Monday, December 31, 2012

World sees another 'prophecy' failure in 2012

Many Big Things have happened in 2012, like another happy failure of doomsday or end-of-the-world 'prophecy'. Meanwhile, 2012 also marks the 200'th birthday of Charles Dickens as well as 150'th anniversary of the first release of Victor Hugo's French masterpiece, Les Miserables. Certainly, the success of the Olympic Games in London is memorable. Let's hope that, from 2013 on, 'no one will make any prank call to any hospital, 'fire station or any other life'-saving establishment on earth.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Les Miserables now shown at cinemas in M'sia

Les Miserables, the Hugh Jackman-Anne Hathaway musical movie, is also now being screened in at cinemas in Malaysia. 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Victor Hugo's novel (in Brussel).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Practical book on Malaysia's Competition Law

In January 2012, Malaysa's Competition Law (2010) was implemented and the Competition Commission began to function. 'Senior and well'-known lawyers Chan Kok Keong and Gavin Gore'-Andrews have jointly published 'Freeing the Market '-' A Practical Approach to Competition Law in Malaysia ('Kuala Lumpur, Chan & Associates, 2012) to explain the new law and commission to legal practitioners,'entrepreneurs'and reseachers who may need a good book to understand the area better.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

In personal memory of Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik

Indeed, 'the passing away of Tun Dr. 'Lim Keng Yaik is a sad news for many of us, 'old' or young, who know him personally in politics and/or journalism. 'Tun Lim will always be remembered as a ruling politician who could invite his detractors for Yam Char and share a joke or two. The Kinta Valley has lost an educated but plain-speaking veteran who could tell complicated 'stories' in a type of language understood by all. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to  Dr. Lim Keng Yaik''s loved ones.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Abe to face challenge of US bases in Okinawa

Japan's ex-PM and new PM-in-waiting Shinzo Abe is reportedly paying a visit to Washington in January next year. Besides TPP, US bases in Okinawa is another critical and pressing issue in the USA'-'Japan ties. In the last weeks of the Pacific War, people in Okinawa were used by the Tokyo-based militarist regime as human shield against the Allies. Also, suicide bombing was used as a last tactic to attack Allies' ships.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Resistance to TPP entry in Shinzo Abe's party

Japan's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership ('TPP') reportedly still faces resistance even within Shinzo Abe's ruling party. The TPP issue was raised and debated during the just'-concluded election campaign.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Four new books on Nanjing Massacre out now

Reportedly, 4 new books on the 1937-38 Nanjing Massacre have been published. After invading mainland China, militarist Japan, an ally of Adolf Hitler''s Nazi Germany, 'launched the Pacific War on 7 Dec 1941. From 1910 to 1945,'militaristic Japan colonised the Korean Peninsula. Last year, 'American journalist William 'L. Shirer''s 'The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich was republished by Simon & Schuster in New York. After the war, no politician or official in Germany has ever made any gesture to 'honour' the memory of Hitler, Gobbels, Himmler or Hoess.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Abe's economic reform in Japan not easy task

According to a news report, the many economic challenges facing ex'-prime minister Shinzo Abe''s newly-returned LDP government in Japan would be very tough. Besides infrastructure like tunnels, population is also said to be ageing. 'Lack of innovative spirit and efforts in recent years have also caused the decline in reputation of as well as demand for its electronic products. Its automobile industry is problematic too.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Abe government to face economic challenges

EX-PM Shinzo Abe''s LDP has won the Lower House election. According to many observations and analyses, revitalising Japan's economy is'of utmost importance. Other pressing problems Abe needs to fix include the reconstruction of the disasters'-hit areas in Fukushima, ageing or decaying infrastructure like tunnels and misspending of public money. Can Japan hope to revitalise its economy without improving relations with close neighbours, like China and South Korea ? 'Overspending on military preparedness could lead to misallocation of scarce resources.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Killing in American school very heartbreaking

Indeed, 'the Sandy Hook school shooting in the US is a very tragic and heartbreaking incident. We share the grief. Our prayers and thoughts are certainly with all those who have lost their love ones so tragically.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Political development in Japan after election

Generally, it is expected that LDP would win the Lower House election in Japan to be held tomorrow. 'Also, Shinzo Abe is expected to bcome Japan''s PM again. Can Japan solve its many deeply-rooted, structural and accumulated problems, both internal and external, after the poll'? Certainly, political development in Japan will be closely watched even after tomorrow as the right shift, 'if persists, could impact on others. Will the 'righter-than-thou' one-upmanship among its politicians end ? Will there be a political space for Japan's liberals and progressives to articulate less hawkish ideas for 'the betterment of Japanese society, and to rebuild relations with neighbours, like China and South Korea'?   

History books & younger generations in Japan

There are enough books in English, Chinese and Korean that record in great details the militarist policies of Japan and also the behaviour of its soldiers. Young Japanese should compare and contrast their school history textbooks with these writings for reflection and introspection. A disturbing dimension of the resurgence of right-wing nationalism'in Japan is the the influence of ultra-nationalists on younger people like the Japan Restoration Party chief and Osaka mayor, Toru Hashimoto. More efforts should also be made to translate these 'English, Chinese and Korean books into the Japanese language for Japan''s youngsters.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shintaro Ishihara in Japan's right-turn politics

A recent feature in the 'New York Times' examines 'Shintaro Ishihara, the 'ultra-nationalist fogey 'who was also a former governor of Tokyo. Politics in Japan has come under the spotlight of regional community for its resurgence of nostalgic and also militarism-prone nationalism.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Nurse in Britain who took hoax call now dead

The British nurse who answered the 'prank call from Australia is dead. How many more such tragedies are needed to educate people without a basic sense of social responsibility when they just wanna have fun ? Having fun at the expense of others' safety or well-being is unethical, whether human beings live in the stone age or era of high'-tech tools.

Historical perspectives on right shift in Japan

Many great English-language books have been published to reveal and record the many dimensions of imperial Japan's wars of aggression in Asia. Ian Ward's The Killer They Called a God ('Media Masters, 1992') is one of the books. Lile Rees' Horror in the East, it can contribute to the understanding of that dark part of history 'whose lessons are still relevant for observers and analysts of political development in Japan. As nostalgic right'-wingers and militarism-prone nationalists in Japan continue to re-write history textbooks, these English'-language books would be important for the preservation of facts not only for Chinese and Koreans, but also Americans, Britons, Aussies, French and Dutch. From these great English-language history books,'it is very clear that there is an anti-Western dimension in the ultra-nationalism in Japan.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

BBC book for observers of right shift in Japan

The resurgence of nostalgic and militarism-prone nationalism among Japan's politicians, both young and old,'has long been detected. Now, there is also the observation that nationalism has spilled over into a segment of the Japanese society. 'Lawrence Rees' 'Horror in the East ('London, BBC, 2001') should probably be reprinted to enable younger generation of observers and analysts 'to watch the development with a historical perspective as well as insights of deeper-thinking people. In the book,'Rees attempts to answer one of the "most dramatic and important" questions on Japan''s militarism from 1937 to 1945 : Why did imperial Japan's troops commit "such monstrous acts of violence" against Chinese civilians and also Allied countries' 'prisoners of war ? That imperial Japan was on the Allies''side during WW1 (1914'-'1918) renders the question Rees attempts to answer even more intriguing.

British nurse falls for hoax call from Australia

According to news reports from Britain, a nurse working at a hospital where a very high'-profile female member of the royal family is being treated for pregnancy sickness 'fell for a hoax call from 2 Australians.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Japan police begins probe on tunnel collapse

Reportedly, 'police in Japan has raided the office of the government'-owned NEXCO to invesigate the collapse of a tunnel that caused nine deaths. 'Earlier in October, a Japanese power utility company TEPCO admitted that the nuclear reactor crisis at Fukushima was avoidable. Recently,'Japan's reputation'as a nation of meticulous works has also been tainted by the discovery of a large number of not'-so'-safe cars.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

French concern over mass 'doomsday' suicide

A government'-backed anti'-cult group in France is reportedly warning against mass suicide as the the result of a doomsday rumour. Earlier, NASA already stepped forward to try to quash the widespread rumour. Last year, a preacher called Harold Camping twice 'predicted' the end of the world 'but his "prophecy" failed to the delight of many atheists. Some atheists held happy parties to cheer the failure of the 'prophet'.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Charitable New York policeman praiseworthy

Indeed, 'New York policeman Lawrence De Primo's very charitable act is very praiseworthy. The city has also recorded a day with no violent crime as no people was shot, 'stabbed, 'robbed or subject to violence.