Thursday, November 27, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -  A new law will be tabled at the next Parliament session, while existing laws will be strengthened to combat the threat of terrorism in the country.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak(photo), who tabled a White Paper entitled "Ke Arah Menangani Ancaman Kumpulan Islamic State (IS)" (Tackling the IS Threat), said that Malaysia was committed to working with the international community to fight extremist ideologies.
“Aside from that, this White Paper also proposes to strengthen existing laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, Prevention of Crime Act and the Penal code to curb the threat of terrorism and militancy,” he said in a hard hitting speech at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.
Najib said the Government, however, realised that laws were insufficient in dealing with the spread of the IS ideology.
  • “I hope to gain the support of all levels of society so that the people will not be influenced by such ideologies.
  • “I urge all Malaysians especially youths and parents to reject this extremist ideology which can destroy the future of all.
  • “The peace and harmony achieved all this while is priceless and should be preserved,” he said.
  • Najib said Malaysia will continue to be committed in cooperating with the international community in combating radicalism, extremism, terrorism and militancy.
The 19-page White Paper with a 12-page appendix, including photographs of IS militants and locations stated that the new anti terror law was required to stamp out threats of militancy after 39 Malaysians joined the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
It further stated that 19 suspects escaped court charges due to insufficient proof and efforts to address the threat have become more challenging.
“To address new threats concerning the presence of militants in conflict areas and returnees to Malaysia, a specific law is needed.
“The rise of IS influence can inspire and re-ignite militant groups in Malaysia.
“The call to jihad by IS is very influential as it is based on Islamic compulsion that has been manipulated so Malaysians are compelled to join them,” the Paper said.
The document, which was presented to all members of Parliament on Tuesday, stated that the Government must act immediately to 
contain the influence of IS.

Source: The Star
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader has, said that Western powers will not be able to bring the country to its knees in nuclear talks, but gave his indirect approval for a continuation of the negotiations.
Iran and major global powers agreed on Monday to extend talks into next year after failing to meet a November 24 deadline.
The US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany agreed with Iran to try to sign a political deal by 1 March, with confirmation of the full technical details of the agreement by July 1.
In his first remarks since the extension of the deadline, Khamenei said: "On the nuclear issue, the United States and European colonialist countries gathered and applied their entire efforts to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not and they will not,"
Khamenei made the remarks to a group of clerics, according to his website.
In a nationwide broadcast on Monday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani told the nation that it "has achieved a significant victory" and "negotiations will lead to a deal, sooner or later".
Rouhani also said many obstacles in the talks "have been eliminated".
But he also vowed that Tehran would not relinquish its right to nuclear capability.
"Our nuclear rights should be admitted by the world," Rouhani said. "We will continue the talks."
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR - The Parliment has passed the 2015 Budget with an allocation of RM273.9billion at 11.45pm Tuesday after a lengthy debate.
The budget was passed before Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee after it received a majority vote from lawmakers.
Of the amount, RM223.4bil is for operating expenditure and another RM50.5bil for development expenditure.
The operating expenditure comprises RM65.6bil is for emoluments and RM38.1bil for supplies and services.
The largest share of RM116.4bil is for fixed charges and grants, RM1.5billion is for purchase of assets and the remaining RM1.8bil for other expenditure.
Under the development expenditure, the economic sector will receive the highest share at RM29.3bil, followed by the social sector with RM12.6bil for education and training, health, housing and the well-being of society.
In addition, RM4.9bil is allocated to the security sector. The balance of RM1.7bil is for general administration and RM2bil for contingencies.

Source: AsiaOne
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - As soldiers joined the police to flush out illegal immigrants in Cameron Highlands, the Home Ministry warned agents of these workers and "owners" of illegally cleared land who hired them would also not be spared.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi(photo) made it clear that the agents and locals who arranged for the illegal clearing of land were also targets of the wide dragnet.
"Yes, the workers may be the ones who did the clearing but who hired them? What about the agents who brought them there?" he asked.
"We are working with the relevant authorities to investigate and act against all breakers of the law in Cameron Highlands," Zahid said after officiating at the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein(photo) said soldiers were called in to beef up the operation following requests from various agencies.
"The army's assistance was sought because the search involves forested areas," he said, adding that the role of the troops would be determined after the Deputy Prime Minister's visit on Monday.
"We will be fair and will not victimise the innocent," he said.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said about 40 illegal immigrants were nabbed during a massive operation Saturday night.
On a claim by migrant rights group Tenaganita that a worker died in the Ringlet detention centre, the IGP said he was unaware of it and would investigate.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim said the operation would continue until all illegal immigrants had been removed from Cameron Highlands.

Source: AsiaOne
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Monday, November 24, 2014
CLEVELAND, U.S.A.- Cleveland police shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was allegedly carrying an “airsoft” toy gun at a recreation center, police said. 
Tamir Rice, who was shot in the torso and went into surgery Saturday, died Sunday morning, police said. Two officers were placed on administrative leave. 
Police said the officers were responding to a report of a person waving a gun around at a playground at the Cudell Recreation Center about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. 
Tamir was shot after he allegedly refused to put his hands up and reached in his waistband for what appeared to be a handgun, police said. 
The handgun turned out to be an “airsoft” replica toy gun, which shoots pellets in a similar way that a BB gun does. 
Cleveland police said in a statement that an orange marking designed to make the toys distinguishable from real firearms had been removed. 
A man who called 911 told dispatchers before police arrived that the boy was on a swing set and pointing a pistol that was “probably fake” and scaring everyone.
“I don’t know if it’s real or not,” the caller said. Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told The Assciated Press that the officers weren’t told the caller thought the gun might be fake. 
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and police are investigating the shooting. The Cuyahoga County medical examiner released Tamir’s name Sunday. 
An attorney for the family, Timothy Kucharski, said he didn’t know the details of what led to the shooting, saying he would be conducting a parallel investigation.

Source: Agencies
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Sunday, November 23, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A young Malaysian activist who said most youths are now thinking of leaving the country out of frustration with the socio-political situation over here.
Last month, political observers including former Cabinet minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said Malays will soon join the Chinese in emigrating from Malaysia in a bid to escape the growing religious fundamentalism and authoritarianism that leaves little room for free thought and dissent.
While Malaysia bills itself as a moderate Muslim nation, recent developments have demonstrated an increasingly conservative and hardline approach to Islam here that is intolerant of cultures and practices not sanctioned by religious groups and authorities.
Over the years, Islamic authorities have gradually become more rigid in their interpretation and application of the Shariah code in Islam.
However, a social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir(photo) urged migrating youth campaigners not to abandon Malaysia in their hearts, saying they can pursue their causes virtually even when they are no longer in the country.
The daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said she would previously have urged aspiring young activists to remain for their causes, but now understood that their physical presence was no longer necessary thanks to the advent of the Internet.
"Back then... I would have said stay and fight. But with the technology change, we are more connected.
"So now I would tell the youth, ‘you can go anywhere you want but stay engaged, stay invested in Malaysia,’" Marina told a private dialogue session with young activists here.
  • Marina had then also said she knew of several Malays who say they do not want to return to their homeland.
  • “It’s not for economic reasons, but simply because they feel that the environment here has become so negative and oppressive that it’s impossible to be able to live as peaceful, productive citizens anymore,” Marina told Malay Mail Online then.
  • More than two million Malaysians have emigrated since Malaysia Independent.
Last year, a total 308,834 high-skilled Malaysians moved overseas, with 47.2 per cent going to Singapore, 18.2 per cent to Australia, 12.2 per cent to US and the rest to other countries like UK and Canada.
According to the same report, the number of skilled Malaysians living abroad rose 300 per cent in the last two decades, with two out of every 10 Malaysians with tertiary education opting to leave for either Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 
countries or Singapore.


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Sunday, November 23, 2014
WASHINGTON, U.S.A. - In the run-up to Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate bountiful harvests, Americans are being urged to stop wasting food so much.
Some 34 million pounds (15.4 million kilograms) of food is thrown away in the United States every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Friday.
That represents 21 percent of all food produced, harvested and purchased - food that is worth an estimated US$1.3 billion (S$1.7 billion), at a time when one in six Americans face hunger.
The EPA launched a social media campaign this week to draw attention to the link between food waste and greenhouse gases produced when unwanted food ends up in landfills.
Such waste is a significant source of methane, which the EPA on its website says has "21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide." 
  • "There are actions that individuals and businesses can take to protect the environment," EPA assistant administrator Mathy Stanislaus told reporters.
  • The typical American family of four, he said, could save US$1,600 a year by reducing their food waste.
  • On Friday the federal government agency teamed up with prominent Washington area chef and restauranteur Cathal Armstrong, who demonstrated how ingredients that a homemaker might throw away can be put to good use.
  • "The trashcan is the last, last, last resort," said the Irish-born chef as he whipped up a lobster bisque in a kitchen adjoining an ongoing exhibition about food around the world at the National Geographic museum.
  • While 40 percent of food waste comes from households, 60 percent originates from businesses and institutions, such as restaurants, food retailers and hospitals.
  • Armstrong, who oversees four successful restaurants and published a cook book earlier this year on Irish food, said an eatery that wastes food is almost sure to go under.
  • He lamented the failure of culinary schools to teach aspiring chefs the economics of using every ingredient to the maximum extent possible.
"For the most part, chefs have to learn (how not to waste food) themselves," Armstrong said, as he stripped a lobster and put the typically undesired bits into a simmering pot.
"It's shocking how many people come to me knowing how to make stock, but they don't know why we make stock," he said, adding by way of advice: "Never be without stock." 
The National Geographic Society is currently looking at food from all fronts, from its "Food: Our Global Kitchen" exhibition and "Eat: The Story of Food" TV series to the December issue of its iconic yellow - bordered 

Source: AFP
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Saturday, November 22, 2014
The international beauty contest, World Muslimah Award 2014, was held from November 10 to 21, 2014 in Bogor Indonesia. 
Countries participating in the contest include Iran, Palestine, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Britain, the US, India, Malaysia, Canada, The Netherlands, Egypt, Trinidad, Tobago, and Indonesia, according to Irlita Dwiyanto, a spokesperson of Pertamedika Hospital in Sentul City on Saturday. 
All finalists will undergo medical and mental examination in Pertamedika Hospital on Tuesday (Nov 11). The examinations are meant to know their intelligence quotients (IQ), emotional quotients (EQ) and spiritual quotients (SQ). 
The contestants, aged 18 to 27, will be judged, among other things, by their intelligence in reciting Al Quran and how they wear their hijabs.
A Tunisian woman called for a free Palestine as she won a pageant exclusively for Muslims in Indonesia Friday, seen as a riposte to Western beauty contests.
Eighteen finalists, who include a doctor and a computer scientist, paraded in glittering dresses against the backdrop of world-renowned ancient temples for the contest in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
Computer scientist Fatma Ben Guefrache(photo) was announced the winner and received a prize which includes a gold watch, a gold dinar, and mini pilgrimage to Mecca.
“May almighty Allah help me in this mission, and free Palestine, please, please, free Palestine and the Syrian people,” the tearful 25-year-old woman said. 
British contestant Dina Torkia said she hoped this year’s World Muslimah Award would not only provide a contrast to Western beauty pageants, but would also dispel prejudices against Islam.
Source: Agency
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Friday, November 21, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, mALAYSIA - Unsuspecting Malaysians continue to be victims of cyber blackmail, with some being threatened to have their nude photos or compromising videos released online if they do not pay up, sometimes by as high as US$5,000 (RM16,812).
Besides the usual scams over Skype, Trojan horse viruses are now used to gain remote control of computers or webcams, hoping to catch victims naked. 
According to the police’s cyber and multimedia investigation division, cases now number in the hundreds.
“There is definitely an increase in such cases,” said Insp Mohd Riduan bin Abd Majid (pic). 
He said while police had no statistics due to many victims not coming forward due to shame, the increase was because syndicates behind such crimes were getting savvier.
“Now, they check out your profile before targeting you. 
“If you have a lot of information on your social media page, such as where you work, your list of friends or real name, it becomes easier to intimidate you.
“We believe that these syndicates are from outside Malaysia, particularly the Philippines.”
His advice to victims is to never give in to demands for money.
“If you do, they’ll continue asking you for money.”
  • MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong, who had already dealt with 10 such cases this year, also urged victims not to pay up.
  • “In one case last year, a woman paid over RM100,000 in blackmail money and they still kept hassling her,” he said, adding that while most complainants were men, women had a “harder time recovering”.
A hacker, who had to deal with seven cases in the past three weeks, said the two most common scams were the Skype method and the Trojan horse.
In the Skype method, a pretty girl would seduce a man during a video chat before convincing him to chat naked with her.
“What the man doesn’t realise is that the girl is just a video recording and that he is being filmed himself.
“Once he finishes the act, he receives the blackmail message,” said the hacker, who declined to be named.
  • The other method is more insidious, by which a Trojan Horse is used to infect a computer with a remote administration tool (RAT) allowing them control of the computer from anywhere in the world.
  • “A Trojan Horse gives full access to everything, including passwords, the webcam and basically, the administrator status.
  • “The culprit then monitors the webcam until you’re caught naked, collecting as many images as he can before blackmailing you,” he said.
  • The criminals could also go through personal files looking for incriminating photographs, said the hacker, citing a case in which a girl’s webcam was so corrupted that it could not be used anymore.
  • “What the criminals did was to go through her files where they found a video of her stripping naked for her boyfriend and used that to threaten her.”
The hacker said while men tended to “easily trust” women who claimed to want to Skype naked with them, female victims were likely to click and browse through suspicious websites.
MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Shahril Mohamed Tarmizi urged people to be careful, asking them to “use the webcam only when they wanted to”.
“Unplug it if you are not using it or stick a post-it note over the camera,” he said.

Source: The Star
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