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Monday, May 14, 2018

Links - 14th May 2018 (1)

Mahathir Mohamad is back. Malaysians’ smiles may be brief | Jeevan Vasagar - "What is the likelihood of these high hopes being fulfilled? The most honest answer is that the probability is slim. We know that Mahathir is no friend of liberal democracy. Under his previous tenure, his government launched vigorous attacks on the judiciary, arrested and detained peaceful opponents under internal security laws, and tightly controlled the press. He is a defender of Malaysia’s retrograde affirmative action programme, which privileges Malays over the country’s other races... An important factor in Mahathir’s election victory was the populist pledges to scrap Malaysia’s new goods and services tax (GST) – an unpopular tax on consumption – and to bring back fuel subsidies. Both these pledges were popular with voters for obvious reasons: the GST was blamed for a rise in the cost of living, and the loss of fuel subsidies also hit them directly in the pocket. But they were important reforms aimed at strengthening Malaysia’s public finances, cutting its fiscal deficit and broadening the tax base. Mahathir has won power by promising to undo these reforms. What are the chances that the coalition he has led to power will have the stomach for the bigger changes Malaysia needs?"

Time running out for Malaysian hitman in Australia - "How is it that an individual, who was standing trial for murder in one of the region’s most high-profile cases was allowed to come to Australia on a tourist visa and why were Malaysian officials allowed to visit and seemingly manipulate him in detention? Those questions have never been answered satisfactorily by the Australian government"

The Big Read: Voters not swayed by racial politics in Malaysian GE, but how long will that last? - "“Dr Mahathir reassured the Malays about their dominance, rather than calling for more equitable statuses and power-sharing,” said Professor William Case, of the University of Nottingham Malaysia, adding that this was crucial to PH’s success... Research analyst Rashaad Ali, from the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, added: “I think we can say with certainty that without Dr Mahathir, the opposition would not have been able to win the election.”... Malaysian Malay voters interviewed by TODAY agree that Malay rights remain an important issue for them in politics... PH's core position is that it will preserve bumiputeras’ special status and uphold Islam as the official religion."

A brave new world for Malaysia - "“Everyone is talking about how Malaysians brought down the ruling coalition. Respect for Malaysians is now sky high. Malaysians travelling and living abroad used to hide their nationality because of the 1MDB and other scandals. We no longer have to act like victims.” It is noteworthy that Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the banker brother of Najib, had written an encouraging note in his Instagram"

Mahathir says his party will defy order by the authorities to cease activities using name, logo - "the RoS' move could backfire on the Najib administration. "It might just counterproductively amplify the Malay Tsunami (against Umno). Malay politics places high value on machismo, valuing courage and detesting cowardice. Najib will be seen as the coward who hits below the belt on a mahaguru.""

Malaysia's shock poll result gives hope to besieged Southeast Asian oppositions - "Lee Morgenbesser, an Australian academic who studies Southeast Asian regimes, cautioned that the Malaysian election could lead to more repression rather than a regional democratic awakening. "If you have this stunning election result, it sends a warning to authoritarian regimes in the region," he said. "That might actually reinforce the trend that's been happening for years. You just could see more suppression and manipulation at election time." He cited the example of the Arab Spring in the Middle East that began in 2010. Early democratic gains were reversed as rulers responded aggressively, often with brutal violence and arbitrary arrests of dissidents."

Malaysia's opposition win shakes up Southeast Asia - ""Politics in Southeast Asia is the politics of economic growth," said Takashi Shiraishi, chancellor of Japan's Prefectural University of Kumamoto and an expert on East Asian affairs. "The political arena remains stable only as long as the government fulfills expectations that living standards will rise. But as soon as it fails, stability goes out the door." In other words, people in the region will tolerate soft dictatorships only as long as they feel well-off."

Malaysia's First 'Fake News' Conviction Is All About Shielding Government from Criticism - "It is utterly unsurprising that the first fake news conviction is of somebody saying something critical of the government's behavior. When government authorities have control over what sort of criticism is allowed and what information is considered "real" or "fake," they will be tempted to use it to protect their power. Something to keep in mind whenever any official—elected or otherwise—starts popping off about how somebody needs to do "something" about fake news. It's all about shielding themselves from opposition."

Malaysian voter lodges police report, saying ballot papers were pre-marked for ruling BN - "A voter in the Batu constituency lodged a police report on Wednesday (May 9) after finding his and several other fresh ballot papers allegedly pre-marked for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition when he turned up to vote in Malaysia's 14th General Election. In a police report seen by the Malay Mail, the voter identified as Mr Omar Anuar Roslay claimed that as he was about to cast his vote, he noticed that the ballot paper given to him was already pre-marked for BN candidate Dominic Lau. Mr Omar, in his report, said that when he requested for a change of ballot paper he claimed to have noticed that the entire ballot paper book contained similar marks. "To be more specific, the mark was right at the alphabet 'H'. "Therefore there was no new ballot papers that could be issued, so I was told to continue casting my vote""

Penang voter told he has already voted when he turned up at polling centre - "I showed them my fingers, there’s no ink, but they still insisted that I’ve already voted so I can’t vote"

Riot police called in at Ayer Hitam results centre - "Riot police were mobilised outside a results centre in Ayer Hitam, Johor on Wednesday evening (May 9) after crowds were seen stopping unmarked cars from entering... Comments among the crowd suggested that there were concerns that results in the opposition's favour were not being signed off by officials."wonk on htiw dlihc knalb a nevi
When it Comes to Color, Men & Women Aren't Seeing Eye to Eye - "Previous research has shown that women have a larger color vocabulary (link is external)—think periwinkle, azure, and other color names that are unlikely to be used by men in general conversation... women were more adept at distinguishing between subtle gradations than were men. This sensitivity was most evident in the middle of the color spectrum. With hues that were mainly yellow or green, women were able to distinguish tiny differences between colors that looked identical to men. In fact, Abramov found that slightly longer wavelengths of light were required for men to see the same hues as women—hues identified as orange by women were seen as more yellow by men. However, when shown light and dark bars flickering on a screen, men were better than women at seeing the bars (link is external). Men were better able to perceive changes in brightness across space, a skill useful for reading a letter on an eye chart or recognizing a face. This effect was increased as the bars narrowed, suggesting that men are more sensitive to fine details and rapid movement than women. These results suggest that the wiring differences in visual areas of the brain contribute to how men and women see differently, regardless of whether a person has an extensive vocabulary of color names. Sensory differences between sexes have been well studied. In the realms of hearing (link is external), smell (link is external), and taste (link is external), women perform better than men at distinguishing between slight differences. Hormone levels may be the basis for these sex differences."

Trump Restores Realism with His National Security Strategy - "The Jerusalem announcement was a preview of President Trump's larger vision of operating within reality, a central theme in the subsequently released National Security Strategy. On Jerusalem, it acknowledges that "Israel is not the cause of the region's problems," and accurately blames regional instability on Iran and jihadist organizations. This administration is the first in American history to so explicitly break from the false causation drawn between Israel's existence and the problems of the region. The rejection of this lie is long, long overdue... A second example of the National Security Strategy's recognition of reality is the usage of the terms "Islamist," "Jihadist," and "Shariah" a combined thirty-seven times, which stands in stark contrast to former President Barack Obama's National Security Strategy in 2010 and 2015 and President George W. Bush's in 2002 and 2006, none of which used those terms at all."

The U.S. Just Had a Very Good Week at the UN - "While most of the world was focused on the symbolic gang up at the UN General Assembly, the Trump administration had some quiet diplomatic success."

Muslims cannot join candlelight vigils for Kim Jong-hyun; it is haram: Perak Mufti - "Muslims are forbidden from joining candlelight vigils in memory of the late Korean pop star Kim Jong-hyun who committed suicide this week, Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria said. He said such activity is against Islamic teachings and is akin to "glorifying" Kim's death. "No, you can't do that because it is haram. If the artist or individual was a Muslim, then we should recite Al-Fatihah for him. But if the person was a non-Muslim, why are we praying for him to go to heaven? "On top of that, he committed suicide. Why are we following the culture of infidels? What will you get out of it?""

Theresa May calls for a woman to play James Bond in future
Will Jane Bond sleep with as many men as James Bond does women?

What is a Pubic Hair Transplant? - "A pubic hair transplant is actually one of the earliest types of hair transplant procedures to ever be attempted. A Japanese dermatologist named Dr. Okuda conducted some of the world’s first successful pubic hair transplant procedures just before World War II. Among his many experiments with surgical hair restoration, he performed what is considered to be the first pubic hair transplant by transferring scalp hair into the pubic regions of women... Pubic hairs have vastly different characteristics than scalp hairs, and although hair grafts do sometimes adapt certain characteristics of the native scalp, pubic hairs still largely remain relatively shortened and wiry after transplantation. Also, in many cases, the color of the pubic and scalp hair is vastly different to begin with... While the current trend in the West is to shave the pubic hair away (especially for women), other parts of the world view pubic hair far differently. In Asian countries such as Korea, for example, pubic hair carries connotations of sexual maturity and fertility. Women do not shave their pubic hair because it is considered attractive and desirable. In fact, it is common for a woman to worry about not having enough pubic hair. This is why many Korean women have public hair transplants in order to increase the volume and density of hair in their pubic regions."

Pubic Hair Transplant Trend Korea - "According to the Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors, an insufficiency of pubes (in otherwise healthy people) is a disorder called “pubic atrichosis.” A Korean clinic called Renaissance estimates that 10% of Korean women have it. Some even suffer from psychological stress as a result"


SGAG - Posts - "altar to the almighty bell curve god in NTU!"

"Bell Curve God" Surfaces In Local University

Netflix attacks own network with “Chaos Monkey”—and now you can too - "By forcing Netflix engineers to recover from small failures that customers won't notice, the company hopes to prevent major outages in its video streaming service. Netflix calls the software it built to automate the process of causing failure a "Chaos Monkey""

5 Weird Foods the French Consider Delicacies - "There’s an anecdote that places Napoleon’s chief advisor, Talleyrand, in a Burgundy restaurant with Czar Alexander I in 1814. They arrived late, the food was gone, and the chef spotted some snails in his garden. In a panic he added garlic to mask the taste, parsley to pretty them up and butter to make them easier to swallow. Apparently the Czar liked the dish so much, he demanded the recipe. Whenever he saw snails after that, he referred to them as “snails from Burgundy,” or escargots de Bourgogne... The French enamoration with calves also extends to another body part, the thymus gland. Again, this is an innard I have managed to avoid, although Ris de Veau is far more popular – and appetizing – than the brainy end of the animal. In English they’re known as sweetbreads, although there’s nothing sweet or bread-like about them."

Former Harvard President blasts ‘absurd political correctness’ on campuses - "Summers refers to the President of Princeton University, Christopher Eisgruber, criticizing him for “negotiating with people as they took over his office.” At issue in the 32-hour standoff was the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which the protesters demanded be changed in recognition of Wilson’s vehement and well-known racism... Summers also mentions “attacks on very reasonable free speech having to do with adults' right to choose their own Halloween costumes at Yale,” referring to the controversy that erupted at the university in November over an innocuous email, outrage over which eventually drove two professors to cancel their course offerings... “The idea that somehow microaggressions in the form of a racist statement contained in a novel should be treated in parallel with violence or actual sexual assault seems to me to be crazy,” he declared. “I worry very much that if our leading academic institutions become places that prize comfort over truth—that prize the pursuit of mutual understanding over the pursuit of better and more accurate understanding—then a great deal will be lost.”"

Summers Decries 'Creeping Totalitarianism' at Colleges - "he condemned controversial placemats that the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion introduced in Harvard dining halls last semester. Quickly denounced by a host of students and administrators as a breach from principles of academic freedom, the placemats purported to offer advice on holiday conversation with family members about race and inclusion... “I admire much more student protests about major moral issues like the Vietnam War, South African apartheid or global climate change, than protests coming from discomfort about the use of historical names”

Former Harvard President Larry Summers Calls BDS Efforts 'Deplorable' - "“The idea that Israel should be singled out as a human rights abuser was morally insensate,” he said. “It seemed to me that there wasn’t much question that if an African country was singled out for censure and there was no clear grounds for why that African country was worse or different than a number of European or Asian countries, I had no doubt that it would be seen in many quarters as racist.”"

About « Singaporelang - "the brevity of Singlish is what makes it tick. Some say it is disorderly or illogical, but Singlish evolved to convey specific feelings that can’t quite be described in standard English language. No one really ‘owns’ Singlish, and that is perhaps why free-style experimentation has led to creative spins on the language that we speak. To me, language is about the people on the streets who use it. As language historian Anne Curzan puts it, “there is no objective dictionary out there that is the final arbiter of what words mean… if a community of speakers is using a word and knows what it means, it’s real.”"

“马干马莫聚豪餐,马里马寅任乐陶。幸勿酒狂喧马己,何妨三马吃同槽。” – 邱菽园 (1874-1941) - "(马干,makan吃;马莫,mabok醉酒;马里,mari来;马寅,main游戏;马己,maki辱骂;三马,sama一起)By Khoo Seok Wan, the Poet who named Singapore “Sin Chew” (星洲) – this may be why I’ve seen people in Malaysia and Hong Kong still refer to Singapore as 星加坡,not 新加坡"
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