"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Links - 30th May 2019 (2)

The untold story of how Malays in the 1800s used Orang Asli as slaves - "In the 1870s, there was a war known as the Perang Sangkil that was fought between the Malay and Orang Asli. “Sangkil” was an Orang Asli term given to those who came from the Indonesian Islands, especially the Rawa and Mandailing, and it is said that it was the Sangkil that attacked and enslaved the Orang Asli.During the conflict, the Orang Asli had to evade enslavement by constantly migrating from one place to another. Those who dared to fight back were mercilessly killed. According to a book based on the Perang Sangkil events, Orang Aslis were frequently sold as slaves or concubines to Malay Pembesars.Surprisingly, the culture of the Malay enslavement of Orang Asli was also observed and recorded by the British officials who were stationed here. Among them was the Perak Resident J.W.W Birch, whose famous assassination was still being taught in our sejarah books... We all learned that J.W.W Birch was killed because he was meddling in the affairs of the Malay Pembesars. Plus, he showed no respect to the Malay customs and traditions, as he even forcefully tried to change them. But at the same time, the slave trade was one of the traditions he was looking to put an end to, a fact that we will not find in our textbooks... CNN released a video detailing the alleged human trafficking syndicate in Libya. In the video, 2 African men were sold for USD400 (about RM1,634) each in a human auction... Slavery has never discriminate against skin colour or ethnicity. Although Europeans are more commonly thought of as the ones doing the enslaving, the truth is they have also been on the receiving end, and had been enslaved by others as well. So instead of shifting the blame, the safekeeping of human rights begins at the individual level"

The Feminist Life Script Has Made Many Women Miserable. Opt Out - "The famous (or infamous) psychologist and advice guru Jordan Peterson hears this all the time from highly intelligent, driven female clients. In their 20s, they think they want the career. But in their 30s, they start to realize that they also really want a family, and that it’s in fact more important to them than abstract notches on some career totem pole. At that point, however, given the vagaries of finding someone and getting across the marriage and then pregnancy finish line, it’s far more difficult for them to make the life they wanted... Peterson argues our society has “lied to women”"

A Message to Young Women from a Career Woman - The Dennis Prager Show - "I was raised by a feminist mother with no father in the home. My mother told me get an education to the maximum level so that you can get out in the world, make a lot of money. And that’s the path I followed. I make adequate money. I don’t make a ton of money. But I do make enough to support my own household.“I want to tell women in their 20s: Do not follow the path that I followed. You are leading yourself to a life of loneliness. All of your friends will be getting married and having children, and you’re working to compete in the world, and what you’re doing is competing with men. Men don’t like competitors. Men want a partner. It took me until my late 40s to realize this.“And by the time you have your own household with all your own bills, you can’t get off that track, because now you’ve got to make the money to pay your bills. It’s hard to find a partner in your late 40s to date because you also start losing self-confidence about your looks, your body. It’s not the same as it was in your 20s. You try to do what you can to make your life fulfilling. I have cats and dogs. But it’s lonely when you see your friends having children, going on vacations, planning the lives of their children, and you don’t do anything at night but come home to your cats and dogs. I don’t want other women to do what I have done.”... you do act like ‘My career is everything. I love working.’ But it’s a lie on the inside for me. It’s unfortunate. I didn’t realize this until it’s too late. I don’t know if it’s too late. I would like to find somebody to go on vacation with."... “I’m stuck now because I go to work every day. I smile like I love it, but it’s very painful to not plan a vacation with someone. It’s painful to not have a Thanksgiving dinner with someone. You sit home alone and you do nothing. I avoid my friends now that have children because I have nothing in common with them.“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘Why did you stay single and never have kids?’ There’s answers: Because I was brainwashed by my mother into this. But it’s hard and it’s shameful to tell people, ‘I don’t know. I ran out of time.’“There’s not a good answer for it except ‘I was programmed to get into the workforce, compete with men and make money.’ Supposedly, that would be a fulfilling life. But I was told that by a feminist mother who was divorced, who hated her husband — my father.“She tried to steer me on what she thought was the right path, but feminism is a lie. That’s what I want women to know. “I didn’t realize this until late in life. I want to tell women: Find someone in your 20s. That’s when you’re still very cute. That’s when you’re still amiable to working out problems with someone. It’s harder in your 50s, when you’ve lived alone, to compromise with someone, to have someone in your home and every little thing about them annoys you because you’re so used to being alone. It’s hard to undo that, so don’t do what I did. Find someone in your 20s.”"

Can salaries and re-election prevent political corruption? An empirical evidence - "First, relatively higher wages do not reduce politicians’ incentives to be corrupt. Second, when politicians want to be re-elected, corruption decreases"

Do higher salaries lower petty corruption? A policy experiment on West Africa’s highways - GOV.UK - "In one of the most ambitious public sector reform experiments in Africa, the Ghana government doubled its police officer salaries in 2010 in part to mitigate petty corruption on its roads, while leaving salaries for other officials unchanged. Neighboring countries in the West African region left their police salaries unchanged. Using unique data on bribes paid from over 2,100 truck trips in West Africa and representing over 45,000 bribe opportunities, we evaluate impacts of higher police salaries on petty corruption using a difference-in-difference method that exploits the exogenous policy experiment. By following bribes paid by the same trucks in different countries as well as to different civil servants in Ghana we identify whether salaries affect the effort to seek bribes, their value and the total amount paid by truckers. Rather than decrease petty corruption, the salary policy significantly increased the police efforts to collect bribes, the value of bribes and the amounts given by truck drivers to policemen in total. Robustness checks show the higher bribe efforts and amounts are stable across alternative specifications."
Higher salaries, more corruption

Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance - "higher wages increases political competition and improves the quality of legislators, as measured by education, type of previous profession, and political experience in office. In addition to this positive selection, we find that wages also affect politicians' performance, which is consistent with a behavioral response to a higher value of holding office."

Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service - "We find that higher wages attract more able applicants as measured by their IQ, personality, and proclivity towards public sector work - i.e., we find no evidence of adverse selection effects on motivation; higher wage offers also increased acceptance rates, implying a labor supply elasticity of around 2 and some degree of monopsony power"

Xi Jinping Thinks China Is World's Only Sovereign State - "Carter, and almost all others who comment on Chinese foreign policy, see Beijing competing for influence in the current international order. That existing order, accepted virtually everywhere, is based on the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which recognizes the sovereignty of individual states that are supposed to refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs. Those states now compete and cooperate in a framework, largely developed after World War II, of treaties, conventions, covenants, and norms.Many Chinese policymakers believe they are entitled to dominate others, especially peoples on their periphery. That concept underpinned the imperial tributary system in which states near and far were supposed to acknowledge Chinese rule. Although there is no "cultural DNA" that forces today's communist leaders to view the world as emperors did long ago, the tributary system nonetheless presents, as Stephen Platt of the University of Massachusetts points out, "a tempting model" of "a nostalgic 'half-idealized, half-mythologized past.' "... Xi Jinping has employed tianxia language for more than a decade, but recently his references have become unmistakable. "The Chinese have always held that the world is united and all under heaven are one family," he declared in his 2017 New Year's Message. He recycled tianxia themes in his 2018 New Year's message and hinted at them in his most recent one as well... China's ships had over a long period tailed the USNS Bowditch, an unarmed U.S. Navy reconnaissance vessel. The American crew, who at the time were trying to retrieve the drone, repeatedly radioed the Chinese sailors, who ignored their calls and, within 500 yards of the U.S. craft, went into the water in a small boat to seize it. The Chinese by radio told the Bowditch they were keeping the drone.The site of the seizure, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay, was so close to the shoreline of the Philippines that it was beyond China's expansive "nine-dash line" claim. There was absolutely no justification for the Chinese navy to grab the drone. The intentional taking of what the Defense Department termed a "sovereign immune vessel" of the United States showed that Beijing thought it was not bound by any rules of conduct.Beijing now thinks it can, with impunity, injure Americans. In the first week of May, the Pentagon said that China, from its base in Djibouti, lasered a C-130 military cargo plane, causing eye injuries to two American pilots."

How to Cheat at Xi Jinping Thought – Foreign Policy - "A study app named 学习强国 (Xuexi Qiangguo) was released by the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Jan. 1. Since the third character, 强, can be used as either a verb or an adjective, the name can be read either as “Study the Great Country” or “Study Makes the Country Great.” So far, it has racked up more than 17 million downloads in the Huawei App Store and is the number one app in the Apple App Store. This isn’t a spontaneous demonstration of enthusiasm. According to official announcements and documents, employees of the government and state-owned enterprises, particularly party members, have been “encouraged” to download and use the app. Study and quizzes of dogma have always been part of life for China’s party members—but the app puts their dedication on display for everybody to see via publicly available leaderboards... many reportedly asked their kids to help them download and answer questions so they could rank up on the leaderboard. And like leveling guides for video games, there are plenty of popular articles online guiding busy officials on how to earn points most efficiently... Ironically, while the party has criticized the likes of Tencent for making addictive games, it seems perfectly happy putting the dark arts of these so-called freemium products to use for propaganda purposes... The app was developed in collaboration with the Chinese tech giant Alibaba. Besides strict propaganda functionality, this app is decked out with an array of Alibaba-enabled goodies, such as copious cloud storage space and the inclusion of DingTalk, Alibaba’s chat service. For Alibaba, this isn’t just a convenient way to demonstrate its allegiance to the party as it has done several times in the past—co-founder Jack Ma once said in an interview that Alibaba is a state company and he’d turn Alipay over to the state if needed"

South Korea′s struggle with cultural diversity - ""When I asked in Korean, not in English, whether I could get in if I spoke the language, I was told I still wasn't allowed." These are the words of 24-year-old Megan Stuckey talking to The Korea Herald about her recent experience of being denied entry into a bar in Hongdae, a popular multicultural area in the country's capital Seoul.Stuckey told the English language newspaper that she wasn't allowed in because she was a foreigner. In fact, a sign at the entrance read: "Only Koreans are allowed in because our employees cannot communicate in English."Cases like these are, however, not uncommon in South Korea.In 2014, African expatriates in South Korea were denied entry into a pub in Itaewon, an area in Seoul popular amongst young people. A sign outside the establishment at the time read: "We apologize but due to the Ebola virus, we are not accepting Africans at the moment.""

View to a cull: is grey squirrel the ultimate sustainable meat? - "conservationists across the country agree that curbing the grey squirrel population – or eradicating it, as Prince Charles, a trustee for the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, has advocated – is crucial to the survival of the reds... When it comes to grey squirrel, Robert Gooch, the owner of The Wild Meat Company, says he can’t think of a more sustainable product: beyond the culling aspect, grey squirrel requires none of the human intervention and energy consumption that the production of farmed meat does. He has been selling squirrel for 15 years – on the website and in farm shops and local co-ops – and demand has steadily risen."

‘Kill them, kill them, kill them’: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britain’s grey squirrels - "Some consider the grey squirrel one of these “alien” invaders imperilling the red. But is its slaughter a futile expression of nativist xenophobia? And is it ever ethical to target one species for destruction, in order to conserve another?... Red squirrels may be defenceless against squirrelpox, but their cuteness has given them a staunch ally: humans... academics are increasingly careful with their language. Instead of bandying about terms such as “alien invaders”, biologists now prefer phrases such as the “McDonaldisation of ecosystems” to describe the damage caused by some non-native species. In effect, writes Peter Coates, a professor of environmental history at Bristol University, they are championing a kind of “tasty” local diversity, rather like those campaigning for regionally specific cheeses or varieties of apple against the bland produce of globalised agribusiness. Shuttleworth used a similar analogy. If we don’t control invasive non-native species, he said, “we will end up with a homogenised world where it’s all seagulls, magpies, crows, bracken, rhododendron and grey squirrels. A bit like high streets – they are all the same.”... For animal lovers horrified by the potential expansion of culls of non-native species, Shuttleworth mounted a more philosophical justification. On Anglesey, he argued, a comprehensive cull ultimately saved more lives than it took; the 6,000 greys culled will be surpassed by the number of reds born in years to come."
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