There Is Honour In Honorary

A friend sent me the above article written by a former senior Armed Forces officer on the subject of “honorary” ranks.  I have taken the liberty to share the article below:

As long as I can remember and it is important that we consider this, the only other persons outside the military who donned military uniform were our royalty (the Raja Raja) in their capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the various Corps that made up our armed forces that included the navy and air force. It is largely a ceremonial position that is a common feature in several Commonwealth armies.

However, our country is unique. We have nine Raja Raja who in order of seniority act as patron to the corresponding senior unit they are assigned. It is more or less a permanent inherited position that is, a well-respected custom that remains unchanged to this day.

Military officers whether serving or retired are very proud of our uniform, ranks and military accoutrements. The king, who is also our commander-in-chief, by way of a formal document commissions us. We undergo rigorous training at the various officers training academies domestic and foreign to be commissioned as second lieutenants (one pip) as our initial rank.

It is a long and arduous journey as we progress through a maze of military requirements that consists of passing promotion examinations and career courses to earn a higher rank. Few ever qualify for the rank of general of various grades but as professional soldiers we serve our country and navigate the complex eco system of military service to excel professionally.

Those who served during the height of the Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation as front line troops bore the full brunt of those conflicts. Many of our comrades were maimed and others made the ultimate sacrifice. Thus the weight of history is borne by all who wear the military uniform, and whatever exclusivity it brings is defined by those who served and continue to serve our “tanah air.”

As military officers, we are very concerned that of late, politicians have begun dispensing “commission ranks” — colonels, generals and captains (navy) — among themselves which also extends to other celebrities such as singers, actors, sportsmen and social activists. None of these people have ever fired a shot in defence of the realm or done a day of military training.

Some even proudly display the converted Parachute Badge commonly referred as “Jump Wings” without doing a single jump. There are also cases where certain individuals have the audacity to don the converted maroon beret of our commando units. We adhere to the belief and convention that no one other than the Raja Raja have the right to this honour.

I think it is time we put a stop to these so-called honorary ranks and unauthorised use of military accoutrements. If there is a need for such ranks to be handed out then those chosen need to at least pass basic military training before even being considered for such an honour.

Otherwise, those “rewarded” dishonour the service of men and women, who have actually earned their ranks in the process of serving their king and country.

And lastly I would like to add that of late that large number of non military organisations have all gone “al military/police” by wearing military type ranks, insignias and camouflage uniform to the boot. Let’s keep the ranks of lieutenant, captain, major, colonel etc strictly for the military only.

The top echelon of these organisations have also chosen to wear the cross swords/kris an insignia normally reserved for our top generals and very senior police officers. By doing so they not only confuse the public but our soldiers and policemen as to their standing in protocol.

The country should have only two recognised institutions known as the uniformed service that’s the army and the police.

It’s about time our authorities do something about by having proper guidelines to this effect.

I am puzzled that a retired senior Armed Forces officer does not know that the provision for Honorary commissions exists in the Armed Forces Act, 1972.  I first came across this provision when I studied the Act for the Military Law subject during my Officer Cadet days.

Under Section 8 of the Act it says:

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may grant honorary commissions in the regular forces to such persons as he may think fit.

Honorary Colonels (Navy Captains), for example, are given to civilians whose position in his or her organisation commands assets of strategic importance to the Malaysian Armed Forces, such as the Malayan Railway, ports authorities, the MISC, TNB, Telekom etc., etc., and honorary ranks go down all the way to Honorary Captains (Navy Lieutenants).  The lower ranks include esteemed sportsmen and sportswomen and individuals whose charisma and value to the society would be valuable to the service they are commissioned into, such as to inspire the men and women of the service, to act as a bridge between the service and related civilian agencies, and also to promote the service in public relations exercises.

They are all given the honorary commission of the respective service’s volunteer reserve force.

Therefore you get sportsmen and sportswomen such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nichol David who have been commissioned into the Navy and Air Force respectively.  You have Dato Irmohizam Ibrahim, the Member of Parliament for Kuala Selangor who has been commissioned into the Navy.  He was selected for the honorary commission by virtue that he is the Chairman of the Lembaga Kemajuan Perikanan Malaysia and has been actively involved in promoting the Navy’s RAKAM (Rakan Maritim) initiative for the fishing community.

Why is this a big thing? Richie McCaw, the former New Zealand’s All Blacks Captain was made Honorary Wing Commander (Lieutenant Colonel equivalent) of the Royal New Zealand Air Force!

The Indian Air Force gave honorary Group Captain (Colonel equivalent) to Sachin Tendulkar, India’s cricket team captain.

These individuals are commissioned as honorary officers in the volunteer forces of the three services of the Armed Forces. These officers do not need to fire any gun as they do not have command status.  However, if there is a request and the command of the service the honorary officer is commissioned into, it would be at the expense of the honorary officer him/herself.

Nor do they get any remuneration from the Armed Forces except for the one-off RM1,000 for them to make their uniform and buy the accessories.  They are also not subjected to the Armed Forces Act and neither are they given a service number.

And it is not up to politicians to hand out ranks.  The commission is given by the Yang DiPertuan Agong on the advice of the Armed Forces Council which comprises of the Minister of Defence, a representative of the Rulers appointed by the Rulers Institution, the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces Chief, the Chief of the Services, and two other members appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

The Colonels-in-Chief and Captain-in-Chief of the respective Corps or Service would have a say on the Honorary commission to be awarded by the corps or service they preside over.  For example, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor as the Captain-in-Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy has set the number of honorary commissioned officers at 50.  Therefore, the Chief of Navy has to carefully select the individuals the Navy believes to be worthy of such commission.

No wings are given out to these honorary officers unless they have such qualification.  There are cases where former servicemen have been given honorary commission for the role they play in bridging the society and the armed forces, such as Datuk Huan Cheng Guan, who was an other rank in the Royal Malaysian Air Force.  He received an honorary commission for his tireless effort in bridging the society with the armed forces.

If Datuk Huan had a jump wing when he was serving, there is no reason for him not to don the wing if he wears the uniform of an honorary officer.

If Khairy Jamaluddin is the one that is being referred to, then let it be known that he is an active reservist and had undergone basic parachute training and therefore deserves to don the wing on his uniform.  He is also a Brigadier General in the Askar Wataniah.

MS Dhoni, another captain of India’s cricket team was not only given an honorary Lieutenant Colonel but also the jump wings of India’s Parachute Regiment, the regiment he was commissioned into honorarily.

Just like in India, it is customary for any commander of any regiment, corps or service to award honorary jump or pilot’s wings to any individual that they see fit.

As for civilian organisations that have ranks similar to the military and police, I can see several that have that kind of rank.  The Angkatan Pertahanan Awam is Malaysia’s Civil Defence Force and plays a role during wartime in assisting in the defence of the country.  Therefore, it deserves the ranks.  Oddly, it uses military ranks up to Colonel and then use police ranks for star officers.

RELA uses civilian ranks akin to the police because they come from the same Ministry and RELA acts as a support organisation to maintain public order, security and safety.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), although a civilian organisation but like the police it is an armed service.  Its Director-General is appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong and plays the role of a paramilitary force at sea maintaining our sovereignty.  I see nothing wrong with them using Navy-like ranks because of the huge role that they play.

The MMEA is not like UK’s Coast Guard which is a purely search-and-rescue outfit, while the MMEA does law enforcement, maritime border control as well as search-and-rescue.

Perhaps, Lt Col Mohd Idris should also know that the Salvation Army uses military ranks and even have military training academies and corps.  However, I have yet to see anyone complain in the newspapers over such petty issue.

Therefore, why should we complain over something that is completely legal and is awarded by the Rulers?

Defence: LIMA Must Be Industry-Driven

Condensation forms over the leading edges of an RMAF F/A-18D Hornet as it makes a high-speed maneuver

The 14th edition of the biennial Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition ended last week leaving many in awe of the performances and displays in both the aerospace and maritime segments.  Kudos to the EN Projects Sdn Bhd as the main organiser and also to the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Transport as well as the supporting government agencies.

The 14th edition of LIMA saw an increase in the number of exhibitors compared to LIMA ’15.  555 exhibitors participated this time compared to 512 in 2015. While 39, 689 trade visitors visited LIMA ’15, 40,280 trade visitors were at LIMA ’17, surpassing the target of 40,000 trade visitors. 139,478 public visitors were at LIMA ’15.  The target for this edition was 140,000 public visitors. Surprisingly, 236,689 public visitors visited this year’s LIMA – 104,557 visitors on the first open day, and 132,132 on the final day making a total of 276,969 visitors to LIMA ’17.

It must have been a boon to the Langkawi economy to have that increase in the number of visitors over five days and definitely helpful to the small traders especially in the Padang Matsirat, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Kedawang, and Kuah areas.

A special commendation should be given to the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy for lending their support in driving the industries as well as foreign armed forces’ participation in all the activities during LIMA 17.

QUALITY OF EXHIBITORS

His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor visiting one of the exhibition booths

From my personal observation, since the 13th edition of LIMA there has been an inreasing number of unrelated government agencies and companies exhibiting at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre such as the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and a Private Limited printing company!

Unless there is a masterplan to annouce Langkawi as an aviation and maritime hub, I do not see the relevancy in having LADA at the aviation exhibition hall.  MARA would be relevant if it provides assistances for students to study maritime or aeronautical-related studies or for local small and medium enterpreneurs to participate in the local maritime and aviation industry which is rather limited.

What did not happen was for local universities to showcase their research projects in order to secure fundings from local and foreign aviation and maritime giants.  LIMA would be a perfect platform for local universities to showcase their research in both the industries.

Local shipbuilders, other than the local giants in the defence sector, were largely missing from the exhibition.  Local shipbuilders are mainly into constructing oil and gas and transportation of cargo, crude and gas products should have showcased their capabilities at LIMA.  This is where the Ministry of Transport could help in getting the participation of more civilian-transport applications providers to exhibit at LIMA.

Kudos should also be given to both the Minister of Defence as well as the Minister for Youth and Sports in driving the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) programmes for the youth at LIMA.  LIMA should also be about providing avenues for the youth to participate in the aviation and maritime industries.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin and YB Khairy Jamaluddin at the Defence Dialogue and Press Conference TN50 during LIMA ’17

LESSONS FROM THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

The Malaysian Oil and Gas industry has its biennial Asian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Engineering (OGA) Exhibition and is into its 16th edition this year.  Unlike LIMA, OGA is fully industry-driven.  The event is supported by the British-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, Malaysian Gas Association, Malaysian Offshore Contractors Association, Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation, Offshore Support Vessels Owners Association and the Malaysia Oil and Gas Services Council.

LIMA is co-organised by EN Projects Sdn Bhd and the Ministry of Defence, supported by five ministries, the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Services Department, and the Royal Malaysian Customs.  I am surprised that none of the industry councils and associations play the supporting role instead of just collaborating role.

We have so many defence and security contractors yet they all have to rely on the ministries and agencies above to put together an event for them to participate.  Why does the government have to do the hard selling on their behalf?  Isn’t it time, after 14 editions, for the industry players themselves to come together and become the co-organisers or event supporters?

Lined up at sea off Tanjung Malai were military vessels or vessels chartered by the military. I did not see a single vessel from the Malaysia Shipowners’ Association, or civilian and military boatbuilders showcasing their products at sea.

LIMA could be bigger than just a military/security party.  Airlines did not send their aircraft this time around.  At LIMA ’15 there was an Airbus A320-200 belonging to Air Asia.  This was absent at LIMA ’17.  Imagine a daily flypast of aircraft – perhaps an arrowhead formation with an Airbus A380 followed by an Airbus A330 and A320 flanked  by Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 737-900s, followed by a smaller diamond four formation of ATR-72s.

The above will never happen unless industry players take the lead in supporting LIMA.

OPPORTUNITIES

For the Royal Malaysian Air Force, opportunities to replace the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29N comes in the form of the Dassault Rafale.  LIMA ’17 saw Dassault Aviation pulling no punches when promoting the Rafale for Malaysia.  LIMA ’17 was followed by a visit by French President Francoise Hollande who also put the sale of the Dassault Rafale to Malaysia on the agenda.  Although Malaysia had said that it was not time to purchase the Rafale, it is important to note that the F/A-18D Hornets will be 30 years old in 10 years while the Sukhoi Su-30MKM will be in its 20th year of service in the RMAF.

The other interesting Euro-Canard contender is the Saab JAS-39 Gripen.  The Royal Thai Air Force’s Gripen participated in the aerobatic display in the first four days.  Touted as a more affordable but equally potent as the Dassault Rafale, the Gripen’s cost would prove to be an attractive candidate to replace the MiG-29N.

At LIMA ’15, Saab had offered the Malaysian government a lease deal for 16 JAS-39C/D Gripens.

However, the tragedy involving a RTAF JAS-39 Gripen that killed its pilot earlier this year still plays in everyone’s mind.  The Gripen was performing in Hatyai for the Thai Children’s Day.  Footage of the accident shows the Gripen starting a slow aileron roll; once inverted, the aircraft fails to complete the maneuver, stops rolling and takes a nosedive crashing near the airfield’s runway.

There has been ten accidents involving the Gripen with nine hull losses and one fatality.  At least two of the accidents have been attributed to Flight Control Software issues.  The incident in Hatyai is still being investigated.

Of course there is also the option to upgrade the surviving 16 MiG-29Ns as a stop-gap mesure. At LIMA ’15, Malaysia’s Aerospace Technology Systems Corporation offered upgrades that would only be a fraction of the cost of purchasing new MRCAs.

The upgraded aircraft will be called the MiG-29NM and will include a Zhuk-ME FGM-229 slotted phased-array fire control radar that will provide an air-to-ground capability not available on the baseline aircraft, which are optimized for the air defense role.

The avionics system incorporates a night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpit, with two color multifunction displays and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) functionality.

Weapons systems and pylons will be upgraded, making the MiG-29NM capable of carrying the full range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons available to Malaysia’s Su-30s.

The Klimov RD-33 Series 3 engines of the MiG-29N will remain, but a conformal fuel tank added to the spine of the aircraft, together with an extra ventral tank, will increase operational range by 30 percent.

Malaysia, however, had declined this offer deemed expensive.

It would be interesting to note that other than the Indian Air Force, the Myanmar Air Force had also recently upgraded its MiG-29s at RAC MiG facilities near Moscow.  This upgrade, said to be cheaper than what was initially offered to Malaysia, is now being offered to both Malaysia and Bangladesh which operates eight MiG-29B and is also seeking upgrades.

It would be interesting to see what the government’s decision on the MiG-29Ns would be.

Opportunities such as this is what local companies should get involved with. The aerospace industry that had taken off with the introduction of LIMA still remains status quo.  Indonesia has gone on commercial production with its aircraft lines while we are stil struggling to even produce components that would be accepted internationally.

MOVING FORWARD

LIMA is here to stay.  Other than the Singapore Air Show, this is one that is looked at in this region.  While the Singapore Air Show is huge, LIMA is just of the right size for mission-specific companies to participate in.  It is just unfortunate that the industry is not helping out to drive the show instead of relying on the government’s goodwill.

Hopefully EN Projects Sdn Bhd together with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Transport would flog the industry players to play a much bigger role in helping to drive LIMA into the exhibition every global industry player would look forward to.

 

Defence: LIMA ’17 Roars In Langkawi

Three RMAF Airbus A400M aircraft perform a fly pass at the LIMA ’17 exhibition

Defence expenditure is likely to rise as this region and beyond continue to face traditional and non-traditional threats.  The role of the defence industry is also changing dramatically, as new and changing threats require further research and development, increasing the overall costs and pricing of defence products and services.

This was the gist of the message conveyed by Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, at the opening ceremony of the Langkawi International Aerospace and Maritime 2017 (LIMA ’17) exhibition this morning.

“We need to equip our fighting men with the capabilities required to face modern warfare, both symmetrical and asymmetrical, and LIMA ’17 brings together major aerospace and maritime firms from around the world to demonstrate their state-of-the-art static and aerial displays and cutting-edge technologies,” he added.

One of the exhibitors, Leonardo Helicopter Division, a division of the Leonardo S.p.A that is headquartered in Italy, celebrated today the successful reaching of the impressive 100,000 flying hours milestone with the Weststar Aviation Services’s AW139 fleet.

Weststar Aviation Services is the largest South East Asian offshore helicopter services provider and largest helicopter operator of the AW139 in Asia.

Dato’ Sri Najib Razak visiting one of the booths at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Center in Langkawi after the opening of LIMA ’17

Leonardo has also brought the ATR-72MP aircraft which is being proposed for Malaysia’s requirement for an advanced new maritime patrol capability.  In the Electronics Warfare segment, Leonardo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hensoldt (the new name for Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security) to offer Mode-5 IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) solutions to customers around the world. This collaboration between two European leaders in defence electronics technology shows how, by joining forces, the team can position itself as market leader for cutting-edge new requirements. The two companies, working together as “Team Skytale”, have already been selected as preferred bidder by the UK Ministry of Defence to upgrade IFF systems on more than 400 land, sea and air vehicles.

The ATR 72MP is a multirole Maritime Patrol, Electronic Surveillance and C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) aircraft with very affordable costs, developed and built by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division from the platform of the modern ATR 72-600 regional turboprop (pic courtesy of Leonardo Company)

The IFF technology allows operators to electronically identify friendly forces, distinguishing them from potential enemies. It does this by sending out an interrogation signal to unidentified platforms and verifying the automatic responses that are sent back, effectively a modern-day challenge and password system. Ensuring that ground, air and naval crews can reliably recognise their compatriots is one of the main ways of avoiding ‘friendly fire’ incidents. In 2020, all NATO nations are mandated to switch over to the new, more-secure ‘Mode-5’ version of the technology and other nations looking to operate alongside NATO forces will also need to be able to interact with the new standard. Mode-5 uses the latest cryptographic techniques to avoid the threat of deception by adversaries.

In another development, Thales has been selected by AirAsia to supply avionics systems on AirAsia’s new fleet of 304 A320neos.  Thales will equip the 304 single-aisles with its market leading Flight Management System (FMS), the navigation solution of choice for Airbus aircraft, alongside the THALES/ACSS T3CAS surveillance platform, the preferred solution for all Airbus single aisle aircraft.

AirAsia’s Airbus A320neo (pic courtesy of Economy Traveller)

Thales has been partnering with AirAsia, leading LCC in Asia, since 2005, forging a close relationship in support of the airline’s growth strategy. AirAsia already equips their entire Airbus fleet with Thales systems and has selected the group for all maintenance and support operations for Thales systems equipped across their entire A320 fleet of 200 aircraft. In addition to the avionics suite, Thales will continue to provide a Repair-by-The-Hour (RBTH) long-term maintenance contract to support AirAsia’s fleet expansion.  The agreement provides guaranteed turnaround times on repairs and offers a commitment of reliability with reduced operational risk.

Malaysia Minister of Defence, Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, meets with representatives from five countries to discuss asymmetrical threats by Da’esh

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Minister of Defence, Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, met with representatives from five countries including Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and Qatar to present his view on how to combat the Da’esh threats.  The establishment of the King Salman Center of International Peace was also on the agenda of this meeting.

The RoKAF Black Eagles performing the “Bomb Burst” formation over Langkawi

Making its debut in Langkawi is the Republic of Korea Air Force’s 53rd Air Demonstration Group.  Commonly known as the “Black Eagles” the RoKAF team buzzed the skies of Langkawi in their KAI T-50B Golden Eagle supersonic advanced trainers.  The T-50B is one of the few supersonic trainers currently available in the world.

The Russians is well-represented.  The “Russian Knights (Russkiye Vityazi)” aerobatic team showcasing their Sukhoi Su-30SM aircraft for the first time outside Russia, while the Royal Malaysian Air Force performs aerobatics in its Sukhoi Su-30MKM.

The air aces of the two countries, whose performances constantly evoke admiration of the audience, highly praised the flight characteristics of their supermanouverable aircraft.

President of Irkut Corporation Oleg Demchenko marked the high skills of pilots and their ability to use the maximum extent of the fighter’s capabilities while First vice-president of UAC Alexander Tulyakov said: “Positive evaluation of aircraft given by pilots is very important for us – the developers and manufacturers”.

The meeting resulted with a joint photo shoot against the background of Su-30SM and Su-30MKM aircraft.

Sukhoi Su-30 pilots from the Russian Knights and the RMAF’s No.11 Squadron pose together

Russian’s Rostec State Corporation is working with the government of Malaysia to expand cooperation through the supply of civilian products and aviation.

“Over the last 20 years Malaysia has been a strategic partner of the Rostec State Corporation. We are actively involved in military and technical cooperation in a number of areas: aviation, the army and the military navy, and in recent years our cooperation has gained momentum.  We are currently engaged in arms supply programs and are upgrading technology that was previously supplied to Malaysia.

We are also looking to extending our cooperation to civil areas that have growth potential: electronics, composite materials and IT. The civil aviation market, especially the helicopter sector, is also showing great potential for us,” said Head of the joint delegation from Rostec and Rosoboronexport at the 2017 LIMA exhibition Viktor Kladov, Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy Department of the State Corporation.

“LIMA-2017 is the most important event for the aviation and military navy markets of Malaysia and the surrounding region and our participation in it is a long-standing tradition. LIMA-2017 is attracting representatives of various countries of this region and we are looking to conducting fruitful negotiations both with the Malaysian Government and delegations from other countries,” he pointed out.

In the afternoon, the Prime Minister Najib Razak officiated the Maritime Segment which also involved major exhibitors such as THALES, MAST, ACS and SAAB, showcasing the latest technologies in defence products and a demonstration by the elite forces of Malaysia’s security enforcement agencies.

This year’s opening gimmick had the elite forces searching for a box containing a key for the Prime Minister to activate the launch sequence. The key was located using technologically-advanced, unmanned equipment that assisted the forces, including from the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), and was handed over to the Chief of Navy, Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Haji Ahmad Badaruddin who then handed it to the Prime Minister.

Following the launch, a live action demonstration from the RMN Special Forces, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Marine Department of Malaysia with the setting being a hostage rescue mission at sea.

Demonstration by the Royal Malaysian Navy’s special forces, the Marine Operations Force of the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Marine Department performs a demonstration

Later, Najib officiated the naming ceremony of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s latest Offshore Patrol Vessel, the “KM Pekan”.  In attendance were Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein as well as Japan’s Deputy Minister of Land Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism, Tanaka Ryosei.

The “KM Pekan” is one of two offshore patrol vessels donated by the Japanese government to the MMEA in 2016.  Both vessels are 92 meters in length with speed of 20 knots and endurance of 30 days, suitable for enforcement missions in the South China Sea as well as in eastern Sabah.  Both are equipped with a helideck and state-of-the-art radars.

According to the Director-General of the MMEA, Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Seri Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, a set of crew has been sent to Japan to bring home the second vessel.

For yesterday’s article, please click Defence: LIMA ’17 To Be More Exciting

Not So Brave Now

Courtesy of Dr Aznil Hisham

Raveentharan a/l V Subramaniam, former Parti Keadilan Rakyat state assemblyman for Batu Uban in Pulau Pinang is in hot soup after the Inspector-General of Police instructed the Royal Malaysian Police for the former’s seditious post in hi Facebook account.

Raveentharan’s apology and the post that got him into trouble – courtesy of Dr Aznil Hisham

 

The IGP instructs the Bukit Aman Media Social Monitoring Team to haul up Raveentharan

Raveentharan, a Georgetown-based lawyer who was dropped from the candidates’ list during the 13th General Elections quickly apologised to Muslims in Malaysia saying that he did not mean to offend Muslims and that his best friends are Muslims.

Raveentharan is not new to controversies. In 2009, two SMS messages were made viral, sent by an unknown alleging that he sodomised and physically abused his ex-wife.  In 2013, he was dropped from PKR’s list of candidates for the 13th General Elections in favour of T Jayabalan.

Below are screen captures made from his Facebook account, courtesy of Dr Aznil Hisham:

Suddenly Raventharan is not so brave anymore. And as for his apology, I leave that to you and for the authorities to decide.

I would like to see him charged in courts.

Kicked Out For Being Kan Cheong

One of the last photos of Kan Cheong with a car. He’ll be riding bicycles soon if not executed using an anti-aircraft gun
Kim Jong Nam, the once heir apparent to former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was assassinated on the 13yh February 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) by Vietnamese and Indonesian women believed to have been recruited by North Korean agents.

Jong Nam was travelling using a North Korean diplomatic passport under the pseudonym Kim Chol, a name he had used since 2010 to travel and also for his Facebook and e-mail accounts.

That was probably how North Korean agents had tracked him down.

Although Jong Nam (or Kim Chol) was using a diplomatic passport, he was not on the list of accredited diplomats to Malaysia, and his assassination was an act of crime conducted in Malaysia, in breach of Malaysian criminal law.

Former North Korean ambassador Kang Chol, or Mr Kan Cheong, went on an overdrive to pre-empt any investigative action the Royal Malaysian Police was going to take, first by declaring that the investigation by the police cannot be trusted, and that Malaysia was working with regimes that were bent on destroying North Korea (read: South Korea and the US), and demanded that the body of the unimportant Kim Chol be returned to North Korea.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was the first to blast Mr Kan Cheong for his undiplomatic behaviour, and Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman rapped the former for his conduct unbecoming of a diplomat.

That did not stop Mr Kan Cheong from continuing his attacks on Malaysia’s reputation.

It is like him (Kang Chol) speaking with a North Korean gun pointed to his head!” a senior Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier this week announced the cancellation of the visa-free facility for North Koreans travelling to Malaysia.

Zahid who spoke as the Home Minister said, “I hope the decision of the home ministry will be implemented by the immigration department for the sake of national security.”


Malaysia established diplomatic channels with North Korea in the early 1970s but did not have an embassy in Pyongyang until during the Mahathir administration in 2003.

Other than Malaysia, 23 countries including have an embassy in Pyongyang and host a North Korean embassy on their soil including Indonesia, Sweden, Germany and the UK.

The next phase of escalation would be to cut-off diplomatic ties.

A North Korean suspect who is also a chemist deported from Malaysia accused Malaysian police of threatening to kill his family unless he confessed to killing Kim. 

Ri Jong Chol, who was released after police said there was insufficient evidence to charge him, spoke to reporters in Beijing while on his way to Pyongyang.

Ri said that he wasn’t at the airport the day Kim was killed, but that police accused him of being a mastermind and presented him with “fake evidence.” He said they showed him a picture of his wife and two children, who were staying with him in Kuala Lumpur, and threatened to kill them.
I am surprised the police let him go instead of killing him and his family for his refusal to cooperate.

I am sure he said all that so he would not be made to walk through a minefield at the Great Leader’s pleasure.

Finally, at 6pm on the 4th March 2017, Mr Kan Cheong was declared a persona non grata by the Malaysian government and now has less than 35 hours to leave the country.

In a way, declaring Mr Kan Cheong almost a month after he started the fracas is a way of giving the North Korean diplomat some face. Had Malaysia sent him back during the first week, he would have been turned into dog faeces at the pleasure of the Great Leader within 60 hours of being sent home.

So Mr Kan Cheong, for your sake I do hope the Great Leader thinks you have done enough for the morherland before you got sent home.

I know you are going to miss your black Jaguar but do consider yourself lucky if the Great Leader would be kind enough to let you stay alive so you could ride on one of the People’s bicycle.

Sever The Ties

Kang Chol without his Jaguar
Kang Chol without his Jaguar if he is not an Ambassador – photo courtesy of Eric Lafforgue

VX is an extremely toxic substance which has no other use except as a chemical warfare nerve agent. Whoever is exposed to the agent must wash off the agent using household bleach and lots of water, and should immediately be given diazepam, atropine and pralidoxime intramuscular injections.

For the VX nerve agent to be transported safely to KLIA2 for the attack, it would have to be in a binary form, mixed during the attack itself.

Kim Jong Nam would have died painfully from asphyxiation after suffering violent muscular contractions and diaphragm muscle paralysis.

The above is the most plausible reason for Kang Chol to have pre-empted everything by attacking the Royal Malaysian Police’s and Ministry of Health’s credibility even before the autopsy is completed.

The above would also underscore the fact that the two women from Indonesia and Vietnam are not innocent as claimed.  They were seen immediately rushing off to the nearest restroom facility after the attack to wash off traces of the agent from their hands.

Malaysis has signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention that came into effect in 1997, and also the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare or commonly known as the Geneva Protocol.

The use of a chemical weapon on Malaysian soil, as well as the rude outbursts by the Ambassador of North Korea to Malaysia shows North Korea’s blatant disregard for Malaysian laws and breached Article 41(1) of the Vienna Convention for Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

Malaysia exported RM17.54 million worth of goods (mainly palm oil, rubber and medical products) to North Korea while importing only RM5.18 million (iron and steel products) from the hermit state in 2015. There are 300 North Koreans working in the coal mines of Sarawak.

As the only country in the world to have been accorded a visa-free status by North Korea, very few Malaysians have ever made use of the facility.

While Malaysia is a country that warms up to every country and values its friendship, the same cannot be said about North Korea.

Myanmar’s diplomatic relations with North Korea was once far more meaningful than the one currently enjoyed by Malaysia.  However, in trying to assassinate the then-South Korean President, North Korea pushed diplomacy aside and planted a bomb in Yangon in 1983 which killed 20 people but did not kill President Chun Doo Hwan.

Myanmar broke off diplomatic relations for a decade following the attack on its soil.

Now, it has caused anger to the country it courted in 1973 and established formal diplomatic relations in 1993.  There is no telling what North Korea is capable of doing to or in Malaysia given its disrespect for the laws and regulations of the latter.

I doubt that we would lose much if we were to sever our diplomatic ties with North Korea.  Our trade volume is only RM25 million.  Even Perlis as the smallest state in Malaysia made RM88.3 billion in GSP in 2015!

North Korea is no friend and has never valued any friendship.  It should be left to live and die alone.

National Security

nsc

Scenario One

Heavily-armed group of men wearing black crosses the Strait of Melaka in twenty speedboats at night from the island of Rupat, 50 kilometers from the coastal town of Port Dickson. Travelling at 36 knots it takes them just 47 minutes to reach the Negeri Sembilan shores. Most land at the beach in Pasir Panjang to distract the security forces while three land at the town itself. Sending a group of armed men with suicide bombers hitting the waterfront cafes, the rest making for the refinery and power station in cars provided by sleeper agents. Being an insurgency or homeland security in nature, the OCPD could only declare the area as an emergency area but lacks the resources to combat them.  He could not readily ask for the assistance from the various army units located there without having to go through the red tapes. Stretched thin in terms of manpower, there is very little that the police could do.

Scenario Two

The Chief Minister of Penang (whomever that may be) with members of the Penang State Executive Committee holds a function in the vicinity of Weld Quay.  Several heavily armed men emerges from an abandoned building across the road and randomly fires into the crowd.  Two of them managed to get close to the podium before blowing themselves up.

When two rival gangs got involved in a quarrel that culminated in a grenade-throwing incident in Bukit Bintang in October 2014, I went on air to discuss the matter and registered my concerns about the possibility of terror attacks in Kuala Lumpur and how real they could get.  The attack in Puchong by Daesh sympathisers underscores this concern and shows that the police cannot cover everything.

Scenario One above is an enhancement of two actual events that took place in Sabah – both in Lahad Datu in 1985 and in 2013.  In 1985, a group of 15-20 armed men from the Philippines robbed the Chartered Bank and Malaysia Airlines office in Lahad Datu. These men fired randomly at onlookers killing at least 21 people and injuring 11 others.  The outnumbered and outgunned police sought help from the nearest military unit but were told that it was beyond them as the incident was a robbery and not an invasion.  In 2013, a group of heavily armed men landed at Kampung Tanduo and started what was known as the Lahad Datu stand off.  Insurgency by nature, the military was not made involved until after several policemen were killed.

Several years ago the police stopped three youths in Johor Baru from carrying out a suicide mission at the Causeway.  When the police questioned one of the youths on the reason for wanting to blow himself up, the latter replied, “I would go straight to heaven, I could pick ten of my family members whom I would want to be in heaven with me, and I would get 72 virgins.”  When asked what would he do with these 72 virgins he simply replied, “I don’t know.”

He was 13 when arrested, had no idea what he was doing but he thought what he was about to do would do his religion, him and his family a lot of good.

In times like this, the traditional school of thought where “terrorism is a network where one cell controls other cells” no longer applies. No longer does the body wither when the head is taken off. The terrorism of nowadays only needs likeminded people who share the same interest, ideology and wavelength. No longer do you need so many people to conduct a terror attack – and at times, lone wolves obsessed with the lunacy of the “teachings” would be enough to drive someone to blow himself up in the name of religion.

Th recent arrests of Daesh-related operatives in Batam whom had planned a rocket attack on the Singapore CBD shows how dangerous these pockets of terrorists are. They are totally detached from what is considered as the main body of Daesh. All it takes for the network to expand and work are social media and phone apps.

The Batam raid succeeded because intelligence agencies from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have been sharing information on known and known-potential terrorists in the region. What all agencies fear are those who enter the country undetected through rat-holes in the borders, as Federal police Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (SB-CTD) principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said it would be harder to detect them as “we wouldn’t know whom to look for and where.” And with limited resources and men, it is not possible to keep every target in sight.

The recent grenade attack at the Movida Bar in Puchong is evident.

Perhaps the timing is just right that Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali is made the Director-General of the Immigration Department. One of the most dedicated senior officers of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Mustafar would be able to clean the department up and help plug the holes at our borders.

Ayob Khan’s men and women are working continuously round the clock monitoring the Internet traffic and keeping tab on known Daesh sympathisers. With the coming into force of the National Security Council Act, 2016, his men would have a better legal backing to combat terrorism and prevent terrorist attacks in the country. The new Act would allow all resources to be deployed without having the present red tapes preventing instant cooperation and coordination between agencies.

Without which, Malaysians cannot have a normal life – no shopping in peace, no weekend dinner and drinks with friends and family. Our way of life, as we know it, would simply be disrupted.

And all it takes is one madman.

Comprehension Needed

Malaysians hardly read. Nor do they have the brain capacity to either process information or store information. This is why Malaysians have a very short attention span, memory retaining problem and are also gullible.

Example 1

When Malaysians read they have this superb speed-reading capability that they have used during their schooldays especially during last minute slogging sessions days before the SPM examinations. They will pick up key words, process these words in a crude manner that would make sense to only them and that forms their understanding.

So when the Attorney-General of the US Loretta Lynch conducted the press conference on the misappropriation of 1MDB sovereign funds, Malaysians pick up certain keywords, and they are:

  1. Riza Aziz
  2. Stepson
  3. 1MDB
  4. Stolen
  5. People of Malaysia
  6. Malaysian Official 1

Simpletons put these six words together and they have a conjuncture that says “Malaysian Official 1 and stepson Riza Aziz together with 1MDB stole from the people of Malaysia.”

I would have termed them as nincompoops or morons but for the purpose of this article I’d like to make them sound like a bunch of professional morons – hence the use of the term simpletons.

The DoJ are applying for the seizure of assets “associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated” from 1MDB.

This is about people who took money from funds meant for 1MDB to profiteer and for their personal consumption.

There are four people named in this civil forfeiture lawsuit and they are Riza Aziz who is the stepson of Najib Razak, Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.

The four named above would now have to respond to the complaints filed in the lawsuit (show cause if you must, for the simpletons) to say to the DoJ that they purchased assets through legal means. This lawsuit can take up to seven years before it would come to a conclusion.

My point here is, dear simpletons, Najib Razak whom you have linked Malaysian Official 1 to be, is not named in this lawsuit. He is not a party to this process. Neither are 1MDB Official 1, 1MDB Official 2, and 1MDB Official 3.

Neither is anything missing or seized from 1MDB as 1MDB is also NOT a party to this civil lawsuit. In a larger  scheme of things, it is 1MDB that is the victim of misappropriation and not a collusion partner to the four mentioned above.

(Note for Simpletons: please read this paragraph 50 times). As Malaysians also have problems retaining memory, it is important to remember that the criminal investigation by the Royal Malaysian Police into the administration and governance of the 1MDB based on the PAC report is still ongoing. This is the same PAC report that has cleared Najib Razak from any wrongdoing and was signed in absolute agreement by its members which includes DAP lawbreaker Tony Pua. To add to that, Najib Razak is not being subjected to any investigation as announced not only in Malaysia and the US, but also in Singapore and Switzerland and a couple other countries. (Simpletons now go back to the beginning of this paragraph).

Oh! Talk about having short memory:

Example 2


Fatigue, mood swings, absent-mindedness all come with that dreadful word MENOPAUSE. It also comes with age. So if you are 64 and menopausal absent-mindedness probably comes as a double-whammy. That is why I can forgive Wan Azizah for her episodes of absent-mindedness.

She forgot that Najib Razak is not under any form of investigation or lawsuit, yet calls for Najib Razak to go on leave. Her absent-mindedness has made her forgot about one person whom have abused his position (much like her husband did prior to 1998) for personal gains and has actually been charged in a court of law! Did Wan Azizah call for this person to go on leave?

So, Wan Azizah is menopausal. But what has Tony Pua got to say for himself?


I don’t hear any call from Tony Pua asking Lim Guan Eng after the latter was charged in court. He can’t claim to be menopausal as he was born in Batu Pahat 44 years ago as was Guan Eng’s father, Lim Kit Siang. Furthermore, Tony is a man.

Or maybe not.


Lim Guan Eng had personally benefitted from the purchase of the bungalow on Jalan Pinhorn at a much lower price than its actual value. Using his position to interfere or influence the price of the bungalow. If he sells this bungalow tomorrow, then he would big making a huge some of money, thanks to his position as the Chief Minister of Penang that he has thus far been very reluctant to let go.

We are also still waiting for the documents pertaining to the proposed third Penang bridge that the Works Ministry has asked for. Let us also not forget about the RM305 million paid for a feasibility study for a RM6.3 billion tunnel linking Georgetown and Butterworth! RM305 million could have gotten the marginalised Chinese, Indian and Malay people of Penang 7,625 low cost affordable homes that would house at least 45,750 marginalised Penangites if they are priced at RM40,000 per unit! 

So let us not digress from the main attention here which is the corrupted State Government of Pulau Pinang that is led by its Corrupted Minister Mr Lim Guan Eng who has been charged in court!

Najib Razak? Najib Razak has not done anything wrong as far as at least four nations are concerned and should just go about his business of developing the country as usual.

Stop Breathe Think Act

Stop, think, breathe, act. It is a life-saving rule in times of trouble.  Monkeys are not known to be capable of acting this way.

Here, have a read at this first:

Press Statement by YB Zuraida on IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar

2 September 2014

The IGP has gone overboard with his latest arrest of the Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS). As IGP, he cannot simply declare any society as illegal and should go through proper procedures. Any society unregistered with the ROS must first be declared illegal by the ROS like Hindraf. There must also be proof that the society had tried to register with the ROS and was declined its registration.

The scenario for PPS is different. PPS is part of the Penang State Government body and comprises of the state exco members and state assemblymen.

The IGP should be aware that he is a public servant and that the public’s interest comes first. The police force should not be used as a means to oppress the public.

PPS had always been a voluntary unit to help the community in emergencies and disasters. If the PDRM had been efficient, there would be no need for volunteers to step up and help the police in their work. These volunteers sacrifice their family time just to make their neighbourhood a safer place to live in. Due to the community spirit and selflessness of these PPS members, crime rates in Penang have gone down.

PPS was set up many years ago. There is no reason why the IGP should suddenly and unjustly call it illegal and start to crackdown on these innocent volunteers when all along, these PPS members report to their respective neighbourhood police stations before patrolling the area. Threatening to raid the homes of these volunteers unless they surrender themselves to the police is also absurd and an abuse of power.

The IGP has shown very weak leadership.

In the case of Victor Wong and Nasrul, both who offended the IGP by describing him as Henrich Himmler and Anjing BN respectively, and subsequently being directed by the IGP that both be investigated by the Police Cyber Investigation Response Centre (PCIRC) shows a lack of tolerance for personal opinion. Even after Victor Wong tweeted an apology to the IGP and PDRM, Khalid is bent on taking action against the two under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and Sedition Act 1948.

These heavy-handed clampdown on those in opposition towards the Federal Government is a repeat of Operasi Lalang.

The IGP should be reminded that the PDRM is not his personal army.

YB Zuraida Kamaruddin
Ahli Parlimen Ampang
Ketua Wanita Keadilan

I instantaneously burst into laughter after reading the statement above. Of course, Zuraida aka Mak Lampir is just one of those Lab Monkeys the PKR fielded in 2008 and never expected to have won the seat.  Perhaps she, like Wan Azizah, need to have a good grasp of their surroundings and of current affairs before coming up with such bravado (Wan Azizah still thinks that the Lembaga Letrik Negara or LLN still exists!).

The Royal Malaysian Police only affected the arrest of more than a hundred members of the illegal Persatuan or Pertubuhan Peronda Sukarela (PPS) or whatever you call it by on the 31st August 2014, that Lim Guan Eng claims to have been set up four years ago under the powers vested to the Penang State Government to assist the police in crime-fighting.  However, members of the PPS have been seen putting up DAP party flags and banners instead and have been involved in acts that are extrajudicialis.  Nothing much is known about the PPS despite having been set up for four years. No paper work, no guidelines, nothing.  It is just a band of vigilantes set up in the name of the state government.

 

The action by the police was taken after a warning was issued for the PPS NOT to gather on the 31st August 2014.  This was after the letter below dated 26th August 2014 from the Registrar of Societies was received:

Letter from RoS on the status of the PPS
Letter from RoS on the status of the PPS

With such information in hand, only idiots like Zuraida and those who support her still think that it is absurd and an abuse of police power for going after the members of the PPS.  Lim Guan Eng’s feeble attempt at equating the PPS to the JKKK is also a funny act.  The JKKK (Jawatankuasa Keselamatan dan Kemajuan Kampung) is formed under the local government to become a committee to channel issues affecting the socio-welfare, development and security of a kampung.  They do not have extra-judicial but absent powers and do not wear any uniform like that of the PPS.

Sméagol and Gollum. Innocent and dangerous at the same time.
Sméagol and Gollum. Innocent and dangerous at the same time.

If Lim Guan Eng is so adamant that the police in Penang are short-handed, why not utilise the funds paid tot he PPS members to provide allowances to support the RELA and Rukun Tetangga initiatives, both which are legal organisations empowered to assist the police when needed? Why the need to set up a shady uniformed organisation that has no guideline whatsoever and does all DAP’s biddings?

Anyway, as I mentioned, Zuraida is a lab monkey from the 2008 era. Had she read the letter from the RoS above and understood its content and where it falls on the timeline, she might not have issued such  press statement that excites the public’s disaffection against the administration of justice.

Zuraida Kamaruddin's press release smacks of seditious tendencies
Zuraida Kamaruddin’s press release smacks of seditious tendencies

As other lab monkeys gone rogue, she needs to be hauled up too!