Friday, 31 August 2018

OOPS! SORRY. WE NEVER THOUGH WE WOULD BECOME THE NEXT GOVERNMENT.

Ah! Now we know why the Pakatan Harapan government is running the country like a bunch of bumbling amateurs.

They made all sorts of campaign promises whilst never expecting that they would become the next government and will have to deliver on their campaign promises.

Dr M: We wrote manifesto thinking we would remain in opposition 

Nation

Friday, 31 Aug 2018 4:43 PM MYT

by mei mei chu

KUALA LUMPUR: Winning the general election was supposed to be the hard part, but it turned out to be the easiest part, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 
 
The Pakatan Harapan chairman said this when he hailed the "people's achievement" in enabling the first change of government in 61 years during a surprise appearance at the Malaysians for Malaysia Merdeka celebration on Friday (Aug 31). 
 
"We thought it (winning Federal Power) was the hard part, but we (now) realise that it's the easy part," Dr Mahathir said of the challenges they faced as government. 
 
He said Pakatan Harapan had limited its own power in Federal government as they crafted their manifesto thinking that they would remain the opposition and would need to hold a Barisan Nasional government in check. 
 
For example, he said, they pledged that the Public Accounts Committee chairman should be from the opposition, and now they had put themselves in a position to be scrutinised. 
 
"Many other things we put in the manifesto thinking we would be opposition, but now we are the government," he added. 
 
"Among the things we put in our promises is to limit the Prime Minister's power, then we discover that we are in power, and we limit the power that we now have," he said. 
 
"We have made these promises, so we have to have ourselves examined and scrutinised by the opposition, which was the government before this," he said. 
 
Nevertheless, Dr Mahathir said there was a sense of relief among the people now that Pakatan Harapan was in power. 
 
"Sometimes, we catch them smiling to themselves," he said. 
 
"They feel there are no longer oppressed; there was fear before," he added. 
 
Dr Mahathir also said he was happy that the National Day parade was once again held in Putrajaya because Putrajaya, with its wide central boulevard, was built for the purpose of holding parades. 
 
"I wish you Selamat Hari Kebangsaan," he said. 
 
Organised by Malaysians for Malaysia, Merdeka celebration was attended by some of Malaysia's most notable activists including transgender activist Nisha Ayub, lawyer Siti Kassim, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Ivy Josiah.


The Malaysian ringgit, which had been gradually strengthening against the US dollar throughout 2017 and early 2018, had begun to weaken steadily since around mid-April 2018 and has continued to weaken to RM4.11 to the US dollar today.


This will lead to higher cost of imported inputs and imported finished goods, which are mostly priced in US dollars and which will be reflected in prices on the shelves, hence higher cost of living, which Pakatan promised to reduce.

The ringgit has also weakened against:-

The Euro

The UK Pound

The Canadian dollar

The Japanese Yen

The Yuan

The Hong Kong dollar

The Cuban Peso

The Cuban Convertible Peso

The South Korean won

The Thai Baht

The Philippines Piso

The Bangladesh Taka

The Cambodian Riel

The Cayman Islands dollar (where the yacht Equanimity is from)

The Bolivian Boliviano

And let me not forget the Yankee Dah'lah

Currencies the ringgit has strengthened against  or has remained roughly steady against are:-

The Indonesian Rupee

The Indonesian Rupiah

The Australian dollar

The New Zealand dollar

The North Korean Won

The Brazilian Real

The Angolan Kwanza

Whatever, fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride for all it's worth.

Yours truly.

Politischeiss

Thursday, 30 August 2018

AND THE VOICES OF DISILLUSION GROW LOUDER AND LOUDER

Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd. - Attributed to English playwright and poet William Congreve, who wrote these lines in his play The Mourning Bride, 1697.

The message here is that it is better not to promise something one is unable to deliver, than to either admit one's uncertainty given the challenging circumstance or to shut one's mouth altogether; For the contempt one brings upon oneself for the dashing of high expectations, far surpasses that one may receive for one's lack of assurances or for admission of one's inability to deliver.

When Pakatan Harapan (Pact of Hope) beat the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition in the Malaysia's general elections on 9 May 2018 its members and supporters rejoiced that Malaysia had its first alternative government nearly 61 years since independence, and on the eve of the 61st anniversary of independence, Malaysia's prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir even dubbed it as Malaysia's "Second Independence".

However, in the just over 100 days since the Pakatan Harapan's win, there have increasingly been rumblings of public discontent with the Pakatan government, initially on social media and in private conversations over tea, coffee and beers, but these have now burst forth into the open in reports of survey findings in the mainstream and "alternative" online media.

On 30 August 2018, the online news portal Free Malaysia Today reported survey and focus group findings of public dissatisfaction with the cabinet as literally saying "Yes Sah!", "Yes Sah!", "Yes Sah!" to the prime minister who more or less calls the shots, apparently unchallenged.

Others were fed up with the present government still blaming the previous government for its current failures to to deliver on its election promises, whilst others are unhappy with government ministers who apparently appear to be indecisive, inexperienced or lacking in conviction.  

Study finds worrying trend of mute ministers in Mahathir's cabinet
By Soo Wern Jun - August 30, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Participants in a study by Iman Research have concerns that cabinet members are not "strong enough" to keep a check on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Participants of focus group discussions (FGD) on Youth Perception On New Malaysia, also told Iman Research that they were tired of "revenge politics" following the May 9 general election.

The think tank's head of research Vila Somiah said: "Participants, while openly saying they were glad that Dr Mahathir Mohamad had replaced Najib Razak as prime minister, still had concerns that others in the cabinet were not strong enough to put him in check.

"A participant said 'the most troubling issue with PH is when Mahathir decides to speak out, but none of the PH politicians voice objections, for example, over the national car'," she said.

She said participants felt that if cabinet members did not agree with Mahathir, they should be able to voice this.

The think tank held several FGDs from mid-July to the last day of Pakatan Harapan's 100 days in power.

"Another interesting find was about revenge politics. Participants, young and old, felt uneasy, tired and fatigued by revenge rhetoric.

"For instance, how PH has constantly blamed Barisan Nasional for the Goods and Services Tax and how they often bring up the mistakes of the former administration.

"Participants also mentioned that, while they were happy to see a change in government, what should not continue is vilifying the old government," said Vila.

Some also voiced uneasiness over PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim's "fast rise" after May 9. "Some participants said they preferred him to remain as a Reformasi icon and that it was better for him to retire to give space for new faces," Vila said.

Many participants, she said, felt Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was a "puppet" and that her decisions were influenced by her husband, Anwar.

As for Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, some felt he was too aggressive and undemocratic while others said such traits were necessary in a good leader.

"As for Education Minister Maszlee Malik, he is seen as indecisive, inexperienced and lacking in conviction over issues relating to black school shoes and the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)."

She said although Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was very well accepted, some felt he was an elitist and inexperienced and that he would not get his hands dirty but would just observe things from far.

Regarding the BN, participants felt that it was weak as an opposition and was struggling to be relevant.

"Some individuals are said to have shown respectable leadership qualities and doing their job as MPs. This includes Khairy Jamaluddin and Ahmad Maslan.

"All participants expressed a desire to see the opposition rise to become a proactive opposition, worthy of keeping the ruling government in check.

"Participants also said that if BN bucked up, they would be willing to vote for BN in the next general election," she said.

A common sentiment that most participants had was that they did not really care about PH's 100 day performance.

"Participants said they just wanted to see real changes and that they don't even remember what the pledges were."


The same day, The Malay Mail reported on youth dissatisfaction with the new government, after their euphoria in the week after Pakatan's election win, and this disappointment is amongst youth, many of whom are feel let down.  

malaymail.com

Youth satisfaction over Pakatan win plunges after 100 days, says pollster | Malaysia

Published 1 hour ago on 30 August 2018

PETALING JAYA, Aug 30 — The euphoria among Malaysian youth aged 21 to 30 years old has taken a dip after the 100th day of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition coming to power, an analyst with an independent pollster has revealed.

Merdeka Center research assistant Ehsan Shahwahid observed that one of the major reasons behind the drop was due to political realities setting in, coupled with the challenges faced by the new administration.

"It was obvious after the week of the election that the spike of euphoria was very high. We don't know how much it has dipped because we haven't conducted a study yet, but based on a general observation, yes, there is a dip that we can say based on comments on social media and discussions.

"At first, there was an emotional high but after reality set in, the youth faced a reality check. The Pakatan Harapan government had new challenges to face," said Ehsan who presented his findings at a forum titled "Youth: Can they change Malaysia politics?"

Based on his study, the youth had an extremely high level of satisfaction within the first three weeks of the 14th general election.

At that time, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had yet to announce his full Cabinet but had already taken steps to keep PH's election manifesto promises, including the abolishment, or at that point in time, the zero-rating of the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"There was a very high level of youth satisfaction and confidence in the government during the first 100 days when some of the manifesto promises were being implemented. Right now, quite difficult for PH to say that the level of confidence is as high as it was a few weeks post-GE14.

"Currently, more of the government's policies are being criticised. We haven't conducted a full study yet, but this is based on postings on social media," said Ehsan.

Touching on whether or not the dip will finally begin to plateau and stabilise, Ehsan said Merdeka Center needs to conduct a further study.

The group had conducted a standard survey throughout the nation with 2,209 total respondents who are voters across the board. Out of that number, 558 voters were aged between 21 and 30 years old.

The poll also found that the two main concerns among this age group were economic matters and corruption.

Other panellists in the forum included student activist Izzah Dejavu from political advocacy group Malaysia Muda; Qyira Yusri from the Undi 18 initiative; and academic Haris Zuan from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

This came following another presentation of research on youth perception of the PH administration by think-tank Iman Research earlier today, that found a majority of young Malaysians to be suspicious of the very coalition they had voted into power during the May 9 general election.

A majority of those in the discussions, aged between 21 and 35, said they were cautious about the return of "Mahathirism" and felt the 93-year-old remained very powerful even as PH pledged reforms to curtail the prime minister's influence.


Besides the macro level findings above, closer to ground and more particularly, social and political activist Dr. Kua Kia Song, writing in Free Malaysia Today, demands that the prime minister make public the findings of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), a group of five unelected advisors selected and appointed by him, and also that the government should make hast to repeal the Official Secrets Act, inherited from previous Barisan Nasional governments.

Make CEP report public and axe OSA, please

By Kua Kia Soong - August 29, 2018

Civil society strongly protests the prime minister's decision to keep the Council of Eminent Persons' (CEP) 100-day report secret simply by saying it is the government's business. He has also announced that the Official Secrets Act 1972 will stay despite the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition's promised revision prior to GE14. This is in contradiction to the new government's commitment to total transparency during the exposes of the Najib Razak administration just after the May election.

Civil society won't be complicit in compromising human rights

NGOs like Suaram that submitted their reports to the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) certainly want their submissions to be made public so that the public knows that we are not complicit in the new government's reneging on its GE14 promises.

Since the May election, many of our human rights demands have not been met. These include not just the OSA but also detention-without-trial laws, the Sedition Act, child marriages, harassment of LGBTQ and the violations of indigenous peoples' rights.

If the PH government does not make the CEP report public, the people may think that the government acted on our recommendations. Thus, I suggest that the PH government releases the IRC report since it was submitted separately to the CEP.

CEP's reputation at stake

The old Barisan Nasional government used to say that the OSA was needed for national security. Now the new PH government says that submissions to the CEP are "sensitive" and that some businesses may suffer. Really? Does it justify Rafizi Ramli's charges under the OSA then, since he wasn't sensitive enough to the health of the corporation he was exposing? After the cows and condos scandal he raised, to deserve the charges under the OSA, he might well say, "What a load of bullocks!"

The CEP needs to be reminded that it will be held culpable in Mahathir's recent decisions which are not just contradictory to the PH manifesto but look like a repeat of Mahathir 1.0. These include the announcement that Khazanah will be privatised for Bumiputera interests and the new national car project Proton 2.0. Presumably, the prime minister was advised by his CEP on these decisions. If not, how are we to know when the CEP report is kept secret? I am afraid they will have to live with their tarnished reputation.

PH reneging on more election promises

This is what was promised to Malaysians in PH's Buku Harapan by PH leader Zaid Ibrahim:

"A promise that the Official Secrets Act 1972 in its current form will be repealed will tell Malaysians that corrupt leaders can no longer hide behind draconian legislation. If this act is repealed, our ministers, top civil servants and police chiefs in future will no longer be so filthy rich to steal as they like. It will tell the people that those in the government will not be able to classify documents as official secrets at whim. With this act of revocation, those who have stolen government property will find themselves facing the attention of the world…"

If I quoted all the statements condemning the OSA by former dissidents who now sit in the new government, they would run into reams. I still remember the rousing speeches against the OSA by all these former "democrats" since the 70s. These are recorded in a publication by Gurmit Singh during the 80s titled "No to Secrets".

Even more recently on Aug 17, 2017, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang told a forum that "the PH coalition will repeal the OSA and replace it with a new Freedom of Information Act if it comes into power at the next election… We are committed to working towards the repeal of the OSA and fighting for its inclusion in the PH manifesto to show its commitment to transparency in line with the spirit of the 'New Malaysia'".

The infringement of the rule of law by the OSA was best summed up by Param Cumaraswamy, former president of the Malaysian Bar in 1986:

"With the definition of official secret so wide, coupled with the one-year minimum sentence and the power of the courts curtailed, there is no doubt that the OSA infringes the concept of the rule of law. It confers wide discretionary powers on public officers without adequate protection against abuse. The powers of our courts, which are traditionally the guardians of our freedoms, will be curtailed. The right to free speech and expression guaranteed under our constitution will be unduly restricted…"

Kua Kia Soong is the adviser to Suaram.


Free Malaysia Today of 30 August 2018 reports the political secretary for Home Minister Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Muhyiddin Yassin saying that social media messages about the Home Minister's resigantion are a hoax – i.e. fake news, against which "stern action" can be taken.

"Stern action"! Now didn't parliament pass the bill to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act as reported in The Star of 16 August 2018?


Perhaps its repeal hasn't been gazetted yet.

Anyway, the thing about rumours, fake news or whatever you call it is that sometimes, they turn out to be true, just as talk about a rift between then Prime Minister Mahathir and then Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim were dismissed as 'just rumours, and we get along fine', until the rift bust forth like an earthquake, the reverberations of which have rattled Malaysian politics even until today.
    
Aide denies Muhyiddin quitting

By FMT Reporters - August 30, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: A viral message about the resignation of Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as Pagoh MP has been denied by his press secretary.

"Please be informed that the message is a hoax," Hafiz Abdul Halim said in a statement.

"Stern action can be taken against those who commit the offence," he said.


And over in Sabah, the people are unhappy that a person from their neighbouring state had been appointed President of the Sandakan Municipal Council.
 
Sabahans upset over Sarawakian as Sandakan council president

By Tracy Patrick - August 30, 2018 

KOTA KINABALU: A non-Sabahan has been appointed as the president of the Sandakan Municipal Council (MPS) and this has upset locals.

Hii Chang Lik, a Sarawakian, with business in Sabah, was yesterday appointed to the post by Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.

Sabah Health and People's Well-being Minister Stephen Wong confirmed this tonight, when FMT contacted him.

Former Sabah Amanah chief Hamzah Abdullah described the appointment of a non-Sabahan as an insult to the intelligence of the people of Sabah, especially those in Sandakan. He said Hii had a timber business in Sandakan.

He said just over a month ago, in a Facebook posting, he had said that the post had been left vacant on purpose and that Parti Warisan Sabah had reserved it for a Sarawakian. He did not name Hii, but an accompanying photo showed Hii with Shafie.

He said it implied that Shafie did not believe Sabahans were capable of managing their own municipal council. He said Hii and Shafie were close friends.

Meanwhile, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary-general Johnny Mositun said the appointment was contrary to the policy of priority for Sabahans to head government departments, agencies and institutions.

Calling on the Chief Minister's Office and state ministry of local government and housing to give an explanation, Mositun said his office had already been receiving protests and complaints about the matter.

"But PBS is an opposition party, and the best we can do is to voice our protest and opposition to this appointment.

"This is similar to the recent appointment of a non-civil servant as director of the Sabah Water Department. It is insulting to Sabahans that the chief minister has no confidence in our civil service.

"I know for sure there are many Sabahans who are as qualified, if not more than qualified, to be made MPS president, just as there are many civil servants who deserve to be director of the Water Department," he said.

Mositun said it was a worrying trend and indicative of cronyism on the part of the Warisan administration.

"That's what it looks like to me. The ministers in this new administration seem to be appointing their cronies into key positions. These people will then be in charge of government development funds and award contracts to whoever they like.

"You can guess their aim. The sudden 'revival' of the Kaiduan Dam project with a new name tells it all. And PBS will not be surprised in the coming weeks and months about more questionable appointments like these," he said.


When Pakatan Harapan was in opposition before the last general elections, politicians of its member parties and its supporters used to accuse the Barisan Nasional government of practising cronyism, nepotism, favouritism and so forth towards persons and their companies in the award of contracts and so forth.

Well, now the same accusations fly when the Ministry of Finance appoints Petron Fuels International Berhad (Petron) as a fuel supplier for government vehicles.

Well, Mirzan Mahathir, a son of Prime Minister Mahathir, has been a director the Philippines-based Petron since 2010, hence the accusations of "nepotism". 

Free Malaysia Today of 30 August 2018 reports:-     

Nepotism charges fly as Petron appointed govt fuel provider

Nation

Thursday, 30 Aug 2018  4:52 PM MYT

PETALING JAYA: With the Ministry of Finance (MoF) having appointed Petron as one of the fuel providers for government vehicles, accusations of cronyism and nepotism are being levelled at the government.

A letter of the appointment addressed to Petron has gone viral on social media with the point of contention being that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's son Mirzan is a director in Petron Corporation, which owns Petron Malaysia.

News portal Malaysiakini reported that it had verified with government sources that the letter had been distributed to government ministries.

The letter stated that Petron Fuel International Bhd (Petron) had been appointed a fuel provider for government vehicles through indent cards.

It added that it hoped the appointment of Petron would provide "a better choice and alternative" to existing fuel providers.

Mirzan has been a director of the Filipino-based company since 2010.

Reportedly, he was elected a director on Aug 13, 2010 and holds 1,000 shares. 

The Ministry of Finance has been contacted for comments. 


However, The Malay Mail of 30 August 2018 reports the Ministry of Finance denying the allegations of 'cronyism' in that the ministry did not appoint Petron Fuel International Sdn Bhd (The Malay Mail got the name right) a sole supplier but as one of the government's many fuel suppliers.

Petron not sole fuel supplier, Putrajaya clarifies after cronyism allegation

Published 30 August 2018

By Raynore Mering

PETALING JAYA, Aug 30 — The Finance Ministry has denied that Petron Fuel International Sdn Bhd has been appointed the sole supplier of fuel for the federal government's vehicles, after it sparked allegations of power abuse and cronyism on social media.

The ministry emphasised that state oil and gas giant Petronas and global firm Shell, which have been supplying petrol and diesel for government vehicles since 1997, will also continue to do so.

It said in a press statement this evening that Petron's recent appointment would serve to encourage "healthy competition among suppliers."

"The government also does not limit the number of suppliers whereby any supplier with integrity and a network of stations throughout the country can apply," it added.

The ministry also said Petron's appointment was done administratively and did not involve any financial implication for the government.

The allegations cropped up after a government circular on Petron's appointment as a supplier through indent cards went viral.

The point of contention was that Mirzan Mahathir, a son of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is a director of Petron Corporation.


Then Parti Waisan Sabah (Warisan), or Sabah Heritage Party denies it is involved in issuing national identification cards or applications for citizenship, an accusation Pakatan parties, politicians and supporters used to hirl at the Barisan Nasional when it was the government, which Barisan Nasional, now in opposition, hurls at governing parties in tit-for-tat fashion. 
 
Warisan denies involvement in identity card, citizenship applications

Published on 30 August 2018

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 30 — Parti Warisan Sabah has categorically denied that it is in any way involved or has been issuing forms for the registration of identity cards (IC) or application of citizenship.

In a statement here tonight, Warisan executive secretary, Arifin Asgali said the party has no authority on matters relating to the issuance of identity cards or citizenship because the provisions in the Federal Constitution and National Registration Act are clear and explicit about such serious matters.

He cited Articles 16 and 19 of the Federal Constitution that the Federal government can grant citizenship to a non-citizen if that person is deemed qualified.

Arifin issued the statement in response to state Wanita Umno chief Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid's statement yesterday urging Warisan to clarify its stand on the matter as she claimed there were contradicting and confusing statements made by Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking, who proposed additional ICs for genuine Sabahans without recalling the MyKad, while Upko acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who proposed MyKads be recalled and issued with Sabah ICs.

Arifin, who is also assistant minister in the Chief Minister's Department, said the constitution states "...the Federal government may, upon application made by any person of or over the age of twenty-one years who is not a citizen, grant a certificate of naturalisation to that person if satisfied " that the person meets specific conditions.

He pointed out that even the Federal National Registration Department and Sabah state government have no authority to issue identity cards or grant citizenship.

"Only the home minister has that authority and even so it must be in accordance with the Federal Constitution," he said.

Arifin censured irresponsible parties for spreading malicious lies that Warisan was carrying out an exercise to register illegal immigrants as citizens and issuing identity cards.

"The Opposition parties should not be so lazy and forget to do their homework before hurling lies to smear Warisan's image.

"Neither the party nor the Sabah government can give out ICs and accord citizenship. It is so clearly stated in the Federal Constitution. Too bad they failed to read up on this matter," he added. — Bernama


And oh that bridge between Johor Baru and Singapore which would replace the current causeway, or that more controversial crooked bridge which Mahathir wants built which connects Johor Baru to that part of the causeway in Singapore waters.

Well now, Prime Minister Mahathir is talking about a third link to Singapore, which would be in addition to the Causeway and the bridge (second crossing) to the west of it.   

Dr Mahathir floats plan for third link to Singapore

By Reuters - August 30, 2018

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said there is "some" plan to build a third link with Singapore, amid reports that Johor was in talks to build a bridge that could be completed in three or four years.

Singapore is currently linked to Johor through a very busy Causeway to the north and a bridge from the western part of the island state.

Asked about a plan to build a third link, Mahathir told reporters in Kuala Lumpur: "There is some plan in the offing … there is already some plan." He did not provide any further details.

Mahathir's comment comes after he took aim at a series of infrastructure projects with China and with Singapore that had been pushed by his predecessor, Najib Razak, whom he drove from office in a surprise election victory in May.

Mahathir has suspended plans for a high-speed rail link from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

However, Bernama reported that Singapore had yet to receive any official proposal from Malaysia on the third bridge proposal linking both countries from the eastern side of Johor.

"We have not received any official proposal or communication from Malaysia regarding a third link between Singapore and Malaysia," a spokesperson from Singapore's transport ministry said in a statement today.

The Star newspaper quoted Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian as saying the state government was in talks with a company about the third link project, which could be built in the next three to four years.

Osman said the proposal would first be sent to the federal government for due diligence. The plan is to link Pengerang, Johor, and Pulau Ubin in Singapore via a 3km bridge and an undersea tunnel.

You Tube video - "Dr Mahathir floats plan for third link to Singapore"


Well, as I have oftentimes said, Malaysian politics is full of sheiss (shit).

Meanwhile, with regards removal of the Causeway and its replacement with a bridge, some say that Singapore does not want the Causeway removed and replaced with a bridge because it would allow the movement of ships through the Johor Strait (a.k.a. Tebrau Strait), thus allowing ships passing between the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea to bypass Singapore's ports.

However, this is not true, since replacing the causeway with a bridge (straight or crooked), won't allow big ships such as container vessels or super tankers to pass through the Johor Strait, firstly because the Johor Strait is too shallow at parts for big ships to pass, especially where the causeway currently is and secondly, because the 12 metres height of the second crossing is simply not enough to allow big ships to pass under.

Take a look at the anchorage depths at Johor Port.


Then look at the average draft (draught) of container ships i.e. the depth of the ship's bottom below the sea's surface.


or


On average, only about 80% of the smallest container ships of 1,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) carrying capacity can park at the anchorage of Johor Port without the ship getting stuck on the seabed.

Now the height of the second crossing bridge is 12 metres.


Then take a look at the Wikipedia entry and scroll down to Size categories and graphic shows the draft (depth of ship below the sea's surface) and air draft (height above the sea's surface), and you will see that none of these cargo ships of any the classes listed can pass under the second crossing and only the Seawaymax class can anchor or dock at Johor Port without running aground on the seabed.


Thus only small watercraft can pass through the Johor Strait between the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea.

Hopefully, this puts to rest this argument.

Yours trully

POLITISCHEISS

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

ON CRYPTOCURRENCIES, A WEAKENING RINGGIT AND RIDICULOUS PROPOSALS IN THE NAME OF PUBLIC HEALTH

This is the cryptocurrency company located The Ascent Paradigm, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, which Johnson Alexander was co-founder of, though his association with Everus appears to have been scrubbed, even from You Tube, after Ivana Smit plunged to her death off the Johnson's 20th floor balcony on 7 December 2017.


That video of that oh so grand launch gambit is dated 30 October 2017, less than a year ago.

The Everus (EVR) is worth 1.3 US cents today or about 5.3 sen (Malaysia), after having hit a peak of US$6.03 (the green line) on 30 November 2017. On 19 October 2017, it was worth US$3.03 (green line)


From the looks of it, there 1,901 cryptocurrencies listed CoinMarketCap dot com right now and more are being added daily and the current cryptocurrency fever reminds me of the couple of years in the run up to the dotcom bust in the year 2000.


I expect to see a massive shakeout of cryptocurrencies coming, leaving a handful of the strongest one's standing to grow to dominate the cryptocurrency space, just as Internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a few others dominate cyberspace today.

Meanwhile, the ringgit has weakened further to RM4.11 to the US dollar as of now.

When the cost of imported inputs priced in US dollars are passed on to us consumers, we can expect prices of goods on the shelves with high amounts of foreign inputs, as well as prices of imported goods to rise.
 
And now Tony Pua has suggested introducing a "soda tax" on canned drinks to discourage people, especially the lower income group from drinking these drinks which are heavily sweetened with sugar.

A much better solution would be to introduce regulations mandating limits on the amount of sugar which each can can contain and also limit the amount of sugar in those 3-in-1 or 2-in-1 instant coffee mixtures.

However, none of our "gee whiz" government ministers, MPs and politicians appear to have not thought about that.

Perhaps government regulation is anathema to their neo-liberal ideology. Either that or they lack the brains.

Meanwhile, Alex and his wife Luna are believed to have left Malaysia and they did not attend the inquest into Ivana's death.

"KUALA LUMPUR: The lawyer holding a watching brief for the couple who hosted Dutch model Ivana Smit in their condominium unit prior to her death last year was told to leave the inquest today after his clients failed to show up."


If they cannot find Jho Lo, will they be able to find Alexander and Luna?

Yours trully

POLITISCHEISS