Archive for July, 2013

Muhyiddin should apologise for jumping the gun in falsely blaming non-Muslim “callousness towards Islam and Muslim sensitivities” for the latest controversial 1.44 minute video

Two days ago, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed concern over racial polarisation in the country “as the trend now is as if the people are getting more hypersensitive”.

Muhyiddin is right except that he has himself been the problem instead of being the solution to the problem of racial polarisation.

This is best illustrated by Muhyiddin’s strong reaction yesterday deploring “the callousness of some towards Islam and Muslim sensitivities” which he said could spark unrest and create discord among the people.

He said he was perplexed as to why some quarters were out to undermine Islam and Muslims.

He said: “Is this a manifestation of the assumption of some quarters that we (Muslims) are weak and that they could walk all over us? Or that we are afraid to react when others insult the sanctity of Islam?

“Could they be simply ignorant and not understand the values of faith?

“No Muslim has made fun of other faiths.” (New Straits Times p.6 31/7/13)
Read the rest of this entry »

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For Sakmongkol AK47, Malaysia’s future lies beyond just Umno

by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
July 31, 2013

Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz does an admirable job of selling the DAP.

He marvels at the way 38 of his party men won their parliamentary seats with sparse resources; he calls his colleagues the most well-prepared team in the House; he says that he feels nothing but comfort with this group who fight for good government and good governance.

“They are committed and dedicated, and I never feel infringed or overwhelmed by the Chinese nature of DAP. I feel very comfortable being in their environment and they have never stopped me from speaking out about Malay issues,” Mohd Ariff told The Malaysian Insider in an interview.

Now comes the hard part for the former Umno state assemblyman who contested and won the Raub parliamentary seat in the white of DAP: help the party officials convince more Malays across the country that the party of Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng are not the ogres or threat to their political power as sketched by Umno leaders, most recently former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We have to destroy the myth that DAP is bad for the Malays. We are not out to grab political power despite what Mahathir is asserting.

“Even if all the Chinese were to unite under one banner, it is mathematically impossible, they would only form 24 percent, and Mahathir knows this,” said the ardent blogger who goes with the nom de guerre Sakmongkol AK47. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fitch pushes Malaysia’s credit rating outlook to negative

The Malaysian Insider
July 31, 2013

Global ratings agency Fitch Ratings has revised Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating outlook from stable to negative as the possibility of addressing public finance weaknesses has deteriorated after Election 2013.

The news comes as the Malaysian ringgit slid to three-year lows against the US dollar and 15-year lows against the Singapore dollar, making imports more expensive while exports would be cheaper although exports have slipped.

But it affirmed the country’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at A- and A, respectively.

“Malaysia’s public finances are its key rating weakness. Federal government debt rose to 53.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) at end-2012, up from 51.6 percent at end-2011 and 39.8 percent at end-2008.

“The general government budget deficit (Fitch basis) widened to 4.7 percent of GDP in 2012 from 3.8 percent in 2011, led by a 19 percent rise in spending on public wages in a pre-election year,” it said.

But Fitch believed that it would be difficult for Putrajaya to achieve its interim 3 percent federal government deficit target for 2015 without additional consolidation measures. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s crime situation would not have deteriorated to present depths of Sanjeevan/Najadi shootings and recent spate of murders/attempted murders by firearms if IPCMC had been formed in past 7 years to eradicate police corruption and wrongdoings

There was little credibility when it was reported in June that an Internet survey listed Kuala Lumpur among the most dangerous cities in the world – the sixth most dangerous city in the world after San Pedro Sula in Honduras, Ciudad Huarez in Mexico, Maceio in Brazil, Acapulco in Mexico and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

But there was even less credibility when the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister claimed for the past two years that Malaysia is the safest country in South-East Asia.

The tragedy after the 13th General Election on May 5, 2013 is that Malaysia seems set to want to prove that Malaysia is an increasingly dangerous country rather than the safest country in the region, with the police and government authorities continuing to dismiss the feeling and conviction by the majority of Malaysians of rising crime and being unsafe in the country as only a matter of perception not backed up by official crime statistics, Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and National Key Results Area (NKRA) findings and reports.

The shooting and attempted assassination of whistleblower MyWatch Chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan, the shooting and killing of Arab Malaysian Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi and the recent spate of murders and attempted murders by firearms have given Malaysia a bad name internationally as a country which is unsafe for her people, visitors and investors with far-reaching effects for Malaysia’s economic future and tourist prospects.

How did Malaysia descend to such depths of increasing criminality and deterioration of public safety despite all the hullabaloo about Government Transformation Programme and National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) which placed fighting and reducing crime as one of its top six priorities in the past four years? Read the rest of this entry »

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Aunty Bersih, Annie Ooi

by Allan CF Goh

(Also Dedicated To Other Unsung Heroes)

Dear Aunty Bersih,
Your frail look belies your strength.
Despite being gassed, sprayed,
Your faith is firmly entrenched.
You dared the hardship
Of marching for a true cause,
Even though harassed,
Even though at a great cost. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M and the Malays

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jul 29, 2013

If some of you think that this nation is in a mess, then blame the Malays because they are the problem. Malays know that Malaysia is not the land of gold and honey any longer.

In these difficult times, they have become more aware of their surroundings; but one other person has noticed this sea-change in the Malays.

mahathir and malay peopleHe is former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He knows that a thinking and independent Malay is detrimental to his legacy, his creation – Umno-Baru – and to the well-being of his family’s fortunes. Today’s self-aware Malay is Mahathir’s downfall.

Malays are in positions of power in government and the civil service. They dictate policies and run the wheels of government; but Malays are also the nation’s worst hypocrites.

They are greedy. They are happy with short-term solutions. They do not think of the consequences. They are happy to hide behind the cloak of race and religion if it will bring them some material benefit or status. The day they lose everything is probably the day they will regain their humility, values and self-respect. Read the rest of this entry »

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Onus is on UMNO Youth and Utusan Malaysia to substantiate their allegation that “The New Village” glorified the MCP and demonised the police and soldiers

In today’s Malaysiakini report “Unfair to ban ‘New Village’ on trailer alone, says Shabery”, the Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said he was not surprised that the film had drawn protests from UMNO Youth and party-owned Utusan Malaysia as I too “over-reacted” to another controversial “Tanda Putera” film after the screening of its trailer.

He said it is unfair to judge ‘The New Village’ based on its trailer release along and said a “rational” decision must now be made on its fate.

I invite Shabery to specify how I had “over-reacted” to “Tanda Putera” after the screening of its trailer, as I had never seen the trailer of “Tanda Putera”.

My first statement on Tanda Putera is available on my blog, dated 4th August 2012, as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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BN must stay in tune with the middle class, says Musa Hitam

The Malaysian Insider
July 29, 2013

The Malaysian middle class is “no pushover”, and the Barisan Nasional (BN) must seriously address its concerns such as corruption and misuse of power, former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam told The Straits Times.

“When Malaysians are critical, it shouldn’t be dismissed as them being destructive or negative. We should respect them. The middle class today thinks very differently, and the challenge for the leadership is that it should be one step ahead but it has not even kept up,” the Singapore daily quoted him as saying in the republic.

“That is the problem. We (the government) have provided education to them, but yet, we’ve become less educated and haven’t changed our mindset,” he told The Straits Times in an interview on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia does not have a Chinese dilemma but a Mahathir dilemma

The author of “The Malay Dilemma” has tried to coin a new complex, “The Chinese Dilemma” which he defined as “whether the Chinese in Malaysia should make a grab for political power while dominating economic power or to adhere to the principle of sharing which has made this country what it is today”.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is making history in coining a complex which exists only in his febrile imagination, as it does not afflict any single Chinese in Malaysia – whether in Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional!

I will like to know whether there is any Chinese in Malaysia who will stand up and state that Mahathir is right that there is such a “Chinese dilemma” in Malaysia!

Only an inveterate racist like Mahathir could interpret the 13th general elections as a “grab for political power” by the Malaysian Chinese, when it was in fact the historic moment when Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region rallied behind the Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP in pursuit of a common Malaysian Dream in an effort to bring about a change of Federal government in Putrajaya, for the first time in the nation’s 55-year history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clueless or opportunistic defenders of TITAS

by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
CPI
Saturday, 27 July 2013

Commentary

As soon as one academic government yes-man appears to retire from the public scene, another all too quickly rushes to fill the vacancy. The latest academic political wannabe is Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Prof. Teo Kok Seong who has said that the course would benefit the Chinese, and that Chinese leaders should support its introduction.

Offering little in the way of empirical evidence or intellectual argument, he has provided the breathtakingly brilliant and original insight that “TITAS in private higher institution is to resolve the issue faced by citizens who do not know our history and civilisation. The ultimate purpose is to create better understanding, foster unity and inculcate the development of a national identity.”

According to Prof. Teo as reported in Utusan Malaysia (23 July 2013), the compulsory teaching of the subject is to streamline the social sciences in public and private universities and to foster humanism in the undergrads.

And to drive home the importance of the compulsory subject, he links his defence of it to the lack of understanding among private school students “of the country’s history and the basics in the country as [seen in] the sex couple Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee….”, said a Malaysiakini report headlined ‘ Titas would benefit the Chinese, says don’ (July 23).

Prof. Teo appears bent on justifying his position as Research Fellow of the Institute of the Malay World and Civilization and the conferment of a Datukship on him.

If that is his intention, he should have gone further and asked perhaps for the public flogging of the couple and the withdrawal of citizenship of those against the Ministry of Education’s effort to create better understanding and greater unity among students. An even harder line would endear him more to the higher ups and secure greater official recognition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir is trying to set the agenda for the upcoming UMNO party elections with his dangerous myth of “the Chinese dilemma” recklessly and falsely accusing the Chinese out to oust the political power of the Malays

When I contested in the Gelang Patah constituency in the 13th general election, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad accused me of wanting to create a “racial confrontation” between the Malays and Chinese in Johore.

This was a pack of lies. In fact, events have shown that it is Mahathir in the past few months who has been trying to create a “racial confrontation”, particularly after the May 5 general election results, in his campaign to pit one race against another.

Mahathir is again up to his mischief in his opinion piece in the New Straits Times yesterday, concocting the dangerous and false myth of “the Chinese dilemma” of the Chinese making a grab to oust the political power of the Malays in Malaysia – and trying to set the agenda for the upcoming UMNO party elections.

Mahathir should know better than anyone that because of the political and demographic realities in Malaysia, the political power of the Malays in Malaysia have never been in danger and there is no attempt by the Chinese or any other community to oust the political power of the Malays.

What is at stake is whether UMNO and UMNO-putras can continue with their politics of race, cronyism, corruption, abuses of power and impunity or whether they have to give way to a new Malaysian politics of multi-racialism, good governance, public integrity, freedom and justice. Read the rest of this entry »

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ROS director-general’s groundless comment clearest sign that UMN0/BN government may be preparing a Hari Raya surprise – deregistration of DAP on completely baseless and frivolous grounds

The Star report today “Don’t harbour false hopes” quoting the ROS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman is the clearest sign that the UMNO/BN government may be preparing a Hari Raya surprise – the deregistration of DAP on completely baseless and frivolous grounds.

The Star report is studded with false and groundless premises showing that the ROS director-general is acting in a completely improper, unfair and unprofessional manner not in keeping with the efficient, impartial and independent discharge of his public duties.

How can the ROS director-general comment on a completely fictitious scenario which is a total concoction or figment of imagination of the Umno/BN propagandists, cybertroopers and their agents, as if it is a fact?

The Star report headlined “Don’t harbour false hopes” states:

‘Don’t harbour false hopes’

PETALING JAYA: DAP members have been told not to harbour hopes of forming a new party if the Registrar of Societies (ROS) decides to de-register it.

ROS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said they would not likely entertain requests to set up a new party.

“They can apply. But the right to approve is with the ROS. We did not even entertain 29 applications to set up new parties submitted over the last five years,” he said yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the move by DAP members to look into establishing a new political party if de-registration was inevitable following complaints of election fraud in the DAP’s central executive committee (CEC) election in December.

The notion of forming a new party if the DAP is deregistered had never been raised or entertained by anyone in the DAP, whether leadership or membership, as there is no plausible ground for the deregistration of the DAP. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Decades-old Sad Story

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo
26th July 2013

The intake of students into Malaysian public universities is a sad, sad story. A story that has been around for decades. A story that doesn’t want to end.

Since the establishment of the quota system for Bumiputera students in 1973, non-Bumputera ones have had to take part in what is virtually a lottery when they apply for places. They may not get admitted, or they may not get the course of study they applied for even though they have the best results.

When the system was introduced, 55 per cent of places were reserved for Bumiputeras, although apart from Universiti Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia, other universities reportedly admitted more Bumiputeras than was specified in the quota.

Non-Bumiputera families that couldn’t tolerate the unfairness of the system decided to emigrate with the chief aim of securing higher education for the young. New waves of emigration have since followed, resulting in a massive brain drain that is highly disadvantageous to the country’s development.

Those who stayed gave up on public universities as they did not want to put up with uncertainty over their children’s future. They resolved to work harder to earn money to send their children overseas.

This caused a huge flow of currency outflow. So to stem it and also to make Malaysia a future net exporter of tertiary education, the Government instituted the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act in 1996 that led to the sprouting of private colleges and universities locally. Read the rest of this entry »

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One Indian’s response to Art and Zahid

– Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
July 26, 2013

Two articulate writers, both lawyers, both Muslims, both patriots, have commented on the Pristina primary school incident, which I too have commented on.

Art Harun’s piece is titled “Once we were beautiful.”

Art reminisces about his schooldays in a mixed race, English-stream primary school in the sixties. He names some of his Chinese, Indian and Malay teachers. He affectingly recalls being corrected by some of them. He notes it was then normal not to fast till year 5 and it was even normal, not disrespectful, to snack while walking about.

Art recounts his move to a “mixed” boarding school. He studied, played, ate and made mischief with friends who weren’t Malays. Inter-communal mixing was normal.

Art laments that “non-Muslims don’t send their kids to national school anymore,” preferring vernacular and private schools. He points out that now national schools require students to recite morning prayers, have walls adorned with Quranic verses and are filled with Malay/Muslim students.

Art’s point about the state of our schools today is:

“The small number of non-Malay kids also gives a sense of false superiority complex to the Malay kids as well as teachers. Thus, my race and my religion are more important than you, your religion and everything else.

Art says the superiority complex is the reason why “many national schools” close their school canteens during Ramadan, though that’s not the publicly offered reason. Read the rest of this entry »

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Not the Islam I know…

Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
Malaysiakini
Jul 25, 2013

COMMENT The two incidents that have been the talk of the day in the Internet media that have raised concerns on the questionable tolerance and magnanimity of Islam and Muslims are the Alvivi sex blogger couple’s alleged disrespecting of Islam and the demands of right-wing groups Perkasa and Jati for the Vatican envoy to leave Malaysia over his remarks on the Allah row.

From the events that had unfolded, it does seem to be that Muslims in general – and Islam in particular – are a people and a religion that are most intolerant and do not know the meaning of forgiveness or magnanimity.

In this short essay, I will present stories and examples of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, teacher of all Muslims in the world and for all times, on how he exemplified the true spirit of magnanimity, forgiveness and tolerance.

In other words, I do not know who these people are who have painted Islam in such light – the Attorney-General’s Chambers officers and the judiciary who denied bail to the sex blogger couple and the three Malay-Muslim politicians (Hasan Ali, Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin) who boisterously demand that the Vatican envoy leave this country for supporting the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Malay Bible.

I would like to explain to my Malaysian brothers and sisters who are Muslims and non-Muslims about the true Islam as exhibited by the Prophet himself. What these Malays have shown did not definitely come from the tradition of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

I can cite many events and incidents to show that Prophet Muhammad was perhaps the epitome of tolerance, forgiveness and magnanimity, but I will just point out a few. Do not trust me on these accounts but let history be the judge. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN must thank Election Commission for fixing polling day on Wednesday for its slight majority in the Kuala Besut by-election

UMNO/BN must thank the Election Commission for fixing polling day on Wednesday for the slight UMNO/BN majority in the Kuala Besut by-election, which resulted in a lower voter turnout of 1,193 voters or 79.78% compared to 87% in the 13th general election on May 5.

The Umno/BN candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman secured 8,288 votes as against PAS candidate [email protected] Yusuf, who polled 5,696 votes – a majority of 2,592 votes which is an increase of 158 votes from the 2,434-vote majority secured by Umno/BN in the recent general election.

UMNO Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has claimed that BN’s inability to achieve its 4,000-vote majority target in Kuala Besut was due to overconfidence among BN supporters who did not turn up at the ballot box.

He also attributed the 7 per cent lower voter turnout than the last general election to the slower pace of life during the month of Ramadan.

However, the opposite is more likely to be the case, as the lower turnout is the result of the polling day being fixed on a working day, causing many outstation voters not returning to cast their vote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Once we were beautiful

– Art Harun
The Malaysian Insider
July 24, 2013

I am blessed.

So are many of my friends who are of or around my age.

So are many who are older than me.

As a child of the 60s, I went through my formative years in an English-stream school. It was a big school in town.

And there were hundreds of us Malays, Chinese and Indian boys (it wasn’t co-ed).

Our first headmaster was a Chinese gentleman who was as fierce as they came those days.

When he left, he was replaced by an Indian gentleman, who also was as fierce.

My first class teacher was Ms Leong, all long haired and short skirted.

And yes, armed with a wooden ruler, she would knock my knuckles for failing to properly write the number 8.

My first English sentence, learnt on the first day at school was to be uttered after raising my right hand, “Please teacher may I go out?”

That was to be said if any of us had to go to the toilet to do the normal stuffs we all do in the toilet (and not to eat).

Then there were Mr Linggam, Cikgu Aziz and wife, Sharom, Mr Lee the karate guy, Mr Khor, Cikgu Mutalib and various others.

We were a happy bunch. We played together, ate together, learned together and of course, at times, punished together. Read the rest of this entry »

25 Comments

Wanted in Malaysia: Empathy

by The Malaysian Insider
July 24, 2013

How did Malaysia come to this point? Where billions have been spent on national unity programmes, Bangsa Malaysia initiatives and grandiose 1Malaysia schemes and yet EMPATHY for each other is so glaringly missing from daily life.

The Oxford Dictionary defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Some may see it as “standing in someone else’s shoes” or “seeing through someone else’s eyes”.

Whatever the definition, implicit in it is a feeling of compassion for another.

If the feeling of empathy courses through the veins of Malaysians, we would be very slow to ridicule the religious practices of another or even place each other in racial pigeonholes. Very slow. Because we would feel the hurt that a wayward word or action could cause another group of Malaysians.

In addition, we would be quick to condemn or disapprove of behaviour not in keeping with our national psyche. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stupid Prank and Double Standards

By Kee Thuan Chye
msn
23 July 2013

Alvin Tan Jye Yee and Vivian Lee May Ling, collectively known as Alvivi, are now in prison, awaiting trial. The judge denied them bail after they pleaded not guilty to three charges related to alleged sedition, causing enmity between people of different religions, and displaying pornographic pictures on their blog.

The charges – under the Sedition Act, the Film Censorship Act and the Penal Code – are pretty serious. If found guilty, they could go to jail for some years. Not a bright prospect for two supposedly smart people in their mid-20s.

But why were they not granted bail? What further harm could they inflict? Whom could they harm? How severe, really, is their offence? Even people charged with committing far worse offences, like rape, have been given bail.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail says Alvivi were denied bail because of their tendency to post content on their blog that could potentially anger the public.

I think that’s being presumptuous. It is not backed up with any evidence. Besides, potentially angering the public is a poor excuse. And since we are engaging in making assumptions, I would hazard that it’s very unlikely that the duo would still opt to arouse public anger after having faced those serious charges. In fact, even before they were arrested, they had already apologised. Read the rest of this entry »

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At last, the cat is out of the bag – “meritocracy”student intake system into public universities “more quota than quota”

At last, the cat is out of the bag – that the university “meritocracy” student intake system which replaced the ethnic quota system for entry into the public universities in 2002 is “more quota than quota”.

According to the MCA Youth leader, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong, the intake of Chinese students for eight major courses in public universities – medical, dentistry, pharmacy, electronics and electrical engineering, chemical engineering, law and accounting – has been declining in recent years from 26.2% in 2001 to 25.3% in 2001 and 20.7 per cent this year.

I commend Wee for finally making the public admission that the so-called “merit system” which replaced the quota system in 2002 was an even worse form of quota system in reality, resulting in the dropping of Chinese students to 19 per cent from more than 30 per cent in the early years, and the general drop in non-Malay students in the eight critical courses in public universities.

In May 2002, I had sent an urgent email to all Cabinet Ministers asking them to rectify the injustice of the so-called “merit-based” university selection system, as the formula used to match the matriculation results and STPM grades was “unprofessional, unfair and gives meritocracy a bad name as it is without any professional merit”, like comparing an apple with an orange.

I had argued at the time that it was quite absurd to compare the results of the STPM and matriculation courses as they are completely different systems, with different kind of evaluation procedures. Read the rest of this entry »

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