22 September, 2005

thursday links

ESWN makes a good argument in defense of Yahoo!’s co-operation with Chinese state security, and says he expects stone silence to his post. Because of that, it gets top of the page in today’s roundup.:

Yahoo2The police came quickly, assessed the situation
and decided that there was a chance of a bomb.  Hong Kong is one place that
takes possible explosives very seriously on account of the 1967
disturbances.  All pedestrian and vehicular traffic along Nathan Road was
stopped, and all shoppers and workers were evacuated.  This led to massive
traffic backups in one of the busiest part of the city.  At around 930pm, the
explosive disposal squad was in place to defuse the bomb.  A robot was sent
up and used a water gun to break open the box.  Fortunately, there was no
bomb inside, just two bricks.
The investigators then looked at the piece of
cardboard.  It read like a note from a disgruntled ex-employee of
PCCW.  There was an email address: .
Based on this and other information (note: there was a web page URL that is
blurred out in the magazine photo), the man was arrested.  He has been
tried and found guilty of threatening behavior.  The judge said: "In
the 21st century of our times, there are numerious incidents of violence,
attacks and bombing in the world.  To make the people of Hong Kong live in
a state of constant fear is a serious crime."  The man has not yet
been sentenced. . .
Yahoo1If several hundred requests come into Yahoo!
every day, how would they know which is which?  As Jerry Yang said,
"We do not know why they want that information.  We’re not told what
they look for."  So in order to tell which is which, Yahoo! will have
an in-house Chief Privacy Officer, who will demand the law enforcement agency to
produce the full evidence, explain the purpose of the inquiry and then he/she
will play God/Supreme Court Justice and render a decision in his/her infinite
wisdom.  Routinely, this CPO will have to make several hundred potentially
life-and-death decisions every day.  Now who wants that Chief Privacy
Officer job, with all the pressures and the legal and moral liabilities?. . .
In the case of Shi Tao, the law enforcement
will simply say the subject is suspected of having sent a state secret document
overseas via the Yahoo! email account on a specific date.  There is no
personal identification because the purpose of the request for the IP
information was precisely to detect the unknown subject.  Would you think
that the CPO will then demand to read the state secret document before deciding?
Is the CPO a good judge?  And does the CPO know how to deal with a genuine
national secret (such as the date and detailed plans of the invasion of Taiwan)?
I submit to you that Option 3 is not a good idea and corporate employees should
not be making these types of decisions.
As I said before, I expect stone silence to
this post, because the world is enjoying Yahoo!-bashing too much.

We now return to our regularly scheduled Yahoo! bashing.

Essential reading for cyber-dissidents, Reporters Without Borders has issued its guide for bloggers (pdf). Rebecca reviews it here.:

BlogguideThe Handbook for Bloggers is useful for beginners and veteran
bloggers alike. It starts out with several introductory chapters,
explaining how blogs differ from other kinds of websites, blogging
terminology, how to select a blogging tool and web-host, and how to get
started.  The middle chapters focus on tips that even veteran bloggers
will find useful. Journalist, blogger and We the Media author Dan GillmorMark Glaser
offers tips on how to "make your blog shine." I learned a lot from the
chapter on how to get your blog picked up by search engines, written by
internet consultant Olivier Andrieu.

A while back, I posted an Atanu Dey item praising Singapore over India. Today, via Amit Varma, an item that argues Singapore’s northern neighbor also has some lessons for India.:

MalaysiaMy wife and I are in Malaysia now on a short term assignment for our
company, and every time we step out of our house in Penang, we feel the
amazing effects of a liberal economic policy. This small, densely
populated island off the coast of Malaysia (Penang) is a big
electronics manufacturing base (thanks to a Free Trade Zone, and a port
that was formerly duty free) and it is easy to see what this has done
to the local economy.
There is a booming free-spending middle
class, and almost no poverty. Everyone who wants to work seems to be
able to find a job, and they are doing well enough to import labor from
Indonesia for low-paying jobs. There are signs of development
everywhere - new roads, new bridges, new high-rises. And from what I’ve
heard, Penang reflects what is going on around the rest of the country.
to say Malaysia doesn’t have its problems, but economically, they seem
to have found the secret to growth. We see all this, and naturally, the
next thing we think is, "When will this happen to India?"
We are
doing it backwards, it seems - Malaysia had manufacturing move over
here first, and that brought in a support engineering force which
slowly grew into a full fledged "high-tech economy." We got some
"low-tech" engineering activities first, and are hoping for the trickle
down from this to help our economy in other areas.

Far Outliers links to a study on the divergence of opinions in China and Canada on separatism.:

TaiwanWhereas Canada has acclimatised to living next to its superpower
neighbour, absorbed the values of a virtual state and discarded the
traditional expectations of the importance of territory, China is a
rising power with an acute sense of grievance from the way it has been
treated historically, or at least the way it perceives it has been
treated. This strong inferiority complex has stimulated an intense
desire to do something about what many Chinese believe is their
misfortune, to occupy an international position that conforms to
traditional power politics and emphasises the value of territory.
QuebecCanada’s attitude is reinforced by its commitment to democracy and
interdependence, and to the granting of the wishes of the people of
Quebec, whatever they may be. The Chinese, on the contrary, lacking
both a commitment to democracy and self-determination or the status of
a developed state, view Taiwan not as an area containing a population
that should have some say in how they are governed, but as a
geopolitical object to be manipulated to maximise the glories of a
greater China.

Richard brings a troubling tale from the NY Times on police brutality and injustice in China.:

For three days and three nights, the police wrenched Qin Yanhong’s arms
high above his back, jammed his knees into a sharp metal frame, and
kicked his gut whenever he fell asleep. The pain was so intense that he
watched sweat pour off his face and form puddles on the floor.
On the fourth day, he broke down. "What color were her pants?" they
demanded. "Black," he gasped, and felt a whack on the back of his head.
"Red," he cried, and got another punch. "Blue," he ventured. The
beating stopped.
This is how Mr. Qin, a 35-year-old steel mill worker in Henan
Province in central China, recalled groping in the darkness of a
interrogation room to deduce the "correct" details of a rape and
murder, end his torture and give the police the confession they
required to close a nettlesome case.
On the strength of his coerced confession alone, prosecutors
indicted Mr. Qin. A panel of judges then convicted him and sentenced
him to death. He is alive today only because of a rare twist
of fate that proved his innocence and forced the authorities to let him
go, though not before a final push to have him executed anyway

In light of the bird flu scare in neighboring Indonesia (which authorities there are calling an epidemic) Malaysia is cracking down on chicken smugglers (surely there are more lucrative illegal trades).:

ChickenI mean real chickens, the ones we have on our table for dinner. Yes,
it seems Malaysia actually has a shortage of chickens, hence a window
of opportunity opens itself for more dubious characters to actually
make a living smuggling them from neighbouring countries.
Now I know why a friend of mine who was an accountant quit his job
to open a chicken farm. The ‘rumour’ that McDonalds Malaysia created
quite a few ‘chicken’ millionaires might be true then.
From a Reuters report,

Malaysia said on Wednesday it was boosting precautions
against bird flu, and considering fines or jail terms for smugglers of
poultry from neighbours such as Indonesia, now battling the disease.

Seven-years to the day following his jailing, as Lone notes, former Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim announced he plans to sue former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for defamation.:

AnwarMahathirFormer Malaysian deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim said Tuesday he will
launch a lawsuit against one-time prime minister Mahathir Mohamad for
accusing him of being a homosexual.
Mahathir said earlier this
month that he was forced to sack Anwar in 1998 to prevent mainly-Muslim
Malaysia from having a homosexual leader. Anwar was jailed for sodomy
after his sacking but the conviction was overturned last year.
cannot have a person who is like that in my cabinet who may succeed and
become the prime minister. Imagine having a gay prime minister. Nobody
would be safe," Mahathir told reporters.
Anwar said he was
"shocked" to hear of Mahathir’s "defamatory" remarks, particularly
after a court last month awarded him 1.2 million dollars in damages
over a book that aired the sodomy allegations.
"I will not
allow this lie and slander to continue. Thus I have instructed my
counsel to initiative legal action against Tun (honorific) Mahathir,"
he said in a statement.

Lucia Lai notes that some concerns are being voiced over Dr M being allowed to participate in a human rights conference.:

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) marked its 6th
anniversary and Human Rights Day in Malaysia recently by holding a
hypocrisy party in the capital city, with former premier Dr Mahathir
Mohamad giving the opening address.
A group of 30
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had initially written an open
letter to Suhakam urging it to "close the door" on Dr M for a simple
reason that he had committed a host of "human wrongs" with regard to
human rights at home.
They had provided Suhakam a list of human
rights abuses in Bolehland by Dr M and pointed out that it would be
wrong to invite "a leader who perpetrated extensive human rights
violations" during his 22-year political reign."

AsiaPundit has earlier noted South Korean concerns about how Google Earth allows users to view the South Korean presidential compound and military bases, Pyong’yang, and the secretive Communist Party of China compound of Zhongnanhai. Politics 101 Malaysia is now noting that the spy satellite for the masses is .:

After recent my recent comments on Google Earth and ,  the fear continues.
A United Press International report on
Tuesday says terrorists and “rogue state” intelligence agencies could
be making use of free internet satellite images that leave sensitive
British military facilities exposed.
Yet again I ask, will our parliament address this issue during this session?

Tokyo Times reports on the 2005 video game show, some of it’s good… but some of it is frightening.:

Booth_babeCosplay_freakAs far as video games go, the 2005 Tokyo Game Show
was something of a let down. Microsoft to its credit had the Xbox 360
up and running, yet the playable games on offer hardly sent the pulse
racing. Sony on the other hand managed to do nothing but frustrate,
showing only videos of future PlayStation 3 software, the majority of
which contained very little (if any) in-game footage.Thankfully
the ubiquitous booth babes saved the day, the scantily clad young
ladies more than making up for the lack of quality games on offer….
Yet amazingly, this bevy of beauties was upstaged by the event’s
massive cosplay contingent. ..
However despite the coy smiles and tasteful wigs, I think it was the
shapely legs and green leotard of the group’s feminine leader that
grabbed most people’s attention.

A Taiwanese in China creates a blog dedicated almost entirely to toilets (seriously).:

Toilet1This one is the same as last one. Toilet in tibet temple. These walls
are higher than those in 1st picture. So, you can not play cards with
your friends who go to toilet next to you. :)
Toilet2This toilet is more "modern". This one was taken in
a famous tibet temple in yovnan. The small metal spot on the wall is
the button for you to clean your "waste".
you know how to go? Yes, face out. No door, of course. But, in this
toilet, there is water. You can push the button on the wall. Yes, that
very small metal spot in the picture. So, in this kind of toilet, no
shit smell. It’s clearier. There is also another kind of toilet in the
very courtryside place. I did not take pictures. CAUSE, I CAN NOT GO
INTO THAT KIND OF TOILET. Shit everwhere near the door of that kind
toilet. How can I go? It’s really very strange. How do local people go?…
this kind of very local & old toilet are in very small viliages.
"public toilet", mm, maybe. So, next time when you have a chance to
drive along a road in small countries in mainland China, remember to
find "public toilet". Then you can see this very localized toilet in

Monty Python needs to reform and do a skit on Taiwan politics, like the WUFI, the People’s Front of Judea are also Splitters/Splittists.:

In case you were wondering the ‘World United Formosans for Independence’ and the ‘Taiwan Defence Alliance’ should not be confused with pro-formal independence political parties like the Taiwan Solidarity Union (which regularly polls between 5-10% in national elections), the ‘Taiwan Independence Party’ (which gained 0.3% of the vote in the last election), the ‘Peasant Party’ (0.4%) or the ‘Taiwan Number One Party’ (didn’t bother standing).

Someone will not be getting another invite to speak at Beijing University.:

Prominent Taiwanese commentator/legislator/raconteur Li Ao delivered one mother of a speech
at Beijing University yesterday. In front of a stunned audience, with
several high-ranking mainland government officials openly squirming on
stage, Li .
He openly criticized China’s censorship, saying that went against
what even Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai would have wanted. Quoting the
Collected Writings of Mao Zedong, he said,
"凡是歷史上發生的東西,都要在歷史上消滅。因此,共產黨總有一天要消滅…,S’s" i.e. "Every
historical figure that has risen has also been destroyed. One day the
Chinese Communist Party will also be destroyed by history…our mission
is to bring about its destruction a little more quickly." He made
not-so-subtle references to the Tiananmen massacre, saying that all
governments are bastards who are willing to open fire on their own
people. He even got in plenty of digs against the
charismatically-challenged former KMT chairman Lian Zhan and the
charismatically-gifted but politcally-challenged current KMT chairman
Ma Yingjiu.

Mr Wang notes Jacob’s run in with the authorities because his number was saved on Singapore Rebel director Martyn See’s cellphone. Mr Wang says the Singapore police really should exercise some restraint, at least for PR reasons.

…please bear in mind that Martyn See is blogging about every stage of
your investigations. This is a highly sensitive case. All kinds of
media organisations, international and local, are closely following
Martyn See’s blog for updates. So Mr Wang advises you to take extra
care in how you conduct your investigations. If you do any silly things
like Haul Anyone and Everyone Who Is Found in Martyn See’s Handphone
Down to the Police Station For Interviews, Martyn will blog about it
and the whole world will read his blog and think the Singapore police
is really acting silly.

Japundit reminds us why Engrish.com should be a regular surf stop.:


by @ 10:59 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, Blogs, Singapore, China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Media, South Asia, Weblogs, Central Asia

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