Friday, May 30, 2014

Healthy wealth management

THE term “wealth management” came about in the 1990s to describe a complex series of services similar to financial planning. The phrase has also been adopted by accountants, estate planners, lawyers and some finance specialists. These experts cater mostly to high-net-worth clients.

Rather than just perceiving wealth as product of a toil-and-reap process, money can be considered a tool with which you can gain profit
Instead of just spending your money, invest it wisely to get returns.

Unlike professions such as accountancy, taxation or auditing, which involve specialised fields of study where professionals are provided official certifications by governing bodies who supervise the field, wealth managers are yet to require official certifications.

However, the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), the governing body that awards the CIMA certification (Certified Investment Management Analyst), began offering a certification for wealth management in 2007 known as the Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA).

The certification recognises individuals who specialise in the life cycle of wealth – accumulation, preservation and protection and distribution.

They identify and analyse challenges faced by high-networth clients and how to develop specific strategies to minimise taxes, monetise and protect assets, maximise growth and transfer wealth.

What is wealth management?

Wealth management is a system that involves the effort of both experts and clients to design and adopt ideas to manage and grow the clients’ wealth.

Wealth comes in many different forms – hard cash, properties, shares, luxury items, businesses, lands and others.

Managing it, however, involves collective consultative processes that build a specific portfolio for owners. It is a slow and painstaking process that requires the clients’ trust and the consultants’ patience.

Deciding to involve a wealth manager in planning your finances is an important step.

It requires you to entrust the management of your wealth to someone else.

However, leaving your wealth to stagnate or deplete would be less desirable but this is most likely the case for most people.

What wealth managers do is enhance wealth while providing a valued experience for clients. In addition to learning about the many financial areas, those undergoing the CPWA certification study family dynamics.

This includes the study of anthropology and building relationships based on shared experience.

This is particularly important if the wealth involves a few generations of a family.

The difference between wealth managers and financial advisors is that wealth managers are a niche group of people.

They have cultivated specific tools and skills over the years and have a relatively small number of clients.

They can also apply distinctive designs and have a better skill set compared to other more common models.

Wealth as a tool

A common mistake that people make is to see income as a figure to make purchases with.

Having wealth does not necessarily translate into profitability.

Rather than just perceiving wealth as a product of a toiland-reap process, money can be considered a tool with which you can gain profit.

In this circumstance, having professional help will evolve this tool into a working design that will snowball into a self-sustaining model. The process often involves a lifestyle change for clients as well.

Even those who do not fall within the high-net-worth bracket should consider getting consultancy aid since the nature of wealth management allows it to be adaptable as a tool to manage one’s situation even when in deficit.

Behavioural issues

Humans are generally protective of their finances, therefore a new concept such as wealth management may not be easily accepted as it is still largely unexplored and remains unknown to many people.

As a result, finances are normally made stagnant or spent, not giving much return to its owners if not put in a bank or invested with little or no returns.

K. Gunesegaran, financial planner and money coach from Wealth Street Sdn Bhd, was recently a guest on BFM (a Malaysian radio station) and spoke about how to keep emotions in check when dealing with money.

He suggested that adhering to a certain behavioural portfolio regardless of the market’s response and adopting a shared behavioural framework that clients and investors can agree on and adopt in any finance management context offer a good solution to the behavioural issue surrounding wealth management.

Towards a bright future

As Malaysia readies itself for the increase urbanisation of its cultures and communities, the growth of wealth will mean more opportunities for the wealth management field to develop.

By substantiating certification and licensing as well as educating the changing demographics about wealth management, the field will gain more recognition within the finance industry.

Creating a niche market of professionals is also a better option than generalising the industry’s talent.<

For example, a wealth manager who specialises in real estate or the ICT industry would prove to be better than a general wealth manager in certain contexts.

Scouting for a niche specialist wealth manager, especially if the wealth involved is derived from or being invested into a certain industry, would then be a better approach to handling wealth.

However, as a client, the first step is to better understand how you would like to use and invest your money before seeking professional help.

The role of a wealth management consultant

Deciding to involve a wealth manager in planning your finances is an important step. It requires you to entrust the management of your wealth to someone else. However, leaving your wealth to stagnate or deplete would be less desirable but this is most likely the case for most people.

Most banks offer wealth management services catered to highnet-worth individuals. There are also private, stand-alone wealth management firms that not only act as advisors but as executors of clients’ instructions pertaining to their finances.

The biggest challenge for a wealth manager is to understand the financial needs of the clients.

It is important for clients to understand the role of wealth advisors to ensure their credibility and market value.

Experts need to convince middle-income and low-income earners of their skills, as these earners have the potential to become higherincome earners.

This creates business opportunities and expands networks, which is the perception of wealth management that the industry is aiming for.

This is important because their relationship with clients is not usually a short-term one and the advice and information given need to be accepted by clients with trust and understanding.

There is no one way to manage wealth because people’s lifestyles differ and different people require different aspects of their wealth to be managed, including tax management, risk assessments, retirement planning, portfolio management, estate planning, generational legacy, trust fund managements and specialised services for executives and small business owners.

Sources: Money & You, StarSpecial


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Virgin killer was adored




'Unloved' killer was adored

For someone who felt unloved and wanted revenge for that, Elliot Rodger was a much-loved child.

His Malaysian-born mother Ong Li Chin thought the world of her children, her good friend from Penang, Helen Yap said.

Yap, a well-known music producer and composer, knew Ong from their days together in Pulau Tikus on the island.

“Li Chin would always sign off her name as well as her children’s names in Christmas cards,” she said.

Foreign wire reports stated that Ong hurried to try to stop her son from carrying out his death wish. She searched frantically for her son after he posted a 140-page document “My Twisted World – The Story of Elliot Rodger” on Friday.

In it, he had lamented about how women did not like him and wanted to take revenge on them. The 22-year-old also expressed frustration at still being a virgin.

Elliot Rodger in a picture taken from his Facebook page.

He later went out and stabbed three people to death before gunning down three others.

“We were all devastated upon learning about the tragedy. It came as a shock,” Yap added.

Yap also said Rodger would have been a hit with the girls had he grown up in Malaysia.

Although Ong and other schoolmates grew apart over the years, Yap said they had always felt a special attachment towards each other.

She added that they only found out through the media that Elliot had been seeing a therapist from the age of eight.

Another of Ong’s schoolmates, who did not want to be named, said that like most children, Rodger wanted to do things his way.

Ong Li Chin with Elliot’s sister Georgia.

She recalled that the boy had refused to take his shoes off when he was entering a house in Penang.

Rodger, who was born in England and grew up in United States, was not accustomed to the Malaysian culture of being barefoot in the house.

“That is all I remember about him when his mother brought him to Penang for a holiday when he was about 10 or 11,” she said. (According to his own document, Rodger was 13 when he visted Penang).

Ong, now 53, had brought her son and daughter to visit Penang many years ago.

She then posted in a Penang website about her visit to Penang with her children, Elliot and Georgia.

“After being all around the world, having lived in the UK and now in Los Angeles, working alongside famous Hollywood figures – I can truly say you guys over there in Pulau Tikus still have ... my fondest memories,” she wrote.

Contributed by Sira Habibu The Star/Asia News network

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Monday, May 26, 2014

US-China cyber-battles intensify

The United States has accused some Chinese of hacking into American companies’ computers but the US itself has been engaging in massive spying of foreign companies and trade officials.

Reports of US spying have sparked anger in many countries

WE live in a world where “spying” by electronic means is now pervasive and practically no one or institution that uses telephones, smart phones, emails and the internet is protected from intelligence gathering.

This much we know, from the media revelations emerging from files leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the US National Security Agency.

They showed that the US has been tapping the telephones and emails of Americans and others around the world in a sweeping and systematic way.

It was revealed that even the top political leaders of Germany, Indonesia and Brazil had their mobile phones tapped, leading their countries to protest against such a bold intrusion of privacy and national security.

Last week, the intelligence issue was highlighted again when the US Justice Department indicted five individuals who are members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

They were accused of hacking into the computers of American companies in the nuclear power, steel, aluminium and solar power industries to obtain trade secrets for the benefit of Chinese state owned enterprises.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman denounced the allegations as baseless and said China “never engages in the activity of stealing commercial secrets through the internet”, and accused the US of hypocrisy.

It is common knowledge that intelligence agencies use all kinds of devices to gather information and spy on foreigners as well as their own citizens.

The US has the most sophisticated system with the broadest coverage, as the Snowden files revealed.

By charging China of spying on specific American companies for the commercial benefit of Chinese enterprises, the US was trying to draw a very fine line.

It would have been clearly double standards to accuse other countries of spying on government personalities or agencies or on civilians, as the US itself has been shown to be more systematically doing this than any other country.

In announcing the indictment on the five Chinese, the US Attorney General said the hacking was conducted to advantage Chinese enterprises, a tactic that the US denounces.

“We do not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to US companies, or US commercial sectors.”

But in fact the US does spy on companies and trade policy makers and negotiators of other countries, presumably in order to obtain a commercial advantage.

Two articles by David Sanger in the New York Times last week commented on the “fine line” the US attempts to draw between spying for the benefit of specific companies, and for overall commercial advantage.

He gave examples of revelations of US agencies targeting foreign companies.

These include Huawei, a major Chinese internet and communications company.

According to his article, the Snowden documents showed that one purpose of this spying was to “get inside Huawei’s systems and use them to spy on countries that buy the company’s equipment.

“Huawei officials said they failed to understand how that differed meaningfully from what the United States has accused the Chinese of doing.

The US agency also hacked into the computers of Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, which has data on Brazil’s offshore oil reserves and perhaps its plans for allocating licences for exploration to foreign companies. State owned oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Africa are also intelligence targets.

The NSA also went into the computers of China Telecom, one of the largest providers of mobile phone and Internet services in Chinese cities, and Pacnet, the Hong Kong-based operator of undersea fibre optic cables.

“Once inside those companies’ proprietary technology, the NSA would have access to millions of daily conversations and emails that never touch American shores,” said Sanger.

The NSA spied on Joaquín Almunia, the antitrust commissioner of the European Commission, who had brought charges against several US companies.

In each of these cases, American officials insist the US was never acting on behalf of specific American companies, but the government does not deny it routinely spies to advance American economic advantage as part of national security, said the Sanger article.

This includes spying on European or Asian trade negotiators, using the results to help American trade officials and thus the American industries and workers they are trying to bolster.

According to Sanger, the United States spies regularly for economic advantage when the goal is to support trade talks. When the US was negotiating in the 1990s to reach an accord with Japan, it bugged the Japanese negotiator’s limousine and the main beneficiaries would have been US auto companies and parts suppliers.

The US is also “widely believed to be using intelligence in support of trade negotiations underway with European and Asian trading partners. But in the view of a succession of Democratic and Republican administrations, that is fair game.”

An earlier New York Times article, citing Snowden documents, also revealed that the US and Australian agencies gathered intelligence on Indonesia and a law firm acting for it during US-Indonesia trade negotiations.

This line the US is attempting to draw between what is illegitimate (spying to benefit particular companies) and legitimate (spying to broadly benefit companies and the economy) is not appreciated nor accepted by other countries.

The views expressed are entirely the writer's own.

Contributed by Global Trends Martin Khor
Martin Khor is the Executive Director of the South Centre since 1 March 2009. He replaced Dr. Yash Tandon who was the Executive Director of the South Centre from 2005-2009
 
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

China Daily Asia Weekly joins ePaper



The China Daily Asia Weekly is the latest newspaper to be part of the CIMB-Asean ePaper collaboration just as Malaysia and China celebrate 40 years of bilateral relations.

The weekly newspaper will now be made free in digital for all The Star’s 80,000 ePaper subscribers, providing more accurate updates of the latest news in China and Asia Pacific.

The latest addition was launched by CIMB group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Nazir Tun Razak yesterday and witnessed by China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang. Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said the partnership was the first in the country’s history as well as coming at a historic moment.

“Malaysia and China are celebrating a special relationship of 40 years and today, we celebrate the friendship of two media groups. The combined readership from both China Daily Asia Weekly and The Star will make up a larger audience for the ePaper,” he said.

Wong said on Wednesday, Malaysians had welcomed the arrival of pandas, Feng Yi and Fu Wa.

“And today, we welcome the arrival of China Daily into the CIMB-Asean ePaper collaboration,” he added.

 Combined forces: (from left) Star chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, Nazir, Huang, Wong and Zhang during the official partnership ceremony as China Daily Asia Weekly joins the CIMB-Asean ePaper fold at Menara Star.

Zhang Haizhou, China Daily Asia Weekly assistant to publisher, said the missing plane MH370 had seen netizens from both countries attacking each other and forgetting that both Malaysia and China were partners.

“We need a strong and reliable platform to bridge this gap of understanding among people and this is why we are having this bundle with The Star. We are now messengers between the two nations, telling better stories and enhancing mutual understanding,” he said.

Last month, Nazir had launched the CIMB-Asean ePaper collaboration comprising newspapers from four South-East Asian countries – The Star, Thailand’s The Nation, Indonesia’s The Jakarta Post and the Philippines’ Daily Inquirer – the first of its kind in the Asean region.

Nazir said the initiative was fabulous and had exceeded his expectations with 80,000 subscribers.

“Malaysia is the first South-East Asian nation to connect with China and we are very happy to support this initiative, helping people to see the world in all perspectives,” he said.

Agreeing, Huang said the media was the bridge for a better understanding between two nations.

“The Internet is an important channel for exchanging information and the collaboration of The Star and China Daily Asia Weekly is like a combination of giants,” he said.

Also present were China Daily Asia Weekly editor K.S Chan, Malaysia-China Friendship Association president Datuk Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan, Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia deputy secretary-general Datuk Dr Chin Yew Sin, Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Bong Hon Liong and Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Indust­ries Youth chief Datuk Ng Yih Pyng.

Top businessmen who joined in the celebration included Eco World Development Group director Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, i-Berhad executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong and Mah Sing Group group managing director and chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.

Contributed by  by Christine Cheah The Star/Asia News Network

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Malaysia-China relations 马中友好; Feng Yi wants love, given the cold shoulder


40 years of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia Video



Feng Yi given the cold shoulder



KUALA LUMPUR: Just three days in their new home, female panda Feng Yi is already showing signs that she wants to mate but her male partner Fu Wa is not up for it yet.

Panda Conservation Centre zoology and ve­terinary director Dr Mat Naim Ramli said Feng Yi had been continuously making mating calls and showing signs that she was ready.

“However, whether they mate or not depends on the male.

“Feng Yi wants to mate but Fu Wa has yet to show interest.

“The problem with Fu Wa is his libido. As Fu Wa was born in captivity, he has to learn how to breed.

“He needs more time and training for this,” he told reporters at the newly-built centre in Zoo Negara here yesterday.

Gentle giants: Fu Wa (left) and Feng Yi are said to be adapting well to their new home and have taken a liking to the Malaysian ‘buluh betung’.

Feng Yi wants love



The two giant pandas, housed in the zoo since Wednesday, are on loan to Malaysia for 10 years to mark the 40th anniversary of di­plomatic ties between Malaysia and China.

The pandas, both eight years of age, are being quarantined for a month before they are available for public viewing.

Dr Mat Naim said last year, Fu Wa was placed with females to observe his behaviour in the mating ritual.

“He did not know how to do it.

“He tried but there was no penetration,” he said.

Dr Mat Naim said a female panda was productive for 72 hours a year and this week was Feng Yi’s fertility period.

“If they do not mate this year, we will try again next year,” he said.

Dr Mat Naim said the pandas were adapting well to their new home and were each fed 30kg of bamboo daily.

“The pandas seem to have taken a liking to a type of Malaysian bamboo called buluh betung as they always finish it,” he said.

Zoo Negara’s deputy president Rosly Rahmat Ahmat Lana said the zoo received about 700,000 visitors a year and this number was expected to shoot to one million with the arrival of the pandas.

“To enter the panda centre, Malaysian adults will be charged RM20 while tickets for children are RM10 each,” he said.

Tickets for adult foreigners are RM30 while children are charged RM15 each.

At another event, Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel hit out at those who criticised the RM60mil cost borne by the Government in the panda deal.

“Many countries have pandas, even Singapore. The panda deal is the result of 40 years of strong bilateral relationship between Malaysia and China,” he said.

Contributed by Yuen Meikeng & Tashny Sukumaran The Star/Asia News Network

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Terrorists attack crowded Chinese market, strongly condemned by international community!





Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows.

The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a 'serious violent terrorist incident' by China's Ministry of Public Security.

Two 4x4 vehicles rammed into shoppers in an open market, Xinhua news agency reported, citing witness reports.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows
Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows

The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a 'serious violent terrorist incident' by China's Ministry of Public Security
The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a 'serious violent terrorist incident' by China's Ministry of Public Security

Photos posted on social media site, Weibo, show bodies and debris from the market strewn about the streets
Photos posted on social media site, Weibo, show bodies and debris from the market strewn about the street

A picture allegedly from the bomb site, shows a man lying on the street after explosions rocked through Urumqi in China's north-west
A picture allegedly from the bomb site, shows a man lying on the street after explosions rocked through Urumqi in China's north-west

Explosives were flung out of the vehicles, and one of the vehicles exploded.
One witness told Reuters he saw the aftermath of the blasts on his way to work
'The air was full of the smell of gunpowder and the sound of sobbing,' he said. 'There were simply too many (casualties), old folks who were at the morning market.'
Sources: Dailymail.co.uk

International community strongly condemns Urumqi terror attack

The international community has strongly condemned the terrorist attack. World leaders and internati...


Strong condemnation of the terrorist attack that claimed over 31 lives in China's northwestern city of Urumqi poured in from the international community on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the victims of the attack, which took place at a morning market earlier on Thursday and left 94 injured, via a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the message, Putin strongly condemned the bloody crime, saying he hoped the organizers will be found and prosecuted, and confirmed Moscow's interest in further strengthening Russia-China cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism.

Putin also sent condolences to the relatives of those killed and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday condemned in the strongest terms the killing and injuring of many innocent people.

Karzai offered his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of China and called the attack "an act by the enemies of peace and stability who don't want to see our region grow secure, stable and developed."

The president stressed that the Afghan people, more so than others, can well understand such pains and grief as they have long been victims of terrorist attacks.

He also expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims and wished a quick recovery to those injured.

The South African government condemned all forms and manner of terrorism.

"We believe that terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned," the country's Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

France, Hungary and Greece, as well as the European Union (EU), also lashed out at the terrorist activity and showed sympathy with those who fell victim, with the EU branding it a "senseless act of violence."

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal expressed his country's solidarity with the government and the people of China in this ordeal.

Hungary was shocked by the Urumqi attack, stressing that terrorist activities targeting innocent civilians are severe crimes and can not be accepted under any circumstances.

Greece also strongly condemned the act, expressing solidarity with the Chinese people.

"We condemn in the most unequivocal manner the deadly terrorist attack carried out today in China, in the city of Urumqi, in the Xinjiang region," Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a statement released by the ministry.

"We express our solidarity with the Chinese people and our condolences to the families of the victims, and we wish those who were injured a speedy recovery," he added.

"The European Union condemns this senseless act of violence and extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims," Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told Xinhua on Thursday.

Australia's ambassador to China, Frances Adamson, has joined the global chorus of condemnation, reporting that the Australian government is concerned by reports of the explosions in Urumqi.

"We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to the victims of the attack and their families," she said.

"The Australian government deplores all forms of terrorism and condemns any attack on innocent people."

Pakistan also voiced its condemnation and showed sympathy with the government and the people of China.

Iran said acts of violence and extremism targeting innocent people anywhere in the world are condemned and such moves have no connection with the principles of Islam at all, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said.

Vietnam strongly condemned the terrorist attack and extended deep condolences to the Chinese people and relatives of the victims. Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said he hoped that the culprits would be brought to justice.

Also on Thursday, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev condemned the violence, expressing the SCO's strong indignation and deep sorrow.

"We express deep-felt condolence to the victims and convey sincere solace to relatives of the victims and the injured people," Mezentsev said in a statement.

It is the priority of the SCO to fight terrorism, the statement said, adding the international community should further boost cooperation to combat terrorist activities effectively.

The Palestinian presidency condemned the terrorist attack. - Xinhua

"We condemn with the strongest words this heinous crime," Nemer Hammad, political advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas told Xinhua.

"We support our Chinese friends, and wish speedy recovery to the injured, as well as prosperity, safety and stability to the people of China," Hammad added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China has the confidence and capability to crack down upon the audacious terrorists.

"The violence, a further indication of the terrorists' anti-human, anti-society and anti-civilization nature, should be condemned by the Chinese people and society," Hong said.

In response to the attack, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to severely punish terrorists and spare no efforts in maintaining stability, asking local authorities to solve the case quickly, put the injured under proper care and offer condolences to families of the victims.

Two vehicles, without license plates, broke through roadside fences and plowed into people at an open air market in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Thursday morning. Explosive devices were set off, causing the deaths of at least 31 people and injuring 94 others.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

New security structure needed: Trust, collaboration key to Asian security




The fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), under the theme of "enhancing dialogue, confidence and coordination, and on jointly constructing a new Asia with peace, stability and cooperation," was held in Shanghai Wednesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech calling for a proactive outlook on Asian security and a new security cooperation framework. The intertwined key words have sketched the contours of this summit.

When it comes to Asia, scholars from all around the world will focus on two phenomena: economic growth and security dilemma. The economic development of Asia has promoted the interdependence and integration of interests among nations in this region, which constitute the resources of Asian security at the present stage. Meanwhile, many Asian countries feel insecure, which has little to do with a country's size and strength. Though it is a large and powerful Asian state, China doesn't have a better sense of security than smaller countries.

With a myriad of leftover conundrums, Asian countries have become interest-conscious as quickly as economic growth. Nonetheless, Asia is in dire need of an efficient security mechanism as well as common consensus to achieve it.

Asia has long been affected by external forces and in particular the US to a large degree. Washington has forged military alliances with several Asian countries and sometimes targeted a third party, making it all the more difficult for Asia to entirely cast off the specter of the Cold War. The US "rebalancing to Asia" policy conforms to its global strategy, inevitably increasing the cost of achieving Asian security.

Across the fairly intricate tapestry of Asian security, there is no difference between small and big powers in terms of security guarantee. Various messages further fuel contradictions and disorders in the region and add to strategic uncertainty.

Asian countries need to distinguish between realities and wishes and learn to compromise. It is unrealistic for some countries to quit counting on Washington in the short term but all Asian nations should recognize Uncle Sam cannot tide them over the security dilemma. Therefore, they should divert more attention to coordinating security concerns among themselves.

Security in Asia will eventually be realized through increasing mutual trust and cooperation in this region. We welcome external powers to play a constructive role in this process but object to their biased interference that will only increase the possibility of regional conflicts.

China is a rarely patient country in the world and spares no efforts to promote peace, which is a starting point and pillar for permanent peace in Asia. Resolution to safeguard peace may constitute the invisible bottom line despite numerous potential flashpoints in Asian security. - Global Times

Related:

China to advance CICA security role in Asia


 China to advance CICA security role in Asia

 Shanghai, a traditional financial center in Asia, will witness a new security framework that could change the global political structure.

 

US cyber charge ridiculous

The Obama government will now be forever remembered not just as the "we spy" government but as the "we spy and lie" government.

 Spy charges expose U.S. cyber hegemony mentality

The United States has indulged in its cyber hegemony mentality again as it filed ungrounded commercial cyber espionage charges against five Chinese military officers.

Chinese envoy accuses US of hypocrisy on indicting Chinese for Internet espionage

Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai on May 20 accused the United States of hypocrisy for charging five Chinese nationals of alleged commercial espionage, citing Edward Snowden's revelations of US spying operations worldwide.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Big Brother USA's spy charges are absurd; Washington plays victim of espionage; Cyberthief crying wolf



As the most notorious surveillance country, the U.S. indictment of Chinese military officers seems almost insolent in a world still reeling at the scope of the U.S. spy network.

The Chinese military has never engaged in cyber theft of trade secrets, nonetheless, Washington has charged five members of the People's Liberation Army with hacking U.S. companies.

Everyone knows that the U.S. itself is the biggest cyber bully, conducting sweeping surveillance around the world. Documents leaked by former Central Intelligence Agency contractor Edward Snowden detailed the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance activities around the globe, from foreign leaders to ordinary citizens.

Intelligence from Snowden showed that about 70 million French phone calls were collected by the NSA from December 2012 to January 2013. More than 120 world leaders have been under U.S. surveillance since 2009.

China is one of Big Brother's victims. The U.S. routinely attacks, infiltrates and taps Chinese networks belonging to governments, institutions, enterprises, universities and major telecom backbone networks.

Latest data from the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China showed that 135 host computers in the U.S. carried 563 phishing pages targeting Chinese websites that led to 14,000 phishing operations from March 19 to May 18.

The center found 2,016 IP addresses in the U.S. had implanted backdoors in 1,754 Chinese websites, involving 57,000 backdoor attacks in the same period.

The indictment is based on fabricated facts, grossly violates the basic norms governing international relations and has harmed China-U.S. ties.

In 2013 China sought talks with the U.S. on policing cyber space through a bilateral working group, despite the shadow cast over relations by Snowden's disclosures of U.S. electronic surveillance in China.

The U.S. intentionally jeopardized the trust between the world's two biggest economies and China on Monday announced the suspension of the China-U.S. Cyber Working Group which was scheduled to met in July in Beijing.

The U.S. should clean its own house before pointing fingers at others.- Xinhua

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Commentary: Cyber-spying charges against Chinese officers an indictment of U.S. hypocrisy
BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Monday plunged itself into blatant hypocrisy as it slapped some fabricated cyber-espionage charges against five Chinese military officers.
The baseless accusation against the Chinese personnel of hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets for Chinese state-owned firms is a telling indictment of Washington's double standard on cyber-security. Full Story


Washington plays victim of espionage

The US Justice Department on Monday filed criminal charges against five Chinese army officers, claiming that they helped Chinese firms steal business information on US companies and that all of them came from Unit 61398 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Since February last year, the US government has been accusing the same unit of theft of US trade secrets.

The Department of Justice issued "wanted" posters for the officers with their photos. The Wall Street Journal stated in an article "the indictment may act instead as a public effort to name and shame the suspects."

The 48-page indictment providing details of the officers looks "real." Nevertheless, the specific country that made the allegations is the one that spies both home and abroad with the PRISM program of the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed by Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor. Washington was condemned by international public opinion and therefore its pretentious accusation against Chinese army officers is ridiculous.

The US government's claims that Chinese army officers have gathered US business intelligence in an organized way are beyond our imagination. It's fresh to us that Chinese military and civil companies have such a close relationship.

Perhaps all countries believe the US is the No.1 intelligence power. It has been taking bold steps in cyber espionage, as was shown by Snowden. Washington has also helped the rest of the world comprehend the meaning of "intelligence superpower" by not only collecting overseas information but also playing the victim role.

The materials disclosed by Snowden showed that the US hacked into China's backbone networks, universities, government departments and other organs. And the White House still owes an apology to Beijing. Interpol should have ordered the arrest of designers and implementers of the PRISM program but they did not. Therefore the US is acting so shameless by posting photos of the five Chinese army officers.

It appears that Washington has mistaken its domestic law for a law applicable to the international community by directly indicting active-duty Chinese army officers. It has severely infringed their human rights. Despite the relatively weak awareness and ability of Chinese to safeguard their legal rights, the five officers should file a lawsuit against the US government for damaging their reputation. China should not tolerate the US' malignant accusation this time. In announcing the suspension of activities of the China-US Cyber Working Group, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the right move. But we should take further actions.

Beijing has published US computer attacks on China's networks, which, however, lack detailed information except figures. We should encourage organizations and individuals whose rights have been infringed to stand up and sue Washington. Regarding the issue of network security, the US is such a mincing rascal that we must stop developing any illusions about it. - Global Times


Cyberthief crying wolf

The US department of justice's decision to charge five People's Liberation Army officers for "business spying" is ill-advised, if not downright stupid.

The initial response from Beijing is that the charge is a pompous farce that will in no way advance American interests.

In addition to a flat denial of US accusations, which lack any credible evidence, Beijing has struck back, presenting proof that the US is "the present-day world's biggest cyberthief", and "the foremost state sponsor of cyberattacks on China".

The statistical information about US cyber intrusions the Chinese authorities produced makes it difficult for Washington to proclaim its own innocence.

The US indictment appears particularly awkward because Washington is simply rubbing salt into its bleeding wound from Edward Snowden's revelations. It is common knowledge that China, its military in particular, is the biggest online target of the omnipresent US National Security Agency and US Cyber Command.

It is thus a matter of course that Beijing should call the indictment a cock-and-bull story and a thief crying catch thief.

Nor can Washington expect any sympathy from Chinese Internet users. To them, the indictment is but an additional footnote to US hypocrisy.

The charges are said to underscore a longtime Obama administration goal to prosecute state-sponsored cyber threats. Yet the Snowden leaks seem to indicate that the NSA and US Cyber Command are the most formidable state-sponsored cyber threats in today's world. If they can be exonerated for what they have done and are still doing, blaming anyone else is shameless double standards.

US Attorney General Eric Holder should know very well that an indictment like this has little chance of being executed. Those charged are far away in their home country, where neither the government nor the people accept the legitimacy of the US charges. More important, the charge itself is flawed in both moral and jurisprudential terms.

It is yet to be seen if Beijing will make a tit-for-tat response by prosecuting specific Americans, which will be fully justifiable. But Beijing has already determined to suspend the work of a joint panel on Internet security, on the grounds that the Americans lack sincerity in the dialogue to establish a cooperative approach to cyber security.

The indictment will prove a sorrowful miscalculation, because Washington has nothing to win and a lot to lose.-  China Daily

China urges U.S. to drop charges against military officers
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has rejected U.S. charges against five Chinese military officers of cyb...


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U.S. cyber attacks, latest data published, China denies accusations...
A spokesperson for China's State Internet Information Office on Monday published the latest data of U.S. cyber attack, s

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

U.S. cyber attacks, latest data published, China denies accusations...



A spokesperson for China's State Internet Information Office on Monday published the latest data of U.S. cyber attack, saying that China is a solid defender of cyber security.

The U.S. is the biggest attacker of China's cyber space, the spokesperson said, adding that the U.S. charges of hacking against five Chinese military officers on Monday are "groundless".

Latest data from the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (NCNERTTCC) showed that from March 19 to May 18, a total of 2,077 Trojan horse networks or botnet servers in the U.S. directly controlled 1.18 million host computers in China.

The NCNERTTCC found 135 host computers in the U.S. carrying 563 phishing pages targeting Chinese websites that led to 14,000 phishing operations. In the same period, the center found 2,016 IP addresses in the U.S. had implanted backdoors in 1,754 Chinese websites, involving 57,000 backdoor attacks.

The U.S. attacks, infiltrates and taps Chinese networks belonging to governments, institutions, enterprises, universities and major communication backbone networks. Those activities target Chinese leaders, ordinary citizens and anyone with a mobile phone. In the meantime, the U.S. repeatedly accuses China of spying and hacking.

China has repeatedly asked the U.S. to stop, but it never makes any statement on its wiretaps, nor does it desist, not to mention make apology to the Chinese people.

After the Prism program leaked by Edward Snowden, the United States was accused by the whole world. However, it has never made retrospection, instead, it accuses others.

The spokesperson said the Chinese government opposes any kinds of cyber crimes, and any groundless accusations against the country.

If the United States goes its own way, China will take countermeasures, the spokesperson said.

Sources: Xinhua

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Treasures of the heart; Happy Teachers Day

Many fall into the trap of ‘loving things and using people’, but it is the unseen treasures that matter most.

PULAU Nangka off Malacca may be unknown to most of us, but not to treasure hunters who have been working to unearth a multi-billion ringgit loot that is believed to be buried somewhere on the island.

It’s the kind of stuff Indiana Jones would be interested in. So when it was announced that two ancient coins – supposedly from the Malacca Sultanate era – were found last week, the newspapers went to town with the news.

But in dealing with the discovery of lost treasures, dinosaurs and religious artifacts, it is never wise to celebrate too early.

The find at Pulau Nangka is awaiting authentication, but the circumstances with regards to the timing of the discovery have thrown up many questions, which leads one to conclude that this may be a false alarm after all.

People in general are always on the hunt for treasures. Okay, few of us would venture into jungles or dive to the bottom of the sea.

But if we examine our own lives, we may actually find that the material wealth that we have accumulated over the years is like an inventory of treasures.

They can be major assets like property, cars, stocks or jewellery. Or they can even be minor, everyday items. We can laugh about Imelda Marcos’ collection of shoes but frankly, isn’t there a bit of Imelda in everyone of us?

Be it shoes, handbags, clothes, phones or computers, we go hunting in the malls, collect what we desire, use them for a while and then store them away.

Many are reluctant to let go of their “treasures” and give them away only when they run out of space, by which time the shoes cannot be worn anymore and the computers can no longer run.

There are many recycling booths in my neighbourhood, and it is sad to see that they are mainly used as garbage dumps.

I have gone around to collect things from people who want to donate to charity but more often than not, I find that I am just transferring them to a dump.

What’s the point of giving away things that are no longer usable or which may even pose a danger to the people we supposedly want to help?

That’s the problem with earthly treasures. They have a definite “use by” date and are subjected to wear and tear.

Worse, because we love our things so much, we cry buckets when thieves cart away our latest smartphones and electronic gadgets. Or when we get a tiny scratch on our new luxury car.

We tend to “love things and use people” when material possessions are our treasures.

Fortunately, there are real treasures in life that are worth accumulating. Even Christie’s and Sotheby’s cannot put a value to them.

My dear friend rushed from an official function to hold my hand when I struggled during one chemotherapy session. A warm embrace between a Muslim and a Christian – that was a treasured moment.

I am indeed blessed with many treasures bequeathed to me from family, friends and total strangers. They do not take up space in my house, but they fill up every nook and corner in my heart.

> Executive editor Soo Ewe Jin (ewejin@thestar.com.my) wishes all mothers Happy Mother’s Day, mindful that “when someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure to always hold in your heart”.

The value of teachers

WE often hear stories about kiasu parents in Singapore who go to great lengths to ensure their children are enrolled in top-notch schools.

But there is one school in the island republic that is also in high demand, but for a different reason.

Northlight School, which has earned itself a reputation as a school of opportunities and possibilities, only admits those who have failed the Primary School Leaving Exami­nation (PSLE) at least twice, and are deemed unable to progress to secon­dary-level education.

I heard about this school for the first time at a gathering of Klang Valley teachers held in Petaling Jaya last Tuesday in conjunction with Teachers Day.

The motivational speaker from Singapore kept everyone in awe as she shared about the success stories from that school – how a pool of dedicated and compassionate teachers transformed the lives of so many because of their belief that “Failure in an exam is not failure in life”.

I love teachers who educate and not just teach their students. These are the teachers who help shape the character of their students because they value effort, creativity and strength of character. And because they care, they will always be remembered.

Our Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh shared about the late Cikgu Fatimah, a former headmistress at SM Tengku Mah­mud, in his hometown of Besut, Terengganu (“Always in sight, forever in my heart,” The Star, May 16).

“During her life, she’d always visit her students and their parents at their homes and would help them solve issues faced not just by the students but the family as a whole. She’d provide guidance, support and motivation to them even after school hours, going well beyond the call of duty,” the minister wrote.

“When Cikgu Fatimah fell sick, her students took care of her until she passed away. Such is the reciprocal love and care of the students to their teacher who led by example.”

How touching. Coming from that generation, I also have many such stories to share, but we must not think that these stories only happen in the good old days. Maybe they are imprinted more deeply in our minds because we had fewer distractions back then.

I know of many teachers still in service in various parts of the country who reach out to their students be­­­­­­­yond the classroom. Where others see despair, they see hope. And so they plod on, amidst the many challenges, to make a difference in the lives of their students.

And we are not just talking about schools in the outback but also those in the urban centres. Those who go to top schools but always end up in the so-called bottom classes will understand what I mean.

When the school goes rah-rah over the super-duper achievers, it takes a special teacher to see the worth in a young student in the lower class who will never get that kind of attention.

The seeds of encouragement she sows may take a while to blossom, but they will.

I was glad to recognise a number of such teachers in that gathering on Tuesday. They may not be getting the headlines, but they do not labour in vain. Happy Teachers Day.

Contributed by Sunday Starters, Soo Ewe Jin The Star
> Executive editor Soo Ewe Jin (ewejin@thestar.com.my) wishes all mothers Happy Mother’s Day, mindful that “when someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure to always hold in your heart”.

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