Thursday, 29 January 2015

Currency speculators are a clear and present danger to our society, they should all be sent to jail

Updated 1 February 2015:

The owner of the Edge Tong Kooi Ong has come out with a denial in TMI:

Denial or not such a serious allegation must be investigated by Bank Negara Malaysia as rightly called by Prime Minister Najib.

Original Post:

How Tong Kooi Ong is attempting to break Bank Negara and crash the RM

TKO header
An owner of a prominent news media empire is casting undue influence on the financial and political state of Malaysia for his own personal monetary gain.
Sources within Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) revealed that Tong Kooi Ong, the owner of the Edge Group and The Malaysian Insider has taken a USD1.4 billion short position on the Ringgit through a proxy. The first transaction took place in August 2014 and subsequent short positions have been taken leading up to January 2015.
Tong Kooi Ong is no stranger to investments, notably during the last financial crisis, Tong took a similar short position with Rashid Hussein which resulted in a significant gain.
He is a former stockbroker, financial analyst and banker who founded and built Phileo Allied Berhad, one of the most successful and innovative financial banking groups in Malaysia in the 1990s. Phileo Allied Bank was subsequently taken over and merged with Maybank in 2000.
According to the source, Bank Negara Malaysia and the securities commission are monitoring Tong closely.
How shorting a currency works:
A short position on the ringgit is essentially a bet that the ringgit will fall. The Malaysian ringgit will be traded for USD and if the ringgit reduces in value, the investor will make money when they buy back the ringgit at its lower value to cover the short position.
When a currency is being devalued, the central bank will step in to release reserves to balance the value of their currency against the currency that it is being most actively traded against.
In the Malaysian scenario as the RM drops, BNM will step in to buy RM in exchange for their USD reserves.
Speculators who short the currency will exploit this by taking a loan in Malaysia or using their own funds in RM to trade for the USD. The goal of which is to trade the RM for USD until the central bank is out of reserves so effectively the currency will crash.
The investor will then go back to the Bank that they initially borrowed money from and will convert it into RM to pay back the loan. The profit would be made off the gain that the USD receives against the RM. As the loan was made in RM and the currency has crashed the investor would have to trade less USD to pay back that initial RM loan.
Media and Mass propagation
With access to his media empire that spans from radio to print and online, Tong Kooi Tong is able change public sentiment through the mass distribution of articles that create doubt amongst the general public about the state of the Malaysian ringgit.
Insider newsAfter reading headlines that spell doom and gloom above, what would you do if you were holding Malaysian ringgit?
Take into consideration that in order for the currency to crash, it is crucial that Bank Negara reserves are pushed to their limit. A media empire would be the perfect channel to damage the perception of the RM effectively facilitating the devaluation of the RM.
The unpatriotic acts of short selling coupled with media propagation will lead Malaysia into a recession causing untold suffering for the average man on the street whilst lining the pockets of a few individuals.
To give readers a better understanding of how investors make money by shorting a currency let’s look at 2 case studies followed by a comparison of how the same could happen in Malaysia.
Soros Breaks the Bank of England and earns $1 Billion in a day
This is certainly the most notorious forex market event which took place on September 16, 1992 which is called “Black Wednesday” and Soros got his nickname “the man who broke the bank of England” from transactions he performed together with other traders. They didn’t break it directly, but they devalued it so badly that Britain had to take it out from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

Fig.1. How Soros Broke the Bank of England in 1992.
Fig.1. How Soros Broke the Bank of England in 1992.

Britain was in a recession from 1990 but despite this the pound (also known as Sterling) joined the ERM thus fixing the pound’s rate to deutschmark in order to make the investments more predictable and stable among Britain and Europe. But as the political and financial situation in Germany changed during the unification of Germany many ERM currencies were under big pressure to keep their currencies within the agreed limits. Britain had the most problems – its inflation rate was very high and the USD rate (many British exporters were being paid in USD) was also falling. So more and more speculators began circling and making plans on how to profit from this situation as it became clear that the pound was not able to artificially stand against the natural market forces. Speculators waited until the financial situation got as bad as it could naturally get and then created extra pressure on the pound by selling it in huge amounts. The most aggressive of them was G. Soros who performed this transaction every 5 minutes profiting each time as the GBP fell by minutes.
The money that I made on this particular transaction would be estimated at about $1 Billion dollars. We very simply used the forward market – you borrow sterling and you sell the sterling that you’ve borrowed. And then you buy back the sterling when the loan expires.”
– G. Soros.
How Soros earns $790 Million, crashes the Thai Baht and triggers the Asian crisis.
The second most notorious trade of Soros came in 1997 as he saw a possibility that the Thai Baht could go down so he went short on the baht (by going long on USD/THB) using forward contracts. His actions are often considered to be a triggering factor which sparked the big Asian financial crisis, affecting not only Thailand but also South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Honk Kong and others.

Fig.2. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.
Fig.2. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.

  1. Soros goes short on the baht.
  2. Thailand spends almost $7 Billion to protect the Baht against speculations.
  3. Soros sells all his baht resources and keeps telling everyone to do the same by publicly scaring people with the fall of the baht and crisis. It works.
  4. On July 2, Thailand is forced to give up the fixed rate of the Baht and it starts to float freely. Thailand asks for help from the International Monetary fund (IMF).
  5. Thailand takes on hard austerity measures to secure the loan from the IMF.
  6. Baht has fallen from 1$ for 25 baht to 56 baht thus Soros had gained more than 790 million USD.
How Tong Kooi Ong would break Bank Negara Malaysia

Fig.3. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.
Fig.3. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.

  1. Tong Kooi Ong goes short on the RM
  2. . Malaysia spends reserves to protect the RM against speculators
  3. Media empire is used to spread doubt to drive the RM down further
  4. Tong Kooi Ong closes his trade after the RM has devalued enough for a significant profit
  5. USD position of estimated USD1.4 billion is converted to devalued RM for huge profit. Bank is paid back initial loan of now devalued RM. The difference between the initial cost of the RM and the devalued cost of the RM is pure profit.
We urge members of the public to share this article with their friends and family Reports have been lodged with Bank Negara Malaysia and the securities commission but we urge the public to lend their support by lodging their own reports.
Revisiting the 1997 financial crisis.
During the 1997 financial crisis, the greed of a few unpatriotic speculators caused Malaysia to enter into a recession. Greed led speculators to make millions, if not billions, at the expense of the country.
Malaysian bankers then were hard at work unethically betting against the ringgit. Currency speculators borrowed ringgit from offshore forex markets and sold it. They proceeded to dump the money into the market – pushing the exchange rate down even further.
Once the ringgit was devalued sufficiently from all the selling down, these ruthless traders bought back the currency at a much lower price, paid back their borrowings and made a handsome profit, whilst millions of people in the country suffered and continued to suffer as Malaysia entered a recession.
Dangerous rumours were circulated about the deterioration of the economy, as it would aid the profitability of their short selling.
In response to the currency crisis in 1997, Malaysia banned short selling. However, once the economy recovered sufficiently, the ban was lifted in March 2006.
Why should a weakened currency matter to you?
During the 1997 crisis retrenchments soared by 444%. 83,865 people lost their jobs in the first 3 months of the crisis. The per capita income dropped drastically by half from USD5,000 to USD2,500. The ringgit drooped from RM2.50 per USD to, at one point, RM4.80 per USD. The KLCI fell from approximately 1300 points to nearly as low as 400 points in a few short weeks.
When a currency is heavily devalued unemployment rises and household incomes drop. Households change their spending habits to only purchase needs, this affects the entire economy as less people eat out or go shopping. A downward spiral begins as people lose their jobs, businesses have less customers resulting in the need to cut costs further which results in the lost of more jobs.
During the 1997 crisis despite strict counter measures from BNM, the country’s GDP suffered a sharp contraction of 7.5% in 1998, and the country went into recession.
During a recession people go out of business resulting in loss of jobs, projects get abandoned and local banks get huge withdrawals from customers.
As jobs become scarce people put up with lower pay with higher workloads and harsh working conditions. The number of bankrupts in the country increases as loans are defaulted on. People lose their houses, as they are unable to service their mortgage.
In the aftermath of the assault on the ringgit in 1997, Dr Mahathir said in reference to currency traders “There is absolutely no consideration given to the sufferings and miseries on the suddenly impoverished people and their countries. Going beyond the economic field, the threat of losing confidence was extended into the social and political fields. In one instance, the currency of the country was devalued by 600%”
“Currency war can achieve political objectives just as well as a military war.”
-Tun Mahathir wrote on his blog 29 March 2012 in reference to the 1997 currency crisis.
Additional Read here from the guys of Another Brick in the Wall:

Yes and the Bank Negara and the Government should also rise to the occasion and legistlate new laws to categorise currency speculators as real terrorists who should be put where they belong among the crooks of our jail.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Why are you afraid of the word Jihad?

Got this by email from a friend:


Please reboot your western infested media mind to be factually correct.

In the history of the world, who has killed the most number of innocent human beings?

1) “Hitler” Do you know who he was?
He was a Christian, but media will never call him a Christian terrorist.

2) “Joseph Stalin called  Uncle Joe”. He  killed 20 million human beings including 14.5 million who were starved to death. Was he a Muslim?

3) “Mao Tse Tsung (China)” He has killed 14 to 20 million human beings. Was he a Muslim?

4) “Benito Mussolini (Italy)” He has killed 400 thousand human beings. Was he a Muslim?

5) “Ashoka” In Kalinga Battle, he has killed 100 thousand human beings. Was he a Muslim?

6) Embargo put by George Bush(USA) in Iraq, 1/2 million children has been killed in Iraq alone!!! Imagine these people are never called terrorists by the western media. Why?

Today the majority of the non-muslims are afraid of hearing the word. “Jihad”. Jihad is an Arabic word which comes from root Arabic word “Jahada” which means “to strive” or “to struggle” against evil and for justice. It does not mean killing innocents.

"we Muslims stand against evil, 
NOT with evil!”

You still think that ISLAM is the problem?

1. The First World War, 17 million dead (caused by non- Muslim).

2. The Second World War, 50-55 million dead (caused by non-Muslim).

3. Nagasaki atomic bombs 200,000 dead (caused by non-Muslim).

4. The War in Vietnam, over 5 million dead (caused by non- Muslim).

5.The War in Bosnia/Kosovo, over 500,000 dead (caused by non-Muslim).

6. The War in Iraq (so far) 12 million deaths (caused by non-Muslim).

7. Afghanistan, Burma etc (caused by non-Muslim).

8. In Cambodia 1975-1979, almost 3 million deaths (caused by non-Muslim).

9. The mass murder of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and West bank (Caused by non Muslims)

You still think Islam is the problem? Yes? Ok Goodbye.

Thursday, 22 January 2015


I received this email from my old friend Dato' Rahman who has kindly shared some lost moments in our Nation's History when he was a young PSD officer newly stationed in London during the passing of Malaysia's second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak. 

Dato' Rahman request that his article be posted as a lasting legacy for his children and a history lesson for all who would find time through their busy schedule to read:


Bagi memperingati pulangnya ke rahmatullah Almarhum Tun Abdul Razak 39 tahun dahulu beberapa catatan telah di sertakan oleh beberapa orang tertentu. Saya secara peribadi, ingin juga berkongsi pengalaman semasa di arahkan menjadi pegawai bertugas selama Almarhum Tun menerima rawatan di London.

2.       Tidak ramai yang mengetahui kehadiran Almarhum Tun  di London untuk menjalani rawatan. Kami mula sadar apabila mantan Pesuruhjaya Tinggi Malaysia ke London Almarhum Dato Abdullah Ali telah mengarah kami (katakanlah orang kepercayaan Pak Duta) menjadi pegawai bertugas.

3.       Ekoran daripada arahan tersebut maka mulalah saya dan Tuan Syed Kassim (colleague saya di Jabatan Penuntut Malaysia) berkongsi secara bergilir-gilir melaksanakan tugas selama 7/8 jam setiap hari.

4.       Kami telah diingatkan supaya merahsiakan kehadiran Almarhum Tun daripada warga Malaysia di UK terutama sekali oleh penuntut kerana ianya adalah  arahan daripada Timbalan Perdana Menteri sendiri (Almarhum Tun Hussein).

5.       Pada mulanya Almarhum Tun telah tinggal di York House (rumah tetamu Kerajaan Malaysia). Almarhum Tun amat jarang sekali keluar dari kamar tidur dan hanya menerima pelawat yang dekat dan sah sahaja dibenarkan berjumpa beliau.

6.       Saya dimaklumkan bahawa ada juga ketika Almarhum Tun bersama pembantunya akan bersiar-siar di HydePark pada awal pagi (saya kurang pasti kerana hanya mula bekerja pada jam 9 pagi hingga 4/5 petang atau 5 petang hingga 11/12 malam setiap hari).

7.       Apa yang terpahat diingatan saya adalah cara YAM Tun Rahah (isteri Almarhum) membawa dirinya (carryherself) sepanjang masa beliau mendampingi Almarhum Tun. Beliau senantiasa berwajah ‘elegant’ serta murah dengan senyuman dan menerima tetamu dengan penuh kesantunan yang tulen. Hanya Tuhan sahaja yang mengetahui betapa gundah gulananya perasaan beliau melihat suami terbaring (berehat) sambil melayani tetamu.

8.       Saya pernah juga memerhati secara dekat YAM Tun Asmah (isteri Tun Mahathir) semasa mereka berada di London dan semasa saya di arah untuk mengiringi mereka melawat Universiti Oxford; Sussex University di Brighton (tempat Marina menuntut) dan semasa bertemu penuntut-penuntut Malaysia di Caudiff. Perwatakan mereka berdua hampir sama. Saya juga perhatikan Ibu Negara Iriani Jokowi (isteri Presiden Joko Widowo) mempunyai karektor dan  perwatakan yang hampir sama. Ada kemungkinan besar rakyat Indonesia akan memberi penghormatan yang tinggi kepada beliau sama seperti rakyat Malaysia memberikan penghormatan dan menyanjung YAM Tun Rahah dan YAM Tun Asmah.

9.       Setelah beberapa ketika tinggal di York House, Almarhum Tun telah meminta beliau dipindahkan ke Tower Hotel yang lebih berdekatan dengan Hide Park.

10.     Pada hari yang bersejarah itu, saya ditakdirkan bertugas di sebelah pagi. Sebaik sahaja saya sampai ke tingkat 7 (tempat kediaman Almarhum Tun) saya dikejutkan dengan aktiviti yang luar dari biasa. Saya telah dimaklumkan oleh Pembantu Khas Almarhum Tun, arwah Dato Ghazali Khalid bahawa mereka sedang menunggu ambulan untuk membawa Almarhum Tun ke Hospital.

11.     Almarhum Tun dengan memakai gown mandi (bath towel) telah di usung ke lobi Hotel dengan kerusi roda dan diletakkan di dalam ambulan.

12.     Itulah ketikanya saya dapat melihat tubuh Almarhum dengan jelas. Bukan  sahaja keadaannya amat lemah tetapi mukanya amat cengkung dan seluruh badannya amat kurus sekali.

13.     Saya tidak sedari air mata saya mengalir dan rasa sayu serta emosi saya amat tersentuh. Ini adalah kerana saya anak kelahiran Pekan, Pahang dan rasa terhutang budi kepada Almarhum Tun kerana memberi kerja tetap kerajaan kepada arwah ayah saya (Hj. Mohd Noor Bin Osman).

14.     Saya telah mengiringi ambulan dengan kenderaan saya. Sebaik sahaja Almarhum dimasukkan ke dalam Unit Rapi Harley Street Clinic, saya dan Arwah Dato Ghazali terpaksa kembali ke Tower Hotel untuk mengambil barang-barang ‘personal’ Almarhum Tun. Namun sekembalinya kami ke Harley Street Clinic, pakar yang merawat Almarhum Tun telah mengistiharkan pemergian Almarhum Tun.

15.     Tidak ramai yang ada di sisi Almarhum ketika itu. Salah seorang yang membisikkan syahadah ke telinga Almarhum ialah Tn Hj (arwah) Jamaluddin (Warden Malaysia Hall). Beliaulah yang telah mengambil alih semua urusan menyempurnakan jenazah.

16.     Jenazah Almarhum telah dimandi; di kafan dan di sembahyangkan di East London Mosque sebelum di bawa ke Kedutaan Malaysia di Belgrave Square untuk rakyat Malaysia terutama penuntut-penuntut memberikan penghormatan terakhir.

17.     Sungguhpun jangkamasa pengumuman kematian Almarhum Tun sangat singkat, namun ribuan juga yang sempat datang untuk memberikan penghormatan terakhir.

18.     Kami terpaksa juga menerima kritikan yang amat hebat terutamanya daripada Pemimpin Persatuan Pelajar serta beberapa orang pelajar ‘senior’ yang mempersoalkan keperluan merahsiakan kehadiran Almarhum Tun di London kerana mereka dengan lantang mengatakan  bahawa Almarhum Tun adalah Perdana Menteri mereka juga. Sungguhpun kami bersimpati dengan rasa kecewa mereka tetapi kami perlu patuh untuk memastikan maklumat ini tidak sampai kepada rakyat Malaysia di UK.

19.     Pada sebelah petangnya jenazah telah dibawa di Terminal 4 (bahagian kargo) Heathrow Airport. Apa yang saya kesalkan ialah keranda Almarhum Tun yang hanya di selubungi dengan bendera Malaysia telah di tinggalkan bersendirian di atas ‘tarmac’ beberapa jam sebelum keranda di pindahkan ke pesawat Khas. Maklum sahajalah cuaca ketika itu amat sejuk sekali dan semua pegawai Kedutaan serta individu yang mengiringi jenazah terpaksa berlindung dan memasuki dalam kawasan menunggu yang lebih selesa.

20.     Oleh kerana kematian Almarhum Tun adalah tidak diduga, maka banyak persiapan dibuat secara ‘ad hoc’. Alangkah baiknya jika sekiranya kedutaan ketika itu menjemput pelajar-pelajar melayu Islam untuk sama-sama membantu. Sekurang-kurangnya mereka boleh bertahlil dan bersedekah Yassin sementara menunggu jenazah di bawa pulang ke Malaysia.

21.     Tn Hj Jamaluddin telah mengiringi jenazah sampai ke Lapangan Terbang Subang di mana pihak berkuasa di Malaysia telah mengambil alih. Saya mendapat maklum bahawa sepanjang perjalanan ke Malaysia Tn Hj Jamaluddin telah memimpin bacaan tahlil dan Yassin. Jasanya tidak seharusnya dilupakan oleh sesiapa. Bayangkan betapa sulitnya jika beliau tidak mampu memimpin dan menguruskan jenazah Almarhum dari Harley Street Clinic sehinggalah ke Lapangan Terbang Subang.

22.     Semasa bertugas banyaklah episod-episod yang baik dan yang kurang menyenangkan yang boleh saya kongsikan bersama. Namun biarlah kita tumpukan sahaja kepada legasi-legasi positif yang di tinggalkan oleh Almarhum  Tun  agar rakyat sekarang dan pada masa akan datang akan mengingati beliau sebagai salah satunya anak watan yang terulung.

23.     Almarhum Tun meninggalkan kita di dalam usia yang realitifnya muda dan saya percaya banyak lagi usahanya untuk memperkasakan bangsa melayu amnya dan rakyat Malaysia umumnya yang tidak sempat di laksanakan.

24.     Saya percaya orang yang boleh membantu kita dalam hal ini ialah Dato Amir Yaakub (x Boss saya di Kementah). Beliau pernah menjadi Setiausaha kepada MAGERAN dan Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) semasa Almarhum Tun menjadi Pengerusinya. Perhubungannya dengan Almarhum Tun sangat rapat sekali. Selaku Setiausaha beliau berurusan dengan Almarhum Tun hampir setiap hari bagi membincangkan program dan hala tuju Negara.

25.     Dato Amir pernah menceritakan kepada saya perasaan amat terkilannya kerana pelawaan Almarhum Tun secara beria-ia supaya  beliau mengikuti rombongannya ke London untuk rawatan telah tidak di sambut olehnya. Pada pertemuan mereka yang terakhir Almarhum Tun telah membuka rahsia bahawa beliau bertambah uzur sambil menunjukkan kepada Dato Amir keadaan badannya yang amat kurus dengan membuka butang ‘bush jacket’nya.

26.     Dato Amir telah bersara dari perkhidmatan kerajaan dengan penuh rasa kekecewaan. Jasa besarnya harus dikenang dan di ikhtiraf oleh Kerajaan. ‘That is the least the government can do to reward him for his dedication and for being a true nationalist’.

27.     Saya pernah juga terfikir kenapa banyak ikon-ikon bangsa melayu meninggalkan kita di usia yang masih muda dan dalam keadaan penuh ‘misteri’. Mungkin personaliti seperti Maarof Zakaria (Banker); Hanafiah Raslan (Banker) dan Aminuddin Baki (educationist) belum sempat memberi sumbangan yang optima serta amat bermakna sebelum meninggalkan kita. Begitu juga dengan Almarhum Tun. Pemergian beliau amat dirasai sehingga ke hari ini. Marilah kita bersedekah ‘al-fatihah’ semoga semua mereka ini di cucuri rahmat oleh Allah swt dan diletakkan mereka bersama-sama orang yang solehah. Amin.



Al-fatihah untuk Almarhum Abdul Razak dan semua ikon-ikon dan pejuang bangsa dan negara yang telah meninggalkan kita.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Why is the Catholic Church still insistent to un-ban use of ALLAH for their BM Herald publication?

Update 22 January 2015:

Today the Federal Court has rightly disallowed the  Herald publication appeal for a Judicial Review. Lets move on shall we, Catholic Church can or not?

Original Post:

'There was no issue nor furore over the usage of this word (ALLAH) until the Roman Catholics in West Malaysia demanded that they too use it for their Herald publication despite knowing that usage of that word isn't conducive in the West Malaysian society'
Anon. Source here

The quite headline today:

A quite blog post a few days earlier :

Malaysia's root cause of racial and religious problems

This is an excerpt from Annie's post totally related to the Catholic Church demand to use Allah for the for their Bahasa Malaysia Herald publication:

actually, no, non Muslim bumi's Allah IS NOT under threat from ISMA and PERKASA. I agree that non Muslim Bumis are the poorest lot - and they are mainly in Sarawak. However - the word Allah for the Christians have always been allowed in Sarawak, always. There was no issue nor furore over the usage of this word until the Roman Catholics in West Malaysia demanded that they too use it for their Herald publication despite knowing that usage of that word isn't conducive in the West Malaysian society. That's when the whole mess started. Before this - Sarawakian Christians have been using the word without problem. Now the west malaysian dragged us all into the mess and try to pin the problems on someone else.

So no, it isn't ISMA and PERKASA who is the actual problem here. It's that freaking Catholic church that's so belligerent and stubborn that they couldn't even compromise and use a perfectly legible word (TUHAN, anyone??) for their BM publication and dare to bring Sarawak's Christian Bumis into the equation to push their cause. Talk about political opportunists!

But seriously why why is the Catholic Church still insistent to un-ban use of ALLAH for their BM Herald publication?

Whatever the Federal Court decision will be, we should ALL wait patiently and we should ALL accept its finality when it does come out.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

My Thoughts on Paris Shooting - Khutbah by Nouman Ali Khan

'As offensive as the cartoons maybe it is equally offensive to do something in the Prophet's and Islam's name which is against the teachings of Islam"

Here is a good commentary on the Paris shooting recently, I hope my Muslim and non Muslim brothers would take time to listen:

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Are Malaysians prepared to impose total ban on logging like what the Thais did in the aftermath of its worst flooding?

Saya buat posting pasal banjir mungkin ramai tak berapa faham, anyway saya bukan pakar pasal hal ini, just writing to share based on what little experience I have as a Civil Engineer ...ok now listen to what the expert has to say:

Professor Mohamed Zakaria Hussin, Dekan Fakulti Perhutanan UPM:

Latest headline today from Bernama:
  • A RM3 billion multipurpose dam will be built in Sungai Kelantan under RMK-11 to ease flood problem in East Coast - DID

  • I don't know, I think RM3 billion is a lot of money to spend for a dam, I am not questioning the efforts of the Gomen but I think any new or improvement to flood mitigation infrastructure is useless in the longer run if not addressing the rampant logging upstream on the hilly areas as explained by Professor Zakaria. 

    Penebangan pokok balak tanpa urus alam sekitar terlampau menjadi-jadi di Kelantan sampai  gondol kawasan tinggi di Gua Musang-Lojing
    On January 10, 1989 Thailand banned harvesting of timber in the country following the worst flooding there in nearly a century. Thailand had long been a traditional exporter of raw logs and in more recent years had begun to develop a competitive furniture industry. Despite the ban on harvesting, Thailand's furniture industry has continued to climb in terms of total output and export value. The country now imports large amounts of raw teak and other wood from Myanamar and Cambodia. This trade is not documented nor is it always even carried out with the permission of the governments in Yangoon and Phnom Penh, respectively. In fact, these two countries are now experiencing some of the highest deforestation rates in the world.

2. Description

Following disastrous floods in November, 1988, Thailand banned logging in the country in January of 1989. During the floods, 350 people died and there was $120 million in property losses. Soil erosion caused by deforestation exacerbated the floods, thereby making the damage and loss of lives much worse. Since a large part of the logging was actually for the purpose of export, either in raw or processed form, there was a large international component to this decision (Thailand has a growing furniture export industry). Resourceful Thai businessmen began importing wood from their unstable neighbors -- Myanamar and Cambodia. 
Read more here.

Read this also: 
I think when push comes to shove, we need to do the obvious:

For the sake of our future generations, Malaysia must ban all logging activities just like what the Thais did in the aftermath of its worst flooding in a century. But, :......

Are Malaysians prepared to impose total ban on logging like what the Thais did in the aftermath of its worst flooding?

In the wake of MH370 and QZ8501 incidents, ICAO should implement standard for real time tracking of commercial airplanes ASAP

I will be travelling again to Bangladesh tomorrow, will be there for a few days for meetings and appointments with colleagues in Dhaka and Chittagong. Dhaka is a 4 hours plane journey from KLIA...its moderately long journey (2 movies long) straddling the coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and over the Bay of Bengal. 

Normally air travel does not bother me at all, but, since the crash of MAS MH370 and now Air Asia Indonesia QZ 8501 I must confess that I have my moments of of shall we say doubts when thinking about air travelling. Then I thot to myself,  if you are fated to die, you will die even when you are on the way to the life must go on.

Nonetheless, it would be helpful if the recommendation of the Chief  Inspector of Air Accidents of Malaysia's Ministry of Transport Preliminary report on MH370 be taken up by ICAO and preferably all the airliners of the world need not wait for instructions to do so:

Source: Preliminary Report here
Had real time tracking been installed on MH370 and QZ 8501, the process of search and recovery would be much faster than it is as a the search area where the ill fated planes crashed/landed would be much smaller as the guesstimates are taken out of the equation.



A new frontier in airplane surveillance with space-based technology (VIDEO)

AirAsia QZ8501: why do we still rely on black boxes?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Deforestation must be managed and then enforced by Angkatan Tentera Malaysia or face more floods in future #Banjir2014

Flood can be defined as a body of water, rising, swelling and overflowing land not usually thus covered. Also, overflowing of the bank of a stream, lake or drainage system of water onto adjacent land as a result of storm, ice melt, tidal action and channel obstruction.

'The faster water runs from upstream area of  a river system, the higher the magnitude of the flood will be. Hence anything that increases runoff speed of the rain water, like excessive cleared area due to deforestation will contribute to floods'

'Construction of flood-mitigation infrastructure is vital. It is also equally important to maintain the infrastructure. However, if the forest cover continues to be cleared, no matter how much we spend, Malaysia will not be able to minimise or solve its flood problem. This is mainly because a large amount of water will overcome the infrastructure we construct to contain floods'
Piarapakaran S., President, Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia

The flood devastation as at 29 December 2014:

Source The Malay Mail Online here

In Kuala Krai floods, humanity at its best and worst

‘Complete collapse’ in east coast flood response, NSC concedes 
I believe after this flood has passed........we are staring at one of the biggest flooding event in our history if not the biggest. The end of the flooding signals the start of the repair and remedial work on the damaged roads, bridges, power cables, power substations, water treatment plants and water pipes, sewerage system and include building temporary shelters for those who lost their homes etc.etc. I think the flood damage will take a couple of billion Ringgit to be made good.

I do not want to comment on the rescue and relief effort beyond observing that the Goverment machineries, our armed forces, police, para military and citizen volunteers had performed admirably and selflessly under very difficult circumstances to help the victims caused by the flood.

The Government had announced Flood Mitigation Funding for the affected areas, that is well and good, but I believe any discussion on flooding must also focus on the rampant deforestation by illegal or legal means too. 

Deforestation plays several roles in the flooding equation because trees prevent sediment runoff and forests hold and use more water than farms or grasslands.
  • Some rainwater stays on the leaves, and it may evaporate directly to the air (the more water used in the watershed, the less remains to run off).
  • Leaves reduce raindrop impact, and gentler rain causes less erosion.
  • Tree roots absorb water from the soil, making the soil drier and able to store more rainwater.
  • Tree roots hold the soil in place, reducing the movement of sediment that can shrink river channels downstream. source
read a letter from AWER:

Forest preservation is vital
29 DECEMBER 2014 @ 8:11 AM

THE Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) is not amused by attempts to portray the floods as “punishment from God” or a rare occurrence.

In the 10th Malaysia Plan, it was stated that RM5 billion would be allocated for flood-mitigation programmes. Based on the 2015 Budget breakdown, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) was supposed to have carred out flood mitigation projects worth RM4.638 billion from 2011 to 2015, but only RM2.459 billion has been allocated so far. The Federal Government had also allocated RM1.788 billion and RM3.998 billion for flood-mitigation programmes under the 8th and 9th Malaysia plans respectively. What is the status of these projects? What were the expected results of projects that were completed by December 2014?

Based on estimates, losses caused by the floods are around RM1 billion a year. This was a figure published by DID in 2002. This means we have suffered a total of RM12 billion in losses until 2013. This year’s floods will cost us a lot more. However, the losses do not include flood mitigation, infrastructure reconstruction and compensation allocations. What is the price that we will pay in the near future if forests continue to be destroyed?

The flood situation has worsened over the years, and it is time to audit the flood-mitigation projects. Awer urges the auditor-general to conduct in-depth audit of flood-mitigation and drainage projects that were planned and executed under the 8th, 9th and 10th Malaysia plans. The audit should also evaluate the success of each project.

Basic science clearly places floods as part of the water cycle. Being part of the equatorial climate, “rain” is the keyword. As we have explained before, when rain falls, a portion of it is absorbed by the forest and soil. The remaining rainfall will flow on the surface as run-off. As we reduce the absorption capacity, naturally, we will increase the amount of surface run-off.

Why the lower absorption capacity? This is due to deforestation, change of land use, increase in impermeable surface and development to cater to an increasing population.

Land matters are under the purview of state governments. This includes the protection of virgin forest. Clearing virgin forest and replanting the area with crops does not make it “green” and “natural”. Destruction of the forest destroys nature’s ability to delay the flow of surface water. Green-coloured crops will not guarantee natural flood mitigation. Once a forest is destroyed, it’s a one-way ticket for all of us.

Awer urges the government to obey nature’s law. Every solution that is planned for flood mitigation must “mimic” nature’s method. Water flows from higher to lower elevations via a logical passage (due to gravity). It forms freshwater swamps and lakes in its journey. The movement of a large volume of water does not follow the passage humans create. The water moves based on its own momentum, and washes away everything in its passage that it can overcome. This was what we witnessed in Bertam Valley, Cameron Highlands. Mimicking nature and using its delaying method is the only way to reduce or prevent such a devastating incident.

Construction of flood-mitigation infrastructure is vital. It is also equally important to maintain the infrastructure. However, if the forest cover continues to be cleared, no matter how much we spend, Malaysia will not be able to minimise or solve its flood problem. This is mainly because a large amount of water will overcome the infrastructure we construct to contain floods.

Remember, we live in equilibrium with nature. Any attempt to destroy it is like charting our own destruction.!

Piarapakaran S., president, Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer)

My thots:

Deforestation must b managed n enforced by ATM or more flood in future!

Source here, Locations shown are an aproximation only
Easy Reading on Deforestation and Flood: