Not practical to think you can solve the problem bilaterally with individual countries involved, UN may have to be involved
Monday, Nov 05, 2012

VIENTIANE – The Philippines on Monday pushed its call for an international solution to overlapping claims in the South China Sea at an Asia-Europe summit, saying vital global shipping lanes were at stake.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino raised the issue in bilateral meetings with leaders of the European Union as well as with Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Laos.
“We noted the increasing importance of maritime security” in what Manila calls the West Philippine Sea, said Aquino’s chief spokesman Herminio Coloma.
“There was agreement that it was a matter of international interest considering that a significant amount of world trade passes through that body of water,” he told reporters in the Laotian capital Vientiane.
“Switzerland and the EU and to some extent Norway indicated their firm support to the Philippines in terms of our position that conflicts and disputes in that area are to be resolved peacefully and following international law.”
Coloma said Aquino is also likely to raise the issue at a plenary session of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) later Monday and in bilateral discussions with the leaders of Japan and Italy.
More than 50 Asian and European leaders or their representatives are attending the ASEM summit, held every two years.
Any instability in the South China Sea, home to global commercial shipping lanes, will affect Europe because it would lead to higher insurance premiums for their ships, Coloma added.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters near the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines and Vietnam have accused Beijing of becoming increasingly aggressive in staking out its claims.
The Philippines has since April been engaged in a stand-off with China over a disputed shoal. Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also have claims to parts of the sea.
Aquino has insisted in the past that solving the dispute needed a multilateral approach, but China has insisted on solving the problem bilaterally with individual countries involved.
If you look at it’s history, the Chinese were the first to inhabit the islands, it is only after WW2 that the Japanese took control, but after they lost the war, US move into the picture. To solve this dispute, China should have Administration rights, but mining rights can be shared with Japan, as it is an international sea lane, all countries should have access, as such all claims will be invalid, and all these disputes can only be resolved at the UN at the highest courts. Therefore nobody can erect any structures on the islands. Japan, is it worthwhile just to fight for mining rights when you are losing millions every week? Settle with China.
– Contributed by Oogle.


Chloramphenicol is used to treat animals with animal feed but is not safe for human consumption, AVA better look into this

GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA – The Health Ministry has ordered all Ayamas products in the same batch that was found to contain a banned antibiotic be taken off the market.
Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday his ministry had ordered the withdrawal of the products pending tests.
“I am now waiting for the results of the tests done on the samples. We view this seriously and that is why we decide to withdraw the batch from the market.”
However, he said Ayamas products that were not from the same batch could continue to be sold. Liow was commenting on the Sarawak Veterinary Authority’s immediate ban on all Ayamas products following a random test where traces of Chloramphenicol were found.
Chloramphenicol is used to treat animals but is not safe for human consumption and, therefore, cannot be used in food processing.
On Saturday, Sarawak Assistant Agriculture Minister Mong Dagang said he believed the problem could lie in the source of the chickens and not during the processing part.
Chloramphenicol is banned in most Western countries although it is available in Southeast Asia. The drug is known to cause blood disorders such as aplastic and hypoplastic anaemia.
Any interactions between Chloramphenicol and diabetic medicines, or even vitamin B12 supplements, may cause allergic reactions, including stomach upset, diarrhoea, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Earlier, Liow said the ministry had approved two mega projects for Penang Hospital next year. A new women and children’s block will be constructed to ease congestion.
“The present hospital ward is 130 years old and in a dilapidated condition. Sometimes, the ceiling will fall off and this is not good,” he said, adding that the old structure would be demolished in stages to make way for the new RM125 million (S$50 million) building.
Liow said the wards in the new building would have a 300-bed capacity.
Speaking after a dialogue with the state Visitors’ Board members, Liow said a new multi-storey hospital would also be built in mainland Seberang Jaya.

This is a worldwide problem, and it affects all nuclear plants

“If you notice the problems of the Japan Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown, it is also related to parts that cannot meet up to QC.”- Contributed by Oogle.

Posted: 05 November 2012 1143 hrs 
SEOUL: South Korea has been forced to shut down two nuclear reactors to replace components provided with fake quality certificates, a minister said on Monday, warning of “unprecedented” power shortages.
Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-Woo stressed that the “non-core” components posed no safety threat and were unrelated to a string of systems malfunctions at reactors this year that triggered calls for a safety review.
The two affected reactors at the Yeonggwang nuclear complex in the southwest may have to remain offline until early January, as engineers replace more than 5,000 fuses, cooling fans and other parts provided by eight suppliers.
“Comprehensive safety check-ups are necessary at these two reactors where the uncertified parts were used extensively,” Hong said.
“It’s inevitable that we will experience unprecedented power shortage during the coming winter with the two reactors shut,” he added.
South Korea operates 23 nuclear power reactors which meet more than 35 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. It plans to build an additional 16 reactors by 2030.
Last month, authorities temporarily shut down two 1,000-megawatt reactors at separate nuclear plants after system malfunctions which were also blamed for another reactor at Yeonggwang being tripped into automatic shutdown in July.
The South Korean government has vowed to stick to its nuclear power programme despite public concerns arising from last year’s nuclear disaster in Japan.
If the two Yeonggwang reactors are not brought back online as scheduled, Hong warned of a “dramatic” drop in national power reserves to 300,000 kilowatts in January, compared to the government target of 4.5 million kilowatts.
“Energy authorities are preparing a super-intense power supply emergency plan, which will be carried out in mid-November,” he said, without elaborating.
All parts supplied for use in South Korea’s nuclear plants require quality and safety warranties from one of 12 international organisations designated by Seoul.
The eight suppliers cited by Hong faked 60 warranties covering nearly 7,700 items that had been provided at a cost of 820 million won (US$750,000), Hong said.
Of the total, more than 5,200 parts have been used in five reactors — 99 per cent of them in the two Yeonggwang units closed on Monday.
Hong said prosecutors would investigate the suppliers as well as possible collusion by officials of the state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power.
Doubts over nuclear safety standards were fuelled in May when five senior engineers were charged with trying to cover up a potentially dangerous power failure at South Korea’s oldest nuclear plant.
The five, including a 55-year-old chief engineer at the Gori-1 reactor, were accused of violating a law on nuclear safety.
The reactor, built in 1978 near the southern city of Busan, briefly lost mains power on February 9 and the emergency generator failed to kick in. The power cut caused cooling water to stop circulating.
– AFP/xq

When you compare the lists of suppliers to Japan and South Korea for nuclear reactor parts, you will suddenly realised that they are the same suppliers worldwide, and so many parts does not pass QC to save costs, so that is why you have a meltdown in Japan Fukushima incident.
That is the reason there will be an international outrage, nobody will trust nuclear fusion reactors and will gradually phase it out, kicking in other renewable energy.
– Contributed by Oogle.

Why the costs of Healthcare in Singapore cannot drop

The Problem : Healthcare costs in Singapore is ever rising and cannot drop

The Present : Doctors prescribe medications and get a commission from drug companies so there is no incentive to improve or recommend new technology unless it increases his bottom line. What is the difference between Tampines Polyclinic and NUH? The prices of healthcare is cheaper at Tampines Polyclinic but the expertise of the doctor and the medical equipments cannot be compared to NUH. If I see a doctor at NUH and I want to buy the same medication at Tampines Polyclinic, can it be done? No, the government gives a subsidy based on where you go and they will not just sell you the medication, and that is why the high profits are already fixed like a cartel/monopoly by the government. This is not healthy as the savings are not passed on back to the consumer. Small clinics will face the most pressure as they need to stock up on medication which narrows their capital and cannot get economies of scale.

The Solution : Separate the business of healthcare by hospitals and clinics between giving advice and dispensing of medication. Common drugs will drop in price as more supply is introduced and drug companies can make more money from introducing the latest drugs to combat diseases, this in turn will also force doctors to upgrade themselves so they will get even higher income than those who do not. Even drug companies need economies of scale and those who can match demand and supply will enjoy the greatest profits. Existing hospitals with dispensaries can outsource to private with the requirements that they must provide the best medication with the lowest possible price, where the consumer can have the option to chose, this will drive old medication drugs down and economies of scale will also force common drugs to drop in price.  

PS : I am not going to buy my diabetes medication from NUH because it is too expensive, but since Tampines Polyclinic do not want to sell to me, I am going without medication forever and use excessive water and a strict diet to control my sugar level, I know the effects is not serious in the short term, but can be very serious in the long term, and I am going to play with both. People with diabetes can now visit general practitioners in private clinics, and even optical shops, to get tested for diabetic eye problems. Such eye tests typically cost $6.50 at polyclinics and $70 or more at specialist eye centres. Wah lau, so expensive at hospital, I am going to get it done at the polyclinic.
– Contributed by Oogle.