A Long, Long Way from Pluto


We have passed the half way of this year and considering what we have gone through so far, one hopes that the year would end sooner than expected. But before that, when it comes to the topic of science and space, 3 things would have made the year 2015 very sweet indeed.

One would be the NASA spacecraft New Horizons

NHHopkinsPoster_posterSize

(Poster source: http://www.theplanetstoday.com/)

The spacecraft which had reached the planet Pluto (yes, it is a planet) is now one of the fastest man made craft with relative velocity of 49,600 km/h – the record is still held by Voyager 1, currently traveling at 61,720 km/h relative to the Sun. And frankly speaking Pluto never looked so beautiful before this and with radio signals taking four and a half hours to travel between the spacecraft and Earth, the spacecraft can only transmit data at 1 to 2 Kbps, which means that the transmission of all data (for last 10 years) will require sixteen months (source: Wikipedia).

And that 16 months is only on the download of data and not excluding the months, even years of data analysis. And if you had watched the documentary on New Horizons, the journey to Pluto is no small feat either – the journey itself took almost 10 years (to be more accurate – 9 years, 5 months and 25 days) and a journey of 7.5 billion kilometers and avoiding the various mechanical and debris that could have disabled the spacecraft on the spot.

This mission was a big success indeed and that is not the end of the story

Gladman said the chance of it visiting a third object after that is “pretty slim” as the density of objects in the Kuiper Belt falls off further away from the sun. However, there is one last thing scientists hope New Horizons will explore — one of the boundaries of the solar system.

The boundary of the heliosphere is where the sun’s magnetic field and solar winds lose their power. New Horizons is expected to reach that boundary in about 20 years, with a much more complete set of instruments than the Voyager 1 spacecraft did when it hit the edge of the heliosphere in 2013. While many of Voyager’s instruments had failed by that point, Green says, New Horizons’ instruments are “very healthy” and are expected to be able to take very good measurements of the solar wind as it exits the heliosphere.

(Source)

The next thing that is going to make this year really, really sweet is the next installment of the Star Wars and one that brings back very familiar faces (we will miss Master Yoda though).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to hit the local cinemas sometime in December 2015. It is set 30 years after the events in the Return of the Jedi. I am huge fan of Star Wars franchise and even though I missed watching the original movies in cinema, I made sure I watched them again when George Lucas released them again – the special edition ones. I lost count the number of times I watched the first Star Wars movie – probably more than 50 times over the years. And I have done the same for all installment of Star Wars movies todate. It is going to be the same coming December.

And finally, the discovery of Earth 2.0

earth 20 large

(Image source: NASA)

With more discoveries that we expect to make in the near future and planned man journey to Mars, we are going to have very interesting time sending spacecrafts and understanding of the universe.

Scientists on the hunt for extraterrestrial life have discovered “the closest twin to Earth” outside the solar system, NASA announced on Thursday.

Working off four years’ worth of data from the Kepler space telescope, researchers from NASA, the Seti Institute and several universities announced the new exoplanet along with 12 possible “habitable” other exoplanets and 500 new candidates in total. The new planet, named Kepler 452b, is “the closest twin to Earth, or the Earth 2.0 that we’ve found so far in the dataset”, said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for Nasa’s mission directorate.

The research suggests 452b has five times the mass of Earth, is about 1.5bn years older, and has a gravity about twice as powerful as our own. About 1,400 light years away, Kepler 452b orbits a star similar to our sun, and at about the same distances as Earth orbits the sun, meaning it has a similar length year and exists in the “habitable zone” where liquid water can exist on a planet.

(Source)

I too have been traveling lately but I did not miss catching up on the latest on the scandal involving Najib & his wife (yes, the one who admitted that the account that had RM2 million belonged to her). Some politicians are claiming that it is nothing but attempts to bring down a democratically elected government. But seriously think about all the nonsense that the current government have done when it comes to management of taxpayers money and you will seriously doubt it’s innocence.

To be frank, there have been too many smoking guns – from Sarawak Report, the Edge, WSJ, opposition politicians and even from the Task Force themselves and one cannot simply ignore it. After all, despite of all the very damaging expose, Najib or his wife have yet to bring any civil suit against Sarawak Report, the Edge or WSJ. The request for information on the WSJ was rebuked by WSJ by asking the lawyer acting for Najib to go and read themselves the articles which they say is “self explanatory”. One only have to say “ouchhh!!”. There was plenty of psychological warfare at both ends and to some extent it did create plenty of confusion. There were even 2 bankruptees in the picture.

However, the fact that Najib & Rosmah neither denied that the accounts belonged to them or took swift legal actions, this seemed to imply that the allegations may not just be allegations. One just hopes that the investigators are hard at work to bring to bring out the truth. After all, no one is above the law.

And the latest expose came from The Edge and the media statement from the publishers of the The Edge nails the aspiration of the people who are tired with the rampant daylight robbery and abuse of taxpayers money & trust. Read the main report here

And for those people who like to use the Non Malays (especially the Chinese) as the bogeyman for all things wrong in this country, you need to re-read the media statement again and again to know that it does not matter if you are a Malay, Chinese, Indian or others, we are all in the same boat and in the same situation. We can close one eye to it and wait for it to come back and bite us on the back or take proactive action and this includes reading and getting all information in place and when the time comes to pick the right people, make your vote count for the right reasons.

And as expected, the reaction from the Government was lame and predictable. A number of people who had reported and questioned on the dealing have been barred from leaving the country and possibly under investigations themselves, possibly for conspiring to topple a democratically elected government under section 124 of the Penal Code. And The Edge now faces 3 months suspension for reporting on the 1MDB:-

A letter from KDN stated that the two publications’ reporting of 1MDB were “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest”.

Failure to stop publication for three months will result in the withdrawal of the publishing permits, the KDN letter said. The Edge Media Group publisher and chief executive officer Ho Kay Tat expressed disappointment with KDN’s decision.

“We don’t see how exposing the scam to cheat the people of Malaysia of billions of ringgit can be construed as being detrimental to public and national interest,” said Ho. “This is nothing more than a move to shut us down in order to shut us up.”

(Source)

One have to wonder how one topples a democratically elected government or prejudicial to public order & security to by exposing what went wrong and who did wrong. Which is of the two the bigger evil – this needs to be answered.

And that reminded me of the movie “Sivaji The Boss” which I saw back in 2007 and saw again last week on my flight back. The opening scene is the hero is led to the prison by the police and with the face hidden and amidst huge protest from the public and anger from corrupt politicians & businessmen. In the prison cell, the man in the next cell asks why the hero is in the prison. He ask if the hero had murdered anyone or whether he had cheated the public or whether he had taken sex movies and released them in the internet. The hero will say no to all three suggestion. The man then ask why he is in prison then. The hero will say that he had try to do good for the public. The man then says that the hero deserves to be in prison.

We are going through the same predicament and one just hopes that Malaysians have a clear mind on what need to be done for the country and clean up the system from down to top and not be influenced or involved in cheap politics by people with wrong agenda and purpose. One case stupidity in play was the recent riot at Low Yat. It had nothing to do with race but a small incident of crime unfortunately turned into a major fiasco.

We already missed to boat for a developed nation by the year 2020. It probably will take another 50 years to make this dream to come true.

We already placed the wrong priorities on learning Mathematics and Science by not teaching them in English

We already thinking very little on national unity and the riot at Low Yat simply enforces that notion that people in this country remains divided on petty things

We already ranked up one of the biggest financial scandals in the country’s history and yet no one had resigned or made accountable (despite arrests and travel bans)

This country and its people deserves something much better than the sickening and cheap politics and scandals after scandals. We as humans are making good ways in science and space and this year alone, we had made big leaps in this area. But unfortunately we had hardly moved from our narrow minds in this country. There is a rule of law in this country and adherence to good governance and uploading of fair treatments for all. We may have lost out in picking the right people to administer this country in the last general elections but it should not stop us from making the right decisions in the next one. The country’s good name have taken a good beating in the last 2 years and it has seen it’s share of tragedy which included lost of 2 planes. It’s time to make things right and put things in order.

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Sarawak Report Expose on 1MDB


1mdb-01

(A 42 billion time bomb that had already exploded on everyone’s face but a lot of people in this country are not aware of the blast – no thanks to a sneaky fat guy and a clueless PM. Until today, I am lost why they put billions of taxpayers money in Cayman Island unless it is meant for some shady deal. Infographic source: http://poskod.my/cheat-sheets/10-things-know-1mdb/)

In a country where the police chief can take action based on tweets and Facebook postings, there is only eerie silence by the police, MACC, Bank Negara and the pro-Government politicians on the largest scandal expose by Sarawak Report on the 1MDB

And if you have missed the story, the crux of the expose has been this:-

Together with London’s Sunday Times newspaper, Sarawak Report has completed an in-depth investigation into the trail of the missing billions at the heart of Malaysia’s 1MDB (One Malaysia Development Berhad) financial scandal.

We have obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to transactions by 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

What the documents establish is that, in spite of copious official denials, the entire joint venture project was conceived, managed and driven through by the Prime Minister’s associate and family friend the party-loving billionaire tycoon, Jho Low.

The documents also prove that the USD$700 million so-called “loan” that was supposedly repaid to PetroSaudi as part of the joint venture agreement, was in fact directed into the Swiss bank account of a company called Good Star, which is controlled by Jho Low.

That money was then partly used to buy out Taib Mahmud’s UBG bank in Sarawak at a very advantageous price for the chief minister and his family, who had been failing to get a deal on the open market.

PetroSaudi had agreed to act as “a front” for Jho Low on such deals, according to the documents, and it was a subsidiary of PetroSaudi International registered in the Seychelles, which bought UBG, using money siphoned from 1MDB.

(Source)

USD700 million of taxpayers went to someone’s personal pockets and 1MDB continues to bleed. And it did not stop there. Then almost on the same day, The Edge had this story on 1MDB:-

From 2009 to 2014, 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) initial US$1 billion was shuffled and swapped around, in an apparent bid to avoid scrutiny by its string of external auditors, The Edge Malaysia reported.

In its March 2-8 issue, the business weekly provides a timeline of how the government-owned strategic investment fund disguised the money trail of its initial US$1 billion for five years, raising the question of whether 1MDB is as profitable as it claims to be, or is merely rich on paper

By August 1, the money in the Caymans had grown to US$2.33 billion, and in November and December, 1MDB announced it had redeemed the entire amount.

However, instead of repatriating the money home, 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the December redemption of US$1.11 billion would be kept offshore as a currency hedge, while the first redemption would be “substantially utilised” for a separate settlement agreement on a different project.

“What can be surmised from the events of the last five years is that 1MDB kept entering into deftly structured transactions timed to avoid vigorous scrutiny by its external auditors about the money,” The Edge said.

(Source)

Whether it was a case of sheer recklessness or blatant corruption and fraud or simply a case of bad business decision, one thing that is clear – the allegations and evidence that has been presented by Sarawak Report cannot be taken lightly. There is overwhelming notion of fraud, corruption and mismanagement of public funds written all over it.

And already search for scapegoats have started:-

It appears that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has begun the process of trying to wash PM Najib’s hands clean of what may turn out to be the biggest political and financial scandal in recent Malaysian history, according to analyst Shahbudin Husin.

Tied to that process may be a search for a scapegoat, he writes in a blog entry that indicates his belief that the 1MDB controversy is close to reaching a climax.

(Source)

Given the kind of damage that has made by Sarawak Report’s expose, it is apparent that Najib and his Government cannot remain silent. The more they remained silent, the more crystallize the allegations will be. And finally, probably given the pressure within his Government and outside, the PM has now directed the Auditor-General to vet the 1MDB’s accounts. He even goes on to say something interesting (and probably a concept that is rather alien in this country) – “If any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception”.

Let’s talk on Auditor-General’s reporting in the past. How effective it has been to 1. curtail and avoid similar incidents of wastage & abuse in future and 2. in booking the culprits of wastage and abuses? Since the PM is asking the AG to check 1MDB’s account, we also want to know if the Government would be serious in taking actions if there are some findings by the AG?

Back in 2014, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam wrote this:-

Unfortunately these management weaknesses and the consequent wastage of public funds continue to stubbornly persist. This is happening despite the Auditor General’s previous exhortations, to improve our standards of good governance.

In this first installment of the Report for 2013, it appears that 283 spending related issues were raised as for the first 4 months, which is well over the 256 spending issues raised by the AG, for the whole of 2012!

This trend is alarming and must be dealt with very seriously!

The Auditor General has to his credit now made 109 new recommendations for improvement in financial management. But the rakyat will ask what will be done with them? Will these recommendations be ignored and will mismanagement and financial wastage continue regardless?

Hence should not the PAC recommend tougher action and even name and shame these recalcitrant Ministries which are responsible for the loss of hard earned public funds?

(Source)

Transparency International Malaysia in 2013 said “It will also make a mockery of the Government, when the Auditor-General’s reports are not being taken seriously after it has identified the shortcomings within the administration” (Source)

And Tony Pua from Pakatan echoes the same:-

“While welcoming the investigation on 1MDB’s financials, Pua said the report should also include, but not be limited to the following:

• Auditing and identifying the redemption trail of the investments in Cayman Islands and the whereabout of its proceeds;

• Auditing and identifying the exact investment holding, true value and whereabouts of RM13.39 billion of “Level 3 Assets” identified in the March 2014 Financial Report;

• Confirming if 1MDB had attempted to borrow RM2 billion from local tycoon Ananda Krishnan to repay its debt and determine 1MDB’s cashflow shortage to meet its RM42 billion debt obligations as well as contract commitments which is likely to require a government bailout;

• Confirming if all historical emails in the 1MDB mail server were “wiped out” in December last year, as claimed by the Sarawak Report.

Pua said the Auditor-General should also conduct a forensic audit of 1MDB with the assistance of professional forensic auditors “to uncover any financial shenanigans in the company particularly in the light of (the) expose by the Sarawak Report and the mind-boggling PetroSaudi transactions from 2009 to 2012” and explained the same had been done in the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal in 2009.

(Source)

And thanks to the good people in Sarawak report, things have started to pick up pace despite it is not a new issue and the troubled 1MDB & the dubious way of handling the matter by people linked with 1MDB has been in the mainstream news for some time now.

And with the expose, the calls for accountability and transparency have not been louder, clearer and more direct to Najib:-

He notes that there have been reports that 1MDB will be wound up. “Oh, my God! For six years we’ve been told that everything was safe and fine. And now, suddenly, there’ll be a winding up?”

But Ariff says he figures it’ll take months before the Auditor-General can complete his task because of the mountains of documents involved. “What’s worse, much computer data have been destroyed.”

He notes that another Umno leader has alleged that there’s a political conspiracy behind the attacks on 1MDB and he discloses that the allegation came even as he was writing his article.

“If it were true that there’s a political agenda, it would be justifiable because the objective would be to expose a government that has made it possible for abuse and corruption to happen, in fact given a licence for them to happen.”

“In all these six years, it’s not public funds that the government has been protecting, but thieves and robbers.”

(Source)

Now there are talks of dismantling 1MDB and dissolve it thereafter. It may depends on the outcome of the AG report. The question is whether we will be calling the fat guy in for questioning and squeeze the truth from him on the shady USD700 million transfer? And since the PM is also the Finance Minister and this owns 1MDB, accountability and thereafter his resignation if wrongdoings are proven? Sarawak Report claims that all historical emails have been wiped out – so what is left to investigate if more evidence have been tampered with?

We do not want another PKFZ fiasco where the biggest losers at the end of the day is the taxpayers.

When We Look the Other Way…


cctv

(The CCTV grab above, which shows a toddler being led by a man out of Kota Raya Komplex, could possibly be the last moment Siti Soffea Emelda was seen alive. The image was taken by police from the shopping centre located in Puduraya on the day Soffea was abducted by the man and hours later found dead with her head severed on the bank of Klang River. Image source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/)

When I am abroad on work assignment, things are pretty much of a routine – wake up early in the morning, take a couple slices of bread to fill the stomach for the morning rush (until it is time for lunch), take the cab to work place and work until night, came back to the apartment dead tired with just enough energy to take shower, a bit of food as dinner and perhaps putting the dirty clothes into the washing machine and go to sleep. I hardy have time to blog even when the Big Boss celebrated his birthday couple days ago and I only managed to wish him through the phone.

Then I read this and I was speechless and got very, very angry:-

A CCTV footage purportedly showing two-year-old Siti Soffea Emelda Abdullah being abducted at the Kota Raya shopping complex has gone viral.

In the video, the suspect was seen trying to lure her away. The CCTV footage in the complex later showed the man walking away with Siti Soffea. The man was said to have abducted and beheaded the toddler with a ceramic tile on Thursday before jumping into the river in an attempt to escape.

Police found the body of the man in the Klang River near Jalan Tun Sambanthan, bringing a closure to the case. The body was found floating in the river near Bandar Sunway here on Saturday. A police source said that witnesses of the incident had already identified the suspect through photos and police are studying the CCTV footage.
Police believed the suspect, who was in his late 30s, was released from prison recently and had previous criminal records, mostly drug-related.

The source said the man had worked as a parking attendant near the Kota Raya shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur where the girl was abducted. Siti Soffea was with her mother Siti Salmy Suib, 32, who left the toddler with her friends as she needed to use the toilet on the fourth floor of the complex at about 3pm on Thursday. When she came back about five minutes later, Siti Soffea was not with her friends.

They searched the building but could not find her. Siti Salmy only learnt of what had happened to her daughter when police tracked her down and alerted her later that night.

(Source)

A young kid abducted in day broad light and no one took notice of it until it was way too late. I do not know how filthy this society had come to be – from being the usual “tak apa” attitude to murderous monsters who prey on little innocent children. When this will even stop? In this case, the mother alone cannot be faulted for losing her kid. What happened to her friends who were entrusted to keep an eye on the kid when the mother had to use the bathroom? High on drugs? What happened to the security guard who saw the young girl forcibly pulled by the stranger but opted to do nothing? It is not part of his job scope? Has human life had become that cheap for everyone when they could have done something and opted to do nothing?

As a father to 2 young kids, I am very angry with this whole tragedy. We have been losing kids (some like the Sathiskumar who went missing into thin air or William Yau who got down from the car and later found to be dead) on a regular basis. And no matter who we try to lay our blame on others – the parents (there are super sized morons who do not deserve to have any kids), the suspects (a big surprise on how the long arm of the law does not do much to keep them away from society), the society (who usually chooses to look the other way until it is too late – the famed tak apa attitude) and even the Government (who have plenty of time talking cock when it comes to dirty politics but have not demonstrated a sense of some intelligence in protecting the society), at the end of the day, it is the young innocent children that get the raw deal.

Let’s admit that everyone of us is guilty in one way or another to this tragedy (forget about the Home Minster coming to the rescue – the past few interviews and statements made by him simply reinforces the notion that we all have been dumb enough to continue to allow certain morons to hold public office and these morons have no shame whatsoever demonstrating their lack of good judgement & intelligence on what matters more when it comes to good governance). As a Home Minister, he should stay at home and save a lot of trouble and embarrassment to the country.

What I am afraid of is that we have too many of these tragedies of having missing and dead children and one day, we may find ourselves waking up and deciding that missing or dead children is a norm in this country. Can we stop this nonsense right here, right now  before that happens?

Crime, Crime, Crime


I will be on a long hiatus from next week onwards – I will be away on a “mission” and internet connection may be almost non-existence. Besides, I intend to use whatever little free time I have on finishing on a very thick book that I had put away since last year (it was just too thick for me to start and I always opt for a thinner one) and of course catching on sleep (the new Boss is back to be very active at night). Hopefully when I come back, the police had score the big one by nabbing a good number of hired killers and sent them to the gallows for cold blood murders.

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(The biggest headache for the nation at the moment – we have multiple shooting and hired killers on the loose. The next question is whether it is just a tip of the iceberg in the wave of crime confronting the country. Image source: http://www.straitstimes.com)

In the meantime and while the Government seems to be at lost over almost 23 incidents of shooting over the last 2 months and only now they want to stand-up and “wear their pants” on beefing up the police force (shouldn’t they done that eons ago?) and tighten the preventive laws, as a parent myself, I think we should not also miss the focus of stopping crime at the start and ensure there is no rise of young offenders who in turn end up becoming the filth of the filth in the country. With that, go ahead and read this:-

The father of a 14-year-old boy who was found murdered near some bushes in Taman Mewah, Kamunting, suspects that his son may have been killed due to a misunderstanding. Supervisor A. Manimaran, 46, claimed his son M. Nathaniel was involved in a minor accident with a group of youths a week ago. “My son, who was riding my motorcycle, had been involved in a minor accident with another motorcyclist. There could have been some misunderstanding from there.

(Source)

Lost in translation is the question how could the 14-years old be riding around in a motorcycle when the minimum age to ride a motorcycle in this country is 16 years old and that too with a valid license. It’s obvious that no only the deceased was under-aged to ride a motorcycle; he was also riding around without a valid license. I won’t be surprised if the deceased was not wearing a helmet at the time too. And such problem is nothing new in many housing areas in the country where we have under-aged riders riding around unsupervised and without license (the usual “tak apa” attitude). It is quite understandable if we don’t have the police rushing into the housing area to round these youngsters up for riding around without license or helmet – these cases very likely to be rated the lowest in the police’s list of priorities when it comes to fighting crime (seriously they have a bigger issue at hand and that includes the alleged involvement of the police with the criminal underworld). It is quite understandable too as some of these youngsters are also our neighbour kids and we know them from small and thus not keen to chase them with a baseball bat to stop them (whacking snatch thieves to a pulp on the other hand is another ball game all together).

It does not matter if there were some misunderstanding or there were other idiots in the picture – the end of the story is tragic – someone’s young son is dead. Thus it is indeed important to relook at this nuisance (and breaking of the law) from the aspect of parenting and how some parents could be dumb enough to be allowing these youngsters to ride around without any license and helmet (let’s leave the impact of the education system on the young minds for now – there have been too many flip-flops on the education blueprint on the simplest thing like language to use for Science and Mathematics). Of course, some takes the notion of dumbness to a whole new level by allowing the young “abang” to take the infant “adik” (both of course riding around without wearing any helmet) for ride around the housing area and without any supervision. One cannot blame the kids to riding around without helmets and license – the fact that the parents themselves allow the kids to ride a motorcycle (intentionally or unintentionally) means that the kids could do anything. And without a good parenting and a good sense of discipline and education, some of kids have been spoilt to the core and became a bigger nuisance to others.

And when some of these harmless law breakers started to venture to something more sinister for cheap kicks and quick money, you will have this in the papers:-

The police have arrested two men believed to be involved in the snatch theft and attack on Dr Delaila Ahmad, in her 50s, in Subang Jaya on Tuesday. Selangor acting police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan said the suspects aged 20 and 22 years old respectively were arrested at about 6am today in SS17, Subang Jaya. “They were arrested based on information from the public and family members of one of the suspects,” he told reporters at Subang Jaya district police headquarters today.

The police are still investigating the case and the victim is still being being treated at the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya. Delaila, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, was attacked by parang-wielding men as she was leaving her polyclinic in Jalan SS 19/6, Subang Jaya at 1.20am on Tuesday.

(Source)

They are barely into their twenties and yet they are brave enough to rob a doctor with parang and slash her fingers without any hesitations. And despite their young age and some argument for reforms instead of punishment, the rest of us (I am very certain) would be praying that they would be locked away behind bars for the rest of their life (although unfortunately Section 326 of the Penal Code only carries a maximum imprisonment for 20 years). We do not need selfish & dangerous youngsters like these in our society and making it a living hell for the rest of us. It is just too bad that the Government had not thought of making armed snatch-theft (or any crime that causes injuries to others for argument sake) punishable with mandatory death by hanging. Do that (and of course couple that with good enforcement of the law & prosecution) and you will see how fast the serious crime statistics drops.

Back in 2011, this was reported:-

“The rate of crimes committed by youths has increased over the past two years although the overall crime index in the country has decreased,” he said after launching the “6 in 1” Crime Prevention and Healthy Living Community Service Project at Seri Petaling here. He said according to police statistics, students’ involvement in crimes had increased from 1,409 in 2009 to 1,947 in 2010, causing the crime index involving youths to increase by 38%. “As for non-students, the crime cases have increased from 2,245 in 2009 to 3,218 in 2010, marking an increase of 43.3%.

“Youths are increasingly involved in violent and property crimes like physical aggression, rape cases, snatch thefts and robberies,” he said. He reminded parents to make time for their children even if they were busy working.

(Source)

And in 2012, something similar was echoed:-

Students from Form One to Form Three have been identified as the biggest contributors to juvenile crime, according to a research by the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MPCF). The agency said there was a three-fold increase in crimes committed by students aged between 13 and 15 compared with other age groups. Its national vice-chairman, Datuk Kamarudin Ali, said many students in lower secondary level had fallen from grace upon reaching adolescence, partly due to unsupervised Internet use such as social networking sites, especially Facebook.

(Source)

If one argues that it is a case poverty and lack of education & opportunities had led these youngsters into committing serious crime, then think again. There are thousand others who are in the same predicament but have held their heads up the water and turned around things for them and their family (still remember the girl who passed her exams by studying under public street light?). It’s sad that some parents simply don’t give a damn when it comes to looking into what their kid do and say and when the situation requires for it, discipline and educate them. I call my son “The Boss” but if he does something wrong (and it rarely happens), he knows what’s coming from me and my wife – punishment old school (I am sure many of us would recall how our parents and some of our teachers used to whack us with a thick cane for the smallest mistakes we did when we were small).

When it comes to parenting, one aspect of making sure that the kids do and say the right thing is by setting a good example – if some adults themselves are riding around the housing area without any helmets (and acting like primates on the road), then how one can expect their kids to be wearing one. In the case of 20 years old snatch thief – at least the parents did set a fine example to other (parents) – if your kid is in fault and you know that he is in fault, do the right thing and turn them in to the police for due process. Yes, it is hard for any parents to see their kids behind bars but if they had tried their best to discipline the kids and failed for one reason or another, they have no other choice.

Good discipline and setting good examples at the end of the day must be coupled with good education and high morality. There must be a constant preaching of “do the right things” and “do what’s fair” to our kids to ensure that they are often reminded on what is wrong and what is right. Yes, “doing what’s right and fair” may be something very subjective but most parents just have to put a bit of the thinking cap and a good dose of reasonableness and fairness (simply do to others on what you expect others to do to you and you are on safe grounds). If we do that effectively, we will not have delusional 20 year-olds walking around with parang and cutting off people’s fingers for quick cash.

Have a good weekend and in case I could not get “online”, happy holidays and Selamat Hari Raya…

Becoming Latin America Gangland


5-worlds-dangerous-cities_50291183e183c_w587

(Business Insider last year reported that 20 out of the top 50 dangerous cities lies in Latin America and that itself speaks for the level of criminals from that region. If left unchecked and the severity of the issue is taken for granted, this country will be overrun by them and Malaysia would end up as one of the dangerous places to be in – although this website already claim it to be. Image source: http://visual.ly)

Read these first:-

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have identified the gangs involved in the recent string of ATM break-ins here – and one of them is said to be a group of Latin Americans. City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah said police had identified more than three groups as being involved in cases reported in Kuala Lumpur so far this year. “We know how many gangs are involved but none has been arrested yet,” he said at the city police headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah yesterday. “Some of the gangs are also involved in house break-ins.”

SAC Ku said police had identified two different modus operandi for the gangs. “One group would attempt to pull the machine using chains fastened to a truck. The other modus operandi is cutting through the machines using oxy-acetylene torches,” he added. On July 6, robbers failed to break into a cash deposit machine at a bank in Jalan Chow Kit here – the fourth such case in the Klang Valley in just four days. Three ATMs were hit on the same day in Cheras, Puchong and Kepong on July 3.

(Source)

And

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is being “promoted” as a choice destination for Latin Americans but for sinister reasons. Criminals who came here from the Latin America regions where Spanish and Portuguese are primarily spoken are said to be returning home to spread the word that breaking into Malaysian homes is easy. “They go back and tell their friends that there is easy money in Malaysia,” city CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah said at a press conference yesterday.

He said the criminals entered the country with forged documents and conveniently “lost” them later. “When arrested, they say they have no documents and clamp up on the pretext of not knowing English. We have to get the help of a translator to question them.” SAC Ku said last week, the city police nabbed four Latin Americans, believed to be from Colombia, in connection with several house break-ins in the capital. The four men, aged between 19 and 28, were arrested at a condominium in Taman Desa following a tip-off from residents on Oct 19. Police recovered laptops, cameras, branded handbags, watches and four fake firearms. SAC Ku said the police were on the lookout for other gang members who are still at large.

(Source)

And

The police are tracing a Latin American woman suspected of being involved in a robbery attempt in which two of her countrymen were detained at Jalan Ampang, last Friday. Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said the woman, in her 30s, was wanted in connection with an attempt to rob a man who had just withdrawn RM30,000 from a bank about 3.30pm on June 14.

“The victim had been approached by two men in an Alphard multi-purpose vehicle on the pretext of helping him with a flat tyre. They then tried to grab his bag containing the cash. “The suspects were nabbed by a police patrol team which happened to be at the scene. But the woman, who was driving the Alphard, sped off when she saw her friends being caught,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

(Source)

And

Latin Americans appear to have taken over from Nigerians as the biggest foreign scammers in Malaysia. Besides theft and robbery, they are also becoming notorious for cheating people through trickery and impersonation. They are usually dressed smartly and move around in groups of more than three in flashy rented cars. Kuala Lumpur police CID chief SAC Datuk Ku Chin Wah said today that police were unable to ascertain which countries they are from as they are believed to carry fake passports.

He said they were behind the cases of automated teller machine thefts and several high-profile crimes such as the theft of medical endoscopy equipment worth more than RM4.5 million that was stolen from the University Malaya Medical Centre and two private hospitals here and in Kajang in June last year. “We are questioning them to find out more about their shady activities here. But often there is a language barrier as these foreigners claim they do not speak English.”

(Source)

Before anyone can claim that this blog is “unfairly prejudice” against foreign criminals, let’s state the obvious fact – Malaysians (from all races and not limited to a few Indian youths) still top the list when it comes to committing crime in this country. And it has been a never-ending cat & mouse game between the authorities and these criminals (sometimes we do score the big one). It remains a big headache for the country and hopefully the new laws replacing the repealed Emergency Ordinance (some claimed had caused some 2,000 EO detainees to go scot-free) will be used effectively to curtail the criminals and their criminal activities. And whilst there is no doubt that the bulk of the blame on the rising crime falls on the locals, we cannot eliminate foreign criminals and law-breakers from the equation:-

Almost five in every 10 prisoners in Malaysian prisons are foreigners. And statistics by the Prisons Department reveal that there was a 14 percent increase in the number of foreign inmates between 2006 and 2009. According to statistics by the Malaysian Prison Department, about 52 percent of prisoners in the country are foreigners. The highest was recorded in 2007 where 82,987 prisoners were foreigners as compared to 66, 272 locals.

(Source)

And

Foreigners are responsible for 30 per cent of index crime in Sabah, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants heard today amid a perceived spike in criminal offences. Sabah police chief Datuk Hamza Taib testified today that foreigners committed 15 per cent of index crimes against locals ― including violent crimes like murder, rape, robberies and theft ― and another 15 per cent against other foreigners.

(Source)

Well, it used to be the Indonesians (they still do but now we have also terrorists in the hit list), Bangladeshi (has some of them mysteriously ended up as Malaysian now?), Pakistanis (put some of them in the same line with Afghanis waling about in “pyjamas” – I wonder what they are doing here with very little skills, money and purpose), Nigerians “students” (somehow they had gone low profile after tighten of student visa procedures and crackdown by the authorities or had they?), Iranians (they still ruling the drug cartel in the country right?), Indians (same case with the Bangladeshi but once in a while they pop their head in the drug trafficking landscape) and to some small extent the Chinese and Taiwanese when it comes to scam, crime and social disorders and now Latin Americans have join the band-wagon and in a big way too.

Malaysia (aka Truly Asia) is very attractive to all foreigners who want to sample fine accommodations, travel, food, shopping, business, education and employment in this side of the world and at times we are willing to go that extra mile to compete with other tourists spots in region (namely Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia) for the same group of tourists. Unfortunately it also had attracted a good deal of the filth from Latin America. Perhaps we should start with the very basic question – what it makes Malaysia attractive to these Latin America criminals (taking queue from the KL CID chief statement that “Malaysia is being promoted as a choice destination for Latin Americans but for sinister reasons”).

Is it because there is a lack of care and enforcement at the various entries points to a point where even a green slimy Martian can slip in without any blink from the authorities? I don’t think so – after all the authorities did a splendid job banning PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar from entering Sabah back in May 2013 (and that Australian MP too) – all in the name of security of course. Or is it because it is simply easier to commit crime in Malaysia and get away with it? The police force is evidentially stretched to its limits and it is unfortunate they cannot be at all places at the same time. And the fact that peace loving Malaysians are not living in fortresses manned by heavily armed guards makes it easier for these criminals to break into houses. Whatever the reason may be, it is clear that Malaysia have ended up as a beacon for these criminals – what we are going to do about it?

To be fair, I am sure the good people from the Immigration and the Police have been doing their job well enough to stop these criminals at track. Otherwise we would have been another Latin America country where criminal gang related shooting (we are coming to this already), drugs & human trafficking, violent robberies and kidnappings would have been a daily affair. Yes, we are hunting these criminals down but it is more of a reactive action than a proactive one. It is clear that we are not doing enough – we still having missing ATM machines and all fingers are pointing back to the Latin Americans.

There are still loopholes in the system we have not patched and thus foreign criminals are still able to slip in. We have yet to ban some people from some countries and only allowing them into the country only if they have a very strong credentials and very good reasons to be in the country (buggers wanting to learn English is NOT one of them!). With biometrics in place, why we are still having problems with forged documents – it is not easy to forge finger prints when it is done in front of the immigration officers. After all these criminals may have forged documents & false identities but the system would be intelligent enough to detect the same idiots if they are trying slip-in with another name and from another entry point. Are we giving these criminals the kid glove treatment just because they are foreigners (a case of misplaced inferiority where we think the foreigners are one notch better than the locals)?

But investigating, arresting and punishing the criminals is just one part of the action to stop the criminals in their tracks. Another starts at the very entrance point to the country. Officials who let these criminals in through corruption or recklessness should be flushed out and punished. A better system should be put in place to detect forged documents – biometrics coupled with the good wealth of databases from the various law enforcement agencies should be utilized to ensure no one enters the country with forged documents and identities and if they try to do so, they should be held up immediately for suspicion of committing crimes in the country. Repeated criminals should be charged with terrorism and any locals who help them with high treason.

As I have mentioned before, we can never tolerate anyone who come to this country and abuse the entry privileges, take our hospitality for granted, use this country as transit point for all kind of illegal activities, rob & cheat Malaysians at the same time and gain millions of ringgit from their illegal activities whilst continuing to show their middle finger to the law of the country. News should travel back to Latin America countries with the strongest message that Malaysia is a tough place for any criminals and it is not easy to get away with any crimes and where for more serious ones, mandatory death by hanging awaits them.

What will take for the Government to come down hard on these foreigners? The fact that Malaysia is being promoted as a place to commit crime and one website already mentioned the country in its top list for dangerous cities should have irked all Malaysians, the authorities and the Government into action. It is not good for the country in the long run. Yes, it is a fact that we cannot fix all problems overnight – we cannot do away with act of crime so soon but we should be chipping away on the actions to be taken to curtail them. At the end of the day, crime will still happen but one where the criminal cannot get away so easily and once caught and punished to an extent that they will fear to commit any crime.

P.s. And on the notion of the Latin America criminals claiming that they do not speak English (reminds me of another case of “me speak no English“) and thus making it difficult for the police to further investigate, here’s something the police could do – take a piece of rod iron, throw it into the fire and once it is burning hot red, shove it into darkest side of their body and see how they scream in perfect English!

Criminals Not Fear of the Law?


(Sorry for missing out on a post last week – something cropped up and I have moved to the dark side of Android. More of this coming up soon)

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(This may look funny but it is hardly a laughing matter, especially when it is not safe to venture out these days. Psst, the whole ATM machines still get “screwed” to this day. Image source: http://www.flickriver.com)

Well, it was not a big surprise:-

Criminals have no fear of the police and are even daring enough these days to rob during dinners, weddings and funerals. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who is Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman, said the criminals believe they won’t get caught due to poor law enforcement. “I feel we have lagged in terms of law enforcement that strikes fear in the hearts of the criminals,” he said.

(Source)

And

A survey by the International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM) Communication department has shown that crime is the number one concern among Malaysians. IIUM lecturer Prof Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid said the results of the nationwide study, conducted between April 6 and 14, showed that crime had surpassed economic woes as the main worry. One out of every three adult respondents said crime had become a national problem.

(Source)

And

M. Danaletchumi pleaded with the robbers and told them her family was poor before she felt the sharp pain on her head and saw blood gushing out from her thumb. A robber had hit the 50-year-old with the handle of a parang and cut her thumb when told there was not much money in the house.

(Source)

Criminals striking fear in broad daylight is nothing new. Even the VVIPs are not spared (if you recall this)

Some weeks ago, I badly needed a good haircut but I had been putting away the visit to my favourite barber until last week. When I finally had the time, I went over to the place and found the barber’s assistant had taken leave and there were about 4 customers waiting for their turn. The barber busy with one of the customer, looked at me when I walked in and asked if I could come back later – there were too many customer at moment and he soon need to take his break. So I went back, took a quick nap and a couple hours later, I came back, hoping that there would be fewer customers by now.

As I parked my car right in front of the barber shop, I noticed a group of young motorcyclists looking at me rather suspiciously. Although I saw them and be more alert than usual, I “ignored” them as I walked into the barber shop – they seemed to be minding their own business and I knew the barber rather well. I waited for my turn and kept looking out at the men outside, hoping they would not do anything “funny” to my car and when it came to my turn, I realized that I am the last customer for the day before the barber closes the shop for the day. Soon, there was no one in the barber shop other than me and the barber and I noticed the motorcyclists that I met earlier were still around in front of the barber shop, occasionally throwing their glances at the barbershop and one was standing quite close to my car.

Soon I realized there were silence (as the barber busied himself with the haircut) and somehow my “spidey senses” went all out high – I started imagining – I imagined a group of men rushing into the barber shop with parang and sticks. It would have been an easy pick for them – me with the key for the my car right outside the shop, phone and wallet with plenty of money and the barber with his collection for the day and mind you, with no other witnesses or CCTV to catch them in the act. Somehow the barber stopping and keep looking out at the group outside did not really help to improve the situation.

Then I heard someone opening the front door and I told myself – “damn, this was it! this was the end” My eyes quickly scanned on the barber’s table looking for any kind of weapon that I could use to defend myself – sharp scissors, shaving blades, hair oil, etc. But just then, the barber spoke out and said that he is closing the shop. Oh, another late customer wanting to get a hair-cut. The customer smiled and then walked out without any incident but somehow I knew it was not over until the barber had done his job (and I was safely back in my car). Then I heard the shutter door coming down – the criminals are drawing down the shutter doors so that they can rob without any interruption? Damn, again. But then it was a no, it was just the barber’s friend who had brought in some meal and kept the shutter down halfway to prevent any other customers walking in. With his friend keeping us company and the barber finishing the haircut, only then I started to feel a bit ease. The motorcyclists who I saw earlier no where to be seen and no one had touched my car.

This is reality of things these days and it started to be getting worse – nowadays it is even not safe even you have plenty of people around (as in restaurants and funerals). So when the Government comes back and keep saying that the rate of crime has been getting lower, one really need to question on its source and whether the police is placing the right priority in managing it’s limited resources. Not when we have this kind of nonsense:-

Student leader Mohd Safwan Anang has also been arrested by police. He was picked up at about 7pm from his house in Sungai Buloh and was taken to the Dang Wangi police station. It is believed that his arrest is in connection with the Black 505 rally at Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, on Saturday.

(Source)

Come on lah, which is a more serious concern to Malaysians out there? A bunch of people saying out aloud their opinion on the political issues in the country OR need to face violent criminals who struck without any fear or care on diners on broad daylight? Let’s leave the play of gutter politics to the politicians and the police left to focus on the real security issues out there – the enforcement of law and ensuring that the crime rate really goes down, not merely at statistical level but also in common citizen’s perception level.

After all, if it had come to a stage when it does not feel safe to have a simple haircut, I am not sure what else can go wrong and be worse. It’s time to make criminals to know that whatever they do, they can be caught and fear the consequences of breaking the law through effective policing and enforcement. And we cannot do that without an good increase in the force on ground, relocation of the limited resources from non essential investigations (like the one that involves opposition politicians), perhaps more CCTVs and mobile police beats in place at crime prone areas, substantial increase of punishment for armed crimes (looking at the hudud laws makes a lot of sense now) and lastly perhaps banning the pesky “kapchai” (yes, the very favourite mode of transportation for snatch thieves, menacing mat rempits, armed robbers and cold blood assassins) from the roads.

Redefining Enemy of the State


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(Still remember this ‘enemy of the state’ from Australia. Thanks to the armed intruders in Lahad Datu, Malaysian Government is made a laughing stock when they immediately arrested and deported this ‘enemy of the state’ at the entry point but missed the 200 odd intruders from Sulu and gave 23 days of grace for these intruders to claim a part of Malaysia)

Read these first:-

PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang has been charged with sedition in a Sessions Court here for making statements linking the Government to the Lahad Datu shootings.

He was charged with making the statements claiming the shootings in Lahad Datu was a planned conspiracy by Umno to divert attention and frighten the people. He also said it was a “drama” by the Government to scare the people and divert their attention in Sabah, particularly away from the RCI into the state’s immigrants issue.

Tian Chua said from the dock: “This is a political allegation. I will answer this defamation to clear my name”.

(Source)

And

In the last stretch before GE13, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dropped all pretense for a Bangsa Malaysia and has gone for the Malay vote and slammed the Opposition for listening and accommodating the views and needs of the non-Malays.

State news agency Bernama quoted the country’s longest-serving prime minister as saying that Selangor must be saved from the opposition to ensure the rights and position of the Malays and Bumiputras are maintained in the state.

Dr Mahathir said the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had taken over Selangor’s economy and now had great ambition to control politics in the state.

(Source)

And

Police have busted a Nigerian drug trafficking syndicate, using women’s shoes, to ship drugs. The ‘unique’ modus operandi is the first of its kind, catering to customers overseas but the packing of the drugs is done in Gombak, said Selangor Narcotics chief Asst Comm Nordin Kadir on Thursday.

Three Nigerian men, who are students of private colleges were detained on Tuesday, along with the seizure of more than RM380,000 worth of heroin. The syndicate has been active for six months, gaining entry to the country using student passes.

(Source)

The intrusion in Sabah in one way or another have forced us to relook into how we enforce the security of our national borders and how things have been taken for granted when it comes to foreigners in the country. It is a good thing. We cannot to keep things at status quo if we do not want another armed intrusion at our borders and our security forces suffering unnecessary causalities.

In that sense, let’s look at Tian Chua’s case. He questioned the Government’s inaction against the armed intruders and may have said 1-2 things more about this but it did not take long for a number of police reports to be made against him – some claiming that he belittled the integrity of the armed forces dealing with the intrusion in Sabah. But then again, did he intend to do so? In the initial massive confusion of the whole intrusion, I believe Tian Chua was not alone in questioning the passive action by the Government in dealing with the armed intruder for 23 days before the first shot was fired.

So much so, Mariam Mokhtar writes:-

The rakyat has every right to question our leaders for spending billions of ringgit on armaments, which appear to be overpriced and ineffective. We certainly must question our leaders when it appears that the purchase price includes a heavy commission. A sum of RM1 billion was allegedly paid to the Defence Minister who purchased the Scorpene submarines.

We have a right to criticise our leaders for neglecting the Suluk threat and waiting 23 days before taking action. We condemn our leaders for depriving us of news when family and friends live and work in the area. We condemn Najib’s tactic of locking up opposition politicians who ask questions on our behalf. When we criticise the failure of our leaders to handle the Suluk threat, we are not questioning the bravery of the security forces. A prime minister who resorts to silencing the rakyat with lies and obfuscation, does not deserve our vote.

(Source)

Can you imagine if armed men had rushed into the Petronas Twin Towers, held no hostages and claim that the building belongs to them? Would they be allowed 23 days to evacuate the building? At the most, they would have given a couple of hours before they would have been flushed out one way or another by the police commandos. Same case in Lahad Datu and given the sensitivity of the place, a longer extension of 1-2 days may have been given but certainly not up to 23 days and after final deadlines went unheeded. If you want to find faults with politicians like Tian Chua, he probably is guilty in picking the wrong choice of words and the wrong expression in addressing this concern but certainly not guilty of questioning the integrity of our armed forces. However since he has been charged in the courts, let’s wait for the trial for the final outcome.

And then we have aged politicians like Dr M who claim that a rule under the oppositions means eradication of the rights and privileges of the Malays. Apparently the state of Selangor is in “great danger” due to the accessions to the Non-Malays and must be saved at all cost. This is despite the fact that both the Malays and Non-Malays are Malaysians at the end of the day and the rights and privileges of the Malays are entrenched in the constitution. At this point, one need to wonder what this is so different with the Sulu bandits in Sabah threatening the security of the country? Why there are no barrage of police reports made then? After all, such irresponsible statements (despite coming from a retired old man) are grossly untrue and can cause unnecessary animosity between the various races in the country. Doesn’t a threat to national unity is a threat to the national security? Doesn’t this borders the same Sedition Act that Tian Chua is facing now?

We can understand and tolerate to an extent, the dirty politics and personal attacks on certain individuals or political parties – we had already expected it, from the various instances of Pakatan claiming that BN is corrupt and wasteful with tax-payers money and BN claiming undesirable needs of an Opposition Leader and some opposition politics corrupt as well. If there is proof, we highly welcome it – it will allow us to make an informed decision on who to vote for in the coming general elections. But causing hatred on the basis of Malays are loosing out to the Non-Malays just because BN is not ruling the State should not be tolerated and entertained at all. It should not be allowed to continue as well. Dr M may have done things in the past that gained some respect from Malaysians but at this point of time, he is nowhere at that level. Not when he continues to make statements that only causes disunity between Malaysians.

And whilst we seem to have defined the threat to national security in the wrong way in the past, we seem to be heading at the right direction by looking at the existence of 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah and re-looking at the tightening of the border security. It is a good start but we still have foreigners in this country and some of them determined to be a menace and threatens the good name and the security of the country. We still have Nigerians “students” caught for drug related crimes on a regular basis when we have seen and experienced the same in the past. So why we are still allowing student visas for these Nigerians and how well we did the background check and verifications before we granted them access into this country? We have South Americans doing ATM robbery jobs (I don’t think they have been caught) and Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis and others caught for drug related crimes.

We have a sizeable number of foreigners in this country and we need them for the growth of the nation. We appreciate their hard work, investment and participation but at the same time, the Government should be very mindful on who comes in and out of the country. The Lahad Datu armed intrusion could just be a rare incident and we may not see any further escalation once the on-going clean-up by our security forces ends but then again, it also happened because we took things for granted and swept the issue of foreigners in Sabah under the carpet for far too long. Malaysia is a peaceful country but we should not sit on our laurels – we need to be mindful on who are the real enemy of the state.