The Bridled protest: Hong Kongers’ free will shall not be held hostage to protestors


Hongkong protest  Pro-democracy protesters flash lights during a rally to protest the violence seen in Mong Kok, in Hong Kong, China, 4 October 2014. – EPA/ALEX HOFFORD

The Bridled protest

Despite the tension in Hong Kong, both sides have exercised tremendous self-restraint, which must be unusual, if not unprecedented, when seen through Western eyes.

THERE has been plenty of restraint by both the protest movement and the authorities in Hong Kong. The threat by some student leaders to storm government buildings did not take place after the midnight deadline on Thursday.

If the international media still expect to see a serious clash between the protesters and the police, then I believe they will be disappointed.

Beijing must surely be aware that the world is watching. They would never want a repeat of the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 where many protesters, mostly students, were reportedly killed. Until today, no one knows exactly the actual number of casualties.

The Chinese government has also not used harsh or emotive language except to say that the gathering is illegal and the crowd should disperse. The protesters are angry at China’s plan to vet election candidates for the first direct election of the chief executive in 2017.

Beijing had ruled at the end of August that while Hong Kong residents would have a vote, their choice of candidates would be restricted by a committee. The protest began on Sept 22 when student groups launched a week-long boycott of classes.

On Sept 28, Occupy Central and student protests joined forces and took over central Hong Kong in what is now dubbed as the “umbrella revolution”.

Despite the tension, both sides have exercised tremendous self-restraint, which must be unusual, if not unprecedented, when seen through Western eyes.

The protest was orderly, and quite extraordinary, based on the news reports which showed how protesters collected garbage and separated them into recycling bins and how the police held up placards warning of impending tear gas action. And there was even a poignant picture of a policeman helping a protester hit by tear gas.

There are good reasons – the people of  Hong Kong are fully aware that nothing that they demand, at least for now, will be fulfilled immediately. They are practical people but they want their voices to be heard by Beijing.

The people have also accepted the fact that Hong Kong is part of China. The British returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 and nothing is going to change that. The future of Hong Kong is in the hands of China – not the United Kingdom or the United States.

But the locals are also angry at the huge number of mainlanders crowding into tiny Hong Kong. The pressure on the housing, health and education sectors has led to great resentment.

There are plenty of video clips on YouTube posted by Hong Kong people on what they see as the crass and rude behaviour of the less-polished mainlanders, which ranges from eating in the underground train to defecating in the streets to loud chattering. These have led to scuffles between Hong Kong people and mainland tourists and these are well documented.

There has been retaliation, in the apparent clash of cultures, except for the fact that both are ethnically Chinese. One professor appeared on Chinese TV and called the people of Hong Kong names while claiming that they were paying homage to London. He also hammered the Hong Kong people for preferring to speak Cantonese instead of Mandarin.

On the other hand, advertisements have appeared in Hong Kong newspapers, referring to the mainlanders as locusts who hog the resources of Hong Kong.

As far back as January, the South China Morning Post had reported on protesters who marched along Canton Road, a luxury shopping street that is a popular destination for mainland tourists, holding up signs that read “Go Back to China” and “Reclaim Hong Kong”.

Xenophobia seems like an oxymoron because the Hong Kong residents and the mainlanders are all Chinese and belong to the same country.

Ironically, Hong Kong’s retail sector is crying at the missed business opportunities of the Oct 1 China national day. This is when mainlanders flock to Hong Kong for long holidays and, of course, to dine and shop. This time they have stayed away as a result of the protests and it is Hong Kong that is paying the price. Shops have been forced to shut because of the protests and businessmen are blaming the student leaders.

In fact, Beijing does not have to do anything against the protesters. The central government can afford to sit it out because the students will eventually have to go back to classes, the protesters need to report for work, and businesses must go on.

This is Hong Kong after all, where the cost of living is among the highest in the world. Sitting on the road will not last long when there are hefty bills to be paid.

A middle-ground solution to allow both sides to back down without losing face looked possible, but the plan for the students to talk with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam appears to have been scuttled by the clashes in Mongkok.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said he would not negotiate with the student leaders, nor would he resign.

Now, the students have called off the talks with Lam, claiming that the police had allowed “triad” gangsters to infiltrate their protest camps.

But the talks will have to eventually be held because it is the right thing to do. Any dialogue between them will reflect the genuine desire of both sides to end the impasse. It will also show that Beijing is prepared to hear and respect the voices of the young people in Hong Kong, which is an autonomous territory.

This is an opportunity for the students to put on record that they accept Beijing. The reality is that their anti-communist China slogans, which may be morale-boosting during their protests, won’t change a thing. It is better that these students be practical instead of being too idealistic.

Business Hong Kong will not allow students to lead at the expense of Hong Kong and China, it is as simple as that. The clashes between the students and the traders in Mongkok on Friday are a sign that patience is wearing thin for those who need to earn a living.

Interestingly enough, most of the student leaders in the Tiananmen protest are now growing old in exile in the US, UK and France. Unable to return home, they could never have imagined how Beijing has embraced capitalism and the speed of economic progress as China’s middle class expands.

As academics Chen Dingding and Wang Jianwei of the University of Macau correctly pointed out in an article, “The English word ‘crisis’ in Chinese actually consists of two words: danger and opportunity. A crisis itself is not necessarily a bad thing – it also presents an opportunity to solve the problem.”

I agree. In the case of Hong Kong, it is better that Beijing let Hong Kong grow at its own pace and in its own way. And the people of Hong Kong can protest, but they should not go overboard.

Source: On the beat Wong Chun Wai 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.

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.
Hong Kongers’ free will shall not be held hostage to protestors

Hongkong protest_Beijing Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability are hard-won and should be treasured, while Hong Kongers’ free will shall not be held …

BEIJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability are hard-won and should be treasured, while Hong Kongers’ free will shall not be held hostage to those organizers of the Occupy Central movement who have ulterior motives, critics appealed.

Yin Haoliu, a Chinese American freelancer, wrote in an open letter to three initiators of the illegal movement: “Democracy is a step-by-step process that can not be approached in haste, otherwise it will bring about troubles.”

“What’s wrong with the Communist Party of China which hopes to see a person who loves China and loves Hong Kong elected as Hong Kong’s chief executive? Are you willing to choose a chief executive that sells Hong Kong and the whole country?” Yin asked in the letter.

“You should know that on your opposite side are the silent majority… if Hong Kong falls into chaos, you could flee to foreign countries, but how about the ordinary Hong Kongers that are left behind?” he said.

“Christopher Francis Patten said the decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Aug. 31 that granted universal suffrage in Hong Kong was false…then was he himself as the governor of Hong Kong elected by the Hong Kong people?” the retired doctor said.

Yin said Hong Kong had tided through numerous difficulties with full support of the Chinese mainland since the Basic Law was put into practice, so the initiators of Occupy Central should treasure the city’s current prosperity and stability.

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow hopes that stability will resume as soon as possible in Hong Kong.

“Events in Hong Kong belong to China’s internal affairs. Russia hopes the stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) would be resumed as soon as possible,” the ministry’s information and press department told Xinhua.

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said in an interview with Lianhe Zaobao that many reports on Hong Kong made by the Western media were untrue and biased to China.

They intentionally ignored a fact that Hong Kong had never implemented a democratic system under the British rule for some 150 years, he said, adding that Beijing’s plan has granted Hong Kong much more democratic space than what Hong Kongers got in the times of British-ruled Hong Kong.

“Everyone shall be clear about one point, that is, what the central government did conforms with Hong Kong’s Basic Law,” the foreign minister said.

He said Hong Kong is deeply dependent on the Mainland, including employment and livelihood.

Even though a little anti-Mainland sentiment appeared in Hong Kong, the central government is still generous to Hong Kong, he added.

Jeff Bader, who ran Obama’s first term White House East Asia policy, told the Washington Post that for Beijing, there is no room for compromise on issues such as Chinese stability and the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

He also mentioned that millions of Hong Kongers will not support or tolerate the protest that grinds the city to halt for days.

The negative impact of Occupy Central includes a bit of a brain drain, Bader predicted.

Hong Kong has been partially paralysed by the large-scale protests that started on Sept. 28.

A large number of Occupy protesters have taken over major streets in Mong Kok, one of the city’s most bustling areas, for at least four days, which has seriously affected businesses of local shops, restaurants and vendors, and forced schools and banks to be closed.

Friday afternoon, some anti-Occupy people clashed with Occupy protesters in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, Hong Kong’s two major commercial areas. Several people were injured during the clashes.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying gave an urgent TV broadcast Friday evening, calling on all citizens, no matter what attitude they may have toward the Occupy movement, to keep calm and not to use violence or disrupt public order under any circumstances.



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There has been much anti-China bias in Western media’s reporting on Hong Kong’s situation, said Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, as he …

Hong Kong CE calls for peace after clashes

HONG KONG, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) — Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying gave an urgent TV broadcast on Friday evening calling for peace after Occupy protesters clashed with anti-Occupy people in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, Hong Kong’s two major commercial areas.

Leung called on all citizens, no matter what attitude they have toward the Occupy, they have to keep calm, and not use violence or disrupt order under any situation. Full story

Chinese public voice opposition againt HK Occupy Central

BEIJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Chinese people from all walks of life have voiced their strong denouncement and opposition against the illegal gatherings of the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong over these days.

The Occupy Central movement has seriously affected the social order in Hong Kong and runs counter to the rule of law, said Beijing citizen Zhao Qing. Full story.

Firmly safeguard rule of law in HK: People’s Daily

BEIJING, Oct. 3 — Democracy and the rule of law are interdependent, and a democracy without the rul[Read it]

The keys to China’s success


China National Day_Female guard  Female Honor Guards train for National Day celebration Video: http://t.cn/RhmCK8o

The institutional system and decision-making capabilities of democratic centralism have proven to be the country’s advantage

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of people’s congress system and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In the past 65 years China has developed rapidly and has made great achievements. Democratic centralism is the core mechanism of the China model, the key to the China miracle, and China’s advantage compared with other major developing countries.

China is still a developing country, and it lags behind the developed countries in many aspects. But it would be wrong to always attribute the developed countries’ achievements to their democratic system. It’s also wrong to deny China’s success because of some partial setbacks or mistakes and to blame these on China’s democratic system.

Democratic centralism is an institutional system as well as a decision-making model. Democratic centralism is an organization principle of the governing Communist Party of China, as well as national organizations, which links the CPC and the national mechanism based on the people’s congress system.

Under democratic centralism, the decision-making process is first democratic discussion and then consensus on opinions on a democratic basis, which guarantees the decision-making process responds to public opinion to the greatest extent.

Currently there are two major political systems in the world: democratic centralism and representative democracy. If we want to make a comparison between the two systems, we should first make sure the premise of “comparability” holds. In other words, China should be compared with those developing countries that also have a long history, huge population and suffered a long time as a colony or semi-colony.

We can divide all the 12 countries with populations of more than 100 million into three groups. The first contains developed countries such as the United States and Japan, whose development is not due to representative democracy, but freedom of speech, rule of law, a market economy and exploitation of other countries.

The second group contains countries that have turned to representative democracy such as Russia. In the 1990s, the former Soviet Union fell apart and terrorism was widespread. The public called for Vladimir Putin’s “controllable democracy”, which has enabled Russia to revive.

The third group contains those developing countries that were colonized for a long time, such as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Representative democracy is the bottleneck for most of these countries’ development and their people’s welfare because of strong social forces and weak national power. The political organizations and family forces behind representative democracy make local social forces in these countries ever stronger, while national power is often too weak to turn national will into reality in this political system.

Some Western people compare India with China and expect India, the largest democracy according to the West’s definition, to surpass China someday because they believe that representative democracy is the biggest advantage of India.

Yet in the Human Development Index, China has risen from the rank of 101 in 2001 to the rank of 91 in 2014, while India has dropped from 122 in 2001 to 135 in 2014. In the Poverty Population Index, 11.8 percent of China’s population is below the international poverty line, while the percentage of India is 32.68. In the Corruption Perceptions Index, China ranks 80th while India ranks 96th. In the Ease of Business Index, China ranks 90th while India ranks 134th. In 2013, China’s per capita GDP was $6,629, which is more than four times the $1,592 of India. The gap of per capita GDP between China and India is larger than two decades ago.

Why has the gap between China and India become larger? India is a democratic society but still has some feudal legacies, and the unfairness under feudalism can hardly accelerate market economy development. As to its “superior” political system, Indian-American political commentator Fareed Zakaria describes it as “bandit democracy”. That means, a candidate who committed a crime yesterday may be elected today. India has about 2,000 parties. The country’s high degree of fragmentation means it fails to propel public policies that benefit its citizens. The representative democracy of India is fragmented democracy that lacks authoritative policy execution.

Compared with the major developing countries that practice representative democracy, China’s centralized democracy guarantees freedom, autonomy, a market economy and also authoritative governmental organizations. China has a lead in governance compared with other major developing countries mainly because of democratic centralism.

Democratic centralism has gone through the first stage during the revolutionary period, the second stage during the first three decades after the founding of New China, and the third stage during the three decades after reform and opening-up. From history and reality we can clearly see the advantages of this political system.

By Yang Guangbin (China Daily)/Asia News Network

The author is a professor of political studies with Renmin University of China.

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17th Asia Games 2014 Medal Tally – 30/9/14

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 120 76 58 254
2 Korea 50 53 59 162
3 Japan 37 50 54 141
4 Kazakhstan 15 16 24 55
5 Iran 12 11 10 33
6 DPR Korea 8 10 11 29
7 Qatar 8 0 3 11
8 Chinese Taipei 8 8 14 30
9 Thailand 7 4 14 25
10 India 6 8 31 45
11 Uzbekistan 5 5 13 23
12 Hong Kong 4 6 20 30
13 Mongolia 4 4 10 18
14 Malaysia 3 9 9 21
15 Bahrain 3 5 1 9
16 Indonesia 3 4 7 14
17 Myanmar 2 1 0 3
18 Vietnam 1 9 20 30
19 Singapore 1 4 7 12
20 Kuwait 1 3 2 6
21 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 2
22 Tajikistan 1 1 0 2
23 Pakistan 1 0 1 2
24 UAE 1 0 1 2
25 Macau 0 3 0 3
26 Kyrgyzstan 0 2 2 4
27 Philippines 0 2 2 4
28 Turkmenistan 0 1 2 3
29 Laos 0 1 1 2
30 Bangladesh 0 1 0 1
31 Lebanon 0 1 0 1
32 Iraq 0 0 2 2
33 Sri Lanka 0 0 1 1

Asian Games Incheon 2014 South Korea; I dream of South Korea


 

Asian Games 2014-IncheonINCHEON — The 2014 Asian Games officially opened in this western port

city of South Koera on Friday evening, attracting more than 14,000
athletes and officials from 45 countries and regions across the
continent.

South Korean president Park Geun-hye declared the games open in front of a watching IOC chief Thomas Bach.

The 17th Asian Games, which will run through Oct. 4, offer 439 gold medals in 36 sports.

The Incheon Asiad is the third continental event hosted by South Korea, following the Seoul Asiad in 1986 and the Busan Games in 2002.

17th Asian Games open in Incheon, South Korea
Hightlights from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony

17th Asian Games open in Incheon, South KoreaChina aims to dominate the Asian Games medal table for the ninth consecutive time as it sends more than 1,300 athletes and officials for the continent’s premier sporting event.

Hightlights from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony >>

For the Incheon Games, the 897-athlete China Team, its largest ever contingent for any Games overseas, will participate in all 36 sports but kabbadi, featuring 33 Olympic champions.

Liu Peng, chef de mission of the Chinese delegation for the Incheon Asian Games, said that “we’ve been the leaders on both medals and gold medal tables of Asian Games, and we want to keep on winning.”

“The Asian Games are not only a competition but a platform for countries and regions from all over the continent to comunicate, cooperate, exchange opinions and better understanding each other,” said Liu.

“Therefore, we expect more than just titles and medals and No. 1 position in the tally from our athletes, but hope they will show fighting spirit and sportsmanship at the games,” added Liu.

Xiao Tian, the deputy chef de mission of the Chinese team, said,

“We consider the Asian Games an important part of our preparation for the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympic Games.”

Since the 1982 games in New Delhi, China has topped every Asiad medal table, with its largest harvest of 199 golds from the Guangzhou Asiad four years ago.

For South Korea, the 1,068-member squad for the Incheon Games is its largest-ever Asiad delegation, including 831 athletes who will compete in all 36 sports.

With home turf advantage, the hosts hope to win more than 90 gold medals in Incheon to strengthen their second overall position which they occupied since the 1998 Bangkok Asiad in their seesaw battle against Japan.

Meanwhile, three countries are hoping for their first-ever podium finish at the continent’s quadrennial sports event, namely Bhutan and the Maldives, both at their seventh outing, as well as East Timor, which is in its fourth Asian Games.

The Asian Games was first held in 1951, and China and Japan are the only two nations to have finished first in the medal standings.

In terms of overall gold medals, China leads Japan by 1,191 to 910, while South Korea ranks third at 617. – Xinhua


I dream of South Korea

South Korea is at the Crossroads. She will become a helpless victim if she loses her sense of direction

Last night, I had a troubled sleep, tossing and turning, having one nightmare after another. In my dream I found myself in 2020 on the unified Korean Peninsula. I was overjoyed because the long-cherished dream of unification had come true at last. Soon, however, I found that some radical changes had taken place during the unification process. Among them, South Korea had turned into a communist country due to the large number of pro-North people in the South who naively and paradoxically supported Marxism and socialism, even though they relished the sweet fruits of the capitalist economy.

In the unified Korea, everyone had finally become equal, as many South Koreans had long wanted, not only in class but also in wealth. No one was allowed to be smarter than anyone else, and accordingly, all the universities in Korea bore the name of the prime university, Seoul National University. No one was permitted to be richer than anyone else either. Consequently, everybody was equally mediocre and destitute in Korea. Even better, Korea had become a workers’ paradise, where your job came with a lifetime warranty regardless of your performance and competence.

Nevertheless, I found the communist system had some serious flaws and downsides. As the nation had adopted the food rationing system, the government had turned into Big Brother and controlled people’s lives. Naturally, everybody was under constant surveillance and no one was allowed freedom of speech or of the press. Another problem with the communist regime was that it had a hierarchy instead of classes, and thus there were still quite a few privileged people – the party members and political leaders.

Deeply disturbed, I fell asleep and woke up in 2020 again, but this time in a different timeline. I found the Korean Peninsula was at war. Washington had made the same mistake that it had made just before the Korean War; it had pulled back the US troops from South Korea. In an effort to exercise a restraining influence on China’s expansion policy in Asia, the US had formed alliances with Japan, Australia and India, but not South Korea. Disappointed in South Korea’s policy of leaning heavily on China, the US government had retaliated by withdrawing her troops from South Korea.

As soon as the US troops had left, North Korea launched an attack on South Korea with numerous hidden artillery and biochemical weapons that eventually devastated the whole country. Many South Korean soldiers, who belonged to the Soft Generation and whose morale was low due to pervasive violence in military barracks, were not capable of fighting back.

While trying very hard to wake up from these bad dreams, I tumbled into another nightmare. I woke up in another timeline, in 2020 again.

This time, I found everyone was learning and speaking Chinese, as China impudently claimed that the Korean Peninsula had been part of China in ancient times and still was. Not realising what would happen to us, we Koreans had naively chosen China over Japan and the States as an ally.

Frustrated by the series of nightmares, I fell asleep again, intensely wishing to have a sweet, beautiful dream this time. When I woke up in 2020 again, I finally found South Korea had become a peaceful, advanced country without factional skirmishes or ideological brawls. An affluent society, South Korea served as a role model due to its miraculous economic success and democratisation.

Skilfully maximising her geopolitical situation, South Korea had emerged as a powerful, influential nation that earned respect and admiration from her neighbours.

The 1988 movie Sliding Doors shows two different futures the protagonist could experience depending on whether or not she catches a subway train. Our future, too, will be entirely different depending on whether or not we choose the right path at the right moment. Indeed, South Korea is at the crossroads now and thus should decide which way to go. If she loses her sense of direction, she will be inevitably caught in the crossfire and victimised helplessly.

Last night, I was wide awake in the middle of the night, sweating from bad dreams and worrying about the future of Korea. In my nightmares, Korea had headed in the wrong direction and suffered the consequences.

Waking up in 2014, I am so relieved that we still have a chance to prevent a disastrous future by choosing the right path.

By Kim Seong-Kon The Korea Herald

Kim Seong-kon is a professor emeritus of English at Seoul National University and president of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

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S. Korea – China ties at best in History

 

Asian Games 2014 Final Medal Table
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 151 108 83 342
2 Korea 79 71 84 234
3 Japan 47 76 77 200
4 Kazakhstan 28 23 33 84
5 Iran 21 18 18 57
6 Thailand 12 7 28 47
7 DPR Korea 11 11 14 36
8 India 11 9 37 57
9 Chinese Taipei 10 18 23 51
10 Qatar 10 0 4 14
11 Uzbekistan 9 14 21 44
12 Bahrain 9 6 4 19
13 Hong Kong 6 12 24 42
14 Malaysia 5 14 14 33
15 Singapore 5 6 13 24
16 Mongolia 5 4 12 21
17 Indonesia 4 5 11 20
18 Kuwait 3 5 4 12
19 Saudi Arabia 3 3 1 7
20 Myanmar 2 1 1 4
21 Vietnam 1 10 25 36
22 Philippines 1 3 11 15
23 Pakistan 1 1 3 5
23 Tajikistan 1 1 3 5
25 Iraq 1 0 3 4
25 United Arab Emirates 1 0 3 4
27 Sri Lanka 1 0 1 2
28 Cambodia 1 0 0 1
29 Macau 0 3 4 7
30 Kyrgyzstan 0 2 4 6
31 Jordan 0 2 2 4
32 Turkmenistan 0 1 5 6
33 Bangladesh 0 1 2 3
33 Laos 0 1 2 3
35 Afghanistan 0 1 1 2
35 Lebanon 0 1 1 2
37 Nepal 0 0 1 1
Source: NDTV Sports

How can China forget ‘9/18′ Japanese militarists’ “Mukden Incident” (望海楼) ?


On Sep. 18 of every year, the Shenyang ‘9/18’ historical museum holds a ceremony of sounding the alarm. The 14 bells and the 3-minute air defense warning are always an emotional moment for China. (People’s Daily/He Yong)


On Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese troops blew up a section of railway near
Shenyang that was under their control. They then accused Chinese troops
of sabotaging the railway to create a pretext for war. Later that
evening, they bombarded the barracks of Chinese troops near Shenyang,
starting a large-scale armed invasion of northeast China.

On July 7, 1937, the Lugouqiao Incident occurred, and the nationwide War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression started.

83 years ago, Japanese militarists planned the ‘Liutiaohu’ event and then invaded northeastern China, unleashing full-scale aggression against China. However, this ‘9/18’ event has been deliberately obscured and ignored by Japan. There are only a few words about the event in the Hiroshima atomic bomb data repository: “Japan started its war against China starting on 18th September.” http://english.cntv.cn/special/sept3victoryday/history1931_1945/index.shtml

There are a number of equivocal accounts of the war crimes committed by Japan against China. After the Second World War, unreformed Japanese militarists refused to acknowledge what they had done in the war. They coveted China’s land and resources then, and the Japanese government’s conduct and its policies still indicate an attachment to militarism. The militarists dug their own grave by waging war against China. A militarist mindset will never be of benefit to Japan.

Why was China ravaged for years by Japan, which is only one thirtieth the size of China? Because Jiang Jieshi’s government pursued a policy of non-resistance, even though it had greater military power than its Japanese adversary.

Most of Jiang Jieshi’s troops withdrew without fighting, leaving southeastern China to fall into the hands of Japanese troops in just four months and 18 days. The great powers were busy trying to carve up poverty-stricken China. A backward China was bound to be mauled. These are valuable lessons to be learnt from history.

The victory gained by China in its anti-aggression war against Japan has created a solid foundation for its rejuvenation. 14 years of arduous war cultivated the Chinese people’s anti-aggression spirit. China’s national strength is growing, and so is its national status. But China is still facing challenges from home and abroad, so we must remain vigilant against potential threats even in times of safety. As long as the Chinese people remain united in the spirit of anti-aggression, we can overcome any difficulties and realize China’s dream.

By Hua Yisheng – This article was edited and translated from 《“九一八” 我们怎能忘记(望海楼)》, source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition

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9/3, China’s Victory Day over Japan

Malays are lazy, dishonest and prefer to be Mat Rempit, Tun Dr Mahathir lamented!


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malays are still unwilling to change their “lazy” ways

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malays in the country are lazy, dishonest and complacent.

In an exclusive interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said Malay men are also lagging behind the women, with many of them preferring to become ‘Mat Rempits’.

“The Malays are lazy and they are not interested in studying. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women, so where are the men?,” he asked.

“They prefer to become Mat Rempit, that is why I said they are lazy,” Dr Mahathir was quoted in the report.

In the interview, the longest serving former premier had also said that the largest race in Malaysia has not changed their “lazy” ways and also lamented over the fact that he has not been able to change that during his tenure as Prime Minister.

“I have never wanted to fool myself. If they’re lazy, I call them lazy. If people don’t like it, then be it. When I was UMNO president, I used to nag all the time,” he said commenting on the criticisms he received over his comments.

Dr. Mahathir also added that apart from being lazy, the Malays tend to be dishonest where money is concerned, and often forget themselves when they have money.

“Now I have a bakery. I want to say honestly, I am ashamed because among the Malay, Chinese or Burmese or any other workers, the Malay ones sometimes when they see money, they forget themselves, they become dishonest,” he said.

He said he was forced to sack many of his Malay staff working in The Loaf, his Japanese-inspired bakery, for swindling money.

In the interview, Dr Mahathir also said that Malays often refuse to pay their debts, although they have the means to do so.

“How many Malays are there who refuse to settle their debts? They receive scholarships and student loans but refuse to pay back.

This is not a question of being unable to, they have the money but just refuse to honour their commitments. We must be honest,” he was quoted.

He said this was the reason why many contacts are being awarded to the Chinese, who he said are more trustworthy, than the Malays.

“We have to be trustworthy so people will give contracts to us. When we want to give contracts, we give to the Chinese instead because we know they will do their work properly. This is our weakness, we are not trustworthy.”

He said Malays should also take the Japanese as an example to become better.

“Why did I introduce the Look East policy in 1982? It was because I admired the Japanese for their attitude when it came to work,” he said.

Contributed by Izza Izelan, Astro Awani September 14, 2014

 

Mahathir Mohamad_Laxy Malays The familiar lamentations of Dr Mahahir

The former premier’s latest remarks about ‘lazy Malays’ cause a stir among Malaysians.

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad used to have only two upmarket bakery outlets known as The Loaf – one in the picturesque Telaga Harbour, where luxury yachts berth in Pulau Langkawi, and the other at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

The number of his outlets, which sell breads and pastries using Japanese techniques, has grown to more than five. As such, he has to hire more staff.

A few months ago, a manager was caught stealing money from the cash register.

The suspicion began when the daily collection was not deposited into the bank. The Malay manager was caught red-handed and the incident infuriated Dr Mahathir.

“I am operating a bakery and have given many opportunities to Malays to hold management positions. Unfortunately, time and time again, honesty and integrity appear to be lacking as there have been staff who keep stealing money,” he said at the launch of the book Wahai Melayu: Allah Tak Akan Ubah Nasib Melayu Kalau Kita Tak Ubah Nasib Kita Sendiri by Anas Zubedy.

“They do not seem to understand that it is wrong to take what is not theirs; they do not think of the big picture or the long term,” he said.

The statesman repeated the criticism in an interview with Utusan Malaysia last Sunday.

That led to various interpretations, particularly on his criticism of the leadership, especially the current prime minister, especially at a time when the Umno general assembly is coming up.

But those present at the book launch believe that his remarks were in line with what he has consistently brought up, whenever the occasion suited it. They dismissed any suspicion of political conspiracy.

The book by Anas, a writer and speaker on motivation, is aimed at young Malay entrepreneurs. In the foreword, the author debunks the myth that the Malays are a lazy race who are only good in politics and the arts, but not in business.

“These are self-limiting artificial boundaries and we ought to break them,” he writes.

“What we need to do is to find the right motivation and inspiration for a specific culture like the Malays.”

But in his hard-hitting speech, Dr Mahathir spent 20 minutes arguing that Malays “lack honesty and inte­grity” and that they fail to “handle money properly” unlike the Chinese or even Myanmar nationals.

Ethnic Chinese, he said, were more honest compared to native Malays where money is concerned. He said these were the reasons for the Malays’ economic failures.

“We have to be trustworthy so people will give contracts to us. When we want to give contracts, we give to the Chinese instead because we know they will do their work properly. This is our weakness – not being trustworthy,” he added.

“If we fail, we should not blame anyone but ourselves. We have failed because we did not do what was right,” he said.

In the Utusan interview, Dr Maha­thir said Malay men were still lazy, citing the gender imbalance at institutions of higher learning, where the majority was women.

“They (the men) are not interested in studying and revising. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women. Where are the men?”

“They prefer to be Mat Rempit, that is why I said they are lazy.”

Dr Mahathir’s comments raised a storm, with some in social media suggesting that he should be arrested for sedition. The Selangor chapter of Malay rights group Perkasa, however, termed his remarks as “father­­ly advice”.

Veteran journalist Datuk Kadir Ja­­sin reportedly said people should not get upset or sulk over Dr Maha­thir’s remarks, especially with regards to the Malays being lazy, as there were those who were hardworking and excelled in whatever they did.

“Give them a crutch and they will turn it into a paddle and a pillar,” he said, adding that there were those from the community who had succeeded and made a name for themselves in the country and all over the world.

Citing legendary warrior Hang Tuah’s famous rallying cry that Malays would not vanish from the world, Kadir said the Malays were rulers and made up the bulk of the civil service, such as the police force, Customs and Immigration departments, and the teaching profession.

Not all Malaysians would agree with Dr Mahathir’s assessment, with some saying he is still caught up in racial stereotyping, even if it is aimed at his own community.

Nobody in his right mind would say Malays are lazy, Chinese are greedy, or Indians are disho­nest. In fact, few Malaysians, especially the younger ones, would link any race in Malaysia with any specific trait or even a vocation.

The NEP has, in many ways, succeeded in its two-pronged strategy of eradicating poverty for all Ma­­laysians as well as reducing and subsequently eliminating identification of race by economic function and geographical location.

Lazy and indolent natives were a favourite theme of 19th century colonialists who wanted the natives to work at producing food while putting migrants to work on the modern economy for their benefits.

Thus grew the myth of “lazy” natives and this myth continued after independence and was even believed by some Malaysians. It was only put to rest by scholars like Syed Hussein Alatas, who wrote a seminal work The Myth of the Lazy Native to explain British colonial policies.

Dr Mahathir is, however, a smart man.

Not only was he the longest ser­ving prime minister, but he also turned the country into an economic powerhouse, and only smart people could achieve that.

He also believed in throwing good money at individual Malays in the hope that he could achieve a successful Malay entrepreneurial class in a short time.

Some of his efforts ended in failure while others succeeded – but the failures always got the bigger headlines.

Thus was born one of the great themes of his political life – that he had failed to change the Malay mindset and that they preferred to live poor in a rich country.

Thus was also born the phrase, Melayu Mudah Lupa (Malays forget easily).

But while such generalisations will guarantee headlines, the reality is that one simply cannot tar a whole race with the same brush, the way you tar a person or two.

Dr Mahathir might have repeated the “lazy native” syndrome perhaps to get the attention of the Malays, in particular Umno members who are in the midst of division meetings and passing resolutions in support of Islam, Malays and the rulers.

It is a given that even after his retire­ment, Dr Mahathir needs to be at the centre of national life. He needs to have everything revolving around him and needs to command the national dialogue.

So he relies on an old theme that is sure to spark a huge controversy – like the myth of the “lazy Malays”.

But Malaysians want to move on. They want to get out of this race trap and the least said about such stereotyping would be better for Malaysia.

Comments contributed by Baradan Kuppusamy The Star/Asia News Network

The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

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Possibility of Third World War as Ukrainian Crisis Deepens!


WW3_EU_Russia
EU vs Russia

As possibility of third world war exists, China needs to be prepared

WW3_US vs Russia US vs Russia

As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, international observers have become more and more concerned about a direct military clash between the US and Russia. Once an armed rivalry erupts, it is likely to extend to the globe. And it is not impossible that a world war could break out.

The world war is a form of war that the whole world should face up to. During human evolution, the world war has entered its third development phase.

The first phase took place between nomadic societies and farming groups. The second phase was featured by colonial wars, with WWI and WWII as its special representatives.

Currently, the world has entered an era of new forms of global war.

Outer space, the Internet and the sea have become the battlefields of rivalry. Technology is the key, and the number of countries involved is unprecedented.

The rivalry on the outer space and the Internet takes place with the rivalry on the sea as the center stage. During WWII, some major powers attached significant importance to the sea.

Alfred Thayer Mahan, a US military strategist who died in 1914, coined the notion of sea power. He advocated valuing the naval forces, commercial fleet and overseas military base, which served for wars on the land.

But nowadays, we stress the importance of power in the sea. Judging from the contention of the global sea space, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean have seen the fiercest rivalry. It’s likely that there will be a third world war to fight for sea rights.

In an era when a third world war may take place, an important topic for the Chinese military is how to develop its power to maintain its national interests.

This should become the basis for its development, because since the founding of the PRC, the development of its military forces has been centered around maintaining its rights on the land. As the rivalry on the sea grows intense, China’s military development should shift from maintaining the country’s rights on the land to maintaining its rights on the sea.

Meanwhile, China is standing at the focal point of rivalries. This requires China to develop its military power based on a global war. China is in the heartland of the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The development of China’s sea power touches the nerves of many countries. China needs to develop its military power to avoid being squeezed to a passive position.

China’s overseas interests have spread all over the world. As the US has been shifting its attention to the Asia-Pacific region, especially aiming at China, China’s overseas interests have been increasingly threatened by the US.

Without large-scale military power, securing China’s overseas interests seems like an empty slogan.

The long-range or overseas combat capabilities of China’s sea and air forces are quite limited yet. If we don’t view the development of sea and air forces with a farsighted view, we will face various restraints when building up the combat capabilities of sea and air forces or maintaining overseas interests. This will lead to the backwardness of China’s sea and air forces.

China should not be pushed into a passive position where it is vulnerable to attacks. We must bear a third world war in mind when developing military forces, especially the sea and air forces.

Posted in: Viewpoint By Han Xudong Viewpoint Source: Global Times Published: 2014-9-15 19:38:01

The author is a professor at the PLA National Defense University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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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.

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