Malaysia’s flight MH370 mistakes reflect stagnant politics; Bad apples in NZ sex crime..


Malaysia is poised to escape the middle-income trap, but also ready to fall back into it.

Normally the middle-income trap refers to countries with per capita GDP ranging from $1,000 to $12,000. GDP per capita in Malaysia already reached $1,000 by 1977, and $11,000 by 2013. After ups and downs over almost four decades, it seems Malaysia could walk out of the middle-income trap very soon.

Nonetheless, according to the Asian Development Bank that created the concept, GDP per capita is only a superficial indicator. The more accurate definition of the middle-income trap is that when a country enters the ranks of middle-income countries, a series of problems emerge, including rising labor costs, a lack of technological innovation, and subsequent economic stagnation.

There are two aspects of the definition: rising productivity and good governance. The essence of governance here means encouraging reasonable competition to maximize the value of talent and give boost to innovation.

MH370 mistakesMalaysia’s poor response following the disappearance of flight MH370 reflected the fact that the country is still way behind in terms of governance. Behind the chaotic information are the flaws in Malaysia’s system of governance.

There are both systematic and cultural reasons behind Malaysia’s poor governance. But it is more related to the lack of secularization.

One driving force in the rise of Malaysia’s GDP per capita has been the export of abundant raw products such as oil and rubber.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country, with Malays making up 68 percent of the population, Chinese 24.6 percent, and Indians 7 percent. According to the law, Chinese Malaysians, who were historically dominant in the economy despite their smaller numbers, cannot take positions as top leaders; and Malays must make up two-thirds of ministers and parliamentary members, and three-fourths of civil servants.

Malays also enjoy special policies in other fields such as college admission and civil servant recruitment. Malays even enjoy a higher quota in the issuing of taxi operation licenses.

Some Malays simply acquire the licenses and rent them to Chinese, collecting unearned income.

This rigid system which shows special care for Malays, to a certain extent, helps different ethnic groups to stay in their own places and thus boosts social stability. But this also closes the channel for upward mobility because it fails to provide a reasonable platform for competition.

The special privileges enjoyed by Malays give leeway for corruption. And in terms of governance, these privileges translate into a conservative group with vested interests and a lack of talent.

The modernization of Malaysia’s governance is also related to Islamic modernization.

In 2001, then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia was a Muslim country. Current Prime Minister Najib Razak also declared in 2007 that Malaysia has never been a secular country.

Even today, some states in Malaysia still maintain elements of Sharia law. Different religious populations have different civil laws, even when living in the same place.

Islam is not a negative element. However, integrating religion with the law and politics rather than separating them may cause social conservatism and isolation.

In fact, this is a misinterpretation that sees Malaysian politics as strictly controlled by the elite. What’s dysfunctional is not elite politics itself, but a rigid, dull system that is responsible for selecting the political elite.

Malaysia is determined to enter the ranks of developed countries by 2020. But judging from its handling of the MH370 incident, Malaysia’s modernization will take far longer than this.

Source: By Ding Gang Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-19

Bad apples -Malaysian envoy in NZ sex crime 

NZ Sex crime_Muhammad Rizalman

 

Malaysian envoy in NZ sex crime named

A photo of the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand. 
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian diplomat who is at the centre of an alleged sexual assault case in New Zealand has been identified as Muhammad Rizalman Ismail.His identity was allowed to be revealed after media organisations challenged a judge’s decision to grant permanent name suppression, The New Zealand Herald reported today.

The identity of Muhammad Rizalman, 38, who worked at the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, was previously concealed due to a immunity order imposed by a Wellington District Court judge on May 30.

However, the High Court at Wellington today held an emergency hearing to overturn the immunityruling and it was successful.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry said it will not waive Muhammad Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity just yet. But they are prepared to do so, if necessary, so that the suspect can be prosecuted under the New Zealand law, its Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said.

He said the Malaysian government is committed in ensuring the transparency of the investigation of this case.

“If it is absolutely necessary that we think it is best to (waive his immunity) we will do it without hesitation,” he told a press conference in Wisma Putra here today.

NZ Sex crime_Muhammad Rizalman1
Anifah also said, the Malaysian government has confidence with the Defence Ministry’s (Mindef) board of inquiry (BOI) that they will communicate with the New Zealand authorities, adding that they will not hesitate to take stern action against the suspect.”Mindef will not hesitate to act under the Armed Forces Act 1972, if it is proven beyond doubt that Muhammad Rizalman is responsible and guilty of the offense as charged,” he said.

He said the waiver would be deemed necessary when New Zealand requested for Muhammad Rizalman’s return, out of belief that the investigations in Malaysia were not done properly.

However, he informed that it was the New Zealand authorities who had allowed the man to be brought back to Malaysia in May.

Besides that, Muhammad Rizalman has also undergone medical checks at the Mindef Medical Centre on May 29 which include physical and mental tests.

Anifah said blood and urine tests were also conducted and the results were satisfactory. Muhammad Rizalman is now at the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital to have his mental and emotional health assessed.

On the Malaysian High Commission’s website in New Zealand, Muhammad Rizalman, who had previously claimed diplomatic immunity, is listed to be Defence staff assistant, with the rank of a warrant officer II.

The man was arrested after he allegedly followed a 21-year-old woman to her house on May 9 and attacked her.

Sources: Astro/The Star/Asia News Network

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FIFA World Cup gambling on the go, technologies got smarter


Fifa-world-cup-2014


KUALA LUMPUR: Illegal betting for this year’s World Cup is set to hit a record high – thanks to smart technology which will allow punters to place bets from anywhere and at anytime.

Federal Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division (D7) principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Roslee Chik said the total bets for the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago amounted to more than RM438mil nationwide.

“We expect this year’s tournament to surpass that amount as syndicates and gamblers are using smartphones rather than laptops.

“In the 2010 World Cup, we only had to deal with syndicates and gamblers using laptops but now smartphones have become the tool of the bookies,” he said.

Some of the gambling apps that are easily available are M88 Sports, IBCBET and SBOBET.

“We have started preparations in the last three weeks and we are ready to come down hard on anyone involved in illegal football betting,” SAC Roslee told a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.

Betting on football matches is illegal in Malaysia and even those who place bets on betting websites that are legal in other countries will face action.

Johor police have also set up a taskforce in every district to check on gambling activities and will focus on premises such as cybercafés and restaurants that offer live matches.

Johor police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff had these words of advice for those likely to get into bigger trouble by borrowing from loan sharks: “Just enjoy the games. There is no need to bet.”

Sabah police have set up eight teams for the Ops Soga 5 to combat football betting activities.

State CID chief Senior Asst Comm Omar Mammah said the police did not want to reveal details of their operations so they could catch the bookies and the gamblers by surprise.

According to SAC Roslee, although police arrested 143 people in 2010, including bookies and those who placed bets, most of them could not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence.

The youngest among those arrested was 15 and the oldest was 73. There were also 22 women and nine Indonesians.

He added that a total of 270 premises were raided nationwide during the month-long tournament and RM110,124 seized.

“We have learned some lessons and have improved our strategies.

“We will use the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Act 2001 (Amlata) and enforcement will be more stringent,” he said.

SAC Roslee said bets for the World Cup would increase as the tournament progressed, with the stake getting higher for the quarter-final, semi-final and the final.

It is learnt that a minimum bet could from between RM200 and RM300 and they could go up to hundreds of thousands of ringgit.

SAC Roslee vowed the police would use the Prevention of Crime Act to catch syndicate members as a last resort.

“We will also work closely with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to identify illegal gaming facilities and websites,” he said.

SAC Roslee added they were also looking into amending existing gambling laws, to enable the authorities to have more bite against illegal gambling syndicates as syndicates are using the Internet with servers based overseas.

“It is hard to get cooperation from the authorities in countries where gambling is legal,” he said.

– Contributed by Farik zolkepli, Yuen Meikeng, Randeep Singh, Aida Ahmad, Stephanie Lee, & Farhaan Shah

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Football Every Day Webcast to keep up with the samba beat

PETALING JAYA: The greatest show on earth has kicked off and the Football Every Day Webcast will be keeping up with the samba beat on a daily basis throughout the tournament’s duration.

With seasoned faces as well as fresh ones, join football crazy fans Zack Yusof, Daryl Goh, Ian Yee, Brian Martin and Nelsen Ng as they get together to run the rule over each day’s matches.

This time around, viewers and footie fans alike stand a chance to walk away with a pair of the latest Adidas Battle Pack Footwear worth up to RM800 and dining vouchers from SOULed Out.

To win, simply send us your most wacky and creative photo or video selfies of you and your friends enjoying the World Cup.

Entries can be submitted by email to football@thestar.com.my or via Twitter at @switchup.tv. Make sure to include your full name, IC and contact numbers.

The Star’s Football Every Day webcast can be viewed at www.Switchup.tv.

Smartphones causing a spike in betting among youth

PETALING JAYA: Internet gambling has become more rampant among young people, especially since it has become so easy to bet using smartphones.

Those aged between 17 and 30 now make up 75% of online gamblers. The other 25% consists largely of those aged between 31 and 42.

Data from Gamblers Rehab Centre (GRC) Malaysia received between 2007 and last year show that the number of online gamblers who received counselling have increased from just 16 cases in 2007 to 112 last year.

“We received an average of 120 gamblers seeking help from us every year.

“Due to the popularity of smartphones, internet gambling has become more common,” said the GRC in a statement.

“There is no age minimum and it is open to everyone. The only qualification is the amount of money one has in the account,” it said.

The GRC said online gambling on credit was operated by illegal syndicates that set up their own websites and appointed agents to get clients to open trading accounts.

“They will give their clients credits to bet. This type of gambling is very popular, especially among school students,” it said.

Any losses or wins would be transacted via the account on a fixed day of the week.

“Since it does not require any cash deposit, it causes many to lose control and fall into the whirlpool of gambling.

“In order to win back lost money or to repay their debts, clients tend to borrow money from loan sharks, who in fact, are partners in the whole operation,” the GRC said.

However, there are a few types of online gambling games which do not involve money and are found on Facebook, said GRC, adding that such games might encourage some to move on to “real” online gambling.

The GRC has conducted awareness seminars in schools and other places to prevent people from picking up the habit.

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China rejects arbitration tribunal South China Sea ruling ; History backs China in sea disputes


China on Wednesday rejected a Hague-based arbitration tribunal’s ruling giving it six months to respond to a legal claim by the Philippines over disputed waters in the South China Sea.

China’s stance of not accepting or participating in the arbitration proceedings filed by the Philippines has not changed, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a regular briefing on Wednesday.

The response came after the tribunal of The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands, issued a statement on Tuesday, which requires China to submit evidence to defend its territorial claims in the South China Sea before December 15.

The tribunal cited an obligation to assure “each party a full opportunity to be heard and to present its case,” according to a Tuesday statement.

The Philippines in March filed a memorandum to the international arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), questioning the validity of China’s “nine-dash” territorial claim.

However, experts said that without a bilateral agreement, the UNCLOS has no jurisdiction to interfere in sovereignty issues, which made China’s stance reasonable and lawful.

“The international arbitration procedure must be agreed by both parties. If China rejects participating, the arbitration will not work,” Ji Qiufeng, a professor of international relations with Nanjing University, told the Global Times.

Ji noted that the international tribunal is most likely to withdraw the Philippines’ case.

“It will be a wise decision for the international tribunal as it lacks power to enforce. Even if the tribunal makes a judgment by default, China will not accept its verdict,” Ji said. “The tribunal may lose its credibility.”

The United States has said it supports the Philippines’ arbitration case, which is closely watched by other claimant countries including Vietnam, which said last month it was considering legal action against China after a Chinese oil rig started to operate in waters near the Xisha Islands that Hanoi claims as it territory.

Ji pointed out that Vietnam’s legal threat is very likely to depend on the result of the Philippines’ case. “As China stands firm against the Manila plea, Hanoi should be aware that the threats would prove in vain.”

– By Hu Qingyun Source:Global Times Published: 2014-6-5 0:43:01

History backs China in sea disputes

China has been criticized by some countries for making “ambiguous” claims on the islands, islets, reefs and waters in the South China Sea. For example, it has been criticized for “failing to honor” the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea despite being a signatory to it, as well as for “violating” other international laws on the sea.

A few international observers also accuse China of deliberately obscuring its territorial claims in the South China Sea by using terms not found in the UNCLOS, such as “adjacent waters” and “relevant waters”. And some countries keep demanding that China “clarify” its nine-dash line map.

The fact is that, if these countries do not change their mindset and attitude, the nine-dash line will continue to be vague for them irrespective of how clearly China defines it.

China has an unequivocal and consistent territorial claim on the islands and other land features in the South China Sea. As a matter of fact, it has unequivocally stated its claim in three official documents: the 1947 Location Map of the South China Sea Islands released by the Kuomingtang government in Nanjing, the 1958 Declaration of the Government of New China on the Territorial Sea and the 1992 Law on Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone. These documents state that the Dongsha Islands, Xisha Islands, Zhongsha Islands, Nansha Islands and other islands are part of the sovereign territory of China.

Some countries view China’s maritime claim in the South China Sea as ambiguous because of certain historical reasons. The first reason is that the UNCLOS does not properly address the issue of historic rights. Despite the reference to historic title in Articles 15 and 298(1)(a), the provision on historic bays in Article 15(6), and the recognition of traditional fishing rights in Article 51, it does not have any provision for the definition of historic rights or their specific connotation and denotation.

The second is that no consistent understanding has been reached in international law on historic rights. For example, Yehuda Z. Blum, an Israeli professor of law and diplomat, has observed: The term “historic rights” denotes the possession by a state, over certain land or maritime areas, of rights that would not normally accrue to it under the general rules of international law, such rights having been acquired by that state through a process of historical consolidation … Historic rights are a product of a lengthy process comprising a long series of acts, omissions and patterns of behavior which, in their entirety, and through their cumulative effect, bring such rights into being and consolidate them into rights valid in international law.

Besides, a state acquires historic rights through effective exercise of these rights (long series of acts, omissions and patterns of behavior) by one or more states, a practice followed by relevant states. The concept of historic rights is almost equivalent to that of historic water.

In this vein, Leo Bouchez, a renowned international law professor, says the concept of “historic rights” has evolved from the concept of “historic water” and “historic bays”. The development from “historic bays” to “historic water” and from “historic title” to “historic rights” indicates the evolution of legal concepts with the development of state practice, and that such concepts have not been finalized.

From the point of view of China, one of the world’s oldest civilizations, the South China Sea is part of the traditional Asian order and, hence, it would be inappropriate to comprehend the nine-dash line by relying solely on the Westphalian nation-state system.

As Keyuan Zou, Harris professor of International Law at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK, has observed, the South China Sea nine-dash line map was officially released by the Chinese Kuomingtang government half a century before the UNCLOS, and one decade before the 1958 Four Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea. Thus, China’s historic rights within the nine-dash line cannot be ignored. The nine-dash line drawn by the Chinese government in 1947, at approximately the median position between China’s South China Sea islands and reefs and the coastlines of bordering states, reflects the scope of China’s claims. The consistency of the claims has been maintained by China after 1949, and the claims have been recognized or acquiesced to by bordering states over a long period of time. Therefore, the nine-dash line has probative force and weight under international law.

The so-called ambiguity in China’s nine-dash line map and its claim on the waters within that line mainly stems from the imperfection of the UNCLOS. To some extent, international law on historic rights is defective in theory and doctrine and lacks a unified standard.

China has been striving to clarify its claim in the South China Sea. But the joint efforts of the international community are also needed to complement and improve the UNCLOS by agreeing to a new international convention or protocol in order to clarify the understanding of historic rights.

The author is deputy director of Maritime Security Institute at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai. The views expressed are personal. His most recent book is Legal Interpretation of China’s South China Sea Map: An Inclusive Approach to Ocean Public Order.

– By Zheng Zhihua (China Daily)

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End the lawyers’ monopoly on conveyancing in Malaysia


End the conveyancing monopoly

Lawyers set outrageous fees despite the fact that the work done does not involve additional skill.

WHEN I started my legal practice many years ago, it was quite common for lawyers to give discounts on fees chargeable for conveyancing and loan transactions. In fact, some of us charged time costs to clients because the work was quite straightforward (even if the sums involved were large).

In those days, there was already a no-discount rule. The legal fraternity then was more realistic and the Bar Council was lenient when it came to the amount of fees we could charge: no one would be liable for disciplinary action for not following scaled fees, and breaches were more frequent than observance. Those were happy days.

By and large, conveyancing and loan documentation for financial institutions are straightforward matters. They usually involve standard terms that lawyers use on a daily basis without much effort (though some lawyers might dispute this).

Conveyancing fees are what we call “easy money” – clerks do all the work and lawyers collect their fees for signing on the right pages. The higher the value of the property, or the value of the bank loan, the higher the fee.

I have never thought it right to charge high fees on this basis; after all, high-value residential property transacted in Ampang, for example, requires the same work and skill as that of lower-valued property in Klang, so why should there be a difference in fees?

The fact is that the scaled fees mandated by the Bar Council favour the lawyer who undertakes larger property transactions – but why this is so can be difficult to understand, and I suggest you read Michael Joseph’s Conveyancing Fraud, which was first published in 1989.

Joseph was an English solicitor who did his part to expose the arbitrary and unfair system by which the Law Society of England and Wales (the governing body for solicitors) set outrageous fees despite the fact that the work done had no relation to any additional skill.

Ultimately, good sense prevailed and solicitors lost their monopoly over conveyancing in England and Wales. A new breed of professionals called “conveyancers” was given the right to do this work as well and, as a result, fees were much reduced and services improved. That’s what competition does to any industry.

But not in Malaysia. Here, the Bar Council still insists that only lawyers can undertake conveyancing work and scaled fees must be strictly followed – a practice abandoned long ago in other Commonwealth countries.

When it comes to this issue, the Bar Council somehow always overlooks the question of public interest. It seems that, to the Council, it’s their members’ interests that are more important.

The economist Adam Smith warned us 250 years ago that when people of the same trade met, the conversation usually ended up in a conspiracy against the public through the raising of prices.

We now have the Competition Act 2010, which in essence seeks to promote the competitive process, and the rule of the game is to discourage anti-competitive behaviour. The stance taken by the Bar has been definitely against the Competition Act, although no one dares to challenge the lawyers’ monopoly.

The question remains: why must lawyers be the only type of professionals allowed to do conveyancing work?

A solicitor friend countered this view by saying that the Competition Act itself allows for exclusion. For example, Section 13 of the Act exempts any agreement or conduct that complies with a legislative requirement. My friend argued that the Solicitors’ Remuneration Order 2005 (which allows for scaled fees to be charged) is such a legislative requirement.

But wait a minute. I’m not saying that the Bar is in violation of the Competition Act. I’m saying merely that the Bar’s monopoly on conveyancing is not in compliance with the spirit of the Act. The Bar is once again out of touch!

The Malaysian Competition Commission, under the able leadership of former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, should exercise its power under Sections 11 and 12 of the Competition Act to perform a “market review” of the situation and publish the results.

I am sure such a study will show the need for the establishment of a new breed of professional conveyancers so as to give lawyers some fair competition, and I’m sure the market review will benefit the public immensely.

Arguments that conveyancing work is complicated and must be done by lawyers have already been used in Australia and England, and have been found to be baseless – in fact, the quality of conveyancing services in Australia and New Zealand actually improved after the lawyers’ monopoly was broken.

In Malaysia, there are many former legal clerks and Land Office employees who can qualify and be registered as conveyancers. Of course, local conveyancers will have to be properly regulated under their own professional standards organisation to ensure that a high quality of work will be maintained.

The lawyers’ monopoly has no purpose whatsoever in this day and age. Moreover, given that the Bar Council has always fought for the political and human rights of the people, I believe it should extend this public spirit to conveyancing and other spheres, even if it means less “easy money” for lawyers.

In fact, the real test of our commitment to a particular cause is our willingness to persist even if it hits our pockets, so I say again: the public will surely benefit from an end to the conveyancing monopoly, services will improve and prices will fall. So why can’t we do it?

Contributed by by datuk zaid ibrahim The Star/Asia News Network

> Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, true to his Kelantan roots, is highly passionate about practically everything, hence the name of this column. Having established himself in the legal fraternity, Zaid ventured into politics and has been on both sides of the political divide. The former de facto Law Minister at one time is now a legal consultant but will not hesitate to say his piece on any current issue. He can be reached at zaid.ibrahim@partners-corp.com. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

Karpal Singh: Bye-bye, Jangan main-main/Don’t fool around !


Karpal-singh_Tell SpeakerStanding his ground:Karpal telling the Speaker: “I have a right to be here” as the police wait to escort him out in May 1981.  Images for Karpal Singh imagesTributes for Karpal Singh’s Quotes:

“Jangan main-main” – a catchphrase of sorts for the statesman, Karpal Singh said this on many occasions – to the Registrar of Societies when his beloved party was faced with the threat of deregistration, after being sent live bullets by thugs.

“The tiger is still alive and … a wounded tiger is even more dangerous.” – Karpal in April 1995 after DAP was defeated in Penang. The then-state chairman said the defeat did not mean the end of the opposition in Penang.

“I know what it is like to lose your liberties. So I want to go on being in Parliament as long as I can.” – Karpal in 1995, when asked about his determination during the general elections campaign period.

“For there to be integration in essence and spirit, I hope all restrictions in the way of uniting the people are removed.” – Karpal in June 1995, welcoming the move to integrate the legal systems of Sabah, Sarawak and West Malaysia.

“Offences perpetrated upon children, particularly infants, are the most heinous of offences because children are defenceless against such attacks.” Despite his dislike of capital punishment, Karpal felt that those who committed crimes against children deserved harsh sentences.

“Singh is King.” A reference to a popular Bollywood movie with the same catchphrase, Karpal used the line several times including after he received live bullets in the mail (prefaced with “jangan main-main”).

“I do not intend to give up. The Opposition has a big role to play in this country.” – Karpal after his accident in 2005 which left him in a wheelchair.

“There are always people who are insensitive, we just have to take it. There is nothing you can do about it. We cannot be discouraged, as that’s exactly what our enemies would want.” – Karpal in a Sept 2006 interview with The Star.

“Once you are in this situation, you realise how little the disabled have in this country. Governments in many countries make lots of allowances to include them in society. We haven’t reached that stage. I will do what I can to make sure the disabled are given all opportunities in line with other countries.” – Karpal in 2006, commenting on the lack of disabled-friendly infrastructure and legislation in Malaysia.

“We may have our differences with PAS but it is a solid, principled party and an important ally.” – Karpal in 2012. “My parents wanted me to be a doctor but I would have been a lousy doctor!” – Karpal in a 2010 interview with The Star.

“I am not questioning the privileges. I am asking how long they will be implemented.” – Karpal in 2010, asking the Government for a time frame for the gradual removal of special privileges accorded to Malays and other bumiputras, in the spirit of 1Malaysia.

“As long as I am alive, I will continue to struggle to see a non-Malay become prime minister.” – Karpal in 2012, saying the Federal Constitution did not provide that only Malays could be prime minister.

Was Flight 370 remote-hijacked as Boeing has autopilot technology?


Autopilot tech

Boeing has patent for autopilot tech

PETALING JAYA: When it was first speculated that Flight MH370 could have been hijacked via remote control access, many dismissed it as far-fetched science fiction.

But the technology to navigate planes, ships, trains, buses and other vehicles by remote control has been around for about a decade.

The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, has the technology.

It owns a patent for a system that enables remote controlling of its aircraft to counter hijacking attempts.

Boeing applied for the patent for an “uninterruptible autopilot control system” about 11 years ago, and was awarded it in 2006.

The system can be activated when the security of onboard controls are jeopardised.

“The method and systems of the present invention provide techniques for automatically navigating, flying and landing an air vehicle,” states the report for the US patent number US7142971B2.

Once activated, an aircraft could be automatically navigated, flown and made to land without input from anyone on board.

“Any onboard capability to supercede the automatic control system may be disabled by disconnecting the onboard controls,” states the report.

Power is provided to the automatic control system “from an alternative power control element that is inaccessible (to anyone on board the vehicle)”.

According to the patent report, control commands could be received from a remote location and/or from predetermined control commands stored on board the plane.

Boeing applied for the patent on Feb 19, 2003, barely two years after the Sept 11 attack in which hijacked planes rammed into the World Trade Centre, reducing the gigantic buildings into rubble.

Eric D. Brown, Douglas C. Cameron, Krish R. Krothapalli, Walter von Klein Jr and Todd M. William invented the system for Boeing. The patent was awarded three years later on Nov 28, 2006.

When the automatic control system is activated, no one on board the aircraft would be capable of controlling its flight.

The patent report also states that a signal might be transmitted to at least one remote location from the plane to indicate that the uninterruptible autopilot mode of the air vehicle has been engaged.

The system includes a dedicated communication link between the aircraft and a remote location, distinct from any communication link established for other types of communication.

According to an independent analyst James Corbett, the US Federal Aviation Administration had reported on the Federal Registrar last November that the Boeing 777-200, -300 and –300ER aircraft were equipped with an electronics security system to check unauthorised internal access.

Contributed by Sira Habibu The Star/Asia News Network

 

“Flight 370 Was Remote-Hijacked”

 

Author, barrister and political advisor Matthias Chang
Author, barrister and political advisor Matthias Chang

A high-level Malaysian source has confirmed that missing Flight MH370 must have been hijacked by remote control.

Matthias Chang, a barrister who served as Political Secretary to the Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, explained why only a remote-hijacking “fly by wire” scenario can explain the plane’s disappearance.

Read Matthias Chang’s MH 370 – A Sinister Tragedy In the Fog of Coincidence?

In an exclusive interview with Truth Jihad Radio, Chang – who remains well-connected with the highest political levels in Malaysia – patiently explained why all of the evidence points to a remote hijacking by one of the handful of countries capable of such a technological feat. He expressed annoyance with Western media criticism of the Malaysian government, arguing that it is Western governments, not Malaysia’s, that are covering up what they know while the media fails to ask the hard questions.

[The audio interview will be posted for Truthjihad.com subscribers by this evening here.]

During our interview on the morning of Friday April 4th (Malaysia time) Matthias Chang told me: “I want to raise a point that has not been much discussed in either the mainstream or alternative media, which is that the technology of autopilot has been in existence for a long time. Since September 11th, more sophisticated systems have been placed in all planes to avoid any hijackings. If there is a hijacking in progress it kicks in and flies to an airport to land safely. The system can be triggered by the pilot himself from the cockpit, or it can be triggered by ground control. And by ‘ground control’ I mean it can be operated from land, an AWAC plane, or a ship, by an entity that has the capability and technology to fly the plane remotely. That technology is out there.”

Chang pointed out that only remote-hijacking can explain the plane’s flight path: “This plane is flying for six hours on its own. Who’s flying the plane? The entity flying the plane must be those with the technology that’s used now to pilot drones. We know drones have been flown in Afghanistan from Florida. We have seen video tapes and news broadcasts about how ‘pilots’ in Florida are flying planes and drones in Afghanistan as if they are playing computer games.”

Chang explained that the Western media’s pilot suicide hypothesis “doesn’t hold water. If you’re a pilot, why turn back, go north to Thailand where there are military exercises going on, and you will know from the radar that other planes are flying, then turn south and fly for six hours? That’s ridiculous. Also, most suicides leave notes explaining why. This is another huge question mark. Why this accusation of the pilot, when the facts are inconsistent with suicide?”

Suggesting that the Western countries have been leading the public on a wild goose chase, Chang explained:

“During the past four weeks, we have heard of various countries providing data. Australia said there were two floating objects west of Perth, but when ships were sent they were not found. France, also, said they discovered two objects. When the search planes went, these too couldn’t be found. The satellite of Thailand (a US client state) found two objects. It was sea rubbish. This was followed by (US occupied) Japan saying they found objects. But those objects were not MH370s. The British firm Inmarsat, using its calculations, said the plane would have crashed in the area where the objects were located. But subsequently Boeing, doing new calculations projecting faster flight at lower altitude, said the plane could have ended somewhere 1000 miles north of the previously projected location.”

Were all of these people ordered to look in all the wrong places – by a military high command that knows perfectly well where the plane is?

Chang continues:

“Given all this information, it’s crystal clear, clear as day, that the one country that has the most sophisticated surveillance technology has remained mute. They may have given sealed evidence – I don’t know. But no public announcement.

As VT Editor Gordon Duff says, a gnat has a hard time disappearing. So how can a 777 vanish?

As VT Editor Gordon Duff says, a gnat has a hard time disappearing. So how can a 777 vanish?

“America has the most advanced satellites in the world…it can detect an object the size of a coin, look at bunkers buried deep underground. NROL 39 (the US National Reconnaissance Office) uses the octopus emblem. It states clearly that enemies of America cannot hide because ‘nothing is beyond our reach.’ The octopus’s tentacles encompass the whole globe. I find it very odd that America has been reticent, conspicuously silent, about what their satellites have shown, if anything.”

What makes it especially odd that the US will not admit it tracked the plane is that the flight path involved some of America’s most sensitive military areas:

“As MH370 reached the airspace of Vietnam it went north toward Thailand where the US-run Cobra Gold and Cope Tiger military exercises were being held. Then, allegedly, the plane ended in the Indian Ocean. But there is no evidence or debris. Now what is conspicuous…is that when a plane goes past Southern Thailand into the Indian Ocean, it has to fly past a very important landmark: Diego Garcia, a secretive US military base. It was from this base that the US launched bombers to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam before that. Surely this base has some of the most sophisticated surveillance technology. Any unidentified plane that flew in the direction of Diego Garcia would certainly be located and identified.”

Chang, the former top political advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, noted that the bizarre disappearance of MH370 coincided with the US-run Cobra Gold and Cope Tiger military exercises – just as previous “disasters” have mirrored suspiciously-timed drills and exercises:

“On 9/11, when planes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, there were military exercises taking place, and NORAD and others were confused about whether the planes were part of the exercise or not.”

Chang was referring to the notorious 46 drills of September 11th 2001, the biggest pre-designated National Security Special Event Day in US history. Those exercises practiced and then mimicked every aspect of the actual attacks, including a live-fly plane-into-building exercise that shut down the National Reconnaissance Office and prevented NRO personnel from seeing satellite images of whatever the alleged attack planes and their military control planes, including the “Flying Pentagon” E-4B Command Center aircraft, were really doing that day.

Chang noted that the 7/7/2005 London bombings – like 9/11– perfectly mirrored drills that were occurring at exactly the same times and places:

“On 7/7 in London, there was a bombing of underground stations, plus the bus in Tavistock Square. Surprise surprise, four Muslim youth were said to be responsible for the deaths and injuries. Yet on that very day, there were terrorist bombing exercises at precisely the same four locations.”

YouTube – Veterans Today –

Chang observed that Christopher Bollyn, whose book Solving 9/11 implicates Israel and its US agents in the worst terrorist attack in US history, has discovered indications that the disappearance of MH370 might be connected with another false-flag plot: “Bollyn exposed how, immediately after the hijacking (of MH370), the Times of Israel put out propaganda that the plane was hijacked by agents of Iran, then landed in Bangladesh to weaponize the plane to carry out a diabolical attack like September 11th.” (Bollyn also discovered a suspicious “evil twin” of MH370 hidden in an Israeli hangar – his article is linked here.)

Chang said that the media’s focus on the search for the MH370′s black box is a deception. “We’ve been diverted to look for the black box. Bullshit! There are plenty of signals.” Chang asserts that both Boeing, a leading US military contractor, and the Rolls-Royce company that makes the plane’s engines, know exactly what happened to MH370, because they are constantly fed signals giving them every significant detail about all of their planes including exactly location, altitude, airspeed, engine function, manual or autopilot, and so on.

Regarding Rolls-Royce, Chang said:

“As long as the engine is running, they monitor it. If anything goes wrong with the engine for any reason, they land the plane and abort the flight. There have been a couple of instances when Rolls-Royce detected malfunctions and told the pilot to land as soon as possible due to the malfunction.

“So for six hours or more, Rolls-Royce would have kept track of the pings. Rolls-Royce would know where the plane’s going. Now I’m told, rightly or wrongly, that in the protocol, Rolls-Royce may be prohibited from disclosing this information.”

Likewise, Malaysia has been prevented from disclosing the sealed evidence it has been provided by one or more unnamed countries – or even the name of that country or countries.

But despite the gag order, Chang thinks the evidence speaks for itself: “There is cyber war between these (larger) countries, and we small countries are caught in the middle. I think the passengers were collateral damage.”

Chang’s conclusion about Flight 370?

“Under the cover of the military exercises, something diabolical, something catastrophic, has happened.”

 Sources Veterans Today Editor:

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

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Disturbing legal implications on sedition and ‘fatwa’ in Malaysia


Karpal_Kassim AhmadKassim Ahmad & Karpal Singh Two recent cases raise the issue of what amounts to sedition and why one can’t question or challenge a ‘fatwa’.

THE recent conviction of Karpal Singh under the Sedition Act and the charging of Kassim Ahmad under the Federal Territories Syariah offences law raise some disturbing questions with serious implications as to where we are headed as a democratic nation.

First, let us look at the Sedition Act. The trouble with this law, a remnant of British colonialism, is two-fold. First, its basic premise is that criticism of authority should be controlled. This in itself is already an affront to democracy.

Second is its open-ended nature. Just what exactly amounts to sedition, for example. However, up until the Karpal Singh case, I thought there was one defence in the Sedition Act that was pretty strong.

Something is not seditious if you are pointing out that the object of your criticism has done something wrong, especially in the context of their constitutional limitations. This appears so clear to me that it seemed unlikely any court could find a way around it.

Alas, that is exactly what seems to have happened to Karpal. He basically said that the decision made by the Sultan of Perak of choosing a new Mentri Besar for the state in 2009 could be questioned in court.

I can’t for the life of me see what is seditious about that. Is the Sultan limited by the Constitution and the law in the discharge of his powers? Yes, of course he is. And if there is a dispute as to whether he acted lawfully or not, could he not be questioned? Again, of course he should, for we live in a constitutional and not an absolute monarchy.

And lastly, if there is to be a questioning of the acts of a member of the royalty, is there a lawful manner with which this can be done? Again the answer is yes, because we have the Special Court which was designed specifically for the royals and inserted into our Constitution by the Government.

Even within the authoritarian nature of the Sedition Act, there seem to be limits as to what can be deemed seditious. I thought those limits were clear enough. It appears that I am wrong.

What is of concern is that even when an act clearly falls within the allowable limits of a law, this does not appear to make any difference at all. Thus, the reach of a poor law becomes even greater and all that much more oppressive.

The second thing I want to talk about is the charging of Kassim Ahmad. This case raises some serious problems with some of the Syariah laws we have in this country.

According to the Syariah Offences law of the Federal Territories, it is an offence to question and speak in contradiction to a fatwa made by the mufti.

This fatwa need not be gazetted, that is to say made into law, just its mere exclamation is enough to give it weight of law. Needless to say, fatwas which have been gazetted can’t be questioned either.

Firstly, one wonders why one can’t question or challenge a law? If a fatwa is gazetted and made into law, what makes it different from any other law? Why can’t it be challenged? I can criticise the Contracts Act so why can’t I criticise any other thing which affects my life?

But what is really disturbing is the fact that a fatwa, which is after all merely an opinion, can carry the weight of law even without going through the legislative process of debate and voting. This in effect means that one person’s words suddenly become akin to a law for we cannot challenge it and if we do we can face a fine and jail.

This is frightfully undemocratic and can lead to some horrific scenarios. What if a mufti passes a fatwa saying that any sort of dissension against the civil government is wrong?

According to the Federal Territories law, any challenge of fatwa can be punished. What kind of democracy are we living in if a person’s statement by itself can have such authority?

Much has been said about how Malaysia is edging towards a more liberal and open democracy. Laws have been repealed or changed and steps (albeit baby steps) have apparently been taken.

What these two events show is that there are still some very undemocratic laws in existence, they are still being used and any hope that we are becoming more democratic is hopelessly naïve.

Brave New World by Azmi Sharam

> Azmi Sharom (azmisharom@yahoo.co.uk) is a law teacher. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

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