MANCHESTER BOMBING LETS FOCUS ON THOSE MOURNING THEIR LOSS!
There are reports that the three Malaysian students who were questioned by the Greater Manchester Police in relation to the Manchester bombing were purportedly “traumatised” by the experience.
What do you expect from the Greater Manchester Police and for that matter, any honest, qualified, politically free, decent, committed, professional, law abiding individual on Her Majesty’s Service post a crime of this magnitude?
Look the other way?
Are you expecting preferential treatment of some form, based on race and religion?
The kind that allows those behind Christian and minority religion bashing, race and religious baiting, seditious utterances, threats, abductions, assaults, a daily dose of abuse on one’s personal faith and walk with God as a politician, and innuendos by a wide group of basically bullies and thugs, and among them, a lecturer, political NGOs, politicians, certain retired members of the judiciary, mischievous vernacular media and let us not forget, the two rascal journalists, who went and partook in the sacred Holy Communion at a Catholic Church pretending to be Christians, only to spit out the contents and photograph them, belittling one of the Abrahamic faiths, not be investigated or charged under the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 298A of the Penal Code?
Are we not worried about the trauma of families, whose members were abducted, of god fearing politicians who share their faith in an honest autobiography, violently accused of proselytizing by politically manufactured claims, fabrication and allegations, in short, the weaponising of race and religion, at each and every facet of Malaysian life, while politicians look the other way, and have the audacity to claim, we are moderates at international fora!
More importantly, in this incident do you not think, that the traumatized British society who opened their hearts, minds and doors to facilitate the resettling of a migrant population in their midst, now questioning their government, whether that was the right move in the midst of horrific, barbaric and vulgar attack, on soft targets going to enjoy a concert on a warm summer evening should be the focus and not these students?
What did these Malaysian students or their Wisma Putra handlers expect?
This is embarrassing!
Welcome to the real world and well done, Greater Manchester Police, MI5, Scotland Yard and all the relevant members of the security apparatus walking the telephone lines, working the hours to make certain the security and safety of those in Britain are secured!
In fact, I was informed by a high ranking diplomat here in Britain, that this is going to be a “standing protocol” going forward, in all Western capitals that have such attacks and a huge student population from identified “extremist and terrorist tolerating countries”, and now in global view, the involvement of Malaysians, in many terrorist hot spots around the world, which includes Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines!
In fact, the no nonsense tolerating British interior minister, dear friend, Amber Rudd has already gone on record that members of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s network are still potentially at large!
In my walkabout in Manchester, and conversations with families hurt, shocked and mourning and others in the marketplace, there is a lot of sadness but one, with the resolve that those behind this heinous and barbaric crime and bombing, in whatever capacity and form, which killed 22 people at a concert hall on a warm summer evening will not get away, period!
At this moment, like millions others around the world, I am more concerned for the families, mourning their loss, and what is happening around eight hospitals in and around, the northern English city, which treated 116 casualties injured in the blast after the concert on Monday evening and the 23 who now remain in critical care.
I think the atmosphere here is best summed up by the description by HRH the Queen when she visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she met doctors, nurses and members of the emergency services who responded to the attack that killed 22 people!
This attack was “dreadful. Very wicked … to target that sort of thing” HRH stated!
As for us instead of moaning, let us act!
We should not blame the UK or any other countries authorities for doing this, as Malaysia has become a top exporter of IS terrorists and concubines.
We have even offered permanent residence to Zakir Naik, who has been banned in many countries including Singapore for promoting religious hatred and terrorism!
He is alleged to have fled from India immediately after an investigation against him was initiated last July and Times of India further quoted sources who said Zakir is believed to be on the move between United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, African and Southeast Asian countries.
Rather than constantly issuing “official and cosmetic condemnations” of terrorist attacks which ring hollow after some time, Islamic authorities worldwide should make a concerted effort to re-educate Muslims about how to live harmoniously in a multi-religious society, and to ex-communicate those who have extremist tendencies!
PLAY ACTING ON TRUMP STAGE AT FIGHTING TERRORISM?
Last Sunday, President Donald Trump offered a message when he called on the Arab and Muslim world, to confront extremism, during a highly anticipated speech in the birthplace of Islam!
In his much anticipated address, to all those who gathered there, some there play acting and photo shoots, others, allegedly, masterminds and strategic planners of international terrorism, others who pay just lip service to all forms, types and acts of terror and abductions, on the civil society, soft targets, minorities in their own countries!
I take offense of individuals who want that limelight on the trump stage, but privately offer awards, safe havens, citizenship, permanent residence and finances to terrorists, supremacist race and religion propagators, hate mongers and inciters!
Those who are funding directly, indirectly, through proxies to “charity organizations and setting up of religious schools, kindergartens and hostels in urban and rural heartlands, which are actual fronts for the propagation of terrorism in its most vulgar form!
As an international consumerist and human rights advocate, I am glad that US President Trump, stated quite clearly, that better ties and future is only possible, if those in that fora drive out the terrorists and extremists!
He stated specifically, to his audience of dozens of Muslim leaders to ‘drive the terrorists out of their places of worship, out of one’s communities, out of their holy land, drive them out of the earth and I will include, out of our political parties, non-governmental organizations, our civil and administrative services, the institutions of education and higher education, our media organizations, both electronic and print, to start with!
The said speech during the initial stop of the president’s first foreign trip, Trump also emphasized quite rightly that “this is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.
This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.”
His warning came clearly when he stated that, if we do not stand in uniform condemnation of these killing, we not only will be judged by our people, history, but by God himself!
Well put, President sir!
But sadly, the message came while, this part of the world saw 24 people been injured in a bomb explosion at Phramongkutklao Hospital, which is popular with retired military officers!
The authorities, I am advised, are now busy analyzing the pieces, fragments, and ordinances that was used to make the bomb, hoping it will give vital clues to who these perpetrators of evil are!
For the record, that attack came just weeks after a double explosion at a shopping center in Pattani, southern Thailand, which injured at least 50 people.
Sadly, just when you thought all is returning to normalcy in the UK, at least more than 22 people were killed in a blast at a concert in the English city of Manchester, yesterday where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing!
How did UK law enforcement agencies, Scotland Yard, MI5 or MI6, miss this on their radar?
Now we learn at the time of this writing. at least 50 people were injured, and this incident is being treated as a terrorist incident, though no one has claimed responsibility yet!
I am also advised that Police carried out a controlled explosion on a suspect’s device several hours after the blast.
Which implies it is still an active zone where threats exists!
If the authorities there confirms this as a terrorism incident, it would be the deadliest attack, in Britain by militants since, four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005.
But like I stated, terrorism has many forms and faces!
Let us not be deceived!
It is not always suicide bombers, bombs, explosions, body parts, blood tears, and physical carnage and property damage!
In some countries, like Malaysia, because of the superb and professional work of law enforcement agencies, the above is avoided, but, there are other forms of “terror” like political threats, incitement, race and religious baiting, verbal and abuse attacks on minorities, mob justice, through a race, religion supremacy propagation, the weaponisation of religion, and lately, the ultimate terror let loose, the abduction of individuals and religious leaders of minority faiths!
For example, it is over 100 days, since Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted, and there has been no updates into his and certain others, disappearance.
In its place, a cold, ugly, eerie silence instead, permeates!
Then, we have two incidents, where political operatives, adventurers and shenanigans, are hard at work, to create race and religious unrest in a multi-racial, religious country flaunting its moderate credentials before the global world.
The situation made worst by fabrication and lies, aided and abetted by some malicious, irresponsible print and electronic media!
In the first, a slapping incident at a TN50 dialogue, in the presence of Malaysia’s premier, which was live and televised nationally.
The attacker, in full view of TV cameras, committed criminal offenses, for which he can be charged under Sections 351 and 321 of the Malaysian Penal Code.
These offenses are respectively, assault and voluntarily causing hurt.
But inexplicably, while this ‘circus unfolds’, we have a situation where third parties and mobs, claiming to be NGOs make seditious statement, threats, and create an atmosphere of fear and terror, among common folks and peace loving law abiding Malaysians, and calling on the victim of that incident to apologize failing which, they will initiate certain actions?
Who are they?
Who elected them?
By whose political umbilical cord do they operate?
By what legal authority, statutes do they continue their illegal activities, of incitement, sedition, threats of bodily harm and criminal damage?
And finally, when one thought there is no new strains of evil, forthcoming, we have a member of an educational institution, stalking an elected representative and speaker accusing her of proselytization, a claim which is totally flawed, malicious and seditious!
And the elected representative alleged sin, she a devout Christian wrote her autobiography, where she shared how her faith as a Christian, helped her in her political journey!
The pertinent question is, in any civilized and educated society, what is wrong with drawing strength from one’s faith in life and in politics?
As far as I am concerned, if, as leaders and statesmen, we cannot address these issues holistically, in truth, tenets of justice and fair play, we have no business participating in any fora on terrorism or extremism!
SPEED CAMERAS – ROAD SAFETY DEVICE OR AS A CASH COW?
The last time we made negative news internationally, away from corruption, act of terror kidnappings or of alleged terrorist sympathizers in our midst, was when a study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found Malaysian roads are the 17th deadliest in the world!
But my contention then was, that study was flawed big time as it used outdated data of 2008 from the World Health Organization, where the said authors of the study found that road accidents caused 30 deaths for every 100,000 people in Malaysia’s population.
Basically it means, that 6.0 per cent of all deaths in the country were caused by road accident fatalities.
If one decides to make a comparison of road accidents and fatalities across some regions, we may find that road accidents in Thailand caused 44 deaths per 100,000 of people, making it the second most deadly country for road accidents.
Namibia topped the list with 45 deaths per 100,000 of the population.
In comparison, coronary heart disease made up 17 per cent of total deaths in Malaysia, making it the number one killer in the country.
The other two main killers in Malaysia were cancer, which made up 15 per cent of total deaths and stroke at 9 per cent.
Despite that, the study showed that Malaysia has among the lowest overall fatality rates with 494 deaths per 100,000 people, and was placed 170th among the 193 countries surveyed.
This beckons a very serious question in a land where according to public and international perception among the many lawlessness are the lawlessness we see on the roads of Malaysia!
Are Malaysian road users taking responsibility for their own safety, while, driving as more than 80% of traffic accidents are caused by human error according to investigations and surveys done by the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (CASSA).
Furthermore, the death of 65,850 people in road accidents between 2004 and 2013 had resulted in as much as RM78 billion being lost in economic contributions with an average of RM1.2 million each.
Now this begs a pertinent question!
Who do we hold accountable for the road carnage we see and witness in Malaysia?
And what needs to be done to address this loss?
Among the places where fingers can be pointed are, at the alleged lack of proper law enforcement and this despite hundreds of thousands of traffic summonses issued each year?
I am certain that the stakeholders and among them, the police and other relevant authorities are doing their part, but, that is certainly not enough!
Every road user and vehicle owner needs to abide by the law and ensure safety of himself and that of other road users!
Instead of blaming others, road users should take it upon themselves to drive safely and be more considerate of other road users and attentive of their surroundings.
Stakeholders who run and manage highways needs must play their part as they have a contractual duty of care to ensure that the ‘pay and use highways’ are free of all kinds and forms of dangers!
But this is not always the case, as retreaded tyres parts and other foreign bodies which includes nails, stones and pebbles are on highways and pose a serious danger to users!
Then, we also have heavy vehicles and trans-border coaches who throw caution to the wind with their drivers speeding, or vehicle overloading, many behind the steering despite under the influence of substance abuse?
We have accidents, we have fatalities!
And every year we have a litany of such cases and reruns and verbal diarrhea from the authorities promising action and draconian changes that never comes!
Will change come in 2017?
We already had a total of 489,606 road accidents in 2015, compared to 476,196 in 2014.
In 2015 we are told that there were 6,706 deaths through accidents, translating to roughly 18 deaths daily due to road accidents.
And is the silver bullet, the recently introduced traffic changes, speed cameras, cameras at traffic lights with its fines and demerit points?
There are more than 90 countries using the AES and other safety camera devises since the late 1970s.
In France it has helped to reduce the number of deaths due to road accidents by 27 percent within three years of its implementation.
In the United Kingdom, traffic violations decreased by six percent while in Kuwait, accidents decreased by 48 percent
But Speed does not kill but recklessness and negligent driving do!
Of course to those in that industry and their peddlers, these are effective propaganda for a sale!
But, I have absolutely no objection to the proposed installation of Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras at accident prone areas and highways nationwide!
But first, we must address a pertinent question!
Is the AES the silver bullet that reduces fatalities on our roads or is it not another crony get-rich-quick scheme?
Are the cameras there to first give us a comprehensive look and intelligence data, at that careless and reckless driver, their behavior attitudes, secondly create a disciplined and safety first consciousness among Malaysian drivers at all tiers and, finally, mound a responsible road culture generation for the future?
Or instead, are the cameras there as a cash cow for stakeholders?
When the AES pilot project was implemented in Malaysia in 2012, a lot of questions arose, among our elected members of parliament, at a special sitting and briefing by the then Minister of Transport, which also dealt with several amendments to the Road Transport Act, which looked rather draconian!
As Malaysia, ASEAN and APEC lead consumerist. I received a special invitation through the Barisan National Backbenchers Club (BNBC) and was present to participate in that briefing.
In 2014, research conducted by Miros showed that the 14 AES cameras then installed in Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya have proven to be effective in reducing road fatalities due to speeding and running a red light.
That, according to the institute’s findings, there was a 87.6 percent reduction in red light running violations after the cameras were installed at certain traffic light junctions at Jalan Ipoh-Kuala Kangsar and Jalan Pasir Puteh in Perak, and Jalan Klang Lama and Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur.
Fast forward 2017 – the road carnage is still there, and, the behavior of our road users still irresponsible and as such, our road and highway safety cannot be compromised!
But my appeal is, that there should be a balance that the cameras are there to address a concern.
And the process be carried out with a great deal of transparency, accountability, good governance, sensitiveness, dedication and commitment and the cameras there not as a cash cow, but, to help change the mindsets of Malaysian drivers and their handlers, which now is embarrassingly poor and irresponsible!
‘We need to create an ecosystem and an environment, that gives equal and fair opportunities to everyone, regardless of race and religion, by financing a world class education system void of political influence and agendas!’
TalentCorp Scheme Will Not Serve Malaysia’s long Term Interest!’
I find nothing uplifting about receiving news, that the number of skilled Malaysians returning from abroad under Talent Corporation Malaysia’s (TalentCorp) programmes are sharply reduced, while its recruitment of foreign talents are on the rise?
And who are these foreigners?
As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to shout about of a report, which showed that 90 percent of the foreign talent TalentCorp processed, including Malaysia Airlines’ current CEO, Peter Bellew, is a hallmark for the long term best interest of Malaysia!
Sadly, many things never change in Malaysia, starting with truth matters!
I am certain that all of us, remember the “song and dance” that covered the unveiling of TalentCorp which was established in 2011, under the Prime Minister’s Department to “address the availability of talent in line with the needs of the country’s economic transformation” – whatever that means in human language?
From the onset, I was among the constructive critics, who raised alarms on this approach, on national television during the post budget deliberations for that year, that evening!
The question raised is, why give incentives for Malaysians to return when there are Malaysians who have stayed on, with dedication, passion, sacrifice, and contributing but never appreciated?
Even experts in fields where it is a first in Malaysia!
Do the ones who stayed on, in such tough circumstances, racist and indignity ecosystems not deserving rewards?
And still wanting to stay on because of the passion never given a contract post retirement!
What kind of logic and environment is this that is present?
As for Talent Corporation, of course, it is great fun, making tours and presentations in international hot spots, capitals, stay in impressive and expensive hotels and play up the conversation afterwards in reports.
But many of us in the real world, feel this is the typical knee jerk reaction, we usually see from opportunists, shenanigans and crooked politicians who refuse to address national grouses and impediments by addressing systemic approaches.
These days those hemming our tertiary establishments, even those who had on Malaysian tax payers monies attained their academic credentials today are indulging in policies and schemes, that undermines academic excellence with their racism, racial bias and prejudice!
As Malaysia’s ASEAN/APEC Lead Consumerist, I would rather address the setbacks and weed out the brain drain, exodus, and national problems but not using the Talent Corporation model!
But the truth is, some want “quick fixes”, “graphs”, “statistics” usually tailored as it is politically expedient?
They do not want to address, the ‘elephant in the room’, and anyone who bells the cats, gets crucified and allocated superlatives and dumped into cold storage?
But the fact is, if holistic change needs to be implemented then, there must be a massive change in national policies, mindsets, and to the present ecosystem that now breeds many versions of racism, supremacy of race and religion!
Today sadly, racism and bigotry are two pillars seen in new levels unheard and unseen in pre and early post independent Malaya and later Malaysia.
For now, Sabah and Sarawak are insulated from this, in view their population composition and 1963 agreement, which includes, their Immigration laws!
Let us get serious, Talent Corporation!
How can you sell a country, when there are perceptions rightly or wrongly, where local talents are seriously undermined, in fact, never appreciated by the system presently inculcated and breeding without any control?
I am certain the many “Napoleons and Brutus” within the system know only too well, I am alluding to them.
All for their own self-preservation and interests?
And are we not ashamed at ourselves, and these policies, when we try to highlight the achievements of Malaysians, who have excelled at various opportunities in a level playing field, in a country where they are adopted today?
Why are we trying to share in their hard work and achievements?
Like our local peribahasa – “Lembu punya susu sapi nak nama!”
When all we did is, create and facilitate a breeding ground that resulted in our beloved nation losing talents?
Having said that – now more than ever, what we need going forward is, an uncompromising national policy that entrenches that we should stop the intelligent and talented Malaysians from leaving the country at all costs!
We need to create an ecosystem and an environment, that gives equal and fair opportunities to everyone, regardless of race and religion, by financing a world class education system void of political influence and agendas!
We make certain and get rid, from the civil service, and other agencies, institutions, Napoleons both small and big, who practice race and religious bigotry and are hurdles to the establishment of a harmonious ecosystem for people of all races and creed to fulfill the rights, interests and visions of Prime Minister Najib Tun Andul Razak ‘s 1Malaysia!
It can never happen with this model!
The present concept of Talent Corporation is at best, ill conceived, wasteful and hypocritical!
And this is why, I sincerely appeal to Premier Najib Tun Razak, to set up a task force to re-look this entire program, while addressing speedily the systemic issues that stiffens the retention of Malaysian talents!