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Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year

Dear readers,

In view of the upcoming Chinese New Year, I will be taking a short break from writing to focus on my family & my studies (knowledge upgrading).

To all who celebrates Chinese New Year, Happy Chinese New Year to all. May the Year of the Ram brings better tidings to all of us after a tumultuous Year of Horse.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A400M - Boost in MAF Strategic Capabilities

On February 3 2015, the first RMAF A400M Atlas took to its maiden test flight. The historic flight means soon RMAF will have strategic lift capabilities, and thus will elevate MAF abilities to move fast to face the ever evolving threat matrix.

The first RMAF A400M in flight.  Photo courtesy of Airbus Defence & Space
The first RMAF A400M in flight.  Photo courtesy of Airbus Defence & Space

RMAF Current Transport Aircraft

Currently, RMAF are operating 2 types of transport aircrafts; the venerable Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130, which is affectionately called Charlie, and Indonesian-made CN-235 transport planes.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Threat from Daish - Religion or Ideological War?

The rise of a previously obscure militant group that sought to overthrow Syrian President Bashir al Assad were first noted somewhere around September or October 2013.  The then militant group that called itself as ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-‘Irāq wash-Shām (loosely translated to ISIL or Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) was headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a man believed to be a former inmate of the infamous Abu Ghraib Prison (he was imprisoned in Camp Bucca, where former interns of Abu Ghraib were placed after the Abu Ghraib scandal was broken to the world.

Back then, the civil war in Syria had worsened and US government had begun to supply weapons to militant groups in Syria that were opposed to Bashar's government.  Apparently, some of the weapons that were supplied by the US were later found to have made their way back to Iraq and were used in several attacks within Iraq itself.  It was only then that the US government realized that the ISIL that they had been supplying weapons to fight the Syrian government were actually the same Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI or Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn).  This was despite the fact that Iraqi military intelligence had warned the Americans of the links between the two groups.

DS Hishammuddin in answering the Q&A session during 3rd National Aspiration and Leadership Symposium

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Fallacy of a Patriotic Tax Payer

'I want this to be done this way, this way and not that way'

'I have the right to say because I am a tax payer'

'Do you know how much tax I pay? I pay ten times more than you'

Often we hear and read such retorts whenever we are in the midst of heated arguments on the direction of one's country or state. The view was that every single tax payer has the right to determine how his or her tax is being used in the development of his/her country.

Often, many choose to highlight the tax they paid as their patriotic contribution in nation-building.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Murkier Account of Battle of Mamasapono

The aftermath of Mamasapono attack that cost the lives of 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP - SAF) together with 17 MILF and 5 other civilian lives is getting murkier.  After the initial shock that 44 police commandos had lost their lives in the erstwhile successful raid that was said to have managed to eliminate Marwan @ Zulkifli Hir, holes begin to appear in the official version of the incident.