The school holiday is here again!

THE school holiday is here again! I’m sure you will agree with me that school holidays are the best times of a student’s life. It’s a welcome breather − a break from the monotony of having to wake up early in the morning and prepare for school.

School holidays offer the opportunity for more family time and for parents to improve their communication and relationship with their children. Most parents I know have plans with their children − for a family vacation or other recreational activities.

All these are expected to bring the family closer together and should have a positive impact on the children’s wellbeing.

In this digital age, there are also parents who believe that technology and gadgets are essential for a child’s development. That these devices are a good companion and teacher. Thus, they feel it is all right to allow their children almost unlimited screen time, as long as everyone is happy.

Screen time refers to any activity done in front of a screen, be it a television, computer, smartphone or tablet. It is a sedentary activity that requires very little energy or movement.

But, how much screen time is okay? And how much is too much?

Used wisely and in moderation, screen time offers a lot of benefits to viewers, in particular, the youth. Studies have shown that playing video games can boost their motor skills and other elements like problem-solving skills and memory boost.

Other research has documented, qualitatively, that video games promote social interaction and friendships. The children make friends with other gamers, both in person and online. They talk about their games with one another, teach one another strategies and often play together, either in the same room or online.

But, it becomes bad when children use it excessively or they are exposed to screen time too early.

A study in South Korea has reported a delay in language-learning among children aged 24 to 30 months with time spent in front of a TV. Another study in Thailand reported children from 6 to 18 months who are exposed to the TV showed emotional reactivity, aggression and externalisation behaviours.

Dr Daniel Fung, chairman of the medical board at the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore said: “Too much screen time takes young children away from real human interaction. This can lead to impaired social learning and damage their emotional development.”

Canadian addiction expert and author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids Dr Nicholas Kardaras said there were over two hundred peer reviewed studies that correlate excessive screen time to everything from ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and depression, to anxiety and psychotic-like symptoms.

As with other technology usage, screen time is a double-edged sword. It’s bad when used excessively. I’m a firm believer that technology is good for everyone, including children. It is only bad when their screen time is not properly managed and disrupts eating and sleeping patterns, causes obesity and eroding social skills.

Perhaps, this school holiday is a good time to get our children to put away those gadgets and enjoy the world outside. While our weather may be humid and hot, the evenings are still great for a visit to the park for a walk. Let’s find alternatives to screen time for our children, such as building Lego blocks, solving puzzles, colouring, assembling car toys and dressing up dolls. Or, having family board games and hide and seek. The most important thing is to spend quality time with the family.

Managing the way our children learn, balancing screen time and physical activities, can ensure that they become better individuals with a healthy lifestyle. Habits are hard to change, but all it takes is the first step to make that change.

This long break is a good time for parents to slow down and spend time and communicate with their young ones, rather than leaving it to the gadgets to do the work.

New Straits Times, Published: November 29, 2017 - 12:42pm
How much screen time should we allow children?
The writer is editor of BOTs, the weekly tech section in ‘Life&Times’. Trained in Maths, he has since traded his problem-solving skills with writing about how tech has helped to transform the world for the better.

posted by fom_club at 13:10| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Foreign ownership of local houses

EARLIER this month (Nov 3), the New Zealand government announced that it would soon implement a new policy prohibiting foreigners from buying houses in the country.

Newly-appointed Labour prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, told the media that she wanted the ban on foreign house buyers to come into effect before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is ratified in February next year. She is confident that this new law and the country’s new policy of cutting back on immigration numbers will effectively reduce demand on houses and drive down prices in the “heated housing market”.

She explained that amendments would be made to the Overseas Investment Act by classifying residential housing as “sensitive”, thus effectively shutting the door on foreign buyers who are not residents in the country.

Foreign ownership and a housing shortage in New Zealand’s larger cities had been among the most pressing issues dominating the period leading to the recent Sept 23 election, which ended the nine-year administration of the conservative National Party and allowing the Labour Party to seize power, making Arden the country’s new prime minister.

Apart from the ban, the new administration would also be introducing a “rent-to-own” housing scheme to help more New Zealanders acquire their own homes. Ardern said a new Housing Commission would be established, whose mission is to ensure that more affordable houses will be available for first-time buyers.

Within a short period of being appointed as the new head of government, Ardern was thus able to do three things to resolve the housing problem in the country − formulate a new policy, pass a new law to enforce the policy and set up a Housing Commission to pursue the new agenda through to its completion. Will these new initiatives work? While I am not sure of the answer, I am, nevertheless, fascinated by her resolve. Perhaps, something along those lines could be considered by our government in the near future.

In recent times, New Zealand has become a popular destination for foreigners to “park their money” by buying up properties in the country. In Auckland (the nation’s largest city), average house prices have hit the NZ$1 million (RM2.83 million) mark − a price beyond the affordability of most of the country’s urban population. To address the problem, the earlier administration had imposed a tax on foreign buyers, but that did not seem to have any effect on reducing home prices.

Malaysia is no different from New Zealand, as it is also a popular destination for foreign property buyers. In cities like Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Penang, house prices hit the RM1 million mark a long time ago. We have not, however, imposed a tax on foreign buyers.

Apart from New Zealand, what other countries impose a ban on foreign house buyers? In Australia, non-resident investors are barred from buying resale homes unless they plan to occupy them. In Singapore, restrictions are also imposed on foreigners; they can buy condominium units, but are prohibited from buying landed properties, and properties built by Singapore’s Housing Development Board, which are exclusively for Singaporeans.

There is no blanket ban on foreigners buying homes in Malaysia. They cannot buy low-cost houses and those built on Malay reserve land, but the million-dollar homes are available for them. In 2014, Selangor came up with its guideline. Effective Sept 1 that year, foreigners were allowed to buy residential properties priced at least RM2 million in areas categorised as Zone 1 and 2, and at least RM1 million in Zone 3. Foreigners are not allowed to purchase landed properties (unless they are in a gated community with Landed Strata title), or those sold by public auction.

It is this rule − that foreigners can purchase houses in the million-ringgit bracket − that has prompted property developers in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru to build houses in that price range.

According to a recent Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) report, the number of unsold houses is at a decade-high, with a majority of them (83 per cent) priced RM250,000 and above, clearly unaffordable to most Malaysians. The report said supply-demand imbalances in the property market had increased since 2015 because of the mismatch between the prices of new housing launches and what the average Malaysian household could afford to pay. Johor has the largest share of unsold residential units (27 per cent of total unsold properties in Malaysia), followed by Selangor (21 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (14 per cent) and Penang (eight per cent).

The BNM report raises the question whether it is time for us to cap the price of houses that a housing developer can sell.

Since the majority of our population can afford to buy a house of not more than RM150,000 each, shouldn’t we have a policy requiring a private sector housing developer to build at least 30 per cent of their new project as “affordable houses” (say, not more than RM200,000 in category A areas and not more than RM150,000 in category B areas)? Beyond that, a developer should be required to build at least 20 per cent medium-priced houses (say, not more than RM300,000 in category A areas and not more than RM200,000 in category B areas). Locations in category A include Klang Valley, Johor Baru and Penang, while locations in category B include Ipoh, Alor Star, Melaka, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru). Only housing developers who are prepared to build these two categories of houses (totalling 50 per cent of their project) will be allowed to build the remaining 50 per cent at higher prices (RM400,000 and above), of which not more than 10 per cent can be sold at RM1 million and above.

Foreigners should only be allowed to buy the higher-priced units.

New Zealand has become a popular destination for foreigners to ‘park their money’ by buying up properties in the country.

New Straits Times, Published: November 30, 2017 - 11:11am
Foreign ownership of local houses
By Salleh Buang
Salleh Buang formerly served the Attorney-General’s Chambers before he left for practice, the corporate sector and, then, the academia.

New Zealand will ban foreigners from buying existing homes, joining a growing list of nations trying to make property more affordable for their citizens.

“Foreign speculators will no longer be able to buy houses in New Zealand from early next year,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at press conference in Wellington Tuesday. “We are determined to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home, so we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices. Kiwis should not be outbid like this.”

House prices have surged in recent years, driving the average value in the nation’s biggest city, Auckland, to more than NZ$1 million ($685,000) and putting property out of reach for many younger Kiwis. While New Zealand joins other countries in restricting or heavily taxing sales of existing homes to foreigners, such measures have done little to curb prices in places like Hong Kong and neighboring Australia.

“Foreign buyers of existing homes have become the target of governments globally with increased taxation and buying restrictions,” said Sophie Chick, head of residential research at Savills Australia. “This though hasn’t really put the brakes on foreign investors who often prefer to buy off-the-plan anyway.”

Chinese money has pushed up home prices around the world, stoking concern among locals in cities from Vancouver to Sydney. Auckland is the fourth-least affordable property market in the world, according to Demographia.

Ahead of the Sept. 23 election, Ardern’s Labour Party campaigned on making home ownership -- which has dropped to its lowest level since 1951 -- more attainable for first-time buyers.

However, there is limited data on how many non-resident foreigners actually buy residential houses in New Zealand, with the previous government claiming they accounted for as little as 2 percent of overall purchases.

Political Problem

“This is a policy that’s designed to solve a political problem,” opposition finance spokesman Steven Joyce said. “Evidence in both Australia and here in New Zealand is that overseas buyers don’t have a significant impact on the housing market.”

Ardern said she nevertheless hopes the ban will “take some of the heat” out of a market that’s climbed 56 percent in the past decade amid record immigration and a housing shortage. While there has been some cooling in recent months, the average New Zealand house still costs NZ$646,000.

Ardern’s Labour-led government will introduce an amendment to the Overseas Investment Act to classify residential housing as “sensitive,” meaning non-residents or non-citizens can’t purchase existing residential dwellings. Australians won’t be affected because New Zealanders are exempt from Australia’s policy.

TPP Work-Around

The law change also removes a hurdle to New Zealand signing up to the revised Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between 11 countries that may reduce tariffs and boost the country’s exports. Member states will seek an agreement on the TPP at an APEC meeting in Vietnam next week.

In its current form, the TPP would maintain foreigners’ access to New Zealand property. The new government, sworn in only last week, faced having to re-open negotiations, which risked scuppering the deal at this late stage.

The domestic law change on foreigners buying homes provides Ardern with a work-around.

She wants to introduce the legislation before Christmas and pass it early next year, before the TPP is ratified. She said it then won’t breach any trade agreements except the Singapore Closer Economic Partnership, which would be worked through with Singapore.

“The proposed change means we can move our focus away from land issues at the negotiating table at APEC,” Ardern said. New Zealand still has concerns about Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses in the TPP, she said.

Bloomberg, Updated on October 31, 2017, 1:59 PM GMT+8
New Zealand Bans Foreign Home Buyers After Price Surge
By Matthew Brockett

posted by fom_club at 12:25| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Falling for the City of Love

There’s so much more to Paris than just shopping and the iconic Eiffel Tower, writes Loong Wai Ting

THEY say Paris is where broken hearts go to heal. A place where couples and newlyweds profess their love for each other under the iconic Eiffel Tower. And when the tower sparkles at night, that’s when man gets down on their knees to propose to their girlfriend.

Ah, yes, the charming city with its cobbled streets, tiny cafes, beautiful scenery and stunning architecture. It’s no wonder Paris is also said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s hard to separate Paris and romance as they go together like coffee and croissants, jambon and champagne. But what makes the French capital so alluring ... so romantic?

The city is famous for its marvellous skylines and preserved buildings that make you go ooh-la-la.

There’s nothing more romantic than taking a stroll through the city, hand-in-hand with your partner and taking in the sights and sounds. You can’t get lost in Paris. Even if you do, there’s always something beautiful around the corner. Local bakeries selling freshly-baked chouquette, mouth-watering pastries, macarons and baguette − it’s enough to keep you going and not panic.

Paris has always been on my bucket list, after watching countless movies set there like Amelie, The Devil Wears Prada, Midnight in Paris, Funny Face and Mr Bean’s Holiday. In music, American-born entertainer Josephine Baker sings loud and proud about her love for France (“I have two loves, my country and Paris”) while Joe Dassin sings about a chance encounter between a man and a woman on the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champ Elysees.


One of my favourite things about France is its beautiful countryside with its wealth of gorgeous chateaus, historical villages, cathedrals and vineyards.

There’s nothing like spending a day or weeks of exploring the cobbled stone streets, medieval castles-turned-chateaus and sampling local wines. And of course, the people are generally nicer and more friendly than the city folks.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery during your trip to Paris, consider trips to the Loire Valley and explore the many chateaus there. I have the opportunity to visit the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, the Chateau de Chambord. Easily-recognisable from afar and renowned for its distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms and classical Renaissance structure, the lure of the Chateau de Chambord is the double helix staircase.

The unique staircase was said to be built thus so that the King’s mistress could walk up and down without being seen by those walking on the other side.

I visit on a national holiday, so the place is quite crowded. Children on school trips can be seen with their teachers, while tourists both local and from abroad alike dotted the hallway and the balcony, all busy snapping away.

Next, we visit Chateau Royal d’Amboise, the home to several French kings, such as King Francois I. Built on a strategic site just beside the Loire River (the longest river in France, by the way), the chateau also houses a gothic chapel on the far side, said to be the final resting place of famous painter Leonardo Da Vinci.

A castle perched on top of a hill, the Italian genius also helped to design the historic royal residence. But Charles VIII, who died when he accidentally bumped his head on the door’s lintel while on his way to a tennis match, was responsible for rebuilding it extensively.

Do wander through the halls and the refurbished Gothic-style rooms of the chateau and learn about the French royalty’s lifestyle. Climb to the top of the Minimes Tower, which offers a panoramic view of the Loire Valley. The visibility is great on the day of my visit: white clouds scattered lazily across the clear blue skies.

We also stop by Chateau de Chenonceau, which was built across the Cher River. The moment we step out of our bus into the crisp, cold air one late October morning, we know that we’re in for a treat.

The place is so beautiful and classy. We walk through tree-covered alleys, something like what you’ll see on Nami Island in South Korea.

There are also vegetable and flower gardens and a small farm where horses and donkeys roam freely. Bushes of lavender are planted around the chateau and the aroma carried by the wind is like walking into a natural spa.

Lady Luck is smiling at me on the day of my visit as the gardener gives me a bunch of fresh lavender to take home.

You’ll then arrive at the castle proper with two well-trimmed gardens − Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitier − on each of its side. Landscaped in the French tradition, these two gardens reflect the personalities of the two women, who played important roles in French history.

During World War 2, the castle was turned into a hospital and served a key role in helping the injured.

Apart from Chateau de Chenonceau and Chateau Royal d’Amboise, other important chateaus include the Blois and Cheverny.


For centuries, Mont St Michel in the Normandy region is one of Europe’s major pilgrimage destinations. Today, the Unesco World Heritage Site offers one of Europe’s most unforgettable sights.

From the moment our bus drop us off at the visitor centre − about five minutes away by the local shuttle bus − we are immediately taken by the beauty of the location.

As the free shuttle bus drops us off about 450m from the abbey, we take the curving footbridge that connects the mainland to Mont St Michel.

Barely five minutes into our walk, we stop to admire the looming Mont St Michel in front of us.

From afar, the building rising from its granite foundation feels isolated, indistinct in the bay. But as we get nearer, the majestic structure with its slab-sided abbey and Romanesque church has a humbling effect on all of us. The abbey itself is sheer, solid magnificence.

Set on top of an island, the medieval monastry with its massive stone structure has long inspired awe and imagination among its visitors.

In popular culture, Mont St Michel serves as an inspiration for the design of Minas Tirith in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The recently-ended South Korean drama The Package starring Lee Yeon-hee and Jung Yong-hwa was also partly shot here.

Legend has it that in the eighth century, Aubert, a bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches, claimed that the Archangel Michael pressured him into building a chapel atop an island by the sea.

As the story went, it took the archangel three times; on the third attempt, he apparently poked a hole in the bishop’s skull to emphasise that he wanted a chapel built on the island.

From 966 onwards, the dukes of Normandy and later French kings supported the development of Benedictine abbey on Mont St Michel. Throughout the medieval times, monastic buildings were added including the vertiginous section nicknamed The Marvel.

At the height of its popularity, Mont St Michel was the centre of learning, attracting some of the greatest minds in Europe.

Today, built along its steep, cobbled village street known as Grande Rue, everything a tourist needs is available: food, bar, gift shops and the very famous omelette restaurant La Mere Poulard that dates back to 1879. On its wall are autographs from famous diners including Ernest Hemingway and Yves Saint Laurent.

Time your visit so that you won’t miss the sunset at the top before the abbey church, where you get to see the sprawling bay of Brittany and Normandy.

The Mont St Michel mesmerises whether seen from afar or across the country lane. As we turn to leave, it is quite hard to imagine how anything this magnificent could exist but it did.


I reluctantly leave the beautiful Mont St Michel and head towards another side of Normandy,

The next thing on my list is the Trafalgar Be My Guest experience. Part of the programme is to introduce guests to the “hidden treasures” and to get to know the locals. I get to experience this when my travel director, a pleasant lady named Giovanna, brings us to a 17th century manor known as Chateau d’Eporce.

On our way, green field stretches as far as the eyes can see flank both sides of our bus. The famous Normandy cows, prized for their milk (and later turned into Camembert cheese) graze on the lush fields.

Besides its cows, apples are also a big product of Normandy. It is used to make various desserts and Calvados, a strong alcoholic drink. As soon as our bus arrives on the family-owned chateau, the wonderful and charming host Count Remy de Scitivaux receives us with open arms. As he leads us into his garden and across the moat, he invites us to sit by the fireplace inside his charming and huge chateau.

His wife and daughters immediately make us feel at home as they serve us food and drinks. As per tradition, Remy pops the champange and proposes a toast to everyone in his antique-filled room.

At the Eporce, we are allowed to explore the chateau on our own. As we walk from room to room and marvel at its beautiful painting and furnitures, Remy tells us how his family and the chateau are spared from the French Revolution in the 18th century.


We return to Paris and of course one of the must-do things is to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower.

One cannot say they’ve been to Paris if they’ve not taken a picture with the Eiffel Tower, the 324m wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars.

It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and constructed it from 1887-89. It opened in 1889 during the Universal Exposition, a fair celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. It remained the tallest structure in the world until 1930, when the Chrysler Building opened in New York.

One of the easily-recognisable global cultural icons, the Eiffel Tower is also one of the most-visited places in the world. Almost seven million people visit the place annually and about 250 million visitors have stamped their mark since its opening.

The best time to go up the tower is in the morning as there is shorter queue for tickets. Another plus point is that it’s less crowded. Being one of the most visited paid monuments in the world, it takes an average of more than three hours just to buy a ticket to the viewing platform.

With Trafalgar as my guide, my tickets to the Eiffel Tower is covered. The best part is that I get to skip the queues.

The tower’s three levels are open to visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. A passenger lift that travels at an angle slowly takes us up to the upper platform − the highest observation deck accessible to the public.

The view is just spectacular. I can see the Paris skyline and some of its famous landmarks like the Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides Military Museum (which also houses the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte) the La Defense business district and Trocadero (which offers the best Eiffel Tower view from below).

At the summit of the tower is a small apartment, where Eiffel himself keep as a personal space. Athough it is closed to the public, much of the original furnishings remain, along with mannequins of the designer and the only odd guest, American inventor Thomas Edison.


There are plenty of things to do in France besides shopping. If you are, like me, who shops only when necessary, you will get to enjoy more when you travel with Trafalgar. With the travel company, guests are given a lot of time for sightseeing and to immerse themselves in the local culture rather than just shopping. And the best part? Trafalgar also organises optional trips to various spots in the city like catching the Lido, the famous Paris cabaret. Oh but that’s a story for another day.

New Straits Times, Published: November 23, 2017 - 4:04pm
Falling for the City of Love
By Loong Wai Ting
posted by fom_club at 12:20| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Bangkok firefighters battle snake scourage

BANGKOK − Panarat Chaiyaboon was using the toilet in her downstairs bathroom in July when she felt a sharp bite on her thigh. She jumped up to see a scene straight out of a nightmare: an 8-foot python emerging from her toilet.

She rushed to the hospital, bleeding heavily, and still bears the marks from eight tooth punctures that were around half an inch deep.

That snake was captured. But a week later, Ms. Panarat’s 15-year-old daughter found a second python in the same toilet. The daughter was so shaken, she went to stay with relatives.

It could be argued that snakes have always owned this corner of Thailand, and that the people of Bangkok are merely borrowing it from them. The main airport, Suvarnabhumi, was built in a place called Cobra Swamp, and the city itself took shape on the Chao Phraya River delta − a marshy reptile paradise.

But this year, the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department, which removes snakes from homes, has been busier than ever.

As of Monday, the department had received 31,801 calls this year for help in removing snakes. That is more calls than for all of last year (29,919), and more than three times the number in 2012 (10,492).

On one recent day, the fire department received 173 snake invasion calls, versus five fire alarms. “There’s no way we could survive if there were more fires than snakes,” said Prayul Krongyos, the department’s deputy director.

The department’s figures don’t even include the many thousands of snakes that are killed or removed by residents on their own or taken from homes by volunteer handlers.

Most of the snakes rescued by firefighters are taken to a wildlife center and eventually released in the wild.

Mr. Prayul and the department are nowhere near panic. One reason for the rising numbers is growing public awareness that firefighters can help remove snakes and other animals.

It has also been a wet year, even by Bangkok standards. Heavy rains bring a surge in the number of snakes seeking refuge indoors. Flooding can turn city streets into snake highways as the creatures are forced from their hiding places and swim for higher ground.

And as the sprawling city of more than 8.2 million people continues to expand into formerly wild lands, the number of snake encounters is rising. Most of the snake removal calls come from neighborhoods on the perimeter of the city where new housing is destroying what’s left of the creatures’ domain, Mr. Prayul explained.

“When people build houses in their habitat, of course they will seek a dry spot in people’s houses because they can’t go anywhere else,” he said.

All reasonable explanations. But casual discussion tends to end when it’s your toilet the snake is in.

“There are snakes everywhere!” said Kanok Praditkranok, Ms. Panarat’s husband. “They live beneath people’s houses, they live in holes, they live in the wilderness and in the ground. But they shouldn’t be able to enter people’s houses.”

The reality, though, is that humans cause snakes much more harm than the other way around.

Thailand has more than 200 snake species, including about three dozen that are venomous. But most do not pose a threat to people.

“Stories of snakes invading homes always sound scary, but as long as you don’t provoke them, they won’t hurt you,” Mr. Prayul said. “There are only a few cases where snakes come into people’s houses and hurt them.”

In Bangkok, where garbage bags often pile up on sidewalks awaiting collection, snakes perform a public service by catching rats and other vermin.

“Snakes are among the most misunderstood animals in the world,” said Nonn Panitvong, a leading expert in biodiversity. “People are afraid of snakes and don’t take time to identify them. In Thailand, they just kill the snakes.”

To keep the animals from being needlessly slaughtered, Mr. Nonn helped set up the “Snake at Home” message group on the popular Line phone app. People who encounter a snake can send a photo to the group’s volunteer experts and get an immediate reply on whether it is venomous.

“We can give them instant answers so maybe the snake will live,” said Mr. Nonn, who in August was named Thailand’s first ASEAN Biodiversity Hero, a new award created by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to honor conservation advocates.

Started this year, Snake at Home has 29,000 followers and receives nearly 30 identification requests a day.

The identification service also has helped save a number of humans.

Doctors make more than half the identification requests in the hope of learning whether a snake that bit a patient was venomous and, if so, which species, so they can use the correct antivenin.

“In Thailand, homes continue to expand into the natural environment, so there will be always more snakes in the homes,” Mr. Nonn said.

After the second python appeared in Ms. Panarat’s toilet, the family discovered that the soil under their five-year-old house had subsided and that there was an opening in the sewage pipe large enough for a big snake to enter.

The family fixed the problem and has not seen a python since.

Despite the widespread fear of snakes in Thailand, an encounter with one is considered by many to be a sign of good luck.

Ms. Panarat, who told her story on Facebook and posted photos of the captured snake, received half a dozen inquiries from people asking for her house number so they could use it when buying lottery tickets.

One relative wrote on her page, “There’s an old saying that if you encounter a snake, you will meet your soul mate.”

Ms. Panarat jokingly replied, “I’d rather be a widow.”

Firefighters restrained a rescued python at a fire station in Bangkok last week. One of the main jobs of the city’s Fire and Rescue Department is removing snakes from homes.

Surapong Suebchai, a firefighter and snake handling trainer, demonstrating how to capture a cobra. Bangkok’s fire department has answered tens of thousands of calls for snake removal this year.

Snakes collected during the previous week being transferred to a wildlife conservation center.

Rescued pythons in a cage at a fire station in Bangkok. They eventually will be released in the wild.

The New York Times, Published: NOV. 28, 2017
Lurking in Toilets, Swimming the Streets: Snakes of Bangkok Move In

posted by fom_club at 12:07| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Bali airport reopens

Bali's international airport reopened Wednesday afternoon after a nearly three-day shutdown as towering columns of volcanic ash and smoke shifted direction on the Indonesian resort island.

The move raised hope for some of the more than 120,000 tourists stranded after a surge in activity at Mount Agung had grounded hundreds of flights since Monday, sparking travel chaos.

It was not immediately clear when flights would resume. Airport officials cautioned that the airport could shut again if winds change direction once more and endanger flights.

Ash is dangerous for planes as it makes runways slippery and can be sucked into their engines.

"We are going to constantly monitor the situation on the ground," Ngurah Rai airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim told AFP.

Australian visitor Ebra Syllivan was overjoyed at the news.

"I didn't know it was going to reopen today -- we just came here because our flight was (originally scheduled for) tonight and we've booked out of our motel," she said at the airport.

"It's fabulous because we need to get back. We've got to get back to work."

Mount Agung could produce a major eruption at any moment, officials have warned.

- 'Bigger, explosive eruption' -

Tens of thousands have already fled their homes around the volcano -- which last erupted in 1963, killing around 1,600 people -- but as many as 100,000 will likely be forced to leave in case of a full eruption, disaster agency officials have said.

Experts said Agung's recent activity matches the build-up to the earlier disaster, which ejected enough debris -- about a billion tonnes -- to lower global average temperatures by around 0.3 degrees Celsius for roughly a year.

"Small eruptions have been happening continuously but there's still the possibility of a bigger, explosive eruption," said I Gede Suantika, a senior volcanologist at Indonesia's volcanology agency.

"Activity remains high and we are still on the highest alert level."

Roadside signs that read "Volcanic danger zone. No entry!" underscored the potential risks of staying behind.

There is a 10 kilometre exclusion zone around Agung, which is 75 kilometres from the beachside tourist hub of Kuta.

As of Wednesday around 440 flights had been cancelled since the start of the week.

The airport on nearby Lombok island -- also a popular tourist destination -- has opened and closed several times in the past few days. It is currently open.

- 'Very nervous' -

Some 100 buses are taking visitors to several destinations including Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya on Java island -- 13 hours' drive and a ferry ride away -- and the capital Jakarta, as torrential rain lashed the island.

"We decided to take the bus because in this island we are very nervous and we want to stay in another island, we want to be in Java," said Sofia Maria, a 24-year-old Russian tourist on her way to Jakarta.

The majority of Bali's tourists are Chinese, followed by Australians, Indians, Britons and Japanese, according to the immigration office, which added that nearly 25,000 foreigners live on the small Hindu-dominated island.

Foreigners whose visitor visas are expiring will be given a special permit to stay longer due to the eruption, the agency said

Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people living nearby. Its activity decreased in late October and many returned to their homes.

However, on Saturday the mountain sent smoke into the air for the second time in a week in what volcanologists call a phreatic eruption -- caused by the heating and expansion of groundwater.

So-called cold lava flows have also appeared -- similar to mud flows and often a prelude to the blazing orange lava of popular imagination.

Indonesia, the world's most active volcanic region, lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

Last year seven people were killed after Mount Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra erupted. A 2014 eruption at Sinabung killed 16.

Mount Agung, which looms over one of the world's top holiday spots, could produce a thunderous eruption at any moment, officials have warned, forcing the main airport to be shut since Monday

Tourists prepare to leave Bali by boat

AFP, Published: 29 NOV 2017
Indonesia reopening Bali airport shut by volcanic ash fears

posted by fom_club at 11:53| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Penang under fire over marathon

GEORGE TOWN: Penang's reputation globally has dropped following weaknesses in the annual Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) yesterday, state Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong said.

As such, he said the Penang government, state Tourism Committee chairman Law Heng Kiang and the organiser should be held accountable for the "blunders".

He said despite being held annually, with yesterday's event having attracted 35,000 local and foreign participants, the PBIM was still plagued with technical issues.

Among them were the alleged poor organisation, giving participants expired chocolates and incorrect sized T-shirts, two-hour delay for finishers to collect their medals as well as three best performers in the junior category being denied a podium presentation of their prizes.

"This is a serious matter and warrants immediate answers.

"We (Barisan Nasional) had been organising the run when we were in power, but since Pakatan Harapan took over, it had steadily deteriorated," he said yesterday.

Oh also demanded an explanation on why the top three runners under the junior category were not allowed to go on the stage to receive their prizes, and instead told to collect their medals from the tents instead.

“This is an embarrassment and it has clearly hurt the feelings of the winners in the category who are all teenagers,” Oh said.

Meanwhile, participants had taken to PBIM's Facebook to vent their frustration and anger over how the event was organised.

They also criticised PBIM for not being able to access the full results this evening.

Tai Yeow Au said: "Please don’t announce if your site is not ready. You’ve already made a few people upset yesterday. You don’t need additional upset runners."

Mong Xeng Xuang wrote: "PBIM, continue to disappoint even after the event. The only part they were efficient is collecting your fees."

Afiq A. Halim posted "We demand official apologies from the organiser about all the hiccups (running tee shortage, race pack collection, medal and all sorts)".

Law had said that the PBIM was well organised and those who did not get their medals were likely those who did not finish on time.

He also said the sponsor of the chocolate would put out a statement soon.

Some of the participants taking part in the Penang Bridge International Marathon on Nov 26.

New Straits Times, Published: November 28, 2017 - 12:59am
Penang Bridge marathon continues to draw flak, participants vent anger on Facebook

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) continues to draw flak from participants, three days after the event proper last Sunday.

Participants took to PBIM's official Facebook page to blast the organiser for the poorly organised annual run.

Some even vowed to give the PBIM a miss in future.

Ifeng Tan posted "To PBIM, I've the same thought too. Please at least send the finisher medals to the runners who don't get it. I run for medals, I think most of the runners too! I believe receive it late better than don't have. Please put some effort in this matters!"

Kc Oon said "I have no idea what my results was -- status : withdrawn during race -- as I finished my whole run, and I didn't get my medal nor finisher tee."

Rufina Guteri Ganggus noted "I found that the three winners of half marathon women open and best Malaysian are the same person. Pls advise" while Hafiz Nodin asked "So do I collect my medal on the stage or under a tent. Also, where can I collect my expired chocolate?"

The New Straits Times reported before this that the PBIM was still plagued with technical issues.

Among them were the alleged poor organisation, giving participants expired chocolates and incorrect sized T-shirts, two-hour delay for finishers to collect their medals as well as three best performers in the junior category being denied a podium presentation of their prizes.

The annual run attracted 35,000 local and foreign participants this year in four categories -- 42km full marathon, 21km half-marathon, 10km run and 8km Fun Run.

Meanwhile, state Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong said the issues which plagued the run showed that the Penang government did not pay serious attention to such international event.

He said state Tourism Committee chairman Law Heng Kiang was only good in issuing apology each time blunder’s takes place and promised to improve, but with no results at the end.

He added that when problem cropped up in 2014, Law had cited little time to make preparations due to a last minute change in venue and the following year, he said lack of sponsorship resulted in shortage in water and spray supply.

In 2016, Law had said that requests from parents of school-going children led to a change in the date of the event, resulting in unhappiness among many participants who had booked their flight tickets earlier.

"This time around, when the issue of expired chocolate cropped up, he said the sponsor had given out the expired items.

"Does this mean that the Penang government can absolve themselves from all responsibility? If all these little details had been looked into thoroughly, then none of these would have happened," he added.

Oh also questioned where the RM3 million enrolment fees collected by the organiser went to as many of the items were sponsored.

Law had said that the PBIM was well organised and those who did not get their medals were likely those who did not finish on time.

He also said the sponsor of the chocolate would put out a statement soon.

The Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) continues to draw flak from participants, three days after the event proper last Sunday.

New Straits Times, Published: November 29, 2017 - 5:55pm
Handling of Penang Bridge International Marathon continues to draw flak

posted by fom_club at 11:44| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Cable car project in the Penang Botanic Gardens

GEORGE TOWN: Despite concerns raised, the proposed cable car project is one of numerous development projects included in the Special Area Plan (SAP) for the Penang Botanic Gardens (PBG).

The SAP, which will be subjected to a panel review next month, will serve as a framework for the PBG’s masterplan.

PBG curator Dr Saw Leng Guan, who confirmed the inclusion of the cable car project in the SAP, said a public consultation would be conducted early next year to gather feedback before a final decision was made.

He, however, said that once corporatised, it would be up to the governing body of PBG to decide on the matter.

“The cable car project needs to be further studied...we will gather all the feedback before deciding on the matter,” he said during a visit to PBG this morning.

The state legislative assembly passed the Penang State Park (Botanic) Corporation enactment recently, which paved the way for the corporatisation of PBG.

Numerous quarters have raised concerns over the Penang government’s move to corporatise the 133-year-old PBG. During the tabling of the bill, numerous questions were raised by both the backbenchers and the opposition (Barisan Nasional).

Saw also allayed fears on the possible sale of part of the gardens after the corporatisation, adding that it was not likely to happen.

State Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, who was also present, said that the state would discuss the proposed cable car project later when it was ready to introduce the SAP.

He also assured that the enactment would not only ensure the preservation of the gardens as its sole objective, but also to improve not only the gardens generally, but in particular, the management of the gardens so that it could strive towards inclusion by Unesco as a World Heritage site.

He added that one of the shortcomings before the corporatisation of the gardens was the high turnover of staff, who after a long stint of training and becoming experts in the field, had to be transferred, which resulted in the gardens being stunted where expertise was concerned.

“Hence, this is one of the main reasons for the corporatisation of the gardens so that we can retain the expertise which is needed, not just for the short term, but for the long term to improve, enhance and better the gardens.

“The concerns by several civil society groups are in fact addressed in the legislation, and we will continue to take into consideration the views of all parties.

“It is the Penang government’s utmost priority to protect, preserve and promote the history of the gardens by making it a garden for the people of Penang and the world,” he said.

Legal adviser for the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), R. Meenakshi, had told the New Straits Times that it was vital for the state government to provide more details and make transparent its plans over the corporatisation move.

She said while the gardens could be better maintained, its corporatisation raised questions about the need for the move, top most was whether it would lead to the commercialising of the gardens.

Also deeply worrying, Meenakshi said, was the proposals made in the past for a base station at the gardens for a cable car to Penang Hill.

Reform movement, Aliran, had said it was worried that in the passing of the enactment, there was no mention of the SAP.

The New Straits Times, in its exclusive report in February this year, quoted civil societies as saying that they would launch the “Save Penang Hill 2.0” campaign if the state government went ahead with the proposed cable car project.

Friends of Penang Hill had reminded the administration of how the first series of its “Save Penang Hill” campaign in September 1990 had succeeded in saving one of the last remaining natural sanctuaries on the island from being lost to development.

The proposed cable car project is expected to link Penang Hill, PBG and Teluk Bahang.

At that time, state Public Works, Utilities and Public Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng had said the Penang government would continue to pursue the cable car project and would not shelve it despite concerns raised by several quarters.

“The cable car project needs to be further studied...we will gather all the feedback before deciding on the matter,” Dr Saw Leng Guan said during a visit to PBG this morning.

New Straits Times, Published: November 29, 2017 - 5:15pm
Public consultation on Penang cable car project next year

posted by fom_club at 11:36| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


Happy World Philosophy Day

The state of theorising and narrating philosophy much manifests the Western gaze, taken to be universal. Philosophy (read Western) is unique to Europe and the Occidental world, and not necessarily universal.

WORLD Philosophy Day is annually observed on the third Thursday of November. This year, it fell on the 16th of this month. As it is, we attend to our daily rituals oblivious to the mother of all knowledge, and the secular source of humanitarian values.

Since establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, the United Nations World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) underlines the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual.

The complexities of the times call for reflection on humility, to be engaged in reasoned dialogue, and to transcend prejudice for a sustainable and peaceful world. This shows the importance of the discipline of philosophy that encourages critical and independent thought. Unesco reiterates that it does not own World Philosophy Day. The Day belongs to everyone, everywhere, who cares about philosophy.

In Malaysia, we do not teach philosophy in the universities, nor in schools. There are no philosophy departments. I have alluded to this in an interview by one of the national dailies some years ago. Then I had said, all top global universities have a department of philosophy. We want to be in the top one per cent, but we have even killed history.

To be fair, courses on philosophy of science and philosophy of art are taught in the related departments in Malaysian universities. The logic is simple. One cannot be granted a Degree in Fine Art, or some aspects of visual or performing arts without a course in the philosophy of art. But science faculties in Malaysia do not offer any semblance in the likes of the philosophy (and history) of science. The Science and Technology Studies Department, under University of Malaya’s Science Faculty, delves into and has a programme on the history and philosophy of science. Much of the interest in that area is dependent on individual academicians having such orientation and the extent of their advocacy.

I was instrumental in introducing and teaching a course titled Introduction to Philosophy in the Faculty of Film, Theatre and Animation at a public university more than a decade ago. My attempts at introducing a course on philosophy and modernity in another university did not materialise due to the apathy (and perhaps fear) of what it would produce of students.

Then, I had argued on the importance of teaching philosophy in the context of the natural and the social sciences as an exercise in reasoned and informed thinking on the major challenges of our time.

And as an extension, the universities can organise cultural events, dialogues, debates, seminars and workshops with the participation of scholars, scientists, artists, students, teachers, the media, civic organisations and the public.

My allusion to World Philosophy Day is to engage us in the problematique of philosophy. My problem with philosophy as knowledge is how it was introduced and transmitted to the modern world.

In a book published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012 titled The Gaze of the West and Framings of the East (editor Shanta Nair), I discussed this problem of philosophy in the chapter titled Representations of Philosophy: The Western Gaze Observed (pages 79-92). In that chapter, I described the representation of philosophy and identified the problems as such within the Orientalist-Occidentalist mode.

In that context, I had made pertinent observations on the representations of philosophy from the vantage point of the non-European worldview. The state of theorising and narrating philosophy much manifests the Western gaze, taken to be universal. Philosophy (read Western) is unique to Europe and the Occidental world, and not necessarily universal.

I had asked a series of questions such as “Is there a single Oriental philosophy?”. Can we assume that both the Occident and the Orient have a similar conceptualisation of difference and experience as to warrant the thinking about philosophy as comparable, or even thinkable? Is being a common experience on both sides of the divide?

In the mainstream narrative, we find that the West has produced and reproduced philosophy and to that end, the mind and logic that dominate and inform us about ourselves and existence. The history of philosophical thought has always been discussed and dominated by the Western tradition through early Greek philosophers and their ideas have since become the foundation for the study of philosophy today.

For example, in philosophising the Other by the West, one may note that the ways of thinking, idea of logical thought and roots in the Malay tradition are relatively neglected, and underexplored.

Scholars of philosophy, either from the East or West, have never put serious attention into it.

The book From Africa to Zen: An Invitation to World Philosophy (1993) does not include the Malay world and their philosophy. Malay philosophy and the Malay worldview as such exist outside the frame of Western consciousness.

It is quite normal to conceive of philosophy as being ‘Western” (and inherently Christianised) so much so that any scholar (in Malaysia, for example) who partakes an interest in the subject, and promotes it in the appropriate arena, is seen as imbibing a Western value and subscribing to an Occidental ethic. In the 2012 book, and in preparing for my contribution to the chapter, I searched the word “philosophy” through the “universalised” search engine Google and a list of 142 million entries appeared; and for “Eastern philosophy”, 3.660 million. For both searches, the Internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia tops the list. I have used Google and Wikipedia for the purpose of illustrating in itself how the West has come to dominate various discourses on knowledge production and philosophy. The Internet and Google are classic examples of Western technologies representing also the non-European world.

Terms such as “ancient”, “medieval” and “modern” are now used almost universally, regardless of appropriateness. Islamic and Indian philosophies as a category will almost always reside under the Medieval period. An example is manifested in a 2004 book titled One Hundred Philosophers by Peter J. King, an academic philosopher at Pembroke College, Oxford. The book is divided into six sections, namely Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, 19th century and 20th century. Under “Medieval”, the book identifies such figures as Adi Samkara, al-Kindi, al-farabi, Ramanuja, al-Ghazali and Ibn Rushd together with European philosophers as Pierre Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, William of Okham, Machiavelli and Franscisco Suarez.

Another classification in Wikipedia’s entry on the history of “Western Philosophy” is as follows:

For a long time, history and philosophy were divided into such categorisations. Bernard Lewis, a commentator of Islam, who has been most of the time dubbed an orientalist, argues that the term “Medieval Islam” does not mean Medieval Islam but that period in Islamic history which corresponds to the Medieval period in European history and philosophy. We are aware that the periodisation of the world, and periods of philosophy and intellectual history were invented by Europeans in Europe to classify the different phases of European history, which is then imposed, or selfimposed upon the rest of the world.

And then there was the Nietzchean voice through the mouth of Zarathustra, that “God is dead”, at least for the Western world.

Hence, no God and echoing John Lennon’s Imagine, released in 1971, “And no religion too”.

Imagine renders a Nietzchean worldview and at the same time manifesting the gaze of the West in resonating Eastern religions and philosophies. We see philosophy emancipating with no god and no religion. I had used Lennon in the 2012 chapter to illlustrate the juxtaposed domains. It is the Other philosophy, the Eastern one, with all its sacred and spiritual avatars, that has also inspired Lennon’s lyrics.

It gave Lennon, as one commentator put it, the escape from “provincial, Western-European-British-Liverpudlian thought”, and penetrate the deeper areas of the soul. When “God is dead”, the worldview adopted by the West is inclined toward change. We may remember Bob Dylan’s The Times,

They are A-Changin’, released in 1964. The dominant philosophical system was formed by the gathering together of various cultural objects, values and phenomena into artificial coherence − meaning subject to change with the change of circumstances.

Happy World Philosophy Day, everyone. May our souls be joined together, “and the world will live as one”.

New Straits Times, Published: 29 Nov 2017
World Philosophy Day:
The European gaze on the Other

The writer is a professor at the Centre for Policy Research and International Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and the first recipient of the Honorary President Resident Fellowship at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.
[Source] New Straits Times

posted by fom_club at 15:03| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

The Penang state govt should focus on helping the people

IN four days, we will welcome December. Many Penangites are praying for a peaceful end to the year, after having gone through so many challenges.

Some may want to catch the Geminids meteor shower, which is expected to peak on Dec 13-14. Superstition has it that a meteor shower, or a shooting star, is a sign of good luck. Indeed, this is what Penang needs now.

In the last quarter of the year, Penang appears to have seen it all − a landslide that claimed 11 lives, a fatal bus crash that killed eight and a major flood which killed seven and paralysed 80 per cent of the state.

Those affected have to pick up the pieces and start anew. This is where the state government comes in. Instead, we are seeing the state government’s continuous defensive stance and constant blame game.

Take, for example, last month’s landslide at a project site in Tanjung Bungah. The state government was quick to point to a “construction site accident”, with a DAP lawmaker claiming the site was flat.

But, photos have emerged which claimed otherwise. The project involved slopes with a gradient of about 20 degrees. What is even more baffling is that the project went ahead without the Department of Environment’s approval.

And, what about the floods on Nov 4 and 5? Until today, thousands are still affected, yet, the state government continues to blame the Federal Government for a lack of assistance.

For the record, immediately after the disaster, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had directed the armed forces to help out in relief efforts. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, during a visit, had directed Kelab Putera 1Malaysia to send aid.

Different ministries have also gone to the ground to assess damage and announced millions of ringgit in allocation. So, what is your beef, Penang government?

To be fair, the state government has provided RM700 in financial aid to each affected household and business. That’s laudable, but more should and can be done.

The people are no longer buying the state’s defensive stand. They are not convinced by the promise of an allocation for flood mitigation as proposed in the state budget recently. Some quarters have said it was a repeat of this year’s figure. They are demanding for a real solution. The people are also doubtful of the state’s environmental efforts, with a measly RM10 million for hill protection.

Is this the “Ubah” (change) that Pakatan promised in 2008?

The Penang state govt should focus on helping the people rather than playing the blame game.

New Straits Times, Published: November 27, 2017 - 9:03am
Penang needs a real solution
Audrey Dermawan is NST’s Penang bureau chief. She enjoys the sun, the sea and the sand, from which she draws her inspiration.

posted by fom_club at 12:37| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Mount Agung, Bali volcano

KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AFP) -
Evacuation centres and hotels in Bali filled up Tuesday with tens of thousands seeking refuge as a volcano on the Indonesian resort island threatened to erupt, forcing the closure of the main airport for a second day.

Stranded tourists hunted for accommodation while frightened villagers living in Mount Agung’s shadow made their way to more than 200 evacuation centres as the mountain gushed smoke and ash.

The rumbling volcano – which last erupted in 1963 killing around 1,600 people – forced Indonesian authorities to close Bali’s airport for a second day Tuesday as experts raised the alert level to maximum.

Towering columns of thick grey smoke have been rising from the mountain since last week, and in the last few days have begun shooting into the sky, forcing all flights to be grounded until at least Wednesday morning.

Ash is dangerous for planes as it makes runways slippery and can be sucked into their engines.

Officials have warned that the volcano, which looms over the tropical holiday paradise, could erupt at any moment.

Some 40,000 people have abandoned their homes in the danger zone but as many as many as 100,000 will likely be forced to leave, disaster agency officials have said.

“Volcanic ash is still spewing. It’s thick and rising very high – up to three or four kilometres from the crater,” said I Gede Suantika, an official at Indonesia’s volcanology agency.

The exclusion zone around Agung, which is 75 kilometres from the beachside tourist hub of Kuta, has also been widened to 10 kilometres.

As of Tuesday some 443 flights had been cancelled, affecting more than 120,000 passengers in Bali, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year.

Inn operator I Wayan Yastina Joni was among the few hoteliers willing to take up an appeal by Bali’s governor and tourism agency to supply free rooms to thousands of out-of-luck visitors, though some offered discounts.

“I don’t mind giving free accommodation for tourists I already know,” said the owner of the Pondok Denayu Homestay.

“This is nobody’s fault. It’s a natural disaster that no one expected,” he added.

Hundreds of tourists are being shuttled to Indonesia’s second city Surabaya, about 13 hours’ drive away, so they can fly out of the country.

“We are preparing 10 buses and more can likely be provided later today,” Bali Transportation Agency Head Agung Sudarsana said earlier Tuesday.

The airport on nearby Lombok island – also a popular tourist destination east of Bali – has opened and closed several times in the past few days. It is currently open but may yet be shuttered again, officials said.

Mount Agung’s last eruption in the early sixties was one of the deadliest ever seen in a country with nearly 130 active volcanoes.

“I am very worried because I have experienced this before,” 67-year-old evacuee Dewa Gede Subagia, who was a teenager when Agung last roared, told AFP.

“I hope this time I won’t have to evacuate for too long. In 1963, I left for four months.”

Experts said however that Agung’s recent activity matches the build-up to the earlier disaster, which ejected enough debris – about a billion tonnes – to lower global average temperatures by 0.2 - 0.3 degrees Celsius for about a year.

“What we are seeing at the moment are small explosions, throwing out hot gases and fragments of molten rock, or ash,” said David Pyle, a volcano expert at Oxford University.

“The probability of a large eruption is high, but this may take some days or weeks to unfold.”

Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people living nearby. Its activity decreased in late October and many returned to their homes.

However, on Saturday the mountain sent smoke up into the air for the second time in a week in what volcanologists call a phreatic eruption – caused by the heating and expansion of groundwater.

Then on Monday so-called cold lava flows appeared – similar to mud flows and often a prelude to the blazing orange lava of the popular imagination.

Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region. The archipelago nation with over 17,000 islands lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

Last year, seven people were killed after Mt. Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra erupted. A 2014 eruption at Sinabung killed 16.

Eruption of Mount Agung as seen from Kubu village in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia.

New Straits Times, Published: November 28, 2017 - 4:35pm
Evacuation centres, hotels fill up as Bali eruption looms

KARANGASEM, Indonesia (Reuters) -
Indonesia kept the airport on Bali closed on Tuesday as ash from an erupting volcano swept the holiday island, leaving thousands of tourists stranded as authorities tried to persuade villagers living nearby to leave their homes.

A total of 443 flights, both domestic and international, were affected by the closure of the airport, about 60 km (37 miles) from Mount Agung which is spewing smoke and ash high into the sky.

“Aircraft flight channels are covered with volcanic ash,” the transport ministry said in a statement, citing aviation navigation authorities.

The airport - the second-biggest in Indonesia - will be closed at least until 7 a.m. on Wednesday (2300 GMT on Tuesday), the ministry said.

Frustration at the airport was starting to boil over, with an estimated 2,000 people attempting to get refunds and reschedule tickets.

“There are thousands of people stranded here at the airport,” said Nitin Sheth, a tourist from India. “They have to go to some other airport and they are trying to do that, but the government or authorities here are not helping.”

Others were more relaxed.

“No, there’s not a lot of information ... very little. (But) it’s all right. We’re on holidays so it doesn’t matter. We don’t know what’s going to happen but we can get back to the bar and have another drink,” said Matthew Radix from Perth.

The airport operator said 201 international flights and 242 domestic ones had been hit.

Ten alternative airports had been prepared for airlines to divert inbound flights, including in neighboring provinces, the operator said, adding it was helping people make alternative bookings and helping stranded travelers.

The airport on Lombok island, to the east of Bali, had reopened, authorities said, as wind blew ash westward, towards the southern coast of Java island.


Agung towers over eastern Bali to a height of just over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). Its last eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages.

On Tuesday, however, life went on largely as normal in surrounding villages, with residents offering prayers as the volcano sent huge billows of ash and smoke into the sky.

Some villagers who fled in September, when the alert was last raised to the highest level, have gone home despite government warnings.

On Monday, authorities said 100,000 residents living near the volcano had been ordered to get out of an 8-10 km (5-6 mile) exclusion zone, warning a larger eruption was “imminent”.

While the population in the area has been estimated at anywhere between 63,000 and 140,000, just over 29,000 people were registered at emergency centers, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Disaster Mitigation Agency.

“Not all people in the danger zone are prepared to take refuge,” he said.

“There are still a lot of residents staying in their homes.”

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center has warned that an eruption of a size similar to that seen in 1963 could send rocks bigger than a fist flying a distance of up to 8 km (5 miles), and volcanic gas a distance of 10 km (6 miles) within three minutes.

Monitoring has shown the northeastern part of Agung’s peak had swollen in recent weeks “indicating there is fairly strong pressure toward the surface”, the center said.

For interactive package on Agung eruptions, click: tmsnrt.rs/2hYdHiq

For graphic on the Pacific Ring of Fire, click: tmsnrt.rs/2BjtH6l

Reuters, Published: NOVEMBER 28, 2017 / 7:19 AM
Tourists, authorities feel the heat as Bali volcano keeps airport closed
By Kanupriya Kapoor, Slamet Kurniawan
posted by fom_club at 12:28| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

The Subtlety Of ASEAN Consensus

ASEAN’s 50th anniversary has been marked by claims that its consensus decision making approach is no longer fit for purpose. ASEAN needs to move beyond the straightjacket of trying to achieve unanimity among ten divergent members. This is a misreading of consensus.

By Alan Collins*

The introspection that greeted ASEAN at its 50th anniversary suggests that not all is well. True, some have been moved to call it a “miracle”, a “world star” and one deserving a Noble Peace Prize. But many others prefer to prefix ASEAN with adjectives such as adrift, confused, divided and weak.

ASEAN’s initial silence during this year’s Rohingya crisis, and the Chairman’s Statement in September that deliberately did not mention the Rohingya community by name and placed equal culpability for the crisis at the door of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, appeared to confirm the criticism that ASEAN has a “culture of inaction” that prioritises procrastination.

Malaysia’s subsequent disassociation from the Chairman’s Statement as it was a misrepresentation of the situation, gave further muster to the view of ASEAN as divided and ineffectual. It certainly suggests that ASEAN is having great difficulty gaining consensus amongst a membership that has since left the familiarity created by its founding members.

Consensus, Not Unanimity

Malaysia’s public disavowing of the “Rohingya statement”, and prior to that ASEAN’s 2012 failure to issue a joint communique at the end of the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cambodia, are headline-grabbing events that suggest consensus is indeed problematic. While this is so, the difficulty in gaining unanimity is also revealed in the increasing use in ASEAN communiques of the caveat “some ministers”, showing that a common sentiment was not accomplished.

This is seen as a failure to achieve consensus via consultation and negotiation. Is consensus no longer fit for purpose when ASEAN has become 10 and significant differences exist amongst the membership? No.

Consensus is the ASEAN solution precisely because it has not meant unanimity and it does not bestow on members a veto. If it has become interpreted in this manner then this is a political move that ASEAN members need to resist. Consensus has always meant that state elite could engage in a discussion in the knowledge that if there existed a point of disagreement, then the issue would be shelved until a time when the disagreement ceased to exist.

In essence, it ensured that no decision could be taken against outright opposition and so it enabled the elite to be at ease with one another; this no doubt helped develop the familiarity amongst the elite that captures the essence of the ASEAN Way.

Very importantly it ensured a sense of equality among the members; there is no ASEAN Security Council. Consensus was thus about being comfortable, to a greater or lesser degree, with the subjects being discussed and decisions reached. This understanding of consensus was captured in the formula, ASEAN minus X (A-X).

That is, ASEAN can proceed with a decision where some ASEAN members are more comfortable with the decision than others, so long as those others are not opposed. It did not therefore equate consensus with unanimity. It did not require all members to agree to participate and it did not give one member a veto.

Subtlety of ASEAN Diplomacy

This latter point is important to appreciate; how can equality exist if one member can prevent others from acting? If a member was opposed to an ASEAN decision, but it was in a minority of one, then consensus would publicly be said to have been achieved.

Through a process of consultation, the anomalous one would be reassured that its concerns would be respected and in return it would not prevent the others from proceeding. Being opposed did not mean becoming estranged and consensus via consultation ensured ASEAN was united in how it managed the wishes of all members.

In circumstances where those for and against are more even, then it is not unusual for the publication of a statement to accompany a declaration. While the declaration is likely to contain passages that quite often appear contradictory and reveal different positions within the membership, the statement is used to clarify a particular interpretation.

For example, when the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) was adopted in 2012 it was accompanied by the Phnom Penh Statement, which sought to counter the expected accusation that the AHRD fell short of international human rights standards. In those circumstances where more than one was opposed and no amount of consultation would resolve concerns then consensus equated to adjournment.

Consensus as ASEAN’s Glue

Consensus is thus the glue that holds ASEAN together. It is what marks out the ASEAN Way as being different from the adversarial posturing, majority voting and legalistic governance structures that can be found in the West. It is what enabled states that, for the most part, freed themselves from a controlling colonial power to create an institution that does not replace that colonial power with a supranational organisation that could also impinge on their independence.

It is a process that encourages independent sovereign states to work cooperatively together in a familiar, non-threatening, environment. It is this familiarity that underpins the sense of friendship that ASEAN promotes and symbolises; the latter most visible in the routine arms-crossed handshake that is performed at public ASEAN meetings.

The solution to ASEAN’s challenges as it continues on its community-building path is not to jettison consensus, but rather to ensure that it is not narrowly framed as unanimity. Equally, the A-X formula should not be consigned to just its economic pillar but instead applied to all ASEAN activity as it was originally intended.

A good start is to boldly put consensus in the name of an ASEAN commitment; something like an “ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers”.

*Alan Collins is Professor of International Relations at Swansea University, United Kingdom and was recently a Visiting Professor with the Centre for Multilateralism Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Published: November 23, 2017
The Subtlety Of ASEAN Consensus – Analysis

posted by fom_club at 12:12| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Oxford takes back Suu Kyi's title

Undergraduates at the Oxford college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied have voted to remove the Myanmar leader’s name from the title of their junior common room because of her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.

In a vote on Thursday evening, students at St Hugh’s college at the University of Oxford resolved to eliminate the name of the 1991 Nobel peace laureate from the Aung San Suu Kyi junior common room with immediate effect.

The motion criticised the “silence and complicity” in her apparent defence of the country’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, who have suffered ethnic cleansing and violent attacks by Myanmar’s military forces.

The crisis has led to more than half a million Rohingya being driven out from northern Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The St Hugh’s resolution read: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s inability to condemn the mass murder, gang rape and severe human rights abuses in Rakhine is inexcusable and unacceptable. She has gone against the very principles and ideals she had once righteously promoted.”

In 2012 Aung San Suu Kyi was celebrated with an honorary doctorate from Oxford, and held her 67th birthday party at the college where she studied politics, philosophy and economics between 1964 and 1967.

But in recent months she has attracted increasing criticism for her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. In September, the governing body of St Hugh’s decided to remove a painting of her from its main entrance, days before the start of the university term and the arrival of new students.

At the start of October, Oxford city council voted unanimously to strip the Burmese leader of the Freedom of the City of Oxford.

So far Oxford has decided not to reconsider Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary degree. But the university has expressed its “profound concern” over the treatment of the Rohingya minority.

The university said it “hopes the Myanmar administration, led by Oxford alumna Aung San Suu Kyi, can eliminate discrimination and oppression, and demonstrate to the world that Myanmar values the lives of all its citizens”.

The Guardian, Published: Thursday 19 October 2017 22.54 BST
Oxford college drops Aung San Suu Kyi from common room's name

Decision by students at St Hugh’s, where the leader of Myanmar also studied, is over her response to the Rohingya crisis

By Patrick Greenfield

White is the colour of peace, and no one on the world stage wears it bigger than the pope. Francis is never seen in anything else: his cassock, skull-cap, cape all dove-coloured.

It underlines his role in the global spotlight, so it’s understandable that many people in the world today are disappointed that he failed, in his keynote address in Myanmar, to use the politically and emotionally charged word “Rohingya” to stress his criticism of the crackdown on the Muslim community of the country. In the past, Francis has used the term, denouncing “the persecution of our Rohingya brothers”, who he said were being “tortured and killed, simply because they uphold their Muslim faith”.

This visit would never have been organised if the powers-that-be at the Vatican had known then what they know now. The trip was conceived back in June, when the then-untarnished Aung San Suu Kyi had a cordial visit to Rome, and diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Myanmar were re-established. But in August, the current wave of violence against the Rohingya began; and although it became increasingly clear that Francis was wading into a political and diplomatic minefield by going to visit the country, the planning went ahead.

The men who run the Vatican aren’t on the whole risk-takers, which is both why the current pope is a breath of fresh air, and also why he has so many enemies within his own kingdom. But nor are they back-downers: so although the political situation has made the trip more and more dodgy, they ploughed on with it; and the uncomfortable result is that, in the week Oxford announces it is withdrawing the freedom of the city from the Myanmar leader, one of its most prominent alumni, in protest at what is happening to the Rohingya, pictures are beamed around the world of her meeting the pope – and, worse, he has bowed to pressure not to refer to them by name.

It all seems a bit of an embarrassing muddle for the Argentine pope; but the fact is, his role as he crosses the globe, frequently heading into war zones and other difficult situations, is always a bit of a muddle. Because what exactly is he doing in the countries he visits? Is he there as a pastoral leader, head of the Catholic community in that place; or world leader – and in that case, from where does his authority derive?

The truth is, and this visit has made this abundantly clear, the primary role of the pope is as the leader of the Roman Catholic community. The first people he must protect are his own; which is not unreasonable for any leader. So when his representative in Myanmar, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, warned him that if he used the word “Rohingya” he might compromise the situation of the country’s tiny Catholic minority, Francis felt he had no option but to back down.

The Catholic church has many strengths, including in its humanitarian work – after all, it has representatives across the planet, and for all the bad apples we’ve become increasingly aware of, there are many good men and women working tirelessly to improve the living conditions of people who live in challenged situations. But it has weaknesses too, including the fact that its leader, while he might look like a world peacemaker, must look out first and foremost for his own people. And that, it seems, is what has had to happen here.

‘Many people are disappointed that he failed, in his keynote address in Myanmar, to use the politically and emotionally charged word Rohingya.’ Pope Francis and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Guardian, Published: Tuesday 28 November 2017 18.41 GMT
By not saying 'Rohingya', Pope Francis was just protecting his own

The pontiff felt he had no option but to back out of denouncing persecution in Myanmar because of implications for local Catholics

By Joanna Moorhead

Aung San Suu Kyi has been formally stripped of the Freedom of the City of Oxford award over her response to the repression of her country’s Rohingya Muslims.

Oxford city council voted unanimously to permanently remove the honour given to the de facto leader of Myanmar in 1997, and said it did not want to celebrate “those who turn a blind eye to violence”.

Oxford councillors had previously voted to support a cross-party motion to remove the award, and made the decision official in a vote on Monday evening.

The vote comes on the same day Myanmar’s powerful army chief told Pope Francis there is “no religious discrimination” in Myanmar.

Over 600,00 Rohingya Muslims have been driven from Rakhine state in western Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh through a series of military operations, which the United Nations has described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Cllr Mary Clarkson (Lab), who proposed the motion, told the BBC: “Oxford has a long tradition of being a diverse and humane city, and our reputation is tarnished by honouring those who turn a blind eye to violence. We hope that today we have added our small voice to others calling for human rights and justice for the Rohingya people.”

In 2012, Suu Kyi was celebrated with an honorary doctorate from Oxford, and held her 67th birthday party at St Hugh’s college, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics between 1964 and 1967.

But in recent months she has attracted growing criticism for her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. In September, the governing body of St Hugh’s decided to remove a painting of her from its main entrance, days before the start of the university term and the arrival of new students.

In October, undergraduates at St Hugh’s voted to remove the Myanmar leader’s name from the title of their junior common room.

So far, Oxford has decided not to reconsider Suu Kyi’s honorary degree. But the university has expressed its “profound concern” over the treatment of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

At the start of November, musician Bob Geldof returned his Freedom of the City of Dublin award, also held by Suu Kyi, in protest at her response to the Rohingya crisis.

Aung San Suu Kyi in a procession to receive her honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2012. Oxford city council has voted to strip her of her freedom of the city.

The Guardian, Published: Monday 27 November 2017 22.02 GMT
Aung San Suu Kyi loses Freedom of Oxford over Rohingya crisis

Oxford city council votes unanimously to strip Myanmar leader of award over her response to repression

By Patrick Greenfield

posted by fom_club at 12:01| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Rohingya and Suu Kyi's reticence

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar − As world capitals go, this is one of the weirdest. Six-lane highways with scarcely a car on them could serve as runways. The roads connect concealed ministries and vast convention centers. A white heat glares over the emptiness. There is no hub, gathering place or public square − and that is the point.

Military leaders in Myanmar wanted a capital secure in its remoteness, and they unveiled this city in 2005. Yangon, the bustling former capital, was treacherous; over the decades of suffocating rule by generals, protests would erupt. So it is in this undemocratic fortress, of all places, that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, long the world’s champion of democracy, spends her days, contemplating a spectacular fall from grace: the dishonored icon in her ghostly labyrinth.

Seldom has a reputation collapsed so fast. Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of the assassinated Burmese independence hero, Aung San, endured 15 years of house arrest in confronting military rule. She won the Nobel Peace Prize. Serene in her bravery and defiance, she came to occupy a particular place in the world’s imagination and, in 2015, swept to victory in elections that appeared to close the decades-long military chapter in Myanmar history. But her muted evasiveness before the flight across the Bangladeshi border of some 620,000 Rohingya, a Muslim minority in western Myanmar, has prompted international outrage. Her halo has evaporated.

After such investment in her goodness, the world is livid at being duped. The city of Oxford stripped her of an honor. It’s open season against “The Lady,” as she is known. Why can she not see the “widespread atrocities committed by Myanmar’s security forces” to which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson alluded during a brief visit this month, actions the State Department defined last week as “ethnic cleansing”?

Perhaps because she sees something else above all: that Myanmar is not a democracy. It’s a quasi democracy at best, in delicate transition from military rule, a nation at war with itself and yet to be forged. If she cannot walk the fine line set by the army, all could be lost, her life’s work for freedom squandered. This is no small thing. Not to recognize her dilemma − as the West has largely failed to do so since August − amounts to irresponsible grandstanding.

The problem is with what the West wants her to be. Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general who delivered a report on the situation in Rakhine State, in western Myanmar, just as the violence erupted there, told me that people in the West were incensed about Aung San Suu Kyi because, “We created a saint and the saint has become a politician, and we don’t like that.”

Certainly Aung San Suu Kyi has appeared unmoved. She has avoided condemning the military for what the United Nations has called a “human rights nightmare.” She shuns the word “Rohingya,” a term reviled by many in Myanmar’s Buddhist majority as an invented identity. Her communications team has proved hapless, and opacity has become a hallmark of her administration as she has shunned interviews. At a rare appearance with Tillerson at the Foreign Ministry here, she said, “I don’t know why people say that I’ve been silent.” It’s untrue, she insisted. “I think what people mean is that what I say is not interesting enough. But what I say is not meant to be exciting, it’s meant to be accurate. And it’s aimed at creating more harmony.”

“Harmony” is a favorite expression of hers, as is “rule of law.” Both lie at a fantastic distance from the reality in Myanmar. It is a fragmented country still confronting multiple ethnic insurgencies and “always held together by force,” as Derek Mitchell, a former American ambassador, told me. Since independence from British imperial rule in 1948, the army, known as the Tatmadaw, has ruled most of the time, with ruinous consequences.

In many respects, the military continues to rule. When her National League for Democracy won the 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi did not become president. The world rejoiced − and glossed over this detail. The 2008 Constitution, crafted by the military, bars her from the presidency because she has children who are British citizens. So she labors under the contrived honorific of state counselor. The Ministries of Defense, Home Affairs and Border Affairs − all the guns − remain under military control, as do the National Defense and Security Council and 25 percent of all seats in Parliament.

This was not a handover of power. It was a highly controlled, and easily reversible, cession of partial authority.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s decisions must be seen in this context. She is playing a long game for real democratic change. “She is walking one step by one step in a very careful way, standing delicately between the military and the people,” said U Chit Khaing, a prominent businessman in Yangon. Perhaps she is playing the game too cautiously, but there is nothing in her history to suggest she’s anything but resolute.

The problem is she’s a novice in her current role. As a politician, not a saint, it must be said that Aung San Suu Kyi has proved inept. This is scarcely surprising. She lived most of her life abroad, was confined on her return, and has no prior experience of governing or administering.

You don’t endure a decade and a half of house arrest, opt not to see your dying husband in England and endure separation from your children without a steely patriotic conviction. This is her force, a magnetic field. It can also be blinding. “Mother Suu knows best,” said David Scott Mathieson, an analyst based in Yangon. “Except that she’s in denial of the dimensions of what happened.”

The hard grind of politics is foreign to her. Empathy is not her thing. Take her to a refugee camp; she won’t throw her arms around children. She sees herself as incarnating the inner spirit of her country, a straight-backed Buddhist woman with a mission to complete what her father, whom she lost when she was 2, set out to do: unify the nation. Yet the road to that end remains vague. Even Myanmar’s ultimate identity − a Buddhist state dominated by her own ethnic Bamar majority or a genuinely federalist, multireligious union − remains unclear. Her voice is absent.

Could she, short of the military red lines that surround her, have expressed her indignation at the immense suffering of Rohingya civilians, and condemned the arson and killing that sent hundreds of thousands of terrified human beings on their way? Perhaps. But that would demand that she believes this is the essence of the story. It’s unclear that she does; she’s suspicious of the Rohingya claims and what she sees as manipulation of the media. It would also demand that she deem the political risk tolerable in a country that overwhelmingly supports her in her stance. Certainly she did not order the slaughter. Nor did she have the constitutional powers to stop it.

What is clear is that Aung San Suu Kyi’s reticence has favored obfuscation. It has left the field open for a ferocious Facebook war over recent events. The Rohingya and Buddhists inhabit separate realities. There are no agreed facts, even basic ones. This is the contemporary post-truth condition. As the Annan report notes, “narratives are often exclusive and irreconcilable.”

In Rakhine State, where all hell broke loose last August, the poverty is etched in drawn faces with staring eyes. The streets of its capital, Sittwe, a little over an hour’s flight from Yangon, are dusty and depleted. Its beach is overrun with stray dogs and crows feeding on garbage. As the town goes, so goes all of Rakhine, now one of the poorest parts of Myanmar, itself a very poor country. The violence that ripped through the northern part of the state was a disaster foretold.

There was an earlier eruption, in 2012, when intercommunal violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims left close to 200 people dead and about 120,000 people marooned in camps. There they have rotted for five years. Government promises have yielded nothing. The camps are closed off. Former Rohingya districts in town have been emptied, a shocking exercise in ghettoization.

I spoke by phone with Saed Mohamed, a 31-year-old teacher confined since 2012 in a camp. “The government has cheated us so many times,” he told me. “I have lost my trust in Aung San Suu Kyi. She is still lying. She never talks about our Rohingya suffering. She talks of peace and community, but her government has done nothing for reconciliation.”

Rakhine, also called Arakan, was an independent kingdom before falling under Burmese control in the late 18th century. Long neglect from the central government, the fruit of mutual suspicion, has spawned a Rakhine Buddhist independence movement, whose military wing is the Arakan Army. “We are suffering from 70 years of oppression from the government,” Htun Aung Kyaw, the general secretary of the Arakan National Party, whose objective is self-determination for the region, told me.

The steady influx over a long period of Bengali Muslims, encouraged by the British Empire to provide cheap labor, exacerbated Rakhine Buddhist resentments. The Muslim community has grown to about one-third of Rakhine’s population of more than 3.1 million and, over time, its self-identification as “Rohingya” has become steadily more universal.

Within Myanmar, this single word, “Rohingya,” resembles a fuse to a bomb. It sets people off. I could find hardly anybody, outside the community itself, even prepared to use it; if they did they generally accompanied it with a racist slur. The general view is that there are no Rohingya. They are all “Bengalis.”

U Nyar Na, a Buddhist monk, seemed a picture of serenity, seated at the window of a Sittwe monastery beside magenta robes hanging on a line. But when our conversation turned to the Rohingya, he bristled.

“The whole problem lies in that word; there are no Rohingya among the 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar,” he told me, alluding to the indigenous peoples listed in connection with the country’s 1982 citizenship law. “This is not an existing ethnic group − they just created it. So if they believe it, the belief is false.”

He reached down for his smartphone, and found an internet image supposedly representing the secessionist plans of the “Bengali Muslims.” It showed Rakhine, shaded green, under the words: “Sovereign State of Rahamaland, an independent state of Rohingya people.” He looked at me as if to say, there, you see, empirical proof of their diabolical intent.

Such fears run deep. Aung San Suu Kyi is inevitably sensitive to them. A combination of more than a century of British colonial subjugation, the looming presence of China to the east and India to the west, with their 2.7 billion people (Myanmar has 54 million), and its own unresolved internal ethnic conflicts have marked the national psyche with a deep angst over sovereignty. U Ko Ko Gyi, a politician long imprisoned by the military but now in full support of the army’s actions in Rakhine, told me, “Our in-bone conviction from our ancestors is to resist outside pressure and fight until the last breath to survive.”

Myanmar, with its bell-shaped golden pagodas dotting the landscape, shimmering in the liquid light, often seems gripped these days by a fevered view of itself as the last bastion of Buddhism, facing down the global advance of Islam in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and elsewhere. The Rohingya have come to personify these fears.

Many conversations here reminded me of my time covering the Balkan wars of the 1990s when Serbs, in the grip of a nationalist paroxysm, often dismissed the enemy − Bosnian Muslims, Kosovo Albanians − as nonexistent peoples. But as Benedict Anderson observed, all nations are “imagined communities.” The Rohingya exist because they believe they exist.

It does not matter when exactly the name was coined − dispute rages on this question − or when exactly the Muslims of Rakhine embraced it in their overwhelming majority. Nothing is more certain to forge ethno-national identity than oppression. By making Rakhine Muslims stateless − by granting them identity cards of various hues that at various times seemed to confer citizenship or its promise only to withdraw them − and by subjecting them to intermittent violence, the military of Myanmar and its Rakhine Buddhist militia sidekicks have done more than anyone to forge a distinct Rohingya identity.

Out of such desperation emerged the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, the Rohingya insurgent group whose attacks on several police outposts close to the Bangladeshi border on Aug. 25 ignited a devastating military response. A persecuted people will take up arms. When you attempt to destroy a people you don’t believe exists, fury may get the upper hand.

In September, with hundreds of thousands of Rohingya already displaced in camps in Bangladesh, Aung San Suu Kyi told The Nikkei Asian Review she was puzzled as to why the exodus had continued after military operations slowed. She speculated: “It could be they were afraid there might be reprisals. It could be for other reasons. I am genuinely interested because if we want to remedy the situation, we’ve got to find out why − why all the problems started in the first place.”

Her tone, weirdly academic, seemed almost plaintive. The problems started because of an abject failure over decades. Military governments failed Rakhine Buddists; they failed Rakhine Rohingya even more, their policy laced through with racism. Aung San Suu Kyi’s own government has prolonged that failure. The arson, killing and rape followed. This should be clear.

It’s less clear what should be done now. More than half a million terrorized people find themselves homeless. Bangladesh and Myanmar announced an agreement last week to begin returning displaced people within two months, but details were murky. Repatriation is urgent, but contentious, and will be meaningless unless Myanmar lays out an unambiguous and consistent path to citizenship, or at least legal residency, for the Rohingya, who today constitute some 10 percent of all the world’s stateless people. Denying the possibility of citizenship to people resident in Myanmar for a long time is unworthy of the democracy Aung San Suu Kyi wants to forge as her last legacy.

This Burmese transition to democracy stands on a knife-edge. Its ultimate success is of critical importance, with forms of authoritarianism ascendant the world over. Criminal actions should be punished under the “rule of law” Aung San Suu Kyi cites so often. But the sanctions being called for by more than 20 senators and by groups including Human Rights Watch, and even the targeted individual sanctions envisaged by the State Department, would undermine an already parlous economy, entrench the Burmese in their sense of being alone against the world and render any passage to full democracy even harder.

The country is now in the sights of jihadist groups enraged by the treatment of the Rohingya. Already there is an ugly and significant movement of extremist Buddhist monks. Pope Francis, who plans to visit Myanmar this week, faces a delicate task in trying to advance conciliation. His first quandary will be whether to use the word “Rohingya,” which the Annan report avoided, in line with the request of Aung San Suu Kyi. (She believes that both “Rohingya” and “Bengali” are needlessly provocative.) He should. The Rohingya exist, have suffered, and through suffering have arrived at an identity that is unshakable.

Now in her 70s, Aung San Suu Kyi has to find her voice. Harmony is all very well, but meaningless without creative, energetic politicking. She knows she can’t throw the military under the bus if she wants to complete what she began through her brave defiance of the army in 1988. The world should understand this, too. It might better focus on Min Aung Hlaing, the commander in chief who presided over a ludicrous military report on the atrocities that exonerated the army. Tillerson rightly demanded an independent inquiry. Taking down Aung San Suu Kyi’s portrait is easy for people in comfortable places who have never faced challenges resembling hers.

In her book “Letters from Burma,” Aung San Suu Kyi wrote of the suffering of Burmese children: “They know that there will be no security for their families as long as freedom of thought and freedom of political action are not guaranteed by the law of the land.”

The work of removing, once and for all, that anxiety from all the inhabitants of Myanmar and establishing the rule of law is far from done, as the devastating violence in Rakhine has amply illustrated. But Aung San Suu Kyi, a woman who faced down guns, remains the best hope of completing the task. Turning saints into ogres is easy. Completing an unfinished nation, clawing it from the military that has devastated it, is far more arduous − the longest of long games.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are in Bangladesh, like the people in this makeshift camp.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who says she is seeking “harmony” for Myanmar.

The Kutupalong camp for Rohingya refugees near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

The Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar.

Aung San Suu Kyi in Danang, Vietnam, earlier this month.

The New York Times, Published: NOV. 25, 2017
Myanmar Is Not a Simple Morality Tale

The West made a saint of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Rohingya crisis revealed a politician.
By Roger Cohen

posted by fom_club at 11:38| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Plans to corporatise the 133-year-old Penang Botanic Gardens

GEORGE TOWN: Numerous quarters have raised concern over Penang government's move to corporatise the 133-year-old Penang Botanic Gardens (PBG).

Among them were two leading non-governmental organisations, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), as well as reform movement, Aliran.

Legal adviser for both CAP and SAM, R. Meenakshi, told the New Straits Times that it was vital for the state government to provide more details and make transparent its plans over the corporatisation move so as to allay the fears of the general public.

"The state legislative assembly passed the Penang State Park (Botanic) Corporation enactment recently, which paved the way for the corporatisation of PBG. Concerns do arise as to what this means for the future of PBG, which is the oldest botanic gardens in Malaysia founded in 1884.

"Much of the gardens are in a natural state, quite unlike other gardens, and it is therefore a great treasure to Penangites, who value the gardens immensely, with many visiting it on a daily basis for exercises and walks. While the gardens can be better maintained, its corporatisation raises questions around the need for this move.

"Top most on the minds of most Penangites is whether the move will lead to the commercialising of the gardens for profit," she said.

Meenakshi said while there were assurances that no entry fees would be imposed, the mention of possible charges on some “products” in the gardens was worrying.

"What are these 'products' and how much of the gardens will be of free access to the public?

"Commercialisation and profit-making must not be the underlying intention," she stressed.

Also deeply worrying, Meenakshi said, was the proposals made in the past for a base station at the gardens for a cable car to Penang Hill.

"The corporatisation move raises fear that such proposals will go through without public consultation and feedback, given the decision-making now lies in the hands of the chairman of the corporation who has overwhelming power over what can and cannot be done in the gardens.

"Concerns also arise over the governance structure of the gardens. Good governance demands that decisions are not made by a single person with no checks and balances or accountability to the entire board," she added.

During the tabling of the bill, numerous questions were raised by both the backbenchers and the opposition (Barisan Nasional).

PKR's Kebun Bungah assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng had expressed discomfort over the short notice given to review the bill.

He had also questioned when was public consultation done and how many were consulted on the matter.

Cheah said his views does not conflict with the state’s plan to improve the park and that his concern was more about clauses in the bill that placed too much power in the corporation.

Meanwhile, Aliran executive committee said the passing of the enactment replaces the Penang Waterfall Gardens Enactment 1923, which had despite various amendments in the past, proven to be inadequate in ensuring the proper management and development of the PBG.

"We are however concerned that this corporatisation exercise could still be a first step towards the eventual privatisation and further commercialisation of the gardens. This is not far-fetched because some statutory bodies have taken that route.

"We are also disturbed that in the passing of this enactment, there was no mention of the PBG Special Area Plan. We understand that the public hearing committee’s revised version of the Special Area Plan had been presented, amended, and passed by the Penang government in 2016.

"But there has been no public announcement and sharing of the plan that was approved by the state government. Among others, does the approved version contain provisions for a cable car project that lands in the vicinity of the gardens?

"In the interest of transparency and accountability,

the state government must make public the Special Area Plan that it had passed to assure Penangites that this Penang State Park (Botanic) Corporation Enactment 2017 will not pave the way towards the building of a cable car from the PBG to Penang Hill," the executive committee said.

"We call upon the Penang government to take the necessary steps to ensure that the transformation of the gardens into a State Park will not result in profits being put before people and the over commercialisation of what is now a cherished public facility.

"We should never forget how precious the PBG is to the people of Penang." the executive committee said.

Legal adviser for both CAP and SAM, R. Meenakshi, told the New Straits Times that it was vital for the state government to provide more details and make transparent its plans over the corporatisation move so as to allay the fears of the general public.

New Straits Times, Published: November 27, 2017 - 3:22pm
Penang civil society groups express worry over PBG corporatisation

GEORGE TOWN: Plans to corporatise the 133-year-old Penang Botanic Gardens are causing worries about the famous landmark and much-loved green lung of the state, including whether the public will have to pay to use the facility in future and if a cable car project will be built there.

Concerns over the plans were highlighted by Aliran following the passing of the Penang State Park (Botanic) Corporation Enactment 2017 in the state assembly meeting about two weeks ago.

The NGO and Cheah Kah Peng, the assemblyman whose constituency Kebun Bunga covers the area, have called for greater transparency in the state government’s plans, including if the public would be charged a fee to visit the gardens and if land there would be sold off.

“We are concerned the corporatisation could be a first step towards the eventual privatisation and further commercialisation of the botanical gardens,” said Aliran in a statement.

“This is not far-fetched because some statutory bodies have taken that route.

“For example, Penang Port Sdn Bhd was set up in 1993 to undertake the corporatisation of the port, and the corporation was then privatised in 2015. Former Jabatan Bekalan Air Selangor followed the same corporatisation-to-privatisation route.”

Aliran said it was disturbed that in the passing of the enactment, there was no mention of the Penang Botanic Gardens Special Area Plan.

“We understand that the public hearing committee’s revised version of the Special Area Plan was presented, amended and passed by the state government in 2016.

“But there has been no public announcement and sharing of the plan that was approved by the Penang government.

“Among others, does the approved version contain provisions for a cable car project that lands in the vicinity of the gardens?” it asked and appealed for transparency and accountability on the plans.

Aliran also urged the state government to ensure the transformation of the botanical gardens into a state park would not result in profits being put before the people.

Cheah, the PKR lawmaker who has been in the news lately for being sidelined by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in the distribution of financial aid for flood victims, said the issues and reservations over the matter were raised by backbenchers in the recent state assembly meeting and also by the people on various occasions.

“All Penang assemblymen have a duty to scrutinise any new and hurried legislation in order to protect any altered interest and to safeguard public state properties,” he said when contacted.

The Penang Botanic Gardens was established in 1884 by the Singapore Botanic Gardens superintendent and Cheang Kok Choy was appointed its first Malaysian curator in 1956, according to A Guide to the Penang Botanic Gardens.

The urban park is a popular venue for Penangites who enjoy walks, exercise or chilling amid the greenery and tranquillity.

Green lung: Visitors taking in the greenery and diversity at the Penang Botanical Gardens in this file picture.

The Star, Published: Tuesday, 28 Nov 2017
Plans for Penang gardens stir concern
By K. Suthakar and Cavina Lim

posted by fom_club at 11:21| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



Now Mr Yahho is in KL Int'l Airport, KLIA to wait the conncting flight to Penang. It's now 5:40 PM. He said that he would update his Blog as usual tomorrow. Take care of yourself and bye for now.

posted by fom_club at 18:44| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする















posted by fom_club at 22:15| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



コスタリカの平和主義に学べ ジャーナリスト・伊藤千尋さん

 「『9条の碑? そんなものがあるのか』と、半信半疑で見に行きました。すると、あったのです」。伊藤さんは西アフリカ沖のスペイン領カナリア諸島にある憲法9条の碑の話から切り出した。















⁂ 伊藤千尋(いとう・ちひろ)

毎日新聞2017年11月27日 東京夕刊




























posted by fom_club at 21:37| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


Seike Japanese Garden

'Rain or shine': The Seike Japanese Garden


Every Thursday morning, an elderly couple spends a few hours weeding and tidying up the Seike Japanese Garden in SeaTac. It means a lot to Hal Seike, 90, the last surviving of three brothers. The garden is dedicated to his brother, Toll, a Nisei killed at age 21 in World War II.

Each Thursday, 90-year-old veteran Hal Seike and his wife Fran, 87, tend to the Seike Japanese Garden: a memorial, a haven and – for Hal – a reason to keep going after a life of intense adversity.

At age 90, he’s the last remaining of the three Seike brothers.

Every Thursday morning, Hal Seike and his wife, Fran, 87, make the 1-mile drive from their home to the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. It might seem unusual to have a botanical garden beneath a constant stream of jet takeoffs and landings, but there it is.

At their age, they’re still relatively nimble, able to drive and able to spend three or so hours once a week pulling weeds and raking leaves. They’ve been married 61 years.

Each time they visit, they walk past a large wooden board marking the “Seike Japanese Garden,” which occupies maybe an acre of the botanical site.

Prominent on that board is a black-and-white photo of a young Army soldier. That’s Toll Seike, the middle of the three brothers. They were all Nisei, meaning U.S.-born children of Japanese immigrants. The garden is a tribute to him.

Toll was 21 when he was killed Oct. 29, 1944, in a horrific battle near Bruyères, France.

Kiyoshi “Hal” Seike and his wife, Fukuye “Fran” Seike, stand in their Japanese garden in SeaTac, where they still work a few hours every Thursday. The Seike Japanese Garden was commissioned by Hal’s father, an immigrant, partly as a tribute to his son Toll.

In history books it is known as the “Rescue of the Lost Battalion.” While most Americans likely have never heard of it, a Department of Defense article calls it “one of the great ground battles of World War II.”

Says Hal about the garden: “We go there rain or shine, drenched to the bone. I’ve been out there in the snow. I’m really kind of sentimental about it. That’s my family name on it.”

A garden has to be tended, especially a Japanese garden, an enchanting creation of specially placed rocks, a pond with a bridge, Japanese maples, sculptured black pines and a variety of shrubbery.

Upkeep of the entire botanical garden, owned by a nonprofit foundation, is done by volunteers, and they’re scarce.

Battlefield heroism

Toll Seike was a private in the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team, composed almost entirely of Japanese Americans, that during the war totaled 18,000 men.

Its motto was “Go For Broke,” derived from gambler slang used in Hawaiifor when a player was risking it all in one effort to win big.

“Go for Broke!” a painting in the collection of the Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., depicts the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team assaulting German siege forces in the rescue of “The Lost Battalion,” Oct. 27-30, 1944. U.S. Army Photo.

The 442nd compiled an astonishing combat record for bravery − among its many recognitions were 21 Medals of Honor, the country’s highest military award, and 9,486 Purple Hearts.

In the Lost Battalion rescue, the regiment lost 400 men fighting to rescue some 230 besieged members of the Texas National Guard trapped by the Germans.

The fight was “in dense woods, heavy fog and freezing temperatures,” says the Department of Defense article.

The rescuers suffered mass casualties, it says, quoting Army historians. “Then, something happened in the 442nd. By ones and twos, almost spontaneously and without orders, the men got to their feet and, with a kind of universal anger, moved toward the enemy position.

Bitter hand-to-hand combat ensued as the Americans fought from one fortified position to the next. Finally, the enemy broke in disorder.”

Hal remembers a letter that Toll send from the battlefield.

“He was really scared and frightened, wet and cold. The German artillery was shooting over his company, and the trees would just shatter, and splatter and crash,” says Hal.

Name in the newspaper

Toll was an American kid. He got his unusual first name because a clerk who was writing down his name didn’t understand the elder Seike’s broken English. He was saying, “Toru.”

Toll shows up in The Seattle Times archives a couple of times.

In 1932, when he’d have been about 11, he is listed as being among “ambitious boys and girls (who) gather at Times Annex to build structures of Old English design.”

It’s not clear why the paper promoted building a miniature village, but it attracted a lot of participants. These days, that’s called “reader engagement.”

In 1941, at about age 18, Toll Toll was among the leaders in the Guest Guesser contest for predicting college football outcomes. Back then, the paper ran a voluminous list of the best guessers so they could clip and save it in their scrapbooks.

Starting the next year, more than 110,000 Americans of Japanese descent on the West Coast would end up in internment camps.

Most of the Seike family were among those trucked away − the parents, along with Hal and his two sisters, Ruth and Shizu, who were all still in school in Highline.

In 1942 the family had six weeks to get ready for the forced relocation. Hal remembers the family holding a garage sale to get rid of household goods.

“It was a Sunday, Mother’s Day, when I remember the big Army trucks came and picked us up. It was kind of a sad day,” Hal says.

Toll and Ben, the oldest of the brothers, were studying at Washington State University in Pullman, which was considered too isolated and so wasn’t in the “exclusion zone” for Japanese Americans.

Toll volunteered for the 442nd.

Toll Seike, the middle brother in the Seike family, died in 1944 fighting in France.

Ben also would enlist in the Army and end up as an interpreter in the Philippines with the Military Intelligence Service. The Seike kids had only a rudimentary knowledge of Japanese, so the Army sent Ben to Japanese language school. He died in 2014 at age 93.

By the time Hal reached an age to be drafted, the Korean War was on. He ended up doing payroll in the Army.

By then the Seike family had spent more than three years moving among camps in California, until finally the elder Seike was able to work in Chicago at a school-supply company, a place deemed far enough away from the West Coast.

Hal doesn’t talk much about those years.

“It’s something of a sore point,” he says in his understated way. He adds, “We were like prisoners.”

Immigrant with a plan

Shinichi Seike, the father, who died in 1983 at age 95, had come to the U.S. when he was 31. It was the quintessential immigrant story.

He owned a store on Maynard Street in the Chinatown International District, bringing in goods from Japan. He’d make regular treks in a food truck loaded with rice, soy sauce and other Asian goods to Japanese farmer camps in Eastern Washington.

By age 41, Seike had bought 13 acres in what’s now the city of SeaTac. He had a house built.

This is the Seike home built in 1929 on the 13-acre Seike property that was bought and leveled by the Port of Seattle to make way for the airport’s third runway.

“We had chickens, one cow for milk, a lot of fruit trees and vegetables,” says Hal.

The elder Seike’s plan was for Hal and Ben to start a plant nursery on the acreage, and so they would study horticulture at WSU.

The father also made sure he wouldn’t lose his property, as happened with other interned Japanese Americans. In the six weeks before being trucked away, says Hal, “My dad had an attorney take care of the legal matters. He was a smart man.”

The family home would be rented out and that income would pay the mortgage on the house and the property taxes. A German-American couple rented the home and took good care of it − “perhaps there were sympathetic” because they also had experienced the wary stares, says Hal.

In 1953, eight years after the family returned from being relocated, Des Moines Way Nursery opened.

It was run by the two remaining brothers.

But the dad had wanted something else on that property. In 1961, he brought in a designer from the old country and had a Japanese garden constructed.

It would be a showcase for the nursery, a showcase for all of the Seike family accomplishments.

And it would honor the son who had been killed in that horrific battle.

The Des Moines Way Nursery, which closed in 2002.

The Des Moines Way Nursery lasted for half a century, closing in 2002. The property was bought by the Port of Seattle for its third-runway expansion.

The family home was leveled, but there was something on those 13 acres that was very important to the Seike family.

It was the Japanese garden the dad had constructed.

A photo in the Wing Luke Museum archives shows the dad being given the U.S. flag at Toll’s military service at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery by Evergreen Washelli. His obituary notes that the dad had been a president of the Gold Star Parents Association, for those who lost a family member in the service.

Shinichi Seike, father of Toll Seike, is seen at his son’s memorial service on Sept. 25, 1948, at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Seattle.

Says Fran Seike about her father-in-law, “He was very emotional when it came to losing Toll. He liked to go to the garden and contemplate.”

It took some doing, but in 2006 a good portion of the Seike Japanese Garden ended up being literally lifted and moved to its current location.

The state Legislature came up with a $246,000 grant. Another $50,000 came from the city of SeaTac.

“Some of those rocks are a couple of tons,” says Kit Ledbetter, SeaTac’s now-retired parks director. “It was important how the rocks were laid out.”

Now, on Thursday mornings, if you happen to visit the garden and you see the elderly couple tidying it up, you know why.

Seventy-three years ago, blood was spilled so a garden like that could exist.

Even though Hal Seike, 90, of SeaTac and the rest of his family were sent to internment camps during WWII, Hal and his two brothers, Ben and Toll, served in the military and were all veterans.

The Seatle Times, Updated November 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm
A Nisei garden of memories in SeaTac, and a soldier’s blood spilled in WWII
By Erik Lacitis, Seattle Times staff reporter

posted by fom_club at 08:14| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする







cafe blog-伊豆-、2008-10-19

 碑をモチーフにした作品が撤去されたことそれ自体はもちろん気にかかるが、それと同等に、碑が建てられた理由や、存廃が争われるようになった経緯を知りたいと思った(作品撤去の経緯は BuzzFeed Japan 籏智広太記者の記事に詳しい)。

 手始めに、図書館で新聞社のデータベース検索を利用し、「群馬 追悼碑」などの検索ワードで過去の記事を検索してみた(対象の新聞は、データベースが利用できた朝日、毎日、読売の3紙)。
 碑は、戦時中に朝鮮半島から徴用され、重労働などで命を落とした韓国・朝鮮人を追悼するためのもので、碑には「記憶 反省 そして友好」と刻まれている。




HuffPost Blog Blog、2017年06月01日 23時00分 JST



 「浮島丸殉難者を追悼する会」は、爆沈現場に近い舞鶴市下佐波賀 の「殉難の碑公園」で、今夏も集会を開いた。





5.「浮島丸殉難者追悼の碑建立実行委員会」は建立事業が完了したことから、「浮島丸殉難者追悼実行委員会」に改組されました。平成7年浮島丸事件を題材にした映画「エイジアンブルー・浮島丸サコン」が製作され、舞鶴市 内でもロケーションが行われこともあって、事件に対する市民の関心の高まりが見られことから、個人参加の組織に改めることにし、平成8年5月16日「浮島丸殉難者を追悼する会」を発足させ、以後追悼事業を行うことになったものです。
19.2017年4月16日 北海道大学助教 ジョナサン ブル氏 英国人 ハイデルベルグ大学教授 Drスティーブン アイビンズ氏 ドイツ人共に、「引揚」をテーマに研究し来舞「浮島丸事件」を取材 尚、アイビンズ氏は帰国し「浮島丸事件」の事業を国民に伝えていくと述べる。




posted by fom_club at 15:34| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


NHKスペシャル「日本人 はるかな旅」










 日本の宇宙航空研究開発機構(JAXA)の宇宙科学研究所(ISAS)が開発した超小型の打上げロケット、SS-520 ロケットも高度約800キロに到達する能力があると言われています。








今夜 北日本の日本海側を中心に不安定

(2017年11月22日 18時29分)

posted by fom_club at 10:11| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


The country’s food security policy

ECONOMIC growth the world over has come about through a tectonic shift from agriculture to manufacturing. Malaysia is no exception.

Since independence, we have shifted our focus away from agriculture to manufacturing.

Such a restructuring has caused a four-fold shrinking of agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) even as the share of manufacturing has doubled.

The country’s Economic Transformation Programme consolidates our shift to manufacturing.

It focuses on 13 national key economic areas or NKEAs. Manufacturing and services figure largely in them. Even the fourth industrial revolution that is sweeping across the world advocates technologically-advanced manufacturing. And manufacturing remains at the heart of our development planning.

Malaysia’s economic journey, and those of other nations, bear out Arthur Lewis’s seminal thesis. In 1954, Arthur Lewis, a Nobel prize-winning economist, argued that, if we want development, we should shift people from the low productive, if not unproductive, agriculture sector to the highly-productive manufacturing sector.

Africa lends further credence to Lewis’s thesis. There, productivity in manufacturing is five times that of agriculture. India did not see a transformation to its economy until it sounded the death knell in 1991 to the “Licence Raj” − a term used to describe all forms of regulation that was then strangling the economy. Economic liberalisation jump-started India’s moribund economy. Since then, the share of agriculture in national output has shrunk by more than two-thirds. The share of the manufacturing sector has almost doubled.

In a carefully-designed industrial policy, Singapore attracts manufacturing that is relevant to creating stable jobs. Supported by 69 specialised research institutes and a highly-acclaimed vocational education, small- and medium-sized enterprises, or Mittlestand, remain the pillar of German manufacturing.

Propped up by extensive infrastructure development, China’s economic backbone is manufacturing. Similarly, South Korea has put its faith in huge conglomerates, or chaebols, to shift to manufacturing and speed up economic transformation. Although the United States and the United Kingdom are downsizing their manufacturing bases, their past economic growth owe much to manufacturing. In a similar pattern, manufacturing is the springboard for economic transformation in emerging countries.

There must be a purpose to all this economic transformation we witness around the world.

That must be to bring about inclusive growth to prosper all segments of society. Malaysia has almost eradicated poverty. India has commendably lifted 200 million people above the poverty line. It has halved the number of poor.

Despite this shimmering achievement, India still has a long way to go. Measured by the percentage of people living on the equivalent of US$1.90 (RM8) or less per day, India’s poverty rate is 22 per cent as opposed to China’s 6.5 per cent. China’s economic transformation is demonstrably more inclusive given that its poverty rate in the 1980s was 88 per cent. Notwithstanding, China too has quite a way to go in narrowing income disparity among its populace. The World Bank considers a Gini coefficient, a widely-used measure of inequality, above 0.40 to represent severe income inequality. China’s Gini coefficient was 0.49 in 2012. India’s is 0.36.

Alas! The US cannot claim that its growth has been inclusive. This is because the richest one per cent absorbed 60 per cent of the growth between 1977 and 2007. So much so that Amartya Sen, a Noble Prize winning economist, cautioned in 2007: “The country’s west and south may come to look like California while the north and east is more like sub-Saharan Africa.”

It is undeniable that manufacturing, together with the services sector, has been instrumental to our inclusive growth. It has helped lift the population out of poverty.

However, that should not lull us into pushing agriculture to the sidelines. Given our food security policy, agriculture should retain its pride of place in our national economy.

Agriculture offers a strong foundation for the development of rural communities as well opportunities in the non-agriculture sector. Its continued development can help blunt the cost of living by lowering food prices. Hence, the smart choice of agriculture as one of the NKEAs.

More needs to be done to improve agricultural productivity, especially in family farms.

Technology can come to the rescue. For example, in aqua farming a lot of energy is needed to aerate and maintain the cleanliness of ponds. Harnessing renewable energy, such as solar, can substantially cut costs and keep such farming sustainable.

The rural transformation centres and well-functioning agricultural institutions have greatly improved the marketing and processing infrastructure. To make agriculture more sustainable, block-chain technology can be deployed to document the processes incurred across the food chain. Such transparency will engender greater confidence in its production and distribution. The consequent increased demand can ensure greater economies of scale in production and lower prices.

Increased investments in agricultural research and extension can also promote productivity and lower costs. For example, China has developed a rice strain that can grow in salt water. The harvest therefrom can feed 200 million people.

We are blessed with a good climate and soil. So we do not have to invent a technology to make land fertile as China has done to convert its barren deserts into fertile plains.

However, we can exploit artificial intelligence and big data analytics for triple cropping, or more, of rice production, make soil management sustainable, and effectively treat diseases afflicting our farms.

Dynamic agricultural practices and policies can foster rural development.

It can even stem the flow of rural migrants to cities in search of employment.

When agriculture is transformed and well integrated in our development efforts, we can then say that our economic growth is truly inclusive.

A padi field in Sungai Besar, Sabak Bernam, Selangor. Given the country’s food security policy, agriculture should retain its pride of place in the national economy.

New Straits Times, Published: November 24, 2017 - 10:06am
Lest we abandon agriculture
By DATUK DR JOHN ANTONY XAVIER, a former public servant and a distinguished fellow at the Graduate School of Business, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

posted by fom_club at 20:52| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



 堤隆(1962年長野県生まれ、浅間縄文ミュージアム主任学芸員)の『黒曜石 3万年の旅』(日本放送出版会、2004年10月)という本がある。
 以下、堤隆の「黒曜石 3万年の旅」にしたがって、核心部分を紹介しておきたい。

 野辺山から20〜40キロと近距離にある麦草峠・霧ケ峰・和田峠など、身近な産地の黒曜石が失出川遺跡の旧石器に用いられていることは納得できる。しかし、失出川で細石刃を用いて人びとが暮らしていた過去 1万年以上前、直線距離にして200キロ、しかも海を隔てた神津島の黒曜石が本州内陸部にもたらされていたとは衝撃である。

 日本において黒曜石の産地同定研究が開始されて間もない1974年、産地同定研究のフロンティアである鈴木正男博士は、神奈川県月見野遺跡のおよそ 2万年前の旧石器時代文化層から発掘された黒曜石が、海上を渡って神津島からもたらされたものであるとの産地同定結果をいち早く表明した。これは当時、人類最初の海洋交易といわれた 9000年前の地中海の事例を倍近く遡らせる重大な問題提起でもあった。









 遺跡を紹介した本として、池谷信之著『シリーズ「遺跡を学ぶ」014 黒潮を渡った黒曜石・見高段間遺跡』(新泉社、2005年)があります。




 この壁画はいつ、誰が描いたものであるのか。答えは約2万年前、描いたのはクロマニョン人だ。2万年前と言っても「随分前だなぁ」くらいにしか思わないが、ヨーロッパで最古の文明がギリシャに興るのは 5000年前。日本で言えば、縄文時代の始まりは 1万6000年前、弥生時代の始まりは 2500年前。そう思うと、「随分前」のイメージが少しは明らかになる。そう、随分前のものなのである (笑)。クロマニョン人は、後期旧石器時代にヨーロッパに住んでいた人類 (ホモ・サピエンス) である。その前の中期旧石器時代にヨーロッパにいたのはネアンデルタール人であり、こちらは未だ芸術的活動を行えるほど進化していなかった。よって、クロマニョン人を「新人」、ネアンデルタール人を「旧人」と呼ぶ方法が分かりやすい
 なるほどクロマニョン人はホモ・サピエンス、我々の直接の祖先なのだ。そもそもホモ・サピエンスはどこから来たかというと、最近の研究により、20〜10万年前のアフリカにその起源があることが分かっている。以下の図は、ホモ・サピエンスの世界への拡散ルートである。ヨーロッパには 4万7000年ほど前に、東方から西に向かって移動して行った。また、ユーラシア大陸を横断して日本にも3万8000年前に入っている。アメリカ大陸はその頃ユーラシア大陸と陸続きであったらしく、南米には 1万3000年前に到達している。図の中で白く塗られているのは氷床。つまり氷に閉ざされているので人類が住まなかったところだ。


 面白いことに、近代から現代にかけて最先端地域として世界を牛耳ってきた (そろそろ陰りが見えているという見方もあるかもしれない 笑) 英米両国は、この図によるといずれも当時は未だ氷の土地である。ホモ・サピエンス登場の頃には世界で最も遅れた場所であったのだ!!
 そして、日本での展覧会独特の展示も加わっている。それは日本の後期旧石器時代についてのものだ。私は初めて知ったのだが、なんと日本には、2つのこの時代の「世界最古」があるという。ひとつは、「世界最古の落とし穴」。静岡県の東野遺跡のもので、3万 4000年から 3万 1000年ほど前のもの。動物を追い込むのではなく、自然に落ちるように仕組んだものと考えられている。これが世界最古ということは、日本人は元来狡猾な人種なのであろうか (笑)。




川沿いのラプソディ、2017-01-28 15:25
世界遺産 ラスコー展 国立科学博物館
By yokohama7474

posted by fom_club at 20:22| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

金子 Duke&金子 Kenny


new_P1050430 (2).jpg













晴れ、北東の風6メートル、のち南西の風4メートル 小潮、月齢8

晴れのち曇り、南西の風4メートル、のち西の風6メートル 小潮、月齢9

By Kaneko Duke


 その後、毎年2回ハワイでの長期合宿を行い、海外でのレースに参加するなど、スポーツではない、”アウトリガーカヌー” を伝えることに専念します。
 3年連続 Molokai Hoe に出場など、ハワイで、マウイ、モロカイ、ラナイと島渡りをし、またレースに出場するなど、ハワイのアンクルたちから学んだ”海洋民族のスピリット”をクラブの皆に伝えます。


ここに Voyaging スピリットを

 葉山〜弓ケ浜〜利島〜弓ケ浜〜葉山330キロの Voyaging などをクラブで行いながら、個人でも神津島、利島などへ漕いで渡り続けます。

 1963年長崎県長崎市生まれ。平戸市生月島先祖代々の網元の家に生まれ、生まれた時から海と自然に親しむ。子供の頃からスポーツ(柔道、サッカー、ラグビー)に明け暮れ、柔道では小学生時、長崎県大会優勝。九州大会準優勝。高校ではラグビーで全国大会に2回出場。19歳でアメリカに渡った際、アウトリガーカヌーに出会う。30代は10年間アメリカで過ごし子育ての期間は子育てに没頭する。父親の介護のために日本に帰国したタイミングで、2007年、日本航海中の Hokule'a に再会し、Hokule'a から日本人へのメッセージを受けとり人生の転機となり現在にいたる。



 プロサッカー選手を目指し17歳の時に日本に帰国し東京 Verdy Youth でプレイするが怪我による膝手術のためサッカー選手の夢を諦め、国際基督教大学(International Christian University)に進学。
 2013年よりSUP (Stand up paddle surfing) を本格的に始める。
 2016シーズン、The 2nd Hong Kong International SUP Championship で優勝。
 2017シーズンは APP (association of Paddlesurfing Professionals) ワールドツアーを転戦中。2戦目を終え、現在世界ランキング11位。
 現在 神奈川県三浦郡葉山町在住。


posted by fom_club at 17:05| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


 原爆後障害医療研究所(原研)の高村昇教授が、8月7日にマレーシア連邦の首都クアラルンプールにある、マレーシア最大の大学であるマラヤ大学で「Lessons from Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima(長崎、チェルノブイリ、福島の教訓)」と題する特別講義を行いました。
 本講義については9月6日付で、マレーシアで一番古い英字新聞である「New Straits Times」紙上で詳細に紹介されました。記事については、以下のURLを御参照ください。


MANY of us are familiar with pictures of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan on Aug 6, 1945.

The striking image of the city’s destruction seven decades ago is typically identified as a mushroom cloud. In photos, the effect of the cloud is one of a dusty, barren landscape that looks like abandoned cities on the moon. Three days later, another bombing took place in Nagasaki.

Alarmingly, in Japan, 30 per cent of people have died from cancer. But are these deaths directly connected to radiation exposure?

As cancer becomes a leading cause of death in the world, large-scale population studies of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have confirmed that radiation exposure can lead to multiple cancers that manifest separately over the course of years or decades.

Professor Noboru Takamura from the Atomic Bomb Disease Institute (ABDI), Nagasaki University, said that, for now, the limitation of science does not allow us to ascertain the actual number of cancer deaths directly caused by radiation exposure.

Takamura was recently in University of Malaya to give a public lecture titled Lessons from Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima. As ABDI Department of Global Health, Medicine and Welfare head, he has also been studying the accident in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Russia for more than 20 years as part of his work in nuclear emergencies.

ABDI was established in 1962 to research into treatment and prevention of diseases after exposure to an atomic bomb as well as to study the effects of radiation on the human body.

After the 1986 Chernobyl and 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accidents, ABDI has continued to provide medical assistance for local residents and study contamination levels from radioactive materials.

From 1990 to 2001, Takamura and his team worked to help the people affected by the Chernobyl accident via the Chernobyl Sasakawa Health and Medical Cooperation Project.

“After over 20 years, Chernobyl is still struggling to recover. It has large areas of radiation hotspots compared to the Fukushima Daiichi accident,” Takamura said.

Following a major earthquake in 2011, a 15m tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors, causing the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

More than 200,000 people were forced to leave their homes because of nuclear contamination concerns when the three reactors failed at the plant after it was flooded.

However, a comparison of data pertaining to the accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi revealed a marked difference in the amount of radionuclides released and number of affected areas. Chernobyl has suffered far more.

“The people in Chernobyl have experienced extensive internal radiation due to the continued consumption of contaminated food. And although the residents within a 30km radius of the affected area have been told to evacuate − no local authority has been placed there to make arrangements and initiate such a move.”

Medical screening buses equipped with ultrasound and various other medical equipment were deployed to areas in Ukraine and Belarus. In addition to cancer support, psychiatric rehabilitation was offered as well.

The radiation exposure suffered by the people covered their entire body and affected the food chain supply. Many people including medical personnel died due to the exposure. There was a dramatic increase in leukaemia and other cancer cases.

In his lecture, Takamura also said that in the event of a nuclear emergency situation, we can best protect ourselves by staying sheltered. It is best to prepare for various scenarios and have a proper line of action for each.

“There should be a proper line of communication from the government to the people. The scientists and the government should take responsibility for advising the people of the real situation and what they should do next.”

He said it is vital to minimise consumption of contaminated food too.

“A chain reaction begins the moment of external radiation exposure. Not only the residents will be affected, but also the environment which includes livestock and the soil will be exposed to radiation.

“To protect the children, contaminated milk must be removed because it contains a high concentration of radioiodine. This affects the thyroid gland as beta and gamma rays cause internal exposure radiation in children.”

Takamura added that Ukraine and Belarus have many cases of thyroid cancer especially among children. The younger the child is when exposed to radiation, the higher the cancer risk.

Takamura also shared his experience in handling the emergency situation in Fukushima through community support.

Nagasaki University has established a base in Kawauchi, Fukushima and cooperates with the municipal government to measure radioactive material, and provides assistance with health consultations.

Undergraduates of the university have been visiting the elementary school to educate the children. Public health nurses trained in risk communication are present to see to the needs of the residents.

“With regard to external radiation exposure, the director general of the Nuclear Emergency Response headquarters gave instructions on whether to evacuate or remain at home. This was done in stages and within a certain radius of Kawauchi Village.

“The Japanese government initiated ‘food control’ measures to minimise internal radiation exposure, and all contaminated cow milk was disposed. The people were given extensive health screenings and follow-ups,” he added.

The situation remained under control. However, unexpected and indirect effects were noted by Takamura and his team. It was clear, for instance, that a form of “social panic” was taking place among the residents of Kawauchi Village at the Fukushima Prefecture.

During a crisis communication talk, an effort by Takamura to meet the residents and explain the situation was met with heated arguments and worried questions as to the future of the village, its residents, the well-being of the children and those who will be born there.

So there was a gap between the reality of the situation (that all measures were in place to protect the residents) and the perception of the residents (who had been affected by what they had read on social media i.e. Twitter, Facebook etc).

Another interesting indirect effect, Takamura said, is an increase in obesity levels. This unusual data came from a Body Mass Index count taken before and after the disaster.

The government has also advised the residents to move from Koriyama City, where they had been evacuated, back to Kamauchi Village which was deemed safe. As part of the process, public schools and houses were decontaminated, trees cut down and there was a removal of surface soil to allow the restart of agriculture.

However, the rate of return has been slow, less than 50 per cent of the population have returned to the area; people aged 40 and below are especially reluctant to return.

Recently, a marathon was organised at the village with runners including people from the university. The idea is to reassure the residents that the area is safe.

During Fukushima’s compound disaster (earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident), it became clear that there was a shortage of medical science professionals knowledgeable about disasters and radiation exposure.

At the lecture, Takamura took the opportunity to encourage people to sign up for the Master’s in Disaster and Radiation Exposure programme, a medical science joint degree offered by Nagasaki University and Fukushima Medical University.

“There is a critical lack of personnel with specialised knowledge, aside from the doctor who first meets the disaster victim.”

In the future, he said, preparation and provision against nuclear disasters in radiation accidents will be urgent issues, not only in Japan but also in other countries.

“Since the number of nuclear power plants is expected to increase throughout Asia, so will the need for these skills.”

Students in the postgraduate course will learn to prepare for emergencies and complex disasters in the area of healthcare as well as rescue, led by academicians who are experts in their field. Currently, course students come from the world over including Cambodia and Congo but none yet from Malaysia. A full scholarship covering tuition and accommodation is possible, he added. For details of the programme, visit www.fmu.nagasaki-u.ac.jp/en/?

New Straits Times, Published: September 6, 2017 - 10:22am
Lessons from Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima

 以下は Consumers' Association of Penang のフクシマ原発事故前の声明文です:

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) oppose the development of nuclear power plants in Malaysia.

Our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had expressed his objection of nuclear energy in Malaysia and had brought up the issue of dumping of radioactive waste in Perak. 

However the former PM is reportedly not aware where the waste was buried. His ignorance is indeed unfortunate because as a leader, Dr Mahathir should have known the location of the hotspot, especially since it is still regarded unsafe.

The long term storage facility of the radioactive waste is located in the Kledang Range, Perak. The waste was produced from the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) factory in Bukit Merah New Village near Ipoh. The ARE factory began operations in 1982 to extract yttrium (a rare earth) from monazite (obtained from amang, a tin mining by-product). The waste which is radioactive is the property of the Perak State Government.

A long struggle for environmental health and justice ensued as the Bukit Merah Village community was affected by radiation from improper waste disposal. Cases of childhood leukemia, cancer, miscarriages, lead poisoning were higher here compared to the expected incidence in Malaysia. The ARE factory was finally closed down in the 1990s but its toxic legacy remains in the form of the radioactive waste.

With such a bad track record and its tremendous impact to the environment, public health and safety we are very concerned that the Malaysian government is even pondering to build a nuclear power plant in the country.

Following are some of the reasons why we should not opt for nuclear power which is an expensive, polluting, dangerous source of energy:

Health impacts

Nuclear reactors have serious environmental and public health impacts. Radioactive air and water pollution is released through the routine operation of all nuclear reactors. A wide range of radioactive isotopes are released with varying radioactive and chemical properties – some toxic, some not, some more radioactive than others, some lasting minutes, some lasting billions of years.

A study in Mainz, Germany shows the risk of getting cancer, particularly leukemia, is increasing for children growing up in the neighborhood of a nuclear power station.   The result showed a significantly higher risk to get cancer if the children lived within a circle of less than 5 km around a nuclear power plant. There were 77 cases of cancer (60% more than expected in normal statistical values) and 37 cases of leukemia (117% more than expected).          

Radioactive waste

The nuclear chain begins with uranium mining, a polluting activity that devastates large areas. Uranium ore can contain as little as 500 grammes recoverable uranium per million grammes of earth. Enormous amounts of rock have to be dug up, crushed and chemically processed to extract the uranium. The remaining wastes or ‘tailings’, still contain large amounts of radioactivity and are often stored in poor condition, resulting in the contamination of surface and groundwater.

Radioactive wastes are produced continually in reactors.  High-level nuclear waste (also called irradiated or “spent” fuel) is more radioactive than when the fuel rods were loaded into the reactor. This waste is so lethal that standing near it without shielding causes fatality within minutes. This waste is hazardous for years and no technology exists to keep it isolated for long.

Irradiated fuel rods are stored in storage pools inside reactor buildings.  If someone accidentally drained the water from the pool, the "spent fuel" would spontaneously burst into flame and burn out of control for days, releasing clouds of highly-radioactive material all the while. Besides this, in case of leakage, what is going to happen to the radioactively contaminated water? Where will the massive volume of water outflow?

Another type of waste is low-level radioactive waste which is all other radioactive waste from reactors.  Large amounts of this waste has to be buried and over the years may leak and contaminate groundwater.

Reactor accidents and leaks

Of all electricity generation technologies, nuclear power is one which is capable of catastrophic accidents. Does Malaysia have the capacity to deal with a catastrophic event such as a reactor meltdown or leak? Is the public willing to accept this risk when cheaper and safer energy alternatives are available?  

Although the probability of a nuclear explosion is minor, there is a significant risk of core meltdown and for steam and chemical explosions. This would lead to a release of a large fraction of its radioactive inventory. For example in 1979 a combination of technical faults and operator errors led to loss of coolant and a partial meltdown of the core of the nuclear power station at Three Mile Island in the USA where limited quantity of radiation was released.

The worst accident at a nuclear power station was at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986. A combination of operator errors, inadequate safety procedures and poor reactor design led to explosions of steam and hydrogen that released vast quantities of radioactive materials over the Ukraine, Belarus and much of Europe.  Millions of people in the Northern hemisphere have suffered and will continue to suffer from the Chernobyl catastrophe due to exposure to radiation.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reported that at least 27 of America's 104 licensed reactors are now leaking radioactive tritium. The worst case is reported to be Entergy's Vermont Yankee. High levels of contamination have been found in test wells around the reactor, and experts believe the Connecticut River is at serious risk.

Water use harms aquatic life

Reactors require huge amounts of cooling water, which is why they are often located near rivers, lakes or oceans. The initial devastation of marine life and ecosystems stems from the powerful intake of water into the nuclear reactor. Marine life, ranging from fish larvae to microscopic planktonic organisms vital to the ocean ecosystem, is sucked irresistibly into the reactor cooling system. Some of these animals are killed when trapped against filters, grates, and other structures. An equally huge volume of wastewater is discharged at temperatures hotter than the water into which it flows and this would also be detrimental to aquatic life.


Nuclear power is the most expensive form of power and could not exist without massive subsidies. As it is so expensive to build, the price of the electricity they produce would be exorbitant too. Besides this, a great deal of money has to be spent and accumulate large amounts of interest before there is any revenue.  Would this cost ultimately be transferred to consumers through a price hike?  

Nuclear energy would also be heavily subsidised but most of these subsidies are hidden. For instance the nuclear industry does not pay the full cost of insuring against a catastrophic accident such as in Chernobyl.   Another subsidy for the industry is when the federal government normally pick ups the tab when accidents or leakages occur.  

Green house gas emissions

Nuclear energy proponents state that green house gas emissions can be reduced. Nuclear reactors, which produce energy based on the fissioning of uranium atoms, do not directly emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). Nevertheless each step of the nuclear fuel cycle, right from uranium ore mining and processing, to fuel fabrication and reactor construction, from spent fuel reprocessing to eventual decommissioning and waste storage, involves emissions, including GHG.  


Nuclear energy is not necessary.  We must improve energy efficiency and reduce high carbon activities in areas such as transport.  Energy experts at the Rocky Mountain Institute and elsewhere estimate that a dollar invested in increased efficiency could save up to seven times as much energy as one invested in nuclear plants can produce, while producing 10 times as many permanent jobs.

Worldwide, people have realized that there are safer, cheaper, renewable alternatives to nuclear.

Combining energy efficiency measures and renewable energy development would eliminate any justification for nuclear power.

Thus we strongly urge the Malaysian government to cancel its plan of developing nuclear power plant.

Letter to the Editor - 20th May 2010
Nuclear power should not be the option for Malaysia

posted by fom_club at 08:59| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする





玄海原発の再稼働を容認 住民の申し立て却下 佐賀地裁決定




[写真] 九州電力玄海原発3、4号機の再稼働差し止めを求めた仮処分申請が認められず、顔を覆う「玄海原発プルサーマルと全基をみんなで止める裁判の会」代表の石丸初美さん=佐賀市の佐賀地裁前で2017年6月13日午前10時10分

「残念」住民ら怒り込め 再稼働差し止め却下














 噴飯ものとしか言いようがない。これまで原発に関しては、千億円単位の原発マネーを各自治体にばら撒き続けてきたではないか。600万円しか費用がない? そんな言い訳が通るものか。

玄海原発再開 国が説明会 
質問1回1分 参加者7人限定(朝日新聞)

政府側、安全性を強調 玄海原発再開へ説明番組 







posted by fom_club at 19:02| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする









日米下田条約締結の地 アメリカジャスミン香る 了仙寺

posted by fom_club at 16:03| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする




 日本側が英語の either(いずれか一方の)を both(両方)の意味に取り違えて和訳したことによる誤訳トラブルでした(高梨健吉『文明開化の英語』中公文庫)。












▽ 佐々木克『幕末史』ちくま新書)
▽ 小西四郎『日本の歴史19 開国と攘夷』(中公文庫)
▽ 吉田常吉・佐藤誠三郎校注『幕末政治論集』(岩波書店)
▽ 井上勝生『幕末・維新』(岩波新書)
▽ 芳賀徹『明治維新と日本人』(講談社学術文庫)
▽ 吉田常吉『唐人お吉』(中公新書)
▽ 古川薫『松下村塾』(新潮選書)
▽ G・B・サンソム『西欧世界と日本』(ちくま学芸文庫)
▽ 野口武彦『幕末気分』(講談社)

Yomiuri Online、2016年11月16日05時20分

posted by fom_club at 15:33| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする






▼ ある発言から。
▼ では、この発言はどうだろう。
▼ 改憲派の仲間内での弁とはいえ、拉致事件の因果を憲法に結び付ける思考は国民の共感を得られるとは思えない。改憲すれば万事が解決するかのような物言いは、当時、政権党だった責任をお忘れのご様子だ
▼ 昨年末の衆院選後、改憲派が勢いづいている。敗戦後、GHQに押し付けられたから、真の独立国として自主憲法を−というのがよく聞く改憲論だ
▼ だが、国家としての誇り、威厳を保ちたいのなら、先に取り組むべき不平等条約がある。日米地位協定の改定こそ、独立国家ニッポンの主権を取り戻す一番の方策なのに、こちらは従属外交に甘んじている
▼ 自らの主張のためなら理屈も膏薬(こうやく)もくっつけるのが政治の世界と言われればあまりに寂しい。












4年後の1858年、幕府はアメリカと「日米修好通商条約」を結び、貿易を始めます。アメリカに次いで、オランダ、ロシア、イギリス、フランスとも通商条約を結びます。しかしどれも日本にとって不利な内容でした。その一つが、「治外法権」。 日本で外国人が罪を犯しても、日本の法律で裁くことができません。もう一つは、「関税自主権がない」こと。輸入される品物にかける関税の税率を、日本が決めることができません。そのため、外国から安い綿製品や糸が輸入され、生産地は大打撃(だいだげき)を受けます。





















posted by fom_club at 12:08| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Towards a more inclusive and trusting world community

The following is the keynote address by Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah (born on 27 November 1956 in Penang), the Sultan of Perak, titled Gobal peace: Towards a more inclusive and trusting world community, at the 4th World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilisation, held at the Casuarina@Meru, Ipoh on Nov 20.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Your Excellencies, distinguished scholars, ladies and gentlemen:

1. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the Fourth World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilization. Of all the conferences I am accustomed to, it always brings me great joy to attend this particular one, because for me, it is like a homecoming. After all, this conference is hosted by none other than the university carrying the name of my father, the 34th Sultan of Perak, Al-Marhum Sultan Azlan Shah, which is certainly most dear to my heart.

2. I am truly heartened to see, through the hosting of such international conferences like this, the growing reputation of this Islamic university, Jami‘ah Azlaniyah as it is known in Arabic. It is taking its rightful place alongside the other famous Islamic educational institution in the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, namely Madrasah Idrisiah, a pioneering Islamic school named after the 28th Sultan of Perak, AlMarhum Sultan Idris I. They are most fortunate, for they are celebrating their 100th anniversary of their foundation this year in 2017. I pray that Azlaniyah too will take its place among the community of luminary institutions in the Muslim world, alongside Jami‘ah al-Azhar and Jami‘ah Qarawiyyin. May Allah subhanahu wata‘ala continue to shower His blessings on this relatively young institution for the next 100 years and beyond, Amin!

Ladies and gentlemen:

3. This year, the conference will explore one of the most exciting, challenging and important questions facing our world community today: that of how to achieve global peace. We can look forward to papers by excellent researchers from a wide variety of countries, institutions, and academic fields, on subjects including social conflict and religious extremism; Islamic philosophy and the spiritual tradition; geo-strategies; power, politics and the media; and education and youth.

4. I want to begin by posing the question, “how peaceful is our world today?” According to the Global Peace Index, an annual measure of peace calculated by an independent, non-profit think-tank based in Sydney, the world is slightly more peaceful in 2017 than it was in the previous year: 0.28 per cent more peaceful, to be exact. This is the first time that the index has registered any improvement in global peace since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011. The figure, 0.28 per cent, represents the global average of 163 separate states and territories, each of which has been individually scored according to a variety of indicators, including Militarization, Domestic and International Conflict, and Societal Safety and Security. Decreased Militarization, and a reduction in violent crime and homicide worldwide, were the main drivers behind the improvement in the 2017 index. The withdrawal of US and UK troops from Afghanistan, and the ceasefire between armed rebel groups and the Colombian government, were events which contributed significantly to regional improvements. Overall, the 2017 Global Peace Index represents the cumulative effect of a number of small steps in the right direction. We may, perhaps, be justified in feeling cautiously optimistic about this figure; but there is still much work to be done.

5. While the 2017 Global Peace Index registered a small improvement over the previous year, I must, however, draw attention to the report by the Institute for Economics and Peace, pointing out that the overall trend is still a downwards one: the world is less peaceful now than it was 10 years ago. Terrorism represents a substantial and intensifying threat to international harmony, spreading fear and mistrust, and inflicting needless suffering on communities and individuals. According to the Global Peace Index report for 2017, there has been a 247 per cent increase in the number of deaths caused by terrorism over the past decade, and there are no signs that the problem is diminishing. For instance, the research period for the 2017 Index report does not even take into account four actual and attempted terror attacks in the UK between May and September of this year, including the Manchester concert arena bombing in which 22 individuals lost their lives, and an incident in which a van was driven into a crowd of Muslims near a London mosque during Ramadan.

6. Nor does the 2017 Index account for the recent escalation of tensions between the US and North Korea, with nuclear missiles representing a grave and ever-present threat to the global community and, indeed, to the future of our planet. With a ten-year downward trend of 2.14 per cent, we see that a small, one-year increase in the level of global peace is precarious at best.

7. Another major factor contributing to this overall ten-year decline is the number of severe refugee crises which have developed over the past decade, brought about by domestic conflict, political terror, and religious persecution. Over 11 million people have been displaced from their homes by the war in Syria during the past 6 years. Not so far from here, in nearby Myanmar, meanwhile, the Rohingya crisis continues to worsen, in what has been described by the United Nations as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Shocking satellite images have revealed hundreds of Rohingya villages burned to the ground, and Rohingya Muslim people fleeing targeted military violence in Myanmar in their thousands. Of those who have been forced to flee, around 58 per cent are children. It is, surely, hard to reconcile such figures and images with the notion that our world has grown even marginally more peaceful over the past year.

8. Indeed, a significant problem noted by the Institute for Economics and Peace in their report on the 2017 Global Peace Index is the “growing inequality in peace between the most and least peaceful countries”. Not only are we faced with the longstanding problem of the unequal distribution of wealth between the richest and the poorest in the world, but we are also, it seems, witnessing the increasingly unequal distribution of global peace, between, sadly, those countries that have, and those countries that have not. I suggested at this conference three years ago that “large swathes of the Muslim world are in great turmoil,” and this is a statement borne out by the country-by-country breakdown in this year’s Global Peace Index. 11 Of the top 10 most peaceful countries in 2017, 7 are European, with Iceland, New Zealand and Canada representing the other 3. Over half of the 10 least peaceful countries, meanwhile, are Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. 12 The lives of people in these countries have been profoundly damaged, by war and political turmoil, by poverty and loss. Our goal of achieving global peace – that is, a peace which extends to every citizen, in every country of our world – is clearly still a long way from being realised.

Ladies and gentlemen:

9. As we reflect on these disparities in, and challenges to, peace across the world, we must also take a moment to ask ourselves, moreover, what is global peace? What should peace look and feel like? The Global Peace Index represents a complex and comprehensive assessment of the various kinds of conflict taking place throughout the world. But as many of the world’s leading proponents of peace – including Martin Luther King Jr., and former US president Barack Obama – have argued, peace is not merely the absence of war. I would say that peace is also the absence of want and fear. Peace is religious freedom and respect for different cultures. Peace is the acceptance, understanding and celebration of diversity in all its many forms.

10. In fact, I would further argue that a truly peaceful world is one characterised by two important Islamic values: firstly, trust (amanah) and secondly, inclusivity, that is, to learn to live together by showing mercy (what the ulama call, ta‘ayush. In this regard, we must not forget that our Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam taught us that “Whosoever cannot be trusted has no Iman or faith”; and the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam also said, “Those who show mercy have God’s mercy shown to them. Therefore, have mercy on those here on earth, and those in Heaven will have mercy on you!”

11. As we pursue our collective goal of global peace, we must keep these two principles always in mind, seeking not only to eradicate conflict, but also to establish a more trusting and inclusive world community, in which each and every individual is valued and respected.

12. Moreover, I would like to suggest that amanah, “trust”, and ta‘ayush, “inclusivity”, as well as being the ultimate goals of global peace, are also the means by which peace might be achieved. A recent report by the United States Institute of Peace observed that “inclusive peace processes are key to ending violent conflict”. Peace processes, the report observes, can be critically undermined by societal fragmentation, and the perceived or actual exclusion of certain groups from peace negotiations. On the other hand, a seemingly precarious peace agreement may be fundamentally strengthened by attempts to “knit together” the “frayed fabric” of a society damaged by internal or external conflict. Thus, in Nepal, a peace agreement which ended a ten-year civil war in 2006 was secured through a program which brought together the police and local communities, in order to establish trust, and to overcome underlying tensions and prejudices between the different groups.

13. Indeed, as the Institute of Peace observes, trust is an “essential ingredient in building peace,” vital to ensuring that every citizen of a country or society recovering from conflict is committed to a peace that they believe works for them. Peace processes must therefore work particularly hard to include those individuals whose opinions have traditionally been marginalised or overlooked. In the Philippines, for example, efforts were made to involve nearly three thousand women, from a variety of social backgrounds, in the Mindanao peace process, which Malaysia has helped to facilitate. The insights and concerns shared by these women during consultations proved fundamental to the peace process’s development.

Ladies and gentlemen:

14. I have spoken at this conference in the past about the vital importance of investing in our youth, for it is the younger generation who must become the stewards of our planet. The task of maintaining peace falls, ultimately, to the young, and therefore the young must be included in the process of establishing peace. In the case following the Nepalese civil war, the active engagement of young people in peace consultations, in the south-eastern district of the country, led to an 80 per cent decrease in violent youth demonstrations.18 This is just one small but significant example of the hugely positive impact of inclusivity upon the maintenance of peace. All peace processes would, I think, do well to follow such models, ensuring that no voices are marginalised in the gradual movement towards a more harmonious, tolerant and conflict-free society. For, as the Vice-President of South Sudan recently observed, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, “peace is not a one-day affair or event; it requires our collective effort”.

15. It is, I think, a testament to the importance of such “collective efforts” that the Nobel Peace Prize this year was won not by an outstanding and inspirational individual, but by an organization, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ICAN is a global coalition representing over 100 countries, committed to the full prohibition of the most dangerous and destructive weapons on our planet. If there was ever an area in which trust and inclusivity were essential ingredients of the peace process, it is surely nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament requires the fostering of trusting relationships not just within a society or country, but between countries, and across continents. The full achievement of such a goal relies, I think, on the creation of a truly global community, on the “building of bridges” – to invoke a favourite image of mine – which connect governments and citizens throughout the world. These bridges must be built internally, between our leaders and those they govern, and externally, both among ourselves, and between ourselves and the West. The bridges must all be strong, and should reinforce each other. Together they can contribute to reducing this key area of conflict and ensure a more peaceful future world. 21 Trust and inclusivity are, I believe, vital to the establishment of global peace, at local, national, and also international levels.

16. In the light of some of the statistics I shared at the beginning of this address, the creation of a harmonious global community might seem a very long way off – an impossible and unattainable ideal, even. But ladies and gentlemen, we must begin somewhere; so let us all begin by imagining, as John Lennon had: “Imagine all the people, living life in peace”; “Imagine all the people, sharing all the world”. Let us begin by trusting in one another, and by living together, by having amanah and ta‘ayush.

17. As this conference brings together many of the world’s greatest Islamic thinkers, as well as non-Muslim writers on Islam, over the next few days, I have the utmost faith that it will initiate productive conversations, inspire insightful questions, and even start to explore some possible answers, in our collective quest for global peace. There may be no overnight solutions, but guided by the core Islamic principles of toleration and inclusivity, I believe that those of you gathered in this room will make real, valuable progress during the course of this conference.

18. I am privileged as a Malaysian, to have Co-Chaired the UN High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing which forwarded recommendations to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Those recommendations included utilizing the full potential of Islamic social finance−be it zakat, sukuk, waqf or sadaqah−to reduce the huge financial gap that exists in meeting the needs of people in crises. We saw how insufficient funding can lead to more global instability. We believe that providing for people in need is not only morally right, as we stressed in the Report, rather we should also see it as an investment in global stability to which we all can contribute. In my work as Co-Chair, I have learnt that we need the humility to rediscover our sense of purpose.

19. As eminent scholars on Islam, it will not come as a surprise to any of you to hear that the word “Islam” itself derives from the term “salam”, meaning “peace”; and equally, the Arabic term for “trust”, “amanah” – which is, as I proposed, an essential ingredient in achieving peace – is also derived from another word in Arabic which conveys the meaning of peace, namely “aman”; and as this conference prepares to get underway, it is, I think, a vital and God-given point to emphasize. Islam is a religion rooted in peace, literally as well as spiritually; and I truly believe that this Fourth World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilization can help to lead the way in the creation of a more trusting, inclusive and, ultimately, peaceful global community.

May God’s peace and mercy be with you all! Wassalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah!

Thank you

Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, giving a speech at the 4th World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilization (WCIT 2017) at Amanjaya Convention Centre.

New Straits Times, Published: November 21, 2017 - 10:20am
Global peace:
Towards a more inclusive and trusting world community


posted by fom_club at 09:19| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



WE used to take our Constitutional Law students for a day trip to Parliament.

Everyone would be dressed up and we would troop there in two buses.

Usually the mood on the trip there was one of excitement. Most, if not all, of the students would never have been in Parliament and this was a big deal.

After all, here is the place where our laws are made. All those statutes that they have to learn, understand and argue about are created in this place.

And there was usually an eagerness to listen and watch the debates. When I used to go on these trips, there was no live telecast of Parliamentary proceedings, so to see the Members of Parliament in action, one had to be physically there and this was a rare treat indeed.

The expectations of hearing intelligent and sophisticated debate by the “honourable” ladies and gentlemen of the House were usually dashed within a few minutes.

The standard of the exchange would often be of the lowest level, being not much different from a coffee shop argument.

I remember one student turning to me and saying disbelievingly, “These people make our laws?”

I am not one for formality. In most situations I find it ludicrous and self-important. But there must be some places where a degree of respect has to be maintained.

Parliament is where laws that affect the lives of millions are made. There must therefore be a sense of the gravity of such an endeavour.

It is not the place to be coarse and crude.

It is shameful that in this day and age, an MP can still be utterly disrespectful to women, speaking words that treat them as objects and not as equal human beings. I suppose the people in his constituency like him so much that they continue to vote him in despite his comments in Parliament.

Of course there will be claims that he was only joking.

Sure, if you want to joke, why don’t you do it with your cronies in whichever other places you gather? I am sure a bunch of middle-aged men love nothing better than to crack sexist jokes about women while they rub their misshapen bellies in glee.

But not in the House. To do so is to disrespect, not only all women, but also the dignity and importance of the House.

And Parliament must also be a place of fair play, where all sides are given equal opportunity to speak and votes are carried out in a fair manner with absolutely no favouring of one side or the other.

If even this basic thing cannot be achieved, then those who are supposed to be running the place would have failed in their duties.

There are so many problems with our Parliament.

The speed with which bills are rushed through, the lack of cross-party cooperation, the short amount of time given to prepare debates on new legislation; the list goes on.

But it seems that we can’t even get the basics right. How can we say we do when impartiality is questionable and grotesque things can be said freely?

The Star, Published: Wednesday, 22 Nov 2017
Respect in and for the House
By Azmi Sharom, columnist



@ 教育荒廃の基底に文科省の画一的指導がある、
A 国際性の欠如、
B リベラルアーツや教養教育の貧弱さ

Andy Art Blanc



LOCAL universities featured in the latest edition of the QS Asia University Rankings have promised to improve and climb to the top of the table.

The five Malaysia’s research universities have moved up and are now listed within the top 50 in Asia.

Leading the way is Universiti Malaya (UM) which now ranks 24, rising three spots from 27 last year.

UM deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said Malaysia’s oldest varsity would use the ranking to continue to improve itself on the world stage.

He said that UM had either improved or maintained its score in all the indicators used for the rankings.

“The most notable improvements are in Paper Publications Per Faculty and Citations Per Paper, where UM improved by 16 places and 126 places respectively,” he added.

Prof Awang Bulgiba said the students and staff can be credited for the improvement in these rankings, as well as UM’s strategic plan.

“The plan necessitated investments by UM in its brand image, internationalisation, academic programmes and research.

“Special attention was paid to quality over quantity in its strategic planning over the last seven years and we are now seeing the fruits of this planning.

“In order to improve its rankings, UM is now embarking on a mid-term review of its plans by adjusting and responding to the financial challenges that have arisen over the last two years.

The financial constraints are posing new challenges to UM but the varsity is rising to the occasion and will try its best to continue improving,” he said.

The regional university ranking released on Monday by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the global higher education analysts, saw Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) ranked 36, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) ranked 43, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) ranked 46 and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) ranked 49.

The varsities improved their rankings compared to last year.

A total 27 Malaysian universities, both public and private, are in the top 400, out of 11,900 universities in Asia.

UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris said the university was committed to strengthening their academic and research processes in order to become a world-class university.

“UPM has remained the second best university in the country for two years running and has been continuously improving its position since it first entered the rankings in 2014 at number 76.

She also said that UPM had the most PhD-qualified lecturers in Malaysia and the second highest scores in Malaysia for the Inbound and Outbound Exchange Students indicators.

“This achievement is expected to further enhance UPM’s reputation and ultimately allow us to contribute significantly to the development of society and well-being of the nation,” she added.

Two private universities are also featured among the top 200 in the region, namely Taylor’s University (150) and Multimedia University (179).

Both climbed up from 179 and 193 respectively.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Professor Michael Driscoll said the jump in its rankings shows that the university is on the right path towards providing better quality education to its students.

“Taylor’s University has maintained its distinctive strength in teaching quality and excellent student experience, a high level of graduate employment, a world class campus, an internationally diverse staff and student body and a strong international outlook, in addition to our outstanding global reputation among the academic partners and employers,” he added.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh congratulated all the Malaysian universities that made it into this year’s edition of the rankings.

QS research director Ben Sowter said this year sees Malaysian institutions record their best-ever performance and becoming more competitive with their regional counterparts.

“The table is led for the first time by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. It takes the number-one position from the National University of Singapore (which now ranks second),” said Sowter.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is at third position, one place up, from last year.

He also said that there was one new entrant into the top 10 this year – China’s Fudan University. It moved up four spots and is now ranked seventh.

This year, QS ranked 425 universities from 17 Asian nations, the most it has ranked to date.

There are 10 indicators used to determine the rankings – Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty/Student Ratio, Papers per Faculty, Citations per paper, International Faculty Ratio, Staff with PhD, International Student Ratio, Inbound Exchange Students and Outbound Exchange Students.

To see the full methodology and rankings table, visit www.TopUniversities.com.

The Star, Published: Sunday, 22 Oct 2017
Varsities aim to boost rankings further
By Rebecca Rajaendram


日本経済新聞、2017/9/12 23:36


posted by fom_club at 20:31| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


重要文化財 愛染明王坐像
 鎌倉時代、13世紀 五島美術館蔵 総高224.4cm 像高117.0cm 光背高137.2cm 光背径140.0cm 台座高87.2cm 足付台径134.0cm

作成: 五島美術館、2012年6月28日








小泉策太郎『西園寺公 巴城留学時の奇行事件』(小泉策太郎、1937)




近代日本とフランス − 憧れ、出会い、交流



「明治51年」物語 ──大正デモクラシーの自壊──

posted by fom_club at 18:41| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


My Neighbor, Totoro (1988)

What will American children make of "My Neighbor Totoro," a Japanese animated film whose tone is so relentlessly goody-goody that it crosses the line from sweet into saccharine?

The film creates an idealized vision of family life that is even more unreal than the perkiest 1950's television sitcom. In this storybook world, parents possess infinite reserves of encouragement and patience, and their children are unfailingly polite and responsible little angels. In the English-language version of the film, the actors speak in such uniformly cheery and soothing tones that they could turn even an incorrigible optimist like Mr. Rogers into a grouch.

"My Neighbor Totoro" follows the adventures of two little girls, Satsuki and her younger sister, Lucy, who move with their father to a house in the country while their mother recovers in the hospital from an unnamed illness.

Their new home is haunted by all sorts of benign magical presences. Among the more exciting moments in this serenely paced film is when swarms of dust bunnies living in the attic flee en masse in a late-evening windstorm. Of the many magical beings who inhabit the property, the most impressive is a mythical creature named Totoro, a cuddly beast that resembles a bear crossed with an owl crossed with a seal, has whiskers and roars gently. Totoro lives in an enchanted hollow at the bottom of a tree trunk.

A familiar figure in Japanese children's literature and animated films, Totoro appears only when he feels like it. But those appearances usually coincide with emergencies that require magic, as when a lost child needs to be found or an urgent message delivered.
Among other feats, the creature can fly and make giant trees sprout in the middle of the night and then disappear by morning. For transportation, he uses a magic bus that soars and loops over the landscape. And he can be seen only by children.

When "My Neighbor Totoro," which was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is dispensing enchantment, it can be very charming. The scenes in which the girls have midnight adventures and witness miracles have the yearning dreamlike exhilaration of Mary Poppins's nocturnal adventures with her charges. Too much of the film, however, is taken up with stiff, mechanical chitchat.

"My Neighbor Totoro" is visually very handsome. All the action is set in lush Japanese landscapes whose bright blue skies and gorgeous sunsets evoke a paradisiacal garden of earthly delights.

The New York Times, Published: May 14, 1993
Even a Beast Is Sweet as Can Be

 ね、こうしてよその国の人たちがアメリカを含めて、日本、そして日本人に抱くイメージって敗戦から72年たったイマ、"paradisiacal garden"で、"handsome" なんですよねってヤッホー君!



@ 健康を大切にしなかった
A やりたいことを先送りしていた
B 正直に言えなかったことがある
C 会いたい人に会っておかなかった
D 愛する人にありがとうと言えなかった−















AERA dot. 2014.9.23 07:00

posted by fom_club at 15:27| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする





請求棄却求める 立ち退き訴訟第1回弁論


■ ■
■ ■











posted by fom_club at 09:16| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする














「私の周囲には『どうしてそんな巨額の費用を私たちが負担するんですか』という人もいる。『野田さんの子供さんがお使いになるのは、ご病気なんですから仕方ありませんけど、ありがとうの一言もないんですね』と言った人もいた。『もしもの時は安心してください、というのは。遠慮もせずにどんどん使えということですか? そういう空気を煽るから、健康保険は破産するんですよ』という意見もあった。




 前述した坂口氏の論考によれば、1994年、厚生省(当時)は2025年の国民医療費を141兆円と予測(97年に104兆円に下方修正)。こうした官製予測への対抗策として日本医師会は2000年に「2015年 医療のグランドデザイン」を発表したが、こちらは2015年の医療費を48.6兆円(保険者コストを除く)と予測した。









〈「出来れば一緒にやりたいんですが…無所属の市議からで全然いいんです。ご迷惑をかけちゃうし…」と話すと、松井代表から「うん、やろ。ええやん。あかんかったことは謝ったらええねん。なんやったら俺が一緒に謝ったるわ。日本、変えよ」と励まされたという〉(産経WEST 2月10日付)










アサ芸プラス、2017年10月25日 17時59分


posted by fom_club at 08:16| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする





Many countries are encouraging their seniors to continue to use their skills and talents to participate as fully as possible within their social circle and local community. Here are some of the ways we can all age better, healthier, and stay as active as possible as we grow older.

Stay positive 

Four studies from the University of Michigan published earlier this found that as we age our health is affected by both our own and our partner’s perceptions of growing older.

One of the studies showed that couples who tend to view their ageing negatively also tend to become less healthy and less mobile than couples who view their ageing positively, while another suggested that the more negatively a person viewed his or her ageing, the more likely he or she was to delay seeking health care.

Another study revealed that in all age groups, those who perceived their own ageing positively were also less likely to report experiences of age discrimination, an important finding as the UN makes efforts to reduce discrimination against older people and promote their more active role in society.

 Fill up on protein
Many recent studies have highlighted the importance of eating enough protein as we age in order to stay mobile and active, with a sufficient intake helping to prevent loss of muscle mass, which can lead to more serious health complications such as an increased risk of frailty, falls or mobility problems.

A Canadian study published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that splitting protein equally across three meals a day could have even greater benefits, while 2016 US research found that choosing lean proteins, such as nuts, chicken and fish, rather than red meats, eggs and dairy, was better for health, helping to reduce the risk of dying.

 Keep moving
Recent research from Tufts University suggested that if there is a “magic pill” for healthy ageing, then exercise is it. The study found that the more exercise older people did, the better their physical function, with those who participated in at least 48 minutes of physical activity a week benefiting from the biggest improvement, and the biggest reduction in their disability risk.

Various studies have also shown the positive effect of exercise on a healthy mind as well as a healthy body, with those taking part in physical activity also benefiting from a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Get some shut-eye 

Recent studies have shown that many older people suffer from sleep problems as they age, which can have a negative effect on many other areas of health including increasing the risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, depression, and anxiety.

A recent report showed that worryingly, nearly half of older Americans find it difficult to drop off at night, with more than a third turning to medication to help. However, many are not seeking help from their doctor, which the researchers said should be the first step towards treating sleep problems rather than medication.

Other non-medication-based sleep habits that can help improve sleep include dimming the lights to get the body ready for sleep, waking at the same time each day, getting some exercise, and getting out into nature.

The Star2, Published: November 18, 2017
Here are some ways for seniors to stay healthy and active
[Source] AFP Relaxnews

Believe it or not, there are upsides to getting older.

Yes, your physical health is likely to decline as you age. And unfortunately, your cognitive abilities like learning new skills and remembering things is likely to suffer too.

But despite such downsides, research suggests that your overall mental health, including your mood, your sense of well-being and your ability to handle stress, just keeps improving right up until the very end of life.

Consider it something to look forward to.

In a recent survey of more than 1,500 San Diego residents aged 21 to 99, researchers report that people in their 20s were the most stressed out and depressed, while those in their 90s were the most content. 

There were no dips in well-being in midlife, and no tapering off of well-being at the end of life.

Instead scientists found a clear, linear relationship between age and mental health: The older people were, the happier they felt.

“The consistency was really striking,” said Dilip Jeste, director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and senior author of the study. “People who were in older life were happier, more satisfied, less depressed, had less anxiety and less perceived stress than younger respondents.”

The results were published Wednesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Experts on the psychology of aging say the new findings add to a growing body of research that suggests there are emotional benefits to getting older.

“In the literature it’s called the paradox of aging,” said Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, who was not involved in the work. “How can it be that given the many well-documented losses that occur with age, we also see this improvement in emotional well-being?”

As it happens, Carstensen does not think this is a paradox at all. 

In her own work, she has found evidence that people’s goals and reasoning change as they come to appreciate their mortality and recognize that their time on Earth is finite.

“When people face endings they tend to shift from goals about exploration and expanding horizons to ones about savoring relationships and focusing on meaningful activities,” she said. “When you focus on emotionally meaningful goals, life gets better, you feel better, and the negative emotions become less frequent and more fleeting when they occur.”

The authors of the new work also suggest that improved mental health in old age could be due to the wisdom people acquire as they grow older. 

Jeste defines wisdom as a mutli-component personality trait that includes empathy, compassion, self-knowledge, openness to new ideas, decisiveness, emotional regulation and doing things for others rather than for yourself.

“As we get older, we make better social decisions because we are more experienced, and that’s where wisdom comes into play,” he said.

Another possible explanation for the emotional benefits of aging could stem from the physiology of the brain, the authors said.

Brain-imaging studies show that older people are less responsive to stressful images than younger people. 

When scientists showed older and younger adults pictures of a smiling baby − an image designed to make everyone happy − both groups exhibited increased activation in the part of the brain associated with emotion. However, while a disturbing image of a car accident evoked a lot of activity in the emotional region of the brain of young people, older people had a much more subdued response.

Arthur Stone, a psychologist and head of the USC Dornsife Center for Self-Report Science who was not involved in the study, said that while the various explanations for the aging paradox are intriguing, there is still still no definitive finding that can explain the phenomenon.

“There’s lots of speculation about why older people are happier and having better moods even when their cognitive and physical health is in decline, but we still don’t have anything that fully explains what is going on,” he said. “It’s a big puzzle, and an important puzzle.”

Another important finding of the study is that despite our culture’s obsession with youth, it turns out that the 20s and 30s are generally a very stressful time for many young adults who are plagued by anxiety and depression.

“This ‘fountain of youth’ is associated with a far worse level of psychological well-being than during any other period of adulthood,” the authors said.

They noted that there are many pressures unique to this life phase including establishing a career, finding a life partner and navigating financial issues.

“It could be that age is associated with a reduction in risk factors for mental health,” said Darrell Worthy, a professor of cognitive psychology at Texas A&M University, who was not involved in the work. “Older adults may not have to deal with these stressors as much.”
The authors noted that the study does have some limitations. 

Participants were contacted via landline, meaning the experiences of people who have only cellphones were not included in the results.

In addition, people were excluded from taking part in the survey if they had dementia, lived in a nursing home or had a terminal illness. That means the elderly participants were, on the whole, fairly healthy, which might influence their sense of well-being.

Finally, everyone involved in the survey lived in sunny San Diego. It is possible that aging in Michigan could be very different than aging in Southern California.

Still, Carstensen said the study had major implications, especially considering that within just a few years, more people on the planet will be over 60 than under 15.

“Policy leaders are saying, ‘How are we going to cope with all these old people?’ ” she said. “But a population who are in good mental health, emotionally stable, more grateful, and more likely to forgive are a pretty great resource for a society with so much strife and war.”

Los Angeles Times, Published: August 24, 2016, 10:05 AM
The aging paradox:
The older we get, the happier we are
By Deborah Netburn

18:31 - 2017年11月17日



posted by fom_club at 18:48| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

朝鮮半島から大量の難民 !?


 コラージュには日本語で「麻生太郎 姥(うば)捨て」と記されていた。ネット上の素材を転載したものとみられ、作者や意図、作成時期は確認されていない。











Their suffering is sometimes unimaginably cruel. More should be done to help them, including in Malaysia. 

THE plight of some of the world’s refugees and migrant workers makes grim reading indeed.
Thousands of migrants in Libya are being detained under “horrific, inhuman conditions”, according to the United Nations High Commis-sioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein.

UN monitors interviewed migrants (who had fled conflict and poverty from Africa and Asia) at four detention centres in Tripoli earlier this month.

“Monitors were shocked by what they saw: thousands of emaciated and traumatised men, women and children piled on top of one another, locked up in hangars with no access to the most basic necessities and stripped of their human dignity,” said a spokesman of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Detainees at the centres said they are often beaten or prodded with electric sticks if they ask for food or medicine. With no functioning toilets in the facilities, the detainees find it difficult to breathe amid the smell of urine and faeces.

Rape and sexual violence are commonplace.

Nearly 20,000 migrants are now in custody, a big jump from 7,000 in mid-September.

According to the OHCHR, the European Union is assisting Libya to intercept migrant boats in the Mediterranean to prevent them from reaching European countries.

“We cannot be a silent witness to modern-day slavery, rape and other sexual violence and unlawful killings in the name of managing migration and preventing desperate people from reaching Europe’s shores,” said Zeid.

He urged Libya to stamp out human rights violations in the centres and called on the international community not to turn a blind eye to the “unimaginable horrors” suffered by the migrants.

Commissioner Zeid was also one of the first persons to condemn the attacks on Rohingya villages in Myanmar. He termed it a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

After enduring the burning of whole villages, the killings of family members and rape of the women, about 620,000 Rohingya refugees have made their way to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh since Aug 25.

The daily battle for survival continues for thousands as food, health services and other basic facilities are far from adequate.

Sexual violence is among the most traumatic experiences of the refugees.

“My observations point to a pattern of widespread atrocities, including rape, gang rape by multiple soldiers, forced public nudity and humiliation, and sexual slavery in military captivity directed against Rohingya women and girls,” UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten said last Thursday, after meeting the refugees in their camps.

Most of the rapes were carried out by the Myanmar military, she concluded.

But many refugees are now also exposed to new dangers. Last week, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that human trafficking and exploitation are now rife among the Rohingya refugees.

Men, women and children are recruited with false offers of paid work, but they are not paid what was promised.

“They are often deprived of sleep, work more hours than agreed, not allowed to leave their work premises or contact their family,” said the IOM.

Women and children are often physically or sexually abused. A number of adolescent girls were forced into prostitution. In one case, a woman who went to work for a family was brought back to the settlements dead.

The IOM called for action to help Rohingya refugees mitigate the risks of human trafficking before this spirals out of control.

Another horrifying situation is in Yemen. The country is collapsing and its people dying. It is facing the largest famine the world has seen in decades if the blockade on basic supplies into the country is not lifted immediately, according to Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief coordinator.

Yemen depends on imports for 90% of its daily needs, much of it supplied by aid. Fighting in the country has collapsed its health, water and sanitation systems.

Yemen has become the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, affecting 21 million people, said a spokesman for the UN High Commission for Refugees, William Spindler.

Humanitarian organisations also warned that any disruption in the pipeline of critical supplies such as food, fuel and medicines has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death. They have called for the immediate opening of all air and seaports to ensure entry of supplies.

Internal displacement also creates refugees. Fighting in the Central African Republic has led to 600,000 people internally displaced in the country and over 500,000 refugees outside the country. In Darfur, a third of its people are still displaced despite the drop in violence.

Malaysia has its own issues to deal with regarding refugees and migrants. There were 62,513 Rohingya refugees in the country as of September, according to Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Efforts should be stepped up to enable them, as well as the many other thousands of refugees from other countries, to have good opportunities in life such as jobs, education, healthcare and housing.

The death of 11 people, 10 of whom were migrant workers, in a landslide at a housing construction site in Penang, also brought to public attention the fact that most of the workers who build our houses and provide labour in many plantations are foreigners.

Adequate attention should be paid to their working and living conditions, including compensation for worksite injury and death.

Last week’s Asean Summit adopted an Asean consensus to protect and promote migrant workers’ rights. It is important to translate this into the country’s policies, laws and guidelines.

The Star, Published: Monday, 20 Nov 2017
Refugees facing terrible ordeal
By Martin Khor

posted by fom_club at 06:43| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


人づくり革命 ?!










 また、2010 年に長崎県江迎町・鹿町町(いずれも高い方から6番目=最下位)が佐世保市と合併したときには、合併先の佐世保市(高い方から4番目)に合わせられた。

専門家は「お飾り」なのか? 徹底的な無視の連続







健康で文化的な生活とは何か? 役人にもぜひ体感して欲しい




Diamond Online、2017.11.10

(フリーランスライター みわよしこ)










 それなのにすべての施設に ”無償化” という錦の御旗を掲げると、本来なら淘汰されるはずの質の悪い施設やニーズに合わない施設まで生き延びる可能性があるというのだ。











BuzzFeed News、2017/11/20 06:01

(小林明子、BuzzFeed News Editor、Japan)

posted by fom_club at 19:32| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする




「ドイツとベルギーは、原発事故の被害を受けた女性と子どもの権利の保護について、日本政府に対して厳しい質問をしましたが、 日本政府はきちんと答えませんでした。日本政府は、自らが署名している国際的な人権条約を守らず、福島の女性と子どもたちを犠牲にしています。女性と子どもは、社会的、経済的な弱者であるだけでなく、放射線の影響を受けやすく、日本政府は、今すぐに、被害者とりわけ女性と子どもの人権侵害の状況を是正すべきです」と訴えました。



 国際民主法律家協会(International Democratic Lawyers)代表で、国連人権理事会担当の弁護士ミコル・サヴィア氏は
「国際社会は日本政府に対し、原発事故被害者の人権、特に女性や子どもの権利侵害に対処するよう要請しています。 私たちは、日本政府が勧告を受け入れ、その帰還政策を改めるよう強く求めます。被害者は、住宅支援や賠償の打ち切りによって、汚染地に帰るか、貧困に直面するかという選択を迫られています。これは国際的に見ても人権侵害にほかなりません」と語りました。



(注2)Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - Compilation on Japan 

(注3)Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Anand Grover

(注4)グリーンピース、本日クラウドファンディング開始、「福島原発事故をめぐる政府の帰還政策は人権侵害」 国連勧告を目指して、被害者をジュネーブへ(プレスリリース)

2017/11/14 国連人権理事会の対日人権審査で、福島原発事故被害者の人権問題に懸念









国連人権理 秘密法に懸念示す








ハフポスト日本版NEWS、2017年11月17日 09時31分 JST
日本の人権状況に 「218の勧告」。国連人権理事会で各国から問題視されたのは……














posted by fom_club at 18:13| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

World Children’s Day

Today is World Children’s Day, a day to promote the welfare of children and encourage understanding between children all over the world.

World Children’s Day was established by the United Nations (UN) in 1954; five years later the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. In 1989, the organisation also adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The theme for this year’s celebration is #kidstakeover. Thousands of children around the world will raise their voices in solidarity with the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable kids. The aim is to get children the world over to come together to fight for their rights.

Across the globe, children will “take over” high-visibility roles to shine a spotlight on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation.

Star2.com, in collaboration with Unicef, invited children to voice their thoughts on issues that are important to them. Check out what they have to say.

Heidi Ilyana Azmyudin Raj, 12:
“Children’s Day is the day we can enjoy ourselves with everyone else, and also learn about our rights – the rights that we’ve had since birth. We should also learn how to treat boys and girls the same way and let them do the same things without it being frowned upon.”

Putri Damia Tasri Aslah, 13:
“We need to cooperate with each other, help one another and be cheerful. In doing this, we will be happy, because this is our day.”

Falysha Maisara Mohd Aidilfamin Johanada, 9:
“I got to go on FlyFM and talk about World Children’s Day, which was fun. I was a little nervous at the start, but once we started, the words just came to me.”

Joel Wee Nambiar, 10:
“Adults need to know about children’s rights and what they could do so that they know they aren’t the only people on Earth and that we also exist.”

Chang Yu Xuan, 13:
“Kids can do many things in order to be taken seriously by adults, such as helping the needy, giving donations, or just simply having fun.”

Yusra Aser Abdallah, 16:
“I want to stand up for equality. I always hear about freedom for boys, but what about for girls? When can girls get their freedom? This is a serious thing. All girls have to do is housework! I understand parents are worried about issues such as kidnapping, but at least let girls do something they want. Girls should still be able to hang out.”

Priyanka Kurunathan, 17:
“I sometimes feel that parents often make choices in a child’s life, for example their ambition and what not. Children should be free to choose because it’s their life.”

Mohamad Hasan Al-Akraa, 17:
“My dream is to see the world in peace, no war, no hate and no violence. My dream is to rebuild my country Syria, after the war. I will rebuild my homeland.”

Shasmeethaa Nair, 17:
“I feel that our voices, as young adults, are not looked at seriously when in truth we are the future leaders of the world. Our country has to progress from the traditional ideas of telling teens to keep quiet and be resilient. We are citizens of Malaysia, too, and we have equal rights just like adults, maybe not in the full capability but close enough. I also notice how women and girls are being placed second to boys which I personally feel isn’t right at all. We have seen female leaders in our very own country challenge the norm of the social status and excel in their chosen field.”

Henry Ho Keng Soon, 17:
“Acts of kindness can change one’s life.”

Cher Phoh Wen, 17:
“The issue of racial and gender equality should be prioritised by UN. Embracing the differences between people should be emphasised to the younger generation for it is they who will inherit Earth.”

Muhammad Haikal Syaiful Arief Syah, 8:
“To have better education and make friends without comparing race.”

Mark Edward Felix, 17:
“I just want to say that this survey is a very great idea where anyone who has done this will eventually care more for their/other children. I agree that children in Malaysia are sometimes mistreated, abandoned and abused. To be honest, my dream is to actually help those in need, especially children. I am a member of the Leo Club and have done many service projects and most of them are about promoting awareness on children’s issues. And also, I actually do want to be the head of the UN!”

Leticia Ann Lariche, 14:
“There are plenty of ways to help improve the world for children and we should do everything that we reasonably can in our power. The world is horrifying right now, but it has the potential to be so much better. If we are determined and united, we will surely be able to give every child the rights they deserve, and have been robbed of for so long. I hope I won’t be proven wrong.”

Jovita Wong Yan Ting, 17:
“The world is a beautiful place but humans are ruining it. Roads are getting wider, buildings are getting taller, but our minds are getting narrower. I believe that many of us feel worried when it comes to our future. I hope that people are aware and take action before it’s too late.”

Chean Sweet Chiao, 16:
“I hope there is a more equal distribution of resources for all children all over the world. It simply isn’t right when some of us have more than enough while some don’t have any at all.”

Shamila Ibrahim, 17:
“Dear Adults, why is it so hard for you to understand our feelings, our thoughts, our problems? We are naughty, we’re stubborn, we misbehave, we make mistakes all the time – just like you always say, ‘nobody’s perfect’. But why is it so hard for you to accept us the way we are, just like how we accept you? If you as adults have the right to speak out on something you don’t like, why don’t we as children have any rights to say or comment about the things that make us feel unhappy? Is that fair to us? Why don’t we have the rights like you adults do?”

Nur Alissa Zainudin, 17:
“I want people to realise that mental health is important especially to teens and children.”

Adelle Barnaby, 10:
“I would like cheaper piano classes and other classes, too, as well as books because now it is super expensive and not many of us can join as many classes as we want. Malaysia has very few community activities and quality libraries for children. Only the rich can afford to do more than one activity.”

L. Ann Gie, 16:
“Every human being is born into this world the same way; from the uterus of a woman and into the world as a naked mammal, but why is it that so many people judge others based on their race, religious beliefs, sex, appearance and sexuality? Everyone who enters this world will leave in death, why don’t we live in a world of harmony and peace instead of ruining the minds of future generations?” 

The Star2, Published: November 20, 2017
Celebrating World Children’s Day: The kids are all right
By Star2.com
Compiled by S. Indramalar and Edmund Evanson

posted by fom_club at 14:08| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

The Story of Chink Okichi



 しかし、お吉を12代目 片岡仁左衛門(かたおか にざえもん)が歌舞伎座で、1939(昭和14)年8月に演じた「お吉の陋居の場(おきちのろうきょのば)の写真も残っています。



 特に前者の掲載された>DAS JUNGE JAPAN<(1924年12月発行)はブレヒトの旧蔵書の中に残っており、グリムは、発行当時すでにブレヒトがこの雑誌を手に入れ読んでいたなら、それがブレヒトの日本演劇との最初の出合いだということになるその可能性は大きいと言っている。
 1935年に北星堂書店から出版された>Three Plays<と題されたその英訳の戯曲集には、『坂崎出羽守』、『生命の冠』と並んで『女人哀詞』(The Story of Chink Okichi)が収録されていた。

1982-03 茨城大学人文学部紀要. 人文学科論集(15): 21-49

posted by fom_club at 07:43| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



 その3年後の1933年、山本有三(1887-1974)は戯曲作品『女人哀詞 唐人お吉物語』を著わし、

市劇  初めまして。いかがですか?地方公演は。
太地  どうって言われてもほとんどが地方公演ですから。文学座の作品はいつ以来ですか?
市劇  『似顔絵の人』(作・演出:江守徹)以来ですから、年に一回くらいです。
太地  今回の作品はご覧になったんですか?
市劇  (全員で)いいえ、まだ見ていません。
太地  それじゃあ、質問しようがないわねえ…。
市劇  太地さんは、どうしてお芝居をやろうと思ったんですか?
太地  どこでも聞かれるのよねぇ。この質問は。
市劇  山本有三さんはお母さんが芝居が好きだとか…
太地  私もそうでした。母が好きでしたから。
市劇  お芝居以外で何か趣味はありますか?
太地  ひとっつもないの! 仕事っていうか、私にはお芝居しか燃えるものがないから。
市劇  スポーツを見るのもしないんですか。
太地  何にも。だから野球も相撲もみんなきらい。
市劇  では映画とかはご覧になりますか。
太地  参考になりますからね。
市劇  役者は体力が勝負だと思うのですが、地方公演もありますし、何かやられてますか。
太地  運動はやりませんからねえ。体力っていうより、気力ですね。「病は気から」っていいますよね。
    次の日? 次の日は夕方からだから、昼間休みます。
市劇  今日は藤肢のお祭りですが、加藤武さん(文学座の方)は見物に行ったりしていますが、太地さんはどうですか?
太地  彼はお祭り好きですから。私はあんまり好きではないんです。
市劇  本当にお芝居だけなんですね。
太地  お芝居だけっていうか、他の事にあんまり興味もたないのよね。
市劇  今までいろいろな役をやられてきたと思うのですが、印象に残った役はありますか?
太地  そういう事は思わないようにしています。今の役が最高だと思います。
市劇  「特に」?
太地  ええ。前から演りたいと思っていました。 何でって、「唐人お吉」だからよ。
    振返るのは早いんですよ。 振返らないんですよ。
市劇  山本有三さんの脚本はいかがですか?
太地  素晴しい脚本ですね。
市劇  太地さんはどのお芝居をやってもその役を好きになるんですね。
太地  悪いと地獄ですよ。
市劇  でもその時は文句も言わずに
太地  言いますよ。作家の方と絶縁状態になります。
市劇  テレビは出ないんですか?
太地  私は女優ですから。基本的に足を運ばないと見られない形でいきたいです。
市劇  すさまじいというか…
太地  他の方は、家族のためとか言ってドラマ出たり。中には家族持ちの方は大学にいくからとか。


藤枝市民劇場 機関誌「あけび」No. 97











Asagei Plus、Posted on 2012年8月1日 10:54







宝福寺 唐人お吉記念館


posted by fom_club at 12:37| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする






posted by fom_club at 21:45| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする




 東京急行電鉄は2017年7月21日、静岡・伊豆の観光列車「The Royal Express(ザ・ロイヤルエクスプレス)」の営業運転を始めた。











日本経済新聞、2017/7/21 14:07
東急 vs 西武「伊豆戦争」再び



 伊豆下田・寝姿山の山頂の建立されています 「五島記念碑」 です。
「五島慶太は伊豆とともに生きている」 と記されています。
 私が感銘を受けたのはこの記念碑の裏面に刻まれている文面です。 次のように書いてありました。

一番電車の通過する日 1961(昭和36)年12月












posted by fom_club at 20:40| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


Russia-Asean relations

Russia-Asean relations are likely to develop in a slow, incremental fashion over the next few years. There are reasons for adopting a doubting Thomas approach.

To begin with, unlike China and the United States, Russia has had no tradition of strong relations with Southeast Asia. Except with Vietnam and Indonesia in the 1960s, Moscow’s links with the region had been little to speak of.

Secondly, without meaningful economic or trade ties, no mutually beneficial relationship can develop. According to the Asean Secretariat, as of November last year, Asean’s total trade with Russia amounted to a mere US$13.3 billion (RM55.61 billion), in contrast with China (US$345 billion) and the US (US$212 billion). Even President Vladimir Putin noted this “modest figure compared to trade with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region” during his speech at the Russia-Asean Summit in Sochi in May last year.

Thirdly, the necessary time, energy and resources have not been fully devoted to developing the relationship with Asean. Russia’s leaders and top businessmen were, are and will remain Euro- and US-centric; the “Asia-Pacific” that matters to them is really China, Japan and South Korea.

Finally, managing the current tensions in Russia’s relations with the US and the European Union, the Ukraine and Syrian crises, as well as relations with China, will occupy most of Russia’s attention for the next few years.

Putin is expected to emerge the victor in the 2018 elections. His energy, attention and focus for the six years after that will be concentrated on consolidating his legacy, being the longest-serving Russian leader, apart from Stalin.

If he devotes any time to foreign affairs, it would be focused on the areas critical to Russia’s foreign policy, such as the US, Ukraine and Syria. Asean cannot hope to be on his foreign policy agenda.

The most important challenge is to realise the economic potential in the relationship.

The Overview of Asean-Russia Dialogue Relations, dated October 2017, provides a guide to the direction of the relationship. While socio-cultural and politico-security cooperation has been moving forward, it is the economic aspect that will drive the overall relationship into the future.

In his Sochi speech, Putin highlighted cooperation in projects in agriculture; oil and gas production; joint technology and innovation alliances; fuel and energy; mining; railway construction; and Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system. It remains to be seen whether the projects will bear fruit.

Given Russia’s role as top energy exporter worldwide, Putin argued that Russia could satisfy Asean’s growing electricity needs by supplying energy on a long-term basis, and also offered Asean Russia’s new-generation nuclear power plant projects. Indeed, the Overview also noted that “energy is viewed as a promising area for cooperation between Asean and Russia”, including civilian nuclear energy.

However, here one encounters some reservations.

Firstly, some Asean countries themselves are energy producers and exporters (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei).

Secondly, nuclear power, as a real alternative to fossil fuels and renewable energy, has yet to take firm root in Asean.

Indeed, Dr Sanjay Kuttan, programme director at the Energy Research Institute of Nanyang Technological University, rightly pointed out that given the high cost and safety concerns, “nuclear power will not feature soon in Asean’s energy mix for at least the next 20 years”.

Thirdly, with respect to cooperation in promoting renewable energy, there have been conflicting signals from Moscow. Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft, a leading Russian oil producer, said in an interview with Russian daily Izvestia in June that “the renewable sources of energy are yet unable to provide the necessary volume to substitute the traditional energy resources and sustainable energy supply.

Finally, an energy expert at the recent Singapore International Energy Week forecasted that within the next 10 years, gas and hydro-electric power would meet most electricity needs with solar contributing as well; in the longer term, coal and gas consumption would decline, resulting in massive growth in solar, hydro, onshore and off-shore wind sectors and two-thirds non-fossil fuels making up the energy mix.

If this forecast can be relied upon, then one must cast doubt on assumptions that Russo-Asean energy cooperation would be feasible in the long term.

The one bright spot in Russia’s economic links with Asean is weapons sales. According to a March 2017 Chatham House report, “Asia is by far the most important export market for Russian arms”.

However, weapons sales cannot become a strong foundation of Asean’s relationship with Russia, given its one-dimensional nature. Moreover, the US remains a major source for Asean.

To raise the level of economic interaction requires more high-level commitment of the political and business leadership of both sides. Asean must pose this question: what role does, or should, Russia play in Asean’s overall development in the political, economic and strategic spheres?

Russia too might pose the same question; a bird’s-eye view of its place in Asean’s development would help it formulate the strategic dimensions of its relationship with Asean and devote the necessary attention and resources to raise the economic aspect of its links. Russia cannot lose as Asean is a fast-growing region.

The experienced and committed Asean experts in Russian foreign policymaking and academia are likely to continue pushing for a more meaningful relationship based on substance, particularly in the economic/trade field. It remains, however, an open question whether they would be able to exercise enough influence on their top political and business leaders to make the necessary decisions.

[photo] Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at the Russia-Asean Summit in Sochi last year.

New Straits Times, November 16, 2017 - 10:09am
Russia-Asean relations: Where Are they headed?
The writer is senior fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He served three tours in the Singapore embassy in Moscow between 1994 and 2013.

Related story by Mr Yahho:
"Opinion by Vladimir Putin" dated: 2017年11月09日

posted by fom_club at 18:55| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする




new_P1050352 (2).jpg







1970年9月4日 亀戸虐殺事件建碑実行委員会






posted by fom_club at 15:17| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


















AERA dot.、2017.9.7 07:00


(1) 震災直後の動き



posted by fom_club at 14:50| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


 実はヤッホー君、昨日の11月15日水曜日、亀戸にでかけたついでに「有隣堂・アトレ亀戸店」(Tel 5628-1231)でいただいたものです。
 というのも、マレーシアの知人友人にお土産として、新渡戸稲造(1862年岩手県、現在の岩手県盛岡市に生まれ、1933年カナダの西岸、ビクトリアで没す)著『武士道』(1900年に”Bushido: the soul of Japan, an exposition of Japanese thought”としてPhiladelphia: The Leeds and Biddle Companyより出版)を買ってたんです。
 『英語と日本語で読む「武士道」 (知的生きかた文庫)』三笠文庫、2009年2月。

『日本の200年――徳川時代から現代まで』(みすず書房、2013年4月)の著者として世界的に有名なアンドルー・ゴードン Andrew Gordon 教授(1952年生まれ)。本書は、世界各国の大学で「日本の近現代史の教科書」として活用されている。ハーバード大学の日本史の授業では、「世界との関わりの中で日本史を見る」ことを徹底的に教える。ゴードン教授が授業で「新渡戸稲造」「岡倉天心」「ラビンドラナート・タゴール」を取り上げているのはなぜなのだろうか。(2017年4月18日、ハーバード大学にてインタビュー)

佐藤 日本史の授業「アジアの中の日本、世界の中の日本」では、長い歴史の中で日本が世界に与えてきた影響についても教えています。

ゴードン 19世紀ごろまでは、日本は世界にそれほど大きな影響を与えていなかったと思います。奈良時代から日本は中国や韓国と貿易していましたし、使節も送っていましたが、それらはもっぱら両国からさまざまな制度や文化を取り入れることを目的としていました。日本が両国に与えた影響は限定的だったと思います。

佐藤 19世紀から20世紀にかけて、日本の文化が世界を席巻したということですね。

ゴードン 日本文化は、西洋の知識人の好奇心を刺激しました。政治、経済よりも、日本は芸術、文化、思想で海外に影響を与えてきた国なのです。

佐藤 授業では、日本の近代化について学ぶ回で岡倉天心(1863〜1913)をとりあげています。岡倉天心といえば東京美術学校(現・東京芸術大学)の設立に寄与し、ボストン美術館の東洋部長として日本美術の振興に尽力したことで有名ですが、授業ではどのようなことを教えているのですか。

ゴードン 岡倉天心については、「東洋の理想」「茶の本」など英語の本を出版したこと、アメリカに長く住んでいたのでネイティブスピーカー並の英語力の持ち主だったことなど基本的な情報を伝えた上で、こんな面白いエピソードも授業で披露しています。
 岡倉には、「アメリカでは日本の着物を着て、日本では洋服を着る」というこだわりがあり、アメリカの街を歩くときも常に着物を着ていたそうです。1900年代初頭、岡倉と弟子たちが羽織・袴という装いでボストンの街を闊歩していると、地元のアメリカ人から「お前たちは何ニーズ?チャイニーズ?ジャパニーズ?ジャワニーズ?」(中国人?日本人?ジャワ人?)とからかわれました。すると岡倉は「私たちは日本の紳士です。あなたこそ何キーでしょうか? ヤンキー? ドンキー? モンキー?」(アメリカ人?ロバ?猿?)と流暢な英語で言い返した、という話です。

佐藤 岡倉天心とともに、インドの思想家、ラビンドラナート・タゴール(1861〜1941)についても教えているのはなぜでしょうか。

ゴードン 岡倉天心とタゴールは近しい間柄にあり、お互いに影響を与え合いました。彼らはともに「西洋の文明は高い理想を掲げているが、その本質は権力、金銭、物質をひたすら追い求めることだ」と批判しました。

佐藤 日清戦争、日露戦争を経て、インドだけではなく、アジア各国で日本から学ぼうという機運が高まり、多くの留学生が来日したそうですね。

ゴードン 1900年から1910年末まで、日本で教育を受けたいという若者たちが、中国、台湾、朝鮮、ベトナム、インド、フィリピン、ビルマなどから殺到しました。中国からは数千人規模の留学生がやってきました。

佐藤 日本はインドの独立にプラスとなる精神的な影響を与えたけれども、日本の行為は東南アジアの人々に不信感を抱かせる結果となったということですね。

ゴードン 確かに、第二次世界大戦は西洋の帝国主義を終焉させる契機となりました。戦後、アジア諸国は次々に独立し、植民地支配から解放されていきましたが、日本が戦時中、現地住民の民族運動を支援したことが、独立への原動力の一つになったことも事実です。しかしながら、日本の軍事行動が、アジア諸国に負の遺産を残したこともまた、紛れもない事実なのです。

Diamond Online、2017.10.2







矢野修三 第二次世界大戦が始まる前には、新渡戸は非国民扱いですよ。「世界は一つ」とか「軍部が日本をダメにする」とか言ってたので。だから「早すぎた国際人」とも言われるわけです。戦争が終わって、だんだんと新渡戸の功績が見直されていったと思うんですが、なんでもっとそのことを日本の教科書に出さないのかな、と思いますね。若い世代なんて知らない人が多いですよね。1984年から2004年まで発行されていた5千円札には新渡戸稲造が印刷されていたんですけど、今の若い人はそれもあまり知らないからね。新渡戸は1933年にバンフでの国際会議に出席するためにカナダに来ています。その後、体調を崩してビクトリアで静養していましたが、当地で亡くなったんです。

[写真]新渡戸稲造が寄付して建てられたお吉の墓。お吉が淵と名付けられている(写真提供 矢野修三さん)

新報インタビュー 矢野修三さん



posted by fom_club at 12:00| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする










 青天の霹靂とはこの事。自分が真打ち?? 大名跡を襲名?? 急な展開に頭がついていかなくて、「…はい」と寝ぼけた返事をして電話を切りました。






三代目・桂 枝太郎(かつら えだたろう、1977年生まれ、注4)



「みなさんがやってる噺ばっかりやってもつまらないし、誰もやってなければ、比べられることもありませんしね、いつだったか、(桂)米朝師匠(2015年3月19日没、享年89)にも言われたことがありましたよ。あんたは変わった噺ばっかりやってますねって」(桂歌丸『歌丸 極上人生』祥伝社、2015年黄金文庫化)





















サンスポ、2017.11.9 05:02


posted by fom_club at 10:26| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする


'Doi Moi' and Vietnam's transformation

THIS year, our neighbour, Vietnam, hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit.

There is a lot other countries, including Malaysia, that can learn from it.

Malaysians, I think, know relatively little about Vietnam. Indeed, most people’s perceptions are often still coloured by the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.

Vietnam, as history will tell us, struggled for centuries against Chinese, French and American domination. This experience has left it with a fierce determination to maintain its independence by excelling in all it does.

During the 1978-1991 period, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese “boat people” left the country. Many of them temporarily settled in Pulau Bidong in the East Coast of Malaysia.

By 1995, almost all of them were resettled in a number of developed countries, including the United States, France and Australia.

In 1986, under the leadership of Nguyen Van Linh (then general- secretary of the Communist Party of  Vietnam), the country − which was officially a socialist, planned economy − initiated a series of reforms known as Doi Moi. A believer in the market economy, Nguyen came to be known as the “Gorbachev of Vietnam”.

As part of its efforts to open up, Vietnam became an Asean member in 1995, a member of Apec in 1998 and the World Trade Organisation in 2007. 

Vietnam has been an active member of Asean and a member in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. In fact, it was a part of the TPP from the get-go while Malaysia only entered during the third round of negotiations. Vietnam has also concluded a free-trade agreement with the European Union. Its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business has also improved from 91 in last year’s report to 68 in the latest report.

The benefits of these reforms and opening up are obvious. Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asean. Its economic growth is projected at 6.7 per cent this year. It has also been attracting one of the largest amount of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Asean. These FDIs have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and additional export earnings.

Malaysian companies were among the first to recognise the opportunities in Vietnam and ventured into the country in early 1990s, after the implementation of Doi Moi.

Our companies such as Petronas, Gamuda Land, SP Setia, Berjaya Corporation and Tan Chong Group are big in various sectors from manufacturing to real estate and retail trade.

Additionally, five Malaysian banks namely Maybank, Hong Leong Bank, Public Bank, RHB Bank and CIMB are operating in Vietnam.

Today, Malaysia is the seventh largest FDI contributor in Vietnam, with a cumulative investment value of US$12.2 billion (RM51.2 billion) until September.

There are impressive and ambitious plans to privatise its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), through a process called “equitisation”. About 4,500 SOEs have been “equitised” since 1992. This openness has brought about economic and political dividends.

From a least-developed country, Vietnam has graduated to become a lower middle-income country with a per capita income of US$2,200.

One of the fruits of Vietnam’s remarkable transformation is Danang − the 1.3 million-strong central Vietnamese city that hosted Apec. It is widely regarded as the most liveable city in Vietnam. The My Khe beach in Danang is ranked as one of the six most attractive beaches in the world by Forbes.

Thirty kilometres away is Hoi An, a Unesco heritage site.

The Ariyana Danang Exhibition and Convention Centre (ADEC) was launched last month, just in time for Apec. It can seat 2,500 people.

During Apec, world leaders, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping spoke at the Apec CEO Summit, which was held at ADEC.

Tourism is doing well and infrastructure spending is being stepped up. The nearby Ha Noi and Danang airports have been upgraded to cater to the increased flow of tourists and business travellers. The Sheraton Hotel where we stayed was also partially completed last week.

The Vietnamese diaspora has contributed to both their new countries and homeland, whether in business, government and entrepreneurship.

When Najib met with about 45 American corporate leaders at the sideline of the Apec meeting, Anbinh Phan, an American citizen of Vietnamese descent and a senior member of the Walmart management team, proudly informed our prime minister that she was born in Malaysia − in a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees camp on Pulau Tengah in Johor.

Another famous member of the Vietnamese diaspora was Hieu Van Le, the governor of South Australia. He was one of the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese who have done well through education, hard work and entrepreneurial spirit in their adopted countries.

Vietnam now occupies an important place in the region and the world through the determination of its people, a sound education system and constructive international engagement, as well as its opening up to foreign trade and investment.

These changes have in turn brought massive benefits to the Vietnamese.

Malaysia, I repeat, can and should take notice of this example.

[photo] International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (right) receiving a painting from Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh on the sideline of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Danang, Vietnam, recently.

New Straits Times, Published: November 15, 2017 - 8:12am
'Doi Moi' and Vietnam's transformation
Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed is the International Trade and Industry Minister

posted by fom_club at 10:30| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Stop overdevelopment of Penang

The massive flash floods, which brought various parts of Penang to a standstill today has prompted two leading non-governmental organisations to demand that the Penang government stop further hill and tree cutting and over-development.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP), alarmed by the severity of the flash floods, said clearly, despite previous incidences of flooding and landslides following intense rains, the state government has clearly not learned any lessons.

Stressing that heavy tropical storms are to be expected, SAM and CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said what was most disconcerting was that the state government, instead of taking preventive measures such as in protecting hillsides and planting more trees to prevent soil erosion and surface water run-off, was approving more hill cutting and removal of trees along the roads for all kinds of development projects.

"All the flood mitigation measures will prove ineffective and inadequate if we do not address the root causes of flash floods and landslides, which stem from increased water run-off from removal of trees and hill-cutting.

"The Penang government needs to halt this wrong kind of developments and must genuinely be more environment-friendly by taking measures to protect all hills, plant more trees and truly ensure sustainable development," he told newsmen here today following massive flash floods that hit both the island and the mainland, triggered by intense overnight downpours.

Idris said apart from many areas in Penang being under water, SAM and CAP also received news of landslides and mudslides in several areas such as in Tanjung Bunga and Paya Terubong.

Meanwhile, Idris said more extreme and intense rainfalls could be expected due to the impacts of climate change, not only in Malaysia but the world over, as exemplified by the recent massive floods in Asia and even in the United States.

"Many countries are taking adaptation measures seriously in light of climate change impacts, but Penang and Malaysia are very far away from having proper adaptation plans to cope with more extreme rainfalls which will happen more frequently.

"It is high time we learn from our mistakes, take corrective measures urgently and have proper adaptation plans in place," he stressed.

[photo] SAM and CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said what was most disconcerting was that the state government was approving more hill cutting and removal of trees along the roads for all kinds of development projects.

New Straits Times, Published: September 15, 2017 - 5:04pm
NGOs demand state government halt overdevelopment of Penang

Environmental group, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), has renewed calls to the Penang goverment to cancel the decision to implement reclamation projects in the state.

This follows numerous incidents which it claimed had threatened the lives of fishermen at existing reclamation sites, such as Pantai Jerejak.

SAM research officer S. Mageswari said the group was worried over continous threats the projects posed to the livelihood of more than 4,000 coastal fishermen in the state.

She said despite objections by affected coastal fishermen and non-governmental organisations including SAM and Consumers' Association of Penang, the Penang government has yet to assure that the projects would not threaten the environment and fishermen's livelihood.

"The July 23 incident proves that the responsible parties failed to pay due attention to defending the fate and livelihood of fishermen, now and in the future.

"Taking into consideration the adverse impacts of reclamation to the coastal and marine ecosystem, and subsequently the fisheries sector, SAM urges the state government to immediately cancel the decision to implement reclamation projects in the state, especially the proposed Penang South Reclamation project involving more than 4,000 acres," she said.

Mageswari said SAM has received numerous complaints from affected fishermen on the decline of their catches and income arising from reclamation projects that have been implemented in several areas in the state.

"Marine water pollution and ever decreasing fishing zones due to reclamation at the coastal areas have caused dwindling fisheries resources and thus catches, at times deteriorating to 70 per cent of their daily income.

"Among areas affected by reclamation projects on the island are Tanjung Tokong, Sungai Gelugor, Jelutong, Batu Uban, Persiaran Gurney and Queensbay," she added.

On the massive Penang South Reclamation at the southern coastline of the island, which involves the creation of three man-made islands, Mageswari said the environmental impact assessment of the project stated that in 2015, a total of 2,757 licensed fishermen operated within the impact zone of the project.

The wholesale value of fish landed at the area was estimated at RM42.09 million, which amounted to 12.4 per cent of the total wholesale value of fish landings from the island, she added.

She said SAM has been consistent against land reclamation projects that damaged the environment.

On July 23, fishermen Mohd Maidin Abd Hamid, 63, crashed his boat into a buoy at a recmalation site in Pantai Jerejak while returning from sea about 1.30am.

He said his boat nearly overturned due to the impact, causing part of the fiber to dent. He also had to cut 10 pieces of his fishing nets which got stuck in the sand bank.

"There was no beacon lights whatsoever to serve as a safety precaution, which is clearly against the maritime law.

"I lodged complaints with the Marine Department and representatives the Penang government but none of them were of any help," he said when met near the reclamation site in Pantai Jerejak here today.

He estimated his losses to be at RM2,500, not including loss of income. Maidin said he has not been going to sea for more than two months now.

"I used to be able to fish for priced white pomfret (bawal) and four-fingered threadfin (senangin). They are all gone now after the reclamation." he added.

[photo] Environmental group, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), has renewed calls to the Penang goverment to cancel the decision to implement reclamation projects in the state.

New Straits Times, Published: October 5, 2017 - 5:32pm
Cancel reclamation projects, save our coastal fishermen's livelihood, SAM tells Penang govt

“If you are not going to represent us, just get out.”

“Remember, the general election is coming."

This was the terse message from residents and environmental groups to the Penang government which, according to them, had failed to heed to their warnings on hillslope development.

Former Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui said the lackadaisical attitude of the assemblymen were apparent when only three of them responded to an invitation to a dialogue on environment was sent out by civil liberties group, Penang Forum recently.

"You have to remind them to come but if they are not representing us...becoming an obstacle to us, then just get out!

"The source of the problem, resulting in flash floods and landslides are connected. So, they must attend," he said.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) vice-chairman Mohideen Abdul Kader said CAP had been vocal against hillside projects since the 1980s, particularly on the proposed development on the Penang Hill.

After a series of education process, it was finally called off in the early 1990s.

"In this case, the state government should listen to what the NGOs are saying and not be arrogant. They should have listened to us.

"Hill is all we have left. Public pressure can make a difference like how we turned the votes in the 1990s," said Mohideen.

Tanjung Bungah Residents Association chairman Meenakshi Raman echoed similar sentiment when commenting on the issue.

"What we need is a 'wakil rakyat' who listens to us the 'rakyat' (people), not 'wakil pemaju' who listens to them (developers).

“Apart from Teh Yee Cheu (DAP’s Tanjung Bunga assemblyman), others have been quiet. Only he brought up the matter.

"If they still fail to do anything, then it is up to the people to decide," she added.

Meanwhile, the Penang Forum’s Penang Hill Watch (PHW) group said it had previously warned state authorities of a possible catastrophe at the Lengkok Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah landslide site.

Lim said he highlighted the case to state executive council member Chow Kon Yeow during a meeting in January this year.

"We highlighted the case after about a year of observation, but the only reply we got (from the state government) was that ‘earthworks are being monitored.’

"If they are really monitoring it, then why did the landslide happen?" Lim asked.

He also said that PHW submitted another report in May, which the state authorities have yet to reply.

The landslide incident yesterday has claimed the lives of seven people, while authorities are still searching for four others, believed to be buried under the massive landslide.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had proposed a state-level Commission of Inquiry to investigate the incident.

It is expected to be tabled during the next state executive council meeting.

[photo] The Tanjung Bungah landslide incident yesterday has claimed the lives of seven people, while authorities are still searching for four others, believed to be buried under the massive landslide.

New Straits Times, Published: October 22, 2017 - 4:53pm
Tanjung Bungah landslide: 'We need 'wakil rakyat', not 'wakil pemaju' - Penang NGOs

posted by fom_club at 09:37| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする