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Saturday, December 28, 2019

China's largest carrier rocket Long March-5 makes new flight; BDS-3 satellite system (GPS) to complete before June 2020, Space Station operational in 2022

https://youtu.be/BEx6oQhx6Sc

VideoFromSpace 838K subscribers A Chinese Long March 5 Y3 rocket launched from Wenchang Satellite Launch Cente in south China on Dec. 27, 2019. It was carrying the Shijian-20 communications satellite. --Full Story: https://www.space.com/china-long-marc... Credit: China Central Television - CCTV

The Long March 5 is an essential booster for China's space ambitions. The heavy-lift booster will be the one to launch China's space station modules as well as a  Mars lander in 2020 and the Chang'e 5 moon sample-return mission.

China is also expected to use a version of the Long March 5, called the Long March 5B, to launch  a new crewed spacecraf — the successor to its current Shenzhou crew capsule.

The rocket stands 184 feet (56 meters) tall and weighs nearly 2 million lbs. (867,000 kilograms) at liftoff. It is capable of carrying payloads of up to 55,000 lbs. (25,000 kilograms) into low Earth orbit. It can haul up 31,000 lbs. (14,000 kg) to a higher geostationary transfer orbit.
https://www.space.com/china-long-march-5-rocket-2019-launch-success.html

China launches its largest carrier rocket Long March-5 Y3

https://youtu.be/Lc-RfXjERqg
The Long March-5 rocket, China's largest carrier rocket, was successfully launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province on Friday night.

The rocket lifted off at 8:45 p.m. Beijing time, carrying the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing over eight tonnes, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite in the country.

About 2,220 seconds later, the satellite was sent into its planned orbit and the launch mission was declared a success.

Long March-5 Y3 launches Shijian-20


https://youtu.be/M_Vu60EavR8

China's largest carrier rocket Long March-5 makes new flight


China launched the third Long March-5, the largest carrier rocket of the country, from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province on Friday evening.

The rocket, coded as Long March-5 Y3, blasted off from the coastal launch center at 8:45 p.m. (Beijing time), carrying the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing over eight tonnes, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite of the country.

About 2,220 seconds later, the satellite was sent into its planned orbit.

Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), declared the launch a success.

The success of the flight lays the foundation for a series of future space projects for the country including exploring Mars, returning moon samples and constructing its own space station, Wu said.

The Shijian-20 satellite will be used to test the key technologies of the DFH-5 platform, China's new-generation large satellite platform, and offer communication and broadcasting service, Wu said.

The Long March-5 is a large, two-stage rocket, capable of carrying a payload of 25 tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 16 cars, to low Earth orbit, 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, eight tonnes to Earth-Moon transfer orbit, or five tonnes to Earth-Mars transfer orbit, over twice the capacity of the current main Long March series rockets. Combined with an upper stage, the rocket is capable of sending probes to explore Jupiter and other planets in the solar system, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The Long March-5 made its maiden flight on Nov. 3, 2016 from Wenchang. However, the second large rocket, Long March-5 Y2, suffered a failure, as a malfunction happened less than six minutes after its liftoff on July 2, 2017.

The research team has found that the failure was caused by a problem in the engine of the first core stage of the rocket. "We have made improvements to the design, materials and technologies of the engine," said Li Dong, chief designer of the Long March-5 rocket from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) under the CASC.

Compared with the Long March-5 Y2, the new rocket has more than 200 technological improvements, said Yang Hujun, deputy chief designer of the rocket.

The modified engine has undergone more than 10 ground tests lasting over 3,000 seconds in total.

"Over the past two years, the research team has solved the problem of the engine and improved the reliability of the rocket," said Wang Jue, chief commander of the research team.

The carrying capacity of the Long March-5 rocket equals that of other mainstream large-scale rockets in the global industry, greatly improving China's ability to launch spacecraft and laying the foundation for developing new-generation carrier rockets and heavy-lift launch vehicles, said Wang Xiaojun, head of the CALT.

The rocket is about 57 meters long, equivalent to the height of a 20-story building, with a 5-meter diameter core stage and four 3.35-meter diameter boosters. The Long March-5 is much larger than China's previous carrier rockets. It has a takeoff weight of about 870 tonnes and a thrust of over 1,000 tonnes.

The four boosters, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology under the CASC, shoulder over 90 percent of the takeoff thrust.

The rocket uses environmentally friendly fuel, including kerosene, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, rather than highly toxic propellants.

It is equipped with eight liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket engines in four strap-on boosters, two liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines in the first stage and two relatively small liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines in the second stage.

The weight of the rocket itself only accounts for about 10 percent of the liftoff weight, and the other 90 percent is the weight of the propellants.

The research team has made efforts to decrease the weight of the rocket in its design. For instance, the thickness of the rocket shell in some parts is only a few millimeters, according to Li Linsheng, a structural strength analysis designer of the rocket.

The temperature of liquid hydrogen is minus 253 degrees centigrade, and the temperature of liquid oxygen is minus 173 degrees centigrade. The maximum temperature of the fuel during combustion in the rocket engine is more than 3,300 degrees centigrade.

China built the Wenchang Space Launch Center, the country's fourth space launch center, for the Long March-5 and other new-generation carrier rockets. The center is located on the coast of the tropical island province of Hainan, which avoids possible damage caused by the falling rocket remnants.

In the center is the country's largest and most advanced launch pad that is 70 meters tall, equivalent to the height of a 24-story building, and covers an area of 600 square meters, the same size as half a basketball court.

China to complete Beidou-3 satellite system BDS (GPS) before June 2020


China's BeiDou navigation system starts global ..

Beidou-3 set for completion next year | The Star Online

China Focus: China to complete Beidou-3 satellite system in ...

China launches a new BDS-3 satellite - GPS World

Expert says China's self-developed Beidou system performs better than GPS

20191227 国新办新闻发布会| CCTV LIVE

https://youtu.be/wBrUngeIzT0

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System serves the world

https://youtu.be/EyIQaszZPIo

In this episode of "Come Together," CGTN looks at the self-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) that went global in 2018 and represents another scientific breakthrough for China as the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding. Subscribe to us on YouTube: https://goo.gl/lP12gA Download our APP on Apple Store (iOS): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cctvn... Download our APP on Google Play (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/de...

China's homegrown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is going global

https://youtu.be/yPAiR71rIxs

BeiDou, China’s homegrown navigation satellite system, is to cover the world by 2020. Watch a video to see how it differs from GPS and can help you in life. - China Daily
How Smart is China's answer to GPS?

https://youtu.be/MSJxbbLMyZU

China recently launched another part of the Beidou Satellite System and we wanted to take a look at some of the ways China will use this system. We look at some of the important aspects of this project and how it will benefit Chinese people and everyone around the globe.

China will finish the construction of the BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3), with another two geostationary orbit satellites to be launched before June 2020, said BDS Spokesperson Ran Chengqi on Friday.

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of China's BDS-3 system providing global service.

Ran said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office that with the BDS as the core, a more ubiquitous, integrated and intelligent navigation and timing system with comprehensive national positioning is scheduled to be established by 2035.

China sent 10 BDS satellites into space in 2019. The deployment of the core BDS-3 constellation system has been completed with all of the BDS-3 system's medium earth orbit satellites being networked.

With the system's upgraded intelligent operation and maintenance capabilities, the BDS-3 has provided stable and accurate services, boasting a positioning accuracy of better than five meters.

The BDS system has multiple service capabilities, including satellite-based augmentation, short message communication, ground augmentation as well as international search and rescue. It will provide more diversified services with better performance and higher accuracy in 2020, Ran said.

A series of documents on the BDS system were also released to promote the understanding of the system and facilitate its use. The documents were published on the official website of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System.

The BDS system has seen thriving applications in many areas and has fostered an industrial ecosystem, Ran said.

The 22nm process navigation and positioning chip supporting BDS-3's new signal has a smaller volume, lower power consumption and higher accuracy, and has realized large-scale application.

The new generation of BDS system-related products including high-precision antennas, boards, and broadband radio frequency chips has been developed.

The BDS system has also seen increasing applications in emerging fields such as the industrial Internet and Internet of Things, as well as autonomous driving, parking and logistics.

With the arrival of the 5G commercial era, BDS is accelerating the integration with new technologies such as the next generation of mobile communication, blockchain and artificial intelligence, Ran said.

The BDS system is playing an important role in many industries including transportation, agriculture, forestry and energy. It supports China's dynamic monitoring system for more than 6.5 million vehicles. It will further facilitate railway transportation, inland river shipping, ocean navigation and the management of transportation infrastructure construction, Ran said.

Ran said China is continuously promoting the development of a legal system for satellite navigation.

China's applications for satellite navigation patents have increased rapidly, and the number has reached 70,000, ranking the first in the world.

More BDS-related national standards and special standards will be released to ensure a sound environment for its industrial application, Ran added. - Xinhua

Why China can build its own space station?

https://youtu.be/FMvYUYFRFk4

China Aerospace started from scratch, and by 2019, the country is ushering in a phase of superspace programs: the Chang’e-4 lunar probe was successfully launched, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System began providing global services and the Long March rockets have been launched over 300 times. The emergence of each set of data proves that China, once trailing behind in the global space programs, has now earned its place in the global space-program competition, and is tapping into a new field. Check out this video and have a look at why China can build its own space station.

See China’s Tiangong-2 Space Station Re-Enter Earth’s Atmosphere


https://youtu.be/00_nQvspkL8

China’s Tiangong-2 Space Station re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over the Pacific Ocean on July 19, 2019. A camera aboard Tiangong-2 captured imagery

Lift-off soon for China’s space station mission


https://youtu.be/qoqA3fcFPQM

China has announced the imminent launch of a mission that will start the process of building a space station by 2022. Making the announcement on February 4, 2019, Chinese space programme officials said astronauts are currently being recruited and trained, with drills and joint tests scheduled for the latter half of 2019. The space station will consist of three modules – a core cabin and two lab modules – and will be able to accommodate three astronauts working simultaneously. China is a relative latecomer to such space programmes since it was not a partner in the International Space Station (ISS), the habitable artificial satellite which was launched into orbit in 1998 and supporting its first long-term residents by November 2000. China has been opening up to international cooperation, however, agreeing with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to develop opportunities for scientists from around the world to carry out research on board the Chinese space station after it is operational in 2022.


China's space station: What you need to know


https://youtu.be/LINmR4wF6Xg

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Let’s come together in 2020

AS 2019 comes to a close let us reflect on how we have progressed as a nation in the past year. It’s time to take stock of our achievements and successes, weaknesses and shortcomings.

2019 can be as Charles Dickens wrote in his book, A Tale of Two Cities “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

The Government has succeeded in enhancing governance and reducing corruption and has unveiled a new shared prosperity vision. Nevertheless, the nation still remains divided with the state of race relations somewhat fragile and fraying.

Economically, whilst Malaysia has improved its international image and reputation and attracted new foreign investments, there are still concerns over the economy, particularly the cost of living and investor confidence.

I hope 2020 will be a better year for all Malaysians, a year of hope and reconciliation so necessary for us to be more united and harmonious.

I would like to propose that for the new year we look at the 4Cs.

Cultural divide: Let us close this divide to enhance our unity and social harmony by celebrating our cultural diversity instead of deliberating on what divides us.

Corruption: We need to instil a culture of ethics and integrity to enable us to fight corruption both in the public and private sectors. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Act’s corporate liability clause which comes into force in June 2020 can be a game changer to eradicate corruption. We must wipe out this scourge of corruption.

Class competition: The growing inequalities and divide between the rich and poor is unsustainable. More must be done to improve the earnings of the lower middle class so that they can improve their livelihood. At the same time more must be done for the bottom 20 or B20. We have talked a lot about the B40 but the B20 needs a lot more attention.

Common values and common purpose: We need to promote and enhance common values that all Malaysians can uphold and celebrate like tolerance, harmony, trust and mutual understanding. We must also have a common purpose that transcends our political divide and brings us together as a nation.

I would also like to urge the 4As of unity – acceptance, awareness, accommodation and acknowledgement. We need to maintain an equilibrium of the legitimate interests of the various communities.

Finally, I hope all Malaysians will come together to focus on the 3Es which must also be prioritised by the Government.

Economic growth: To ensure we continue to enjoy sustainable economic growth of 4%-5%.

Employment: We need to have enough jobs for our younger generation and create jobs of the future.

Environmental sustainability: We need a joint coordinated effort between government, business and civil society organisations to promote and achieve environmental sustainability so essential for future generations.

These are our common challenges going into 2020. Let us strengthen collaboration to move forward so that we can together work towards upholding the 4Ps – people, planet, peace, prosperity and partnerships for a better nation and better world.

May 2020 be a better and happier year for all of us and a year of the new 3Rs – reconciliation, renewal and racial harmony.

In 2020 we need to also keep focusing on the 3Ds – democracy, divide and digitalisation. The need to continue to strengthen democratic reforms, closing our racial and religious divides and accelerating digitalisation should move the nation forward.

Let 2020 also be the year we accelerate efforts to get rid of the 4Is – inequalities, injustices, indifference and impunity.

Let us begin a new year with new hopes. Happy New Year to all Malaysians.

Together let us unite and move forward to make 2020 the best year ever for Malaysia and Malaysians.

Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, President Kingsley Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific

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Jawi, a simple education matter is threatening to morph into a serious political issue?

Dong Zong president Tan (seated second from right) with other Dong Jiao Zong leaders at a press conference on Dec 12.


CHINESE educationists and guild leaders are going to display solid unity on Dec 28 – thanks to the Education Ministry’s move to marginalise the board of directors (BOD) in vernacular schools over a Jawi teaching issue.

Dong Jong and Jiao Zong, collectively referred to as Dong Jiao Zong, have championed the cause of Chinese education since the 1950s.

This coming Saturday, heads of Dong Jiao Zong from 13 states, as well as top leaders of 30 other national Chinese associations will be congregating at Dong Jong Building in Kajang to take a stand against a set of new guidelines on the teaching of Jawi issued by the Education Ministry to non-Malay schools.

Leading Chinese groups Huazong and Hoklian have declared their support promptly.

Hua Zong president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan said Chinese guilds need to unite in opposing the government’s move.

“The position of the Chinese community on Chinese language education, especially on this subject, needs to be consistent,” he said.

The bone of contention lies in the new guidelines issued by the Education Ministry on the teaching of Jawi scripts for Standard Four pupils in Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

In the guidelines issued earlier this month, the teaching of Jawi scripts will be optional. But if 51% of parents vote in favour of it in a survey conducted by Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), then schools will have to teach Jawi.

In this PTA survey and voting process, the school BOD is totally left out.

Responding to Dong Jiao Zong’s Dec 12 press conference, deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching told Bernama the ministry prioritised the opinion of the PTAs as well as the parents and students themselves.

Heng: 'We are concerned that once the precedent (of sidelining the school board) is set, school boards will lose their voice in future policies affecting Chinese primary schools.
- Datuk Eddie Heng Hong Chai

“We will let the PTAs make the decision because it’s about their children’s learning. Parents are the guardians, so you should get their consent if you want to do anything,” she said on Dec 13.

But to the Chinese community, the BODs are the dragon heads of schools. Hence, they cannot be sidelined in any decision-making. In a Chinese school, BOD members – who could include businessmen, parents, alumni and trustees -- are expected to donate money, raise funds and formulate policies.

As government funding for Chinese primary schools is often lacking, raising funds for development and repairs of schools often rest on the shoulders of the BOD.

Dong Jiao Zong has argued that this new guidelines not only “defies the decision made by the cabinet”, but also “goes against Article 53 of the Education Act 1996” in which authority is vested in the BOD in schools.

“By allowing the parents to have the final say on this matter, the harmonious and amicable relationship among parents and students from different races will be undermined. This will also marginalise the school board as well as PTA,” Dong Jong chairman Tan Tai Kim said in a statement last weekend.

Dong Jiao Zong’s statement also noted that in the new Bahasa Malaysia (BM) textbook for Standard Four, the appreciation of Chinese caligraphy and Tamil writing are left out.

In the past, pages on Jawi, Tamil and Chinese writings appeared in the Standard Five BM text book; and Dong Jiao Zong was happy with the multi-racial content.

The new BM text book for Standard Four contains three pages on Jawi scripts, without Chinese and Tamil writings.

“The key point to note here is: we are not anti-Jawi or anti-Malay or anti-Islam. There is no issue if students are asked to learn all cultures. But we don’t want to see the gradual Islamisation of Chinese schools and the marginalisation of BODs,” says a Chinese educationist, who declines to be named.

Due to the sensitivity of this matter which could be racially or religiously distorted, Dong Jiao Zong -- the organiser of the Dec 28 meeting – has advised invited community leaders to register early.

In the latest statement on Wednesday (Dec 18), Dong Jiao Zong said to ensure the meeting could be effectual and held smoothly, no one is allowed to bring banners and other publicity materials to display slogans.

Provocation is the last thing Dong Jiao Zong wants to see, given that there are already two Malay groups challenging the constitutionality of Chinese and Tamil schools in the country.

The congress is likely to adopt a resolution urging the Jawi Scripts Learning Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education to be withdrawn, and the text book be amended to reflect multi-culturism in the country.

Apart from Dong Jiao Zong, there are other independent groups and political parties voicing similar concerns.

One group that recently sprang up is the one led by Datuk Eddie Heng Hong Chai, who heads the school board of SJK(C) Sentul KL.

At a recent press conference, the businessman opined the teaching of Jawi calligraphy in vernacular schools should be a co-curricular activity.

His group, consisting of representatives from vernacular school BODs and PTAs around Kuala Lumpur, has called for a dialogue with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

“I wish to emphasise that we are not against the teaching of Jawi in schools. We are only opposing the ministry’s decision to include it in the Bahasa Melayu syllabus, ” he told a joint press conference with an Indian group.

“We are concerned that once the precedent (of sidelining school board) is set, school boards will lose their voice in future policies affecting Chinese primary schools, ” Heng said.

With school boards being the founder and pioneer for Chinese primary schools for over 200 years, Heng said school boards always had the authority in deciding school policies.

Gerakan, a political party in the former government, last week announced its plan to appeal against an earlier high court ruling that the court has no authority to interfere with Government decision on introducing Jawi into vernacular schools.

From the education point of view, many academics – irrespective of race – do not see the need for students to learn Jawi.

They have asked: What could students learn from three pages of Jawi in a year? Is there any benefit to their future career? Shouldn’t there be more emphasis on the teaching of English, Science and Maths to prepare Malaysians to be competitive internationally?

Indeed, this current education issue is not the first to stir up an uproar this year.

The first controversy erupted several months ago when the Education Ministry attempted to introduce khat (Arabic calligraphy) into vernacular schools. This decision was later withdrawn after many quarters opposed it.

But the new set of guidelines on Jawi writing is creating another unwarranted chaos.

There is suspicion in the Chinese community that there are elements within the Education Ministry scheming to gradually change the character of Chinese schools.

This deep-rooted mistrust against the Ministry cannot be easily erased because Chinese education has often come under different forms of suppression since the 1950s.

From the political perspective, there is talk that the ruling parties are pandering to ultra Malay politics to gain Malay support.

As the controversy escalates, the DAP – a major Chinese-based party in the ruling Pakatan coalition – appears to be the one feeling the most heat.

This is because the DAP drew most of its political support from the Chinese and Indians in the last general election.

The DAP leaders in Cabinet are expected to reflect the fear and sentiment of the non-Malays to the Education Ministry and the Prime Minister on the Jawi issue.

But so far, only Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow – also a DAP national leader – has openly voiced concern over this baffling issue and said it should be resolved speedily.

If the voice of non-Malays is not taken seriously, and the government continues to ignore inclusive politics, the ruling Pakatan coalition risks being rejected by the people.

 Source link


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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Xi discusses fresh ties with Trump

Presidents' phone talk raises hope for final phase one trade deal: experts

WASHINGTON: The China-US phase one trade deal, reached on the basis of equality and mutual respect and against the backdrop of an extremely complicated international environment, will benefit both countries and contribute to peace and prosperity of the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Donald Trump.

In the phone call at the invitation of the US side on Friday, Xi expressed “grave concern” over the recent US “negative statements and actions” on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which he said interfered with China’s internal affairs, damaged China’s interests, and are not good for mutual trust and cooperation.

Xi told Trump that China hopes the US side will “conscientiously” implement the important consensuses reached in their multiple meetings and phone conversations, and pay close attention to China’s concerns, thus avoiding disturbing the bilateral relations as well as the important agenda of both countries, according to a statement released by the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi noted that the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries contributed tremendously to the steady development of their bilateral relations and to global economic growth.

As the modern economy and technology have connected the world, the interests of China and the US will become increasingly interlinked, and there will be some differences in the course of their collaboration, he said.

As long as the two sides adhere to mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, and always respect the dignity, sovereignty, and core interests of the other country, they will be able to overcome the difficulties in the course of development, and push forward Sino-US economic and trade relations under the new historical conditions for the benefit of two countries and two peoples, Xi said.

Xi also said he is ready to maintain contact with Trump through various means, and exchange views on bilateral relations and international issues, and work together to promote a China-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability.

In their phone call, Trump said the phase one trade deal is good for both countries and the rest of the world.

It has received positive responses from the markets of both countries and the world, according to the Xinhua report.

The US side is ready to keep close contact and communications with the Chinese side for the deal to be signed earlier and implemented, Trump said. — China Daily/ANN

Source link


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Xi: China-US trade deal benefits whole world

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2020 will provide respite from China-US trade tensions: expert

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West silent on Xinjiang's 'inconvenient truth'

Besides, Chinese media should take the initiative to post reliable information about hot-spot issues, such as the education and vocational training center in Xinjiang. More detailed planning can be made to increase the effectiveness of news diffusion. As long as Xinjiang develops toward prosperity, and Chinese media's publicity strategy improves, the truth will come to the light eventually. More people will recognize Western media's selective deafness strategy and break away from its lie of objectivity and freedom of the press.

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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Unfair to impose blanket tax on property owners

THE Penang government should first study the assessment rates for different categories of properties before imposing a blanket tax on everyone which is unfair, says Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) legal adviser Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) (pic).He said the state should look into the categories of assessment rates like those imposed in developed countries before imposing the rates on ratepayers.

“The lowest charged fees should be for the disabled (OKU) owners and those in the B40 group.

“For owner-occupied properties, they should be charged a lower rate and the highest rates should be imposed for commercial and industrial offices, ” he said at a press conference at Jalan Pykett on Wednesday.

Yan Lee said although commercial properties like restaurants and hawker complexes would be paying higher assessment, it is fair as commercial properties have more rubbish to be cleared.

“These premises frequently take up the cost for public health inspection and council cleaning services.

“So, there should be a categorisation of how the rates are charged, like different rates for properties that are also rented out, vacant or used for commercial purposes, ” he added.

Yan Lee said in developed countries, there are categories which include owner occupied, rented out properties, unoccupied properties, rented out long-term or Airbnb properties, residential properties used for offices and industrial properties.

“But, as the state is moving forward and following the footsteps of a developed country, there is also the question of how these categories can be monitored.

“In this case, the state should consider having an enforcement team like in Australia to check on the properties at random.

“With the usage of a digital camera similar to those used for parking fine routines, photos can be taken when checks are done on the properties.

“We hope the state would do a study to look into this and try to implement the system, along with imposing different rates for the different properties, ” he said.

Earlier, it was announced that an assessment rate review would see almost all residential property owners in Penang paying more in assessment taxes.

On the island, a total of 255,280 out of the 263,544 property owners would have to pay more in the revised assessment tax, while the increase would involve 196,347 out of 215,586 houses on the mainland.

Following the announcement, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) started hearing sessions for objections against the review in October.

It was reported that MBPP had received a total of 54,459 objections from over 322,000 ratepayers, while MBSP received a total 40,666 objections from 327,000 ratepayers.

Meanwhile, Yan Lee said that in the case of the parcel rent, (previously known as the quit rent), commissions should be applied based on how the land is used.

“The increase in the quit rent was announced earlier from RM10 to RM30. Quantum-wise, the amount is not a lot, but percentage wise, it is a lot, ” he said.

Earlier, the quit rent came into effect where rates are calculated based on the total plot of land which the building was built on and rates for parcel rent are based on the size of each unit.

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Macao-rise with China while Hongkong in decline, why?


Chinese President Xi Jinping (front C) and his wife Peng Liyuan (behind Xi) walk on the red carpet in front of outgoing Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui (C) and incoming chief executive Ho Iat Seng (blue tie) after Xi and his wife's arrival at the Macau International Airport in Macao on Wednesday, ahead of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the handover from Portugal to China. Photo: AFP :


Xi hails Macao's prosperity

The inauguration of the fifth-term government will be held Friday morning followed by Xi's meeting with newly inaugurated judicial and administrative officials.

Macao's landmark Ruins of St. Paul. Photo: VCG

China's ambassador to UK says Macao can show Hong Kong way forward
 The success of Macao's "One Country, Two Systems" will "light up the path forward for Hong Kong," said Liu Xiaoming, China's top envoy to the UK, during a banquet at the Chinese embassy in London to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to China. #HK


https://youtu.be/1RET1xuvHzA

Macao in Transition: Witness to History / Macao in Transition: Rising Stars

https://youtu.be/0Us2YHIMtoA

HK, Macao share more differences than similarities

Hong Kong and Macao, China's two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) practicing the "one country, two systems" principle, share more differences than similarities, while Hong Kong's social turbulence offers Macao a lesson, observers and analysts said.

From the former Portuguese colony to the world's gaming hub, Macao is poised to become the richest place, overtaking Qatar with the highest per capita gross domestic product on a purchasing power parity basis by 2020. The small city, with a land area of 32.9 square kilometers, has seen its economic growth skyrocket by over 700 percent over the past two decades and become a city with high social welfare.

While Macao is embracing the 20th anniversary celebration of its return to China, it has been praised again for setting a good example of implementing the "one country, two systems" principle, especially as Hong Kong, which returned to the motherland two years before Macao, has been engulfed in months of anti-government protests.

During President Xi Jinping's visit to Macao from Wednesday to Friday to attend events marking the 20th anniversary of Macao's return, he is expected to announce a series of favorable policies aimed at diversifying the city's gaming-dependent economy into a financial center, according to media reports. And such a move is considered as a reward to Hong Kong's neighboring city for avoiding anti-government protests, according to observers, and some suggested that promoting Macao as a new financial center could be an alternative to Hong Kong.

However, former officials and experts claimed that though the two SARs shared common ground such as a high-degree of autonomy, judicial independence and freedom of the press, they have differences in the way they handle relations with the central government and interpret the "one country, two systems" principle. Instead of simply labeling Macao a "good student" or "golden child" as the city is immune to anti-government protests spiraling next door, it should take a look at the fundamental reasons why the two cities are different from historical, cultural and social perspectives, local observers suggested.

Two SARs' differences

As Hong Kong protesters identify themselves as Hongkongers instead of Chinese, Macao people believe that rejecting their Chinese nationality unacceptable, Wu Zhiliang, president of the Macau Foundation, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"Macao people have a deep understanding of the word 'return'," Wu said, noting that it is not about changing the national flag, or shifting from the governor of Macao to chief executive of Macao SAR government, it is about integrating into the country's whole governance and strategic development plans.

Opposition groups in Hong Kong consider any move of the central government as intervention that erodes its high degree of autonomy, as the central government could not take any gesture, which is a misunderstanding of the "one country, two systems" principle, and is not accepted by people in Macao.

"When Macao comes up with new policies, it always takes the country's development plans into consideration," Wu said.

For instance, when the central government launched an anti-corruption campaign years ago, Macao imposed restrictions on cross-border financing involving Chinese funds, although it had heavily weighed on its pillar gaming industry, local representatives said. "Compared to Hong Kong, there is no such mentality of worshiping Western political systems and social values here in Macao, though it has always been under the mixed influence of Eastern and Western cultures, and people treat those two equally," Wu said.

Unlike Hong Kong, which has been heavily influenced by the West, Macao has a stronger attachment to Chinese culture and values due to its "historical genes."

In the colonial period of Macao, Portuguese control had seen its influence over local communities declining, drawing a contrast with the relatively sophisticated way British authorities took in ruling Hong Kong before handing it over to China.

"There has been no strong cultural penetration of the West in Macao society, which had not been affected by Western social value either," Susana Chou, former president of the Legislative Assembly of Macao, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "For example, when the Hotel of Lisboa was inaugurated years ago, many people in Macao did not know where 'Lisboa' is. Could you image Hong Kong people not knowing where London is? " she asked.

While Hong Kong opposition lawmakers turned debates for rolling out policies into political battles, lawmakers in Macao are not against the Constitution, nor the Basic Law and the Communist Party of China, the former president said, noting that they would come up with different ideas to help roll out better policies.

"It's also inaccurate to say the Legislative Assembly of Macao is the SAR government's affiliate, as we also criticize our government officials a lot. And the assembly often rejects the proposals made by the government," Chou said, noting that the opposition is based on concrete arguments rather than disapproving everything because of its political stance.

Lesson to learn

Considering Macao's historical ties with the mainland, there has been no room for separatism, Wu noted. "But what has happened in Hong Kong would lead us to reflect on deep-rooted questions in Macao, particularly issues concerning Macao youth," he said.

Behind Hong Kong's chaos lie deep-seated social problems, as the majority of arrested radical protesters who trashed the rule of law were youngsters. Although Macao is not facing the same issue, the problems with Hong Kong youth could be seen as a warning sign for the city, observers said.

"We lack a fairer and transparent mechanism for Macao young people to climb toward upper society, and also the numbers of skilled positions are limited," Wu said, noting that the local talent policy is still protective.

"If Macao further opens up its market, could local youth become as competitive as talent from outside? And will talent inflow accelerate social conflicts and anxiety of local youth?" he asked.

While Hong Kong and Macao both share freedom of speech and an open internet, information has been circulating freely on social media and many Macao young people have been well informed about Hong Kong's social unrest for months. When the students were asked about questions on Hong Kong police brutality, many rationally discuss the matter with teachers instead of arguing with their peers and making one-sided judgments, Wu noted.

"Young people could easily influence each other, which is inevitable. It's up to how teachers and parents guide them," he said.

Macao has gained a higher degree of autonomy thanks to the confidence and trust of the central government, which, observers said, creates a positive cycle.

On the contrary, if Hong Kong's opposition groups continue to touch the redline of the central government, it might lead to reevaluation of political risks in Hong Kong by the central government and the expected political reforms could hardly make any progress in the city, observers said.

The virtuous cycle established between the central government and Macao as well as between Macao and the mainland could to some extent serve as a reference for Hong Kong, they noted.

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