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Saturday, September 30, 2023

PM congratulates Sultan of Kelantan on 54th birthday

 Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has congratulated the Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V in conjunction with the Ruler’s 54th birthday. -Pic credit to Facebook Anwar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has congratulated the Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V in conjunction with the Ruler's 54th birthday.

In a Facebook post, Anwar prayed that Sultan Muhammad V and the entire royal family will always be blessed with good health, prosperity and sovereignty.

"May His Royal Highness remain committed to ruling the people of Kelantan fairly and equitably.

"The people and I will continue to pledge our undivided obedience and loyalty."

"May Allah protect His Royal Highness in this world and the hereafter," Anwar said in the post. - Bernama


 The following is a brief comment by Norman Fernandez. My comments in blue. 


-Commentary By Norman Fernandez-

In recent weeks, there have been observable steps towards normalisation of relationships between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

If previously both Israel and Arabs engaged in clandestine meetings, both Israel and Saudi Arabia today are open about their rapprochement.

In 1967 when asked “what sequence of events you would like to see now in the Middle East?” Saudi then King Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud swiftly replied, “the extermination of Israel.” Contrast that to the words of Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia who now says “we don’t look at Israel as an enemy, we look at them as a potential ally with many interest that we can pursue together.

Also, in 1967 after Israel’s crushing defeat of Arab countries during the Six Day War, the Arab League meeting in Khartoum declared the “Three No’s”- *no* to peace with Israel, *no* recognition of Israel, and *no* negotiations with Israel.

Fast forward to 2018, where in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, when Prince Mohammed was asked about Israel, he acknowledged that “the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland,”.

Last week in a Fox News interview, Prince Mohamed said that the prospect of normalising relationship with Israel is “getting closer by the day.” Palestinian cause and interest has waned ( despite the denials). Just observe the watered down language of Prince Mohamed during the Fox TV interview where on the issue of Palestine, he said “we hope it will reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians.” Notice there is no longer mention of a “Palestinian State”.

Clearly Saudi Arabia is resolute in their decision to make peace with Israel and to solidify its security alliance with United States. Saudi Arabia in exchange for normalising ties with Israel and to save face is merely hoping for some concessions from Israel for the Palestinians, never mind it falls short of a statehood.

This only works perfect for Israel. The old narrative of “Land For Peace” replaced with the new paradigm “Peace For Peace”. The demand for complete withdrawal of Israel to the 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and the right of return of the Palestinians, will remain alive at best on paper or a pipe dream.

If the normalisation deals under the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords angered the Palestinians, who condemned them as a “stab in the back.”, the normalisation of relations between Israel and Palestinians is now a stab in the front.

Norman Fernandez. 


My Comments:

Why the recognition of Israel now, after the passage of 75 years? Its all about political survivability of illegitimate Arab regimes. The remaining Arab monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf countries, Morocco) all live on borrowed time. They are not elected. They are long-beyond-shelf-life dictatorships which have no real legitimacy in the eyes of their people.  They can be taken out at anytime. All of them have survived this far because of the American security umbrella. 

Recall this famous 2018 statement from President Trump:

The same applies even for the so called 'democracies' in the Middle East, including Egypt where folks like president el Sisi or Syria's Assad or the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas or the fellows in Gaza will most likely win any 'elections' they may "confer" upon the people. The whole lot are autocrats and dictatorships. Power comes out of the barrel of a gun and change in regimes certainly comes through the barrel of a gun. If Mahmoud Abbas the president of ONLY the West Bank sets foot in Gaza he will most likely be shot by the Hamas fellows.

They all lack that most prized of all licenses - legitimacy. They do not have the peoples' mandate. 

When they do not have the people's mandate then they have to pretend to be the people's champions.  To do that they need boogeymen to frighten the people. The Palestinian issue has been the biggest and best boogeyman for all Arab regimes and also the Ayatollahs in Iran. For almost 75 years they have been riding the Palestinian horse to death - that they are defending Palestine, the Al Aqsa Mosque (except Gaddafi - he said he could build another mosque), that they are fighting the Zionists, they are defending Arab honor (aka maruah bangsa - sounds familiar).

(In further away, non Arab countries like Malaysia of course the Palestinian issue has long been a profitable endeavour for the "donations-in-the-Tin-Milo" entrepreneurs. Millions of Ringgit are still being collected in the name of Palestine but as that Palestinian man once said 'not a single dollar reached them in Palestine'.)

But all this always under the omnipresence of the American security umbrella. Protection against what? First against their own Arab people. Then protection against each other.

The Arab Spring (euphemism for a coup by the Muslim Brotherhood) has served as a refresher course for Arab regimes to always toe the American line. The Arab Spring was almost certainly engineered by Hitlery Clinton and Barack Obama. 

"On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world . ."

18 months later on 18 December 2010 Tunisia became the first regime to fall to the Muslim Brotherhood. The new beginning had started. They are burning until today.

Two more things happened. The Iranians began rattling their sabres. Iran will never invade Saudi Arabia, liberate the Al Aqsa Mosque or wipe Israel off the map. Lets not be too daft. It just ain't gonna happen. The Ayatollahs are just as illegitimate as the Arab regimes. They too live on borrowed time.  They too need boogeymen. 

Then 40 years after banning the export of crude oil (since 1976) the US lifted the ban in 2016.  The Americans do not need Middle East oil anymore - until today. Their very expensive security umbrella began to shrink. They left Iraq in a hurry, they got kicked out of Afghanistan, their Africa Command actually operates from Stuttgart in Germany (where the beer and the frauleins are much better than in Africa). 

And then Russia and China have become heavy weights both in the Middle East and in Africa. Syria and Libya are securely inside the Russian orbit. 

Plus the Chinese and Russians have brought opposites like Saudi Arabia and Iran to the peace table. Peace has broken out between these "enemies" in the Middle East. Actually they were both just each other's boogeyman - to frighten their own people into accepting their regime illegitimacy. Nothing more than that.

With the shrinking American security umbrella the militarily super powerful Israel is now being seen as a friend and also  a replacement security umbrella. 

Hence Norman Fernandez's points above.

The whole damn thing is about the survival of these illegitimate Arab and Iranian regimes. They do not have the peoples' mandate. That is all. Nothing more than that.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

Anak kucing disimbah cat, ganjaran RM3,000 untuk tahan penganiaya


Keadaan anak kucing yang disimbah cat putih. (Gambar X Izzat Bashir)

PETALING JAYA: Ganjaran RM3,000 ditawarkan kepada penyalur maklumat dengan pembuktian lengkap, jelas dan sah mengenai penganiaya haiwan menyimbah cat putih ke atas seekor anak kucing yang tular di media sosial.

Difahamkan, anak kucing itu ditemui di sebuah universiti awam di Gombak.

Ganjaran tunai itu ditawarkan Persatuan Haiwan Malaysia melalui Malaysia Animal Crime Transparency (MyAct), jika pelaku dapat ditahan dan dibuktikan bersalah di mahkamah.

Presiden Persatuan Haiwan Malaysia, Arie Dwi Andika, berkata tindakan itu tidak bertanggungjawab dan mengancam nyawa kucing terbabit kerana bahan kimia boleh memudaratkan kesihatannya jika ia menjilat badannya.

“Saksi kejadian atau penduduk Gombak boleh tampil menyalurkan aduan mengenai kejadian kejam, zalim dan tidak berperikemanusiaan ke hotline Persatuan Haiwan Malaysia (Animal Malaysia) di WhatsApp 010 5394749,” katanya menurut Harian Metro.

Kes boleh disiasat mengikut Seksyen 29 Akta Kebajikan Haiwan 2015 kerana mendatangkan kemudaratan kepada kucing, yang memperuntukkan hukuman penjara maksimum tiga tahun dan denda sehingga RM100,000, jika sabit kesalahan.

Pengguna X @izzat_bashir memuat naik gambar dan video seekor anak kucing dipenuhi cat putih dan memaklumkan ia sudah diserahkan kepada polis bantuan. - FMT

Tiger in dog attacks caught in trap at Orang Asli village


A tiger which is believed to have attacked pet dogs at an Orang Asli village has been trapped by wildlife rangers. (Bernama pic)

GUA MUSANG: A tiger believed to have been attacking pet dogs of the Temiar Orang Asli community in Pos Bihai here since July was caught yesterday.

Kelantan wildlife and parks director Hafid Rohani said the male tiger, given the name ‘Apek Bihai’, was caught in a trap set by wildlife rangers after a complaint about the tiger from Kampung Hak villagers in July.

The tiger, estimated to be two years old, was healthy when captured. He will be sent to the national wildlife rescue centre in Sungkai, Perak.

The tiger is the third in two years reported at Pos Bihai. In July 2021, a tiger (later named Syamilla Bihai) caused serious injury to an Orang Asli man. It was successfully captured and placed at the rescue centre.

In January last year, an Orang Asli man was killed after being attacked by a tiger, which then had to be shot dead after it tried to attack rangers during an operation. - FMT

Penang bishop made a cardinal in Vatican ceremony


The Catholic bishop of Penang, Sebastian Francis, receiving his cardinal’s hat from the head of the church, Pope Francis, at a Vatican ceremony today. (Vatican pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Catholic bishop of Penang, Sebastian Francis, was inducted as a prince of the Roman Catholic Church, making him eligible to elect the next Pope and head of the church.

He was among 21 prelates from around the world who were created cardinals in a consistory at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, presided over by Pope Francis.

The new cardinals kneeled before the pope to receive the two symbols of their high office: a scarlet four-cornered cap known as a biretta, and a cardinal’s ring.

Cardinal Francis, 72, is among the 18 new cardinals under the age of 80, who are eligible to take part in the next papal election. Francis and the bishop of Hong Kong, Stephen Chow, were the only Asians to be appointed cardinals.

Francis is the second Malaysian, and the second Penang bishop to be made a cardinal, following the late Anthony Soter Fernandez, a former archbishop of Kuala Lumpur who was bishop of Penang from 1977 to 1983.- FMT

Shereen ends country's 17-year wait for Asiad athletics medal


National track queen Shereen Samson Vallabouy ended Malaysia’s 17-year medal drought in Asian Games athletics when she gallantly clinched bronze in the 400m final tonight.

The 25-year-old deserves credit for running a lung-busting final 200m to cross the finish line third in 52.58 seconds - a little slower than her national mark of 51.80s - at the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium in China.

Bahrain’s Adekoya Oluwakemi Mujidat clocked 50.66s to take gold while compatriot Salwa Eid Naser (50.92s) won silver.

The US-based Shereen advanced to the final after winning Heat 3 in the first round with 52.89s.

Malaysia last won a medal at the Asiad in the 2006 edition in Doha, Qatar through woman pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu (silver) and woman 400m hurdler Noraseela Mohd Khalid (bronze).

Rabuan Pit was the last Malaysian athletics gold medallist in the Asian Games when he won the men’s 100m final in the 1982 edition in New Delhi, India. - Mkini

Local authorities told to monitor flood-prone areas


Local authorities were instructed to monitor and improve public infrastructure in flood-prone areas following the transition to the Northeast Monsoon phase from November to February.

The Local Government Development Ministry said these included identifying drains, ditches, sewers, and retention ponds that could cause floods and then carrying out cleaning and maintenance to ensure smooth water flow.

“Development sites must also be monitored to ensure proper maintenance of water flow, such as flood retention ponds, and the development area is clean,” it said in a statement today.

It said the Northeast Monsoon Red Team has also been put on red alert so it will be prepared to provide a quick response should its rescue services be needed.

The Red Team will be placed in 11 states: Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Perak, Terengganu, Selangor, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan, and Johor.

In terms of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department’s preparedness, the ministry said the department has 15,639 personnel, consisting 13,435 full-time firefighters and 2,204 auxiliary firefighters, with 80 percent of their leave being frozen until next February.

“The Fire and Rescue Department is also ready in terms of logistics, with 1,150 types of light transport vehicles, heavy transport vehicles, and marine vehicles to be used in facing the 2023 Northeast Monsoon,” it said.

The Fire and Rescue Department has also identified about 4,795 flood hotspots through the open data of the Department of Drainage and Irrigation as well as monitoring by all fire and rescue stations nationwide and, of the total, Sarawak recorded the highest number of flood-prone areas of 1,034, followed by Kelantan (595 areas), Pahang (554), and Sabah (520).

In terms of flood disaster management, the ministry said a post-flood waste-cleaning operation management plan has been prepared as a guide for all agencies involved to ensure post-flood waste cleaning is more orderly and effective.

“The National Solid Waste Management Department, together with the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation, and concession companies will always be ready to carry out post-flood clean-up operations based on the stipulated plan,” it said.


Amirudin downplays talk of appointment to federal cabinet

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari downplayed rumours that he will be appointed to a position in Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s cabinet.

The PKR vice president added that he was not privy to the source of the rumours.

“Rumours of me joining the cabinet have been swirling since 2022. I personally have not heard (of any latest developments).

“Regardless, any decision is of the Prime Minister’s prerogative,” he was quoted as saying by Utusan.

Amirudin reportedly said this after officiating the 2023 Selangor Property Expo in Shah Alam today.

The Sungai Tua assemblyperson added that the new Selangor state government had just been formed and wanted to fulfil its agenda for the people.

However, he said Anwar will discuss with the party leadership and the federal coalition government before appointing new ministers.

Talks of a cabinet reshuffle began after the domestic trade and cost of living minister post fell vacant with the death of Salahuddin Ayub in July and has yet to be filled.

Speculation has been rife on who would be axed and appointed into the new cabinet after Anwar admitted thinking about reshuffling the cabinet.

He later said there was no urgency to do so.

On Wednesday, sources in the Prime Minister’s Department said the potential cabinet reshuffle will see leaders from the state level elevated to federal positions.

One source claimed the reshuffle will only be after the Pelangai by-election on Oct 7 and “at least one menteri besar is expected to be promoted to the federal government”.

Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail yesterday denied talks of a possible appointment, adding his sole focus was on ensuring BN’s win in the Pelangai by-election. - Mkini

PRK Pelangai: PH usaha pujuk pengundi luar pulang


PH sedang cuba memujuk pengundi luar untuk memenangkan calon BN pada PRK Pelangai.

SHAH ALAM: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Pahang akan berusaha menarik pengundi luar untuk pulang mengundi pada PRK DUN Pelangai, 7 Okt ini.

Pengerusi PH Pahang Amirudin Shari berkata setakat ini, pihaknya telah mengenal pasti lebih 2,000 pengundi berkenaan yang berada di Lembah Klang.

“Kita sedang cuba untuk pujuk dan beritahu keperluan untuk mereka turun mengundi. Ini antara usaha untuk memenangkan calon Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Ini bagi memastikan Pelangai mempunyai representasi yang baik, terutama untuk meneruskan kelangsungan pembangunan dan pembelaan kepada rakyat,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Ekspo Hartanah Selangor 2023 anjuran Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor.

PRK DUN Pelangai diadakan susulan kematian penyandangnya, Johari Harun yang terkorban dalam nahas pesawat terhempas di Elmina pada 17 Ogos.

Ia menyaksikan pertembungan tiga penjuru antara calon BN, Amizar Abu Adam; calon Perikatan Nasional, Kasim Samat, dan calon bebas, Haslihelmy DM Zulhasni.

Ditanya status terkini petisyen membatalkan keputusan di empat kerusi dimenangi PN pada PRN Selangor Ogos lalu, Amirudin berkata pihaknya sedang menunggu maklumat lanjut daripada peguam.

Sebelum ini, PH dan BN mempertimbangkan untuk memfailkan petisyen pilihan raya di DUN Sungai Kandis, Taman Medan, Gombak Setia, dan Dengkil, yang majoriti kemenangan rendah.

Keputusan bagi empat kerusi berkenaan menyaksikan PH-BN kalah dengan 407 undi di Dengkil, Sungai Kandis (167), Gombak Setia (58), dan Taman Medan (30).

Sementara itu, mengulas khabar angin beliau ditawarkan menjadi menteri di peringkat pusat, Amirudin berkata perkara tersebut sudah diperkatakan sejak tahun lepas.

“Itu cuma khabar angin… Biar perdana menteri fikir dan buat keputusan,” katanya. - FMT