Clear and present danger

Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi issued a stern warning to those who are out to ridicule and demonize the Prime Minister and his administration with distorted information and lies, deemed as a national threat.
imageIt is without a doubt that there clear concerted effort to by foreign and domestic bodies, to confuse the rakyat with distorted and fabricated information laced in emotional-charging connotation with specific sinister agenda.

It is clear that London-based Sarawak Report which is funded by Global Witness and Open Soceity Forum, creatures which were created by New Con Jew George Soros who is known as a ‘rogue’ due to his tendency to challenge and disrupt economic system, philosophy, norms and values and promote liberalism, LGBT and civil liberty.

Then there is Wall Street Journal which is part of another Neo Con Jew Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire worked in tandem with Sarawak Report and a staunch Anwarista Tong Kooi Ong’s media arm The Edge and BFM, all echoing the same unsubstantiated stories.

All these consistent echoing of messages and drumming of mismanagement, corruption and abuse of strategic investment corporation 1MDB are designed to ridicule, arouse the sentiment the rakyat and eventually topple Prime Minister Najib’s administration.

Protection Group International (PGI) admitted that the information on Petro Saudi and 1MDB venture wasn’t correct but instead of rectifying the errors, Xavier Justo went to Sarawak Report instead.

The Malay Mail story:

MALAYSIA

Sarawak Report data on 1MDB ‘unreliable’, says PGI chief

BY REENA RAJ

Sunday July 5, 2015
06:50 AM GMT+8

 

PETALING JAYA, July 5 — Protection Group International (PGI) managing director Brian Lord said Sarawak Report’s information on the alleged impropriety in PetroSaudi International Ltd’s aborted joint venture with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was “inconsistent” and “unreliable”.

Speaking to Malay Mail, he said there were inconsistencies between the original information and what was published by the blog. He also revealed the cyber security firm was hired by PetroSaudi to investigate the source of the data published online and verify its authenticity.

“When one does the compare and contrast of the data in the systems with the one in Sarawak Report, there are inconsistencies,” Lord said.

He said if an individual believes a wrongdoing had occured, he could report the matter to the authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland or United Kingdom or take it to an established media.

“But he (arrested Swiss national Xavier Justo) didn’t do that.

“Having gone through the process of trying to extort money from the former employer with threats to leak the data and being refused, he (Justo) could have still gone to the authorities had there been any wrong doing. But he chose to go to Sarawak Report.

“I am not making any comment on the political persuasion of Sarawak Report but he chose to take it to that kind of blog site. So even before we move on to the forensics, any information that he presented to the public after that process has to be treated with a huge amount of caution,” said Lord who has more than 20 years experience in cyber security.

Lord added investigations by PGI revealed Sarawak Report had a “subtract of some emails chain and some documentation”. He, however, stopped short of divulging the contents of the emails and data Sarawak Report received.

“It is a combination of all those three things; inconsistency between the original and published reports, substitutable communication and the whole private information claim into Sarawak Report … I can firmly say the information is unreliable and, therefore, it is unfair for anybody to draw judgments on it.”

Justo, a former PetroSaudi executive, was arrested in Thailand last month after he was alleged to have leaked information to Sarawak Report. He was being investigated for extortion and blackmailing his former employer.

Justo had allegedly attempted to blackmail and extort as much as 2.5 million Swiss Francs (RM10 million) from PetroSaudi two years after he was dismissed from the company. He also allegedly threatened to release confidential business information, purportedly stolen from the company, if his demands were not met.

Following the attempted blackmail, various emails and documents were published by Sarawak Report, sparking criticism against 1MDB.

According to Lord, investigations into the case were led by two analysts who between them had worked on at least 1,000 forensic cases.

“These are people who are highly-regarded specialist in what they do. They have investigated all types of cases involving all types of background. When it comes to the validity and velocity of the company, they have vast experience,” he said.

In stressing the firm’s independence, Lord said investigations were conducted in a controlled environment with no access granted to anyone outside of the forensic investigators, with devices obtained from those involved kept in a forensic laboratory.

“Nobody else, including the client, has access to the laboratory where the investigations are conducted. It is key for the investigations to be uncontaminated. In this particular case, we still have the devices under our custody until every line of investigation related to this has ended.”

He said the forensic analysis into this case could take up to six months.

“That leads back to the point of depending on what level of granularity the process requires and whether that is inclined to a subsequent legal process. That leads to a point where there are things that we can say and can’t,” he added.

● On a company spokesman quoted by an English daily

“Clients want a clear, unambiguous and unbiased view of what the investigations will show. We are obliged to adhere to certain standards on how we operate. Forensics investigations can take a long time depending on what level of information is required. At that point thereof, where there is a complete lack of clarity over things, that requires a public statement. But we will only make statements which we are sure we can validate. In forensics investigations, there are points that can be established quite quickly and there are things that require more time to go into deeper analysis. But there are certain points throughout the investigation where things will become clear and if it does help clarify the situation, particularly in the case like this where a lot of it is being played up in public domain, sometimes it (a statement) can be helpful for both parties.”

● On the implication of such articles

“Responsible media outlets such as newspapers check their sources, the validity of such sources and information as well as the motive of the sources before an editorial decision is made to publish. That is a sensible, matured decision. If a blogging site is considered as an independent voice, then it has to do the same thing and if it chooses to just publish random information obtained, then it has no right to be taken seriously. I support the Sarawak Report’s right to publish whatever political opinion they have … people have different opinions, but the point remains how seriously would it take itself if it gets hold of data obtained inappropriately and chooses to publish it in that way, editorialising it to meet political ends. Freedom of speech comes with responsibility.”

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sarawak-report-data-on-1mdb-unreliable-says-pgi-chief#sthash.y0aNMJ1i.dpuf

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The objective is rather quite clear. Prime Minister Najib is up and rising into the world geo-political arena, moreover in his call for ‘moderation of interpretation and practice of Islam’ against the flavour of extremism by very minority pockets of Muslims who are causing detrimental global perception towards Islam and Muslims.

This extremism by these pockets of terrorists using very skewed interoperation of ultraconservative Islam has taken centre stage in many countries and compounded further with their sophisticated use of social media networks to grow support from common people.

Prime Minister Najib’s ‘Wasatiyyah’ agenda earned recognition by world leaders such as President Barack H Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron.

This is the current global bogey man, in the current geo-political turmoil such as in Ukraine, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and the on going tug-of-war game in South China Sea.

Prime Minister Najib administration now chairs the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) and sits as a non permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

It is quite clear that it is imperative for the New Con Jews act to ensure that an upcoming global leader like Prime Minister Najib could be subdued to their agenda or otherwise, politically eliminate him.

*Updated 1800hrs

Published in: on July 5, 2015 at 10:58  Comments (4)  

The corporate rationalisation for a political solution

Dato’ Johari Abdul Ghani

It is quite unorthodox that a corporate rational and thought process is the most likely solution to address a political conundrum, especially complex variables are factored into the political equation.

This posting is the extension on the rational why MP for Titiwangsa Dato’ Johari Abdul Ghani is our choice for the post of Minister of Defence, if and when Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak decides to have a Cabinet reshuffle. The Cabinet reshuffle is deemed timely because of the half electoral term just over for the Parliament XIII.

The position of the Minister of Defence possess different challenges today against what it was when Tunku Abdul Rahman Al Haj formed his first Cabinet. Again the whole of the 1960s, through the geo-political complexity as Malaya still faces the communist rebellion threat and later when Malaysia was formed, the threat from Indonesia.

The 70s, 80s, 90s and the first decade of 21st century have their own challenges and demands from the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Cabinet Minister in charge had to balance between policy, expansion plan, doctrine, acquisition implementation, operational status and moral of the personnel and most of all, budget.

Now in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century, the challenges and demands in MoD is even more complex and layered. Getting the balance between policy, expansion plan, doctrine, acquisition implementation, operational status and moral of the personnel got to be extrapolated to the geo-political scenario and Malaysia’s own foreign policy.

The requirements for more assets, operational capability and peace-time secondary operation such as in crisis and emergency in the likes of the missing MH370, kidnapings and hijackings on and off the coast, disaster relieve such as the Great Flood of December 2014 and the Kinabalu Earthquake, compounded to the already long list of ‘must haves’.

Just for size, let us throw in some issues that are already pressing if not critical to be addressed.

1. The replacement program for the RMAF MiG-29Ns interceptors (which is over 22 years old in service)

2. The replacement program for the RMAF F/A-18Ds multirole combat aircraft (which is 18 years old in service)

3. The replacement program for the RMAF S61 Nuris (which is over 47 years old in service – original )

4. The replacement program for Laksmana Class corvettes (Which age is actually 31 years old but in service with RMN since 1999)

5. The upgrade of the RMAF C130H Hercules transporters

6. The new generation RMN Gowind Class littoral combat ships

7. The continuation of the RMN NGPV Kedah Class program

8. The additional requirement for the RMAF A400M multirole strategic transport aircrafts (on order is only four)

9. The additional requirement for the RMAF EC725 Cougar utility helicopters (on order is only twelve)

10. The maritime/anti submarine patrol aircraft programs

11. The Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft programs

The non traditional threats for Malaysia should be  taken into the consideration, where Malaysia is a maritime nation. Factors such as the 4,675km coast line and mass body of water between Peninsula and Sarawak and Sabah and the EEZ of 200 nautical miles as per the UNCLOS, requires a strong armed forces to ensure the interest of the nation is protected.

The patrol, surveillance, protection of this important element for the Federation is pertinent, as this mass body of water is where a major portion of food and hydrocarbon is extracted. The water ways around the nation is the important component of the nation’s trade.

The seas also provide revenue from tourism.

Hence, to ensure all the requirements are being addressed and met, the nation has got to provide the necessary investment for the acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of all these said programs.

All of these programs require huge sums of funds. For size, the Gowind program alone for six vessels and combat systems which would be undertaken by Boustead Heavy Industries is expected to cost slightly less than RM11 billion.

In aggregate, to have all these programs delivered require a lot money and in the challenges of the fiscal management by Treasury, it is deemed that it is impossible it could be funded from the conventional means.

Hence, to be able to deliver all these requirements and acquire all these assets, innovative ways are the solution. Solution like deals and packages made through extended sophisticated commercial programs, would be the avenue for these assets to the acquired and MoD requirements met.

That is where Dato’ Johari Abdul Ghani comes in. He is a chartered accountant with vast corporate experience. Taking over and restructuring plcs and later expand its operation and increase the market capitalisation was part of his illustrious track record as a corporate leader.

Hence, someone like him would expected to posses the ability to strategise and package deals between the Federal Government, GLCs, OEMs and the long term contracts for the consideration.

The acquisition of these assets could be realised the hybrid of constructing under license and with partners of friendly nations that have similar acquisition, in the effort to lower the cost of economies. The package of maintenance, repair and overhaul could also be factored.

All these costs could be aggregated and spread over a long period, to provide the affordability for these assets and programs to be acquired by MoD. Perhaps, some of the GLCs could be mobilised to provide some of the financial commitment for these programs to materialise.

After all, it is for national service and defence of the realm.

On top of that, an experienced corporate man should be able to restructure and make the armed forces more effective with its current complement and strength, where all resources are optimised.

That is the rational why an experience corporate man should be appointed as the next Minister of Defence.

Published in: on June 25, 2015 at 14:30  Comments (12)  

Lessons from Paracels XXI: Bald eagle challenging the protogonistic panda

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

China encroaching into neighbours EEZ territories as defined by UNCLOS (1982) and relationship is sliding downwards, with the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ unsubstantiated claims

United States is considering to deploy the US Navy around the disputed are of multiple claims in South China Sea, as a projection of force in an international waters which China claimed to be part of ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

CNN.com story:

China cautions U.S. Navy on patrols in South China Sea

By Brad Lendon and Jim Sciutto, CNN
Updated 0106 GMT (0806 HKT) May 14, 2015

Source: CNN

150511-N-VO234-286 SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto/Released)
U.S. considering surveillance of South China Sea

150511-N-VO234-286 SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto/Released)
U.S. considering surveillance of South China Sea

Story highlights
South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival territorial claims
U.S. considers deploying aircraft and ships to contest Chinese claims to disputed islands
China cautions U.S. it doesn’t have “free access” to China’s territorial waters
Washington (CNN)The U.S. is considering deploying aircraft and ships to contest Chinese claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Options are on the table to fly surveillance aircraft and sail Navy ships nearby in a move that puts the U.S. directly into a contentious territorial contest in East Asia, in which, until now, the U.S. has avoided overtly taking sides.

The South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival — often messy — territorial claims, with China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam disputing sovereignty of several island chains and nearby waters.

China on Wednesday cautioned the U.S. against taking any actions that might be considered provocative, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news service.

While Beijing supports freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the U.S. must be careful in how it uses that right, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the report.

“Freedom of navigation does not give one country’s military aircraft and ships free access to another country’s territorial waters and airspace,” Hua is quoted as saying in the Xinhua report.

A U.S. Navy statement Wednesday said the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth arrived for resupply in the Philippines after completing a weeklong patrol in the South China Sea that took it near the disputed Spratly Islands.

The Navy said it was the first time an LCS, one of the newest vessels in the U.S. fleet, had operated in international waters near the islands. The Spratlys have been claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, according to the U.S. State Department.

“As part of our strategic rebalance to bring our newest and most capable Navy platforms to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, (the LCSs have) a regular presence in Southeast Asia. Routine operations like the one Fort Worth just completed in the South China Sea will be the new normal as we welcome four LCSs to the region in the coming years,” Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore of the Navy’s Destroyer Squadron 7, said in the Navy release.

The Navy said the Fort Worth came across “multiple” Chinese warships during its patrol. A photo released by the Navy showed the Fort Worth being trailed by a Chinese guided-missile frigate, the Yancheng.

“Our interactions with Chinese ships continue to be professional,” the commander of the Fort Worth, Cmdr. Matt Kawas, said in the statement.

China building ‘Great Wall of Sand’ in South China Sea
China building ‘Great Wall of Sand’ in South China Sea 02:12
Kawas said his vessel followed the international Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea to “clarify intentions and prevent miscommunication” with the Chinese ships.

Tensions over the Spratlys have increased in recent months as China has built facilities on five reclaimed-land sites in the islands, including a 10,000-foot (3,050-meter) airstrip.

James Hardy, editor of Jane’s Asia Pacific, told CNN in February that China was executing “a methodical, well-planned campaign to create a chain of air and sea capable fortresses across the center of the Spratly Islands chain.”

The disputed areas in the islands include fertile fishing grounds and potentially rich reserves of undersea natural resources.

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PLAN building a permanent airstrip and jetty in an atoll which was illegally occupied and contravened the UNCLOS

PLAN building a permanent airstrip and jetty in an atoll which was illegally occupied and contravened the UNCLOS

This projection of force by US Navy is one of the reaction welcome by some of the countries which is affected by China’s aggressive military maneurvres. China’s expansionary attitude and doctrine is well demonstrated by PLA Navy (PLAN) operations within the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

In March, China has been caught to been building permanent airstrips and jetties which suggest that this ‘occupied’ atolls would be used as a forward base for PLAN troops and assets.

Published in: on May 14, 2015 at 12:00  Comments (18)  

PM Najib: UNCLOS is the solution for ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

Chairman for ASEAN Summit 2015 Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak urges to quickly implement the Code of Conduct (based on Document of Conduct ASEAN inked which include China in Nov 2002 and UNCLOS 1982) to resolve the multiple claims of South China Sea or ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

Channel News Asia story:


ASEAN needs to address China’s reclamation in disputed sea: Statement


By Melissa Goh, Malaysia Bureau Chief, Channel NewsAsia
POSTED: 28 Apr 2015 19:54


UPDATED: 28 Apr 2015 23:59 A day-late release of the concluding ASEAN summit statement by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was stronger than expected on the South China Sea.

PHOTOSVIDEOS
LANGKAWI: ASEAN needs to urgently address Beijing’s reclamation work in the South China Sea.

This was the key takeaway as Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak wrapped up a summit that focused on the issue as a potential threat to regional stability.

A day-late release of the concluding ASEAN summit statement by Prime Minister Najib Razak was stronger than expected on the South China Sea. It reflected concerns by the Philippines and Vietnam and was amended at the last minute and only released a day after the summit ended.

Analysts had expected the grouping to steer clear of comments about China, but Manila has warned that failure to call China to task over the reclamation work on islands it also claims would undermine ASEAN credibility and solidarity.

Najib denied that the issue has split the grouping. “I see there is strong ASEAN unity and solidarity, we may defer slightly in our approaches but we are all on the same page – the principles on how we deal with South China Sea.”

He said ASEAN would continue to engage China through non-confrontational means by adhering to international laws, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

ASEAN foreign ministers meanwhile are tasked to urgently address the issue and push for early conclusion of a code of conduct with China in the South China Sea.

But the Philippines still wants an international tribunal. “We are still pursuing our case for arbitration in a tribunal,” said Philippines Foreign Minister Alberto Rosario.

However, other member countries prefer a softer approach. “China is an important partner of ASEAN and ASEAN is an important partner for China. We will try to intensify our dialogue with China,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

China is ASEAN’s largest trading partner. Two-way trade is targeted to reach US$1 trillion by 2020. Beijing in the past year has tried to improve ties with its ASEAN neighbours by unveiling plans for massive investment in Asian infrastructure.

ASEAN, Najib said, is supportive of China’s proposal to help build new overland and maritime trade routes between Asia and Europe under the one belt one road initiative.

– CNA/ec

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We have had extensive and repetitive discussion here about the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ and China’s attitude and aggressive approach towards the motive of expanding its control and territorial claims all over South China Sea.

We would to add a commentator’s take on the matter and brief history on the development of the unsubstantiated claims by China:

“Simply put, if the Chinese have their way, we will lose about a quarter of our territory! Yet not much has been really made known to public, as if we can simply sweep this under the proverbial carpet. In comparison, we are so concerned about a bunch of rag tag fighters taking over a small kampung named Tanduo in Lahad Datu.

Much had been said about Chinese claims over most of South China Sea and how it is according to them, “indisputable based on historical facts and maps”.

Check out the following link to The Philippine’s Institute of Maritime and Ocean Affairs.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18010607/catalogue_historical_truth_liesLOW.pdf

They took the pain to researched and published all these maps going back to 1136 AD where a stone etched map from Fuchang, China made during the Song Dynasty. The map titled ‘Hua Yi Tu’ or ‘Map of China and the Barbarian Countries’ was published in the 1900s and is now in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xi’an, China. (Yup – they call everybody else “barbarian”).

This and another 71 maps, including 15 maps from China itself consistently show Hainan Island as the southernmost territory of China. On the other hand the sometimes 10 dash line, sometime 11 dash line and more recently 9 dash line is only based on some Chinese idiot’s sketch in 1947. It is only officially lodged (vaguely and not in compliance with UNCLOS or international standard and norm) to the UN in 2009!!

The Chinese “Historical Facts” is just a Giant Historical Lies!! Yet they have no qualm pushing their way and pretending like they are in the right.”

Published in: on April 29, 2015 at 12:47  Comments (8)  

Dirgahayu, TLDM

In the current flavour of the 26th ASEAN Summit now in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi where Malaysia is chairing, the world should be reminded that the Royal Malaysian Navy celebrates its 81st anniversary today.

It was formed as Straits Settlement Naval Volunteer Reserve and it has grown so far ever since. RMN is now a formidable and respectable naval force in region, especially after acquiring submarine force capability and assets since 2009.

Two RMN Perdana Class submarines in Sepanggar Bay and an RMAF S61 Nuri helicopter approaching and the Mount Kinabalu as the backdrop

Two RMN Perdana Class submarines in Sepanggar Bay and an RMAF S61 Nuri helicopter approaching and the Mount Kinabalu as the backdrop

Malaysia is a maritime nation. 30% of the nation’s food resource and over 90% of the trade requires safe passageway in the open seas.

Coupled with the fact that the world’s second most busiest maritime passageway, the Straits of Melaka and South China Sea are part of the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as defined under United Nation Conference Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), arisen the requirement for a strong naval and maritime force.

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

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

It is imperative that a seemingly formidable naval and maritime force exist to police and serve the security and defense requirements and obligation, to maintain the safe passageway as well as sovereignty and the defence of the realm.

In the complexity of modern day hybrid of economic, political and even military projection of power and eventually control and dominance, Malaysia too must keep herself abreast with all these developments. Needless to say, makes the necessary preparations and upgrade existing capability and role and positioning.

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

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

China should back off from its aggressive maneuvers in South China Sea and stick to commitment of the Document of Conduct (DOC)  signed with ASEAN in November 2002, which agreed to resolve issues which include multiple claims on disputed territories via multilateral discourses based on United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) dated 1982.

The fact is that many are watching all the military manoeuvres by PLAN and tough diplomatic warnings, China is out to set ‘De Facto Control’ in the South China Sea.

The Wall Street Journal story:

China Set to Consolidate ‘De Facto Control’ of South China Sea, Philippine Official Says

By JASON NG and BEN OTTO

April 26, 2015 6:39 a.m. ET

KUALA LUMPUR—The Philippines cautioned Sunday that China will likely continue reclamation work in the South China Sea and called on Southeast Asian nations to confront the issue before their much-larger neighbor extends its influence over the contested waters.

Beijing claims sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea. In recent months, China has been expanding two islands it controls and began construction of seven new islets in the sea under its reclamation program.

China is “poised to consolidate de facto control of the South China Sea,” Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario told his counterparts during a meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The implications, he said, are “urgent and far-reaching, going beyond the region to encompass the global community.”

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Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei—all members of Asean—lay claim to part of the sea. Asean members and China signed a nonbinding pact in 2002 to refrain from actions in the disputed region such as building on islets. That pact was to lead to a legally binding code of conduct in the region, which remains pending.

The Philippines and Vietnam have accused China of breaking the deal through its recent activities, while China says it is entitled to undertake construction projects within its own sovereign territory. Manila has long led the charge against China in the disputed waters, last year warning Asean members that Chinese reclamation threatened to militarize the region and filing a complaint at the United Nations.

Mr. Del Rosario warned that if China successfully completes its reclamation work before signing the binding code—“which is likely to happen”—any eventual agreement would have the effect of “legitimizing China’s reclamation.”

“Asean should assert its leadership, centrality and solidarity,” Mr. Del Rosario stressed. “Asean must show the world that it has the resolve to act in the common interest.”

Chinese officials didn’t immediately comment publicly on Mr. Del Rosario’s remarks.

Write to Jason Ng at jason.ng@wsj.com and Ben Otto at ben.otto@wsj.com

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It is a very important ingredient to maintain sovereignty, safe passageway for maritime and economic purposes, serve the extension of foreign and other policy and above all, maintain neutrality.

The progression of China’s attitude of territorial expansion and imperialism, especially in the unsubstantiated claims of the Nine-Dash-Line is a growingly thorny and worrying issue to ASEAN nations. One of hand China wants to be ‘friendly’ with ASEAN but the aggressiveness and  actions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy points the other way.

The Code of Conduct

The signatories of the Document  of Conduct

Despite being signatory to the Declaration of Conduct in November 2002 with ASEAN, China has demonstrated her unwillingness to progress further to ensure that Conduct of Conduct (COC) is complied but intead stubbornness to adhere.

Almost a year ago, ASEAN through its Secretary General made the call that “China should exit the ‘Disputed Waters’ , which will conducive to restore confidence in the talks to resolve the multiple0claims by others”.

It is necessary that the desire which has since been translated into wrongful (as per defined by UNCLOS) occupation should be impeded from further progression.

Associated Press story:

Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China’s land reclamation in South China Sea

Published April 26, 2015 Associated Press
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The Philippines on Sunday urged the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take immediate steps to halt land reclamation by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, warning that failure to do so will see Beijing take “de facto control” of the area.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers that if China’s construction of artificial islands on reefs claimed by other countries is allowed to be completed, then Beijing will impose its claim over more than 85 percent of the sea.

Rosario urged the grouping to “stand up” to China by urging it to halt its reclamation work.

China, Taiwan and ASEAN members Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei have overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

ASEAN has maintained a cautious stand in the dispute to avoid angering China, a key trading partner.

Rosario said the reclamation threatened to militarize the region, infringe on rights of other states and damage the marine environment.

He warned that China, which has been dragging its foot on ASEAN’s push for a binding code of conduct governing behavior in the sea, will aim to complete its reclamation activities before it agrees to conclude the code.

If this happens, he said that the code will legitimize China’s reclamation.

“The threats posed by these massive reclamations are real and cannot be ignored or denied,” he said. “ASEAN should assert its leadership, centrality and solidarity. ASEAN must show the world that it has the resolve to act in the common interest.”

The Philippines filed a case with an international arbitration tribunal in 2013 challenging China’s claim.

Beijing has defended the reclamation, saying it is Chinese territory and the structures are for public service use and to support Chinese fishermen.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Friday that ASEAN leaders are expected to raise concerns over Chinese land reclamation at their two-day summit starting Monday and will seek to speed up plans for the code of conduct with China.

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

Atolls and reefs within the Nine-Dash-Line that China illegally occupy or for lack of better words, invaded, have since witness the rapid reclamation exercise and construction for bigger permanent facilities such as an airstrip.

IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly story:

China starts work on Mischief Reef land reclamation

Airbus Defence and Space imagery dated 19 July 2014 and 30 January 2015 shows the start of dredging by China at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. (CNES 2014/Distribution Airbus DS/IHS)

Airbus Defence and Space imagery dated 19 July 2014 and 30 January 2015 shows the start of dredging by China at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. (CNES 2014/Distribution Airbus DS/IHS)

James Hardy, London and Sean O’Connor, Indianapolis, IN – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly
11 March 2015

Airbus Defence and Space imagery dated 19 July 2014 and 30 January 2015 shows the start of dredging by China at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. (CNES 2014/Distribution Airbus DS/IHS)
China has begun to create land on Mischief Reef in Beijing’s latest move to firm up its South China Sea claims.

IHS Maritime identified the dredger as Tian Kai , a trailing suction hopper dredger operated by CCCC Tianjin Dredging Co Ltd that was in the area from 14 January to 16 February.

The Airbus imagery shows Tian Kai dredging a channel close to one of China’s existing platforms in the reef, and depositing the spoil on the reef to create a landmass.

China’s existing presence on Mischief Reef consisted of two small concrete platforms that included buildings and shelters for fishermen.

Other data from IHS Maritime suggests that China is deploying its latest China Coast Guard (CCG) offshore patrol vessels to monitor potential outside interest in the dredging activities. AISLive data showed that Haijing 3307 , a 3000-tonne OPV fitted with water cannon and capable of embarking a helicopter, patrolled an area to the southeast of Mischief Reef from 5 to 24 January and again from 12 to 27 February.

Chinese media have also released satellite images suggesting China is beginning to create a landmass at Subi Reef, which is about 25 km southwest of the Philippine-occupied Thitu Island: Manila’s only Spratly island to have an airstrip. China’s presence on Subi Reef previously consisted of a concrete platform that included buildings, a helipad, and geodesic dome probably fitted with communications equipment.

Meanwhile, Beijing has reacted strongly to comments by the Vietnamese head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in which he rejected China’s ‘dashed-line claim’ to the South China Sea.

ASEAN secretary general Le Luong Minh told Philippine reporters in Jakarta on 4 March that all ASEAN claimants opposed the dotted line concept because it did not accord with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and because the dotted line covered “90% of the South China Sea”.

“There is no way it can be accepted by any party to UNCLOS,” Le said.

Le described China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands as potentially dangerous as they were changing “the status quo”.

“The expansion and illegal [occupation] of islands affect the status quo and [they are] complicating the situation,” he added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei responded on 11 March by saying that ASEAN was not a party to the South China Sea dispute and that Le “has many times made partisan statements that do not accord with the facts nor suit his position” as ASEAN secretary general.

“This is a serious deviation from the neutral position ASEAN and its secretary general ought to have on the relevant issue, and damages the image of ASEAN as a regional international organisation,” Hong added.

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It is considerably unlikely that China would bow to diplomatic pressure and response positively, despite the steady growth of trade between the ambitious neo-pesudo Super Power and ASEAN. A good example is that being a signatory of DOC, China refuse to resolve the Scarborough Shoals issues with the Philippines at the International Court of Justice.

The only way to check on PLAN for further illegal intrusion and possession on atolls and reefs especially in disputed multiple-claims territory such as the Spratlys and most of South China Sea under the unsubstantiated Nine-Dash-Line is to have a formidable naval force.

Hence, the Royal Malaysian Navy must be expanded in its role and capability in the soonest and shortest time to ensure that it serves the obligation to provide defence of Malaysia’s EEZ on top of its new role as the ‘extension of Malaysia’s foreign policy’.

Published in: on April 27, 2015 at 01:30  Comments (14)  

Not allowed under the “Queen’s peace” rule?

The relatives of those who killed by the British Army in 1948 near Batang Kali, are claiming from the British Government to own up for the shooting of the 24 men.

BBC.com story:

1948 Malayan killings case reaches UK Supreme Court

14 minutes ago
From the section UK

Relatives of the dead men lost a case at the Court of Appeal last year

Relatives of the dead men lost a case at the Court of Appeal last year

Relatives of 24 men killed by British troops in Malaya in 1948 have begun making their case in the UK Supreme Court for a public inquiry.


Five judges are considering whether the UK has a duty under human rights laws to investigate the shooting of villagers at Batang Kali.


The families, who say the men were “massacred”, had their case rejected by the UK Court of Appeal last year.
British forces at the time of the killings said the men were insurgents.


Lawyers for the families argue that Britain has a responsibility to commission an independent inquiry under the European Convention on Human Rights – even though the convention was signed after the incident took place.
BBC legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman said the case was “extraordinary and very troubling”.
He said the relatives of the 24 men had fought a “six-and-a-half-decade battle to get the case to the highest court in the land”.


Among those attending the Supreme Court proceedings was 78-year-old Madam Lim Ah Yin, who was 11 years old at the time of the killings.


She said: “I want to let them [the judges] know the struggle and hardship that my beloved mother suffered after the death of my dad during the massacre.”


The families’ solicitor, John Halford, said those killed were “British subjects living in a British Protected State”.
“They and their families have a right to meaningful British justice.”


Last year, the Court of Appeal heard that at least three of the soldiers who were on patrol and at least five villagers who were at Batang Kali were still alive.


They were told oral evidence from living witnesses, including soldiers and the appellants, would be available to an inquiry.
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What is the case about?

Last year relatives said their “journey to seek redress and justice has not come to an end”

On 11 and 12 December 1948 – when Malaya was still a British colony – 24 villagers were killed by a platoon of Scots Guards during a raid at Batang Kali.


The men were Chinese migrant workers suspected by the British of helping rebels during the Malayan Emergency – a conflict between communist guerrillas and British and Commonwealth forces, which lasted 12 years.
An investigation at the time cleared the soldiers of wrongdoing, but in 1970 some of the soldiers said the villagers had been executed.


In the 1990s, authorities in Malaysia opened an investigation, but it was halted before a conclusion was reached.
There have been numerous calls for a public inquiry – all of which have been rejected by the UK.
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‘Deeply regrettable’
Giving last year’s Court of Appeal’s ruling, Lord Justice Maurice Kay said it was alleged that 24 civilians were “executed without any justification, and that the authorities thereafter have either covered up what occurred or have been reluctant to take the necessary steps to enable the truth – whatever it may be – to be revealed”.


He added: “This has never been accepted by the British authorities, who have maintained that the deceased were shot while they were attempting to escape.”


Michael Fordham QC, representing relatives, said that what happened in 1948 remained a “hugely significant and unresolved instance of human rights abuse”.


He told the court that, despite the passage of time, it was still worthwhile for “historic wrongs” to be investigated.
The judges acknowledged that the original investigation into the killings had been “woefully inadequate”, and said it was “probable” the relatives’ case would succeed in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.


In 2012, a UK government spokesman called the 1948 incident “deeply regrettable” but said a public inquiry “would not be able to reach any credible conclusions given the length of time passed”.

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It is thought that all responsible or had first hand knowledge of this bloody incident are no longer alive. Hence, no one is unable to come forth, to testify if there is any inquiry or tribunal.

This include if any of these men of G platoon, 2nd Scots Guard who rounded up Chinese villagemen in a plantation near Batang Kali Selangor on 12 December 1948, who believed they acted under the “Queen’s Peace” rule.

After all, the British and Commonwealth Forces were present in Malaya were in a state of war, despite it wasn’t declared as a ‘war’.

Malayan Communist Party, whose members are the Malayan People’s Liberation Army and predominantly of Chinese ethnicity, continued the struggle of an armed rebellion as terrorists despite Japanese Imperial Army surrender on 15 August 1945.

They were initially armed by British commandoes at the start of World War II as part of the resistance group in Malaya, during the Japanese occupation (8 December 1941 – 15 August 1945).

A quarter of million dollars bounty for Chin

A quarter of million dollars bounty for Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng, from a 1950s Straits Time headline

On 16 June 1948, these rebels killed three British planters in Sungai Siput, Perak and the British government administering Malaya summarily declared the whole peninsular under a state of emergency.

They terrorised the common people, paralysed infrastructure, destroyed amenities and this adversely affected economy. Rubber trees in plantations were hacked, factories, smokehouses and dredges were attacked and destroyed.

War is a tragedy. The man who started and led this armed rebellion to begin with and for over 42 years, has too died since.

The attempt to absolve this case in the name of human rights should also be extended to the other over 10,000 souls perished as the result of brutality caused by the armed rebellion of MCP. Mr Fordham QC should consider this larger lot as well.

Published in: on April 22, 2015 at 23:59  Comments (12)  

PLA protagonists’ powerful ploy

China People’s Liberation Army finally admitted using cyber-technology as an offensive weapon, affirming their position on their cyberspace prowess in the age where all walks of everyday life is dependent on communication and connectivity.

China (Finally) Admits to Hacking

An updated military document for the first time admits that the Chinese government sponsors offensive cyber units.

shannon-tiezzi
By Shannon Tiezzi
March 18, 2015

China’s military has finally pulled back the curtain on its cyber strategy, admitting for the first time that it (like countries around the world) has cyber units set up not only for defense, but for attack.

Officially, China’s line has always been that its government does not sponsor any form of hacking. Those denials rang hollow to foreign experts, however, who pointed both to evidence of Chinese cyberattacks and to the sheer folly of a country of China’s size and global importance not including cyberespionage in its intelligence-gathering arsenal.

Now Beijing may finally be ready to drop the charade. The updated edition of The Science of Military Strategy, an authoritative analysis of China’s military thinking, includes references to China’s cyber-warfare units. “This is the first time we’ve seen an explicit acknowledgement of the existence of China’s secretive cyber-warfare forces from the Chinese side,” Joe McReynolds of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis told The Daily Beast. “[T]hey’ve come out and said, ‘Yes, we do in fact have network attack forces, and we have teams on both the military and civilian-government sides.’”

The Science of Military Strategy, published in Chinese in 2001 (and translated into English in 2007) is a staple reference not only for Western scholars but for senior PLA strategists and decision makers, explains Andrew Erickson, an expert on Chinese military affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. The updated edition was published in Chinese in December 2013 but only recently became available to foreign analysts. China is well aware that the book is widely studied by foreign experts as well as Chinese military thinkers, meaning the reference to cyber-attack forces was likely a carefully considered decision.

McReynolds said China has dedicated cyber units operating in both the military and the civilian sphere. Within the PLA, China has “specialized military network warfare forces” for carrying out both offensive and defense cyber operations. China also has cyber specialists within civilian organizations, including the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Public Security, “authorized by the military to carry out network warfare operations.”

China has previously acknowledged that its military employs cyber experts – for example, a story about a 30-person “Blue Army” of PLA cyber-specialists made headlines in 2011. However, China continued to insist that its cyber capabilities were 100 percent focused on defending Chinese networks, rather than probing foreign systems for information or weaknesses. “The Blue Army’s main target is self-defense. We won’t initiate an attack on anyone,” a senior PLA official insisted when news of the unit’s existence broke.

Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry spokespeople have likewise consistently and categorically denied that the Chinese government sponsors hacking activities of any kind. Now that The Science of Military Strategy has stated otherwise, “[t]hey can’t make that claim anymore,” McReynolds said.

The news that China does, in fact, have units of cyber spies won’t be “earth-shattering” to foreign experts, James Lewis, an expert on China’s cyber strategies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Daily Beast (see here for more from Lewis on China’s cyber activities). However, the new openness on the part of the PLA could have long-lasting implications if it does turn out to be part of a policy shift.

The U.S. government has been seeking to entice more PLA transparency on cyber issues by openly explaining its own cyber-strategy. Those overtures hadn’t paid off – China continued to block any real discussion by denying it partakes in any cyber-espionage activities. The acknowledgement of offensive cyber units in The Science of Military Strategy may mean that Beijing is increasing cyber transparency, which could pave the way for discussions on the issue.

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This very much attest the theory of China’s invasionary and dominance attitude.

Published in: on April 13, 2015 at 18:30  Comments (10)  

770 surface combat ships compared to 710

US Navy has lost its supremacy as the most feared naval force to China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) Navy when a USN Admiral told US lawmakers about the six more submarines against Uncle Sam’s.

RT.com story:

China outpaces America in sub numbers – US admiral

Published time: February 26, 2015 07:51 Get short URL
Reuters/Guang NiuReuters/Guang Niu

The Chinese Navy now has more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than America does, a US Navy admiral told lawmakers. Some of them are “fairly amazing” and Beijing is exploring new ways of projecting its power on the seas.

The Chinese are experimenting with new geographic location, length of missions and new weapons, Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower Subcommittee on Wednesday.

“They may not be the same quality, but their submarine forces are growing at a tremendous rate. They now have more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than we have,” the admiral told the lawmakers. “They are producing some fairly amazing submarines and they are actually deploying them.”

Read more
​NATO member Turkey to buy $3.4 billion worth of incompatible Chinese antimissiles

The Chinese naval missions included at least three deployments into the Indian Ocean, Mulloy told the committee. They can also send strategic ballistic missile submarines on missions lasting for 95 days.

“We don’t think they have nuclear weapons on board, but we’ve seen them producing the missiles and testing them,” the admiral said. “We know they are out experimenting and looking at operating and clearly want to be in this world of advanced submarines.”

The US Navy reported having 71 commissioned submarines. The Chinese, according to Pentagon estimates voiced last year, has 77 principal surface combatant ships, more than 60 submarines, 55 large and medium amphibious ships, and about 85 missile-equipped small combatants.

Read more
US could permanently base warships in Australia – admiral

Despite having world largest defense budget, the US has been looking wearily at other nations building up their armed forces. China is investing heavily in new technology, seeking to project its military power in the Pacific region.

Washington has repeatedly criticized Beijing, saying it’s using its military to put leverage on other regional players, including US allies like Japan and South Korea, in territorial disputes.

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If a submarine is deemed to be the equivalent of ten surface warships when a consideration for naval conflict is drafted, then PLAN  now has 60 additional surface warships as compared to the USN.

USN currently operates 283 ships and 3,659 aircrafts.

The U.S. Navy has identified a need for 313 combat ships, but under the current plans will only be able to afford 232 to 243. In March 2014, the Navy is considering counting deployable ships such as minesweepers, patrol craft, and hospital ships in the “battle fleet” in order to reach a count of 291 and also ships that have been put in “shrink wrap”.

The navy had established a minimum requirement for 11 aircraft carriers, but dropped to 10 when Enterprise was retired in December 2012, before Gerald R. Ford enters service.

As compared to PLAN, as of 1987, it consisted (as it does now) of the naval headquarters in Beijing; three fleet commands – the North Sea Fleet, based at Qingdao, Shandong; the East Sea Fleet, based at Ningbo; and the South Sea Fleet, based at Zhanjiang, Guangdong and about 2,000 ships.

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

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

This massive naval force power is without a doubt be a major threat around the region, especially with China’s heavy-handedness attitude and approach towards issues such as multiple claims on specific areas which include Exclusive Economic Zone such as the fictitious Nine-Dash-Line.

PLAN has been deploying warships right into EEZ of her neighbours, which include Malaysia. The oath taking in James Shoal almost two years ago is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

This is new development is something not comforting.

Published in: on February 26, 2015 at 20:27  Comments (5)  

Orde-Wingate’s Burma Brigade To Be Revived For Cyber Warfare

Brigadier Charles Orde-Wingate’s legendary 77th Brigade “Chindits” is to be revived to fight the growing cyber-warfare and psychological warfare, particularly in social media.

BBC.com story:

Army sets up new brigade ‘for information age’

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British soldiers in silhouette
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The Army is setting up a new unit that will use psychological operations and social media to help fight wars “in the information age”.

Head of the Army General Sir Nick Carter said the move was about trying to operate “smarter”.

The 77th Brigade, made up of reservists and regular troops and based in Hermitage, Berkshire, will be formally created in April.

It has been inspired by the Chindits who fought in Burma in World War Two.

‘Bespoke skills’
An Army spokesman said the unit would “play a key part in enabling the UK to fight in the information age” and that it “consists of more than just traditional capabilities”.

Chief of the British Army Gen Sir Nick Carter. The Army, led by Gen Sir Nick Carter, could face cuts following the general election

He said: “77 Brigade is being created to draw together a host of existing and developing capabilities essential to meet the challenges of modern conflict and warfare.

“It recognises that the actions of others in a modern battlefield can be affected in ways that are not necessarily violent and it draws heavily on important lessons from our commitments to operations in Afghanistan amongst others.”

Recruitment for the brigade, 42% of whose personnel will be reservists, will begin this spring.

Its members will come from the Royal Navy and RAF as well as from the Army.

One former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has warned the new operation should not mean fewer troops on the frontline.

Colonel Richard Kemp said: “My view is that this should not be done at the expense of combat troops. Where are these 2,000 people going to come from?”

“They are likely to come from savings made in combat troops. I think that’s a mistake.

“I think the British forces have already been cut far too much in a very uncertain and increasingly dangerous world.

He acknowledged the need for this type of innovation, but said “it should be added to the forces, not created out of savings found elsewhere.”

The creation of the new unit is part of a major restructuring of the military under the Army 2020 plan, which will see the military scaled down to around 82,000 regular troops in the next five years.

Chindits in the Burmese jungle, 1943
The new unit is said to share the “spirit of innovation” of the Chindits in the Burma Campaign of 1942-45
The unit will also seek “new ways of allowing civilians with bespoke skills to serve alongside their military counterparts”.

The Army spokesman said it would share the “spirit of innovation” of the Chindits in the Burma Campaign of 1942 to 1945.

Chindits was the name given to the Long Range Penetration (LRP) groups that operated in the Burmese jungle behind enemy lines, targeting Japanese communications.

The new unit will also use the old Chindit insignia of a Chinthe, a mythical Burmese creature which is half-lion and half-dragon.

Tony Redding from Kent, whose father was in the Chindits, told the BBC he was disappointed by the move. He said: “Sadly the Ministry of Defence didn’t inform the surviving Chindit veterans of the decision to use the badge in this way.

“I’ve tried very hard to look for similarities and the only common denominator I can find is that the Chindits 70 years ago were a highly unconventional force. Perhaps this new force are to use some unconventional means of warfare.”

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Brigadier Charles Orde-Wingate commanded the 77th Brigade in Burma during World War II and the highly effective guerrilla warfare gave the Japanese Imperial Army a good run for their money.

It is part of the Ministry of Defense (MOD) strategic media game where the control of perception and first impression of the world public matters, in the challenges with dynamism of the integral communication and information at cyber speed and reach.

The ability to control social media has become a priority in the strategy of controlling any fields of warfare.

It is believed that the traditional politically adverse nations to the UK and United States such as Russia, China and even North Korea have invested a lot to be strategically commanding in the cyber warfare game.

The ongoing global warfare against international terrorism such as the current conflict against Islamic State so-called Jihadist is getting more chronic and complicated. The battle has been taken into cybersphere when the US Central Command social account was hacked by pro-IS ‘Cyber Caliphate’.

BBC.com story:

12 January 2015 Last updated at 23:10

US Centcom Twitter account hacked by pro-IS group

Centcom Twitter
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The Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US military command were suspended for a few hours after being hacked by a group claiming to back Islamic State.

One message on Centcom’s Twitter feed said: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.”

It was signed by Isis, another name for the Islamic State. Some internal military documents also appeared on the Centcom Twitter feed.

Centcom said it was “cyber-vandalism” and not a serious data breach.

In a statement, it said there was no operational impact and no classified information was posted.

“We are viewing this purely as a case of cyber-vandalism,” it said. Later on Monday, its Twitter feed became visible again, although not active.

Embarrassingly, the hack happened as President Barack Obama was giving a speech on cyber-security.

Reflecting on major breaches like a recent hack of Sony Pictures, Mr Obama said in his speech the US had been reminded of “enormous vulnerabilities for us as a nation and for our economy”.

Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
President Obama said the internet creates “enormous vulnerabilities”
His spokesman Josh Earnest said the US is looking into the Centcom hacking.

He said they were investigating the extent of the incident, and that there was a significant difference between a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.

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Analysis – Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence correspondent
This is an irritating hack rather than a matter of major security concern, but it will inevitably lead to a review to see if there are any more fundamental vulnerabilities in the US military’s public facing web and Twitter accounts.

The material posted on the site represents an amateurish and unconvincing attempt to publicise “secrets”. Most of the information is hardly secret at all – the postal address at the Pentagon of the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.

A variety of maps and diagrams were also posted by the hackers. Two appeared to be slides from a presentation at the Lincoln Laboratory – a government funded think-tank at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

They showed maritime defences on the Chinese coast, but not in any great detail. There were also simple maps of North Korea showing population centres, nuclear installations and missile sites.

You can find maps showing the same things on the websites of many US think-tanks.

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Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
The White House says it is monitoring the extent of the hack
An unnamed Pentagon official told Reuters the hacking was an embarrassment but did not appear to be a security threat.

And Professor Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey, said he did not consider the attack to be a major breach of security.

“I wouldn’t say it’s trivial, but it’s just a slip,” he told the BBC.

“Twitter accounts are usually looked after by an individual in an organisation – it’s very easy to give away that password.

“In terms of if this is a hack into something secret, or sensitive – no, it’s not. An individual has made a slight mistake.”

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IS have been very effective using the media, which include social media for their publicity. Their psychological warfare which encompasses the recoding of execution of foreign nationals and journos managed to struck fear in the eyes and minds of millions of people worldwide.

This is on top of their overwhelming success in recruiting fighters and sympathisers from ordinary people, through their strategic use of social media.

Thousands of multinationals which include 40-50 Malaysians, not only just men but women too, to be drawn into their organised international terrorism which have since grown into a formidable conventional army in Syria and Iraq.

The inability to control the cyber warfare would prove to be disastrous.

Almost ten years ago, the suicide bombers struck a co-ordinated attack on the London Underground system and bus. 52 people were killed and 770 others were injured. It was later proven that the suicide bombers communicated using ams just before the attack commenced.

That was a very painful lesson for the Brits and their paranoia did prove to be substantial.

Almost three weeks ago, British Prime Minister David Cameron pronounced that encrypted communication which include social media would not be allowed in the UK.

The Telegraph story:

Spies should be able to monitor all online messaging, says David Cameron

The Tory leader said: ‘If I am prime minister I will make sure that it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that does not allow terrorists safe space to communicate with eachother’

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David Cameron
David Cameron Photo: SkyNews
Christopher Hope By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent3:50PM GMT 12 Jan 2015

The Security Services will be given the powers to read all messages sent over the internet, if the Conservatives win the general election.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, made the pledge at a campaign event attended by up to 100 Conservative activists in Nottingham.

The police and the intelligence agencies have expressed concerns that they are not able to access the content of some of the new ways to communicate over the internet.

The Prime Minister – who on Monday morning chaired a meeting of the Security Services to discuss lessons that be learned from last week’s terrorist attacks on Paris – said a Tory Government would pass a law in the next Parliament to ensure that the police and Security Services can read internet messages.

The problem at the moment was that new ways of communicating over the internet were impossible for the agencies to keep track of, he said.

Plans for a Communications Data Bill – branded a “snoopers’ charter” by critics – were blocked by Liberal Democrat opposition in the Coalition, but Conservatives have signalled they will revive the legislation if they secure an overall majority in May’s general election.

Mr Cameron said: “The next Government will have to legislate again in 2016. If I am prime minister I will make sure that it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that does not allow terrorists safe space to communicate with eachother.

“That is the key principle: do we allow terrorists safer spaces for them to talk to each other. I say no we don’t – and we should legislate accordingly. And if I am in Government that is what you will get.”

He added: “I have a very simple principle which will be the heart of the new legislation that will be necessary. In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremis, with a signed warrant from the home secretary personally, that we cannot read? “Up until now, governments have said: ‘No, we must not’.

“That is why in extremis it has been possible to read someone’s letter, to listen to someone’s telephone, to mobile communications.

“But the question remains: are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read. My answer to that question is: ‘No we must not’.

“The first duty of any government is to keep our country and people safe. The attacks in Paris demonstrated the scale of the threat that we face and the need to have robust powers through our intelligence and security agencies in order to keep our people safe.

“The powers that I believe we need, whether on communications data, or on the content of communications, I feel very comfortable these are absolutely right for a modern, liberal democracy.”

Mr Cameron also said that a Tory Government would pass a new law to ensure that the intelligence agencies would be able to track phone calls and internet messages.

He said that this power to track “who made which call, to which person, and when” was “absolutely crucial not just in terrorism but finding missing people, murder investigations, almost every single serious crime.
“What matters is that we can access this communications data whether people are using fixed phones, mobile phones or more modern ways of communicating via the internet.”

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Published in: on February 1, 2015 at 04:30  Comments (4)  

Lessons from Paracels XX: Najib’s Extended and Multi-tiered Diplomacy

China's imaginary and unsubstantiated Nine-Dash-Line

China’s imaginary and unsubstantiated Nine-Dash-Line

Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s extended and multi-tiered and multi-pronged diplomacy is his administration’s strength to manage the multiple geo-political issues arisen from the multi nations’ claim over the Nine-Dash-Line in South China Sea.

Eurasia Review story:

1, ANALYSIS, BUSINESS, CHINA, MALAYSIA

MORE NUANCED THAN JUST ‘HEDGING': MALAYSIA AND SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTES – ANALYSIS

JANUARY 16, 2015 RSIS LEAVE A COMMENT
By RSIS

As ASEAN Chairman this year Malaysia has to tackle the South China Seas disputes. Malaysia’s supposed “hedging” stance should be viewed more comprehensively.

By Oh Ei Sun*

2015 sees Malaysia stepping up to the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN, just as the ten member states are poised to embrace the much anticipated ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Amidst the continued global economic slowdown, it is perhaps understandable that much attention has been focused on AEC as yet another impetus to spur regional economic growth, and by extension on Malaysia’s hopefully adroit skill in ASEAN’s driver’s seat.

Nevertheless, the disputes over the territorial and maritime sovereignty of a large part of the South China Sea, although apparently quietened down late last year, continued to be a latent challenge for all regional parties concerned. How skillfully Malaysia, both as a claimant party as well as ASEAN chair, handles the South China Sea disputes in relation to its three ASEAN co-claimants as well as China is crucial to regional peace and security.

Priority for economic cooperation

Recently, some researchers characterised Malaysia’s management of its South China Sea dispute with China as a “hedging” one, balancing its national interest of maintaining close economic relations with Beijing with the “regional” interest of ASEAN solidarity vis-a-vis China. While this “hedging” label on Malaysia may be partially accurate, it begs a more comprehensive and nuanced view of Malaysia’s international role as well as a more realistic regional outlook.

Firstly, for hundreds of years, Malaysia (and its preceding constituent states) has been a vibrant regional trading hub. This is especially so when the country undertook rapid industrialisation in the last half century, albeit with the vital assistance of foreign investments. The prevalent Malaysian national psyche, including and especially that of the ruling elite, thus exhibits a strong natural predilection toward economic concerns such as improved trade and investment, as opposed to overly ideological and nationalistic concerns.

Malaysia’s trade volume with China is indeed tremendous, surpassing US$100 billion annually over the last few years, making China its largest overall trading partner, and Malaysia China’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. These fruitful and escalating bilateral economic ties thus understandably overshadow the intermittent South China Sea disputes, which do not show any immediate or even medium-term resolution.

Malaysia’s non-adoption of the more confrontational approaches of Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea disputes is therefore not surprising. Vietnam unfortunately experienced protracted and traumatic armed conflicts in its road towards nation-building, and its arguably more nationalistic attitude can thus be somewhat understood. The Philippines for obvious domestic reasons was not endowed with the massive economic development (and the resulting preference for trade) seen in the case of Malaysia.

Regional solidarity

But even if the term “hedging” were to describe Malaysia’s handling of the South China Sea disputes, it should at least be construed in a wider context. It is widely known that in addition to maintaining fertile trading relations with China, Malaysia, not unlike its many Southeast Asian neighbours, also welcomes the United States to continue playing a constructive role in regional security matters. Joint exercises (including maritime ones in or near the disputed waters), port calls and anti-terror efforts, to name but a few, continue to be cornerstones of US-Malaysia security cooperation.

Malaysia’s US-friendly stance, at least in security-related aspects, thus does not differ substantially from that exhibited by either Vietnam or the Philippines. It is perhaps also interesting to note that Malaysia and China will reportedly hold their first-ever joint military field exercise later this year.

Indeed, Malaysia certainly did not abandon regional solidarity with its neighbours when it comes to the South China Sea disputes. Malaysia remains committed and is proactively pushing for eventual region-wide solutions to the disputes. Malaysia is also equally comfortable with China’s preference for bilateral dealings over the South China Sea issue.

But whether bilaterally or multilaterally, Malaysia is flexible in terms of the ways and means – direct negotiation, mediation, joint development, arbitration, adjudication or otherwise – for resolving the disputes. Most of these have been successfully employed to conclusively settle its territorial disputes with neighbours such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

Malaysia, in this respect, looks favourably toward the region-wide (including both China and Southeast Asian claimant states) adoption of the Code of Conduct (COC) on the South China Sea. Although the COC supposedly does not touch on sovereignty issues, it should provide a pragmatic framework for potentially managing, if not resolving, the South China Sea disputes. As ASEAN chairman Malaysia is likely to accord high priority to the adoption of the COC.

Confrontational benefits elusive

More fundamentally, it could also be argued that the more aggressive approaches preferred by the Philippines and Vietnam in dealing with China on the South China Sea disputes did not quite produce the results that they would have desired. For example, in the aftermath of the Philippines’ 2012 run-in with China over the Scarborough Shoal (which China calls Huangyan Island), Beijing assumes de facto control over access to the territory.

Similarly, despite Vietnam’s repeated skirmishes with China over the Paracel Islands/Xisha, these remain firmly under Chinese administration. As such, other Southeast Asian claimants, Malaysia included, could not elicit positive lessons from such confrontational styles.

Even the Philippines and Vietnam did not always confront China resolutely over the South China Sea disputes. In the midst of the Scarborough Shoal standoff, the Philippines inaugurated a China-funded dam project. Vietnam, which shares similar ideological outlook with China, often sees its South China Sea conflicts with China tone down after high-level party-to-party visits between the two countries.

For all these reasons, and with the benefit of a more comprehensive grasp of regional and international power-play realities, Malaysia may be said to more than just “hedge” its way out of the South China Sea disputes. It hews to a more comprehensive approach towards the eventual peaceful resolution of these disputes.

*Oh Ei Sun is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. A version of this commentary also appeared in Global Times.

 

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Oh’s brief analysis basically sums up Prime Minister Najib’s diplomacy and friendship with world leaders which include President Xi Jinping of China, President Barack H. Obama of United States of America, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President David Cameron of United Kingdom.

This is not withstanding the extremely close relationship with Brunei Sultan Sir Hassanal Bolkiah, the Philippines President Benigno “Nonoy” Acquino III and Singapore Prime Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong.

The continuous and pro-active work spearheaded by Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Anifah Aman fortified the foreign policy and extended multi-tiered and multi-pronged diplomacy further, which include the non-permanent membership of UN Security Council, Chairmanship of ASEAN and in the Commonwealth Office in Whitehall.

The ‘consultive approach’ really bore fruit even in the trickiest spot.

However, some statements made through media by Cabinet colleagues such as Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein is taking all these good work a few steps the other direction.

NST story:

Eastern Sabah hotspot for militant activities: Hishammuddin

BY TASNIM LOKMAN – 23 JANUARY 2015 @ 5:38 PM

LABUAN: Eastern Sabah continues to be a hotspot for militants to spread their skewed ideologies, in line with the Islamic State (IS) belief, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Speaking to reporters at the Labuan Air Force Base site visit, Hishammuddin said based on intelligence, terror activities were very much active here with existence of Darul Islam elements.

He said it was important that countries in the regions, specifically Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines were on the same page in handling the terror threat, adding that the government will take preventative measures to avoid the situation from getting worse.

“What we are doing here (making Labuan Air Force Base as the front line and working with the Asean community in addressing militancy activities) now is to have preventative measures.

“Terror activities, especially IS, is still under control but if we don’t take immediate action, it can be very serious and worsened,” he said, adding that Syria and Iraq failed to address it earlier, having to bear the cost now.

On making Labuan as the front line and headquarters for the Air Force, Hishammuddin said the decision saw the state as a strategic defence location.

He said the stability and security of the region needs to be holistic, where they will use a more creative approach.

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It is not sure the rational for the Minister in-charge of External Security to share all these information with the general public and how it would benefit them or the nation. Especially when these matters provide little comfort or worse still, reduced confidence for the general Malaysian public and a few notches lower for the international perception towards Malaysia.

However, the media crave politician would capitalise every moment to be relevant in the Malaysian media and hopefully, in the international media even at the expense of the political implication or perception towards the country.

Published in: on January 24, 2015 at 23:59  Comments (10)  
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