Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing has urged critics who use religion to argue against the proposal to set up a casino in Sarawak to look to the Middle East for inspiration on moderation.
In a statement, Tiong said as Malaysia was a multi-racial and multi-religious country, politicians should not try to be more conservative than the Middle East.
“As an example, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be hosting Miss World 2023 this year. There are also (many) luxury casinos in the Middle East.
“Should Malaysia, especially Sarawak, be denied the right to develop?” asked Tiong, in addressing objections by Sarawak PAS chief Jofri Jaraiee towards the casino proposal.
Among others, Jofri argued that the casino will bring social ills to Sarawakians.
Tiong argued that the casino – proposed as part of an integrated resort in Borneo Highlands which is a four-hour drive south of Kuching – would spur the economy and provide jobs if implemented.
Revenue from the project, said Tiong, can then be used to develop the rural areas in Sarawak.
“If we can stimulate the economy for the locals, why should we object (to the proposal)?
There is a reason why religious groups (of all faiths) disapprove of gambling. It is an addiction that, more than any other, ruins not only the lives of addicts themselves but of their whole families. This is sinful.
However, the Bintulu MP, Mr Tiong, suggests that it would be marvellous to create a sink of depravity – a ‘Gambling Mecca’ – right bang in the middle of one of the remaining Gardens of Eden left on our earth – the pristine hills of the Borneo Highlands.
His excuse is the same old chestnut that his business and political friends have employed for decades in their relentless pursuit of money and their grab for the resources of the people of Sarawak – that Casinos ‘will bring development’ (at last).
Wasn’t logging already supposed to have brought development?
Were not plantations already supposed to have brought development?
Was not hydro-power and its mega-dams already supposed to have brought development?
What happened to the money grabbed from oil, gas, gold, coal, sand and all the rest?
Were not all these activities supposed to have provided the taxes and royalties to ‘bring development’? If not, what hope can we have that Casinos will bring development?
Sarawak is one of the richest corners of natural resources on the planet. Something that Mr Tiong’s businessmen friends are only too aware of: it is why they came to Sarawak and remain pillaging it. Together with their political puppets they are already fantastically rich, yet the people they have continually promised to help remain bereft.
The same greedy destroyers are now floundering for new ideas in their post-extraction stage and what better, they clearly reckon, than to set up a gambling and entertainment centre to fleece their sick, addicted colleagues and launder the world’s ill-gotten gains, such as their own?
The other side of the coin when it comes to casinos is crime. So, if Mr Tiong wants to shove a dirty Mecca for Gambling into Sarawak, what is wrong with his own Bintulu?
And if he wants to populate this sin bin with ‘show girls’ why not choose members of his own family and friends to attract the Arab voyeurs of ‘beauty contests’ that he talks of?
Why destroy the Borneo Highlands and all their natural wonders and why pollute the native people with all the sinful addictions associated with gambling and casinos?
Could the answer be selfishness and greed?
Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn has no qualms with the idea of opening a casino in Borneo Highlands.
He said he supports the idea as the casino may help spur the state’s economy.
“I still remember many years ago when Singapore also opposed the idea of having a casino but eventually they allowed gambling in Singapore and we see how it (has) developed. But of course, with all this, we must have certain guidelines to control gambling in our state……
Sagah also believed there is no harm in having a casino, saying that those who don’t know how to gamble or are now allowed to gamble will have no need to visit it.
“We are a free world, but those who have lots of money to gamble – go ahead.
It is perhaps not polite to mention, and founded only on the bleary, baggy-eyed appearance of this minister (for education, of all things), but he looks like a prime target for this casino he proposes.
Of course, like any self-respecting member of the Sarawak State Government, he is eager to receive money, pretty much however it is made.
Destroying rainforest for cash has been their stock in trade.
But, in this day and age, do busy addicts really need or want to lug themselves up a distant mountain to get stuck into their favourite vices?
Think of all the other things that will need dragging up the hill. Hoards of call girls (the native community are unlikely to have enough daughters for the task), crates of whiskey, drugs, defibrillators, beef, lobster sushi and all the rest.
Think of the expense if it flops after all that effort, since the debauched of South East Asia may well decide to stick nearer the office, for example, in ahead-of-the-game Singapore?
Alternatively, since this project sets out to attract primarily those who are lost to their surroundings, why not put it in a palm plantation, somewhat nearer to Kuching?
Why use this exercise as an excuse to destroy a last remaining sanctuary for Borneo’s unparalleled natural heritage where these folk intend to mow down trees, pollute rivers, blare out rock music and doubtless roll out ‘easy walking trails’ for their hung-over clients to waddle across for ‘exercise’ in between massages and their sad excesses?
The reason is clear. This is one area that has become sacred as a forest sanctuary in the minds of the community, so that even the Sarawak State Government does not dare hand out a concession to Samling or some other crony to flatten it completely.
They are therefore looking for excuses to destroy it for cash some other way.
The reason why tourism has flopped in Sarawak is because they are asking the wrong people and looking for the wrong visitors. The jaded dictators of GPS are not businessmen and they don’t understand the impulses of tourists from free and prosperous countries that might bring them to Sarawak.
There are millions of ‘woke’ Europeans and Americans who long to explore the living world and taste nature in its original state. They have all ‘done’ golf, ‘done’ casinos, ‘done’ the highlife in concrete towers – they had seen it all long before the farm boys from GPS started to think this was the ultimate dream.
However, what they have not done (and might pay to do) is what a few remaining corners of Sarawak can still offer – a chance to experience a genuine community with the fast disappearing world from which humans have arisen, travel up-river in a longboat and explore the jungle on foot.
What fools these aspiring wannabes of GPS have to be, to wish to destroy the one asset where their country can outdo every other!
An Umno leader has urged the chief justice (CJ) and attorney-general (AG) to set the record straight following a minister’s confirmation that Justice Nazlan Ghazali had been found to have committed wrongdoing when presiding over Najib Razak’s SRC International case.
Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said had said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe on Nazlan concluded that he had violated the Judges’ Code of Ethics and had a conflict of interest when presiding over the case.
Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi said the ball was now in the court of CJ Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and AG Idrus Harun, and that they must take responsibility and respond to this matter immediately.
“Do the CJ and AG want to trivialise the role of investigative bodies like MACC?” he told FMT.
“The government must stand its ground in this matter. Don’t allow Malaysia’s justice system to be destroyed.
“Azalina’s revelation is a necessary step to balance the interests of all parties, it’s not (an) interference from the executive.”
In a letter dated March 15, Najib’s solicitors, Shafee & Co, had asked Azalina whether MACC had concluded that Nazlan had breached the code and had a conflict of interest.
In her letter replying to Shafee, Azalina said: “I can confirm that the answers to the questions (you have set out) are in the affirmative.”
These UMNO MPs, minsters and their underlings in the MACC are, of course, seeking to do exactly what they claim against others.
They are seeking to destroy the justice system by interfering from their position in the executive to free their Bossku. All thanks to their position as a minority partner in the coalition government.
The MACC was instructed to undertake an investigation not in their purview as they have no right to investigate ethical matters relating to judges. The convenient findings were then leaked by their ministerial boss to be seized as ammo by UMNO colleagues.
The plan is obvious and they are now using every bullying tactic to attempt to intimidate the entire judiciary for the sole purpose of reversing a crushing guilty verdict against their boss.
Not just the entire Malaysian judiciary but the entire world has exposed Najib for his direct oversight over 1MDB and the later cover up. Just this week, the former Republican party deputy chairman related to a New York court how he was bribed to set up a game of golf for Najib with President Trump in 2017 “so that Razak could tell Trump that the 1MDB scandal was not significant”.
Had Najib been innocent he would instead have asked for help in catching Jho Low!
Meanwhile, in a Kuwaiti court full details have emerged how at the very same time Najib was plundering yet more billions from Malaysians, through inflated contracts with China, in order to backhand the “commissions” into covering up the 1MDB thefts and pay for all Jho Low’s legal bills in the affair.
These are not the actions of an innocent man. Najib deserves his place in jail.
Indeed, Malaysians made their view quite clear about Najib when the once mighty UMNO fared appallingly in the polls. Despite that message these lapdog MPs and ministers have made clear that their only mission in the government they are included in is to release Najib and not to serve the people of Malaysia.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has rejected Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown’s bid to have a criminal defamation charge against her withdrawn
Rewcastle-Brown’s counsel Guok Ngek Seong today confirmed with Malaysiakini the letter of representation dated March 8 in relation to the case involving Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah had been rejected.
Under the law in relation to a letter of representation, an accused person can propose other ways to resolve the matter such as the withdrawal of the charge or for a lesser charge to be put forward.
According to a letter from the AGC to her counsel dated March 27, the chambers stated that the letter of representation is denied as there is sufficient evidence to maintain the charge still pending at the Magistrate’s Court in Kuala Terengganu.
Sarawak Report’s alleged crime in this matter, that of criminal defamation, does not exist as a crime in the UK where the editor resides. It was struck off the statute books after no one was charged with it for over a hundred years, given its conflict with freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, a civil court in Malaysia has found there is no case to answer over an identical complaint brought by the same Sultanah of Terengganu, whom the judge ruled had not been defamed by the sentence complained of in the book The Sarawak Report.
Indeed, during her own evidence at the trial the Sultanah admitted that very same words are not at all defamatory of her sister in law, whose name has replaced hers in the corrected version of the book as being a former acquaintance of Jho Low.
How could an identical sentence defame her but not her royal sister in law, one has to ask?
Yet there remains extant a warrant for this editor’s arrest, allegedly issued for not turning up at Terengganu Magistrate’s court to face charges laid in absentia and without her knowledge back in September 2021. The AG has now made clear he refuses to drop that warrant or the charges.
This despite the fact that no notice was provided either that police wished to question her on the matter (again) or that she had been charged or of the court date in September 2021, during the height of the Covid restrictions when there was a two week quarantine period in place for travellers from the UK.
It is not as though prosecutors were unaware of how to contact the editor of Sarawak Report. She had already given evidence on the matter at Bukit Aman police headquarters three years previously in 2018, fully cooperating with their questions about the Sultana’s original police report.
Indeed, Bukit Aman police officers were in touch some weeks before they laid their charges, texting her personal mobile only to casually ask if she was planning on visiting Malaysia?
They made no mention of any plans to charge her over the alleged criminal libel which they had filed under No Further Action back in 2018.
The answer was no, the author had no plans to visit Malaysia during Covid. She was left none the wiser about having been charged in absentia or about a date having been fixed for her to make her plea somewhere in Terengganu.
If Sarawak Report had been given the notice of the charges and the hearing, which legally is her due, then she would have ensured attendance at the Terengganu court. However, she was not informed, despite the fact that prosecutors and police all knew how to contact her.
Despite this glaring failure, an arrest warrant and highly unusual WANTED notice were issued for the very reason she had not appeared at a hearing no one had informed her was taking place – on the other side of the planet from where she lives and during the Covid 19 pandemic, three years after the original police report.
The same prosecutors even applied to INTERPOL for an international arrest and extradition warrant, calling the UK citizen a fugitive for not being in Terengganu to hear the charges no one had warned her had been made.
Given the present AG continues to refuse to drop this nonsense, despite the failure of the case to make progress even in a civil court, Sarawak Report requests that his chambers (or at least somebody) inform her of the date when this ‘pending’ matter is next due to arise in the Terengganu local court so that she can come to make her Not Guilty plea in person.
They know perfectly well how to make contact and have done so on several occasions in the past.
Should authorities in Malaysia then seek to arrest the journalist for attempting to make the required appearance and to cooperate, now that the situation has become known to her, after years of dithering and mishandling by them, they should be prepared to explain their actions to a number of parties who are likely to take up an interest in Malaysia’s conduct of this affair.
The UK’s decision to join a regional trade pact is expected to help Malaysia break down the stigma and negative propaganda surrounding palm oil, plantation and commodities minister Fadillah Yusof said today.
“Not only do we welcome the UK to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), we also welcome its trade secretary Kemi Badenoch’s remarks on palm oil,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
“… She rightly dispelled the myth of deforestation and the negative or untrue campaigns regarding the commodity,” he said at a Ramadan event in Kuching.
Malaysians who are forced daily to survey the vast areas of monoculture, where their country once played host to the most bio-diverse and richly resourced landscape on the planet, know what the real myths are – they come under the heading of Deforestation Denial:
The myth that over 50% of the country remains unlogged.
The myth that the main beneficiaries are so called ‘smallholders”.
The myth that Malaysia has pursued a responsible policy towards the management of its forests, which have been de-gazetted and scythed down at such a rate that in Sarawak less than 5% of its virgin forest areas remain.
Mono-culture plantations are no replacement for natural forest. They destroy the landscape and consist of unnatural imported species, which rely on toxic pesticides and fertilisers and are eventually harvested causing climate altering carbon pollution on top.
Ms Badenock, a so-called Brexiteer, is already rightly under fire in the UK for her lousy CPTPP deal, which she ludicrously presented as a trade replacement for the EU, and for having to sacrifice environmental principals to achieve the minuscule trade boost thanks to Malaysia’s demand.
It is pointed out Britain already had trading partnerships with every country in the distant bloc, except Malaysia/Brunei, anyway.
Now Badenoch will be further ridiculed, thanks to Fadillah’s preposterous claim that the rampant, disgraceful assault on Malaysia’s forests – which are largely the result of corrupt deals between his government cronies and the timber tycoons – are “a myth”.
She deserves all the opprobrium she gets for this disgraceful attempt to dress up failure as success and in doing so to turn a blind eye to the most important issue that faces mankind – the survival of life on our planet in the face of unrestrained resource extraction by a handful of greedy businessmen and politicians.
Any federal ministers planning to hold official visits to Sarawak must notify the state government of their itineraries and schedules in advance.
Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg said the details required include exact projects or functions by each ministry to be held in the state.
According to Berita Harian, Abang Johari (above) said the move was in line with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s call for all federal ministers to follow Sarawak government’s protocols and work together with the local leaders in the implementation of any project.
“The early notice is also to allow the Sarawak government to plan and coordinate so that the visits can be done at the right places.
Sarawak’s corrupted regime has long played the victim, owing to its own surrender of Sarawak’s its oil to the federal government, whilst exploiting its autonomies to the full.
The reason the chief minister (or do we now call him “Premier”/ why not his Highness?) wishes to demand notice of visits by federal ministers, plus a full itinerary in advance, is is not about concern but about control.
He is demanding that senior Malaysian politicians elected to be in charge of the country should be forced to ask humble permission to enter the state, not just to politely let him know under the usual protocols about public events.
He will then tell then the ‘right’ places to visit and warn them when they have ‘not followed Sarawak protocols’ or are not visiting the ‘local leaders’ recognised by GPS. After all,GPS has worked hard to sideline local representatives who do not tow their line.
GPS will soon be seeking to extend that constraint on any public official coming to the state in the course of their duties, just in case they might be engaged in something inconvenient (like investigating cronies, corrupt concessions, abuses of indigenous people, election rigging for example).
The GPS cabal don’t want federal authorities snooping into what they are up to. They don’t want them meeting people and hearing things without sending their own heavies to escort them and monitor each and every person that they speak to. They want the chance to interfere in such duties and to veto certain meetings or even stop such visits altogether.
This is how Sarawak has treated NGOs, reformers and democracy campaigners for many decades. Any kind of critic (including the Editor of Sarawak Report who photographed a logging blockade and wrote about it) is barred from the state completely. Simply because it is inconvenient and shows up bad practices they want to hide.
This has been accepted under the alleged autonomies permitted by the federation, despite impinging on the basic human rights of all Malaysians.
The demand should work both ways. Any GPS minister or official ought likewise be put under the same constraint should they wish to leave their autonomous fiefdom in order to venture into the rest of Federal Malaysia.
A Sarawak state representative or local minister seeking to pursue his business on the side in a KL hotel, for example, should be forced to notify the authorities of his journey in advance and wait for permission to arrive. The request should advise the federal authorities and authorities of the states they visit as to whoever they plan to meet.
And they should expect to be tailed by goons throughout.
The UK has signed a deal to join a trade pact with 11 Asia and Pacific nations, three years after it officially left the European Union.
Joining the group will boost UK exports by cutting tariffs on goods such as cheese, cars, chocolate, machinery, gin and whisky, the government said.
However, the government’s own estimates show being in the bloc will only add 0.08% to the size of the UK’s economy.
The trade area covers a market of around 500 million people.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – or CPTPP – was established in 2018, and includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Membership of the CPTPP loosens restrictions on trade between members and reduce tariffs – a form of border tax – on goods.
Together, the 11 members account for about 13% of the world’s income and after 21 months of negotiations, the UK has become the first European country to join.
The government said the agreement was the UK’s “biggest trade deal since Brexit”.
However, the gains for the UK from joining are expected to be modest. The UK already has free trade deals with all of the members except Brunei and Malaysia, some of which were rolled over from its previous membership of the EU.
And even with some gains in trading the government only estimates it will add 0.08% to the size of the economy in 10 years. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which provides forecasts for the government, has previously said Brexit would reduce the UK’s potential economic growth by about 4% in the long term.
The UK already had a deal with all these countries, except Brunei and Malaysia, and yet in order to negotiate this ‘triumph’ of joining the CPTPP, marketed as a flagship post-Brexit achievement by the ‘mad as a box of snakes‘ former UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, she agreed to Malaysia’s terms about dropping restrictions on palm oil that which had been imposed under the EU.
This may be considered a big win by little Malaysia, given Britain gets practically nothing out of joining the trade bloc – a projected 0.08% rise of trade over the next ten years, compared to a loss of economic growth of 4% caused by Brexit.
However, those rich traders who plan to now sell their palm oil through the UK without pesky barriers to worry about, such as the EU sustainability rules, will do so at the expense of those poorer Malaysians who are trying to prevent their lands being swallowed up in the last final push to log out all the remaining forests in the country and replace them with this mono-culture.
Huge funds are being poured into greenwash PR to represent those seeking to sell palm oil as humble ‘smallholders’ being penalised by brutal competitive trade barriers imposed by rival oil producers abroad. They aren’t.
Behind this drive are a handful of rapacious logging concerns ready to turn their hand mass cash crop cultivation of imported quick grow monocultures – oil palm/acacia – with only swift dollar returns in mind. More is never enough.
In ten years, according to audits provided by environmental groups who have studied the concessions being handed out, the entire Malaysian landmass will be one dreary factory farm producing a single bio-fuel for export.
Think about what would happen when a blight occurs (which it almost certainly will). The wealthy billionaire families who foisted this disaster on Malaysia will be far away drowning in their riches.
The rest of Malaysia will have to starve just like the Irish did in the dreadful potato famine two hundred years ago. So, not that much of a triumph for Malaysia or mankind but lessons are never learned.
Ipoh-born Michelle Yeoh won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 95th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles today.
This is for her brilliant role as Chinese-American immigrant Evelyn Quan in the movie “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, who while being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), discovered that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent a powerful being from destroying the multiverse.
Yeoh, 60, created history by being the first Asian actress to win in this category.
Tinsel Town’s dollar hungry fraternity barely knew where Malaysia was as they hung round Jho Low’s largess. Likewise, ignorance of Michelle Yeoh’s own connections to the 1MDB story undoubtedly played into her good fortune at the Academy Awards.
Leo DiCaprio arguably missed his Oscar thanks to the exposure over Wolf of Wall Street which was bankrolled by Najib and 1MDB’s stolen money. Yeoh was lucky that few in Hollywood appear to know how she too was being bankrolled by Najib at the very same time and duly lent all her celebrity to support his G13 election prospects and talk up his subsequent regime.
However, everyone in Malaysia does – after all, she’s refused to apologise saying she was merely expressing her opinion in support of a politician she admires.
Today the staggering sums earned by her French boyfriend for taking on the role of ‘tourism ambassador’ under Najib (including to cover holiday trips for the duo) have again done the rounds on social media – and it has tainted the satisfaction most would feel about their local born actress winning an Oscar in a film brandishing such a classic aspirational Hollywood title – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”.
Ms Yeoh, who has long lived the life of a global sophisticate alongside her partner, Jean Todd, and spends little time in Malaysia, chose to play the victim claiming her Oscar on behalf of “people who look like me” and even older women.
She was spared the real life audit in her moment of triumph. However, according to disparaging material circulating back home, Yeoh is a daughter of privilege whose father was a politically connected businessman and MCA official who embraced the corrupted BN regime.
So, unsurprisingly perhaps, civil society and reform were not Yeoh’s thing. She has been only too comfortable championing Najib, speaking at his rallies and turning a blind eye to his blatant corruption
“We have a leader here who has done so many good things and will do more. I hope from the bottom of my heart that he will remain as the Prime Minister and I ask all of you to give him a strong mandate”
Yeoh memorably gushed in 2013. The fact her partner had received a plot of land and huge allowances including RM380,000 to cover their holidays, was dismissed by Najib’s spokesperson with the explanation “When he gets to meet people or contacts in Europe, RM1mil is nothing”.
According to reports, the spokesman added that Todt had even arranged to meet a top film producer and people from the Paris-based Hello! magazine, adding: “You think we can get that kind of access easily? No way!”
Yeoh sang for her supper then. However, it has not stopped her dashing in to co-produce a rival film production to The Sarawak Report [in which SR declares an interest] relating to the story Billion Dollar Whale which, like Wolf of Wall Street focuses on the lavish theft and waste indulged in by Najib and his side-kick Jho Low – all at the expense of the Malaysian people.
Ms Yeoh therefore clearly intends to carry on having her cake and eating it. Playing the victim and playing the Malaysian when effectively she is neither and making money out of the grotesque story of her fellow Malaysian Jho Low and his disgraced Bossku – a man whom Yeoh was happy to profit from and to support wholeheartedly when it suited.
What a performance!
Amanah Youth has urged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke the “Tan Sri” title accorded to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang two years ago, over the latter’s “insolence and disrespect” against the Malay rulers.
According to Amanah Youth vice-chief Abbas Salimmi Adzmi, this was due to the Marang MP’s recent remark about plotting to topple the government led by Anwar Ibrahim, which the former said went against the king’s decree for political stability.
“What Hadi (above) is doing now should not be left to continue. Many times the Agong has decreed that all work together to defend the government and help the country recover.
“As a senior Muslim politician, he (Hadi) should work together to build the country, for the sake of the rakyat, and not be power hungry and try to topple the government,” Abbas told the media after handing a memorandum urging action against Hadi at the Istana Negara this morning.
If Hadi is plotting illegally to overthrow the government then he deserves exposure and punishment.
If not, he is entitled to oppose the present government and to long and wish for its replacement – even to predict it. At the moment, most people rightly do not share his longing and it is unlikely to get him far if he keeps to legal means.
On the other hand, those who are trying to counter his machinations by dragging in specious arguments about ‘royal approval’ and ‘royal decrees’ are doing more harm than good when it comes to Malaysia’s democratic progress.
The stability of the government comes from the alignment of Malaysia’s political parties who represent their electorate. The King accepted the inevitable when he appointed Anwar Ibrahim, who commanded the majority of support amongst MPs and who has shown that he holds the necessary Parliamentary approval to govern the country.
The role of a modern constitutional monarch is to act as a referee in this process to ensure the enforcement of the rules, not to ‘decree’ as he/she chooses nor to ‘appoint’ a prime minister who does not represent the majority of MPs (despite the very unfortunate and regressive precedent of the previous coup government).
Seeking to curry favour with less sophisticated citizens by suggesting Hadi is ‘going against the decree of the King’ in opposing the present government is therefore to create a backward misunderstanding of how democracy works.
Malaysia is currently blessed with a government led by progressives (including Amanah) who should honour their duty to speak in terms that reflect the actual roles of the country’s institutions and not some feudal arrangement from the past.
Whether Hadi should ever have been awarded his title in the first place is an entirely separate matter.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong al-Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, today decreed for the government to conduct a detailed study to reduce and address the flood risks.
His Majesty said that short and long-term solutions, such as flood mitigation projects and efforts to deepen shallow rivers, are necessary due to frequent flooding.
“We can think about the cost (to implement the project to address flood problems) later, but we have to find the cause as there are always floods occurring, every year, every month.
“This is also subject to small rivers and drains in the city, which are not well maintained… all kinds of garbage thrown arbitrarily, which may be the cause of the flooding,” said His Majesty.
Sultan Abdullah said this while visiting and presenting donations to flood victims, at the Kampung Baru Sungai Chedong temporary relief centre today.
He was accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah, and their son, Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Shah.
… The floods hit Pahang on Wednesday, as a result of continuous heavy rain, causing the river water level to overflow in Raub, Jerantut, Maran, Pekan, Bera, Temerloh and Rompin districts.
It is extremely sad that this Agong, from a state where the royal family has been behind so much of the recent desecration of the forests, is under the impression that the causes of flooding are not already well known. Or that they might be due to common garbage.
Whoever failed to educate him on the matter is plainly at fault, because even back half a century ago it was very well known that above all it is careless logging that creates erosion that creates floods.
Excess logging and unsustainable monoculture also wipes out nature entirely and much of the once tropical lush land-bank of Malaysia is now in danger of ending up much like the sandy wastelands of the Gulf and Middle East, host to the earliest ‘civilisations’ where lust for wealth and unsustainable farming practices destroyed the ‘Garden of Eden’ over thousands of years.
With today’s technologies we can achieve the same effect in a decade.
So, might the Agong agree to put a moratorium on the logging in his state and encourage similar moratoriums elsewhere whilst he gets up to speed on these matters, because it would probably represent the country’s last chance to rescue the future of Malaysia’s flora and fauna – including its national emblem, the beleaguered and starving tiger population now reduced to around a hundred desperate sick animals in the wild?
That way he could go down in history as the man who saved his country rather than ruining it.