Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The case of the missing trees in Taman Tun Dr Ismail


TTDI, 29 Nov: They are cutting the trees again in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, once one of the greenest housing estates in KL. 

Well, it probably STILL is but at the rate City Hall has been making some huge, old trees dissapear while residents were in bed watching Netflix or HBO, or simply passing out, TTDI won’t stay as green for long. Resident Dr V. Sivapalan alerted the neighbourhood of the missing trees two days ago on TTDI’s 17k-strong Facebook page. “I don’t know if you realise it but we have been losing a lot of large trees in TTDI over the last few months. These are perfectly healthy trees that are 20-30 years old.” 

Dr Sivalapan said “they” started cutting trees along Persiaran Openg “purportedly to put up new pavements”, followed by trees along Jalan Datuk Sulaiman and now “they” have cut the trees at the Kiara Park entrance and along Jalan Rahim Kajai.

“TTDI is know for its trees but they have stealthily cut down those trees and no one has protested. If we continue to keep quiet, soon we will lose all the trees along all our road just because they want to build pavements … It is time we spoke against this madness,” he said in the FB posting.

What Dr Sivapalan said is true. Taman Tun is beginning to look like Legoland in JB when it opened a few years ago: botak and barren. The sad thing is that residents who responded to the news of the fallen trees were mostly unsympathetic. 

“I’m sure DBKL has a good reason for that. No one cuts down trees without a valid reason,” one wrote back.

DBKL, or the City Hall, is who Dr Sivapalan refers to as “they” in his FB posting on the missing trees. And how anyone who lives in TTDI can still blindly trust DBKL, heats the hell out of me. Most residents would remember how TTDI nearly lost an entire precious park to a massive condominium project that DBKL tried to force upon them just a couple of years before the pandemic!

I’m with Dr Sivalapan and likeminded residents in calling the RA to wake up from their slumber and nudge the relevant Member of Parliament into action. Stop this three-killing madness. Let’s do out bit for Mother Nature.

P.S. DBKL should take a leaf out of Kuala Kubu Baru’s book: KKB Council to track condition of the town’s iconic trees 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

It pays to annoy: How Malaysia got Gaza to be heard in San Francisco

San Francisco, Nov 17: PM Anwar Ibrahim should be delighted with the outcome of the APEC meetings which ended today but he said he was only “quite happy”.

“I regretted that we (the leaders) were unable to reach justice a consensus on Gaza,” he said at the conclusion of the 30th APEC leaders meeting here. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to bring the Palestine issue out into the open and in not a combative way.

“But I wish (the US), which has been at the forefront of humanitarian issues, had been more consistent when it came to Gaza. 

“Like I said in front of President (Joe) Biden earlier this afternoon, each day delayed means hundreds maybe thousand of Palestinian lives, including children and women,” he said. 

The PM spoke to Malaysian journalists after a dinner with the Malaysian diaspora, which was the last official event in his packed schedule that started last Monday. 

Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadie, MITI minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, and KKD Minister, along with Malaysian envoy to the US, Nazri, accompanied Anwar at the press conference. 

Throughout the APEC meetings, Anwar had been a thorn in the flesh for host the US, which has
ruled out a ceasefire for Gaza. 

With the staunch support of his counterparts from Indonesia and Brunei, Zambry insisted ni that if APEC wouldn’t support Gaza, it should not be making any geopolitical statement at all that support, say, Ukraine. 

“Any geopolitical statement to be issued must be fair and not hypocritical,” Zambry said. 

And as a result of Malaysia’s protests, the APAC  leadership summit was able only to include economic issues the Badr morning f. Mto go back to its geoeconomic roots. 

Anwar praised Brunei and Indonesia for backing up Malaysia. The three countries issued  a joint statement on Palestine not related to Bangsar. (Chia, Please provide the link to the Bernama article here)

On the economic front, Anwar appeared  more than quite happy. His delegation secured more than RM63 billion of new proposed investments by Microsoft, TikTok, Inovix, Google, and TPG). 

This amount does not include the deal signed by the MCMC under Fahmi’s ministry with BlackBerry. Among other things BlackBerry will set up a Cybersecurity Centre of Ezcellence in Malaysia. 

Zafrul said he has gotten Cabinet approval to create a Malaysian Investmenr Facilitation Centre to cut red tape and hasten approval of new investments.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Anwar calls for end of Cold War mindset after Jo Biden-Xi Jinping meet

San Francisco, Nov 15: For the last one year PM Anwar Ibrahim has consistently called for the US and China to engage each other and not force others around them, Malaysia included, to ally to one or the other. 

This morning, as President Biden and President Xi finally held a historic four-eyed meeting at the onset of the APEC Summit, Anwar applauded it as “critical” and called for an end of  “the Cold War mind set “.

“To me, the meeting between President Biden and President Xi is critical because it should give a message that we are able to work together and trust each other, to resolve serious problems and issues like climate change, Ukranian or Gaza. There are too many contentious issues in the world and we must try and engage.

“Accept the fact that you may not achieve all the desired results but this engagement is important to try and establish areas that we can work together,” he said at the APEC 2023 CEO Summit here.

APEC comprises 21 nations including the US, China, ASEAN, South Korea, Japan and the Oceania. These leaders’ Summit is preceded by a week of meetings involving the CEOs, the APEC economic ministers (AEM) and foreign ministers (AMM). 

Anwar has always been against attempts to force Malaysia to take sides in the US-China conundrum. He repeated this stand to the CEOs. 

“Why put us in a fix in a zero-sum game? For the benefit of the emerging economes and also for the West and the East, I believe that the solution is, of course, greater collaboration.

“This Cold War mindset must end because the world in the post-normal times is more chaotic, more complex and full of contraditions that only wise leaders with vision and commitment and shared idealis will be able to resolve effectively.”

Yesterday, in his special lecture at the UC Berkeley yesterday, Anwar had described how both these countries are equally important to Malaysia. 

He cited as example the case of his government’s decision to open up Malaysia’s 5G development to China’s Huawei.

“When it comes to 5G, our earlier decision was to go with Ericsson (but) then we also see this very impressive advanced technological transformations by Huawei. So we choose what we consider the best for the country. It is not a question of whether we like the United States or China, it is what’s critically important for Malaysia,” he had told the students.

Last September at the UN General Assembly, the Malaysian PM had also sent a similar message to the US and China. 

He repeated this to the APEC CEOs: “The US and the West remain a very important ally to us and China is a very important, trusted neighbour tht will help in our attempt to propel the economy and ensure a peaceful and vibrant regional economy.”

Anwar also challenged the business leaders to be more accountable and help promote the new dynamics. “You can’t depend only on the political leaders because they have been entrusted and to some extent they have succeeded, but they have also failed miserably. So we need now a new configuration where the private sector should play a more dominant role.”

At the same time, he added, the business leaders must have the humility to accept that things have changed and to acknowlege that we have limitations. The 1MDB, for example, would not have happened without the complicity of some international financial institutions, in this case Goldman Sachs. “Accountability is not just among politial leaders but also business leaders and civil society leaders,” he added.

Anwar is scheduled to have a series of discussions with CEOs of some of the biggest corporations based in San Francisco, including Google and Microsoft, and several bilateral meetings with his counterparts, including from Canada and Peru, which is hosting next year’s APEC.

At the end of the 30th APEC summit on Saturday, the leaders will adopt a Golden Gate Declaration that will set the tone for economic collaborations among the member countries in the coming year. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

On the fringes of APEC, Anwar continues his condemnation of the brutal, blatant killings of innocents in Gaza



This is a time of profound disruption across all facets of international relations. As information technology reshapes societies everywhere, we have reached an unprecedented intersection between opportunity and risk. While its utilitarian benefits are well known, social media also facilitates the spread of harmful misinformation and falsehoods at unmatched speed and scale, endangering the informed citizenry essential to healthy democracies. 


Malaysia has long been heralded as a beacon of moderation, demonstrating a harmonious balance between its rich Islamic heritage and modernity. Historically, Malaysia has navigated the complex waters of religious expression with a deft hand, allowing for a pluralistic society where different faiths coexist peacefully under the umbrella of a predominantly Muslim population.


However, the ubiquity of social media platforms has ushered in new challenges. The digital age has allowed for the rapid dissemination of information, but it has also become a conduit for more intolerant ideologies to seep into the Malaysian discourse. These strains of thought, often rooted in a more rigid interpretation of Islam, have found fertile ground in the unregulated expanses of the online world. The phenomenon is not unique to Malaysia; it mirrors the rise of fascist right-wing elements in Europe and beyond - I’m careful not to mention the US -, where misinformation campaigns have successfully amplified fringe views into mainstream consciousness.


In the process, falsehood trumps truth, providing fodder to spin narratives founded on lies and deceit. Take the case of the web of duplicity and disinformation spun around the narrative on Malaysia’s position on the current Palestinian-Israeli conflictThat in calling for a ceasefire and a stop to the incessant bombing of Gaza, Malaysia somehow condones acts of terrorism


As I had declared in the Malaysian Parliament, there are no two ways about it. We condemn terrorism, in all its forms, and we categorically condemn the actions of killing innocent lives and taking women and children as hostages. Likewise, we unequivocally condemn the bombing of civilians, of homes and hospitals and the consequential atrocities against innocent lives, children, women, and men being carried out day and night in Gaza with impunity. These are blatant violations of international law. 


Malaysia views this as a humanitarian crisis precipitated by a brutal and indiscriminate war. Ultimately, this isn’t about which God we pray to. After all, the more than 11,000 victims in Gaza comprise Muslims and Christians as well as nationalities of various countries. This is about preventing more deaths, more suffering and more hate. Proponents of the Palestinian cause are neither purveyors of hate speech nor supporters of terrorism. 


What’s happening today in Palestine will affect us all. The implications of this strife are significant and long-lasting. It is poised to affect not just Palestine or the broader Middle East, but also leave an imprint on global relations for many years to come.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Anwar whacks Israel atrocities, harder yet again, days before meeting with Biden







11 NOVEMBER 2023



Your Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud,

Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,


Your Majesties, Excellencies,

May the blessings and peace of Allah SWT be upon you.


1. There are moments in history that shake us to our core and challenge our collective conscience. Moments that compel us to ask if our humanity still flickers; if we have the courage and wisdom to act. Such a moment has come with an ongoing Israeli onslaught on Palestine. Such a moment is now.




2. I therefore applaud the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene thisExtraordinary Arab and Islamic Summit. And commend Your Highness for settingthe tone of unequivocal support for the Palestinians cause and for your condemnation of the colonisation and atrocities committed by Israel. I wish to also thank President Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for facilitating the humanitarian aid.


3. For over a month, the besieged people of Gaza have been subjected to the barbaric cruelties and genocide by the Israeli forces, indiscriminately targeting men, women and children alike. Gaza has become a graveyard of martyr innocents, mostly children of PalestineNeither homes, hospitals, nor religious sanctuaries, Muslim or Christian, are safe from Israel’s indiscriminate attacks.


4. This continuation of the politics of dispossession of the Palestinians is not taking place in the dead of the night; it is being perpetrated in full view of the world in a flagrant breach of international law. 


5. The political class of western nationsexhibit a selective myopia toward the turmoil in Palestine. Yet, we salute the collective and the awakening conscience of their peopleA sea change inawareness has taken root, as shown in mass demonstrations of unprecedented proportion throughout the world, including the western world, in support of Palestine. 


6. Ironically, in these capitals that herald free speech and human rights as sacrosanct rights, some authorities have denounced proponents of the Palestinian cause, maligning them as purveyors of hate speech and supporters of terrorism. This is perverse double standards writ large.


7. In this pivotal moment, Arabs and Muslims collective voice is crucial. We stand stronger when we champion a shared purpose and freedom of all people.  Believe me, thummah and the international community expect tangible actions.


8. With due humility, I call upon each of us to strategically employ our diplomatic channels and networks. In every dialogue and on every stage – be it bilateral or multilateral, regional or international – let us consistently and assertively call for thefollowing in a concerted diplomatic campaign:


• Institute an immediate ceasefire; increase and expedite humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.


• halt all Israeli settlement activity and settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.


• immediately cease the forced displacement of civilians.


• investigate and prosecute all breaches of international law, including war crimes, through international judicial institutions.


• support the Arab Peace Initiative and facilitate negotiations with reputable mediators to advance the Two-State Solution (with a recognition of an independent State of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital); and


• combat the global rise in Islamophobia while safeguarding the right to peaceful expressions of support for the Palestinian cause.


9. It is imperative that we unite our voices in chorus so that our message stands a much greater chance of resonating and being heard.


10. In closing, allow me to reaffirm Malaysia's ironclad commitment to the Palestinian cause. 


Thank you.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Cabinet or Badminton? Zafrul can’t have his cake and eat it too


KL 8 Nov: The blog called nuclearmanbursa is saying what’s on the minds of many: why is the leadership of BAM, the main body for the country’s badminton, being passed from one politician to another as if it’s the birthright of politicians and only politicians to head BAM?

I’m reproducing nuclearmanbursa’s entire posting here because Netizens can no longer assess his blog. The MCMC, the institution that regulates blogs and social media in this country, recently decided to block nuclearmanbursa for reasons best known to themselves. Something for another posting another day. 

For now, here is the full nuclearmanbursa’s article on the boarding of positions in the Badminton Association of Malaysian. (I have dropped the last para of his posting to protect myself against potential lawsuits). 

Of course I’ve got something mroe to say about this, immediately below this posting.

Monday, 6 November 2023
Badminton Association of Malaysia, the house of un electable politicians

BACK in early 2023, Ganjar Pranowo looked all set to be the shoe in candidate to win next year's election and assume the presidency of Indonesia. READ :  Ganjar Pranowo is the most popular candidate to replace Jokowi as the next President of Indonesia.

AND then just like that, the most popular active politician in Indonesia,  saw his popularity go down the drain when  he poked his nose in the world of sports, causing Indonesia to lose the opportunity  to host the 2023 Under 20 FIFA World Cup.  
READ :  Ganjarer , Koster made into pariahs over U-20 cancellation.

The moral of the story is politicians should keep their nose out of sports, because the underlying feeling is that they are out to use and abuse sporting associations for their own politicial use, ie to bolster their own political standing.

Take, for instance, Tengku Zafrul's recent coup in
 being annoited  READ : as the next Badminton Association of Malaysia President, taking over from the failed politician Norza Zakaria.

We all know Tengku Zafrul as a Liverpool loving football fan, and not as somebody who has the well being of Badminton in the country at heart.

Tengku Zafrul has too much on his plate already as the minister in charge of MITI and too many issues that could blow up on his face and embarrass Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, for him to even remotely be the ideal choice to lead badminton to a new era.

ROCKY’s BRU comments:

Totally agree with nuclearmanbursa. Tengku Zafrul is hardly in the country because he has a big responsibility to Anwar Ibrahim’s government and to this country. Humongous responsibility to bring in the investment that will create jobs and wealth and spur the economy. Right now he is in San Francisco, or on the way there, to attend the ministerial meeting of APEC, ahead of PM Anwar Ibrahim’s participation in the grouping’s Summit on 15-17 Nov. 

You can count how many days in a month Zafrul is in the country. How can he possibly take on another huge responsibility which could take up even more time than his MITI portfolio? 

What was he thinking when he accepted outgoing BAM President Norza Zakaria’s appointment?

And what was Norza thinking? His tenure as BAM chief may have been smashing, or not, depending on who you’re talking to. I’m not qualified to judge. But I can say with some certainty that Norza did neither BAM nor Zafrul any favour by ‘anointing’ the MITI Minister as his successor. 

I am not saying that ALL politicians should be denied or deprived the chance to lead sporting bodies. But serving MPs and Cabinet Ministers should say NO. They have enough on their plates. 

 In Zafrul’s case, his job as MITI Minister is too important and too big for the wellbeing of our economy for him to even entertain Norza’s suggestion that he was the right man for the BAM job. 

Stop kidding us. Stop kidding yourselves. BAM needs someone who can give 100 percent of his or her time and energy to the further development of badminton and its never-ending politics and polemics. 

The only way Zafrul can be that someone is if he decides to quit Anwar Ibrahim’s Cabinet.