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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bomb And Shooting Attack Of two Mosques in Pakistan Atleast 80 Ahmadi's Muslims Killed

Islamabad, Pakistan
Saturday, 29th May 2010

 Attacks with bombs and firearms in Pakistan, targeting houses of worship for a persecuted religious minority, killed at least 80 people Friday, a senior government official said, CNN reported and published on it's website.

The strikes took place at two mosques in Lahore belonging to the Ahmadi religious group, police and rescue officials said.

At the Baitul Noor place of worship in the Model Town region, two attackers on motorbikes fired at the entrance of the building and tossed hand grenades, a rescue official told CNN. Police said one of the attackers was critically injured. The other, clad in a suicide jacket, was detained.

At a mosque in the Garhi Shahu neighborhood, one witness told CNN he saw two attackers armed with AK-47s, and another witness said he saw at least four gunmen. Sajjad Bhutta, the senior official, said the heads of three suicide bombers were discovered there.

Bhutta said more than 70 people were injured in the violence.

Ahmadis regard themselves as Muslim. But the government says they aren't, and many Muslim extremists have targeted them. Sunni and Shiite Muslims do not regard followers of the religion as Muslims because they do not regard Mohammed as the last prophet sent by God.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a non-governmental organization, deplored the attacks and said it has warned the Punjab provincial government about threats to the Ahmadi community center in Model Town for more than a year. Lahore is the capital of Punjab province.
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"An HRCP delegation had held meetings with Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif to apprise him of the situation and had demanded enhanced security measures to protect the vulnerable minority and its worship places. HRCP is of the view that though the Punjab government apparently took some steps to bolster the security ... they were not enough to face the well-coordinated and well-planned terrorist attack as witnessed on Friday," it said.

It urged the government "to provide foolproof security and protection to the Ahmadi community."

The movement was founded in 1889. Its followers believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) was sent by God as a prophet "to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace," the worldwide Ahmadi group says.

The group, which is thought to number between 3 million and 4 million people in the country, endures "the most severe legal restrictions and officially sanctioned discrimination" among Pakistan's religious minorities, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The religious freedom commission, an independent, bipartisan U.S. government body, said in its latest annual report that "Ahmadis may not call their places of worship 'mosques,' worship in non-Ahmadi mosques or public prayer rooms which are otherwise open to all Muslims, perform the Muslim call to prayer, use the traditional Islamic greeting in public, publicly quote from the Koran, or display the basic affirmation of the Muslim faith."

The agency says it's illegal for the group to preach publicly, pursue converts or pass out religious material, and adherents are restricted from holding public conferences and traveling to Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage.

While the greatest number of its followers are in Pakistan and India, it has a presence in many European countries, such as Britain, where the religion's fifth and current spiritual head, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, resides.

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Revisited Malaysian Big Spender in NY Taek Jho Low

Kuching
Saturday, 29th May 2010


Yesterday, one of the item proposed by  the head of  pemuda PKR (AMK) Shamsul Iskandar Mat Akin was to investigate in details Taek Jho Low , a Malaysian big spender night goers who was reported by the newspapers in USA  in November 2009 for possible linking with Rosmah or one of Prime Minister Najib's son.
Some of us might have not read the report, so today I am republished the article here for everyone reading pleasure.

Article  By New York Post Dated November 8th 2009.

A fleet of black Cadillac Escalades hums outside Chelsea hot spot Avenue -- the A-list watering hole of such celebrities as Justin Timberlake and Lindsay Lohan.
As the car doors open, a dozen men emerge and a bouncer whisks them over the club's threshold, past a group of shivering models behind the velvet rope.
"Who is it?" one of them wonders out loud. "Is it P. Diddy?"
But the man at the center of the entourage isn't a celebrity. He isn't even a mogul. He's Taek Jho Low, a 20-something Wharton grad from Malaysia who has burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars at the city's hottest nightspots in the last three months -- and shows no signs of stopping.
The nightlife scene is abuzz with tales of this international man of mystery -- who goes by the name Jho Low and whose chubby, bespectacled appearance hardly meets the image of a wealthy gadabout.
In September, during Fashion Week, sources said, Low helped rack up a $160,000 bar tab at Avenue, including several $900 bottles of Cristal champagne.
One month later, Lindsay Lohan was belatedly celebrating her 23rd birthday at downtown drinking den 1OAK when 23 bottles of Cristal suddenly appeared. They were reportedly paid for by a "mystery Malaysian," who, sources claim, was Low.
At chic 27th Street hangout Pink Elephant, Low routinely spends $50,000 to $60,000, according to the club's owner, David Sarner. One night, at the Pink Elephant outpost in Southampton, Low enjoyed himself so much that he kept the revelry going -- all the way to Malaysia, Sarner said.
"He ended up flying eight of our [waitresses] to Malaysia for a party," he added.
Strangely, for a man attracting so much attention, very little is known about Low.
According to his official biography, he currently serves as a group adviser of several international corporations and was appointed to the board of UBG Berhad, a financial-services group in Kuala Lumpur, last year.
But when The Post interviewed Malaysian experts at such think tank as the Council on Foreign Relations, no one had ever heard of Low.
According to inside sources, Low lives at a $100,000-a-month apartment in the Park Imperial, on West 56th Street, home to James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs -- and he won't go anywhere, not even on the elevator, without at least one bodyguard.
Some of Low's entourage of eight to 12 people also reside in two other apartments at the Park Imperial -- a $30,000-a-month pad and a 2,200-square-foot loft with Central Park views that costs $20,000 a month, according to real-estate investor Michael Hirtenstein, who used to live in the latter.

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Chong Chieng Jen Reminds Wong Soon Koh Don't Lie!

Kuching
Saturday, 29th May 2010

Sentosa State Assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen has hit out at Sibu SUPP chairman Wong Soon Koh for lying to the people in Sarawak.
SUPP chairman Wong Soon KohChong said Wong, who is the 2nd Finance Minister, should stop making excuses for their defeat in the Sibu by-election as BN had failed the people after 47 years.
It was obvious that SUPP is still clueless why BN lost the Sibu by-election, for they have clearly lost touch with the needs and interest of the voters, said Chong, who is also Kuching MP, in a press statement on Wednesday.
In his winding-up speech in the Sarawak State Assembly, Wong made a litany of "baseless and unbelievable accusations" against the DAP and made no attempt to understand the fact that the people of Sibu have had enough of the decades of abuse, cronyism and corruption by the BN state government.
Chong said Wong told the DUN that DAP is now extremely rich for they could fly over hundreds of campaigners to Sibu to assist in the Sibu by-election.

Money, media and machinery

“All DAP campaigners, be they Members of Parliament, state assemblymen or ordinary members, took care of their own expenses without burdening the party. . .and most of them stayed either with party members in Sibu or in low-budget hotels,” he pointed out.

“Unlike Barisan Nasional leaders, we do not fly first class, nor stay at 5-star hotels which are paid for by the federal or state government, under the pretext of carrying out their government duties, despite obviously campaigning for the SUPP candidate.” he added.

Chong said despite having nearly full control over the 3Ms - money, media and machinery - Wong has the cheek to accuse DAP of employing “dirty tactics” to win the Sibu by-election without producing any evidence of foul play while, on the other hand, BN handed out cash liberally to voters in order to entice votes.

Chong said Wong even accused DAP of intimidation tactics to scare voters from voting resulting in the very low turnout of 59.8%.

Power to intimidate

He said Chong "must be joking" as DAP has neither the ability or the power to intimidate, but are instead victims of intimidation and injustice as BN has full control over the Election Commission and the police force.

“What is worse is that Wong Soon Koh is basing his claim on a wrong piece of information provided by the EC that the turnout is only 59.8% when in actual fact, the EC has already corrected this figure to 70% voter turnout, which is higher than the last general elections in 2008,” he said.

He added that Wong should admitted that the BN's defeat in Sibu was caused by the ineffectiveness of SUPP in BN, the oppressive policies of BN and the rampant corruption, nepotism and cronyism of BN.

The denial syndrome that BN has failed the people of Sibu and Sarawak will only result in a bigger loss for BN come the next state elections in Sarawak, he cautioned.

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Najib Proposed Unpopular Subsidy Cuts Involving 12 Items

Kuala Lumpur
Friday, 28th May 2010

Several economists have lauded the Najib administration’s proposed wide-ranging subsidy cuts while warning that such a plan can only be sold to the public if accompanied by reforms in government spending.

Former Finance Ministry deputy secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam said the public will not stand for subsidy cuts while alleged government corruption remains unresolved.

“Subsidy alone is not the issue. There is a big question of corruption... The public will not tolerate inefficiencies and poor productivity in government departments and ministries and slow service if, at the same time, they have to suffer from subsidy losses.”

Navaratnam, who is a past president of Transparency International Malaysia, pointed out there has to be a comprehensive review of the economy’s structure with a view to enhancing integrity, quality, productivity and fairness in the allocation of resources before the public will get behind the idea.

“Subsidies cannot be looked at in isolation. It’s too big to treat as an element... The NEP (New Economic Policy) has to take into account a review of the whole structure of the economy and not look the reduction of subsidies in a piecemeal manner,” he cautioned.

“It will be a big mistake if the subsidy issue is regarded in isolation of overall planning and management of economic policies and management.”

However, he stressed that it was important for subsidies to be phased out gradually to limit the impact of such cuts on lower income groups.

He said this was particularly true for “sensitive” food items like sugar and cooking oil, which he suggested could be phased out more gradually than within the proposed five-year period.

Navaratnam also suggested the government could use other instruments such as food stamps to help the poorest groups ride out short-term difficulties arising from the removal of subsidies.

Lee Heng Guie, chief economist for CIMB Investment Bank, also said spending reforms are needed if the government intends to manage public expectations.

“Tackling subsidy alone is not good enough... What we require is greater openness in the government expenditure programme including plugging leakages in expenditure,” he said.

“Expenditure leakages is a progressive problem that has an impact on the overall economy.”

He said the government has to be “holistic” in tackling debt and suggested the government implement a more broad-based consumption tax as part of revenue reform.

Lee also said law enforcement has to be strengthened to that ensure corrupt practices are stamped out.

“There must be enforcement and empowerment for the A-G (Attorney-General) to prosecute people who misappropriate resources,” he said, adding that at the moment many reports to the A-G were not followed up on.

RAM Holdings chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the subsidy cuts will only work if government implements them as part of comprehensive fiscal reforms to ensure efficient and effective government spending.

“[There will be] a substantial reduction in our outlay if the government can exercise more prudence and less wasteful... spending,” he said. “That has to be included as part of these subsidy reforms.”

Being the defender of the dayak/Iban, I am against any action by the BN government that will make us suffer. Cutting the subsidy will have an adverse effect to the Iban. Majority of the Iban in the longhouse are farmers whose are in the lower income group. I am therefore urge the Iban to punish BN government in the coming State Election and also the 13th GE.
He argued that if subsidy cuts were implemented outside of broader fiscal reforms a “big portion” of the public will believe the government administration had prioritised wrongly.

“You can achieve [savings through spending reform] without any adverse impact. Of course, there will be some impact in terms of vested interests... [but] public preference is to cut expenditure and then only reduce subsidies,” he said.

Yeah also said the task of reducing weight in government spending was difficult to budget for as it has to be part of an ongoing process to improve public sector governance.

“Politically, any reduction in subsidies or any moves to raise prices is always unpopular but you cannot stick to populist policies all the while without running the country down,” he added.

“It’s easy to spend in terms of governing... to please people. The challenge is how to make the necessary hard decisions that are correct.”


The Proposed Mitigation Plan by Najib will not cushion the adverse effect of the subsidy Cuts to the people in the longhouses

The Cabinet was reported to have met on Wednesday to discuss politically unpopular changes to its subsidy regime for petrol, natural gas, food and road tolls.

The regime, which cost RM24.5 billion in 2009, accounted for 15.3 per cent of Malaysia’s federal government operating spending and pushed the country’s budget deficit to 7.4 per cent of GDP, its highest in more than 20 years.

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