Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brunei Darussalam and 11 others Urban Search and Rescue: Boosting Intra-ASEAN Self Help

Report—Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies
By Nah Liang Tuang

Natural disasters such as the earthquakes and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean off Sumatra in 2004 and in Japan most recently highlight the importance of qualified Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams. ASEAN's lack of such vital rescue expertise needs to be addressed.

THE 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and the most recent Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March this year have highlighted the power of Mother Nature to wreak havoc. Thousands of people had died and many more were trapped within collapsed urban structures, straining search and rescue operations. Such rescue duties especially fall upon the shoulders of specially-trained and equipped Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams.

Unfortunately, only a few ASEAN countries have local USAR capabilities. The rest have to call upon foreign USAR assistance during a crisis. This situation should be rectified because foreign USAR teams take time to deploy; during this lag, urban disaster victims who might have been saved may die from their injuries or deprivation.

Disaster Preparedness in ASEAN
Vietnam is prone to typhoons like Typhoon Xangsane in 2006 and Ketsana in 2009; Myanmar has been battered by Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and both Indonesia and Thailand have suffered from the 2004 tsunami on Boxing Day, 26 December. In all these cases, built-up settlements ranging from villages to major cities were severely damaged or destroyed with casualties and fatalities ranging from the hundreds to many tens of thousands.

It is evident that many lives would have been saved if domestic USAR teams were activated in the immediate aftermath of these natural calamities. In ASEAN, however, only Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have established official USAR agencies. Additionally, according to the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) of the United Nations, only Malaysia and Singapore have USAR teams that are trained according to INSARAG guidelines and have operational experience.

For example, the Special Malaysian Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) has seen action in the West Sumatra Padang Earthquake of 2009 while Singapore's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) was deployed to Aceh, Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami.

As Southeast Asia has not seen the end of catastrophic natural calamities or man-made urban disasters such as the collapses of high-rise buildings due to shoddy construction standards, every ASEAN country should establish INSARAG-certified USAR teams in all major cities.

How the Situation Should Be Improved
As Malaysia and Singapore seem to have the best-trained and organised USAR teams in ASEAN, it would make sense for the two countries to extend their expertise to other ASEAN states without established USAR organisations like Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar and even states like Thailand and the Philippines. These other ASEAN states can seek to improve their USAR capabilities by sending delegations of civil defence/rescue personnel to either Malaysia or Singapore to learn from their more established counterparts. Alternatively, handpicked training staff from either SMART or DART could be sent on short advisory stints to the other ASEAN countries.

In Singapore, the training of nascent ASEAN USAR teams could be coordinated under the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP). The SCP could act as the liaison body to match the training expertise of DART under its parent organisation, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), with interested ASEAN rescue teams. To assist some of these new USAR teams with their initial equipment requirements, the SCDF could even transfer some of its older USAR hardware to the former as a token of ASEAN solidarity. This would make operational and economic sense if the equipment was about to be phased out but was still serviceable. Politically, such an offer of assistance could be made at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting for Home and Interior Affairs Ministers.

Sustainability Of Assistance
While the human reasons associated with ASEAN brotherhood serve as an idealistic basis for offering training assistance to embryonic USAR teams, some policy-making quarters might ask for tangible geopolitical justifications to back this initiative. To these officials and especially those who are Singaporeans, two reasons may come to mind.

The first is that of soft power cultivation. Having trained USAR teams from all over ASEAN promotes respect for Singapore's civil defence capabilities, enabling it to speak with authority and influence in international for a concerning disaster-related topics. This is another way for Singapore to "punch above its weight". Secondly, the provision of such assistance helps to lubricate the wheels of ASEAN diplomacy. This will earn goodwill for Singapore and allowing it to better mediate in disputes between other ASEAN states if ever called upon to do so. Additionally, this goodwill can also ease bilateral negotiations between Singapore and other ASEAN members over other contentious issues.

The deficiencies in USAR capabilities amongst ASEAN countries who most require such specialist capabilities must be urgently addressed, especially given the growing frequency of natural disasters in the region.

Nah Liang Tuang is an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NOTICE OF THE 5th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. Kuala Lumpur / Petaling Jaya Chapter



(Registration Number 2817/93 Johor)

(Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya Chapter)

c/o Lot 1565, Jalan Kusta, Perindustrian Kg Jaya

47000 SG Buloh Selangor Darul Ehsan Malaysia.

Tel No: 603-61572288 Fax: 603-61571259

Friday 30th September, 2011

Y.Bhg Dato'/ Dear Sir,


Notice is hereby given that the 5th Annual General Meeting of the MUAR ANDREANS ASSOCIATION

(Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya Chapter) will be held as follows:

Date : Saturday, October 22,2011

Time : 3.00pm

Venue : La Salle University Hall, Lorong 5/15B, off Jalan Chantek, 46000, Petaling Jaya.

Notice is also hereby given that should after 30 minutes and there is no quorum, the 5th AGM will be postponed to 3.30pm on the same date, at the same venue with the same agenda. As this is an election year, we appeal to all members to attend this AGM to exercise your right responsibilities to vote for the year 2011-2013

Officer – Bearers.


1) President's address.

2) To read and pass the minutes of the 4th AGM

3) Matters arising.

4) To receive and adopt the report.

5) To receive and pass the Financial Account of the Association'(Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya Chapter) for the year ended 31st December 2010.

6) Dissolution of the year 2009-2011 Committee.

7) Election of Returning Officer.

8) Election of Officer-Bearers for year 2011-2013.

9)To transact any other matters of which at least seven (7) days written notice have been given to the Secretary of the Association prior to the 5th AGM.

10)President-elect's speech.

11)Adjournment of 5th AGM

The Association requests all the members for the fullest support and attendance.

Your presence would be highly appreciated.

Thank you.




Muar Andreans Association

Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya Chapter

Email add:

Tel No. 016-6906288

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fellowship Dinner

SAS OBA KL/PJ Chapter Fellowship Dinner at Lala Chong Restaurant Sg.Ayu Damansara Petaling Jaya, 6th October 2011, Time 19.00pm. Cost RM50 each. Call Mr.Lau Se Hian for confirmation. 016-690 6288

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Eid Mubarak

SAS OBA Committee Dinner

SAS OBA Committee Dinner and Meeting at Restoran BIBICIK No. 17J SS2/30 Petaling Jaya on Wednesday September 7th. 2011 at 19.30pm. From Lau Se Hian (Secretary)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

down memory lane begins here........

Photograph courtesy of En.Muzamir & En.Samsudin Samah Class of 1977

Muar KL/PJ Chapter meeting Friday 10th June at 1600 at Tan Sri Francis's Residence.

Notice of SAS MUAR OBA Annual General Meeting

SAS MUAR OBA Annual General Meeting on Saturday 18th June 2011, 10.00am, Venue : Bangunan Brother Robert, SMK St. Andrew, Muar.


1. President's address

2. To read and pass the minutes of the 17th AGM

3. Matters arising

4. To receive and adopt the Annual Report

5. To receive and pass the Financial Account for the year ended 31st December, 2010

6. Dissolution of the year 2009-2011 Committee

7. Election of Returning Officer

8. Election of Office-Bearers for year 2011-2013

9. To transact any other matters of which at least 7 days written notice have been given to the Secretary of the Association prior to the 18th AGM

10. Elected President's speech

11. Adjournment of 18th AGM

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

World's most active volcanoes

A few hundred degrees separates this pool of fiery orange magma in Italy’s Mount Etna from its hardened, gray crust. At nearly 11,000 feet (3,353 meters)

A NASA image released on May 22, 2011 shows smoke billowing from Grimsvoetn, Iceland's most active volcano.

A plume of smoke rises from the crater of Mount Shinmoedake in the Kirishima mountain range of Kagoshima prefecture on Japan's southern island of Kyushu on February 4, 2011

A wisp of smoke escapes from Mount St. Helens’ dramatic eggshell-shaped crater after an eruption

A woman flee as Mount Merapi releases volcanic materials into the air in Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010.

An Indonesian man watches as Mount Merapi erupts in Hargobinangun, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010.

Cleveland Volcano releases a plume of ash that rises almost 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) above the North Pacific Ocean

In this photo taken March 6, 2011 and provided by the US Geological Survey, Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu'u O'o crater near Volcano Hawaii.

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 8, 2011 and provided by the US Geological Survey, a view looking down onto the northeastern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption is seen in Hawaii Volcanoes

Lava flows into a valley in southern Iceland near the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

Lava free-falls into the sea from Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, July 26, 2002.

Mount Bromo spews volcanic materials as it erupts in this aerial shot taken from an Indonesian Air Force airplane that flies over Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia on Monday, Nov. 29, 2010

Mount Semeru

Pahoehoe lava flows on Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Residents of Irosin township, Sorsogon province, pause to watch at Mount Bulusan volcano as it spews ash two kilometers into the sky Monday Feb. 20, 2011

The Tungurahua Volcano spews ashes during an eruption as seen from Cotalo, Ecuador, Friday, April 29, 2011.

This picture made available Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011, shows lava overflowing from the eastern rim of the erupting pit crater of Mount Etna, Sicily, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011.

Volcanic smoke rises from the crater on Mount Shinmoedake in the Kirishimna range on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.

White smoke rises from the crater on Mount Shinmoedake in the Kirishimna range on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Millions 'at risk from earthquakes' - Press Associate

'Interior zone' earthquakes kill far more people than those in recognised danger …

Millions of people in Europe, the Middle East and Asia are at risk from deadly tremors which can strike out of the blue in unmapped earthquake zones, scientists have warned.

Attention should be focused on these regions, which lie within the interior of continents, instead of well known earthquake "hotspots", according to two leading experts.

They stress that "interior zone" earthquakes kill far more people than those in recognised danger areas on continental edges such as Japan and California.

Over the past century, earthquakes on large fault lines where shifting plates of the Earth's crust collide and slip have claimed around 800,000 lives, say the experts writing in the journal Nature Geoscience. Around half these deaths were due to tsunamis like the one which struck the north-east coast of Japan in March.

In contrast, sudden earthquakes in continental interiors within the plates killed around 1.4 million. Interior quakes also killed far more people directly by shaking the ground and toppling buildings.

Professor Philip England, from Oxford University, and Professor James Jackson, from Cambridge University, classified 130 earthquakes occurring in the last 120 years.

The experts argue that more scientific resources should be directed at identifying seismic risk in regions such as the 10 million square kilometre Alpine-Himalayan belt, which covers Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran and central Asia, and China.

The scientists wrote: "On the plate boundaries, the location of the hazard is well known and earthquake timing constitutes the greatest uncertainty.

"In many parts of the continental interiors, however, we do not even know where the hazards lie. Slavish application of a model based on plate boundaries around the Pacific rim to earthquake hazard in continental interiors is not merely unhelpful, but can be positively dangerous.

"We argue that the knowledge that underpins earthquake resilience in Japan or California must be transferred to countries in which earthquakes regularly inflict huge death tolls, often far from the media spotlight."

Monday, May 23, 2011





Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Students to refrain from bringing or consuming food with beef and pork contents to/in school

Dear Parent/Guardian,

In our effort to instill, inculcate and nuture values of mutual respect and harmony among our multiracial students, the school is making a request that students refrain from bringing or consuming food with beef and pork contents to/in school.

The school canteen too does not serve food with beef or pork contents as directed by the Ministry of Education.

It is our hope that our students will learn to respect each other's religious, cultural and traditional practices and to be able to appreciate and be receptive of each other's differences and uniqueness.

With this measure in place, we believe a more conducive learning environment will materialise.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

on behalf of the Principal

A Letter from a Parent

Dear all,

Honestly I am not too sure about this.

If we want to be all inclusive, then school should be vegetarian as there are definitely vegetarian Buddhist amongst us.

I grew up in a mixed environment, a mission school where there are Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Taoism, Hindu, Sikh students and nobody take any offense to anything. We have to sing " Sons of St Andrew's, a voice is resounding etc" in school and everyone sung it with gusto, including my senior here, Ishak. And Ishak is still Ishak, correct?

The point I am driving at is that we must not bring religion or politics to school. We must not let the politics of the day creep into school. On a worst case, if Malaysia heads in this direction, then we should have two sets of Ringgit, if you know what I mean.

Our children will have to face the real world out there, competing with every other country/race out there and there are 7 billion of us now. We must prepare them to be amongst the best in the world and compete and yes teach them to respect all the different cultures in the world and the do's and don't's.

By writing the above, I am not saying that my children will bring meat products to school (I would like to respect all religions), but I don't like this restriction by MOE as every human being has his or her own space.

MOE should not be focusing on such issues but on how to make our children the best in the world without studying until they drop. Our education quality is dropping by the day and we are talking about food!

I rest my case.

And as I think of it, I didn't hear such kind of issues when Datuk Ahamad Sipon was the DG of MOE!
He was my senior in St Andrew's and we are proud of his achievement.

Where is 1Malaysia in MOE? If the students bring their own food, container + utensils, what is wrong?

Can we imagine if I am a vegetarian by religion and I visit a festival of whatever religion and I insist that the host do not serve any meat nor eggs!

I am truly saddened by this whole episode!

Monday, May 16, 2011


2.30 pm



Kindly contact your respective Alumni Presidents Mr.Edmund Ng 012 287 2220 & Hon. Secretaries Mr.H Lau 016 690 6288 for further details & reservations

  • 2.00 pm - Arrival of Guest
  • 2.30 pm - Guest seated in the Hall
  • 2.40 pm - Words of Welcome by the Chairperson Joint Organizing Committee
  • 2.45 pm - Video Presentation
  • 2.55 pm - Self Introduction by the Members of the Lasallian Family present
  • 3.00 pm - Address by Bro. Anthony Rogers, Director La Salle Brothers and Visitor of the Christian Brothers' Schools in Malaysia
  • 3.15 pm - Launching Ceremony
  • 3.20 pm - Group Photograph
  • 3.30 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Continues

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

all you-can-eat durian outing

" Over 50 members of the SMI alumni which included SASOBA members joined a 1 Day 'all-you-can-eat' durian outing to Bentong and Raub on April 2 2011. There were stopovers at Chamang Waterfall and a groundnut factory near Bentong followed by a tea break at the famous Bentong Ice Kacang outlet. The finale was a visit to the Bkt Tinggi village market enroute back to KL."

Note: The Black-crested Bul Bul is the mascot of the group. Picture was the lovely bird taken near the Chamang Waterfall.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

School to recapture its former glory - By Hamdan Raja Abdullah

Friday January 21, 2011

MUAR: The prestigious SMK St Andrew which was one of Muar’s top secondary school in the 60s, 70s and 80s, is set to recapture its old glory.

The school located at Jalan Hashim, recently produced 16 students who scored straight As in their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination.

St Andrew’s senior assistant Tee Seng Chai said besides academic excellence the school also excelled in co-curriculum for the past three years.

Proud of their achievements: Tee (front, centre) receiving cash aid from the school’s PTA chairman Tay Khim Seng (front, third left) and holding the excellent achievement award with 16 excellent students who scored straight As in their PMR examination last year.

He said the district education department recently presented the school with an excellent achievement award for 2010 for being excellent in various fields.

“Our students have shown tremendous achievement both in the academy and curriculum fields and we are proud of them.

“The school used to be a top school in the early days and we now want to recapture the old glory by making it a top school again,” he said.

Tee added the school’s parent and teacher association committee leaders headed by lawyer Tay Khim Seng had also decided to present cash aid to the excellent student.

He said it was a proud year for the school this year as it managed to produce 16 excellent students as compared to 12 students in 2009 and only one in 2008.

The achievements, he added, had inspired the teachers, the board of directors and Parent-Teacher Assocation leaders to pool resources and ideas to make the school the pride of Muar.

Old boys who formed the Muar Andreans Association, added Tee, would also organise activities to promote SMK St Andrew among the residents.

“For many years parents gave preference for their children to go to other schools, especially the Muar High School.

“However, we now hope they would consider sending the children here.

“We also hope the Education Department will send quality students to study their secondary education here,” he added.