous match.

Prominent newspapers, politicians and popular stars in Austria and Germany have responded to the anti-Jewish outburst with a campaign called “Raise Your Voice,” in support of their countries’ Jewish communities. But Samuel Salzborn, a professor of political science at Göttingen University, does not believe that the effort has shifted public opinion.

“The official line of the German government is happily, clearly against anti-Semitism, but that is resulting in far too little,” Mr. Salzborn said. “There is a startling indifference in the German public to the current display of anti-Semitism.”

To many of the more than 100,000 Jews in Germany, the outburst of anti-Semitism since the conflict flared in Gaza has a troubling undertone and has stirred especially painful memories. The Central Council of Jews in Germany has received hundreds of calls from members asking whether they should pack their suitcases and leave the country.

“I have not heard that for many years,” said Dieter Graumann, the council president. “When calls for Jews to be gassed, burned and murdered are bawled on the streets of Germany, that no longer has anything to do with Israel’s politics and Gaza. It is the most abhorrent form of anti-Semitism.”

Academics who study anti-Semitism say the acceptance of disparaging remarks about Jews has become increasingly common in the educated middle class over the past two decades. Especially on social media, where hashtags such as #HitlerWasRight have appeared, there has been a significant jump in slurs against Jews.

Monika Schwarz-Friesel, a cognitive scientist at Technical University, has spent 10 years tracking anti-Semitic comments from educated Germans in letters to editors, in Internet chat rooms and on social media. She said such comments in public forums had served as kindling for the most recent outbreak.

“Violence always starts in the mind,” Ms. Schwarz-Friesel said. “Attacks like that on the synagogue in Wuppertal are not just pulled out of thin air.”

Carola Melchert-Arlt, an elementary school principal in Berlin and mother of three, said she felt afraid for the first time in her decades of living in Germany. She said her mother had asked her to stop wearing a Star of David, a family heirloom from her grandmother’s bat mitzvah, around her neck.

Friends have taken down their mezuzas, Ms. Melchert-Arlt said, and she no longer stifles a smile when a fellow Jew wonders if they are really welcome in Germany.

“We have all always felt the latent anti-Semitism here,” Ms. Melchert-Arlt said. “But what we have experienced in recent weeks and days, not only in Germany but across Europe, is a prevailing mood of outward anti-Jewish sentiment in the streets.”

Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Rome, Katarina Johannsen from Berlin, and Aurelien Breeden from Paris.

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Published in: on August 3, 2014 at 12:00  Comments (5)