Monday, August 21, 2017

China-Malaysia Relations: The Three Dilemmas of Malaysian Chinese

RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: RSISPublications@ntu.edu.sg for feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentary, Yang Razali Kassim. 

No. 152/2017 dated 21 August 2017
China-Malaysia Relations:
The Three Dilemmas of Malaysian Chinese
By Chan Xin Ying

Synopsis


As Malaysia’s trade and investment with China grows a new dimension has emerged in the relationship between Malaysia, China, and the local ethnic Chinese community. Malaysian Chinese have to carefully deal with the political, social and economic repercussions of this triple dilemma.

Commentary


PRESIDENT XI Jinping this year described relations between China and Malaysia as the ‘best ever’ in history. Two years earlier, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had described the bilateral relations as at the ‘best level in history’. While the majority of Malaysian Chinese have viewed China’s presence in the country positively, in reality their feelings are mixed.They are as wary as they are welcoming.

As China engages further in Malaysia’s domestic affairs, Malaysian Chinese are finding themselves in a triple dilemma. How will this development impact them given the realities of Malaysia’s ethnic politics? How will the Malaysian Chinese be viewed by the other communities, especially the majority Malays, given the periodic tensions between them?

Dilemma 1: China in Malaysian Politics


As China increasingly becomes Malaysia’s dominant economic partner, its growing presence has crept into local politics. In September 2015, China claimed that the country is the “protector” of overseas Chinese in Malaysia when the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, Huang Huikang, was reported to have defended the local Chinese during an informal visit to Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur.

The ambassador, when referring to a pro-Malay “red shirts” rally earlier on 16 September against mostly Chinese traders, stated that China “is against all forms of terrorism as well as racism and extremism which target specific ethnic groups” and warned that China “will not sit idly by as others infringe on the national interest of China”.  His remarks led to accusations of interference.

Ambassador Huang and Chinese diplomats have further inserted themselves into Malaysia’s domestic politics, accompanying local politicians during visits to their constituencies. A case in point is when the ambassador accompanied MCA assemblyman Teoh Yap Kun to his Paloh constituency in 2016. The ambassador had also repeatedly called on Malaysian Chinese to support MCA and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government, of which the Chinese-based MCA is a component party.
 
As China continues to establish good relations with the UMNO-led government, the Malaysian Chinese community remains wary, given the sensitive position it is in. China’s seemingly intrusive posture in Malaysia’s domestic issues can potentially complicate the local racial dynamics, especially at a time of an impending general election. Indeed, it is not hard to see that Beijing’s new inclination will be a disservice to Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese community.

Indigenism, the ideology that makes the indigenous people central in politics, remains important in Malaysia. The ethnic Chinese periodically become the ‘scapegoat’ during critical political moments. For instance, Prime Minister Najib Razak had coined the term ‘Chinese tsunami’ to explain the significant erosion of votes for the ruling BN in the 2013 general election. In response, he reemphasised the pro-indigenous doctrine of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay dominance).

Dilemma 2: China and Chinese Education in Malaysia

China has also positioned itself as a supporter of Chinese education in Malaysia. In February 2017, the Chinese ambassador donated RM200,000 to 11 Malaysian Chinese primary schools. Yet, Chinese education is a very sensitive issue in Malaysia. Politicians, particularly from UMNO, have consistently claimed that Chinese education is the cause of ethnic disunity in Malaysia and called for the abolition of Chinese vernacular schools.

Hence, donations from China could be viewed both positively and negatively. As a support from the Chinese government, it shows up the need for aid from a foreign envoy to partially-aided Chinese schools (SJKC) where government subsidies are always inadequate.

Hence, it is crucial how the Malaysian Chinese react or respond to China’s ‘generosity’. While the local education outfits Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees’ Association) and Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers’ Association) welcomed China’s help, the rest of the community remained cautious, fearing overreaction may provoke another controversy.

Dilemma 3:  Malaysian Chinese Still the Best Business Partners?


Malaysian Chinese have played an important role in facilitating the investment markets for both China and Malaysia since the 1980s. However, the trend has changed since 2010 as more and more government-linked companies (GLC) go for key or strategic industries, while the Chinese turned to dominate SMEs.

As a result, the new economic relations between China and Malaysia have shifted to more collaboration with Malay-led GLCs or GLICs (Government Linked Investment Companies), instead of the Chinese business community. For example, the Kuantan Port expansion is a cooperation between IJM Corp and Guangxi Beibu; the Melaka Gateway project which is getting investments from Power China, is operated by the Melaka state government’s KAJ Holdings.

Moreover, local Chinese businesses face fierce competition from China as GLCs opt to work with mainland China firms rather than local Chinese enterprises. While old established players who have long penetrated China’s market like Francis Yeoh and Robert Kuok continue to profit, the new gainers are Malay-led GLCs including IJM Corp and Sime Darby instead of Malaysian Chinese SMEs.

No Need For ‘Protector’

Malaysia observers feel China should be more cautious in its engagement with the Malaysian government and society. Its claim to be the ‘protector’ of overseas Chinese and its consequent meddling in local politics could have the opposite effect: China could in fact harm the interest of the Malaysian Chinese.

Many ethnic Chinese in Malaysia would rather co-exist peacefully with the other ethnic communities than being shielded by China in a society already divided by ethnic cleavages.
   
Besides, there are still unresolved controversies between China and Malaysia despite their current warm relations. The South China Sea disputes are still ongoing and it is uncertain how long this cozy bilateral relationship will last. If geopolitical conflict occurs, the Malaysian Chinese will be further pushed into a difficult position. China should be aware of the ethnic Chinese’ sensitive position in Malaysian politics given the complex and fragile nature of nation-building in a multiethnic society. Big powers like China need to be careful to avoid the further fragmentation of Malaysian society.


Chan Xin Ying is a Research Analyst with the Malaysia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Julian Assange Just Gave Top Republican Info To END Russia Investigation FOREVER


Savage: US Could Drop Neutron Bomb on NKorea

Savage: US Could Drop Neutron Bomb on NKorea

Neutron blast would preserve life of innocents while targeting regime

“If we have one [neutron bomb] that is what’s going to be used, that is what Trump is hinting at,” radio host Michael Savage said in response to President Donald Trump’s threatening to unleash “fury and fire… never seen before” on North Korea’s Kim Jung Un, and his doubling down saying the threat wasn’t “tough enough.”
Dr. Savage believes the U.S. may still have reconstructed neutron bombs despite President George H. W. Bush once having them deconstructed, and described the situation as a “perfect storm for war.”
“My guess is that it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen sooner than you think, and it’s going to happen in the blink of an eye, overnight,” the nationally syndicated host said. “The vermin of the media will make Trump the bad guy. So he has to wait.”
President Trump praised the recent U.N. sanctions vote, 15-0, against North Korea, but Dr. Savage worries there are North Korean operatives in the United States, “posing as engineers, scientists, doctors, waiters.”
“There could be North Korean agents with suitcase bombs in this country” due to the wide open border policy of President Obama, he warned.
Savage also brought up Samuel Cohen, the man who developed the neutron bomb who Dr. Savage described as the smartest man he ever interviewed. He was reminded of when President Dwight Eisenhower told Japan to surrender, before eventually bombing Hiroshima.
The interview took place in the 90s, and Cohen describes the neutron bomb as a blast that will preserve the life of innocent civilians, as it minimizes the radioactive blast range; a more penetrating, but controlled blast.
Though typically  a non-interventionist, Dr. Savage says something will have to happen in North Korea eventually, and should have happened long ago.
Recent news articles blamed the current situation on the blatant policy failures by the Clinton and Obama administrations.
Savage also breaks down the mostly unknown history of North Korea, including the murderous tactics of Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jung Un, who established the communist dictatorship after World War II, following Stalinist tactics as well as Kim Jung Il, Un’s father, who as per family tradition, had multiple wives and mistresses, which the radio host believes is why radical leftists sympathize with the sexually deviant Kim dynasty.
Un’s goal remains to unite Korea in a police state dictatorship, and it’s widely believed that Un had his brother murdered, driven by jealousy and desire for power.
An armistice for the Korean War signed on July 27, 1953, but the conflict has never officially ended. The United States lost at least 33,000 soldiers in the war, with millions of casualties suffered overall.
Dr. Savage is also of the opinion that North Korea is China’s “junk yard dog” to control the trade war, specifically between the United States and China. President Trump did mention the trade war with China on Thursday, when taking questions regarding North Korea.
Trump has been talking tough on North Korea since 2015, when he entered the White House race. He’s even addressed the issue as far back at the 90s.
Interestingly, Savage’s comparison of the lust of the radical left to the Kim family tree can also extend to the ongoing Burning Man festival, an event which he relates to the biblical times of paganism leading to the end of days.
Would not a neutron bomb represent such a prophecy?
Kit Daniels also contributed to this report.

UN War Crimes Prosecutor Quits, After Unable to Frame, Prosecute Assad – Blames Russia

UN War Crimes Prosecutor Quits, After Unable to Frame, Prosecute Assad – Blames Russia

Horrible woman, previously "distinguished" herself as tool of western colonialism in the Balkans
Thu, Aug 10, 2017 | 4694 130
An international war crimes prosecutor has resigned from her position on the U.N.’s Investigative Panel into human rights abuses in Syria over her frustration regarding the perceived impotence of the commission and the lack of ability to prosecute war criminals. Essentially, Carla Del Ponte is resigning because she and her panel have not been able to overcome Russian objections to framing Bashar al-Assad for crimes committed by America’s terrorists.
While admitting that Western-backed terrorists are made up “mostly” of extremists and that they have been guilty of war crimes, Del Ponte also peddled the disproven narrative that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and that it is engaged in “terrible crimes against humanity.”
In her remarks announcing her resignation, Del Ponte, who is 70 years old, also admitted her own bias against the Syrian government since the beginning of the crisis. She stated that, when she was first appointed to the Independent Commission of Inquiry On Syria in 2012, “the opposition (members) were the good ones; the government were the bad ones.”
Apparently, the woman so concerned with “crimes against humanity” was fine with “opposition members” randomly shooting civilians, raping women, slaughtering whole families and villages, and committing unspeakable acts against Syrian military soldiers and Syrian civilians. After all, she considered them the “good ones.” Only when the Syrian military began fighting back in earnest did “war crimes” become a concern.
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“The Assad government is committing terrible crimes against humanity and using chemical weapons. And the opposition, that is made up only of extremists and terrorists anymore,” she said. Del Ponte claims that the Security Council should have appointed a court similar to the ones for Rwanda and Yugoslavia but the decision to do so was vetoed by Russia.
Del Ponte is clearly frustrated at the fact that the Russians have prevented the U.N. from condemning and prosecuting Assad for crimes he did not commit. Thus, she will be leaving her post in September, leaving only two members left on the commission.
Source: The Daily Sheeple

BANKNOTE SECURITY AROUND THE WORLD





For counterfeit prevention, some countries go to great lengths to come up with security features on money, inventing new technologies, textiles, and techniques for making durable bills that are handled every day difficult to copy. Here’s some amazing international currency security features, as well as tips on how to check for counterfeit money while traveling.
Paper bills have existed since the Song Dynasty in China in about 1,000 C.E. as a useful, lighter method of trade, but banknotes weren’t common practice until much later, about the 1600s in Europe and America. At that time, banknotes were promissory notes representative of gold or silver held at a bank. Slowly this system has been replaced by bills printed under the authority of national governments. The 1700s, though, was considered a golden age for counterfeiters. One of the first banknote security features in America was actually introduced by Benjamin Franklin, who signed his 20-shilling note and included images of a willow leaf.
Today, the bill that sports Benjamin Franklin’s image, the 100-dollar bill, uses some of the country’s most complicated technologies. The 100 dollar bill security features include a 3D ribbon, color-shifting ink, micro-printed images, and images that only show up when held to a light. Looking for those secret features is essentially how to check for counterfeit money. The 100 dollar bill is one of the most popular currencies in the world. It’s the most counterfeited, but also one of the most difficult to counterfeit bills in existence today.
But what about international currency security features? Surely the United States isn’t the only country that gets exhaustive with their strategies for fending off fake cash?
As late as WWII, artists were forced to create forgeries of currencies in concentration camps in Germany and Austria. Perhaps that’s why today’s Euros are fairly complicated now: hold the 200 Euro to an infrared light and you’ll see a sliver of an image.
Nearby, in Europe, the Pound Sterling and Swiss Franc are a world-famous currency of fairly high value, both of which have tactile markers as well as visible ones. The Swiss Franc is shimmering and beautiful, but the Pound Sterling may seem more recognizable. That’s possibly because Queen Elizabeth II of Britain has been printed on more currencies than any other person: the monies of 33 different countries, including Australian money. Security features are particularly colorful from the land down under; find a florescent Eastern Spinebill under UV light if you want to check for fake Australian bills.
To the north, in Japan, a security feature on yen banknotes comes to life under UV too: a governor’s seal in orange and beautiful background work in green. Their neighbor North Korea, however, has been accused of counterfeiting the American 100 dollar bill, to somewhat amazing ends.
Throughout the world, governments spend millions inventing new and exciting security features of currency notes. Internationally, fake bills might keep resurfacing, but innovative print ships have been evolving to fend off the tide, using everything to security thread to images invisible without UV light or infrared to tactile giveaways. Perhaps the cash of the future will have chips since it’s unlikely that cash will go away anytime soon!
But the secret of how to prevent counterfeiting is public awareness and people knowing about the banknote security features that are already there. Keep an eye out for real features of paper bills throughout the world!

Cows may be the answer to something that's not related to food.

Animals · Health · News · Positive News · Sci & Tech  
By Brianna Acuesta
Posted on August 11, 2017

Cows may be the answer to something that's not related to food.

Credit: Kraipet Sritong/Shutterstock

The continued existence of cattle around the world can be pinned on humans’ need to consume them, whether that’s by using their milk or eating their meat. Besides this primary function, and the fact that they can rapidly eat grass, there doesn’t seem to be a huge need for cows otherwise, save for companionship. However, researchers may have just found another complex purpose for these sturdy creatures that has nothing to do with food but everything to do with health.

If you’re not familiar with HIV or are unsure why it’s so difficult to control, here’s the breakdown: the Human Immunodeficiency Virus infects a specific white blood cell that is built to attack viruses, making it not only difficult to detect the virus but nearly impossible to attack. On the off chance that a human’s immune system is able to create antibodies to defeat the virus, which has been observed before, it takes years for this to happen and by then the virus has already evolved so much that it can overcome the antibodies. As a result, the best response to HIV are bNAbs, or broadly neutralising antibodies, which can attack multiple forms of virus at once.

    “From the early days of the epidemic, we have recognized that HIV is very good at evading immunity, so exceptional immune systems that naturally produce broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV are of great interest – whether they belong to humans or cattle,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Researchers turned to cows after recognizing that a complex immune and digestive system might be the key to combatting the virus. Since cattle have a ruminant digestive system that allows grass to sit for a period of time in order to ferments, scientists knew that their systems are riddled with hostile bacteria that they deal with on a daily basis. They decided to test the animals to see if they already contained or could produce the necessary antibodies to defeat HIV and its rapidity.

Credit: Fate Click

For the experiment, injected 117 calves with the virus antigens and tested them regularly to see how their bodies responded. Since HIV is not natural to cattle, as it started as a virus for primates that mutated to attack human cells, their bodies would have to produce an all new response to the infection. The results were “mind-blowing,” as researchers said, as the cattle began producing bNAbs to fight the virus within weeks.

    “The response blew our minds,” Dr. Devin Sok, one of the researchers, told BBC News. “It was just insane how good it looked. In humans, it takes three to five years to develop the antibodies we’re talking about. This is really important because we hadn’t been able to do it period. Who would have thought cow biology was making a significant contribution to HIV?”

The results were published in the journal Nature and the research was conducted by the US National Institutes of Health with the support of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative and the Scripps Research Institute. The findings showed that the cows were able to neutralize 20% of HIV strains within 42 days and 96% of strains within 381 days, just over a year.

    “The potent responses in this study are remarkable. Unlike human antibodies, cattle antibodies are more likely to bear unique features and gain an edge over complicated HIV immunogens,” said Dennis R. Burton, who led the research.

As for its application, this information is just the start of some very interesting paths that researchers can now take to beat HIV. The antibodies can’t be taken from cows for use in humans, but researchers can study how the antibodies are formed so quickly and possibly engineer human-compatible antibodies that in turn could be made into a vaccine. Alternatively, this could be the source of inspiration to produce more effective vaginal microbicides to prevent HIV infection altogether.

True Activist / Report a typo

Related Items:AIDS, Animals, Health, HIV, Positive News, Sci & Tech, Vaccine, Virus

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Will The Coming Eclipse Begin A Period Of "40 Days And 40 Nights" For America?

Will The Coming Eclipse Begin A Period Of "40 Days And 40 Nights" For America?

News Image By Michael Snyder/End Of The American Dream August 16, 2017 Share this article:

Next Monday, we are going to witness one of the strangest events in U.S. history.  This will be the first total solar eclipse to ever be seen only in the United States and nowhere else.  

Millions upon millions of people are going to flock to areas of the country where the full eclipse will be visible, but everyone in the continental United States is going to be able to see at least a partial eclipse.  

There are lots of very unusual numbers associated with this eclipse, but in this article I want to focus on the number 40, and as this article unfolds you will start to understand why.

Our planet is the only place where you can view a total solar eclipse, and that is because our sun and our moon appear to be the same size in the sky.  
Of course the sun is much, much larger than the moon, but because the sun is approximately 400 times farther away than the moon they appear to us to be nearly the same size...

The sun and moon appear the same size in Earth's sky because the sun's diameter is about 400 times greater - but the sun is also about 400 times farther away.

At this particular moment in Earth's history - although the sun's diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon - the sun is also about 400 times farther away. So the sun and moon appear nearly the same size as seen from Earth. And that's why we on Earth can sometimes witness that most amazing of spectacles, a total eclipse of the sun.

I have previously discussed the fact that the solar eclipse on August 21st is the first day in a 40 day period that ends with Yom Kippur.  But what I haven't mentioned is that the month of Elul on the Jewish calendar begins on the very next day after the eclipse.

Elul is traditionally known as "the month of repentance", and it is a time when people all over the world prepare for the High Holy Days...

In the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The word "Elul" is similar to the root of the verb "search" in Aramaic. 

The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word "Elul" can be understood to be an acronym for the phrase "Ani L'dodi V'dodi Li" - "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine" (Song of Solomon 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one's heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah, and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

It is also believed that the first of Elul was when Moses began a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer on behalf of the people of Israel after they worshipped the golden calf.  The following comes from Rachel Baxter...

According to Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the golden calf incident (Exodus 32; 34:27-28). 

He ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance was complete. Elul marked the beginning of a period of 40 days that Moses prayed for God to forgive the people for worshipping the golden calf.
Of course the number 40 comes up time after time throughout the Scriptures.  Here are a bunch more examples...

In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). 

Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel's behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25). The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3). 

The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan (Numbers 13:25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). Before Samson's deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1). 

Goliath taunted Saul's army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him (1 Samuel 17:16). When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).

And virtually everyone knows that the Lord Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness, and that there were 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension.

In addition, I already noted yesterday that the prophet Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent before judgment would strike.
Many will dismiss the things that I have been pointing out about these eclipses as "coincidences", but it is imperative to remember that these sorts of solar eclipses are actually very rare.  The following comes from Faithwire...

But, with that said, there are some intriguing and defining elements surrounding the coming Aug. 21 event, including the fact that it is the first time since 1257 that the entirety of the total eclipse is exclusively viewable from inside the U.S.

Parade noted that the 1257 eclipse went over the Hawaiian Islands -- a fact that some might say differentiates it from what's to come this month. 

With that in mind, to find a comparable eclipse, the outlet said one must go all the way back more than 1,500 years to July 29, 436 (yes, the year 436). And America won't see another such total solar eclipse that is viewable only in the U.S. until Jan. 25, 2316, when anyone currently reading this story is long gone.

For centuries, many have believed that a solar eclipse is a sign that judgment is coming upon a nation.  I don't know if that is what this solar eclipse means, but Jesus did warn us to watch for signs in the sun, moon and stars just prior to His return.

So does this solar eclipse start a period of "40 days and 40 nights" for America?

I don't know, but God definitely likes to use the number 40, and throughout history He has repeatedly used His calendar to get our attention.