Thursday, September 03, 2015

National air defence - if we don’t play-play

My letter to Malaysiakini on our fighter aircraft needs for a truly national defence coverage, with same title:


National air defence - if we don’t play-play

I refer to your article 'France optimistic M'sia will buy Rafle warplanes' which no doubt would have sent Dr Kua Kia Soong’s blood pressure soaring to the stratosphere.

In another of your articles, ‘From Scorpene Scandal to Mistral Mystery’, Dr Kua once again gave us his views on defence spending. Yes, there is some truth in his views but much as I respect and in fact like Dr Kua, I don’t believe his expertise is in defense studies.

More than two years ago Malaysiakini published my letter ‘Politicisation of police-military ops in Lahad Datu’, in which I commented on Dr Kua’s comments during the launch of Malaysian civil society’s 20-point demands for the 13th general election at the Kuala Lumpur (Selangor) Chinese Assembly Hall, Dr Kua had questioned the strategy used by the armed forces in Lahad Datu.

While I respected some of his points raised at the Malaysian civil society forum as being reasonable, I viewed (still do) his queries on the use of Scorpene as highly politicised, and his suggestion on the type of military strike aircraft in the Lahad Datu crisis, where his stated preference was for Apache attack heli-gunship instead of F/A-18 Hornets, at best as plain silly.

As I stated then, Dr Kua should stick to his scholarly and political work, which we admire very much, but to leave military operations and defence issues to the professionals.

As an example of his gross error in his recent article ‘From Scorpene Scandal to Mistral Mystery’ he blundered humongously when asserting that “In a sweeping review last year, Britain cut its defence budget by scrapping its only aircraft carrier. Their cooperation with France may eventually lead to the creation of identical ships, equipment and similar training in order to cut down maintenance costs. Thus, if a country such as Britain can do without any aircraft carrier, ...”

In fact, the converse is true where Britain has just built two very modern aircraft carriers known as the Queen Elizabeth class naval vessels, namely, HMS Queen Elizabeth (named in 2014 and expected to be operational 2017) and HMS Prince of Wales (expected to be operational in 2020). Each aircraft carrier will carry 40 to 50 aircraft comprising a mix of the latest 5th generation F-35 Lightning fighter-bombers and various helicopters from the heavy lift Chinook to the multi-role land-sea Lynx Wildcat.

The planned budget for both vessels is £6.2 billion or RM40 billion, but we may expect this figure to inflate with time and inevitable construction problems by at least (speculating) 25 percent if not more.

Dr Kua’s inaccurate reporting does NOT mean I support the Royal Malaysian Navy buying the Mistral class vessel, but as mentioned, Dr Kua should be more careful with his facts.

He has also been unbelievably naïve in his take on potential threats to Malaysia, diminishing that to a few hundred brigands from a neighbouring country, and that the armed forces needn’t prepare well ahead, when the usual ought to be by at least 15 if not 25 years based on political, economic and defence intelligence.

Will we go to an arms supermarket?

I hope he’s not suggesting that when we face an enemy of greater threat than a few hundred brigands and pirates, our Defence Minister will go to an arms supermarket to order a dozen or so fighter aircraft, frigates, artillery pieces and armoured vehicles, etc for immediate delivery, and to hell with pilot and technical support training, doctrinal development in the employment of the vehicles, tactics and such military ops matters.

No, I’m not going to explain to him again on how defence planning is done as I have already done so in a previous letter to Malaysiakini (directed at him) in 2013. I find some aspects of his recent article a wee grating especially when he harped once again on the Scorpene submarines as unsuitable for dealing with the foreign infiltration and banditry in Lahad Datu.

It seems he has either not learned since what a submarine is used for or he has deliberately ignored what many including yours truly had informed on the employment or use of a submarine. I urge him to read my earlier letter to Malaysiakini.

Anyway, the aim of my letter today is not so much about Dr Kua’s mindset on defence spending (and notwithstanding my criticism of him, I accept he has made some good points though in a naïve manner, as we would expect from a peace activist - smile!).

My letter is more about the French defence minister’s confident statement that Malaysia prefers the Rafale and is likely to order 16 of the aircraft. To be fair, our dear Hishammuddin Hussein hasn't yet made any commitment on such a purchase though he has dismissed the rumoured purchase of the Mistral class heli (not aircraft) carrier or amphibious assault vessel.

But I would urge our defence minister and the air chief to consider this: that while the purchase of the Dassault Rafale fighter-bomber aircraft is not the issue, the numbers suggested as likely to be purchased is. That’s right, sixteen (16) is NOT good enough. But because the Rafale, as Dr Kua has highlighted is frightfully expensive (unless you are an Gulf Arab nation or Singapore - wicked grin!), obviously purchasing more than the 16 mentioned will be out of the question.

Let me take you back to an earlier letter of mine to Malaysia titled ‘RMAF and Zhang Ziyi on MH370’ where our poor air force was excoriated left, right and centre for not intercepting the runaway MAS B777.

Then I wrote at length about the air force’s daily state of readiness and the paltry number of interceptor aircraft we have, and I also posed a question: Surely, we aren't suggesting that air defence is ONLY about peninsula Malaysia, or worse, just its north-western part centered around the Butterworth air base?

In other words, what if another MAS airline (and may the heavenly thunder strike my naughty mouth for scenario-rizing this) taking off from Kota Kinabalu airport for Hong Kong were to turn right and head east towards the south of Mindanao, into the Pacific Ocean?

Would we expect a poor Rafale or whatever aircraft is or will be based at RMAF Butterworth to zoom across the South China Sea to intercept that naughty wayward aircraft which will by then be over the Mariana Trench, the deepest sea in the world?

There is no free lunch

You want the air force to intercept this and that, so brother, sisters, uncles and aunties, just remember that there is no free lunch. As I wrote, we should consider a ‘national’ (not just Peninsula Malaysia) air defence system, otherwise buying those expensive 16 Rafales will be nothing more than Malaysian Defence fooling around with its ‘boys toys’ or keeping up with the Jones.

We should be locating aircraft fighter units at Butterworth, Gong Kedak, Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Johor Baru (or a new fighter base at the current heli base at Kluang), but far far more importantly, at Kuching, Miri or Labuan (latter has limited room for development), Kota Kinabalu airport or (a new base at) Kudat, and Sandakan.

That’s nine fighter bases to cover the entire nation, not just peninsula Malaysia. We can play around with the numbers but I reckon anything less than eight will be not a national system. Let’s not treat Sabah and Sarawak as second class states with no air defence, please.

With a squadron comprising a modest number of fighter-aircraft, say 12 (and that’s really very modest), at each location, we’re looking at about a total requirement of 110 aircraft.

What does our wee little neighbour have in terms of only fighter aircraft?

Just a mere 24 F-15SG Strike Eagles, 74 F-16 C/D Fighting Falcons, 41 F-5S/T Tiger II, making up a total of 139 aircraft, and I read that Singapore will be purchasing more of the F-15SG Strike Eagles, an aircraft that costs as much as the Rafale with a basic price of US100 million or RM422 million.

With armaments such as missiles, etc, training, engineering support and whatnot, we’re looking at a billion ringgit each though some of the cost will be either a one-off or only further required to replenish used ammunition such as missiles and bombs.

Incidentally, just for Dr Kua’s information, his preferred heli-gunship that he believed should have been used at Lahad Datu without even realizing the RMAF or Malaysian Army didn't/doesn’t have any, namely the Boeing AH-64D Apache which by the way Singapore has 20 of them, cost US65 million each in 2010 - and that’s the basic unit cost, at 0.65 (or 65 percent) of the cost of a Rafale. Dr Kua can work out the likely cost of the total package for a fleet of Apache gunship involving armaments, spares, pilot and technical training, etc.

Additionally, an air defence system, apart from ground radars and interceptor aircraft requires other supporting air vehicles.

Let me name what our Singapore neighbour has (if only to make our mouth water and turn our eyes green with envy - grin!): four Grumman E2-C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW & C), four Gulfstream G550 AEW & C, four Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker (to refuel the interceptor fighters without requiring the short endurance jets to return to base for refueling), five KC-130B/H also for air-to-air refueling of fighters, and has on order six Airbus 330 MTT for the same purpose.

Our air force should not purchase the Rafale aircraft UNLESS we have the money to buy 100 of them, and also to purchase AEW aircraft and more refueling tankers. Sixteen (16) Rafales will only be fooling ourselves about their meaningful usefulness within the national air defence context.

Thus we should of course look for cheaper options, perhaps even used aircraft like the Dassault Mirage 2000-5 MK II from France, Qatar, UAE and Greece as these countries are changing to Rafales or other equivalents - here’s our chance to grab them for cheap.

The Mirage 2000-5 MK II may be just a wee dated but with upgrading and weapon enhancements by the company Dassault, it can be a credible weapon platform for the RMAF, and it costs only a fifth or quarter of the Rafale, meaning we could get 80 re-conditioned but upgraded Mirage 2000-5 MK II for the same amount of money we may be thinking of spending on a mere 16 Rafales.

The operative word is QUANTITY because we have a very large country, from Kangar to Tawau (ever heard of this town?), and we need around one hundred fighter aircraft. The 80 Mirage 2000-5 MK II will be a good start.

Just food for thought, on Oct 8, 1996, a Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000-5 shot down a Turkish Air Force F-16D, the type Singapore has [grin].

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

400,000 missing

Mark Twain popularized the phrase "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" in the USA, but attributing those words to British PM Benjamin Disraeli though the verdict on the originator of that phrase is still out.

Anyway, Disraeli was reputed to have said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

This brings us to the number of people participating in Bersih 4.0. The police said it was 50,000, while Bersih claimed it was 10 times that or 500,000 (half a million).

Obviously, even without checking who has been correct, we could possibly say the numbers shrink or expand in accordance with the attitude of the assessor towards Bersih 4.0, wakakaka.

So Politweet, an independent social media research firm decided to ascertain the numbers in as scientific a method as it could, so as to come up with a definitive figure.

Using aerial and satellite photos and videos, and comparing those with gridded maps showing the size of key areas, and the number of people humanly possible in such areas, etc, it came up with a figure for Bersih’s TOTAL attendance for the 2 days of attendance as between 79,919 to 108,125, say an average of 100,000.

Politweet’s determined figures are, as reported by the Malay Mail Online (extracts):

Bersih’s crowd peaked on August 29th (the 1st Day) between 45,892 — 62,089 people. Perhaps if only Day 1 was considered then the police estimates would be correct.

Politweet further broke down the Bersih 4.0 rally into four time periods, where the lowest estimate for the bulk of the protestors on the first day is at 45,892 people, first night at 9,837, second day at 14,782 and final night at 23,511.

Adding up the total minimum crowd sizes for all four periods led to an estimated 94,022 figure — between 79,919 and 108,125 when adjusted by allowing for a 15 per cent margin of error going both ways.

It offered an optional method of using the average peak figures for the first day (53,991) and second night (28,654) to calculate a total of 82,645, with the same margin of error adjustment pointing to 70,248 and 95,042 protesters.

Let’s be generous and say a TOTAL attendance of 100,000 over the 2 days.

I hope Maria Chin Abdullah won't be too disappointed with her missing 400,000.

But isn't the missing 400,000 somewhat of a coincidence of figures with the 40,000 missing Bangladeshi Anwar Ibrahim claimed to have participated in the general elections in 2013, also coincidentally 10 times more, wakakaka. On this, do read also my post Bangla in Pilihanraya over at KTemoc Komposes, wakakaka again.

Vin Scully, an American sportscaster, said: Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Silver lining in Najib's dark clouds

Bersih 4.0 has turned out to be an unexpected bonus for Najib, in fact a silver lining in the dark clouds hanging over his head for months.

The meaning of the proverb "Every cloud has a silver lining" means that there is something good or beneficial even in a bad situation.

Najib knows the mainstay of his political power is the Heartland as the majority of the nons have now owed their political allegiance to the federal opposition, thus he must continue to cultivate, strengthen and consolidate on this power base.

Mind, he hasn't quite given up on the support of the nons as has been evidenced by his DPM's exhortation to journalists to win back the Chinese and Indian voters. In his appeal, Zahid even 'polished' (wakakaka) journalists from non-mainstream news media, those not belonging to the BN stable, to help. Obviously Zahid has switched from Shaolin to Taichi, an adaptive skill-strategy gained perhaps learnt from his claimed adoptive Chinese family, wakakaka.

But what Bersih 4.0 has unwittingly provided Najib in this respect, that of strengthening his power base in the Heartland, has been two-fold, namely:

(a) Firstly, Bersih 4.0 has been seen as a Chinese protest rally against a Malay PM. The operative phrase is "has been seen" so whether that's true or not doesn't matter as that's political perception where no verification is necessary or even desired, wakakaka. I have no doubt Najib's psy-warfare team will be emphasizing on this racial element as we Malaysians are quite racist in our general outlook, though we may deny that like hell, wakakaka.

But we're racist  and it's only a matter of degrees in our prejudiced outlook. But in the final analysis, this perception will be played to the hilt by Najib's side of UMNO. And wouldn't it be ironical if Mahathir were to come out to disabuse the Malays of this point - wakakaka, I love to see it happen.

you may not believe it but Banana-Kaytee can read the Chinese characters for 'August'


While I wouldn't go so far as to agree with Tunku Aziz' assertion of Chinese flexing muscles at Malays, there is a wee truth (causing his anger or, as he prefers to call it, 'sorrow') in that Bersih's "organised demonstration had chosen carefully the dates to flex their muscles and to show their complete and utter disdain for an event of great emotional and spiritual significance for millions of Malays", to wit, Merdeka Day our national celebration of our nationhood.

That mainly Chinese would be participating was not forecast nor anticipated by the Bersih organizer, so it's not fair to accuse Maria Chin Abdullah of being racist.

But I would strongly disagree with his rather fanciful or hurtful comment "That the Chinese have never identified with Merdeka through our 58 years of independence is not in dispute."

I respectfully invite Tunku Aziz to read my post Chinese policemen. Alternatively Tunku may wish to peruse my letter to Malaysiakini on 14 March 2013 on the same topic titled more pointedly as Chinese M'sians, too, have died for one Malaysia. An extract would show:

Two other Special Branch police officers who are still alive today were awarded the SP, namely Supt Paul Kiong and Deputy Supt Sia Boon Chee. Without exaggeration, I would consider these two officers’ contributions (presumably still under secret classification) as pivotal to the defeat of the communist terrorist movement in peninsula Malaysia.

Thus five Chinese police officers were awarded the nation’s highest gallantry award, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa, two posthumously. I hope Pak Kadir takes note of this.

Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa

Pingat Gagah Berani

Then there were Chinese in the Armed Forces who showed their loyalty to their nation by making the ultimate sacrifices, Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) officers like the late Lt Choo Yoke Boo and the late Lt Chang Tatt Min who were both awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB) posthumously. One Ranger officer, 2nd Lt David Fu Chee Ming who I believe is still alive today, was also awarded the PGB.

Please don't ever ever question the love of Chinese Malaysian for their country, which for each of our Chinese policemen, soldiers and various other professions has been a tanah tumpahnya darahku, what more for their surviving families. 

Apa lagi "those who question the loyalty of Chinese Malaysian" mahu? Wring more blood out of our bodies, already dried-from-bleeding-for-Malaysia?

Anyway, for me personally, I do feel the organizer of Bersih (not the participants) has been, as Tunku mentioned, "provocative and arrogant by any reckoning", or perhaps the more apt word is 'hubristic', but I dispute his argument that the Bersih organizer had been "racially insensitive" in having a rally on the eve of Merdeka Day, as "a deliberate challenge to Malay sentiments and sensitivities."

That, my dear Tunku, might be a bit over the top though I would agree Bersih under Maria Chin Abdullah has gone off track in the NGO's objective of clean and far elections. As I had written in a comment over at Malaysia-Today:

Is it Bersih's charter to depose of an elected PM? Has Bersih gone songsang-ishly partisan from its original charter? Personally I suspected so when Bersih praised a former RMAF officer as a hero, and for what you may asked, but for violating Armed Forces Council Instructions.

Then I knew that unless someone wise up the new chairperson of Bersih the organization will soon lose its perspective.

Sadly, all the investments made by Ambiga Sreenevasan which earned Bersih 2.0 much respect and admiration have been squandered completely by the new Bersih leadership. The NGO is no longer about clean and fair elections. It has become a mainstream political organization which seeks to depose of an elected PM. It now has only one honorable recourse - it must register itself as a political party.

And now, as if Bersih 4 has not been enough, Maria Chin Abdullah wants to lobby MP to vote against Najib. That's fine but at least she should, as I had recommended, register Bersih appropriately as a political party because she has effectively changed the NGO (about clean and fair elections) into that.

But for Najib, the Chinese dominance** in Bersih 4.0 has actually been a blessing in disguise as he or his psy-warfare team can now claim it's a Chinese-controlled campaign against a Malay PM, one who was elected democratically into office.

** due to PAS' supporters being absence, which incidentally raises questions about PKR's actual membership. The DAP should examine closely this factor when it comes to seat allocation among Pakatan 2.0, as I was informed that Pakatan had asserted its membership was in the millions and therefore had laid claims to a humongous portion of seats in 2008 and 2013, not forgetting its avaricious Sarawak grab, wakakaka.

(b) Secondly, Mahathir "joining" Bersih during the weekend, not once but twice, has had the added benefit of the notorious UMNO bangsa-ideological bullet ricocheting against Najib's chief detractor.

For in December 2012, he was reported by TMI in an article (extracts): ... Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim in his blog that the Chinese (and Indians) are the real masters of the country.

Specifically, he wrote that “Because they (the Malays) are willing to share their country with other races, the race from the older civilisation of more than 4,000 years and who are more successful, as such today whatever they have now is also being taken away from them”.

As election day approaches, this line of argument is being rehashed. We can expect more of this race baiting by Dr Mahathir and his kind in Umno and PEMUDA when they are addressing Malay voters.

Now Mahathir has sung a different song by rubbing shoulders with a Chinese -dominated Bersih 4.0 out to get a Malay PM. Oh dear, what will his Heartland think of him?

Mahathir must have realized his political-ideological faux pas in his twice-appearance and participation in Bersih 4, and is now forced into defensively splitting hairs (or splitting the infinitives eg. "to boldly join", "to casually walk" with, "to desperately encourage"), that he was only supporting the people but not Bersih per se, but alas for him, the damage has been done in regards to his once-iconic image in the Heartland.

Even Hishamuddin Hussein possessed enough gall to condemn the Grand Olde Man of UMNO having crossed the line.

The Malay Mail Online reported (extracts):

SEPANGGAR, Aug 30 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had “crossed the line” with his presence yesterday at the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the former Umno president’s attendance at the gathering which the police had declared as illegal was contrary to a statement he had made in 1998 that street demonstrations should not be supported.

“I feel he has violated the principle of struggle he had adhered to all this while. His action has gone against the values he had promulgated when he was the prime minister.

“During his administration, he had clearly stated that street demonstrations were not the approach to voice dissatisfaction, what more to topple a government.”

Indeed, Mahathir has been a man who had (until now) condemned street demonstrations and in particular criticized Bersih. Of course then he was in power, wakakaka.

It's not rocket science the reason for his change vis-a-vis Bersih was not in him taking the road to Damascus but in his frenetic desperations in wanting to unseat Najib A.S.A.P for his own political agenda. So stop having wet dreams.

When Charles Santiago (DAP) remarked that Mahathir had repented by showing up at Bersih 4, I trust he was only cynically making political hay out of Mahathir's belakang-pusing (180 degrees about-turn via-s-vis Bersih) and that he knows that Mahathir has his own personal, very personal reason for wanting Najib out, and not because he (Santiago) was silly enough to believe Mahathir has changed.

Bersih bodoh
Bersih best

On this issue, I have to compliment Tian Chua, wakakaka, for keeping a proper perspective on and cool look at Mahathir's participation in Bersih, stating very correctly:

"Mahathir has a right to express his support (for Bersih 4) but it does not mean the rakyat has forgotten that part of the problems today is due to the system which he built where democratic space was closed."

"This contributed to the people's uprising today."

But we know Mahathir only wants to kick Najib out, even if he has to deal with The Devil, so what's a little casual walk to add some motivational kerosene to a blazing Bersih rally out for Najib's blood.

As for Najib, he must be smirking at Mahathir's very drastic desperate disastrous faux pas, for from now on Najib and his team will constantly remind the Heartland that their erstwhile icon has "defected" over to a DAP-Chinese dominated controlled Bersih to bring down a MALAY leader. It can only consolidate Najib's standing among the Heartland and even among his UMNO members, and of course a discredited Mahathir (his most dangerous foe), discredited in UMNO and the Heartland's eyes helps lots, wakakaka.

Politics is dirty and you can bet that UMNO internal politics is even dirtier, as Tunku, Ku Li, Anwar and AAB had discovered in their times.

But this time, though Mahathir might have hoped for Najib to join the other pelts on the Mahathir fence***, Najib has instead done a 'Mahathir' on him, by turning the Heartland table back against the former PM, as the former PM had once turned the corruption-cronyism table back against his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 - a taste of his own medicine for the doctor. All thanks to Bersih 4.

*** 'pelts on the Mahathir fence' is an Aussie colloquialism which means Mahathir's losing victims - derived from hunting where the games shot by a hunter would have their pelts removed and hung on the fence to dry

As the Poms would say, "Every cloud has a silver lining" and so it has been for Najib. I'm sure he would have like to say 'kamsiah' to Bersih but then, perhaps not, as that would undermine his position with the Heartland, wakakaka.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Déjà vu 1999?

Malaysiakini - Pro-Najib blog whacks Dr M over rally rendezvous

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been consistent in his opposition to street protests, and his administration had come down hard on supporters of his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim who vented their frustration on the streets.

But this evening, the former premier made a surprising visit to Bersih 4, with his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Ali heralding the protest as a display of people's power.

Taking Mahathir to task over this, recounted the Reformasi era as well as Anwar's black-eye incident and questioned if the former premier has now become desperate.

"It appears that Mahathir who is called a prominent statement is now acknowledging street protests.

"What has happened? Is he so desperate to achieve his personal political agenda to topple Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak that he is willing to lower his statesman status?"

And also read Malaysiakini - This is people's power, says Siti Hasmah in her response to a query on what she thought of Bersih.

The elderly couple have been flabbergastingly bizarre, supporting the Bersih protest, which Mahathir had previously condemned and brutally repressed. We have witnessed the ultimate height of hypocrisy. Mahathir has taken a leaf out of Lim Kit Siang's book to (if but now necessary) make a pact with his own Devil.

I have to say there is plausibility in some pro UMNO blogs that the former PM is so mucho desperate to remove Najib for you-know-who, but ironically which indirectly tells us that Najib seems seated in his PM position rather securely if not comfortably despite the various daily poo flung against him, whether from Pakatan, Bersih, Mahathir his media mouthpieces like former NST group boss, Pak Kadir Jasin and former info minister Zam, UMNO and even a SB man (who we all know is in reality a M man).

Perhaps wily Ku Li senses this when he said I have no problem with Najib, even revealing he won't stand in GE-14.

Mind you, Mahathir's political agenda is not for your interests but for his own, which will be more of the same as per his 22-year draconian rule, including silly but humongous expenditure of public funds for his silly game of comeuppance from his humongous chip on the shoulder against Singapore. Do read my earlier post The 3rd 'Successor'.

We're surrounded every which way by UMNO and its frightful financial profligacy.

Now, why do I say that?

Because even if Azmin Ali's PKR's magic 30 again does eventuate and successfully overthrow Najib, there is no guarantee of a so-called 'Azmin Ali/Lim KS/Ambiga' "unity government" comprising 50/50 BN and Pakatan MPs.

I reckon that once Najib has been overthrown by an UMNO coterie making use of Pakatan's 88 MPs (does this include PAS MPs?), wakakaka, the 30 UMNO MPs will conveniently return to the Mothership and BN under new-old (wakakaka again) continues its rule, changing the PM but not its "PM" or "Pathetic Methods".

Malaysiakini's Racial imbalance at rally, Chinese dominate informs us that unlike previous Bersih rallies (and the missing PAS mob), the Chinese comprise 80% of Bersih's protesters. Can this be a déjà vu of 1999 when the Chinese came to Mahathir's rescue after the Malays abandoned him?

Oh those Chinese, siding with a man who dislikes them most and against a man who tried to develop kamcheng and be their Ah Gor - apa lagi Cina mahu, wakakaka.

Friday, August 28, 2015

PKR's magic 30 again

TMI - New government by year-end with help from BN MPs, says Azmin (extracts):

memories are made of this

PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali is confident a change of government can take place through a democratic process before the end of the year with the support of Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers.

Azmin, who is also the Selangor menteri besar, said BN lawmakers must have courage to make changes even as the economy faces an uncertain future.

"Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has 88 parliamentarians, we only need 30 more. God willing, by the end of the year, we will see a change and it will be allowed in the democratic system.

That's Azmin after personally benefiting from the PKR overburnt Kajang Satay. Now he wants another crack at the same old 916-ish coup d'etat with 30 UMNO MPs

Did he get word from Pak Cik M that at near year's end there'll be 30 UMNO MPs ready and willing to join his scheme? After all, he was brought up as a member by the M family, and he might just know, wakakaka.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Keep soldiers in their constitutional barracks - letter to Malaysiakini

My letter to Malaysiakini published today. It's a much expanded version of Wait a ding-dong minute, General Blimp published earlier this afternoon as a blog post. For your reading pleasure:


Hang on a ding-dong minute, my dear Gen Blimp

I read with extreme trepidation that Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, in referring to the Bersih 4 rally, said the military will take over the role of the police in containing a situation which has been categorised as a threat to public order.

In a democracy governed by civilian rule and leadership like Malaysia, there is no such role for the army or for the matter, the air force or navy, to ‘take over’ the role of the police, even in a situation of civil commotion and disorder, to wit, riots a la May 13, which may represent threats to public order.

I want to remind the general of the role of the Malaysian Army as laid out in the Army’s Doctrine Handbook. It says the Malaysian Army is part of the Malaysian Armed Forces instituted by the federal constitution which primary roles are to safeguard all national frontiers and land boundaries from encroachment at all times.

Okay, we have no problem with that.

Let's now shift our look from the Army's PRIMARY to its SECONDARY purpose. The Army’s secondary roles are to ASSIST the Royal Malaysian Police and other civil authorities in the maintenance of public order and providing assistance in time of national disaster, and NOT to ‘take over’ the police role.

In essence, the army is responsible for containing external threats while the police is responsible for internal threats.

In an internal strife, as had been the case of the Emergency or the insurgency by communist terrorists (CT) in yonder years, the police was responsible but because it then lacked the manpower and expertise at that time to deal effectively with the CT problems, it called upon the military to assist it in the war against the communist terrorists.

The military must not be under the mistaken belief that they were not in a supporting role to the police, even in that insurgency war where our entire armed forces participated.

Yes, I do worry when the military want to ‘take over’ this or that from civilian control, namely, the police. We are not Thais you know; indeed we’re Malaysians.

My fears deepen immensely when I think of the army handling the Bersih 4 protesters. In Bersih 3, no thanks to some trouble-makers, we had fairly nasty experience with the police, so just imagine how our Berish 4 participants will fare with the army?

The reality is the army is roled for war against external foes and trained in combat for that. The police is roled for security and law and order within our community. To put it in simplistic terms (which admittedly have their limitations) the soldier is trained to kill the enemy, while the police is trained to protect the community and maintain law and order by legal means.

So we don’t want soldiers trained to kill to be controlling or suppressing our civilian Malaysians who may be in the Bersih rally.

Just recall our past government’s very discerning handling of our civilian population in the rural areas, in particular Chinese villages, during the Emergency, and how we kept the army as much as possible away from those civilians.

Some CTs when in hot pursuit by the military during the Emergency had the naughty tactic of running into a Chinese village to escape by merging into the local population. The military much to their chagrin would not be permitted to continue the chase into the villages. They had to stop at a specific distance from the village and hand over the hunt to the paramilitary Police Field Force (PFF), which was essentially also our mata-mata.

Not trained to handle civilians

That was because our government knew that soldiers weren’t trained to handle civilians and I needn't provide graphic examples of what would have been the unfortunate results of allowing soldiers to deal with civilians as the American military have provided ample examples from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan.

That was the reason for having the PFF during the Emergency, men or mata-mata who had been trained to handle civilians in searches in their homes under combat situations.

I also recall Dr Kua Kia Siong, author of the book May 13, telling us the story of how Abdul Razak Hussein had wanted emergency rule for the country after May 13 and for the military to effect that rule, but Lt-Gen Hamid Bidin, then Chief of General Staff (title subsequently renamed Chief of Army) advised Razak against that, saying that the politicians (people’s representatives) would subsequently find it extremely difficult to pry the power out of the military’s hands.

Such was the hallmark of a military man of caliber who knew the necessity of civilian pre-eminence in a democracy and had advised his PM correctly and wisely.

Yes sir, we must be very alert to soldiers wandering out of their ‘constitutional barracks’. We have seen nasty examples up north. And haven’t I on Dec 13, 2013 predicted that Thai military coup d’etat in a letter titled Thailand’s unpleasant lesson for Malaysia to Malaysiakini ?

That has been why I was not impressed by Bersih’s Maria Chin Abdullah for calling an air force officer a hero when that military person deliberately violated Armed Forces Council Instructions to perform a song and dance about the Election Commission’s so-called indelible ink to the media. For him, it was not good enough to have made a police report. His antics were so lamentably political that I don’t have an iota of sympathy for his career end.

Unacceptable politicking

If one wants to participate in politics then one should leave the military and return to civilian life which would be the correct lifestyle for a political career. And that military officer’s unacceptable politicking was given undesirable encouragement by Madame Maria Chin Abdullah.

Keep those soldiers in their ‘constitutional barracks’.

Thus General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin has been very very very much remiss in NOT knowing his army supporting role and its limitations in a situation of public disorder. The military can participate in restoring law and order when the civilian authority calls upon it, and then only in assistance to the police. The army does NOT take over the role of the police.

It seems this general has a propensity to make rather outrageous statements. Last year, around the same time, he stated that the Malaysian Armed Forces considered any insinuations or insults against the royal institutions to be an attempt to weaken the military itself. So, was the Malaysian Armed Forces weakened in December 1992 when Umno Members of Parliament like Dr Affifuddin Omar said:

“How can we continue to uphold rulers who are known to be robbers, adulterers, drunkards and kaki pukul (thugs)?” [...]

“They (the rulers) must be made to realise that they do not own this country. They are not Superman but placed on their thrones by the people.”

Or what about Wan Hanafiah Wan Mat Saman, once the Umno MP for Pokok Sena, in a speech, also in Parliament in 1992, saying he preferred the Malay Rulers be treated the way the Indian Maharajas were treated. Wan Hanafiah said:

“After the struggle for India's independence in 1947, Deputy Prime Minister Sardar V Patel was given the task of negotiating with the Rulers to phase out them. Patel rounded up the Maharajas and put them in a hotel. On the first day of discussion, he could not get them to agree to the government’s proposal.”

“On the second day, he placed soldiers around the perimeter of the hotel. On the third day, he cut the electricity supply; on the fourth day, he stopped the water supply and on the fifth day, he stopped food from being brought in. On the sixth day, all the Rulers, who were confined to the building, agreed to the government proposals.”

“When Patel was asked why he did not obtain the consent of the Rulers in a normal fashion, Patel replied, ‘Do you ask the consent of the chicken before it is slaughtered?’”

Wan Hanafiah said that “a similar approach could have been taken to solve the present problem with the Rulers.”

The general has said something of constitutional significance, so frightening that I believe the defence minister and the attorney-general, the nation’s No 1 law officer, must take a very careful look at this general’s pomposity which has failed to recognise the constitutional roles and limitations of an army in a democracy of civilian rule.

His apparent lack of understanding of the constitutional limits for our Malaysian Army is verging on being dangerous.

I appeal to the defence minister and attorney-general to take note that a 'Malaysian stitch in time saves a Thai nine'.

Wait a ding-dong minute, General Blimp

Star Online - Bersih 4: Armed Forces to intervene if govt declares state of emergency

KUALA LUMPUR: The Armed Forces (ATM) will intervene in the planned Bersih 4.0 rally only if the government declares a state of emergency, said its chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin (pic).

Speaking to reporters at the Defence Ministry on Thursday, Zulkifeli said the ATM has thus far not been involved in preventing the rally from continuing because the situation has not called for it yet.

"ATM will only intervene in the rally if the government declares a state of emergency.

"If the situation is categorised as a threat to public order, we will take over the role of the police in containing the situation," he explained on Thursday.

Just wait a ding-dong minute General. How dare you say the "ATM will take over the role of the police in containing the situation."

Balderdash, General Blimp!

The role of the Malaysian Army is laid out in the Army's Doctrine Handbook. It says the Malaysian Army is part of the Malaysian Armed Forces instituted by the Federal Constitution which primary roles are to safeguard all national frontiers and land boundaries from encroachment at all time.

OK, we have no problem with that.

Let's now shift our look from the Army's PRIMARY to its SECONDARY purpose.

The Army's secondary roles are to ASSIST the Royal Malaysian Police and other civil authorities in the maintenance of public order and providing assistance in time of national disaster.

So, your Army ASSISTS the Police, not TAKEOVER from them.

You're very very very much remiss in NOT knowing your Army's supporting role and its limitations.

Let me advise you once again - the Army ASSISTS the police, not TAKEOVER from them in the event of civil disorder so to provide public order.

We're Malaysians, not Thais!

Nonetheless, the Defence Minister and AG must take a closer look at this General's pomposity which fails to recognize the constitutional roles and limitations of an army in a democracy of civilian rule.

His apparent lack of understanding of the constitutional limits for our Malaysian Army (not just his, a mere caretaker) is verging on being f* dangerous.

Just remember, in a civil commotion, you the Police are in charge of restoring and maintaining public order. ONLY if and when you require manpower beyond the capacity of the police force, do you need to call upon the army for ASSISTANCE, and you remain in charge  

Did Abraham sacrifice Ishmael or Isaac?

On the right hand column of my blog I have listed my 10 top popular posts. Unfortunately the list somehow does not reflect the true stats, that of the posts most read. Currently DAP's comedy (or tragedy) of errors with Tunku Aziz is listed as the second most read post.

Hagar and Ishmael expelled because Sarah was jealous

It should be Why 'God' loved Isaac more than Ishmael which has many thousands of hits more than the one above.

I tried refreshing the blog including republishing Why 'God' loved Isaac more than Ishmael to make it appear correctly as No 2, but alas all my efforts failed to work

I'm going to take a leaf out of someone's book (or tactics) wakakaka and blame the Illuminati for suppressing its appearance as my 2nd most read post, because the post is uncomplimentary to Israel's so-called greatest 'hero', David, who in reality was an evil murderous treasonous and adulterous villain. Wakakaka.

Incidentally, on the topic of Ishmael and Isaac, Muslims believe that Abraham sacrificed Ishmael rather than Isaac to the Hebrew god. Though the Bible (Genesis 22:2) mentioned Isaac's name as follows:

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

... we need to remember the Bible was written by Judeans (Israelites), and not Muslims, so naturally the Judeans wanted the singular honour to be that of Isaac rather than the son of a slave in Abraham's household.

But note the words thine only son which in itself betrayed the truth, because Ishmael could be such an 'only son', whereas Isaac was yet to be born.

Once Isaac was born, Abraham had two sons where there was no more 'only son'.

The three Abraham religions do not dispute that Ishmael was born before Isaac, so Isaac could NOT be Abraham's 'only son'. But Ishmael was!

However the Judeo-Christian argument has been that Ishmael was the son of Hagar, a slave and a concubine who was not a free woman nor loved, and therefore could not be considered as Abraham's son, let alone 'only son'.

Thus, based on their flimsy partisan beliefs, they ruled out Ishmael as Abraham's 'only son'.

more importantly, note how the Judeans (from the line of Jacob and then Judah) marginalized Esau and his descendants in a ketuanan Israelite move, turning Edomites (descendants of Esau) from Jews into Arabs even though Esau and Jacob were twins of same parents, Isaac and Rebecca

In my post Why 'God' loved Isaac more than Ishmael I wrote that:

The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) was written by various people but mainly by (though not all) Davidic supporters (obviously of the House of Judah). ‘Davidic’ supporters mean supporters of King David who was of the House of Judah, the most evil and treacherous man in the entire bible. [...]

David was also guilty of many other crimes including treasonably consorting with Israel’s enemies, the Philistines, against Israel.

In the way that the New Testament would not have been written if there was no Yesohua ben Yusuf, the Tanakh would not have thus been written if there was no David.

David's supporters wrote the Tanakh to exonerate his many crimes, but fortunately for posterity they weren't the only writers of the Tanakh, hence through the writings of those who weren't his supporters we catch glimpses of his evil as well as the treachery of his eponymous cheating ancestor, Israel, or as Jacob was known by, in the Old Testament.

With such biased authorship, needless to say, we would have Judean disparagement against Ishmael's mom (slave, concubine) and thus his pedigree within the Abraham household, that he wasn't Abraham's 'son' whereas Isaac was.

And if anyone wants to argue that Hagar was not a wife but only a concubine, please read Genesis 16:2-3 which states:

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 
And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Indeed Hagar was the wife of Abraham (or at that time Abram while Sarah was then Sarai), and therefore Ishmael was the son of Abraham.

sorry Hagar baby, you have to go 'coz Sarah is green-eyed but worse is yet to come when her descendants would with invincible bias write of your son as not being my son contrary to Hebrew laws - it'd be their ketuanan bull

The Judeo-Christian tradition has been very biased, even ironically unto ignoring Hebraic laws. which tells us in Deuteronomy 21:15-17, that::

If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.

So, hasn't 
Deuteronomy 21:15-17, a Hebrew law (not an Islamic one) been very very clear about the very legitimate status of Ishmael in the eyes of God as compared to Isaac's?

Now, it could well be that was how Abraham treated Ishmael, in accordance with Hebraic laws, but leave it to those prejudiced Israelite authors who wrote bout Isaac being Abraham's 'only son' some 1300 years after Abraham passed away, effectively to change Ishmael status and to confer upon Isaac the honour of being Abraham's sacrifice to their Hebrew god.

As I explained in
 Why 'God' loved Isaac more than Ishmael we have biblical commentators who would even say the idea of firstborn in the Bible (as per Deuteronomy 21:15-17) is often a position of pre-eminence, not necessarily meaning 'first out of the womb'. Wakakaka, what utter assshit.

see if you believe the above Christian crap where the descendants of Ishmael in trusting in good deeds would be in bondage to sin and rejected by (presumably the Christian) god

Thus by Judean 'creative' biblical composition, David enjoyed the position of firstborn, even though he was the youngest of Jesse's eight sons. By David's deliberately 'created' eminent birth, he was 'conferred' a status which then deemed him fit to be King of Israel - all conveniently written by David's men (not God, wakakaka).

But you know, regardless of whether it was Ishmael or Isaac who was sacrificed by Abraham, the boy was killed.

There was no angel interceding at the very last minute to save the human sacrifice. Biblical scholars believe Abraham sembileh his son. And if the son was the 'only son' then it would have been Ishmael. But on the other hand it could well be Isaac.

Richard Elliott Friedman, a biblical scholar and the Ann & Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia was one of at least two (Jewish) biblical authors who told us what had likely happened to Isaac or Ishmael. The other biblical scholar has been Tzemah Yoreh.

Putting aside for a moment the argument whether it was Ishmael or Isaac who was the human sacrifice for a while, Friedman wrote his seven reasons why he believes Abraham killed his son at the sacrificial altar, as follows:

sorry son, all Hebrew first born automatically belongs to YHWH and He wants you now

1. In the original sources that come to make up the Torah, Gen 22 is attributed to an author from the Northern Kingdom, nicknamed “E” because he refers to God as Elohim, in contrast to “J” who refers to God as Jehovah, or Yahweh in contemporary use. 

In Gen 22:1-10, God is called Elohim, but suddenly an “angel of Yahweh” appears to save Isaac.

2. Gen 22:11-15, when Isaac is rescued by the Angel of Yahweh, also discusses how Abraham names the site after Yahweh in his honor.

3. In 22:16, “he” (is this the angel or Elohim?) praises Abraham because “you did this thing and didn't withhold your son.” 

What?!? This seems to describe a moment after which Isaac had been killed. It could refer, of course, to Abraham’s willingness, but it could also mean that he did it.

4. The story concludes with Abraham returning home, without any mention of Isaac.

Tzemah Yoreh confirmed the above oddity of 2 going out but only one returning.

5. In all of the other writings attributed to “E,” Isaac never again shows up. In fact, the traditions about Isaac even in the other texts are pretty meager compared to Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph.

6. Exodus 24, also from E, presents the story of a revelation at Mount Horeb which has multiple parallels with Gen 22, except that none are found in v. 11-15.

7. There are some midrashic stories that say that Isaac was sacrificed. I personally consider this to be pretty weak evidence since the editing of the Torah took place long before midrashim start showing up on this story, but it nevertheless represents the idea that at least for some, the idea of God actually asking that Abraham sacrifice Isaac is not out of the question.

Tzemah Yoreh added:

In verse 12, after staying Abraham’s knife-wielding hand in mid-air, the angel of God tells the father of monotheism, “I now know you fear God because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

That phrase, “have not withheld your son,” “could indicate Abraham was merely willing to sacrifice his son, or that he actually did so.”

One hint that it may have been the latter is contained in the names for God used in the story. The Biblical text calls the God who instructs Abraham to sacrifice his son “Elohim”. Only when the “angel of God” leaps to Isaac’s rescue does God’s name suddenly change to the four-letter YHWH, a name Jews traditionally do not speak out loud.

Elohim commands the sacrifice; YHWH stops it. But it is once again Elohim who approves of Abraham for having “not withheld your son from me.”

These sorts of variations, rampant throughout the Bible, have led scholars to conclude that different names for God are used by different storylines and editors.

Indeed, Isaac is never again mentioned in an Elohim storyline. In fact, if you only read the parts of Isaac’s life that use the name Elohim, you don’t have to be a Bible scholar to see the story as one in which Isaac is killed in the sacrifice and disappears completely from the Biblical story.

Not that the YHWH portions make much of an effort to bring him back to life either. Indeed, Isaac seems to fade after the sacrifice, with his life story told in just one chapter, compared to more than a dozen chapters for both Abraham and Jacob.

So based on Friedman's and Yoreh's analyses, the author of J changed the biblical narration by inserting a J tale to show that an angel saved Isaac (or Ishmael) at the very last minute. The aim of the redaction was to reflect subsequent (1300 years later) Judean rejection of child sacrifice.

whoa there buddy, I'm the US "J" 7th Cavalry

Why is there a leitmotiv in the bible surrounding Abraham and Sarah, of the man and wife pretending to be brother and sister, of a Pharaoh or King taking (or attempting to take) the wife, of God then intervening to return the wife to the husband, and of the husband profiting greatly from the separation? The leitmotiv may be discerned in:
  • Abraham and the Pharaoh (Genesis 12:11-20)
  • Abraham and Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 20:2-18) – Sarah was even older by then, around 90.
  • Isaac and Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 26: 7-16) – we aren't too sure whether this was the same Abimelech for it was then more than 50 years later, but the King had a chief captain of the army named Phichol (Genesis 26:26) as was in the case of the earlier or Abraham’s Abimelech (Genesis 21:22).
If it was the same Abimelech, then it would suggest that Abraham and Isaac could well be the same person.

Read the last sentence above, which says it would suggest that Abraham and Isaac could well be the same person.

When Abraham sacrificed Isaac (or Ishmael) as a human offering to his Hebrew god, the above observed leitmotiv serves the story gnam gnam, in which Abraham (rather than a dead Isaac/Ishmael) was the father (and not grandfather) of Jacob. Thus the leitmotiv pointed to an Abraham experience rather than that of both Abraham and Isaac.

If we read the Old Testament we would discover that the Hebrew god liked human sacrifice, preferably burnt in a ceremony called olah, with the most notorious being Jephthat sacrificing his daughter to YHWH (Judges 11:29-40) and the most numerous being either all the first born of Egypt (Exodus 12:29) or those burnt by King Josiah - And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem - (2 Kings 23:20).

We return to the question: was it Ishmael or Isaac that Abraham sembileh? Think about it. 

A wee after-note digression here - Some scholars believe Saul's seven sons were similarly given as sacrificial offerings by their arch-foe King David (usurper of Saul's throne) to the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1-14), though they admitted the biblical phraseology is less explicit but other indications, however, point in the same direction (of human sacrificial offerings).

But whichever, it was still essentially a David's evil act of ‘charm ch’ow tnooi keen’* which means chop/rid the grass, break/eliminate the roots. 

* (斩草不除根,春风吹又生 or in pinyin: zhǎn cǎo bù chú gēn, chūn fēng chuī yòu shēng)

The Chinese maxim literally translates into ‘cut the grass by severing its roots’, advising that to rid the grass forever, so that they’ll sprout no more; one must destroy the roots.

Thus, the saying as applicable to the biblical David's case means destroying the House of Saul totally and thoroughly by eliminating the Saulide family's potential for comeback, in other words, a genocidal intent in the elimination of all members of Saul's family to prevent future vendetta.