Friday, 27 December 2013

China conducted the first flight test of its new Z-20 Helicopter

Did China Just Clone a Black Hawk Helicopter?


China conducted the first flight test of a new helicopter that is widely seen as being modeled off the U.S.-made Sikorsky UH-60, which is usually called “Black Hawk.”
The Global Times, citing pictures from an online Chinese military forum, reported that the Z-20 medium-lift utility helicopter made its first flight in northeast China on Monday. 
The report said that the supposedly homemade design filled the People Liberation Army’s need for a medium utility helicopter. It added that the helicopter has a capacity of 10 tons and is similar in appearance to the U.S.-made Black Hawk helicopter.
In the 1980s, China purchased 24 S-70C-2s, a supposed civilian variant of the Black Hawk that had impressed Chinese leaders due to its ability to fly at high altitudes. However, it is widely believed that the 24 S-70 C-2s are operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). 
Moreover, Pakistan’s intelligence service gave Chinese engineers access to one of the highly-modified Black Hawks that was used by U.S. Marines in the operation that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011. The helicopter that Chinese engineers viewed and took samples from crashed during the course of the operation. Although the U.S. Marines detonated the downed helicopter the tail of it survived the explosion.
Thus, it seems quite possible that this latest “indigenous” creation from China was heavily inspired by foreign designs. 
There would be extensive precedent for this. Besides China’s general history of cloning foreign defense technology, last year it unveiled a new helicopter, the Z-10/WZ-10 attack helicopter, which it claimed was designed and built indigenously. 
Earlier this year, however, Sergei Mikheyev, General Designer of the Kamov Design Bureau, a Russian helicopter designer, revealed that his company had secretly provided China with the initial designs of the Z-10/WZ-10 in the mid-1990s. Some have speculated that China has also cloned Boeing’s AH-64D Apache.   
Still, The Aviationist points out that there are some notable differences between America’s Black Hawk and the Z-20. Specifically, the Z-20 has a 5-blade rotor compared to the 4-blade rotor on the Black Hawk, a larger cabin and a different landing gear and tail. 
Based on the location of the flight test, Aviation Week suspects that it was built by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (HAMC).
As for usage, South China Morning Post quotes a Chinese military analyst as saying the Z-20 “fills a blank in the Chinese military arsenal.” Another military commentator who appeared on Chinese state TV reportedly said that the Z-20 should be categorized as something between agile attack helicopters and heavy transportation helicopters.
 SCMP views the helicopter as extremely versatile and able to perform a variety of missions including assault, transportation, electronic warfare and special operations. 
The Hong Kong-based newspaper also said Chinese media reports had speculated that it may be flown off certain Chinese ships, including the country’s only aircraft carrier. Another potential usage would be to use the Z-20 to deploy PLA troops to the mountainous, resistive region of Tibet.
The Aviationist predicts the Z-20 will eventually replace the PLA’s Mi-17 and Mi-171 helos.






Thursday, 19 December 2013

Incredible Video of a Massive Malaysian Landslide

One of the most terrifying of these is a massive landslide. The idea of millions or billions of tons of rock slipping out and collapsing down, the scale of it, the sound… yikes. They’re pretty rare, but sometimes they get caught on camera. I’ve seen a lot of videos of them, so I was really surprised when I found one recently that I hadn’t seen. Even more surprising was that I hadn’t even heard of it, despite the mind-numbing scale of it. It was videotaped in 1993 so the resolution isn’t the best, but trust me: Watch the whole thing, to the very end. Because holy wow.
The slide occurred in Malaysia at an abandoned open tin mine that was located near Pantai Remis, on the coast of the Malacca Strait. Toward the end you can see the sea water rushing in on what I can only call an apocalyptic scale. When it was all done, a new cove was formed over 800 meters across!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Bajet Pakatan Rakyat 2014

Ringkasan Bajet Pakatan Rakyat 2014: Fokus Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Parlimen, 21/10/2013

A. Ramalan Ekonomi Global

1.     Ekonomi global pada 2014 diramalkan akan meningkat berbanding 2013. Ramalan IMF (4.0% vs 3.3%), World Bank (3.0% vs 2.2%) dan OECD (4.0% vs 3.1%).

2.     Namun begitu, realiti ekonomi global yang agak rapuh dan tidak menentu pada ketika ini (seperti yang akan dinyatakan di bawah) boleh membawa risiko untuk  ramalan di atas diubah kepada kadar yang lebih rendah;

                             i.            Ketidaktentuan dalam penyelesaian permasalahan hutang Negara Amerika Syarikat (debt ceiling, quantitative easing)

                              ii.            Kemelesetan ekonomi dan kadar pengangguran yang tinggi di Eropah yang berterusan disebabkan oleh langkah-langkah penjimatan (austerity measures)

                            iii.            Prestasi ekonomi China yang kurang memberangsangkan serta kelembapan pemulihan ekonomi India

3.     Pakatan Rakyat meramalkan pertumbuhan ekonomi Malaysia untuk tahun 2014 pada kadar 5.2% (berbanding 2013 pada kadar 4.5% hingga 5%), berdasarkan kepada ramalan peningkatan ekonomi global.

B. Anggaran Defisit

1.     Pakatan Rakyat menganggarkan defisit Negara untuk 2014 pada RM 34 billion bersamaan kadar 3.2% GDP (Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar). Aggaran ini dibuat berdasarkan:

                                i.            Anggaran pendapatan Negara sebanyak RM 228 billion

                              ii.            Anggaran perbelanjaan Negara sebanyak RM 262 billion dimana pengurangan sebanyak 10% pada perbelanjaan operasi (OPEX) tidak termasuk emolumen

                            iii.            Anggaran KDNK sebanyak RM 1,055 billion berdasarkan unjuran pertumbuhan sebanyak 5.2% untuk 2014

2.     Sejak Pakatan Rakyat menyediakan Belanjawan alternatif, anggaran defisit PR adalah selalunya lebih rendah daripada BN.Defisit sebenar kerajaan BN adalah dianggarkan lebih tinggi dari 3.2% (dianggarkan sebanyak 3.8% hingga 4%) disebabkan kegagalan mereka menangani rasuah dan ketirisan

C. Teras Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat (PR)

Belanjawan PR kali ini dirangka berdasarkan kepada 3 teras utama:

1.     Pengukuhan Kedudukan Fiskal Negara dan Pemerkasaan Kewangan Awam
2.     Pembangunan Ekonomi yang Seimbang, Inklusif dan Mampan
3.     Peningkatan Kesejahteraan dan Kualiti Hidup Rakyat

C1. Teras 1: Pengukuhan Kedudukan Fiskal Negara dan Pemerkasaan Kewangan Awam

Pengukuhan kedudukan fiskal Negara adalah amat penting dalam memastikan kesinambungan kedudukan kredit Negara yang kini dihadapi kemungkinan penurunan taraf (sovereign downgrade) akibat penambahan defisit dan hutang negara yang membarah semenjak 2009.

Bajet alternatif 2014 PR adalah suatu usaha untuk memperkenalkan reformasi fiskal yang akan memastikan pencapaian defisit bajet pada kadar 3% GDP pada 2015 dan seterusnya mencapai lebihan bajet (budget surplus) selewat 2018. Reformasi fiskal ini dijangka akan membolehkan Malaysia:

1.     Keluar dari kemelut hutang yang kini melebihi RM 500 billion dan kos pembayaran hutang yang melebihi RM 20 billion setahun

2.     Menjamin ekonomi yang berdaya tahan dan anjal dalam menghadapi persekitaran ekonomi global yang semakin mencabar dan tidak menentu

3.     Beralih dari pertumbuhan ekonomi yang berasaskan pinjaman kepada pertumbuhan ekonomi yang dijanakan oleh aktiviti perbelanjaan kerajaan

A. Bagi menjamin PERBELANJAAN kerajaan yang lebih efisyen dan teratur, PR akan:

1.     Melancarkan program rasionalisasi kos untuk setiap kementerian dan jabatan kerajaan untuk mencapai pengurangan perbelanjaan operasi sebanyak 10%. Ini akan dicapai melalui;

                                i.            Penangguhan sementara kenaikan elaun menteri kabinet dan ketua-ketua jabatan kerajaan

                              ii.            Pengkajian semula polisi perbelanjaan kerajaan terutama sekali dalam pemberian kontrak dan prokumen peralatan

                            iii.            Memperkemaskan mekanisma subsidi sasaran (targetted subsidy) dan juga pengawalan barangan subsidi seperti diesel, petrol, gula dan tepung bagi mengelakkan salahguna subsidi

2.     Mengkaji semula keutamaan perbelanjaan (spending priority) dengan mengurangkan atau menghapuskan perbelanjaan program-program yang tidak berkesan dan kurang kepentingan sebagai contoh;

                                i.            Program Khidmat Negara yang dilihat gagal mencapai objektif memupuk kesatuan kaum dan jatidiri di kalangan pelatih-pelatih. Program ini menelan belanja tahunan RM 800 juta yang lebih besar dari perbelanjaan Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (~RM 700 juta) yang juga mempunyai matlamat yang sama. Program ini juga telah menyebabkan sebanyak 22 kematian semenjak penubuhannya dan sebilangan kes pelatih hamil yang bersalin sewaktu di dalam progam, disebabkan perancangan dan perlaksanaan program yang tidak baik. Program ini patut ditangguhkan sehingga satu kajian menyeluruh dibuat oleh Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC)

3.     Mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap kesemua kementerian yang terlibat dengan sebarang salahlaku dan pembaziran seperti yang dilaporkan dalam Laporan Tahunan Ketua Audit Negara. PR menganggarkan sekurang-kurangnya RM 20 hingga 30 billion boleh dijimatkan sekiranya kesemua pembaziran dan penyelewengan yang dilaporkan dihentikan. Antara contoh pembaziran besar yang dilaporkan adalah;

                                i.            RM 2.051 bilion dibelanjakan dari 2010 ke 2012 dari jumlah RM 3.689 bilion peruntukan kepada Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia untuk membayar pengawal tidak bersenjata bagi mengawal sekolah-sekolah dan institusi-institusi pengajian. Walaupun ia berniat baik, namun ketiadaan sistem pemantauan telah mengakibatkan pengawal yang berumur dan tidak disahkan latar belakang, dan juga CCTV yang tidak berfungsi untuk diguna bagi memastikan keselamatan anak-anak kita di sekolah. Pembaziran dianggarkan sebanyak RM 1.6illion

                              ii.            Pengurusan projek Mansuh oleh Kementerian Kerja Raya. Dari 2010 hingga 2012, projek mansuh sebanyak 83 projek dianggarkan berjumlah RM 2.2 billion. Kerugian dianggarkan sebanyak RM 1.1 billion atau 50% daripada nilai asal disebabkan oleh kelemahan pemantauan projek dan kegagalan menuntut balik bayaran daripada kontraktor

                            iii.            Kementerian Pengangkutan telah membelanjakan hampir RM 1.42 bilion dari jumlah peruntukan RM 1.47 bilion untuk menambahbaik Lapangan Terbang  Antarabangsa Kota Kinabalu. Walaupun lebih 96% peruntukan telah digunapakai, namun projek yang dimulakan pada tahun 1996 ini masih belum siap: balai ketibaan dan bilik air-bilik air didapati tidak memuaskan, dan 599 lubang telah dijumpai di landasan kapal terbang yang belum dibaiki sejak 2010. Anggaran kerugian yang dilaporkan setakat ini adalah sekitar RM 120 juta. Kemungkinan besar projek ini akan menelan belanja yang lebih besar untuk disiapkan.

B. Bagi menjana PENDAPATAN kerajaan yang lebih saksama dan adil, PR akan:

1.     Menangguhkan implementasi GST (yang dilihat akan lebih membebankan golongan berpendapatan rendah dan sederhana) sehingga:

                                i.            Pendapatan minima isirumah mencapai suatu tahap yang dikira sesuai untuk menyerap sebarang kesan terhadap kuasa beli akibat GS

                              ii.            Pelebaran ‘band’ cukai pendapatan terutamanya golongan menengah untuk mengelakkan kemasukan mereka ke ‘band’ cukai yang lebih tinggi dalam tempoh yang singkat. Lebih banyak perelepasan cukai juga harus diberikan kepada golongan menengah

                            iii.            Kajian menyeluruh mengenai trade-off cukai korporat/peribadi dengan GST dilakukan dan diperjelaskan kepada rakyat untuk mengelakkan rakyat dibebani dengan pertambahan cukai akibat GST sekiranya cukai korporat/peribadi dikekalkan pada kadar yang sama

2.     Memperkenalkan sistem cukai yang lebih saksama;

                                i.            Mengembalikan cukai RPGT (real property gains tax) pada tahap sebelum 2007, iaitu cukai berperingkat pada kadar 30% bagi tahun pertama, sehingga cukai terendah 5% bagi perjualan pada tahun kelima. Ini bertujuan untuk mengekang kegiatan spekulasi hartanah yang berlebihan

D. Aspek-aspek lain bajet PR 2014

1. PR percaya bahawa peningkatan penyambungan (connectivity) samada dari segi perhubungan seperti Internet, mahupun perhubungan fisikal seperti lebuhraya adalah amat perlu untuk memastikan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang lebih seimbang, mampan dan inklusif. Untuk mencapai keseimbangan dari segi pembangunan rakyat luar bandar/bandar, Sabah & Sarawak;

                                i.            Lebuhraya Pan-Borneo yang menyambungkan bandar-bandar di Sabah & Sarawak akan di naiktaraf dan pembinaannya akan disegerakan seawal 2014. Lokasi-lokasi kemalangan akan dikenalpasti untuk diperbaiki dan penyelengaraan yang berkala juga akan dilakukan.

                              ii.            Pengkajian semula polisi kabotaj untuk Sabah dan Sarawak. Polisi yang lebih baik akan berupaya untuk menurunkan harga kargo dan barang-barang yang masuk/ keluar dari Sabah dan Sarawak, seterusnya menyumbang pada pertumbuhan ekonomi

                            iii.            Penjurusan kepada perbekalan air dan elektrik 100% untuk kawasan luar bandar & bandar terutamanya Sabah & Sarawak. Ini akan memastikan bekalan air bersih dan elektrik menerusi penggunaan teknoloji solar, windfarms dan microhydro

2.     PR amat menghargai sumbangan wanita untuk pembangunan Negara.  Kaum wanita akan diberikan insentif berikut untuk menggalakkan mereka untuk terus menyumbang kepada ekonomi Negara:
3.      
                                i.            Peruntukan sebanyak RM 1,200 setahun bagi setiap ibu bekerja untuk membiayai caj perkhidmatan penjagaan kanak-kanak di bawah 12 tahun

                              ii.            Peruntukan sebanyak RM 3 billion setahun kepada Skim Caruman Wanita Nasional (SCWN), iaitu suatu bentuk jaringan keselamatan sosial komprehensif bagi isteri terutamanya suri-suri rumah. Kerajaan PR akan menyumbang RM600 setahun tanpa mengira tahap sumbangan suami (suami mencarum bagi pihak isteri pada kadar minimum RM 120 hingga RM1,200 setahun) dan SCWN ini boleh dikeluarkan apabila berlaku kematian pasangan, perceraian, hilang upaya kekal dan hilang kekal pendapatan

                            iii.            Mengekalkan polisi untuk meningkatkan pimpinan wanita hingga pada tahap sekurang-kurangnya 30% pada tahun 2017. Pimpinan wanita di Parlimen, pengurusan korporat dan kepimpinan nasional dalam sektor awam dan swasta akan menjadi tumpuan utama.

Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen Malaysia
Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat

21 Oktober 2013

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Kitaran laporan audit yang tak kunjung selesai

BY MOHD EZLI MASHUT – OCTOBER 2, 2013

(ANALISIS BERITA) Sebagai pemerintah sejak lebih 50 tahun, Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2012 hanya menyerlahkan kegagalan dan sikap sebenar kerajaan Umno BN dalam menguruskan wang rakyat.

Selepas menaikkan harga minyak atas alasan menyelamatkan wang negara, laporan itu juga menzahirkan ‘tembelang’ sebenar Umno BN yang memboroskan berbilion-bilion wang rakyat, dibazir.

Selain mengundang kegusaran terhadap sikap ahli politik kerajaan yang boros, selain sikap pentadbir kerajaan berbelanja tidak berdasarkan ‘value for money’ juga membimbangkan.

Apakah alasan berbelanja RM300,000 untuk lawatan ke luar negara sedangkan kosnya cuma RM50,000?

Masalah pemborosan itu terus berlaku sekalipun pemimpin pembangkang sebelum ini pernah menyatakan kerajaan berpotensi menjimatkan RM28 bilion jika berupaya menangani ketirisan, ketidakcekapan pengurusan dan rasuah.

Pemborosan itu hanya sejumlah kecil yang dikesan lantaran adanya audit tahunan tetapi bagaimana dengan perbelanjaan perdana menteri, timbalan menteri, menteri kabinet dan isteri mereka?

Mungkin jika semuanya diaudit, pasti menghimpunkan lebih banyak pemborosan mahupun penyelewengan yang jauh menggemparkan. Malah tidak mustahil ia berjumlah berbilion-bilion ringgit.

Jika jumlah itu dapat diselamatkan dalam setahun, mungkin rakyat tidak perlu berdepan kenaikan harga petrol manakala kerajaan pula tidak keras kepala mahu melaksanakan cukai GST.

Apapun, paling penting ialah tindakan pihak berkuasa menyiasat dan mendakwa individu yang mengakibatkan pembaziran dan wujud unsur rasuah.

Ini kerana laporan berkenaan hanya ‘panas’ hingga jadi perdebatan sana sini untuk seminggu dua tetapi bertukar menjadi ‘sesejuk ais’ tanpa sebarang tindakan konkrit.

Jika amalan ini berterusan, kita nampaknya terpaksa menunggu tahun depan untuk sesi pembentangan laporan terbaru dan mendengar alasan lapuk pihak kerajaan sambil melupakan laporan depan mata.

Dan ia berputar dalam kitaran begitu, entahlah sampai bila?

http://www.selangorku.com/?p=35435

Di sini antara perkara yang menggemparkan hasil penemuan LKAN 2012 :

- LKAN 2012 mendedahkan salah pengendalian teruk sehingga RM2.051 bilion dalam mengupah kontraktor keselamatan untuk sekolah antara 2010 hingga 2012.

Daripada penyediaan kontrak sehingga mengambil pengawal keselamatan, ketua audit negara berkata, pengurusan perkhidmatan keselamatan di 35 sekolah dan asrama yang ditinjau rata-rata tidak memuaskan.

- Pasukan polis memperolehi lima buah pesawat Beechcraft King Air 350 dengan kos US$58.25 juta (RM175.24 juta) untuk kegunaan unit udaranya.

Pesawat berkenaan bertujuan untuk menaiktaraf keselamatan udara negara.

Bagaimanapun, dalam tempoh lima tahun kegunaannya, sebuah daripada pesawat berkenaan tidak dibenarkan terbang dalam tempoh lapan bulan, di antara September 2011 hingga April 2012.

Sebuah lagi tidak boleh digunakan di antara Jun dan November 2012 dengan hanya tiga buah daripada lima yang dipesan itu telah diterima setakat ini.

- Ketua audit negara mempersoalkan bayaran sebanyak RM320,000 oleh kementerian kesihatan kepada dua syarikat untuk dua kempen dalam talian menerusi Facebook dan Twitter.

Perbelanjaan itu yang dibuat sewaktu kementerian itu diterajui Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai sebahagiannya adalah bayaran sebanyak RM199,068 kepada Eficaz Media Sdn Bhd untuk laman Facebook kempen 'Tak Nak Merokok'.

Laman Facebook kedua dan akaun Twitter yang dibangunkan Astonish View Sdn Bhd untuk 'Kempen intervensi penyakit tidak berjangkit' pula menelan belanja RM120,500.

Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2012 itu mengulas skop dua tugas yang hampir sama itu tetapi menyaksikan Astonish View dibayar RM120,500 untuk membangunkan akaun Facebook dan Twitter itu.

- Keputusan Kementerian Kesihatan menggelar perokok sebagai golongan “bodoh” dalam bahan promosi kempen menyebabkan RM38,750 terbuang apabila bahan tersebut didapati tidak sesuai.

LKAN 2012 mendapati kementerian tersebut membuat pesanan bagi 300 beg galas dengan kos RM19,500 dan 3,500 buku nota pada harga RM19,250 dengan slogan 'Smoking, a stupid habit for stupid people (Merokok, satu tabiat bodoh untuk orang bodoh)'.

Bahan tersebut bagaimanapun tidak diedarkan kerana bahasa yang digunakan itu dianggap tidak sesuai, menurut laporan berkenaan.

Tapi bukan itu sahaja, laporan itu menyebut sebanyak 63,000 kempen kementerian terbabit, berjumlah lebih RM31,200 juga mengandungi kesalahan ejaan.

- Ketua Audit Negara, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang menegur Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) kerana aset lukisannya bernilai RM3.05 juta tidak dipamer dan disimpan dengan teratur.

Menurut LKAN 2012 menyatakan sebanyak 55 lukisan bernilai RM3.05 miliki Khazanah, antaranya dibeli sejak 2005 tidak dipamer dan tidak disimpan dengan teratur.

-LKAN 2012 mendedahkan ada penerima bantuan yang meninggal dunia masih menerima bantuan daripada Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) di Sabah, Kelantan dan Negeri Sembilan.

Di bawah prosedur operasi standard, pegawai yang ditugaskan memberi wang bantuan perlu berkunjung ke rumah penerima sekiranya wang berkenaan tidak dituntut dalam jangka masa tiga bulan.

Jika penerima didapati berpindah atau meninggal dunia, nama mereka perlu dikeluarkan daripada senarai penerima dengan segera.

- LKAN 2012 mempersoalkan, 813 tuntutan RM303 perjalanan oleh Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Kementerian pegawai kanan untuk lawatan sambil belajar selama empat hari ke Geneva, Switzerland, yang juruaudit merasakan bernilai hanya RM50, 000.

Ia mendedahkan bahawa walaupun pegawai yang mengambil penerbangan pulang kelas pertama, tinggal di hotel-hotel terbaik, minuman dan makan di restoran mewah dan diberikan elaun untuk membeli-belah untuk pakaian musim sejuk, kos tidak lebih daripada RM50, 000.

- Bayaran RM1.6 juta kepada artis K-Pop oleh Kementerian Belia dan Sukan sempena Himpunan Jutaan Belia 2012 yang diadakan pada 23 hingga 27 Mei 2012 di Putrajaya tidak berhemat.

Perkara itu terkandung dalam Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2012 bagi Aktiviti Kementerian/Jabatan Dan Pengurusan Syarikat Kerajaan Persekutuan Siri 2.

Ia dimuatkan dalam Jadual 16.14 Perbelanjaan Hari Belia Negara 2012 Yang Tidak Dibuat Secara Berhemat.

-Pelaburan Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) dalam saham TIME dotCom Berhad (TdC) menyebabkan KWAP menanggung kerugian sebanyak RM209.55 juta.

Laporan Ketua Audit Negara memberitahu jumlah kerugian tersebut atas jualan saham TdC sepanjang tahun 2007 sehingga 15 Mac 2013.

Pelaburan Portfolio Khas saham TdC telah dibuat pada bulan November 2001 melalui Tawaran Awam Permulaan (IPO) TdC sebanyak 273.86 juta unit saham dengan kos berjumlah RM903.75 juta pada nilai IPO RM3.30 sesaham

- Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) kehilangan 309 aset bernilai RM1.33 juta dalam tempoh tiga tahun dari 2010 hingga 2012 termasuk 44 unit senjata api.

Aset tertinggi yang hilang ialah gari iaitu sebanyak 156 unit selain 29 unit kenderaan PDRM.

-Laporan empat syarikat perundingan untuk projek pembinaan pusat pemprosesan, pengeluaran dan gudang Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) di Bangi, Selangor yang tidak dapat digunakan menyebabkan kerajaan terpaksa menanggung kerugian sebanyak RM529,733.

- Tempat pendaratan pesawat di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kota Kinabalu mempunyai 599 lubang di landasan dan jalan rayap, sehingga ia dibetulkan.

Paling buruk, seorang juruterbang dipetik mengadu kesukaran mendapat dalam keadaan cuaca buruk, "terutamanya jerebu", kerana Sistem Pendaratan Berpandu (ILS) yang dibeli pada Jun 2008 masih belum dipasang.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

View from space: Earthquake island before and after


“The island is really just a big pile of mud from the seafloor that got pushed up.” – Bill Barnhart, USGS geologist
The deadly earthquake that struck Pakistan on September 24, 2013 – leaving 515 people dead and 100,000 homeless – also created a new earthly landform. A new mud island now lies offshore in the Paddi Zirr (West Bay) near Gwadar, Pakistan. It is some 380 kilometers (230 miles) from the earthquake’s epicenter. It’s being called being called Zalzala Jazeera – orearthquake island. The first image below shows the new island from space, as seen by NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite on September 26. The second image shows the same area on April 17; no sign of an island could be seen at that time.
NASA Earth Observatory image via Earth-Observing-1 satellite.
Earthquake island in Paddi Zirr (West Bay) near Swadar, Pakistan. This island rose from the sea following the September 24, 2013 deadly earthquake in Pakistan. NASA Earth Observatory image via Earth-Observing-1 satellite. Read more about the September 24 earthquake.
NASA Earth Observatory image via Earth-Observing-1 satellite.
Here is the same area as in the photo above, on April 17, 2013. No island. NASA Earth Observatory image via Landsat 8 satellite.
The water depth around the new island is roughly 15 to 20 meters, according to marine geologist Asif Inam of Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography.
Bill Barnhart, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey who studies earthquakes in Pakistan and Iran, told NASA’s Earth Observatory:
The island is really just a big pile of mud from the seafloor that got pushed up. This area of the world seems to see so many of these features because the geology is correct for their formation. You need a shallow, buried layer of pressurized gas—methane, carbon dioxide, or something else—and fluids. When that layer becomes disturbed by seismic waves (like an earthquake), the gases and fluids become buoyant and rush to the surface, bringing the rock and mud with them.
The underground pressure, in this case, seems to have come from expanding natural gas. Asif Inam said:
The main driving force for the emergence of islands in this part of the world is highly pressurized methane gas, or gas hydrate. On the new island, there is a continuous escape of the highly flammable methane gas through a number of vents.
Close-up of the new island, estimated to stretch 75 to 90 meters (250 to 300 feet) across and standing 15 to 20 meters (60 to 70 feet) above the water line. The surface is a mixture of mud, fine sand, and solid rock.  Image via NASA Earth Observatory via National Institute of Oceanography.
Close-up of the new island, estimated to stretch 75 to 90 meters (250 to 300 feet) across and standing 15 to 20 meters (60 to 70 feet) above the water line. The surface is a mixture of mud, fine sand, and solid rock. Image via NASA Earth Observatory via National Institute of Oceanography.
The 700-kilometer-long Makran coast has had several of islands similar to the one that appeared September 24, over the past century. In this region, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory:
… the Arabian tectonic plate is pushed northward and downward to go underneath the Eurasian continental plate. The thick layer of mud and rock on the Arabian Plate is scraped off and has formed the land in southwestern Pakistan, southeastern Iran, and the shallow underwater area offshore.
Asif Inam said said these mud volcanoes and islands are:
… a natural hazard and threat to navigation.
It’s thought that the new island will last a few months to a year before sinking back below the water line. It appeared to have survived another strong earthquake in Pakistan – in the same region as the one on September 24 – this time on September 28. That second earthquake is being called an aftershock of the first.
Meanwhile, the relief effort in Pakistan is ongoing, with the situation said to be “desperate.”
Not surprisingly, people are already out walking on the new island, as the BBC Facebook image shows.
Not surprisingly, people were already out walking on the new island on the same day it formed, as this BBC World News Facebook image shows. The BBC reports that there is already rubbish on the island from people who have begun visiting it.
Bottom line: The new island offshore in the Paddi Zirr (West Bay) near Gwadar, Pakistan is being called being called Zalzala Jazeera – or earthquake island. This post shows before and after images from space of this bay, plus a closer aerial view of the new island.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

AMAZING PICTURE: New island emerges off Pakistan coast after 7.7 quake








A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 45 people in Balochistan, besides creating a new island off the Gwadar coastline in its wake, Express News reported.
Tremors were felt as far as the Indian capital New Delhi.
The quake struck at 4:29 pm local time (1129 GMT) around 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Khuzdar in Balochistan province, at a depth of 15 kilometres.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.8, recording its duration as eight seconds.
On the Gwadar coastline, the quake created a small island about half a mile into the sea near an area called ‘Jhanda’, according to Express News.
The newly appearing island is said to have a mountainous terrain rising up to a hundred feet. A large crowd was seen gathering at the site to see the new island.
The area of the epicentre is sparsely populated, but the USGS issued a red alert for the quake, warning that heavy casualties were likely, based on past data.
A senior Pakistani meteorologist, Muhammad Riaz, told Dunya TV station it was a “major” earthquake and “heavy destruction” was likely.
Minor tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, while office workers in the city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out of buildings and into the street.
Mumtaz Baluch, senior local administration official in Awaran district, 350 kilometres southwest of Quetta, told AFP: “There are reports of houses being collapsed in the district due to earthquake.”
“We have dispatched our teams to the affected area to ascertain the losses.”
In April a 7.8-magnitude quake centred in southeast Iran, close to the border with Baluchistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border.
People working in offices Karachi rushed out of their building and sat on the footpaths along the roads or stood away from the buildings.
“My work table jerked a bit and again and I impulsively rushed outside,” Noor Jabeen, a 28-year woman working for an insurance company said while breathing heavily.
“It was not so intense but it was terrible,” said Owais Khan, who works for a provincial government office.
“Whenever I feel jolts it reminds me of the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir,” said Amjad Ali, 45, IT official standing on the road said.


Pakistan Quake Kills 39 and Creates Island

PHOTO: New island off coast of Pakistan
A massive earthquake struck a remote, rural area in Pakistan today, killing at least 39 people and creating a new island off the Pakistani coastline.
"It was nothing short of a miracle," Behram Baloch, a resident of the southern port city of Gwadar, told ABC News referrign to the new island.
Accounts of the size and shape of the island vary. Baloch describes it as roughly 200 feet long, jutting out from the water roughly a quarter mile from the coastline. Pakistan TV channels broadcast footage of the island, shot from land, showing a grainy, rocky mass surrounded by water.
A fisherman who saw the island being formed say it was a gradual process, not sudden like an apparition.
"All the people from the village came out to see it and were praying at the same time," he says. "Tomorrow, I will go to see it up close."
But for as much as the earthquake created, it also destroyed.

Measuring 7.7 magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was felt as far away as India's capital, Delhi, and Karachi's biggest city, Karachi. The epicenter was a rural area in Balochistan, Pakistan's biggest but least populated province, bordering Afghanistan and Iran. The area consists of villages with mostly mud-brick homes and poor to non-existent transportation infrastructure, leaving rescue teams worried the death toll will rise sharply overnight.
Pakistani TV channels aired footage showing a steady stream of panicked workers in Quetta, the nearest major city to the quake's epicenter, flowing out from their buildings after the first tremors hit. Residents say the shaking lasted for as long as a minute before it subsided.
Initially the USGS registered the quake as a 7.4, but quickly changed its assessment. Within hours of the initial quake, the USGS registered two additional ones, measuring 5.9 and 5.6, both in the same area where the first one struck.
The deputy speaker of the Balochistan Provincial Assembly, Abdul Qadoos, told news agencies he believes at least 30 percent of all houses in Awaran, the village closest to the epicenter, were destroyed.
To help with rescue efforts, the Pakistani army deployed 300 soldiers to the affected area, a number that is expected to rise to 1,000 by Wednesday morning. The home base for rescue efforts its Khuzdar, one of the regions hard hit by the quake, with a population of more than half a million.
"Night flying helicopters with medics on their way," Major General Asim Bajwa, who handles external communication for the Pakistani military, tweeted.
Rescuers face a daunting task that poses several significant challenges. For one, getting to the hardest hit areas will be, literally, an uphill struggle. The area is rocky and partly mountainous, populated by several Pakistani tribes, some of whom are nomadic. The nearest major city, Quetta, is an eight-to-ten hour drive away. The area is overwhelmingly rural.
Damage to cell phone towers has made communication to some villages all but impossible. Pakistan also suffers from chronic electricity outages that can last for several hours, especially in smaller villages and towns. There is a concern that what little power the area received may have been cut off due to damaged transformers.

Pakistan earthquake kills more than 200, creates new island of southwest coast


An aerial photograph from Pakistan's GEO TV shows a new island in the Arabian Sea spawned by an earthquake
An aerial photograph from Pakistan's GEO TV shows a new island in the Arabian Sea spawned by an earthquake which struck the region, Sept. 24, 2013.
 / GEO TV
Pakistani officials were investigating a small island that appeared off the coast of Pakistan after the quake, apparently the result of earth and mud pushed to the surface by the quake.
Gwadar Police Chief Pervez Umrani said people gathered on the beach to see the land mass, which was about 30 feet high and 109 yards long.
The head of the Geological Survey of Pakistan confirmed that the mass was created by the quake and said scientists were trying to determine how it happened. Zahid Rafi said such masses are sometimes created by the movement of gases locked in the earth under the sea, pushing mud and earth up to the surface in something akin to a mud volcano.
"When such a strong earthquake builds pressure, there is the likelihood of such islands emerging," he said. "That big shock beneath the earth causes a lot of disturbance."
To get a better idea of what the island is made of and how permanent it is, scientists will have to visit and get samples of the material to see if it's mostly soft mud or rocks and harder material. He said these types of islands can remain for a long time or eventually subside back into the ocean, depending on their makeup.

Pakistan quake island unlikely to last: Experts

(AFP) / 25 September 2013

A small island created in the Arabian Sea by the huge earthquake that hit southwest Pakistan has fascinated locals but experts say it is unlikely to last long.


The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday in Baluchistan’s remote Awaran district, killing more than 200 people and affecting hundreds of thousands.

Off the coastline near the port of Gwadar, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the epicentre, locals were astonished to see a new piece of land surface from the waves.

“It is not a small thing, but a huge thing which has emerged from under the water,” Gwadar resident Muhammad Rustam said.

“It looked very, very strange to me and also a bit scary because suddenly a huge thing has emerged from the water.”
Mohammad Danish, a marine biologist from Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography, said a team of experts had visited the island and found methane gas rising.

“Our team found bubbles rising from the surface of the island which caught fire when a match was lit and we forbade our team to start any flame. It is methane gas,” Danish said on GEO television news.

The island is about 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 metres) high, up to 300 feet wide and up to 120 feet long, he said. It sits about 200 metres away from the coast.

Gary Gibson, a seismologist with Australia’s University of Melbourne, said the new island was likely to be a “mud volcano”, created by methane gas forcing material upwards during the violent shaking of the earthquake.

“It’s happened before in that area but it’s certainly an unusual event, very rare,” Gibson said, adding that it was “very curious” to see such activity some 400 kilometres from the quake’s epicentre.

The so-called island is not a fixed structure but a body of mud that will be broken down by wave activity and dispersed over time, the scientist said.

A similar event happened in the same area in 1945 when an 8.1-magnitude earthquake at Makran triggered the formation of mud volcanoes off Gwadar.

Professor Shamim Ahmed Shaikh, chairman of the department of geology at Karachi University, said the island, which has not been named, would disperse within a couple of months.

He said it happens along the Makran coast because of the complex relationship between tectonic plates in the area. Pakistan sits close to the junction of three plates — the Indian, Arabian and Eurasian.

“About a year back an island of almost similar size had surfaced at the similar distance from the coast in the Makran region. This would disperse in a week to a couple of months,” Shaikh said.

Gibson said the temporary island was very different from the permanent uplift seen during major “subduction zone” earthquakes, where plate collisions force the Earth’s crust suddenly and sometimes dramatically upwards.

For example, in the massive 9.5-magnitude earthquake in Chile in 1960 — known as the world’s largest ever — whole fishing villages were thrust “several metres” upwards and wharves suddenly located hundreds of metres inland, Gibson said.

Such uplift events are relatively common in the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire”, a hotbed of seismic and volcanic activity at the junction of several tectonic plates.

A thundering 8.0-magnitude quake in the Solomon Islands in 2007 thrust Ranogga Island upwards by three metres, exposing submerged reefs once popular with divers and killing the vibrant corals, expanding the shoreline outwards by several metres in the process.

During the massive 9.2-magnitude earthquake off Sumatra which triggered a devastating tsunami across the Indian Ocean in 2004, several islands were pushed upwards while others subsided into the ocean.


The Aceh coast dropped permanently by one metre while Simeulue Island was lifted by as much as 1.5 metres, exposing the surrounding reef which became the island’s new fringe.