Friday, October 31, 2014

M'sia wins arbitration over KTM land in S'pore

At last, the verdict is out. Not on Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case but Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) land in Singapore.

(Latest: Malaysia welcomed an arbitral tribunal's decision that a joint investment company of Malaysia and Singapore would not be conditionally liable to pay development charges on the former Malayan Railway parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.)

It was a testimony to the commitment of both countries to settling disputes peacefully, in accordance with international law, the prime minister said in reference to the mechanism in settling the issue through a tribunal appointed by the two countries.

An international court yesterday decided that Malaysia will not have to pay development charges on three parcels of former railway land involved in the landmark land swap deal with Singapore in 2010. The ruling on the charges - reportedly amounting to about S$1.4 billion - was delivered on Thursday (Oct 30).
In a statement issued today (Oct 31) on the ruling, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “This was an issue left over from the Points of Agreement (POA) which was signed in 1990. There was a question of whether development charge was payable on the three parcels of POA land in Tanjong Pagar (pic below), Kranji and Woodlands. Prime Minister Najib (Razak) and I agreed to resolve it through arbitration. This has been done and the Tribunal has decided that development charge was not payable.
“Singapore fully accepts the decision. It allows us to put this matter behind us. I am happy that Singapore and Malaysia have been able to resolve this dispute in an impartial and amicable way.”
Lee and Najib had reached an agreement in 2010 for ex-railway land to be returned to Singapore, in exchange for land in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor to be developed by M+S, a joint venture owned by Temasek Holdings and Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional.

Left unresolved however was the issue of whether Malaysia had to pay the development charges for the three parcels of ex-railway land.

Development charges are levied in Singapore when a piece of land has been approved for development with a higher value. Singapore had argued that this charge must be paid, but Malaysia had disagreed.

Both parties had agreed to settle the issue through arbitration and accept the arbitration award as final and binding. The matter was referred to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

According to Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the tribunal decided that M+S would not be liable to pay development charges on the three plots of land, if the land had been vested in M+S and was developed by the company in accordance with proposed land uses set out in the POA annexes.

“Both Singapore and Malaysia are satisfied with the arbitral process and affirm that both countries were afforded the opportunity to fully present their case on the issue. Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to abide by and fully implement the decision of the tribunal,” the ministry said.

Lee said: “The full and successful implementation of the POA in 2011 has paved the way for joint development projects and closer collaboration between Singapore and Malaysia. “These include links in transport connectivity, and trade and investment. I look forward to making progress on them, and working with PM Najib bilaterally, and in ASEAN to benefit both countries.”

Sweden recognises state of Palestine

Sweden has become the first Western European country to officially recognise the state of Palestine and Israel swiftly reacted by withdrawing its ambassador from Stockholm in protest.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said her government hoped it would bring a new dynamic to the situation.

"Our decision comes at a critical time because over the last year we have seen how the peace talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza," she said.
The move drew praise from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and criticism from Israel, and has displeased the United States, Israel's principle supporter.
But Wallstrom rejected accusations that Sweden was taking sides and said she hoped other EU countries would follow its lead.
Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital. The land was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, although Israeli soldiers and settlers pulled out of Gaza in 2005.
Years of efforts to forge a two-state solution have made little progress, with the last effort at negotiations collapsing in April. Palestinians now see little choice but to make a unilateral push for statehood.
A total of 135 countries already recognise Palestine, including several east European countries that did so before they joined the EU. Sweden was the first Western European country to do so.

The move drew immediate criticism from Israel, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calling it a "wretched decision" that would bolster extremist Palestinian elements.

"The Swedish government should understand that Middle East relations are more complex than a piece of self-assembled Ikea furniture, and the matter should be handled with responsibility and sensitivity," Lieberman said in a foreign ministry statement.

Watch your butt!


If the government regulates whipping on those found guilty of making hate speech, I think we will have to think many times before indulging into such an unhealthy deed.

First, you will have to face the law, and secondly to bear the scabs and scars on your butt for the rest of your life.
KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to impose whipping on those found guilty of making statements that are sensitive to races and insulting to religions.
Ahmad Lai Bujang (BN-Sibuti) said harsher penalties should be imposed on online offenders rather than just a fine and imprisonment at present.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the government was only responsible for implementing intervention measures via education and public awareness programmes.
“We provide the people with facilities but they have to be responsible for what they say. If there is abuse, then firm action will be taken,” he said in response to a proposal from Ahmad Lai in parliament here, today.
The proposal was also supported by Loke Siew Fook (DAP-Seremban) and Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu).
The government was closely monitoring sensitive issues discussed in social media sites via the National Unity and National Integration Department in collaboration with other agencies.
Kurup said the government’s intervention measures include the creation of the Unity Squad to create awareness and educate the public via cross-cultural programmes.
“In addition, efforts are being undertaken to enhance 1,781 Tadika Perpaduan classes to foster unity among children, and spread multi-cultural education to students,” he added. -Bernama
Some people are not afraid of going to prison. However, whipping (to some) is worse than imprisonment.

Do you support such a 'whipping' idea?

Personally, I like it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween is 'haram'!

I am not sure if Halloween was ever 'celebrated' in Malaysia. Muslims do not celebrate it but others (I believe) do.

However, it has never drawn my interest, and I think Muslims too do not pay any attention to it. To me, its haram.

The National Fatwa Council today declared that Halloween is a Christian celebration of the dead and "against Islamic teachings".

According to a fatwa issued on its website, Halloween is celebrated using a humorous theme mixed with horror to entertain and resist the spirit of death that influences humans
"It cannot be celebrated by Muslims," it says. Instead, the council advises Muslims to remember the dead by reciting prayers and reading the Koran. There are concerns among some Muslim groups in the country that Halloween is too Western and "could wrongly influence local Muslim youths," the Malay Mail website reports. In Negeri Sembilan, western Malaysia, an international primary school has been told it must apply to the local education department to get approval for its private Halloween party, after a protest by Muslim groups, according to Free Malaysia Today.
Earlier this month the National Fatwa Council ruled that touching dogs is un-Islamic, in response to an event called "I want to touch a dog", in Bandar Utama. The event gave Muslims a chance to stroke dogs, an act traditionally seen as unclean. People who took part in the event followed religious cleansing rituals after being in contact with the dogs, Channel News Asia website reports.
Muslim scholars have warned Malaysians against observing Halloween celebrations this year, claiming that these events are planned by non-Muslims to shake the faith of Muslims and turn them godless.

“We notice that such events are held to test moral limits or religion, and they are usually done by groups which are not religion-based — they are usually organized by non-Muslims,” Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, the president of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), was quoted by Malay Mail online.

“What they are doing is promoting something that is anti-religion. Maybe it is done by atheists who want to shake one’s faith,” Zaik said.

Halloween is an annual Western celebration based on Celtic pagan doctrines and traditionally applied to the evening of October 31st.

Celtics were a group occupying the area known now as Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Northern France about 2,000 years ago.

Halloween has clear connections with the Eve of Samhain, a celebration marking the beginning of winter as well as the first day of the New Year among ancient pagans of the British Isles (2nd century BC).

On this occasion, it was believed that supernatural forces gathered together and that the barriers between the supernatural and human worlds were broken. They believed that spirits from other worlds, such as the souls of the dead were able to visit earth during this time and roam about.

When Christianity came to the British Isles, the church tried to take attention away from these pagan rituals by placing a Christian holiday on the same day.

The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, acknowledges the saints of the Christian faith in much the same way that Samhain had paid tribute to the pagan gods. These traditions were brought to the United States by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland.

NOTE: I think its okay for the non-Muslims to celebrate it. We should not impose 'haram' on them. What the authorities should do is advise Muslims to stay away from it. We have some ethnics in Sabah and Sarawak (even in the Peninsular) who still celebrate their ancestor's 'religions' but were never imposed any ruling. What Muslims should do is don't participate. Simple, right?

No second term

This is interesting.

Its about a government's term. In Malaysia, it runs every five years. In other countries, its between four to six years.
MANILA – Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday ruled out seeking a second term in office in 2016 and advised Filipinos to elect someone with a real agenda and not just fine words.
“Although there are some quarters that were saying I should try and go for a second term, I don’t think that’s a right solution,” said the President during a meeting in Manila with members of the electronics and semiconductors industry, according to the local newspaper Inquirer.
Aquino, who began his six-year tenure in 2010, said that in life one must know when to leave once the moment arises.
The president said he was confident that voters knew how to distinguish between candidates who only appeal to popular sentiment without having a real agenda and those who are able to fulfill their promises.
He avoided mentioning names in the race for the 2016 presidential election.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay was one of the first politicians to register as a candidate, and has since presented himself as a defender of the poor.
A Senate committee plans to summon Binay this week as part of a probe into alleged overpricing of renovation works in the City Hall of Makati, Manila’s business district.
Binay and his family members have been governing Makati since 1986.
Despite being quite popular among the Pinays, Aquino has decided not to stand for another term.

Unlike the late Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the Philippines for three decades, Aquino's stand paves the way for a more democratic and competitive presidential election, and I believe the Pinays like the idea.

What about our leadership?

Not much different between 5 and 6 years, right?

Nowhere to run

We will get them soon!

I believe Sweden and the United States will not grant them asylum. Nope, they are not political fugitive but suspected criminals under the Sedition Act 1948 - one for insulting Islam and Muslims and the other for insulting the Malay monarchy.

People like them are actually looking for cheap publicity and attention by abusing 'freedom of expression', and then galloped to other balls to face the consequences of their own misdeed.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) -- The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has approached Interpol to detain activist Ali Abd Jalil and sex blogger Alvin Tan.
Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the application was made after the two tried to apply for political asylum abroad.
It has been reported that Ali has applied for asylum in Sweden while Alvin in the United States.
"Police have requested for a red notice through Interpol and are waiting for a reply from Interpol," he told reporters when attending a police chiefs seminar at the Police College in Cheras, here Tuesday.
Alvin, 26, and his girlfriend Vivian Lee, 25, were charged under the Sedition Act for a Ramadan greeting on their blog, which angered the Muslims in the country last year. Their case is still ongoing.
Ali also faces charges of sedition for insulting the country's royalty on his Facebook page.
If they think Sweden and the US are with them, they are wrong!

What is the assurance that they will not do what the did in Malaysia in Sweden and the US? Sweden too has its monarchy while the Americans do despise hate speech!


Are the opposition supporting them?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Singapore's motive...

The National Museum of Singapore is launching SINGAPURA: 700 Years, an interactive exhibition that explores seven centuries of the Republic's history, on Tuesday (Oct 28), it announced in a press release on Monday (Oct 27).

With the closure of the Singapore History Gallery on Nov 3, SINGAPORE: 700 Years will be one of the exhibitions that will be open to the public during the Museum's revamp, the release stated.

The exhibition will present seven centuries of Singapore’s defining moments through six sections, namely Archaeology in Singapore, Ancient Singapore (1300 to 1818), Colonial Singapore (1819 to 1942), Syonan-To (1942 to 1945), Road to Merdeka (1946 to 1965), and Independent Singapore (1965 to 1975).

However, one of the 'products' on exhibit is a survey as to whether Singaporeans would opt for a merger with Malaya.

The 'In and Out of Malaysia - If You Were in Singapore in 1962, Would You Have Supported the Merger?' survey gives Singaporeans the right avenue to belittle and undermine us, Malaysians. Have we ever thought of conducting such a survey since 1965?

The exhibition itself is good and educational but the survey (to me) doesn't fit into any diplomatic norms. What if Singaporeans opt for 'NO' as an answer? Malaysia (Malaya) is/was bad enough?

I have never came across such a survey by any government, not even North and South Korea!