Do you earn enough to sustain your lifestyle?


DO you know how much you need to sustain your lifestyle every month? Are you living within your budget or stretching to make ends meet?

We can now gain insights with the unveiling of Belanjawanku, an Expenditure Guide for Malaysian Individuals and Families, launched by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in early March.

The guide offers an idea of the living costs for respective household categories. It encompasses the expenditure on basic needs and involvement in society for a reasonable standard of living in the Klang Valley.

According to Belanjawanku, a married couple with two children spend about RM6,620 per month on food, transport, housing, childcare, utilities, healthcare, personal care, annual expenses, savings, social participation and discretionary expenses.

When I read this guide together with the income statistics published by the Statistics Department, it reveals that a vast majority of Malaysians can’t afford to live in the Klang Valley.

Based on the statistics, the median household income for Malaysian households in 2016 is RM5,228, far below the RM6,620 required for a family with two children to stay in the Klang Valley.

If we take a closer look, the median income of M40 group (Middle 40%) is RM6,275, which means five out of 10 households in this category received RM6,275 per month or less. This indicates that over 60% (40% from B40 households and half of the M40 households) of Malaysian households (if they have two children) can’t afford to stay in the Klang Valley.

What went wrong in the process? Why are many households having challenges to meet the required budget?

According to Belanjawanku, a married couple with two children spent the majority of their income on food (RM1,550), followed by childcare (RM1,150) and transport (RM1,040), then only on housing (RM870) and other items.

Based on the research, even if housing was provided for free, a household of four would still need RM5,750 to sustain their lifestyle. Therefore, the common perception that only housing is expensive is not right. It is not that housing is expensive, but that everything is expensive because of inflation over the years! The value of our currency has fallen due to global money printing measures over the past decade.

Belanjawanku compiles only core living expenses without luxury items or excessive spending. It also doesn’t include long-term financial planning tools such as funds for education or investments. If the majority of Malaysian households have challenges in meeting the existing expenses listed in the guide, it poses a serious concern on their future financial prospects.

The underlying factor of this challenge is the low household income earned by Malaysians. The previous government failed to move us to a high income nation as they had promised, and more families are stretching to make ends meet now. It may lead to serious financial problems in the future.

If median household incomes don’t increase, the B40 (Bottom 40%) and half of the M40 will always struggle even if housing is free, assuming that they aspire to have two children and to live in the Klang Valley.

According to Transparency International Malaysia, corruption had cost our country about 4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) value each year since 2013. Added together, this amounts to a high figure of some RM212.3bil since 2013. For 2017 alone, that figure was a whopping RM46.9bil!

Imagine what we can do with these monies if there was no leakage in the system? The previous government should have channeled the money to stimulate economic growth and increase the income of the rakyat.

Going forward, I am optimistic that the new government, with its promise of a clean and transparent government, can finally fix the leakage and focus on generating a higher income level for all Malaysian households.

Financial independence is a key factor in the overall well being of the rakyat. We need to increase household incomes to a level where families can meet their basic needs and embark on long-term financial planning, to elevate their quality of life.

Then, and only then, will housing and other living expenses finally become affordable.

By

Food for thought By Alan Tong

Datuk Alan Tong has over 50 years of experience in property development. He is the group chairman of Bukit Kiara Properties. For feedback, email bkp@bukitkiara.com



 

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Struggling and frustrated: Most aid goes to the B40, leaving the M40 feeling adrift and on their own
 
 
 

Housing affordability is an income issue, what’s with the fuss?

 

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The ‘Tiger Woods’ act is not for Malaysia


 It’s a long road towards being a tiger economy again

A month before the one-year anniversary of Pakatan Harapan’s ruling the government, Malaysia has earned the accolades of being a “boring” and under-performing stock market. The ringgit, which is the thermometer to gauge the economy, has weakened after the initial euphoria of appreciating as high as RM4 against the US dollar.

An economist had said that Malaysia without the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is too dependent on oil revenue. Budget 2019 was based on crude oil at US$70 and considering that the year-to-date average is lower, the country would not be able to keep to spending limits.

Ironically, the story of Malaysia’s being a “boring and under-performing” stock came as golfer Tiger Woods made a remarkable comeback to win his first major tournament since 2008. That was the time when the golfer’s on-course performance started to go downhill due to injuries and “off-course” affairs that led to a broken-marriage.

Sponsors stayed away from Tiger Woods and he lived with a tag as a great golfing talent that never made it. Now he is seen as a role model in the story of triumph against adversity. Woods US Masters win is now repeated as a story of why one must never give up and the fruits of labour will finally pay off.

Sadly, it only applies in the world of sports. In the sporting world, there are clear rules and everybody play within the rules or they are disqualified. Sports world is based on meritocracy. If you good and talented, you would be found – some way or other – even if you live in Borneo.

Sarawak has produced amongst Malaysia’s best sprinter and diver in Watson Nyambek and Pandelela Rinong who proved their worth based on merit.

Running a government to please people with different demands is not so easy. Meritocracy is only a slogan. It reality, it is hard to implement.

For instance, the government’s bail-out of Felda and Tabung Haji are seen as further straining the country’s balance sheet.

The fear that the of Budget 2019 objective of keeping fiscal deficit at 3.4% cannot be achieved considering that the government has to fork out RM6bil to rescue Felda.

However, what investors fail to realise is that the government cannot afford not to bail out the likes of Felda and Tabung Haji. It cannot operate completely on meritocracy and go by the book strictly because there are political considerations to weigh on.

Felda needs to be rescued because of the massive mismanagement of funds. It involves the lives of 120,000 settlers and many more, if their families are taken into account. The Felda settlers are important voter bank and determine 52 parliament seats.

Most of them are Malays who form the bulk of the voting population of the country as a whole.

Whether we like or not, issues that Felda and Tabung Haji face has to be resolved if there is to be any political stability.

The only consolation is that those who are responsible for the mismanagement of Felda, Tabung Haji, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) would eventually pay a price.

In communist China, these people would have faced the firing squad.

In Malaysia, it takes time to penalise those responsible under the law. Pakatan Harapan’s messaging to investors is that it provides accountability, transparency and discipline in running the government. It revealed the total debts and a bigger budget deficit for 2019 and left it to investors to decide if they are prepared to put money in the country.

That it does not tolerate corruption is a message that is being drummed countless times.

Is there is a premium in being transparent, accountable and standing firm against corruption? Yes there is. But as a fund manager says, it does not tell investors where to put their money.

It does not tell investors if there is going to be a continuity to the government’s policies and who the next Prime Minister is going to be after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The fund manager says that Malaysia needs to tell another story, apart from governance and transparency.

Towards this end, a good line of messaging would be on addressing the political transition after Dr Mahathir.

The fund manager is right in his argument because long term capital needs political stability and leadership certainty.

Dr Mahathir, who is named as among the most powerful persons by Time Magazine, probably knows best why he is delaying in setting a firm time table to hand over power to the only person who has been named so far, which is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Probably because the minute Dr Mahathir announces the time-table to handover, he would be a lame duck Prime Minister, a role the 93-year veteran politician would not relish.

Apart from politics, the other matter bogging investors is the slowing Malaysian economy.

The concern is that the economic growth of 4.5% would not be met and that Bank Negara would be forced to bring down the interest rates.

When interest rates are down because of a slowing economy, it dampens sentiments on the ringgit and puts yields of bonds under pressure.

The prospects of a lower yield and weakening currency are just the catalysts needed for bond investors to take some money off the table.

The unfavourable rating by little known Russel Fund Index earlier this week did not help matters. The end result is that the government bonds are under pressure and so is the ringgit.

The government should keep up with doing the things it can best do, which are enhancing transparency, governance and being more careful in handling public funds. Investors will view with scepticism until they see hard numbers on the economy and consistency in growth.

The Malaysian stock market was among the world’s best in 1993 on the back of a roaring economy that started its growth path some four years earlier.

The economy over-heated, the government got carried away with spending and we paid a heavy price by the ringgit and stock market crashing. It all came down with a thud in 1997.

The Pakatan Harapan government wants to see Malaysia be a “tiger economy” once again.

But it would not be easy. The road ahead is treacherous with lots of obstacles – balancing the demands of the political and social agenda.

We cannot do it the Tiger Woods way because there is no meritocracy when it comes to governing a country. But we will get there eventually as long as we stay the course.

Call to shed light on PDC’s huge debts owned to Penang govt


GEORGE TOWN: The state has been told to explain the financial status of Penang Development Corporation (PDC) over its alleged mounting debts.

Datuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) said PDC received a RM600mil loan last year from Budget 2017, while in Budget 2018 the loan to PDC was approximately RM300mil.

Questioning if the debts indicate that PDC was not on stable financial ground, he asked if PDC would be able to pay back the huge sum to the state.

“Both loans are huge. How is PDC going to pay it all back?

“What has happened to the revenue of PDC in recent years? We would like some answers to the whereabouts of the expenditure on whether the sum was used for investment or loan to a third party.

“Is the PDC today not on stable financial ground until there were some who said that PDC has to take a bank loan to give out salaries,” he said when debating the Supply Bill and Budget 2018 at the state assembly sitting yesterday.

State Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid (BN-Telok Air Tawar) also raised her concern if PDC “was in the red”, considering that it was among the corporations in the past which had developed Bayan Baru and Seberang Jaya.

“PDC has also contributed to numerous state funds. But now, it is the opposite. PDC is borrowing money from the state government,” she said.

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Health tips , This is really worth reading! 这篇太值得看了!


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这篇太值得看了!
This is really worth reading!

 

祝身体永远健康,香港伊利沙伯医院临床肿瘤科唐志聪医生编写 :

Wishing you good health always – Doctor Tang from St. Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong wrote this:

 

⛄}《人,只要脾、肝、大肠、肾,四个功能健康,就能永远离开癌症、糖尿病、心脏病、高血压。

We, human being, as long as our spleen, liver, large intestine and kidney are healthy, we will be far away from cancer, diabetes, heart attack and high blood pressure.

 

🌷} 脾,一定要健康。

如果有病,就先恢复脾的功能。

Once you are sick, you must work on the recovery of your spleen first.

 

每天三餐,五谷杂粮一定要占总饮食的 50%,一定要养成这个习惯。

Our daily three meals should contain 50% of grains/wheat/brown rice, must learn to make it as part of our eating habit and diet.

 

🍚} 杂粮就是红豆、黄豆、绿豆、薏仁,这些都是杂粮类,莲子也很好,有了这个概念之后,脾好肝就好。

Grain crops are red bean, soya bean, green bean and Chinese Pearl barley. Lotus seeds are also good. Once your spleen is good, your liver will automatically be healthy.

 

🕙} 脾在造血,一天有两个重要的时间,就是子时24:00和午时12:00,所以,你该休息的时候一定要休息。

..现在的人,大部分都是肝不好,为什么不好?

Spleen is the organ that is manufacturing blood. The important schedules for processing are 12am and 12pm. Thus, when you need to rest, you must rest. Nowadays, they are a lot of people who are having liver problems. Why is it?

 

…晚睡、吃油炸的东西、坏脾气,这三个正是肝的三大克星。

Sleeping late, eating oily and fried foods and bad mood, these are the three nemesis.

 

🐷} 油包肝,你吃油的东西,油把整个肝包住,肝的功能完全丧失了,所以说,我们不要吃得太油腻。

When you eat oily foods, oil will cover up your whole liver, your liver will loss its functions.

 

🚶} 当我们身体感觉不适的时候,此时疾病正在纠正人的过失,用身体的痛苦管教他,有痛苦的时候,代表我们要改变自己的生活方式。

🚽 每天早上,你上厕所感觉很困难,这个表示什么?

When we are feeling uncomfortable, the sickness is coming to rectify our negligence, using pain to educate us, we must change our way of living.

Every morning, do you find difficulty to pass motion? What does that mean?

 

🍃} 你身体纤维素摄取量完全不足。

Your intake of fibre is not enough.

 

…万病之源,都是从你的大肠不能正常排泄开始。

Thousands of sickness main problems are caused by the inability to perform daily passing motion through the large intestine.

 

…如果你的大肠很好,那你早上应该不是自己醒过来,而是被大肠的蠕动叫醒,大肠蠕动在叫你了,为什么?

If your large intestine is good form, in the morning, you will be woken up by the movement of your large intestine calling you.

Why?

 

…因为五到七点就是大肠最活跃的时间,所以为什么我们告诉癌症病人一定要晚上九点睡,因为你的大肠早上六点到七点的时候自然就会蠕动,叫你起床,蹲马桶了。

Because 5am to 7am, our large intestine is most actively performing it’s functions. That’s why we inform cancer patients must go to sleep at 9pm. Because large intestine will automatically wake you up between 6am to 7am to sit on the toilet bowl.

 

💩} 你一天要上几次厕所才够?

How many times you must go to toilet everyday?

 

请记住:如果四、五天才上一次厕所,叫重度便秘;

Please remember, if it’s 4-5 days, you are seriously in constipated.

 

两三天上一次厕所,这个叫中度便秘;

2-3 days once, considered as medium level of constipation.

 

一天上一次厕所,叫轻度便秘。

Once a day is mild constipation.

 

…食物进入体内十二小时,没有排出去,就会形成毒素。

Once the foods is maintained inside our stomach for 12 hours, it became poisonous particles.

 

… 因为毒素没有排出去,我们的大肠壁就会吸收这个毒素,吸收以后,透过静脉又送回肝脏去,糟糕了! 造成肝亏损,这个问题就很严重了。

Because the poisonous particles are not passing out, it will be absorbed by the large intestinal wall, which then will send back to the liver, thus, damaging our liver. This will create a serious problem.

 

💝} 肝不好跟大肠有直接关联,只要大肠一通顺,肝就会好了,免疫系统也跟着恢复,而且送到心脏的血都是干净的,所以什么病都不容易罹患。

There is a direct relationship between our liver and large intestine. Once our large intestine is passable, liver will get recover, and build-up our antibody. Then, blood delivery to heart will be clean and no sickness will attack you.

 

…当一个人感觉到每天很容易疲倦、很容易累,表示你的肝功能已经出现问题了,血已经没有办法回流到肝!

When you always feel tired or very easy to get tired, that means you are having problems with the liver, your blood is unable to return back to your liver.

 

💪} 你身体健康靠的是什么?

What is your health depending on?

 

💤} 睡眠的时间,脾去收集血液,送到肝脏去解毒,解毒以后,干净的血液送到心脏去,心脏再送到全身,就能获得营养,就能获得健康。

While you are sleeping, your spleen is going to collect blood and deliver to the liver for dialysis. After cleaning and filtering up the poisonous particles, it will then deliver to the heart, the heart will then despatch throughout your body. You then received nutrients and get healthy.

 

💨} 很不幸的是,现代很多人脾已经先出现问题,脾本身就不收集血液。

Unfortunately, nowadays people are having problems with their spleen. Spleen itself is not storing blood.

 

只有一个办法最养脾,五谷最养脾,可是现代身体为什么都这么差,身体这么多病?

There is only one method to maintain healthy spleen, eating grains/oat/wheat are the most effective way. Why modern body is so poor, with so many sicknesses?

 

…因为都不吃五谷杂粮,吃汉堡、炸鸡、牛排、薯条,又吃白米饭,所以你要吃造物主原创的食物,一定要吃五谷杂粮,原始的杂粮,比如糙米等。

Because they don’t eat grains/oat, they eat burgers, fried chicken, steak, French fries, white rice. You must eat the source foods like brown rice, oat, wheat.

⛳} 恢复四大功能,永远离开病苦!

Recovering back the functionality of the four main organs, sickness will leave you.

 

😍} 用心多看几次! 好好照顾自己! 》 这周是世界好友周,如果你愿意,请把这条信息发给你所有的好朋友 。

Be patient and read this over several times and take good care of yourselves. This week is “world friendship week”, send this message to all of your good friends.

…当大部分人都在关注你飞得高不高时,只有少部分人关心你飞得累不累,这就是 友情。

Most people are noticing how high you can fly, but very few people are taking note of how tired you are?

 

👯} 再忙,也要照顾好自己, 朋友虽不常联系,却一直 惦念。

However busy you are, you must take good care of yourself. Though friends are not always communicating with you but they have you in their mind.

👕} 天凉时记着多穿衣!

When the weather is cold, you must wear enough to keep warm.

 

☕} 少喝奶茶、远离正在充电的电源。

Drink less milk tea and stay far away from charging port.
☕} 白天多喝水,晚上少喝,一天不喝多于两杯的咖啡。

Day time drink more water, night time drink less. One day shouldn’t drink more than 2 cups of coffee.

 

🍔} 少吃油多的食物, 最佳睡眠为晚上十点至早上六点

Eat less oily foods. Best sleeping times are from 10pm to 6am.

🍸} 晚上五点后少吃大餐,每天喝酒不超过一杯。

Evening time, don’t eat too much after 5pm. Don’t drink more than one cup of alcoholic drink per day.

 

💊} 不用冷水服胶囊, 睡前半小时服药忌立刻躺下。

Don’t eat medicines with cold water, eat medicines half hour before going to bed. Never eat medicines immediately laying down.

 

⛺} 睡眠不足八小时人会变笨。

Don’t sleep for less than 8 hours per day.

 

👍} 午睡习惯的人不易老。

Having nap in the noon hour will keep you young and not age easily.

 

📲} 手机电池剩一格时不要打电话, 剩一格时辐射是平时的一千倍。

Once your handphone battery is left with only one bar, don’t make calls anymore, because the radiation wave is one thousand times higher than fully charged battery.

 

👂} 要用左耳接电话, 用右耳会直接伤害到大脑。

Use your left ear to answer calls, right ear will directly hurt your brain.

 

💪} 2017 新概念 一个中心:一切以健康为中心。

New Concept in 2017, good health is most important, much more than any other things.

 

✌}两个基本点: 遇事潇洒一点, 看世事胡涂一点。

Two basic points: greet everything in life with an elegant and cheerful approach.

 

🙏}三个忘记: 忘记年龄,忘记过去,忘记恩怨。

Three things need to forget: forget your age, forget your past and forget your grievances.

 

👋}四个拥有: 无论你有多弱或多强,一定要: 拥有真正爱你的人, 拥有知心的朋友 , 拥有向上的事业, 拥有温暖的住所。

Four things you must have. No matter how weak or how strong you are, you must have: people who are truly loving you, have caring friends, progressive business or employment and a warm home.

 

✋}五个要: 要唱,要跳,要俏,要笑,要苗

Five things you do: Singing, dancing, charming, smiling and growing.

 

👌}六个不能: 不能饿了才吃, 不能渴了才喝, 不能困了才睡, 不能累了才歇, 不能病了才检查, 不能老了再后悔。

Six things you don’t: don’t wait till u r hungry then eat, don’t wait till you are thirsty then you drink, don’t wait till sleepy then sleep, don’t wait till u feel tired then rest, don’t wait till get sick then go for medical check-up, otherwise will only regret in later life.

 

😁} … 阅读后,将此转发给所有的亲人和朋友。

After reading, do forward this to all your loved ones & friends.

Money, culture and the chase for Olympic gold


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https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/63BmkZeq2mo

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/o2h1d6clCeE

Although some countries offer financial incentives to its athletes, a genuine sporting culture may be the best guarantee of success at the Games.

SHOCK and awe just about sums up the stunning achievement of young Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling at the Rio Olympics.

His victory is classic David beating Goliath; he was the underdog from a tiny country that had never won an Olympic gold.

What made it all the sweeter and remarkable is that Schooling beat the mightiest, most decorated Olympian in history – American Michael Phelps who has won 23 gold medals – and set an impressive new record of 50.39 secs for the 100m butterfly event.

When news of Singapore’s first gold medal broke, it quickly overtook other stories emanating from Rio and became the talk of the world.

It eclipsed its Asean neighbours’ own Olympic gold successes: Vietnam’s shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh in the 10m air pistol competition and Thailand’s weightlifters Sopita Tanasan and Sukanya Srisurat in their individual weight classes and certainly overshadowed Malaysian diving duo Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong’s silver in the women’s synchronised 10m platform diving.

All are no small feats but there is a total of 28 sports in the Games, not counting those with multiple disciplines, and the most popular ones for a global audience are gymnastics, track and field and swimming, according to topendsports.com.

Among Asian nations competing in the Games, China and Japan are traditionally strong contenders in gymnastics and swimming although the Chinese gymnasts seem to be doing poorly this time around.

For most other Asian competitors, the sports they excel in tend to be the ones with less mass appeal like archery, shooting, judo, badminton and for some strange reason, women’s weightlifting.

Apart from the Thais, Taiwanese, Filipina and Indonesian female weightlifters have also won medals for their countries.

China remains the sporting powerhouse of Asia, sending its largest delegation of 416 athletes to Rio this year, but they have failed to defend their gold medals in sports they used to dominate like badminton and diving.

As for the glamorous track and field events, there doesn’t seem to be any Asian athlete who can challenge the likes of Usain Bolt.

Meanwhile, the other Asian powerhouse, India, with the second largest population in the world, has never done well at the Olympics, which has been the subject of intense debate among Indian and foreign sports pundits.

India also sent its biggest ever contingent of 118 sportsmen and women, and has so far won only a bronze medal in wrestling.

Winning an Olympic gold medal is the Holy Grail of sports.

The pomp that surrounds the Games gives the gold medallists unparalleled honour and prestige. And the nations they represent go into collective convulsions of ecstasy and nationalistic joy, which make their governments equally happy.

That’s why many nations pour millions into sports programmes to nurture and train promising talents and offer great financial rewards to successful Olympians.

Schooling will get S$1mil (RM3mil) from the Singapore government for his gold medal. Vietnam’s Hoang reportedly will receive US$100,000 (RM400,000), a figure, according to AFP, that is nearly 50 times greater than the country’s average national income, of around US$2,100 (RM8,400).

Malaysia, which is seeing its best ever performance in Rio, thanks to its badminton players and divers, rewards its successful athletes handsomely under its National Sports Council incentive scheme.

An Olympic gold medal winner will receive RM1mil and a monthly pension of RM5,000; a silver medallist, RM600,000 and a RM3,000 pension while a bronze winner gets RM100,000 and a RM2,000 pension.

Taiwan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand have similar monetary reward schemes. North Korea uses a carrot and stick scheme: huge rewards for medal winners and hard labour for the failed ones.

Several western countries have the same financial bait, including the United States, France, Russia and Germany, but at a lower rate.

Does it work?

The Technology Policy Institute looked for a correlation and was mindful of variables like country size and income, “since those are surely the biggest predictor of how many medals a country will win: more populous countries are more likely to have that rare human who is physically built and mentally able to become an Olympic athlete, while richer countries are more likely to be able to invest in training those people.”

The researchers found no correlation between monetary payments and medals and said it was not surprising in some countries. In the United States, for example, a US$25,000 (RM100,000) cash award would be dwarfed by million-dollar endorsements the athlete could get.

The researchers also set out to see if the results were different for countries with lower opportunities for endorsements. Their conclusion: “overall the evidence suggests that these payments don’t increase the medal count” either.

Rather, countries that do well are those with a longstanding sporting culture that values and nurtures their athletes long before they qualify for the Olympics.

That is evident in Western societies where sportsmen, even at the college level, are feted and idolised. In Asia, however, the emphasis is more on book-learning and earning prestigious degrees.

The BBC quotes Indian Olympic Association head Narayana Ramachandran as saying India’s sorry performance is more than just a shortage of cash or organisation.

“Sport has always taken a back seat vis-á-vis education. Most Indian families would prefer their children became dentists or accountants than Olympians,” he says.

But that attitude is surely changing as more Asian sportsmen and women go professional and are able to make a good living.

In Malaysia, its most popular sportsman, badminton star Datuk Lee Chong Wei, is highly successful with a number of endorsements under his belt.

For now, it is still the Western countries that dominate the Olympic medal tally table. But it’s only a matter of time before more Asian nations, once no-hopers at the Games, rise up the charts.

It’s already started. The Rio Games will go down in history as a watershed for Asean, with two member states – Singapore and Vietnam – winning their first gold medals. May it be so for Malaysia, too.

By June H.L Wong Chief Operating Officer (Content Development) The Star, Malaysia.

The writer was the former group chief editor of The Star Media Group Malaysia. This is the eighth article in a series of columns on global affairs written by top editors from members of the Asia News Network and published in newspapers across the region.

Heartbreak again for Chong Wei, Chen Long takes gold

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RIO DE JANEIRO: Lee Chong Wei, the king of Malaysian badminton, will leave the Rio de Janeiro Olympics without the crown – and so will Malaysia without the coveted gold.

The 33-year-old lost his third Olympic final after going down 18-21, 18-21 to Chen Long at the Riocentro Pavilion 4 on Saturday.

It was indeed a painful end for Malaysia as it was the third false dawn. Earlier, Malaysia had also lost in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles finals.

Malaysia thus will return home with a total of four silvers and one bronze.

The other three silvers came from Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles), Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles) and divers Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong (women’s 10m platform synchro). Cyclist Azizulhasni Awang contributed the sole bronze through the men’s keirin.

Both Chong Wei, playing in probably his last Olympics, and Chen Long went onto the court to loud cheers from their countries’ supporters.

Chong Wei, who lost to Lin Dan at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London finals, looked tentative in the beginning to allow Chen Long to open up a 4-0 lead. But he recovered his composure to lead 5-4.

After that, they traded point until it was 7-7 before Chong Wei pulled away for an 11-7 and then 14-10 lead.

But Chen Long refused to go away and managed to level at 14-14.

Twice Chong Wei surged in front but Chen Long capitalised on the Malaysian’s mistakes at the net to lead 20-17. Although world No. 1 Chong Wei managed to save one match point, his failure to return a smash gave Chen Long a 21-18 win in 35 minutes.

Oozing confidence, Chen Long was always in front in the second game – leading 4-1 and 5-2.

But Chong Wei fought back to go 8-5 up. Chen Long then went on a smashing spree, winning six points for an 11-8 advantage.

The 27-year-old world No. 2 never looked back after that as he always had at least a three-point lead.

Everything looked lost for Chong Wei as Chen Long reached 20-16. The Malaysian saved two match points but then sent the shuttle out to lose 18-21 in 38 minutes.

For Chen Long, it was his first Olympic gold to add to his two All-England and World Championships crowns.

Chong Wei can only look in envy as he’s still without a world or Olympic crown. He also lost in three World Championships finals.

Chen Long’s gold was only China’s second at these Games after Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan triumphed in the men’s doubles.

Earlier, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan fell from grace in probably his last Olympic outing after losing 21-15, 10-21, 17-21 to Dane Viktor Axelson in the 70-minute bronze medal playoff.

Medals By Countries – Rio 2016

London 2012 Olympics – Medal Table

Rio 2016 Asia Regional Aug 21 Medal by Countries

 

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Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal, dreams do come true !

Joseph Schooling celebrates his gold win next to Michael Phelps on Aug 12. PHOTO: REUTERS https://youtu.be/-JTwPEutLdY RIO DE JANEIRO…

The Olympic flame burns in Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio
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Malaysia must develop new sport talents after Chong Wei

Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal, dreams do come true !


Video: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/-JTwPEutLdY

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Joseph Schooling won the men’s 100 metres butterfly final on Friday to secure Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal and deny Michael Phelps a 23rd in the last individual race of the American’s extraordinary career.

Phelps, the defending champion and world record holder who is heading into retirement — again — after Rio, finished second in a three-way dead heat with two of his greatest rivals — South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh.

Astonishingly, all three touched out in 51.14 seconds, behind Schooling’s Olympic record 50.39 in the second dead-heat in a final in two days.

“I’m just ecstatic. I don’t think it has set in yet. It’s just crazy,” said Schooling.

Straight after his historic golden feat, Schooling told Singapore media: “This swim wasn’t for me. It’s for my country.

“Some people believe that Singapore has a lot of talent. I believe that. It doesn’t matter where you’re from really. I hope this opens new doors for sports in our country and I hope I’ve set a precedent for the young in our country.

“It’s been a hard road, I’ve done something that no one in our country has done before. I’ve received a lot of support and that’s phenomenal, that’s great. I can’t really describe what that means.

“But it’s been a tough road, I’m not going to lie, the first guy through the wall is always bloody. I had to take that blow.

“I’m thankful and I’m blessed that I have the ability to accomplish this. This moment is not about me, it’s really for my country, it’s all about my coaches, my family, my friends who believed from when I was a six-year-old kid, that I could do it.”

In Singapore, cheers broke out across housing estates and social media erupted in celebration as Schooling won in Brazil.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan, who was in Rio to cheer Team Singapore, led an outpouring of congratulations for Schooling.”

“It is an incredible feat, to compete among the world’s best, stay focused, and emerge victorious,” Mr Lee said in a Facebook post.”

Schooling will receive S$1 million for his gold medal as part of a programme aimed at encouraging studious Singaporeans to excel in sport.”

“Schooling winning shows that even homegrown athletes can win an Olympic medal and I think it’s a good example for our youth that sporting greatness is possible,” said real estate agent Michael Tan, 35, who cheered on Schooling at a coffee shop in a residential estate.

“It’s amazing that Singapore finally has a gold medal at the Olympics, I don’t think anyone thought this was possible,” Madeleine Lim, 62, told AFP.”

Video: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/0C6XrjKPvCE

Dreams Do Come True

 

It was back in 2008, a 13-year-old teenager Joseph Schooling got to meet his hero, one of the all-time greatest Olympians, Michael Phelps, who had visited Singapore before the start of the Beijing Olympics. Eight years later, Schooling, now 21, creates history by beating Phelps to bag the gold in the 100m Butterfly finals. The specialty of the occasion is double great as this is for the first time a Singaporean wins an Olympic gold.

It was a dream come true for Schooling when he got an opportunity to swim in the same race with Phelps at London Olympics 2012. That was the year Joseph first qualified for the Olympics in London, but then disaster struck when he was told his goggles weren’t Olympics standard just before the race. He rushed to get replacements, but ended up getting a poor time in his heats and didn’t get through to the semi-finals.

He pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Rio, interrupting the 31-year-old Phelps’ quest for what would have been his fifth gold in Brazil and 23rd Olympic gold of his career.

Schooling’s father Colin, who hosted a viewing party at his home in Singapore, wept when his son won.

“If I cry in front of all of you all, it’s because I have nothing to be ashamed of,” he told reporters.

“My love for my son is nothing I can describe to you all.”

Related stories: 

Left: A young Schooling posing with Phelps, whom he idolised, during a training camp in Singapore in 2008. Below left: Phelps congratulating Schooling as they leave the podium after the 100m butterfly victory ceremony. Gold medallist Joseph SchoolingOlympics: Joseph Schooling’s win is shaking up everyone’s world 

 

 Mr Poon, 70, remembers Schooling's insatiable quest to win even while attending his swimming classes as a child.Schooling learnt to be fearless from first coach Vincent Poon

 Medals By Countries – Rio 2016

 Rank by: Gold TOTAL

TOTAL

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Rio 2016 Olympics sets good example; Smug Aussie swimmer won’t cloud Rio

The Olympic flame burns in Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 5,
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Rio 2016 Olympics sets good example; Smug Aussie swimmer won’t cloud Rio


 

Congratulations, and many thanks to Rio de Janeiro, for the innovatively choreographed and beautifully executed opening ceremony for the Olympic Games, which was mesmerizing, inspiring, and thoroughly entertaining.

From supermodel Gisele Bundchen’s elegant walk across the stadium floor and the first-ever refugee team to the all-green Olympic rings and the Samba, there was indeed plenty to enjoy and remember.

What amazed us even more is the way Rio has achieved it, and in such a graceful manner, when so many thought it was impossible.

The Rio Games could not have come at a worse time for Brazil, under the triple pressures of an economic recession, the like of which the country has not seen in decades, a domestic political crisis and the Zika threat.

The prospect of Rio hosting a decent Olympics once seemed so bleak that some even suspected the International Olympic Committee had made a bad choice awarding the city the 2016 Summer Games.

With Beijing and London setting a high bar for opening ceremony theatricality, few had anticipated anything this impressive from Rio. After all, opening ceremonies are increasingly costly these days with host countries competing to invest in effects they deem commensurate with the self-image they intend to project.

Rio, on the other hand, had a budget that was reportedly 12 times less than London’s and 20 times less than Beijing’s. It was operating on a comparative shoestring.

But the show they presented was nothing short of spectacular. Which prompted one Chinese commentator to gasp in admiration, “Who needs money when you have a conscience?”

Money does matter when it comes to hosting an international sporting event like the Olympic Games. But Rio offered a loud reminder that money is not everything, and conscience and creativity can go a long way.

Besides visuals that were hardly less fabulous than what we saw in Beijing and London, and the strong message about climate change, this aspect of the opening ceremony challenges future hosts and the Olympic community to rethink the way the world’s largest sporting gala is handled.

We particularly admire the organizers’ idea that it was unnecessary to spend large sums of money on the opening ceremony, when such undertakings as education and public health in Brazil are crying out for funds.

Like the “Avatar-like allegiance” to the environment demonstrated in the opening ceremony, this is a poignant Brazilian statement on conscience and social responsibility we sincerely wish will reach the hearts of all future Olympic hosts. Including those in Beijing, who are preparing for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. – (China Daily)

Rio 2016 medals tally


Search Results

Olympic Games Rio 2016
OVERVIEWSportsON TVSCHEDULEAthletesMEDALSCountries
Medal standings
Country
1

United States
5 7 7 19
2

China
5 3 5 13
3

Australia
4 0 3 7
4

Italy
3 4 2 9
5

Japan
3 0 7 10

Smug Aussie swimmer won’t cloud Rio

 

The Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) has called its Australian counterpart, to demand Australian swimmer Mack Horton apologize to Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, against whom Horton initiated a personal attack. To no one’s surprise, the Australian side declined, saying Horton “is entitled to express a point of view.”

The CSA’s protest is a consolation for Sun, and the one voice from the Chinese media and public backing Sun shows the unity of Chinese society and the people’s human touch.

Horton won the first gold medal for Australia at the Rio Olympics, and has become a hero for the country. It is understandable if Swimming Australia finds it difficult to teach him a lesson right now for his rude and irresponsible words.

The problem is that it seems the entire sports circle and media in Australia do not have a problem with Horton’s ill-mannered and provocative remarks. In a response to the CSA, Swimming Australia didn’t forget to flaunt the “freedom of speech” cliché with a swaggering ego. According to their logic, it seems that no matter how derisive and slanderous the remarks could be, it is all free speech, which should be praised.

If so, the focus of the squabble will go beyond Horton’s ill manners and silliness. The whole level of Australia’s awareness of sports ethics and glory is as low as that of a young and brash kid.

Australia’s aberrant response is confusing not only to the Chinese, but also to many other Westerners. How come the Australians are not ashamed of Horton’s personal attacks, but are shamelessly climbing to the moral high ground in this case?

From China’s perspective, Australia, an English-speaking and developed country, is a typical part of the Western world. But actually, Australia has always been a “second-class citizen” in the West, and many people from Western Europe, especially the UK, feel condescension toward Australians.

Australia used to be a land populated by the UK’s unwanted criminals, and this remains a stigma attached to Australian culture.

Eager to be completely accepted by the Western world and afraid of being overlooked, Australia has grown docile and obedient in face of the US and the UK.

However, in front of Asian countries, it cannot help but effuse its white supremacy. The tangle of inferiority and superiority has numerous reflections in Australia’s foreign exchanges.

We don’t have to take seriously the tinge of barbarism that comes out of some Australians, nor should we pay keen attention to some vindictive provocations. China cannot be distracted from its own path of development, so it should turn a blind eye to what should be despised.

Horton and his backers represent the dark side of Australian society, and it is time for us to look at the bright side of the Olympic Games. This trifling botheration won’t ruin our beautiful memories of this grand event. – Global Times

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Tech Dome Penang Official Opening


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The official opening of TECH DOME PENANG on July 16 marks the culmination of an arduous and challenging 5-year journey to set up the state’s very first Science Discovery Centre..TECH DOME PENANG has been modelled after the San Jose Tech Centre whereby the government provided the building and funds are raised from the corporate sector and the public. The Penang State Government has, however, taken this a step further by not only providing the use of the iconic Komtar Geodesic Dome to house the facility but also provided funding of RM5.15 million (through the Penang Development Corporation) to kick-start the project.

When the present State Government assumed office in 2008, it realizes the paramount need to not only maintain Penang’s position and status as a globally-renowned centre of technological excellence but with a mission to take it to the next level and beyond through innovation, research and development.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was instrumental in providing the impetus and the push as he realized that the mission cannot be achieved merely through just the vision and support of the State Government and industry players but would require a very essential component which is a highly skilled and knowledgeable human capital. After all, human talent is the new oil of the 21st century and building human talent requires a PPP model of Public Private Partnership.

There has been increasing concerns about the declining interests in the pursuit of studies and also the continuous decline in standards of English, Mathematics and Science among students below 15 years of age as evidenced through studies conducted under the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In their latest ranking released for 2015, Malaysia was ranked a lowly 52 out of 76 countries assessed, well below regional powerhouses like Singapore (1st), Hong Kong (2nd), South Korea (3rd), Taiwan and Japan (joint 4th). What was alarming was that even a comparatively new player like Vietnam was ranked 12th. If Malaysia cannot even surpass Vietnam, how then can we be a manufacturing powerhouse. The urgency to return Penang’s position as the Centre of Excellence (COE) for Science and Technology became critical.

Tech Dome Penang will showcase more than 120 international-standard exhibits targeted at sparking the interests of the younger generation to the exciting world of Science and Technology and providing the catalyst to inspire them to pursue studies and careers in these fields. The exhibits are laid out in 6 main galleries, namely Robotics, Information Technology, Forces & Motion, Electromagnetism, Life Tech and Optics. In addition, there is a Children’s Exploration Zone for pre-schoolers and also an Observatory housing the largest telescope in Penang.

The majority of the exhibits were designed and supplied by exhibits design fabricators from New Zealand, Germany and USA. The centre will also showcase exhibits from local manufacturing corporations and other locally-based Multi-National Corporations.

Besides showcasing exhibits, Tech Dome Penang will also house classrooms and a laboratory to conduct science classes, workshops and school holiday camps for students.

Industry players may also find Tech Dome Penang a suitable venue for carrying out their team-building programmes as a number of the exhibits are suitable for such purposes. There is also additional floor space in the annex for companies to hold public exhibitions to showcase their technology and products or to even hold simultaneous walk-in interviews.

There are also CSR opportunities for companies to sponsor visits by children from rural-based schools and also the under-privileged.

Entry charges for those with MyKad are RM12 for children from 5 years to below 12 years, RM16 for children with student cards, and RM20 for adults. Children below 5 years enter free while senior citizens pay RM12.

Tech Dome will be open daily from 10am – 6pm except for Tuesdays (unless Public Holidays) when it will be closed.

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Putrajaya the obese-city! Address obesity urgently


Two men cycling in front of the Palace of justice in Putrajaya

Malaysia has the highest percentage of overweight people in South-East Asia and the bulk of them are in Putrajaya. A survey has found that two out of five Malaysian civil servants are obese. The news is not good for the country’s health.

KUALA LUMPUR: It has been long known that Malaysia is the fattest country in South-East Asia. Now, it has been proven that the administrative capital of Putrajaya has the highest rate of overweight and obese people in the country.

Findings from the 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) placed Putrajaya as the city with the highest percentage of overweight, obese and abdominally obese people in the country.

The study also suggests that the administrative capital’s population has a 37% chance of being overweight, while the obesity rate stood at 43%.

Even more startling, the NHMS said government and semi-government employees took the cake as those struggling most with obesity, with a 40.3% rate.

This could mean two out of every five of Malaysia’s civil servants may be obese.

Malaysia’s civil service has 1.4 million employees, according to the Prime Minister’s Office, and is the largest civil service in South-East Asia.

Other obesity demographics pointed out in the survey were Indians (43.5%), married adults (33.8%) and those who only studied up to secondary school (32.1%).

The findings put the Government in a rather red-faced situation, as it works on reversing the climbing number of obese and overweight Malaysians.

“As the number of people with obesity increases, the nation now is facing an upward surge of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” the survey concluded, describing the Malaysian obesity epidemic as alarming.

Although a review of public health policy was not necessary now, it opined, the Government was asked to provide more supportive environments for Malaysians to lead healthier lifestyles.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Ashok Zachariah Phillip agreed, saying that the life of a typical government servant did not afford them much time or money to stay healthy.

“If you look at the strata, it’s usually the lower grade workers who are overweight because it takes money to keep fit. Government workers go to work at 7am, come back at 7pm and have no time between work and family to even think of exercising,” he said.

It doesn’t help either that basic essentials like white rice, sugar and oil are staple Malaysian diets and are unhealthy, he said.

“For us doctors, this could be a real headache 20 years down the road. We are going to have a growing population with stroke and heart disease, and kidney failures that will increase the health budget at an unsustainable level,” he added.

The Government needs to look into setting up more gyms in agencies and dish out incentives for employees to fight the bulge.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the figures were worrying.

“I don’t think the people are in the best state of health,” he said.

He said general sedentary work has a correlation to obesity, a trend which government agencies, namely the police, were trying to counter.

“The police recognised this recently and have taken some effort to make sure they have lean policemen. They will try to take action to meet this target,” Dr Subramaniam said yesterday.

Malacca and Perlis are the states with second and third highest obesity rates. Sabah and the Federal Territory of Labuan were the slimmest states.

By Micholas Cheng The Star

Address obesity urgently

 

AMID the current heat wave, not only are we blue over the greens (The Star, April 4) with highland vegetables wilting and Ipoh’s famous pomelos shrinking in size, schoolchildren are also getting more obese with the sound advice from the authorities to stay indoors.

Presumably, many children will go in droves to air-conditioned malls and fast food restaurants for meals, which naturally will add to the problem of obesity.

Doctors say obesity is defined as the condition of being very overweight and having a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher. The BMI is a measure of the weight relative to the height.

Evidently, obesity is manifested in the abdominal fat around the waist of children and adults as well.

But we should not get unduly worried with the adults because they are mature and knowledgeable enough to take responsibility for their health.

However, the innocent children’s health is undeniably our responsibility. Like it or not, we are accountable and answerable for the obesity problem in their adult life.

Today we can see the startling increase in the number of obese children across the country. Yet many parents unfortunately are seemingly too busy to check their children’s diet, let alone their daily exercise like the recommended walk of up to 10,000 steps a day.

Perhaps schools should voluntarily take up the task of creating awareness about the high risks and health hazards of obesity.

One practical way is to do routine short workouts: get students to burn calories by doing some exercises in the school assembly or in class every day – even some stretching exercises will suffice.

Certainly, this will increase their metabolic rate, thus strengthening their mental ability to learn; reducing levels of stress and depression; and suppressing the appetite.

When the heat wave is over, I would say it is the ethical and moral responsibility of the school authorities to bring back the Physical Standard Tests for all students like the good old days and mobilise all the staff to run selected athletic events such as the 100m, 200m, long jump, high jump and shot putt. Set certain standards for the events.

It would be much better if the Education Ministry’s Sports Department sets the national standards for all these events, which was done in the 60s till the 80s by using the co-curriculum 001 and 002 cards.

Next, it is also incumbent upon the Education Ministry to make it mandatory for school canteens to display the calorie counts for all the food so that the children will learn how to make healthy food choices and to calculate the total calorie intake they require for a day (about 1,600 and 2,500 calories per day depending on their age, gender and activity level).Eventually, they will “graduate” to become smart healthy consumers.

Let’s take these critical measures seriously to save our children from potential health risks like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and also some cancers.

This will invariably reduce the national health bill as well.

It was reported in “Putrajaya tops obese list” (see above) that we already have the highest percentage of overweight people in South-East Asia, and two out of five civil servants are obese.

Hence, invariably, the Government has to increase the health budget to cater for our increasingly ailing population if the obesity problem is not urgently addressed.

THOMAS KOK Ipoh

Related story: Healthy when young, healthy when old

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Beijing wins to host Winter Olympics 2022


Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

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Chinese captital celebrates victory

The National Stadium, or Bird Nest, is seen with giant illumination showing a message celebrating Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s winning of the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

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Beijingers celebrate Olympic victory

Beijing last night was the scene of jubilation and cheering. People celebrated the news from Kuala Lumpur.

Games offers new drive to opening-up

Beijing and Zhangjiakou have won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It’s great.

Seven years after Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games, Chinese people get to embrace the Olympics again. Many still remember the passion and joy after winning the 2008 Games. Our optimism and happiness has come alive again. Chinese society is still actively seeking to host major international sports events. Such sentiment fits the country’s rising momentum.

Countries in the developed world are no longer enthusiastic about holding the Olympics like they once were. They have their own calculations. But over 90 percent of people in Beijing and Zhangjiakou support their cities’ hosting of the Winter Games. Such high rates of support is generally true in other parts of the country in hosting major international sports events.

Chinese people long for progress and more contact with the outside world. Many people consider the hosting of major sports events an opportunity to enhance a city’s development level and help it become more international.

But there are also many who oppose hosting the Winter Games. Some of them are just following the voices of popular Western-style opponents. Others have their marginal reasons. But these opinions are not mainstream in China.

It is great that many stadiums and other pieces of infrastructure built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics can still be of use for the 2022 Games.

The 2008 Summer Games can be seen as a coming-out party for China. China has made significant progress in the seven years since it hosted the event. China’s GDP leapt from the third place globally to second. Chinese people have seen more of the world.

To be frank, when Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games, many Chinese people were nervous that they might mess up the event. That is why the 2008 Games emphasized pomp and ceremony in order to demonstrate China’s capabilities.

This time when we host the Winter Games, we may be able to be more relaxed, focusing on the beauty of the sports instead of laboring ourselves in ensuring a perfect event. We can try to make the 2022 Games a big party.

The 2022 Winter Games is also likely to bring concrete benefits in the coming seven years. “Olympic blue” may become a new target in dealing with air pollution. A high-speed railway between Beijing and Zhangjiakou is likely. Winter sports may become more popular.

The Winter Games will become a lasting drive for China’s further opening-up. Chinese society will seek greater balance between outside criticism and China’s own principles and traditions. This project will help China further integrate with the world. – Global Times

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