Malaysian education: UPSR Exam leaks, okay to cheat our kids!


UPSR leak

 

Testing times indeed!

 

The UPSR leak fiasco seems to suggest we are in a real state of crisis and we are sending out a wrong messages to our kids – it is okay to cheat!

IT’S really incredible how so many of us have reacted over the leaked examination papers of the UPSR, which is merely an assessment examination for Year Six pupils. Yes, for 12-year-old pupils who are taking their first public examination.

The UPSR, to put it bluntly, has no serious bearing on how these kids will perform in future examinations nor will it have any impact on their careers.

But I guess not many would agree with my somewhat frivolous perception of the UPSR, judging from the kind of reaction that seems to suggest we are in a real state of crisis.

Education Ministry officials have been suspended, there are allegations of sabotage, possibly even political ones, and the police have been called in.

We hope the Inspector-General of Police won’t have to personally head a task force to nab the culprits.

I am not sure whether parents are upset that the papers were leaked, which in itself is incredulous, and a resit would mean the children having to go through another round of pressure, or is it because their holiday plans are now ruined?

The sad reality is that this is a country where parents and students are obsessed with the number of distinctions that one gets in public examinations.

Nowhere in the world, except perhaps in some other East Asian countries, do examination results hit the front page of the newspapers, or lead off the prime time news on national television.

And each year, we compare results like the way public companies compare their profit margins. The pressure is always to trend upwards. So, the focus will invariably be about how many more students have the perfect string of As as compared to the year before, giving the impression that we are in the business of producing super achievers.

Although the majority of students do not belong in this category, the perception is created that super-duper results are the passport for our children to become doctors, lawyers and engineers, and nothing less.

And every year, we have the same problem where the demand for places in universities for these courses far outstrips supply simply because there are so many students with the “right grades”.

Yet, many employers and top-notch foreign universities do question whether their grades actually match their abilities, and have their own ways to sieve out the real talents.

There are suspicions that we have lowered the passing marks and compromised our standards and in the process allowed more students to get these distinctions.

Of course, there are many who truly deserve the As, but it is most unfortunate that there are also those whose As can be questioned.

Forgive me if I sound dismissive and cynical because I come from the old school where we took our first public examination at Standard Five. That was the assessment examination and most parents would not get excited over the outcome of our performance.

It was kid’s stuff and they knew there was little bearing on our future, except perhaps to be enrolled into better classes or schools at the secondary level.

But when we took the Form Three Lower Certificate of Education, which is today’s equivalent of the PMR, it was real serious. You got kicked out from school if you failed.

That’s how it worked at that time with no free ride to the Fifth Form. The LCE required compulsory passes in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mathematics.

The maximum number of As one could get was eight. If you got 5As, your name would probably show up in the newspapers.

But the standards were such that the grades truly reflected your real ability. An A in English for the LCE meant that you were speaking and writing the Queen’s English at that age already.

Today, most of our Form 3 students cannot even string a sentence together in English correctly. The fact that we are now considering including a compulsory pass in English at university level indicates that an A in that subject, whether at the UPSR, PMR or SPM level, is no longer an accurate reflection of one’s English proficiency.

After the LCE, we sat for the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) where the maximum number of As was nine. It was a time when many Malaysians found places, on scholarships, to Ivy League universities in the United States and to Oxford or Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Yes, our MCE grades were deemed equal to the internationally-acknowledged O-Levels.

Now, despite the proliferation of the super achievers, we are told that fewer Malaysians are being admitted into these top universities.

And our students now have to prove their English proficiency to handle tertiary education overseas by taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) paper.

Let’s get our priorities right. The fact that the English paper was leaked even at Year Six level suggests that students are looking for help to pass a subject which they know is important.

What a contrast from those days when we had English-medium schools and getting a pass in English was not all that difficult.

And it is not just about the students. Two years ago, it was revealed that two-thirds of the 70,000 teachers who teach English in the country failed to meet the proficiency level in English for the Cambridge Placement Test.

The findings were revealed by the then Education Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.

“When we did the initial profiling of the English teachers in Malaysia, we found that two-thirds of the teachers did not meet the proficiency level,” Dr Khair, who is now the director-general, was quoted as saying.

We really should be worried about how we can improve the standard of our education. There are many who love to score political points out of issues that affect our children’s education, including the UPSR leak fiasco.

We should start by doing a survey on how many of these politicians actually send their children to the government schools. Or are their own children not part of the system, but are instead in private or international schools, or even boarding schools overseas?

Let’s not play around with our children’s future. Year Six students shouldn’t be subjected to pressure cooker conditions in preparing for the examinations. And with this leak, we are now sending out a message that it is okay to cheat, even at this tender age.

Contributed by Wong Chun Wai on the beat The Star/Asia News Network

Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities and roles. He is now the group’s managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor.

http://www.wongchunwai.com/

On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.

Related 

Leak that lets out a deluge of concerns

Over 470000 pay price for folly of few

UPSR leak: Teacher or cheater?

The best leaders are learners


One year ago, at a youth camp, a student who had been put in charge of his group confided in me that leading his team members wasn’t going as well as he had thought it would. “I’m just not cut out to be a leader,” he said, as he related to me what he thought a leader should have, which he didn’t: humour, confidence, wisdom and courage.

My reply to him, as one still understanding the ropes of what it truly means to lead was, “all these can be learnt, if you put your heart to it”.

It is said that there are approximately 50,000 books on leadership that are published annually – and this number may well be a conservative estimate – but if there is one indication that there is no final “destination” in this journey of becoming a leader, it is the countless number of resources that teach us how to better develop our awareness and management of ourselves and others.

Leadership is a relational endeavour; one cannot claim to be a leader without being able to inspire an action or a reaction in others. And because relationships are complex, one can only lead to the extent that he or she learns.

On the surface, it is painfully obvious that learning is imperative for any human enterprise – but I’d argue that in the long run, learning qualifies you to lead more than anything else (beyond promotions, positions, placement and power).

Here are three reasons why:

1 Learning equalises the years

How often have you heard the Chinese adage (often spoken by the elderly to the young), “I eat more salt than you eat rice”?

What is it about being “older” that makes one a wiser and better decision-maker? I’m convinced that the difference is not a matter of “years”, but a matter of “experience”.

We learn from our experiences, and our past outcomes that resulted in both positive and negative actions inform us as we negotiate between present choices.

But if experiences make us wiser, how do we attain more “experience”? Is “experience” purely a byproduct of the passing years, or can we, in the words of Sir Isaac Newton, see further into the future “by standing on the shoulders of giants”?

When we capitalise on the learnings and lessons of others and apply them in our lives, we are able to short-circuit the common bind of “years equals to experience” and accelerate our growth without wasting the time others have wasted.

Great leaders often ask themselves, “How can I avoid making the same mistakes, or how can I replicate others’ successes and take them further?”

2 Learning keeps you humble

Learning and humility feed off each other. On the other hand, the antithesis of humility, which is pride, has the sinister ability to deceive anyone into believing that he or she has “arrived”, that there is no need to adapt or change further, because he or she is superior and above reproach.

In contrast, great leaders are often the most humble people who are secure in themselves and do not see the need to put others down to elevate themselves.

John F. Kennedy once said “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”.

Interestingly, most US Presidents were avid readers who invested much of their time in learning, despite their busy schedules.

It is said that Theodore Roosevelt read two books a day, while Abraham Lincoln, who had only one year of formal education, attributed his successful political career to his habit of reading.

A strong learning posture allows you to see from different perspectives, live in the experiences of others, and most importantly, empathise with other points-of-view.

It is only when a person is an avid learner that he or she is continually challenged in his or her current views, and thus able to grow in convictions. It is only when a cup is empty, that it can be filled.

Maintaining humility allows us to be intellectually curious – and curiosity always precedes discovery and creativity.

3 Learning enables you to give

Somewhere during my college years, an epiphany occurred to me: How much can I learn and grow, if I were to dedicate all my transit and waiting moments to learning something new?

In my frustration of waiting and chasing for buses to get to college, I found a treasure chest.

I had realised that an average Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley resident would spend approximately 10 to 15 hours per week travelling, either by inching through heavy traffic or waiting at bus stops and light rail transit (LRT) stations, and what a waste of time it would be if all that time was given to staring into space or letting one’s thoughts run idle.

I then made a concrete decision to listen to podcasts, audio books (when I would be driving) or to read (when I was waiting for the bus or LRT), in order to redeem that precious time.

I have since listened to over 700 hours of podcasts on topics related to public speaking, general knowledge, story-telling, leadership, faith and personal development.

My greatest learning moments are no longer in the classroom, but in my car, when I am alone and can learn something new.

During the course of the last two years, as a teacher in a high-needs school and a church leader, these moments of learning and reflection allowed me to pass on what I learnt to my students and congregation.

Those opportunities gave me great pleasure, as I was communicating to others what I had learnt and internalised for myself. I never felt “burnt out” because the stream of learning was always flowing.

Leadership may have many faces, but all leaders have the same outstretched hand of giving. And we can only give from what we have learnt. The good news is that leadership can be learnt – if we put our hearts to it.

Contributed by Abel Cheah

Abel Cheah is associate manager in the Talent Acquisition team at Teach For Malaysia. He believes that leadership is something that is nurtured and cultivated. If you are interested in listening to podcasts, he highly recommends Umano (an app that narrates articles). He believes that the best leaders are great lovers of learning. You can get in touch with him at editor@leaderonomics.com

13 years after 9/11: ISIS in Middle East, Muslim Terrorists from Malaysia and China …


US-Sept 11
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT


9/11 prompted end of US arrogance

 Was it the day which changed the world? Scholars are still pondering on the impact of the September 11 attacks on US foreign policy.

Those who consider the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 as a turning point mainly attribute the subsequent US military reaction to their trauma.

Others who disagree with this perspective employ a rather different argument. They claim that this catastrophic incident only highlighted Washington’s unilateralism, which had been already apparent during the first months of George W. Bush’s presidency and the last years of Bill Clinton’s administration.

Nonetheless, Washington’s response, and especially the war on Iraq, has changed the world indeed.

Advocates of the war in the US claimed that this military campaign was a necessary decision in the context of the international fight against terrorism and the need of a preemptive action against the usage of weapons of mass destruction by dictators.

But the result of the preventive war against Iraq has been rather dramatic. It left chaos not only in Iraq, but in the wider Middle East. The recent success and advance of the Islamic State (IS) outline that stability is a utopian dream at present.

Terrorist groups give the impression of a modern hydra which grows more heads for each one cut off. Few outside of Iraq could recognize the IS last year. But now it is widely considered as a new international threat jeopardizing security in the Middle East and defying human dignity, as in the brutal and videoed beheadings of journalists.

Instead of spreading democracy in the Middle East, the US is continuously involved in new battles and adventures. Its military victories are Pyrrhic, while the risk for the opening of new fronts in the future is high.

More importantly, the lack of clear political objectives complicates its efforts to deliver at the international level. Washington is not responsible for existing internal tensions, ethnic, religious, or political, in the Arab world, but it often incites them through its interventionism.

The image of the US in the Arab world remains problematic 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, just 10 percent of respondents in Egypt and 12 percent in Jordan hold a favorable view of Washington.

Anti-Americanism has been recently on the rise due to additional issues, such as the monitoring actions of the National Security Agency and the use of drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Pew Research Center also reveals that China is more popular than the US in the Middle East, with 49 percent of respondents holding favorable views of Beijing and just 30 percent of Washington.

We cannot tell how the map of the Middle East might have been shaped without the war on Iraq. Some Western policymakers insist that the world is safer as a result of US foreign policy in the aftermath of 9/11. Reality, however, challenges this view, and shows that the brief period of US dominance looks to be over.

A new multipolar world has been created in recent years. Washington’s failure in Iraq and the ensuing economic crisis have seriously hit its post-Cold War superiority.

In parallel with this, the rise of new countries such as China has started to alter the balance at the global level. This new environment is perhaps the most significant evolution of the post-9/11 era.

The study of international relations has to closely follow developments. Ironically, in spite of critical changes such as the relevant fall of the US and the rise of China, a basic factor remains constant. This is the success of terrorism. It was Al Qaeda 13 years ago and it is the IS now, as far as the Middle East is concerned.

The new multipolar world requires international cooperation more than ever. Arrogant foreign policy choices can no longer find a place.

By George N. Tzogopoulos Source: Global Times Published: 2014-9-10 19:23:01

The author is a research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

To Destroy ISIS in Middle East and Syria! 



From Malaysia ISA to IS – Islamic State Terrorists

ISA_IS
He lived hereMohammad Fadhlan’s family home in Kampung Bukit Kabu, Kulim. The self-proclaimed jihadist was killed during an attack by Syrian warplanes and tanks.
ISA_Terrorists

Fighting for a faraway cause: (top left) Mohd Lofti, Zainuri, Mohd Rafi, (lower left) Samad, Zid Saharani among the five former ISA detainee who had gone to Syria along with Zainan (lower right), who was recently killed.

PETALING JAYA: Five former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees are among 40 Malaysians who have joined up with the Islamic State militants in war-torn Syria where multiple factions are vying for supremacy.

The five are former Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia (KMM) members Zainuri Kamaruddin and Rafi Udin along with former Jemaah Islamiah (JI) operative Samad Shukri and Zid Saharani Mohamad Esa.

Former Kedah PAS Youth information chief Mohd Lotfi Ariffin, 45, rounded up the list.

Sources said that Zainuri, Rafi and Samad had gone to Syria on April 18 along with recently killed Jihadist Zainan Harith, also known as Abu Turob.

The latest Malaysian to be killed in the conflict was Mohammad Fadhlan Shahidi Mohammad Khir, 21, from Kedah. He was killed while fleeing an attack by Syrian government forces on Tuesday.

“Zainan was killed in an attack in Syria which left the other three severely injured. The authorities believe all the former ISA detainees are still in Syria fighting for a militant group,” a source said.

It is learnt that the five along with Zainan, were deeply influenced by extremist teachings and would often keep to themselves.

“It can be said that those who went to fight in Syria are very similar to each other. They believe that almost any means justifies the ends thus they are willing to do almost anything to justify their false jihad,” a source said.

In Malaysia, they held meetings dubbed “Usra” in random locations to avoid detection.

“These Usra included planning attacks and heists to fund the extremist movement. Their ultimate goal was to bear arms and fight in Syria,” the source said.

Surveillance by the authorities also resulted in various “Usra” locations being identified in the Klang Valley. Among the locations were Puchong, Shah Alam and Puncak Alam in Klang.

Aside from planning, the Usra was also used to invite “key” speakers, including jailed JI leader Abubakar Basyir. It is learnt that Abu Bakar gave various talks between 1998 and 2000 to further indoctrinate the followers.

Citing the example of Zainan, a former KMM member, the source explained that the 52-year-old man would distance himself from the family.

“If he did talk to his wife or other family members, it was about religious matters,” he said.

It is learnt that Zainan did not finish secondary school and joined the “tabliq” (missionary) movement soon after dropping out.

“He spent most of his time at the mosque in Taman Datuk Harun here. In 2000, while with KMM, Zainan was involved in the Hong Leong Bank heist in Petaling Jaya along with four others. They escaped with RM110,000 in cash,” the source said.

This was followed by a string of robberies, including a weapons raid on the Guar Cempedak police station and Southern Bank in Petaling Jaya.

“Zainan was finally arrested in 2001 and released from prison in 2010,” the source said.

When he left for Syria in April, Zainan did not even tell his wife about it. He just threw the car keys and said he was leaving.

“He only contacted the wife when he was in transit to Syria. They have been in constant contact via Whatsapp since – until their last communication on Aug 15,” the source said.

The source said the wife, who works in a private company, never suspected that Zainan would be involved in illegal activities, let alone extremism.

“She is used to his mysterious nature, having not told the wife when he went to Cambodia for some humanitarian work. The wife also learned not to ask any question as Zainan never brought any friends home,” the source said.

By Farik Zolkepli The Star/Asia News Network

 

Youngest jihadist is second Malaysian to be killed in Syria

ISA_Mohd Fadhlan Shahidi
Mohd Fadhlan youngest Malaysian jihadist in Syria.

PETALING JAYA: As Syrian jet fighters and tanks fired on a militant base in east Hama, Syria, in a daylight attack, the self-proclaimed jihadists, which included several Malaysian volunteers, fled in trucks and other vehicles.

Mohammad Fadhlan Shahidi Mohammad Khir, 21, from Kedah, was in one truck when he was hit by shrapnel and fell out of the speeding vehicle during the assault on Tuesday morning.

A tank was firing on the truck so the driver could not stop to enable the other passengers to pick up Mohammad Fadhlan, a fellow Malaysian jihadist Ahmad Salman Abdul Rahim revealed.

Militants in another truck managed to pull him into their vehicle shortly after but he was mortally wounded and died minutes later.

“Fadhlan died in the arms of a comrade,” Salman said.

Mohammad Fadhlan is believed to be the youngest Malaysian jihadist and is the second Malaysian to be killed in the ongoing conflict between the militants and the President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The attack also wounded two other Malaysians: former Kedah PAS Youth information chief Mohd Lotfi Ariffin, 45, and another known only as Abu Agfhan.

Mohammad Fadhlan’s mother Fatimah Md Lazim, 55, identified his body from photographs, according to a source here. His remains were buried in east Hama.

His father Mohammad Khir Ismail, 59, has not been told of his death, reports ROYCE TAN.

“We have yet to break the news to our father because he is bedridden after suffering a stroke.

We don’t think he will take the news well,” said Mohammad Fadhlan’s brother Firdaus, 27, at the family home in Kampung Bukit Kabu in Mahang Karangan, Kulim, yesterday.

Mohammad Fadhlan was the fifth among eight children in the family. He has four sisters and three brothers, aged eight to 29.

He went to Syria on May 13 via Istanbul.

“He sent our mother a text message on May 14 telling her he was going to fight in Syria. We didn’t believe it at first. We only realised he was serious when we saw his Facebook postings,” said Firdaus.

After that, Mohammad Fadhlan did not keep in touch with his family.

“We tried sending him messages on Facebook but he never replied,” Firdaus said.

The first Malaysian militant to die in Syria was Abu Turob, 52, who was killed during an attack by tanks and snipers on Aug 19.

Another militant, Pahang-born Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki, died in Iraq when he drove a military vehicle packed with explosives into a SWAT headquarters and detonated it, killing 25 soldiers in May.

Source: The Star/Asia News Network

China unlikely to step into IS fray

Washington to extend airstrikes to Syria

China is unlikely to directly join in the current stage of the US-led fight against the radical Islamic State (IS) but will provide moral support instead, analysts said Thursday, following US President Barack Obama’s call to build a broad anti-IS coalition to crush jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

In a broad escalation of the fight against the IS, which occupies large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria, Obama said in a televised speech Wednesday night that the US will extend airstrikes to Syria and expand operations in Iraq.

Obama also said he was building a broad anti-IS coalition involving Sunni-led governments in the region and Western allies.

His speech came after reports that US National Security Adviser Susan Rice requested China’s support in forming the coalition during her visit to Beijing earlier this week. The Washington Post quoted an anonymous official as saying that, “The Chinese expressed interest [at the proposal].”

On Thursday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, didn’t directly respond to the question of whether China will join the coalition, but said “China is ready to abide by the principle of mutual respect, equality and cooperation in strengthening anti-terrorist cooperation with the rest of the international community and maintaining global peace and stability.”

Dong Manyuan, a deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that he does not expect China to directly step into the fray, despite some shared interests between the US and China in combating terrorism.

Last week, Iraq’s defense ministry posted on its Facebook page photos that it said show a captured Chinese man fighting on behalf of the IS, reported the New York Times.

The Chinese government has yet to confirm the report, but various sources previously suggested that jihadists from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are fighting alongside IS fighters in Syria.

Wu Sike, China’s former special envoy to the Middle East, told a press conference in late July that around 100 jihadists from Xinjiang, most of whom are members of the separatist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement, are fighting or being trained in the Middle East.

Turmoil in Iraq, a major source of China’s oil imports, also posed a threat to Chinese businesses operating in the country.

Zhao Weiming, a professor of Middle East Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, said China may support the US in its fight against the IS, but that its support will be limited to the diplomatic level, and “it is not going to participate in any military actions against the IS.”

However, Zhao told the Global Times that support for the US fight against the IS doesn’t mean that China supports all US military actions carried out in the name of fighting terrorism.

“China opposes the US using anti-terrorism as an excuse to serve its own ends,” he said, referring to the US decision to strike Syria.

Obama Wednesday also asked Congress to authorize $500 million to train and arm “moderate” Syrian rebels outgunned by the IS and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“We hold that in the international struggle against terrorism, international law should be respected, as well as the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries concerned,” Hua told Thursday’s press briefing.

The US plan for airstrikes in Syria drew protest from Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs, who said any military action without Damascus’ permission is an act of aggression.

“China might give a tacit consent to strikes against IS targets [in Syria], but it has a bottom line – no attack on Syrian government targets or civilian facilities,” Zhang Jiadong, a professor with the Center for American Studies at Shanghai-based Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Zhang added that China will not allow the US to weaken Assad’s regime or destabilize Syria under the disguise of anti-terrorism.

China’s stated policy is consistently one of non-intervention, which has been criticized by some observers in the West.

In an August interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Obama said China has been a “free rider” for the last 30 years, referring to the crisis in Iraq.

Dong argued that US Middle East policy is the cause for turmoil in the region, and has forced some Chinese companies to pull out of the region. “The US not only failed to give Chinese companies a free ride, but actually made trouble for them.”

Zhao shared similar views, noting that China played a significant role in Iraq and Afghanistan’s reconstruction following US-led wars, and contributed to local economic development.

In the fight against the IS, Zhang noted that China can play a unique role in bridging the differences between Washington and Damascus.

US hostility toward both Assad’s regime and the IS, combined with close ties between Damascus and Baghdad, have made it very difficult for the US to carry out its policy, as its anti-terrorist efforts might be offset by the complex situation, Zhang told the Global Times.

“China should press the US to change its policy toward Damascus, and push for national rebuilding in Syria to ensure its stability and security and weaken the foundation of the IS,” he said.

By Yang Jingjie Source: Global Times Published: 2014-9-12 0:53:01

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China cutting edge technologies: Naval Missile Defense Unveiled, Hypersonic Surpasses US


  • China's hypersonic Missile Veh1

    China’s defensive missile technology makes strides

  • China’s defensive missile technology makes strides. A number of antiship cruise missiles, or ASCMs have been deployed in multiple PLA naval drills this year. They also been sold to other navies around the world. China’s long-range, multi-purpose, all-weather, anti-ship cruise missiles, C802A…

Naval missile defense system unveiled

China revealed its HongQi-10 surface-to-air missile system for the first time Wednesday.

The advanced system, which can mitigate the threat from low-altitude anti-ship missiles, was unveiled during a China Central Television (CCTV) report.

As a naval point-defense missile system, HongQi-10 boasts a particularly quick response to low-altitude missiles that area-defense systems fail to intercept. It has a high success rate in intercepting them, Lan Yun, deputy chief editor of Modern Ships, told the Global Times.

The point-defense missile system defends a warship against rockets over a limited area. It is in contrast to an area-defense system that targets medium- and long-range objects with slower response and lower success rate.

HongQi-10 can be prepared to launch missiles in about 10 seconds and aims at missiles only 1.5 to 10 meters above the sea level, Lan said.

The advanced system, equipped with both infrared and microwave seekers, can secure naval ships against anti-ship missiles outfitted with either infrared or microwave radiation, Lin Yuchen, a missile expert of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, told CCTV.

The dual seeker missiles can combat interference from jamming, since an infrared seeker is always combined with a radar seeker that often detects waves whose wavelengths are longer than microwaves, said naval expert Li Jie.

In addition to maritime defense, the low- to medium-level air defense system is also designed to protect ground forces from air attacks by jets, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles, said Lin.

Such small missile system can be widely deployed due to its agility, he added.

The system was adopted by the Liaoning aircraft carrier and the type 056 corvette in 2011, said Lan.

By Chen Heying Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-11 0:58:06

Related: 

China Surpasses US in Hypersonic Weapons

The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon concept conducts its first flight in 2011 (Army photo)

There are detailed descriptions about China’s hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) in my book. I have only to point out:

1. Chinese HGV has achieved a speed of Mach 10 while the US one, only Mach 5.

2. China will develop HGV with the speed of Mach 22 launched from its space-air bomber.

Mach 10 means 3.3 km per second. If launched from the height of 100 km low orbit of a satellite, it takes 30 seconds, an HGV reaches its target. Rich Fisher’s rail gun needs 2 minutes; therefore, there is no defense against a Mach 10 HGV.

If the HGV flies at a speed of Mach 22, it takes only 12 seconds!

That is why China adopts the Space Era Strategy to develop integrated space and air capabilities. The US, however, sticks to its outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle. It focuses on defense instead of attack and is, therefore, doomed to defeat.

ICBM was first developed in early 1960s, but even now more than 50 years later, we still cannot 100% intercept it. Our interception system will be regarded as very good if the rate of interception is 50%.

The US has not yet been able to produce workable HGV, but focus on development of weapons to defend it. Why? Because it has to protect the major weapons of its Air-Sea Battle—its very expensive nuclear aircraft carriers.

In space era, aircraft carrier is obsolete.

The following is the full text of the magazine’s article:

US, China in Race to Develop Hypersonic Weapons
By Valerie Insinna

On the heels of reports that China had successfully completed a second ultra-high-speed missile flight test, the Defense Department announced on Aug. 25 that it had aborted a test of its own hypersonic weapon.

The military is investigating the “anomaly” responsible for the test failure, but analysts told National Defense that the incident was not a major setback for the program.

“It’s a glitch. These are weapons that operate under fantastic stresses,” said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. “Failure is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if data can be gathered so that you learn from your mistake.”

“These weapons are traveling at such fantastic speeds and they are required to be capable of such accuracy that it is simply going to require an extensive development program to achieve a point where they can be considered ready for the field,” he added.

The Aug. 25 test of the advanced hypersonic weapon was aborted because of an unspecified flight anomaly, according to a Defense Department news release. “The test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after liftoff to ensure public safety. There were no injuries to any personnel,” the release read.

Testers made the decision to destroy the rocket within four seconds of its launch at the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, said Maureen Schumann, a Pentagon spokeswoman. She was not able to provide additional information on what the anomaly was or how it was detected.

The advanced hypersonic weapon is just one of the technologies under development in the conventional prompt global strike program, she said. The goal is to create a menu of precision strike options that would be able to hit anywhere in the world in under an hour.

U.S. program officials are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of this Monday’s test failure, said Schumann. The investigation will likely take “weeks or months” to finish and will inform future tests and scheduling.

The August test was the second flight of the advanced hypersonic weapon, Schumann said. “The objective of the test was to develop and demonstrate hypersonic boost glide enabling technologies and collect data on flight vehicle and test range performance for long-range atmospheric flights.”

The United States may not be the only country that has been testing high-speed weapons this month. China conducted the second test flight of its hypersonic glide vehicle — called the Wu-14 — on Aug. 7, unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon.

Schumann would not confirm whether the Chinese military had executed a second Wu-14 test in August. Earlier this year, the Pentagon confirmed the Wu-14’s first flight test in January.

Based on the available evidence, including Chinese reports circulating the internet, it seems probable that there was a second Wu-14 test recently, Fisher said.

“China and the United States are seeking to develop the same range of hypersonic weapons, both boost-glide or hypersonic glide vehicles, and future air-breathing hypersonic vehicles, such as scram jets,” Fisher said.

The U.S. program appears to have progressed further, “but the Chinese program may be better funded and have greater depth in terms of the commitment of intellectual and development resources,” he said.

Mark Gunzinger, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said he is skeptical that China’s development of hypersonic weapons has matured past that of the United States.

“We hear about the successes and not the failures” of the Chinese program, he said. “They could have had dozens of failures that we know nothing about, at least in public.”

Hypersonic weapons could be operational within a decade, Gunzinger said. The challenge, especially in a budget-conscious environment, will be figuring out how to drive down manufacturing costs.

“Can we find a sweet spot in hypersonic weapons where the price point is right and we can buy enough of them?” he asked.

One of the reasons why hypersonic weapons are so highly coveted is because they are difficult to shoot down, Fisher said. Directed energy weapons, such as a hypersonic capable rail gun or laser, could offer a way to counter hypersonic missiles.

“If you have two to four rail guns for example, [and] you get maybe a two-minute warning that a hypersonic warhead is coming at you, that’s enough time to put into the sky clouds of hypersonic rail gun rounds that are designed like shotgun shells,” he said. “They’ll release into the air 100 to 200 tungsten pellets. Even if the hypersonic warhead is maneuvering, you’re likely to knick it with one of these pellets, and that alone will make the warhead tumble out of control.”

The United States appears to be further along in its efforts to develop directed energy weapons, although China’s program is not particularly transparent, Fisher said.

The Navy in April unveiled a high-speed electromagnetic rail gun capable of launching projectiles at speeds up to 5,600 miles per hour. The service has also tested its laser weapons system at sea, proving that it could shoot down small unmanned aircraft.

That laser currently lacks the power and range necessary to destroy a hypersonic glide vehicle, but it could become powerful enough in the next decade to shoot down such weapons, Fisher said. A hypersonic speed capable rail gun is possible in the early 2020s, he added.

Gunzinger said it may be too difficult to intercept a hypersonic missile with a high-powered laser, but rail guns could be well suited for those missions.

The advanced hypersonic missile was developed by Sandia National Laboratory and the Army. Its first flight test took place in November 2011 and was successful, with the missile traveling from Hawaii and hitting a target at the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Source: Chan Kai Yee “Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The US”

Source: National Defense magazine “US, China in Race to Develop Hypersonic Weapons”

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Sino-Japanese thaw checklists


China and Japan are both keen to alleviate tensions, but some actions need to be taken for this to happen.

AT the recent Asean Foreign Ministers meeting in Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met on the sidelines with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. Even though it was brief, it marked the first time since bilateral tensions began that top officials of both countries have met each other.

Does this signal the beginning of a reconciliation between the two Asian giants? Not likely.

There are four major reasons, which are deep seated and multifaceted, militating against a genuine reconciliation. The first is the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands where conflicting claims based on history are unlikely to be resolved as neither side seems willing to budge.

Japan claims that the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands were terra nullis (unoccupied) when seized by them along with Taiwan in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, while the Chinese on their part insisted that there was evidence of Chinese settlement before the war.

The stakes have been heightened with talk of the presence of oil and gas reserves around the islands.

The second is also about history, not so much as a basis for territorial claim but of contrasting interpretations by both sides of the Japanese war record in Asia.

Many Japanese believe that their colonising attempts in East Asia were in the spirit of the times, no more illegitimate than western colonisation of Asia.

Why should so much be made of their colonisation and not that of the West? Also, some Japanese have even gone into denial mode, denying the existence of Japanese atrocities or if undeniable, downplaying the magnitude.

One such case is over the Nanjing Massacre. Some have denied its existence while others dispute the figures as given by the Chinese of 300,000 dead, arguing that the number is much smaller.

The Chinese give short shrift to the “no different from the West” argument as the Chinese were the colonised or semi-colonised victims.

Moreover, many Chinese also contend that even if the figures for the massacre were smaller (widely accepted figures range from 40,000 to 200,000), it is still a massacre.

A complicating aspect is that many Japanese, including their government, have conceded some wrongdoing and have apologised but the Chinese refuse to accept.

The Chinese refusal, these Japanese believe, suggests the Chinese want to use this to hold Japan to some kind of ransom whereas the Chinese do not believe the Japanese apologies are sincere.

And the third, a complex one, is the identification of enmity with the other with a powerful nationalist stream in either China or Japan. In the Chinese case, modern Chinese nationalism has roots in the anti-Japanese war.

It is contended by some that the Chinese communists find it useful to bolster their nationalist credentials by taking an anti-Japanese stance. And by the same token, the Japanese conservatives may find it useful to utilise anti-China sentiments among the Japanese to promote their agenda.

Anti-Japanese or anti-Chinese sentiments have their political uses.

And fourth, Japan is increasingly spooked by the rise of China, not because of the much played-up heavy increase in military expenditure. It is hard to see how China can be a greater threat to Japan, which has United States protection, in a few years time with increased military spending than now.

Rather, Japan fears being relegated to an inferior partner in bilateral relations they had dominated for more than a hundred years, and even more by being rendered irrelevant in Asia by this China rise.

Japan increasingly cannot abide sits irrelevance (witness Prime Minister Shinzo Abe going abroad and insisting in English, “Japan matters!”).

Many Japanese, not least Abe, believe Japan can only matter if China is checked.

Yet it is not in the interest of both for the tensions to continue as it would affect economic relations. Take for example bilateral trade.

It has deteriorated. In 2011, bilateral total trade amounted to about US$345bil (RM1.09 trillion). It went down to about US$333bil (RM1.06 trillion) in 2012 and further to US$312bil (RM992bil) in 2013.

There may be other factors contributing to the drop but bilateral tensions cannot be discounted as a reason. And more important, there is always the danger that conflicts could break out arising from accidental ship or airplane collisions, which might even lead to war with all its horrendous consequences.

I believe both sides are keen to alleviate tensions or achieve a thaw, even if genuine reconciliation is a long way off. Some action however needs to be taken in two areas for this to happen.

One, the Abe government should refrain from practising some of the more offensive aspects of his nationalism, the chief of which is not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine.

There has been an example in the past where a Prime Minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, stopped his Yasukuni visit because of what he said were diplomatic reasons. Abe could use a similar reason.

The Chinese could reciprocate by toning down their campaign of condemning Japanese war iniquities and their lack of contrition. This could improve the atmosphere

Second, as suggested by Kevin Rudd and Joseph Nye in a Washington Post piece, steps should be taken to return the Senkakus/Diaoyu islands dispute to the agreement by Chou Enlai and Kakuei Tanaka in 1972 to leave the dispute to be solved by subsequent generations. (Some Japanese deny there was such an agreement.)

Rudd and Nye continued that the disputed islands and the surrounding areas be turned into a maritime ecological preserve where there will be no human habitation or usage for military purposes.

Where possible, joint exploration between both countries should be encouraged.

It is not necessary to state that such a thaw can only come about from politically courageous acts by both leaders. If such is forthcoming, than there is hope for a genuine rapprochement in the future.

 Commented by Dr Lee Poh Ping The Star/Asia News Network

> Dr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

 

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Dr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China
Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are
entirely the writer’s own.

http://english.cntv.cn/program/dialogue/20130726/100500.shtml

An utterly unrepentant Japan opening up past wounds derail peace diplomacy

An utterly unrepentant Japan opening up past wounds derail peace
diplomacy. Whatever declarations Japanese leaders may make about the
aims of their visits to the Yasukuni Shrine being only to honour their
war dead, the …

The ghosts of Japan’s imperial past have returned to haunt the nation, its
government, and the other countries in this region. IF anyone still ….
6.An utterly unrepentant Japan opening up past wounds derail peace
diplomacy 7.
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PhD(Government) (1974), CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHACA

BA (History) (1967), UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA (UM)

 

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Article In Academic Journals
2012
Fan Pik Wah & Lee Poh Ping.2012.Writing an Alternative
View of History through Fiction: the Novels of Xiao
Hei. Foreign Literature Studies 34 5) 142-149. (ISI/SCOPUS Cited Publication)


 

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THE CHINA MODEL: IMPLICATIONS OF THE
CONTEMPORARY RISE OF CHINA, Co-Investigator, 2013-2015, HIR
Mencatat Isu-isu Sensitif Selepas Kemerdekaan
Malaysia: Kajian Novel Xiao Hei, Co-Investigator, 2012-2013, Geran Penyelidikan Universiti Malaya (UMRG), National

A true blue Malay Umno man is Chow Shui


Umno man_Chow Shui

The Star’s regular stories on history and national development have prompted a retired wet marker trader to share his stories on former Umno leaders, including past prime ministers.

Chow Shui, also known as Choo Ying Choy, has the distinction of personally knowing many of the country’s past leaders from the late Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time.

“I was quite close to Tun Ghafar Baba, Tun Ghazali Shafie and Tan Sri Aishah Ghani,” said Chow, 75, who used to ply his trade at Kuala Lumpur’s Pudu wet market.

As an unofficial representative of the Chinese living in the city, Chow was regularly spotted at Umno as well as Alliance (precursor of Barisan Nasional) gatherings.

“I was often asked to round up some key Chinese gatekeepers and community leaders so that the Barisan leadership could meet them,” he said in an interview.

He was particularly close to Aishah, the former Social Welfare Minister and Wanita Umno chief who passed away aged 90 in April last year, and whom he affectionately called “elder sister”.

Down memory lane: Then Minister for Information and Broadcasting Tan Sri Senu Abdul Rahman (right) and Aishah (second from right) attending a function, one of the many Chow (fifth from right) helped organise.

Down memory lane: Then Minister for Information and Broadcasting Tan Sri Senu Abdul Rahman (right) and Aishah (second from right)
Down memory lane: Then Minister for Information and Broadcasting Tan Sri Senu Abdul Rahman (right) and Aishah (second from right) attending a function, one of the many Chow (fifth from right) helped organise.

“I was invited to her home every Hari Raya. In fact, I helped organise several of the Umno gatherings in town, including some attended by Tunku,” he said as he produced his Umno membership card to show that he is a life associate member.

He has amassed a small collection of monochrome photos over several decades of rubbing shoulders with politicians, and keeps a file of all the correspondence with Umno and the Federal Government.

Of particular significance is one image of Tun Razak Hussein, taken on the second prime minister’s historic visit to China in 1974.

Chow is particularly proud that he was able to hand over the reproduction of the 40-year-old photo to his son, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when the Prime Minister visited the redevelopment of 1Razak Mansion public housing scheme in Kuala Lumpur in April.

The photo was given to Chow by Razak’s driver shortly after the statesman’s return from China. Najib was only 21 then.

“I was rather close to Razak’s driver, and we used to go out for meals when he was off duty.

“I enlarged the photo before framing it up. I then waited for Najib before handing it to him when he came over to 1Razak Mansion,” said Chow, adding that Najib later posted the event on his Facebook page.

“I could tell you more about the politicians back then, at least up to Razak’s time, as I had the chance to interact with them rather often,” said the sprightly father-of-four.

On Aishah, Chow said she was a no-nonsense politician who abhorred the rabble-rousing style of politics.

“She detested those who intentionally stirred up emotions to create chaos,” he added.

Contributed by Meng Yew Choong The Star/Asia News Network

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Malaysia Day, a historical black hole for Sabah


Happy (?) Malaysia Day and NEP2 for Malays

 

 

A historical black hole for Sabah – There is still a debate about wether North Borneo was a country, a state or a self-government in transition during the first couple of weeks of independence

THE last few days, I pretended to be an alien who only had four news clippings from 1963 to understand Malaysia Day (Sept 16, 1963).

I received the Sabah Times clippings dated Aug 31, Sept 3, Sept 19, and Sept 20 from Danny Wong, my classmate from La Salle Secondary School, Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu.

Professor Dr Danny Wong Tze Ken is a historian who is the director of Universiti Malaya’s Global Planning and Strategy Centre.

I telephoned him a few days before Merdeka Day as I was writing an article on the formation of Malaysia.

“Do you know whether at the time the Union Jack was lowered in Kota Kinabalu on Aug 31, 1963, a Sabah flag was raised?” I asked.

“I don’t have the information off hand. Let me do some research and I’ll email you,” said the historian.

A few hours later, Wong wrote: “Just some pages from four issues of Sabah Times for your perusal. There’s mention of the Sabah flag, but no Union Jack.”

I then pored through four news clippings from the Sabah newspaper now called the New Sabah Times.

There’s a historical black hole on the status of Sabah from Aug31, 1963 (the day the British granted self-government to North Borneo, which Sabah was then called) to Sept 16, 1963 (when Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia). I’ve had endless debates with historians, politicians and laymen on the subject.

Some think that Sabah was a country. Some think it was a state. Some think it was a self-government in transition to form Malaysia.

The romantic in me would like to think that my state was a country before it became part of Malaysia. But let me answer that question as an alien (who read four pages of Sabah Times).

The front page on Aug 31, 1963 was: “Sabah’s Historic Day”.

“Self-government means more responsibility,” said Donald Stephens, Sabah’s first Chief Minister who later became Tun Fuad Stephens.

“To me, as it must be to all people in Sabah, today is significant as the day on which we gain self-government,” he said.

Stephens also said: “Sabah Day will be remembered by our sons and daughters and their children’s children as the day on which we were handed over the reins of government of our own country.”

On the left of the article was a story with a headline “Give Your Full Support To Your New Govt – Governor.” The North Borneo Governor Sir William Goode’s Sabah Day greeting was: “Today is a historic day for Sabah. It marks the beginning of self-government and independence and the end of Colonial government.”

In the centre of the front page was an article “UN Team Receives Same Answer at Papar, Jesselton – ‘Malaysia Malaysia’.

“PAPAR: At Papar, the UN Team was first greeted by three posters by the side of the railway station. They read: “No Interference to the formation Malaysia on Aug 31 (1963)”, “Don’t waste time, Referendum Not Necessary” and “Go Home, Don’t Waste Time”.

The United Nations team was at Papar, a town about 30 minutes from Jesselton (as Kota Kinabalu was once called), for a hearing on Sabahans’ views about Malaysia.

Chan Chin On, who represented the Papar Branch of Sabah Alliance said, “after studying the pros and cons for the past two years, The Alliance had come to the conclusion that Malaysia was best for them as it would bring stability, economic development and prosperity.”

He said, “In Malaysia the people of the territories shared many things in common such as education, customs, language, religion and culture.”

Also on the front page was the headline: “Nasution gets tougher.” “JAKARTA: The Indonesian Defence Minister and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Nasution, said that Indonesian people fully support the struggle of the North Kalimantan (North Borneo) people for their rights of self-determination.”

I, the alien (from outer space and not southern Philippines), was clueless as to why Nasution got tougher. The answer was on page 2 of the Sept 19, 1963 clipping.

In an editorial, Sabah Times wrote: “The strained relations between Malaysia and Indonesia have reached saturation point. Now it is either going to be a shooting hostility or eternal peace between the Malaysian region and Indonesia. The cards are down and the latter looks most impossible.”

“Latest reports indicated that Indonesians have decided upon the issue by burning the British Embassy building in Jakarta,” it continued.

“This could mean a retaliation against the angry demonstration held by more than 1,000 Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur yesterday when they smashed the Indonesian Embassy building in the Federal Capital and tore down the Indonesian flag and crest.”

The page 7 clipping dated Sept 3, 1963 was deja vu for most Sabahans. The headline was “Filipino launch seized”.

“LAHAD DATU: A motor launch named MANILA with 127 persons on board and a cargo of household appliances was captured by a Marine Police patrol boat here. According to reliable sources the launch was first seen at Tanjong Labian.”

The report revealed that Sabah’s PTI (Pendatang Tanpa Izin or illegal immigrant) problem had been there since 1963. It just got bigger in the 1990s and 2000s so that in some districts in Sabah, the illegal immigrants outnumber the locals.

Interestingly, if you fast forward to 2013, Tanjung Labian was the gunbattle scene in the Sulu invasion.

Page 6 and Page 7 of the Sept 20, 1963 Sabah Times revealed that my state was sexually liberal in the 1960s. The headlines screamed: “Jesselton goes gay on Malaysia Day” and “Beaufort goes gay”.

One Man’s Meat by Philip Golingai The Star/Asia News Network

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