OPINION: The Children’s bill and the politics behind it

DF, Port Louis, Mauritius

The children’s bill debated in the national assembly on Tuesday, September 17 has some interesting elements.

But while there is still a long way to go to find solutions for existing problems, a group of NGOs stood up to make their feelings known.

Hence the Kolectif Drwa Imin, through its spokesperson pointed out 2 concerns over the bill.

First, the age of marriage and second the age at which a child is chargeable for offence.

In a country where there is an ombudsperson for children, there is much incomprehension as to why these people have to overshadow the responsible body and self proclaim themselves as “societé civile”.

The KDI is backed by ‘collectif arc en ciel’ and ‘young queer alliance’, two organisations which have little to do with children but more with demands from LGBTQI+ community.

There is much worry that those groups have a hidden agenda and are supporting a cause which has nothing to do with them.

Are we witnessing a dirty alliance game between the organisations just like our political parties?

A few months back, young queer alliance and gender links were on the same platform to advocate the presence of members of LGBTQI+ members to be guests on national forum debates like the national budget.

However, no private media has discriminated the LGBTQI+, the absence of its members on the forums clearly shows that their agenda is not integration but a forced acceptance of their demands.

Any opposition to them makes one homophobic, disrespectful of human rights or worse trying to put religious beliefs ahead of the secular state constitution.

It is important to keep an eye on young queer alliance and CAC, both of which have support from the European Union, which was clearly displayed during the pride March of this year.

The most worrying part is their presence on a press conference concerning the children’s bill.

Why have they never been part of a debate regarding workers rights bill? Or bills regarding the ecology? Or the electoral reform debate? Why specifically the children’s bill?

NetApp, Tech Data’s cloud centre a boost for business in Southeast Asia

The new Cloud Center of Excellence will provide organizations in the region with the technologies and skills needed to maximize the full value of hybrid multi-cloud.

Singapore, 11 September 2019 – NetApp today launched a new Cloud Center of Excellence (CoE) in Singapore, in partnership with Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD).

The aim is to help organizations in Asean better leverage cloud to be more efficient and agile.

Hybrid multi-cloud is fast growing as a prominent IT architecture, with IDC predicting that 65 percent of companies in Asia Pacific will have a multi-cloud management strategy by 2022.

To help realize the power of the hybrid multi-cloud, the new CoE will provide the technologies and resources needed to develop and test prototypes that can unleash agility and latent abilities in the organization.

Combining the best of NetApp’s and Tech Data’s capabilities, the CoE will:

  • Showcase how NetApp’s virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), DevOps, and hybrid cloud infrastructure (HCI) solutions can help various industries in ASEAN take full control of their hybrid multi-cloud environments to innovate flexibly at speed.

  • Host regular technical enablement sessions on end-to-end solutions by Tech Data’s certified technical experts. Open to partners, those sessions will not only include detailed trainings and certifications, but also feature a “lite” version for Proof of Concepts.

Customers in Asean are showing increased interest in VDI, HCI and DevOps as they move to the cloud, so these are the three focus areas for the CoE.

Since VDI can help reduce the time and effort needed to manage, scale, and automate end user computing, it enables organizations improve productivity and cut operational costs by channeling their IT resources effectively.

Meanwhile, HCI provides an open and scalable infrastructure that offers consistent capabilities across on-premises and multiple cloud environments.

It also supports DevOps by making data and apps portable regardless of their location and without compromising service levels, as well as centrally orchestrate application and data services together across a hybrid multi-cloud.

These capabilities collectively enable organizations to accelerate business growth by innovating faster and through operational excellence.

“More organizations in Asean are adopting cloud as their de facto IT backbone to gain the speed and agility needed to compete in the digital age,” said Wendy Koh, Vice President, Pathways, Alliance and Strategy across Asia Pacific, at NetApp.

“The CoE aims to help organizations harness the power of the cloud with better control, costs and efficiency. It will do so by coupling NetApp’s solutions with Tech Data’s expertise to enable organizations to simplify IT management and deliver a truly seamless hybrid multi-cloud experience to scale DevOps workloads, ensure consistency of applications, as well as rapidly innovate.”

Bennett Wong, Vice President and General Manager, Asean, at Tech Data says, “Successful digital transformation is more than simply embedding technology; it requires deep industry insights combined with functional expertise and technical know-how.

“Tech Data has established this shared facility to help partners enhance their skills using a train-the-trainer concept, focusing on technology, business concepts and best practices.

“Together with NetApp, we will deliver end-to-end cloud solutions through the CoE, enabling partners to optimize their operations, increasing their speed to market so they can capture new business opportunities. We look forward to further supporting our partners across ASEAN through our unique cloud skills housed within the center.”

Tech Data Expands Cloud Practice Builder


Najib, more popular than Nik Aziz?

The son of Nik Aziz Nik Mat is not an out of the ordinary man.

He is popular in Kelantan, as his dad was, but it seems he made his name mostly by himself.

At the peak of the RM90 million scandal hitting the PAS he made compromising comments on the ‘donation’ from Umno.

Pressed by media and others, he made a zigzag, saying he did not make the comments.

Again pressed by media and others (political foes), he says he lied as ordered by the party leadership.

Now we got to believe he is a big fan of ex-PM Najib Razak.

Not many people will go to the point to say, “Wherever he goes, kalah ayah saya (Najib beats my father)… People are clamouring for selfies with him.”

The Bachok MP also expressed his surprise how Umno supporters embraced Najib as “Bossku”.

“God works in strange ways,” says Nik Abduh in the video clip below. He is speaking at a joint event by Umno and PAS in Ayer Hitam, Johor.

We took the link from Malaysiakini.

Tech Data Expands Cloud Practice Builder

Singapore — Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) announced it has expanded its digital Cloud Practice Builder program to include interactive solutions-focused paths and vendor-specific enablement programs.

These new additions offer technology solution providers with a single source for growing diversified cloud practices by quickly assessing, mapping and building expanded practice or solution focus areas.


“Our partners are looking for new ways to expand their businesses and take advantage of high-growth opportunities, as evidenced by the 900-plus customers who have participated in digital cloud practice builder since its launch in October,” said Sergio Farache, senior vice president, Global Cloud Solutions, at Tech Data.

<< Our latest additions to the program enhance our customers’ ability to build and diversify their cloud practices. >>

Through the interactive solutions-focused paths and vendor-specific enablement programs, customers will understand where their greatest opportunities lie, develop a roadmap and start quickly building new practices in as few as 90 days—a process that historically could take five months or more.

Developing new practices can be challenging for any technology solution provider, so Tech Data’s new interactive paths simplify complexity to provide customers with an understanding of where and how they can drive greater cloud growth. These include paths for vendor-specific or business-outcome-focused solution practice areas.

As an example, Tech Data’s vendor-specific Microsoft enablement paths help partners develop their Microsoft-based practices, from launching a cloud service provider (CSP) practice to advancing their practices with Azure or Microsoft Modern Workplace. Tech Data’s solutions-focused paths, on the other hand, guide customers along three possible focus areas—core cloud, cloud data protection or modern workplace—and ultimately direct customers to enablement through Tech Data’s own pre-architected, click-to-run solutions, like ones for enabling cloud backup.

“Cloud Practice Builder was a pleasant surprise for my company in that it helped us solidify our strategy and go-to-market approach around cloud in a way that was super simple, which is necessary when you run a business in a channel that is complex and constantly evolving,” said Juan Fernandez, vice president of Managed IT Services, at ImageNet Consulting, a technology solution provider and Tech Data partner.

“The program helped us understand gaps in our practice that we didn’t previously consider, and it helped us to fill in those gaps.”

Ringgit may strengthen against US$: FXTM

Written by Han Tan, Market Analyst at FXTM

The Malaysian Ringgit could climb further against the US Dollar in the week ahead, should investors raise their expectations for a larger Fed rate cut in July.

The US Q2 GDP and July composite PMI figures due in the week ahead are unlikely to dissuade the US central bank from cutting interest rates by at least 25-basis points this month.

<< The dovish outlook on US monetary policy is lending itself to a softer Dollar environment, which could lead to the more near-term upside for the Ringgit. >>

On the domestic front, Malaysia’s June consumer price index is expected to tick higher, although overall headline inflation for the year should remain manageable.

With onshore risks contained, Bank Negara will continue monitoring the external downside risks in ensuring its accommodative policy stance.

For the week ahead, the 4.09 mark is being eyed as the near-term support level for USDMYR, while the resistance line can be seen at its 100-day moving average around the 4.12 mark.

Mahathir and Anwar has to cut loose the rotten apples

PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim have to cut loose the dirty baggage they carried in the Pakatan Harapan.

When Dr Mahathir came to Anwar at the courts to shake hands and reconnect, it was for a new Malaysia. Shortly after they sat down to lay out the strategy to defeat Barisan Nasional.

There was one aim and it was to rid the country of then Prime Minister Najib Razak.

But Pakatan Harapan is nothing like Barisan Nasional and it has an agenda, a reformasi agenda.

An agenda not shared by some in the PH whose mindset is still within the framework of the BN’s agenda.

They are still fresh from the Umno and has no idea what ‘reformasi’ is. A deep look on social media will show how innocent and naive the newly-minted Pakatan supporters are.

The naivety of the supporters does not make or direct the making of policies Policymakers and lawmakers craft them in Parliament.

In the case of the Pakatan Harapan, Dr Mahathir came with his own backlog of rotten tomatoes.

They appear to have successfully spread the rot to other members of the PH. Mainly in the PKR and for all you know, they may also have spread this to other component parties.

The problem in the Pakatan is the baggage brought by the Bersatu, Dr Mahathir’s party and the apples that got rotten in the PKR.

One must recognise the ‘honesty’ of the Bersatu members. They want contracts, handouts and positions to compensate for their recent sacrifices after enjoying all the privileges under the BN.

But these members, as naive as they are, can still be put under control. In the nicest terms that Dr Mahathir got them to understand that their contribution against kleptocracy will be part of their legacy.

However, there are some powerful manipulators who are running amok in the corridors of power.

They are both in the Bersatu and the PKR. Give them the boot or correct them before they deepen the corruption of both parties.

It is their resistance to reforms that are killing the PH and it is breeding a culture of dirt throwing. There is a systematic diversion of facts that is trickling down to the population. People see it as the incapacity of the PH to deliver on its promises.

Bersatu has some strong men and women in their midst. PKR too has some strong figurehead.

These strong men and women should take the lead and rally behind their leaders. They must speak the same language of truth.

They (MP’s and Ministers) should press on for reforms without fear or favour.

Instead, we see some of them clinging to their ministerial posts and attacking the leadership on a daily basis.

They blame their incongruent behaviours on the promises of freedom of expression. Manipulating it in their favour and hoping the two leaders on top close their eyes and leave them in peace.

The people did not vote for PH on this basis. They voted PH in to bring a better life for them. To achieve that, PH must bring in the much-needed reforms.

Money from Jho Low company went into Najib account?

KUALA LUMPUR — Money to the amount of RM50 million found in ex-PM Najib Razak’s account is from Singapore and Seychelles.

They were wired to the account from companies based in these countries.

This is what a witness says in a testimony in the Courts. The witness says the money transferred to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank account in 2014 was not a ‘donation or a gift’.

The witness is the Ambank’s electronic transfer and securities unit manager Wedani Senen.

Wedani says the transactions involved remittances by two companies, namely Blackrock Commodities Global Limited from Singapore and Vista Equity International Partners from Seychelles.

The US Department of Justice has identified Eric Tan, a close associate of Jho Low as the owner of Blackrock Commodities and Vista Equity.

Wedani says two of the transactions listed the transfer of money into the former prime minister’s account as a ‘loan’.

When deputy public prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram asked if it was written anywhere on the remittance form that the purpose of the payment was ‘a gift or donation’, she said, “No”.

Evidence also shows there were transactions from accounts linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho — better known as Jho Low — into the AmBank account of Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2015.

The reports say they included transaction details which described them as loan payments, and not donations.

This was confirmed by the 24th prosecution witness Wedani.

A trail of funds that went into Najib’s account:

June 19, 2014 Blackrock Commodities Global Ltd £750,000

Oct 21, 2014 from Vista Equity International Partners £5,750,000

Nov 21, 2014 from Vista Equity International Partners £694,343.62

Nov 24, 2014 from Vista Equity International Partners £2,216.01

Dec 5, 2014 from Vista Equity International Partners £ 995,000

Dec 18, 2014 from Vista Equity International Partners £ 1,264,462.29

Najib has constantly denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal.

His lawyers say they will prove his innocence, banking their strategy on a purported conspiracy to tarnish him.

Najib, 66, faces seven charges of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money-laundering involving RM42 million of SRC International funds and risk 20 years’ jail and fine for the offences.

What happens next in MH17 probe five years on?

Its been five years since the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was hit by a missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine.

With the loss of all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board, the shooting of the Boeing 777 got Russia into trouble.

The incident got the world to focus for sometime on the situation in Ukraine where a war was raging.

ABC in Australia says the war in Ukraine has been defined by the downing of MH17.

There in an international inquiry and criminal charges is laid against 4 individuals for the downing of the plane.

But the families are in the middle of all the wheeling and dealing to reach an acceptable conclusion to the incident.

The moment the incident was broadcast by international news agencies, the blame was on Russian rebels fighting in Ukraine.


Rumours had it the Malaysian airliner was hit by accident. Conspiracy theories floated around saying the missile was targeting the Russian President’s aircraft. Or it was a Ukrainian soldier who fired the missile. Later we were told it was fired from the Russian side of the conflict.

In Malaysia the incident overshadowed the impact of the war in Ukraine.

It is not only the 289 people who died that day. Many more would have died in the fight on the ground.

A war that is still simmering and has no end in sight.


Amid the many questions and the accusations, the main mystery is why would rebels in Ukraine target a Malaysian Airliner?

No one will ever answer this perhaps because there is no why?

The answer could reside in the conflict on the ground itself? Did they think the plane was flying too low to be a commercial airliner?

Did someone order them to shoot the plane down because it was a Malaysian airplane?

There are many theories out there.

What happened is the plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and about three hours after take-off it disappeared off the radar.


Malaysians were in shock. It is the second MAS plane in the same year that disappeared!

The Malaysians were still struggling to contend with the shock of the loss of lives and the mystery of the disappearance of the MH370 when this happened.

No one was prepared for another shock.

While the news slowly sunk into the psyche of the Malaysians, we all knew it will take years to bring those responsible to face justice.


On June 19 four people were charged. They are Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.

They are charged with murder and are linked to the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad expressed his dissatisfaction over the fact that the investigation was not conducted in an impartial manner.

He lamented the fact that the investigators did not give Kuala Lumpur a chance adding the investigation was rather focused on simply pinning the blame on Russia for political reasons.

They trial starts March 9 next year in the Netherlands at a high-security courthouse near Schiphol Airport.

The AFP says it is unlikely that any of the men will be present at the trial as neither Russia nor Ukraine allows its citizens to be extradited.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the probe showed “no proof” of Moscow’s guilt.

If all go well, Aceh men will have 4 wives soon

MEDAN — The once restive province of Aceh is planning to make it legal for men to have up to four wives but activists fear the law would normalise extramarital affairs.

Aceh is the state where LGBT practitioners get lashed in public and women are whipped if caught for extra marital affairs.

The attempt to legalise polygamy is to stem such affairs.

In March this year, two women were left unable to walk after they were publicly whipped as punishment for alleged “intimate relations” outside marriage.

The same day, a total of six couples subjected to the ordeal, carried out in accordance with Sharia law.

Aceh, located at the tip of Sumatra, is the only one in Indonesia where Islamic law is imposed.

Lawmakers in Aceh say the idea is to prevent women from entering in ‘serial marriages’ which is the form of polygamy practiced in the region.

The women are thus subjected to the illegality of the situation since Indonesia does not specifically allow polygamy. National laws legally defines marriage as the union between two adults of the opposite sex

But there loopholes in the law that takes into consideration religious and/or cultural norms for marriage, allowing for a large number of polygamous marriages (and, often, child marriages) to occur, according to Detik,

The Detik report says Aceh’s provincial government and regional council (DPR Aceh) are drawing up a qanun (Islamic penal code bylaw) regulating household affairs.

But the section of the bill intended to legalise polygamy has rocked the country.

West Aceh Ulema Council (MPU) chairman Teungku Abdurrani Adian expressed support for a plan by the Aceh administration to legalize polygamy, saying the laws currently do not recognise polygamy..

He says as the marriages were not acknowledged by the state, women tended to be put at a disadvantage, specifically in terms of the distribution of inheritances and child recognition.


Sarawak gets to decide on youth age cap, not Johor

The Federal government threaded carefully on the youth age cap in Sarawak, saying it respects the state’s decision to maintain it at 40.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, says the federal government respects the stand of the Sarawak government in making an in-depth study of the decision to lower the youth age cap.

This is in direct contrast to the fight that is ongoing between the Johor state and the Federal government.

Johor has also decided not to lower the youth age cap.

Last week, Bernama said the Johor state government’s move to maintain its youth age limit at 40 will affect the future of the state’s youth movements.

The Federal government said maintaining the age cap means the Johor youths will not get help from the federal government.
In Sarawak’s case, the age cap for youths registered under the Registrar of Youth (ROY) will go be implemented.

But for those that does not come under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the state will decide.

On July 3, Syed Saddiq tabled the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Dewan Rakyat, seeking to lower the youth age cap from 40 years to 30.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the age factor is not a major issue but what is more important are the programmes for youth development.

“In Sarawak, youth organisations are registered under the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and, as such, it is the state government that determines the age cap, which is 40.

“We have entrepreneurship programmes for the B40 (bottom 40 per cent households) youths. If the age cap is lowered, it will undermine what has been implemented so far. So, we are looking in-depth at the implications and so on,” he said to Bernama.