Monday, 3 December 2018

FORMER PROMINENT BLOGGER JEFF OOI WARNS READERS TO BE DISCERNING ABOUT CONTENT ONLINE

Back in 2007 & 2008, blogging was the hip, hype and happening thing on the Malaysian cyberspace scene and Jeff Ooi was a political blogger with is blog Screenshots.

At the time, the talk in IT media circles was whether blogs would undermine mainstream media, whether bloggers can be regarded as professional journalists and so forth.

Jeff and fellow blogger Ahiruddin Attan (Rocky's Bru) became big heroes amongst Netizens back then when the New Straits Times Press, its deputy chairman Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, Group Editor-in-Chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun and former Group Editor Brendan Pereira. filed a lawsuit in January 2007, alleging that an article which they wrote had accused Brendan Pereira of plagiarising an article by journalist Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, as they were regarded as two "Davids" versus a "Goliath".

Jeff Ooi was a member of the Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan - Malaysian People's Movement) party which at the time was a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, though shortly before Malaysia's 12th general elections on 8 March 2018, Jeff quit Gerakan and joined the opposition Democratic Action Party to contest against a candidate from his former party Gerakan for the Jelutong parliamentary seat in Penang.

Jeff announced his candidacy with a big bang at the Food Foundry cafe in Section 17, Petaling Jaya, amidst members of the media, the blogerati, Facebookerati and Twitterati. There was no WhatsApp back then or there would also have been the WhatsApperati present beam news of the event to smartphones all over (though there weren't as many smartphones around back then apart from Symbian and Windows Mobile based smartphones.

I told Jeff via a comment on Screenshots that he should get out of cyberspace and campaign face to face on the ground in Jelutong.

I later read that when Jeff went onto the ground in Jelutong, he discovered that hardly anybody knew of him, whilst those in the IT ivory tower, including members of the ICT media had hailed him as a "prominent blogger" (well within their small world, that is).

Soon after, I noticed Jeff's frequency of posting on Screenshots dropped dramatically.

When polling day came, Jeff won Jelutong with 67% of the vote versus the Gerakan candidate.

Obviously, Jeff had rolled up his sleeves, put on his walking shoes and pounded the streets of Jelutong, meeting and talking to people in realspace.

When Jeff attended his first parliamentary session as a Member of Parliament, the media had pictures of him blogging from parliament but after that, he rarely posted on Screenshots and his presence kid of faded from the blogosphere.

In the May 2013 general elections, Jeff held Jelutong with 70% of the vote, trashing his Gerakan opponent.

But, the DAP did not field Jeff for a third term in the 9 May 2018 general elections and according to media reports, Jeff had turned to focus his attention on photography.

Anyway, Jeff is back in the news again, warning people to be careful about what they read online.

I'll put that another way - There's plenty of scheiss online today.

The Free Malaysia Today article referred to follows below:- 



   

   



PETALING JAYA: A former political blogger has sounded a warning over media literacy in the country, saying Malaysians could be in trouble if they do not improve their ability to tell fact from fiction.

Jeff Ooi, whose blog "Screenshots" came out tops in the Asia category of the Freedom Blogs Awards given by Reporters Without Borders in 2005, said fake news was a worldwide phenomenon catalysed by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Being a multicultural and multi-religious country, he warned, Malaysia was a "tinder box" of potential hot spots which could be ignited by fake news at any time.

"Fake news and rumour-mongering have the potential to create massive social unrest," the former Jelutong MP told FMT, cautioning Malaysians not to believe everything being circulated on social media.

Ooi, who is also an IT consultant, said the algorithms behind social media platforms determine which posts are highlighted on-site. This means anyone who understands how these programmes work can manipulate stories to receive higher rankings and generate more clicks with readers.

"That's where the sharing and ranking with the aim of distorting the truth can happen," he said.

He added that many social media users were gullible and believed everything they read.

He urged the people to check the facts and to be more critical of any information received, especially if it was reported without a reliable source.

However, in a recent panel discussion on social media organised by the Jeffrey Cheah institute, he said he saw no need for extra legislation to counter the spread of fake news, saying Malaysia had enough laws governing news-related crimes.

"I think we have to go through all this as part of the growing pains of a democratic society, where we develop from being naive to being sophisticated.

"People actively using social media need to develop a strong sense of responsibility because whatever they say will be spread far and wide across the web."

The Anti-Fake News Act was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on April 2 and came into effect on April 11, just before the May 9 polls which swept Pakatan Harapan to federal power.

Critics said the act, which aimed to combat misinformation and rumours, was unnecessary and muzzled press freedom. They also claimed it was bulldozed through Parliament.

On Aug 16, the Dewan Rakyat approved a motion to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act. However, the bill was rejected by the Dewan Negara less than a month later on Sept 12.

Under the act, those found guilty of spreading "wholly or partly false" news can be fined up to RM500,000, jailed up to six years or both.

The law applies to both Malaysians and foreigners, even if the offence occurs outside the country.

'Democracy is messy'

Pauline Leong, a senior lecturer in media studies at Sunway University, agreed that there was no need for additional laws to curb fake news.

She added that the Anti-Fake News Act had not been properly debated before becoming law, saying it was rushed through with insufficient input.

Like Ooi, she said the presence of misinformation was a symptom of an intellectually developing society in a free democracy.

"Democracy is very messy," she said during the panel discussion, recommending that further debate be held in Parliament as well as the public arena to ascertain the need for the Anti-Fake News Act and other similar laws.

She also noted that people could be emotional when it comes to social media, and often forwarded information without checking on its source.

She recommended teaching media literacy in schools as a long-term strategy to tackle the spread of fake news.

"If we teach the young how to determine fake news from real news, we will have a generation that is aware of the impact of what they do online."

MCA vice-president Ti Lian Ker however said there was no need to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act.

"Just fine-tune it," he said. "If there is a provision that might be abused, simply repeal that."


I cannot find Jeff's Screenshots blog online today, though Rocky's blog is still alive and well at http://www.rockybru.com.my/

Rather ironically, these two former comrades in arms in cyberspace back then were and are respectively aligned to two opposing political parties in realspace - i.e. Jeff to DAP, Rocky (Ahiruddin Attan) to UMNO. 

Yours most truly

IT SCHEISS

Saturday, 17 November 2018

WHAT HAS PENANG LEARNED FROM HONG KONG, Y.B. CHOW KON YEOW?

Free Malaysia Today of 16th November 2018 reported Penang Chief Minister (Menteri Besar) Y.B. Chow Kon Yeow saying that if Hong Kong had listened to the advice of Penang's pro-environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Hong Kong would  not be developed as it is today still be backward, and that Penang state would learn nothing if the state government which he leads listens to those NGOs - thus implying that Penang would not develop as fast if it listed to the advice of those NGOs.



Chow also cited that Hong Kong had suffered a landslide back in the 1970s in which resulted in the death of a hundred people but Hong Kong learned from their mistakes and come up with solutions to prevent future landslides.

Chow also referred to the landslide at the construction of the elevated Paya Terubong "paired road", resulting the death and injury of several people.

This recent comes almost a year after the 21 October 2018 landslide at the Granito housing construction site in Tanjung Bungah, which took 11 lives, mostly migrants workers.

I have three questions for The Right Honourable (Y.B.) Chow Kon Yeow.

1. You say that Hong Kong learned from its landslide tragedy in the 1970s, with studies which have developed means to avoid future landslides.

     My question then is what has Penang learned from Hong Kong's studies and measures which could have been applied to hill slope development in Penang, taking into consideration similarities and differences between hill slope geology, soil structure, soil stability, rainfall volume, risk from earthquakes and so forth of hills in Penang
      and Hong Kong?

2.  Are more and more high-rise buildings and construction in Penang, including on its hill slopes your sole measure of "development". What about development of more inventive and innovative industries which produce higher quality, higher value-added products which can bring more revenue to Penang's economy and provide more jobs,
      what about more affordable housing for Penang's people, what about quality of life issues for Penang residents?

3.  Whose interest are you serving, Y.B. Chow - those of the developers or those of Penang's people?

Free Malaysia Today article follows below:-

Chow: If HK had to take advice of Penang NGOs, it would still be backward

Predeep Nambiar - November 16, 2018 11:38 PM

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota) today said the state would learn nothing if it took advice from parties urging it to stop all development projects following the recent landslide.

Taking the case of Hong Kong, which had a major landslide in the 1970s which killed nearly a hundred, he said the island learnt from its mistakes and decided to move on to come up with solutions.

Chow said as a result, they have become resilient in matters of hill development and have formed a geotechnical department much envied by others in the world.

He said although the Bukit Kukus incident was regrettable, there is a lesson to be learnt by all and the government is doing all it can to prevent a repeat.

Chow said the state was committed to improving worksite safety and compliance and would commit to taking the Hong Kong path.

"If NGOs like those in Penang were in Hong Kong, asking for development to be stopped over a landslide, Hong Kong would not be as developed as it is today.

"I can imagine them saying 'okay incidents happened, stop everything; state must stop all development projects'.

"The other option is to admit the faults and recognise the need to improve and move on.

"Now you see Hong Kong building on the steepest slopes without much fuss," he said during his winding-up speech at the state assembly today.

Last month, nine workers died in a landslide at a road construction site on a hill slope in Bukit Kukus.

The official cause of the incident is yet to be known pending a state and police investigation. Experts claim proper hill-cutting procedures were not adhered to.

'NGOs plucking figures from sky

Chow also addressed another thorny topic involving Penang's projected population in the next 10 to 20 years in the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

The Penang Forum has claimed the estimates were too high and unrealistic to justify an expensive transport system, such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT).

An expert had reportedly said the population density for the reclaimed islands, at 21,636 people per square km was unrealistic, which was higher than London city centre (11,522 people per square km), Paris (20,909 people per square km) and Hong Kong (17,000 people per square km).

Chow said the population projection by the project delivery partner of the PTMP was based on data from the Statistics Department.

He said official numbers show Penang had a population of 1.7 million last year and this is expected to grow by 25,000 to 30,000, or at a 1.5-2.5% rate each year in coming years.

Chow said by the time the PTMP projects are completed, around 2030, Penang would have "at least 2.3 million people", as revealed by the country's statisticians.

"NGOs sometimes pluck figures from the sky, without referring to official statistics. The PTMP population estimate was based on the number available when the projection was made, which was in 2015.

"Based on population growth data and the current population, by 2030, we will have 2.2 to 2.4 million people.

"So how are we going to cater to that many people? Can the island hold these many people?" he asked, saying this was where the reclaimed islands came into play.

Chow said with the reclaimed islands, Penang will have more space to house its extra population.

"Maybe the NGOs are not responsible for the future 2.4 million Penangites but as the government, we need to take care of the future population.

"The PTMP will spur growth and create jobs from an excellent public transport system and other measures," he said.

PTMP will see a series of highways and transit lines built in the state in the next 20 to 30 years at a cost of RM46 billion.

It would be financed through the creation of three artificial islands on the south of Penang Island, which would later be auctioned off to interested parties. However, the plan has yet to be approved by environmental regulators.

The Penang government is eager to kickstart two of its main projects, the Pan Island Link 1 highway (costing RM8 billion) and the Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT line (RM8.4 billion).

The state has requested for a soft loan of RM1 billion to kick-start both the projects so they can proceed concurrently, without having to wait for the islands to be reclaimed.


Yours trully


Politischeiss

Thursday, 15 November 2018

SO HOW NOW - WITH CLAIMS OF 8,926 VOTES IN PKR ELECTIONS ARE MISSING?

Whilst, it would be unfair to blame PKR's e-voting system for the questions being raised over the validity of results in the party's recent elections for the Deputy President post, given the media reports of alleged shenanigans by human beings which have emerged, including allegations of missing votes, reports of alleged fraud by party members, allegations of money politics and so forth flying; however many citizens worldwide, including in advanced countries such as the United States are sceptical over the integrity of the results of computer-based voting, since the recording of votes and their vote tallying is invisible, hence rather opaque to most human polling monitors, except for a handful of computer-savvy persons in charge of monitoring the vote tally.

This is unlike traditional paper ballot voting, where the ballots dropped into the ballot box, which are made of clear plastic in Malaysia and visible to anyone, and even then, there have been allegations, valid or unfounded, of election fraud in Malaysia's past general elections.

I have served as an polling agent for then opposition candidates in three of Malaysia's general elections - if I recall right in 1990, 1995 and 1999. It's a tedious process whereby the election officer in charge of the polling stream announces the name and Identity Card number of the voter who collects the ballot paper from a printed list of voters and we had to quickly scan through the copy of the same list and cross out the name of the voter on the list, so that we will know if anyone has voted more than once at that polling stream.

When polling closes, the ballot box is locked and sealed with sealing wax and each of us polling agents are allowed to make some imprint in the still soft wax, such as by using our key, a coin or something like that.

We return about two hours later when the ballot boxes will be opened in our presence and the ballot papers are poured out into a tray by the election officer.

The election officer then picks up a ballot paper, opens it up, holds it up and shows the vote on it to all of us and we record down the vote for the candidate on it and have the right to object if the "X" in not placed in the right place.

The election officer then places that ballot paper in a tray relevant to the candidate contesting, and the spoilt votes into a tray for spoilt votes.

Whilst voting fraud is still possible with such paper ballot voting, such as if a voter votes at one polling station and then votes again at another, however the possibility this has been minimised with the use of indelible ink into which each voter must dip his or her finger and the stain takes days to disappear due to washing, etc.

There also have been allegations of vote fraud due to phantom voters and "40,000 Bangladeshis" being "flown in" and given temporary Malaysian Identity Cards to enable them to vote for a certain party in past Malaysian general elections, except for the 9 May 2018 general elections which the Pakatan Harapan won.

For instance, a giant, six-engined Antonov 225 freighter aircraft landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly before the last general elections and there was an allegation on social media that the aircraft would be used to fly in Bangladeshis to vote.
 


Well, the largest plane in the world that it may be, the Antonov 225 has a maximum payload of 250 tons or 226,796 kilogrammes.

Divide 226,797 kilogrammes by 40,000 Bangladeshis stuffed into the giant plane and it works out that each Bangladeshi would have to weigh on average 5.66 kilogrammes maximum, or about the weight of a baby each, or the plane would not be able to take off.

Social media is full of scheiss anyway, so I didn't take that seriously.

Anyway, rightly or wrongly, the proverbial scheiss has hit the proverbial fan over the recent PKR party elections, and it looks like the stink will linger for quite a while more, with more allegations of fraud, allegations of missing votes, more reports lodged with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and so forth reports being made.

As matters stand right now, I wonder whether the Registrar of Societies will accept the result of the recent PKR party elections or whether it will deem the results invalid and require the party to hold another round of elections.

If the RoS requires that the election be held all over again, I wonder whether PKR will use e-voting again, or revert to traditional, tried and tested paper ballot voting.

 The Star Online of 13 November 2018 reports:-


Akmal Nasir claims nearly 9,000 pro-Rafizi votes are missing

Nation

Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018
9:45 PM MYT

by tarrence tan

KUALA LUMPUR: As the conclusion of the PKR polls approaches, its Youth chief hopeful Akmal Nasir has dropped a bombshell, alleging that up to 8,926 votes in favour of Rafizi Ramli in the race for the deputy presidency are missing.

Akmal alleged this during a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 13), referring to a study he conducted based on information collected from the official polls results displayed on PKR's website.

There is a ferocious battle for the deputy presidency between Rafizi Ramli and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, which is marred by allegations of money politics and scuffles between their respective supporters.

Akmal identified 40 divisions where he claimed 20% to 35% of votes for the deputy president post are missing.

In the PKR polls, which are conducted electronically, registered members vote in order of party position hierarchy.

As Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won uncontested as party president, the first vote they cast is for the deputy presidency, then the vice presidency, central leadership committee members and finally the top two posts for the Wanita and Youth wings.

Akmal claims that the votes are missing as there is a discrepancy between the number of votes cast and what has been tallied and displayed on the PKR website.

He said that out of the 40 divisions, 17 divisions in Sabah and Selangor were identified as Rafizi strongholds.

"The 17 divisions involve nine in Sabah and eight in Selangor, where the majority in these divisions were expected to give Rafizi an edge … based on the support given by his supporters," he said.

Akmal, claimed that a total of 8,926 votes are missing from these 17 divisions.

He said that the study is being presented to PKR's political bureau meeting Tuesday night (Nov 13).

However, he refused to accuse anyone of having a hand in this matter, and said that the party leadership should demand an investigation once all the facts are available.

"This is our party too. We don't intend to create trouble, but we want to help ensure this party remains strong," he said.

Also present during the press conference were Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen, Sungai Siput MP S. Kesavan, Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai, Tanjung Malim MP Chang Lih Kang and Kapar MP Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid.

Wong said PKR must address this issue as the credibility of the party was at stake.

"Akmal's data shows that the anomaly is too great. If one or two percent of the votes are missing, that is normal," he said.

Wong said that the vote for the deputy president post was first on the online voting system, and it was impossible that such a large percentage did not cast it.

"It is not logical that 20 to 35% of the very first vote were not cast," he said, adding that any statistician would immediately see something amiss with the figure.

Wong urged the PKR Central Election Committee (JPP), which is also meeting Tuesday night, to look into the allegations.

According to Wong, the investigation must involve an independent, reputable and globally-recognised firm such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

"Hopefully, we can conduct a full investigation – and prior to the investigation, we would not like the JPP to make any announcements that do not make sense," he said.

Wong was referring to the announcement by JPP chairman Datuk Rashid Din, who said earlier on Nov 13 that there would not be a re-election at the Julau division in Sarawak and that results of the re-election at Tawau and Pensiangan divisions would be revealed once checks are done.

Results of the party polls will be officially announced during the three-day PKR Congress starting this Friday (Nov 16) at the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam.


The Malay Mail of 13 November 2018 reports that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir may reshuffle his cabinet after the PKR election results:-



Report: Dr M says Cabinet reshuffle possible after PKR polls

Published 4 hours ago on 13 November 2018

By Azril Annuar

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said he is open to the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle following the conclusion of the PKR party elections but he wants to work with those he is comfortable with.

He told the Singapore daily The Straits Times in an interview that he has the final say when it comes to Cabinet appointments but will consider making changes if PKR submits new candidates which he approves of.

"They (PKR) can submit names, they can argue their case. I have my own views also. And the principle is that this Cabinet is chaired by me as the Prime Minister and I need to have people who I am comfortable with. So whether I accept nominations from them or not, is really up to me," he reportedly said.

Newly-elected Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has won the PKR presidency unopposed but the race for the party's deputy president's post has been rife with problems and issues including physical confrontations and suspicions of malware compromising the e-voting system.

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is fighting to retain the deputy president's post against challenger, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli and although the PKR central election committee has said the polls result so far is not final, Azmin's supporters have claimed victory.

Besides the PKR polls, there has also been speculations of a Cabinet reshuffle due to public criticism of many first time federal ministers.

The Straits Times had also quoted an unnamed official saying that Dr Mahathir has been unhappy with the Cabinet's performance for a while.


If Mahathir indeed does reshuffle his cabinet, I suppose some of the faces below will disappear and be replaced by others or will be moved to some other ministerial portfolio.


Or he perhaps Mahathir could buy one of these below from a furniture shop and appoint it as his cabinet.


Meanwhile, drawing from Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insight reports, the title of a Malaysia-Chronicle article of 13 November 2018 screams:-


The picture above looks a bit old, as that guy on the far right looks like Badrul Hisham ("Che Gu Bard") who has not been a PKR member for quite a while now - Anyway!

20,000 VOTES MISSING – WHAT'S THIS ANWAR? ARE YOU GOING TO LET AZMIN CAMP GET AWAY WITH IT?: PKR MAN DROPS BOMBSHELL – IN SABAH & SELANGOR ALONE 9,000 VOTES 'SYSTEMATICALLY DISAPPEARED', KEDAH, PERLIS, NEGRI SEMBILAN & MALACCA ALSO AFFECTED

You can read the full article via the link below:


Malaysia-Chronicle tends to be rather politically sensationalist, even since before the last general election, so decide for yourself.

Meanwhile, StarTV of 14 November 2018 publishes a video in which PKR Communications Director, Fahmi Fadzil said that the party will engage accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly (Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng in Malaysia) to look into claims of these missing votes. 

  

PKR to engage auditing firm to look into missing votes claim

Published on 14 Nov 2018 12:29:59 AM

PKR communication director Fahmi Fadzil said the party will engage a consulting and auditing firm to look into claims of missing votes in the recently-concluded party polls.
Fahmi said on Tuesday night that the political bureau had instructed accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly to look into claims brought up by Youth chief hopeful Akmal Nasir.



Perhaps Malaysia could be the first country in the world to engage a management and consulting firm to run the country on a five-year contract.

In this case, the competing management and consulting firms will pitch for the contract to voters at election time, citizens will then vote on which firm to award the governing contract to for five years and the firm which receives most votes will be awarded the governing contract.

In this case Malaysia won't have a prime minister but a Chief Executive Officer, a Chief Operating Officer instead of a deputy prime minister and the cabinet will be comprised of Divisional Managers of Finance, Home Affairs, Defense and so forth instead of ministers.
Yours most trully


IT.Scheiss


Sunday, 11 November 2018

SECOND CLEAR CASE OF SABOTAGE OF PKR'S e-VOTING SYSTEM - WHY & WHO ?

The discovery of a 4G and WiFi jammer device on an upper terrace of an indoor stadium in Kuala Selangor where the PKR's divisional party election was held on 28 October 2018 was the first clear piece of evidence of sabotage of the party's controversial e-voting system.

The jammer's placement on an upper terrace gave its signals optimal coverage of the polling venue, thus disrupting e-voting which relied on 4G or WiFi connectivity of the tablets used for voting. which in turn resulted in voting for the PKR's Kuala Selangor division having to be postponed.

The fact that the jammer was not removed, strongly suggests that whoever placed it there wanted it to be discovered, hoping that it would create dissension between contenders for the post of party vice-president and their supporters.
  

On 10 November 2018, The Malay Mail and The Star reported the discovery that the Prey anti-theft application had been installed on the 10 tablet devices used for e-voting at PKR's Julau branch in Sarawak. 

PKR's Election Committee chairman Datuk Rashid Din said that party's cybersecurity team at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya, had reported that the Prey application was used remotely to erase the e-voting application in the tablets, steal data, change the passwords and control the use of the tablets.

Prey, developed by the Prey Project, is a popular free-of-charge or subscription-based cloud (web-based) service which works with a client application installed on Windows, Mac OS and Linux-based PCs, as well as Apple iOS and Android smartphones, which enables owners to remotely monitor and track movement of their device when lost or stolen, as well as to remotely take screen captures of applications being run by the person using it after it was lost or stolen and also to remotely snap his or her photo which has helped local police to recover the device for the owner. Prey also lets owners remotely control their device.



Below are two You Tube videos which describe what Prey is an how it works.


Whilst on the one hand, one would expect that it would have made sense for PKR itself to have installed Prey on its tablets as protection in case they are lost, stolen or have some unauthorised application installed on them by some third party, however in this case, an ill-intentioned third-party installed Prey on these 10 tablets, which gave them remote control over these devices, instead of PKR.

This discovery in Julau, also does not help PKR following the controversy over the huge jump from 603 to over 13,000 members in PKR's Julau branch within one day in June 2018. Below are some media reports onthe Julau branch issue:-

PKR Julau branch membership controversy deepens

KUCHING: The PKR Julau branch membership controversy took a new twist when its branch chief claimed that dead members have been registered as members in his branch.

Sarawak PKR lodges MACC report on dubious members (MACC - Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission)

The last line of this The Malay Mail article reads:-
"The MACC has since raided the office of Julau MP Larry Sng Wei Shien to facilitate investigations for allegedly buying thousands of votes."

Citing the same Malay Mail article above, Malaysia Chronicle, a strongly pro-Pakatan portal called upon the party:-

"PKR'S NAME IS NOW MUD – HAUL UP THE ATTACK DOGS & SACK THEM: JULAU OVERKILL – SAIFUDDIN FLAYS 'FACTIONS' FOR PUTTING SELF-INTEREST FIRST"

Accusations have already begun to fly between contenders in the party elections for the PKR Deputy-President post.

Team Rafizi says Julau controversy created by Team Azmin

Jointly citing a The Malaysian Insight and a Malaysiakini report, Malaysia Chronicle quoted one of the contenders Rafizi Ramli:-

"I don't think the results for Julau – whatever the results – will be accepted."

If a re-poll is called, he said, "I am not certain if anyone has the energy for it".

"Every time there is a revote, it takes a huge toll on our campaign. To mobilise members in areas like Julau is not easy. The logistics issue is huge."

And, said Rafizi, he is already broke.

"I don't have a single sen left to organise another round."

And cyber-security expert Keith Rozario:-

On the use of Android tablet computers for the PKR voting system, Rozario said it was difficult to protect devices where an untrusted user had physical access to it.

He explained that this was why iPads menu systems in restaurants and ATM machines are secured in metal enclosures.

"We use to say in infosec (information security), that if an attacker has physical access to the device it's game over," he said.


At this point, I wonder whether it is worth my while to again remind PKR that they should have switched to traditional paper ballot voting one their e-voting system encountered problems during party elections in Penang and Kedah, about one and a half months since I wrote:-

e-VOTING SYSTEM SCREW UP RESULTS IN FIGHT BETWEEN PKR MEMBERS

Back then, I believed that it was purely a technical issue with their e-voting system but now that it's clear that there are attempts at deliberate sabotage involved, either by party members or outsiders, so there's no certainty that even paper ballot voting will be free of such issues.

Malay Mail and The Star articles on the Prey application found on e-voting tablets follow below:-


PKR suspends poll at controversial Julau branch over 'cyberattack'

Published 10 hours ago on 10 November 2018

By Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Nov 10 — PKR halted voting at its scandal-hit Julau branch today after its central election committee detected a third-party application on the 10 tablets used for the party's e-voting.

Committee chairman Datuk Rashid Din said reports have then been sent to the panel's cybersecurity team in the party headquarters Petaling Jaya for examination.

"The information that was received stated that the software was used to erase the e-voting application in the tablets, steal data, change the passwords and control the use of the tablets," he said in a statement.

The tablets were being remotely controlled, he added.

A technical team took the tablets offline before removing the application.

He identified the "malware" as the Prey app. Prey is a legitimate anti-theft application that is available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and even Linux.

The statement did not say if the app was altered or simply used to hijack the tablets.

The committee opted to suspend the announcement of the Julau branch's results pending further examination of the tablets and e-votes lodged.

"The committee is investigating if the cyberattack is also happening in other places where the party's polls are also held today," Rashid said.

The Julau branch caused controversy with the sudden spike its membership from 603 to 13,178.

Sarawak PKR information chief Vernon Kedit had claimed that the registration of 13,178 new members of the party in Julau was "not genuine, but made by stealing personal data and information without the knowledge of the owners and, therefore, not proper".


Two hours earlier, The Star reported:-

Julau PKR results suspended after malware issue

Nation

Saturday, 10 Nov 2018
7:14 PM MYT

by sharon ling

KUCHING: THE PKR central election committee (JPP) has suspended the results from Julau division, after the tablets used in voting were found to be compromised with Prey anti-theft software.

JPP chairman Datuk Rashid Din said the e-voting system at the Julau polling station failed to function normally at 2pm on Saturday (Nov 10).

"It was found that 10 tablets being used at the time had the Prey software installed in them.

"Information from the JPP cyber security team in Petaling Jaya stated that the software was used to erase the e-voting app in the tablets, steal data, change the password and remotely control the tablet," he said in a statement.

Rashid said the JPP's system and IT unit took immediate measures to resolve the problem, including switching the voting mode to offline and uninstalling the Prey software.

"Due to this situation, the JPP is suspending the results for Julau division until the tablets are restored and the data is processed.

"The JPP is also investigating whether a similar cyber attack happened in other places that voted today (Saturday)," he said.


Yours trully


IT.Scheiss


Friday, 9 November 2018

WHAT ABOUT BROADBAND PURCHASING POWER PARITY AND THE SPEED FOR WHAT WE PAY ?

This is something which Malaysia's dear Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Yang Berhormat (The Right Honourable) Gobind Singh Deo needs to look into.

Besides that, the good Minister (whose official e-mail address is also included Bcc (blind carbon copy) in this e-mailshot) should also look into the fact that my Telekom Malaysia Unifi bill dated 04 November 2018 remains at RM149.00 per month or RM157.95 after Sales and Services Tax, when Telekom Malaysia should have automatically reduced it to a lower monthly rate (of around RM120 per month), following the good minister's directive to all of Malaysia's broadband service providers to reduce their broadband rates.

Anyway, on 6 November 2018, The Malay Mail carried an article entitled - Malaysia stagnant in broadband affordability, even as broadband prices in some of our regional neighbours have become more affordable. The link to the article referred to is included below:-

The article drew upon data from the results of a survey entitled Worldwide Broadband Price Comparison 2018, published by Cable.co.uk, an Excel spreadsheet providing details of comparative broadband prices in 195 countries  can be downloaded from here:-

The Malay Mail article included infographic showing the average monthly cost of broadband across 10 ASEAN countries in U.S. dollars and Malaysian ringgit and Thailand came out tops with the lowest average broadband price in 2018, followed by Myanmar and then Malaysia in third position ahead of Singapore and six other ASEAN countries.

The infographic also showed that Malaysia had remained in 76th place in terms of average monthly broadband cost in 2018 and in 2017, amongst the 195 countries surveyed worldwide.
The Malay Mail also highlighted that whilst Singapore came forth after Malaysia in ASEAN, in terms of average broadband price, however it came tops in ASEAN in terms of price per megabit per month.

Being one who as far as possible, prefers to get information and data for my articles directly from the source and make up my own mind, I downloaded the report in an Excel spreadsheet from Cable.co.uk's website provided above and present them herewith in a series of six screen captures, with the average cost of broadband per month in U.S. dollars in ascending order - i.e. the lowest first and we can see that Ukraine came out tops at US$5.00 per month. (pardon the mis-alignment in my first screen capture).




Taking a closer look at Malaysia, the screencap below shows Malaysia ranked at 76th place with U.S.$47.92 average cost of broadband per month, with other countries nearest Malaysia on the list.

Sorting the rankings by broadband price per megabit per month in U.S. dollars, Malaysia came 93rd at U.S.$3.06 per megabit per month behind Pakistan and ahead of Saint Martin - i.e. the northern part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, which is an overseas territory of France. 
The screen cap below shows that Singapore came tops amongst the 195 countries and territories with U.S.$0.03 of 3 US cents per megabit per month, followed by Ukraine at 4 U.S. cents per megabit per month and so forth, and rather surprisingly, there are many developing countries with far lower broadband costs per megabit per month than Malaysia.
The infographic below from the Worldwide Broadband Price Comparison 2018 report shows the five countries with the most expensive and the five with the least expensive broadband packages in the world, and all of the five with least expensive broadband packages include Syria which is battling U.S. imperialist backed "rebels", "poverty-stricken" Venezuela which is "beset by shortages and economic problems" according to U.S. imperialist and Western European imperialist media reports, Iran which is under U.S. imperialist sanctions against oil exports in a vain attempt to strangle her economically, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.  

So why is broadband so expensive in relatively peaceful and supposedly prosperous, middle-income Malaysia, with our 'first world infrastructure and third world mentality', as former Prime Minister, Tun Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi described us?

Whilst the Excel spreadsheet downloaded from Cable.co.uk provides average monthly broadband prices in the 195 countries and territories, as well as broadband prices per megabit per month, however the list falls short on broadband speeds for what one pays for in each of these 195 countries and territories and and a very significant metric - i.e. broadband prices in terms of purchasing power parity in each of these 195 countries and territories, since the prices in purchasing power parity is a true indicator of the affordability of broadband packages for customers in these respective countries.

To digress a bit, I refer you to my second earliest IT.Scheiss blog post dated 4 October 2013, entitled 'Malaysia: A "High Income" nation for whom by the Year 2020?', in which I point out that earning RM48,000 per annum gross national income per capita (or RM4,000 per month) by the year 2020 as envisaged by Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme announced on 25 October 2010 by our former Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak, whereby Malaysia becomes a "high income nation" by 2020, is deceptive, since gross national income per capita is an average figure and averages can be deceptive indicators, especially when there is a high income disparity between the top income earners and the majority of the population, when the median mode income would be more accurate indicators.

Also, in my blog post, I describe the Geary-Khamis International Dollar - a fictional 'currency' - actually an index created by economists and used by international bodies such as the World Bank and others as a measure of the actual value of income in each country in terms of purchasing power parity.


One key metric I forgot in my arguments is the rate of inflation, independently estimated by unit trust companies and others to be around 5.6% in the urban centres such as Klang Valley at the time (2013), which would render it difficult for someone earning RM4,000 per month or RM48,000 per annum to make ends meet in face of higher living costs by the year 2020 (now postponed to 2024).

I understand that the official inflation rate for Malaysia published by the government is based upon the average of price increases in 200 goods and services and is an average for the whole country, whilst in practical terms, the inflation rate is lower in a rural village and considerably higher in a major metropolitan area such as the Klang Valley, so a good and reliable indicator of actual inflation in a particular city or town could be called the Local Nasi Lemak, Char Koay Teow,  Chappati and Teh Tarik Index.

Reducing prices, the cost of living and inflation for us ordinary Malaysians is something which our 'Malaysia Baru' ('New Malaysia') Finance Minister, Yang Berhormat Lim Guan Eng, who is also included in this mailshot must look into seriously.

Anyway, back to the core topic of this post, the article on Cable.com.uk's website includes an active infographic based upon data from a report published earlier entitled - Average measured speeds of the five cheapest and most expensive countries,  in terms of broadband prices in U.S. dollars (left) and speeds in megabits per second (right) in these respective countries, which I have presented in two screencaps side by side.
The above clearly shows one pays U.S.$768.16 for 0.7 megabits per second (700 kilobits per second) in Mauritania - Ouch!!!

Now the entry-level fibre broadband price in Malaysia is now around RM120 per month, though I still pay nearly RM158 per month for 10 megabits per second, whilst Singtel's entry-level fibre broadband packages costs Sin$44.90 for 1 gigabits per second connectivity (or the equivalent of RM136.05 at the current RM3.03 to the Singapore dollar right now).


In purchasing power parity terms, paying RM120 per month (or like me, nearly RM158 per month) is more than three times as costly for someone with an income of RM3,000 per month in Malaysia, than paying Sin$42.90 is for someone in Singapore with an income of Sin$3,000 per month, ignoring the 100 times faster broadband speed in Singapore.

Up in Thailand, AIS's entry-level home fibre broadband package costs 559 Thai Baht (RM70.43) per month for an asymmetric 50 megabits per second  download and 20 megabits per second upload speed, which not only is five times faster download and two times faster upload for about half of what I in Malaysia pays for 10 megabits per second or about 58% of Telekom Malaysia's RM120 per month Unifi package.


In purchasing power parity terms, I reckon that Thailand is much closer to Malaysia than is Singapore, where someone in a job which pays RM3,000 per month in Malaysia would be paid 30,000 Thai Baht in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, where the cost of living is similar to that in the Klang Valley.

So, please look further into this, dear Communications and Multimedia Minister, Yang Berhormat Gobing Singh Deo, dear Finance Minister, Yang Berhormat Lim Guan Eng and yes - also dear Economic Affairs Minister, Yang Berhormat Dato' Seri Azmin Ali (once he has finished battling Rafizi Ramli for vice-president in your party elections).

For the benefit of readers, The Malay Mail article referred to follows below:-
Malaysia stagnant in broadband affordability, even as some regional neighbours improve

Published 1 hour ago on 06 November 2018

By Jerry Choong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — The status of broadband internet packages affordability in Malaysia remained unchanged from last year, even as neighbouring countries in the regions experience varying changes to their rankings.

The Worldwide Broadband Price Comparison for 2018 conducted by analytical company Cable.co.uk revealed that Thailand ranks as the first in the Asean region with the cheapest broadband packages, followed by Myanmar and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Laos has the most expensive broadband package prices in the region. This was followed by Brunei and Vietnam.

At the 76th place globally, Malaysians pay on average US$47.92 (RM199.47) per month for broadband. In contrast, Thailand was placed 29th at US$25.58 (RM106.48) monthly.

The biggest winners this year have been Myanmar and Indonesia, at global ranks of 57th (US$37.56 or RM156.34) and 92nd (US$54.85 or RM228.31) places respectively. Both had ranked 131st and 126th places respectively last year.

Bruneians have to fork out an average of US$123.29 or RM513.19 per month for broadband packages, and Laotians must pay a whopping US$239.25 or RM995.88 per month for broadband packages.

However, Brunei has moved 20 spots upwards from 193rd place last year to 173rd this year, while Laos remains unchanged.


The remainder of the Asean countries have seen their affordability rankings take a dip this year compared to last. Singapore has dropped from 59th to 78th place this year, where broadband packages cost an average of US$50.43 (RM209.91) per month.

However the study also notes that it has the best value in the world at US$0.03 (RM0.12) per megabit.

The Philippines went down three places from 85th to 88th place, at US$53.14 (RM221.20) a month, while Cambodia went from 89th to 108th at US$62.29 (RM259.28), and Vietnam from 106th to 124th at US$69.63 (RM289.83).

Globally the study indicated that several of the most expensive countries for broadband packages are situated in Asean (Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Laos) whereas in the greater Asian continent Sri Lanka, Iran, Nepal and Mongolia are ranked among the top 20 cheapest countries for broadband packages.


Yours most trully

IT.Scheiss