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Bill on minors' conversion to Islam withdrawn - Muhyiddin

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 06:45 PM PDT

(NST) - The cabinet has decided to withdraw the proposal to allow the conversion of minors to Islam by just getting one parent's approval, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In a statement today, Muhyiddin said the cabinet has made the decision to withdraw the  proposed Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013,  to ensure that any religious decision made is fair to all.

"We also want to give time to the government and all parties to review the bill holistically and will only re-table the bill once we achieve a consensus," he said.

The proposed amendment to Section 107(b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 had been tabled for its first reading at the Dewan Rakyat. 

If it goes through, it will allow the conversion of minors to Islam by just getting one parent's approval.


Selangor softens stance on Langat 2

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 03:32 PM PDT

(The Star) - The state government has softened its stance on the Langat 2 water treatment plant, with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim saying he is willing to discuss the project with the Federal Government.

Previously, the Selangor Govern­ment had objected to it, claiming that it was too expensive and the cost of construction would be borne by the people through higher water tariffs.

Khalid said the state government was prepared to accept the project if its economic value was appropriate.

"If we have already terbuat (accidentally constructed) Langat 2, we can sit down and discuss how to provide water to the people of Selangor at a reasonable rate," he said in response to a question from state Opposition leader Datuk Sham­suddin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong).

Shamsuddin had asked Khalid whether the state was prepared to allocate funds to reduce non-revenue water as it would be costly to replace and repair water pipes.

While Khalid did not give a straight answer, he said the state government was ready to have a "professional discussion" with the Federal Government to ensure that Selangor residents would get treated water supply at the best price.

The RM3bil Langat 2 water treatment plant is a federal project but it needs to be approved by the state government under the Land Code.

The plant will receive raw water from Pahang via an underground tunnel, which is almost completed.

After he was sworn in as Mentri Besar for a second term in May, Khalid said the Langat 2 project must be discussed as part of the water services industry restructuring exercise and not as a stand-alone matter.

Last week, Khalid said he was optimistic that the restructuring exercise could be completed by September as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had expressed his readiness to complete the matter in line with the Water Services Industry Act.

The state government had made three bids to take over water management from all four water concessionaire companies in Selangor.

On Feb 20, the state government made a RM9.65bil offer to take over Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding.

In 2009, the state government made a bid of RM5.7bil but it was rejected by all the players. A subsequent offer of RM9.2bil was made in 2011 but it was rejected by Puncak Niaga and Syabas.

The Federal Government holds one golden share in Syabas through the Minister of Finance Inc.


Non-Muslim BN MPs reject one-parent child conversion

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 03:11 PM PDT

Non-Muslim MPs urge the Cabinet to be sensitive to grouses of the minority in their objection to the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013. 

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Non-Muslim BN MPs have voiced their concern over the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 which provides for unilateral child conversions.

The MPs were responding to queries whether they would be supporting the Bill when it comes up for the second time in Parliament.

Hulu Selangor MP, P Kamalanathan, said: "It should not be a single parent's decision alone to chart the future of a child. Both parents must have a say in their child's life.

"It is important that both the parent are happy, satisfied and content with the religion that their child is to live with for rest of his life."

MCA's Labis MP, Chua Tee Yong, said his party had objected to the Bill because it is inconsistent with the Cabinet's 2009 decision to ban the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.

"I really hope the government will maintain a consistent stand," he said. "Islam is the country's number one religion but non-Muslim rights have to be protected."

Gerakan and Simpang Renggam MP Liang Teck Meng also said his party's view was the same.

"Our secretary general Mah Siew Keong has already said that the views of both parents must be taken into account, and the right of the child must also be considered," he said. "I do not support the Bill."

'Bill not cast in stone'

However, Kamalanathan assured that the government understood the complexity of the issue and will take into account the sentiments of all stakeholders before making a decision.

"The Bill is in its early stages and from my understanding it's a translation difference between the English and Malay language versions of the Bill that is the cause for concern," he said.

"While the English version clearly states the need for both parents' consent to convert a child, the Malay version states that either parent can make the decision for a child.

"I'm sure this matter can be solved amicably and even (Deputy Prime Minister) Muhiyiddin Yassin agreed that amendments would be made if the situation warranted it," he added.

Chua concurred and said the Bill "has not been cast in stone".



‘I will not apologize’

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 02:58 PM PDT

(Bernama) -  Simpang Renggam MP Liang Teck Meng will not retract his statement that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has 20 offshore bank accounts with amounts of more than US$66 million (RM209 million) and S$49 million (RM123).

Undeterred, Liang told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that he wanted the government to investigate the exposure made by WikiLeaks that Anwar stashed the money in the United States, Singapore, China and Israel as it involved national security.

Liang stood his ground when Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia asked him to clarify the statement, which he made on Tuesday, after Pakatan Rakyat MPs, including Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP-Jelutong) demanded that he retract the statement and apologize to Anwar.

Liang said he would only do so if investigations were carried out and the findings showed that there were no elements of foreign intervention involved.

Pandikar Amin said he would look into a notice submitted to him by Opposition MPs and would take appropriate action.

"If YB Simpang Renggam apologizes, the issue is resolved. But Simpang Renggam did not want to say sorry or retract his statement, so I will look into this notice and take appropriate action," he said.

Jeff Ooi told reporters that he and Sim Tze Tzin (PKR-Bayan Baru) had handed an official notice to Pandikar Amin at 4pm yesterday, calling for Liang to be referred to the Rights and Privilege Committee for making an unsubstantiated claim.


Why do you need more funds, Khalid?

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 02:49 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The Selangor Government's request for an additional RM761.44 million for expenses, after being allowed RM1.63 billion in November last year, has raised questions.

Permatang Barisan Nasional assemblyman Sulaiman Razak claimed the Selangor Government had consistently requested for additional allocation each year since 2009.

He said state government had tabled a balanced budget for 2009, 2010, 2010 and 2012 but at each state assembly sitting during those years, Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim would inevitably ask for an additional allocation to finance the increasing operational costs.

This year, Sulaiman said, Khalid had asked for RM761.44 million.

Sulaiman was debating the Supplementary Supply Bill 2013 under which Khalid had made the request for the additional funding.

He said in the 2009 Budget, the Selangor government experienced a deficit of RM120 million, while in the years 2010 and 2011 the amount had been RM194 million and RM210 million respectively. But 2012  the deficit was RM167.12.

He said the additional amount asked for this time was huge, at RM761.44 million or a deficit of 47 per cent from the balanced 2013 Budget of RM1.63 billion, which was tabled in November last year.

"After only five to six months, the state government has already spent RM1.63 billion," he said.

Sulaiman also questioned the need to borrow RM80 million from the state treasury for government-subsidiary company, Selangor State Development Corporation.

The RM80 million, he said was for the purpose of taking over a piece of land belonging to the Petaling Jaya City Council to develop the Datum In-City project.

Sulaiman also questioned the RM413.2 million borrowed from the state treasury for Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd to take over Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd.

He said state government subsidiary companies should be able to stand on their own feet instead of obtaining loans from the state government.

He also asked why almost every year, the state government had to ask for an additional allocation to support the provision of free water for the first 20 cubic metres to consumers in Selangor.

At the assembly sitting this time, Khalid asked for RM83 million to subsidise the free water for July to December this year, and another RM22 million to cover the existing allocation which had been used for the free water subsidy for May to June.

The state assembly sitting continues today. 


Metallica's 'Aidilfitri' KL Gig: Band Gets Paid Bigger Bucks, PAS Youth Undecided

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:53 PM PDT


(Malaysian Digest) - Nasruddin added that PAS is not against entertainment, but the policy has to change to ensure that the types of entertainment that come into Malaysia are not against Islam in nature.

Local Metallica fans who are already planning a trip across the causeway to catch the heavy metal band on August 24 can rejoice and forget about having to convert your Malaysian Ringgit to Sing dollar.

According to the latest announcement on the band's official website, Metallica is set to rock the stage at Stadium Merdeka on August 21, three days before appearing in Singapore's Changi Exhibition Centre.

The band announced that they are thrilled to include Kuala Lumpur as part of their tour as this would be Metallica's first concert ever in Malaysia.

Tickets are expected to go on sale from July 6 at 11.30am following an exclusive launch. Purchases over the counter and online will begin on July 8.

Their concert will be managed by Galaxy Group and for more information, fans can visit www.galaxy.com.my.

Tickets will be priced from RM195 to RM680.

Metallica was formed back in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. To date the band has sold 110 million albums worldwide.

Barely 24 hours the announcement was made about Metallica stopping by KL as part of their tour and the reactions are aplenty.

Hardcore fans who have purchased tickets for the Singapore gig are voicing their disappointment that the band will be coming to KL afterall.

A Malaysian Digest reader who only wanted to be known as Erwan said, "I hope the KL concert will be cancelled! I've already bought tickets for Singapore!"

Meanwhile, Rembau member of parliament and Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin reacted positively to Metallica's performance in Malaysia.

In a tweet earlier today, Khairy said that with the likes of Metallica and Smashing Pumpkins slated to perform in Kuala Lumpur, perhaps Malaysia has turned a corner and will not keep losing out to neighboring country Singapore.

Former actress, Wardina Safiyyah however took to comparing Metallica to Egypt in her tweet earlier today: "MESIR or METALICCA??? Which would be your concern?"

Khairy responded to Wardina's tweet, saying that why can't it be both as the youth have various interests, at the same time pointing out to the former actress that she misspelled 'Metallica'.

On the deal to bring Metallica here, a local concert industry observer told Malaysian Digest that negotiations on the matter have been ongoing since 2011.

A quick Google search brought to attention several blog articles mentioning that the band was slated to perform in 2011 however the matter merely died down after a while.

It was brought to our attention by the observer that with regards to Metallica, the deal is different than with any other singers or bands invited to perform in the country.

Usually, payment arrangements would either be a 50-50 deal or the singer/band gets paid one lump sum, regardless of ticket sales.

With Metallica, the deal is reportedly 90-10, with 90% of the ticket sales going directly to Metallica, leaving the concert promoter having to sell 80% of the projected tickets just to break even.

Galaxy secured the deal to bring in Metallica in collaboration with LAMC and Rockstar Touring who are also responsible for brokering Metallica's Singapore tour.

It is however unclear why Galaxy would agree to a 90-10 deal especially when it means that they're profit would be considerably lower than bringing in other performers.

Meanwhile, PAS youth chief Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi when contacted by Malaysian Digest said that he has no immediate respond to Metallica coming to Kuala Lumpur.

He added that PAS youth will meet with the ministry responsible before giving a full reaction.

However, Nasruddin said that they have faced similar experiences in the past where they oppose certain concerts and although some concerts were cancelled, it does not solve the root of the problem.

"We cancel one, there'll be others coming in. We need to address the problem at its source," he said.

Nasruddin added that PAS is not against entertainment, but the policy has to change to ensure that the types of entertainment that come into Malaysia are not against Islam in nature.

"We need to suggest alternative forms of entertainment. We can be lenient but the performance must not go against syarak," he told mD.

"We do not want to focus on specific performances because at the end of the day, it is the policy that has to change.

"A guideline needs to be set for entertainment in Malaysia. As for now, we are not saying that Metallica cannot come and perform here, what we are saying in general is that concerts in the country must adhere to a few things; namely the performers do not dress in a provocative manner, they do not spread unhealthy western culture, and the lyrics in their songs do not indicate worshipping of drugs, alcohol, or anything that is haram," Nasruddin said.

Meanwhile, on the concert date being in the month of Syawal, Nasruddin said that it would be wise for concert promoters to choose dates that do not coincide with significant dates in the Muslim calendar.

"It would be wiser to change the date of the concert," he added.

PAS youth have been known to ruffle feathers when it comes to foreign singers/bands performing in Malaysia. Previously, PAS opposed to r&b artiste Beyonce Knowles because of her skimpy clothes.

They also took to opposing Rihanna and Elton John, citing the latter's gay lifestyle as a reason to not allow the singer to perform here.

Mariah Carey was also not spared, however her concert sailed through but the singer was fined for violating the dress code.

The band Michael Learns to Rock also faced the wrath of PAS when the party insisted their concert permit be revoked because the concert was scheduled to take place in the holy month of Ramadhan.

Former Kulim Bandar Bharu member of parliament, Zulkifli Noordin, meanwhile took to making a police report against a concert by Bob Dylan that took place on Maulidur Rasul (Prophet Muhammad's pbuh Birthday).

With regards to Metallica, it remains to be seen on whether the concert will proceed without a hitch. Given that the date choosen is in the month of Syawal, which is a celebratory month for Muslims around the world after completing a full month of fasting in Ramadhan, it might prove to be a bit difficult for Metallica's concert in Malaysia to take place without some form of opposition from certain quarters.

The concert promoter should have included it in the negotiations with Metallica's management and point out that Ramadhan and Syawal are not advisable months for concerts in the country.

To those already 'salivating' while waiting for tickets to go on sale, a good advice would be to not put your hopes up just yet. Concerts in Malaysia are known to be cancelled at the very last minute, as was the case with Erykah Badu last year. 

Open secret that Rulers objected to cabinet's decision on conversion

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:48 PM PDT


(The Sun Daily) -  I think Malaysians can make their own deduction on why it has not become a law... who else can stop the cabinet's decision.

Senior Umno leader Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today that "it was an open secret" that the Conference of Rulers objected to the implementation of the cabinet's 2009 decision against the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.

He said the conference was the only institution in the country that could object in the matter which ultimately led to a suspension of the decision that both parents should agree to the changing of a child's faith.

The tourism minister said a bill is tabled in Parliament only when the cabinet has decided and approved it.

"Once Parliament approves it, it will become law. But in Malaysia, the only institution that can, in a way, stop this process will be the Conference of Rulers.

"It is an open secret and obvious for any right-thinking Malaysian to come to this conclusion or deduction that this could be the only reason why such a powerful cabinet decision cannot be implemented."

Nazri, who is also Padang Rengas MP, qualified himself by adding that he was not explicitly saying that the Conference of Rulers objected to the cabinet's 2009 decision.

"But I think Malaysians can make their own deduction on why it has not become a law... who else can stop the cabinet's decision," Nazri told theSun today.

He said this in reference to theSun's front page report yesterday that despite mounting objections to unilateral conversion of minors to Islam, reservations from the Malay rulers put paid to the 2009 cabinet's stand against unilateral conversion.

Nazri, who was the de facto law minister then, added that the proposed amendment to Clause 107 of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which is being objected by various groups, should not be tabled for its second reading or debated.

He explained that from a Muslim's point of view, there should be no coercion in religion.

Nazri said every child that is born already has a religion and is inculcated with religious values by the parents.

"When one of the parents convert to Islam and also convert the children who already has a religion, then it is actually coercion. No Muslim will agree to this because Islam must be embraced and 'embrace' here is a connotation of free will.

"As a Muslim, I am very upset that Islam is being used as a tool of convenience by parties at fault in the marriage, to dissolve the marriage and run away from responsibilities.

"This is how I see in this issue ... a husband (or wife) trying to use Islam to run away from their responsibilities and punish their spouse," he added.

Nazri said the bill is merely postponing a bigger issue which will occur when the child attains the age of 18, when he or she decides what religion to embrace.

"If the child decides to embrace his or her original religion, then it is considered as apostasy and it is an offence in Islam.

"It will create more issues in the future, which will give Islam a very bad name," he said.

Meanwhile, former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin said the mother or father who has embraced Islam is not supposed to make their young children follow suit.

He said what should be done is that the children should undergo Islamic education until they are mature enough to decide on the religion of their choice.

He said a Muslim father can teach their children about Islam even if they are under the care of their non-Muslim spouse.

"It is alright if the custody of the children is given to the mother, as Islam is the official religion in the country and the religion of the federation, and what is needed is for the father to teach Islam to the children," he said. 

Kuala Besut by-election: Uphill task for PAS, says Ideas' Wan Saiful

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:40 PM PDT


(The Star) - If PAS opposed the clause especially the part that said when one of the parents converts to Islam  the child will have to follow, the accusation would be that PAS had sold itself to the non-Muslims. 

Kuala Besut will be a difficult state seat for PAS to capture in the upcoming by-election. 

"Umno and the whole Barisan Nasional machinery will be in Terengganu to ensure the coalition retains the Kuala Besut seat," said Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan. 

The 38-year-old, who is also a member of PAS, feels that Umno has the upper-hand in the Kuala Besut by-election, the date for which will be decided by the Elections Commission today. 

"I don't think PAS or Pakatan Rakyat stand a good chance to win. The majority for Umno in Kuala Besut during GE13 was quite comfortable. It's not going to be an easy one for PAS," he said.

The state seat became vacant following Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar's death due to a lung problem on June 26.

He retained the seat for a second term with a majority of 2,434 votes against PAS candidate Napisah Ismail on May 5 elections.

Wan Saiful also feels that the recent child conversion issue in the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 might also play a key role in the by-election.

"I can see that PAS is already thinking about the Kuala Besut by the way the party is dealing with the Bill," he said.

According to Wan Saiful, if PAS opposed the clause especially the part that said when one of the parents converts to Islam  the child will have to follow, the accusation would be that PAS had sold itself to the non-Muslims. 

"PAS will be in a tricky position because of their partnership with DAP and PKR. They will have to position themselves correctly for the Kuala Besut election.

"They are biding their time to see how to tackle this issue," he said. However, Wan Saiful said he wouldn't be surprised if PAS comes up with a stand completely different from their Pakatan counterparts.  

Wan Saiful participated in a Q&A session conducted by The Star Online. During the session, he answered questions ranging from PAS-Umno unity talks to the sex-video allegations against the party secretary general Datuk Mustafa Ali. 

Mainstream media needs new approach to get back audiences, says Bernama chief

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:36 PM PDT


(TMI) - "Is being bold in criticising the government equal to professionalism? What is being professional? Understand these terms to attract the audience"

The mainstream media should be more proactive to draw back audiences so that information could be disseminated accurately and widely.

Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman said the matter should be the top priority as many people have now appeared to have lost confidence in the credibility of news from the mainstream media. 

Based on the results of the general election, there were several misconceptions on efforts by the government as the mainstream media information delivery system was weak, reported Bernama.

"This happened as the community now believe that information presented by the alternative media is more professional and daring in criticising the government openly.

"Is being bold in criticising the government equal to professionalism? What is being professional? Understand these terms to attract the audience," he said after opening a two-day 'Editorial Retreat Bernama News Coverage: The Way Forward' in Putrajaya yesterday..

According to him, it was not surprising that the younger generation had wrong perceptions on issues as they were inclined to obtain information from the leftist media.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mainstream-media-needs-new-approach-to-get-back-audiences-says-bernama-chief/ 

Rozali’s RM33m ‘deserved’? Pua asks if watchdog group was ‘joking’

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 12:15 PM PDT


(The Malay Mail Online) - A shareholder group backing the RM33.4 million pay packet for Puncak Niaga chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail was hastily convened to help vested parties cash out ahead of Selangor's looming takeover of the state's water utility, the DAP's Tony Pua (picture) suggested today.

Continuing his criticism of the unusual remuneration for Rozali, Pua expressed shock over the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group's open support and justification for the deal that has been described as a golden handshake for the Selangor Umno treasurer.

"Was the Puncak Niaga Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group joking when they claimed its executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail fully deserved the RM33.4 million in fees despite the company's losses in recent years?" Pua asked in a statement.

The DAP national publicity secretary noted that remarks by Muhammad Imran Abdullah, the chair of the week-old shareholder group, failed to justify why Rozali was paid the inordinate amount but merely said: "We are only concerned with our dividends and returns."

Imran elaborated further on the matter, however, in The Malay Mail.

"You must understand, this man is the founder of the company which started 20 years ago. For all his contributions, the shareholders have agreed to the payment," Imran explained.

Pua said the group did not appear aware that Puncak Niaga's books continue to be splashed with red ink, pointing out that even the RM233 million in profit it booked in 2012 was contingent on RM1.02 billion in "water tariff compensation" from the Selangor government that was now being disputed in court.

"This compensation is never agreed to by the state government because PNHB and its subsidiary, Syabas has failed to fulfil its obligations under the water concession agreement.

"Without the compensation payment, PNHB would have made massive losses of up to RM791 million," Pua explained.

The PJ Utara MP said that there was no logical reason for Rozali's pay package, which Pua had yesterday revealed to be nearly five times the pay of Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) chief executive despite Puncak Niaga generating just 6 per cent of the latter firm's revenue.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/rozalis-rm33m-deserved-pua-asks-if-watchdog-group-was-joking 

Polls live stream idea just icing on ‘rotten cake’, says Bersih

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 12:13 PM PDT


(The Malay Mail Online) - Putrajaya's proposal for live coverage of the ballot-counting process is nothing but "icing on a very rotten cake", Bersih 2.0 has said, joining other electoral reforms groups in criticising the idea mooted for the coming Kuala Besut polls.

Activist Maria Chin Abdullah said minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had missed the point when he made the suggestion yesterday, as it is major reform steps that should be taken to ensure the polling process is clean and fair.

She noted that the government and Election Commission (EC) are allegedly missing out on the major improvements that can be carried out on the polls.

"While these measures are useful but the govt, SPR & [Shabery] missed the major reform. Cleaning the electoral roll & having a more equal & transparent delineation are some of the major changes for clean elections.

"The govt has to be brave, honest & take bold steps — otherwise these actions are just icing on very rotten cake," the member of Bersih's steering committee wrote in a text message to The Malay Mail Online yesterday.

Yesterday, Ahmad Shabery mooted the idea of placing government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) cameras in vote-tallying centres to provide real-time coverage of elections.

Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel)'s president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh similarly said the live-coverage was only for the government's "image-building" purposes, indicating that it is not effective in preventing electoral fraud.

"Basically to say that you can see for your own what's going on, no blackout," he said.

"I think the question is what purpose does it serve for the live coverage of counting? So what is the purpose? Is it just for transparency or to ensure no hanky-panky going on?" he asked earlier on.

Syed Ibrahim, whose NGO trains election observers, pinpointed the correct and careful conducting of the polls as the critical issue, appearing to suggest that Ahmad Shabery was missing the point.

"The issue is not live coverage, the issue is the integrity of the EC in conducting the election process," he told The Malay Mail Online yesterday.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/polls-live-stream-idea-just-icing-on-rotten-cake-says-bersih 

Police to investigate death of man under detention

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 12:02 PM PDT


(Bernama) - Police will investigate the death of a 53-year-old man who died while being detained by police.

Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainuddin Ahmad said the man was detained after a chase by two police patrols in Jalan Barat off Jalan Imbi at about 12.15am yesterday.

"While making the arrest, police had to struggle with the driver of a Proton Waja before the suspect was finally subdued.

"However he was found to be weak and was sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital where he was pronounced dead," he said in a media statement here last night.

Zainuddin said based on the post-mortem, there were no signs of internal and external injuries.

He said the cause of death was still not determined while police are awaiting a chemistry report.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/police-to-investigate-death-of-man-under-detention?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.LdV5BbJ1.dpuf 

Singapore to usurp Switzerland as top finance hub by 2015-study

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 11:59 AM PDT


(Prime News Update) - Singapore will dethrone Switzerland in the next two years as the world's top centre for managing international funds, a study said on Thursday, as a global tax crackdown and tighter regulation weaken the Alpine nation's appeal to investors.


Switzerland, still the world's biggest offshore financial centre with $2 trillion in assets, came ahead of rivals
Singapore, London, Hong Kong and New York in the 2013 ranking, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of its Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey.


But respondents to the survey, which questioned 200 finance industry professionals from 51 countries, also said they expected Switzerland to lose ground, with Singapore taking the top spot in the next two years.


Switzerland's tradition of banking secrecy has helped its financial sector thrive but is under massive pressure from the United States and elsewhere, as cash-strapped governments seek to stop tax evasion and close loopholes.


Switzerland and other international financial centres will be forced to create special areas of expertise if they are to differentiate themselves in future, as transparency and increased regulatory standards create a more level playing field, the study said.


It added that centres located in emerging markets stood to gain in stature.


Respondents also named Shanghai and Dubai as fast-growing centres, closely followed by Brazil, Miami and Mexico City.


"Competition between traditional and newer IFCs and cities for the wealthy is expected to intensify," the study said. 

France runs vast electronic spying operation

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 11:58 AM PDT


Former NSA contractor Snowden leaked a trove of information about US electronic surveillance programme  

(Al Jazeera) - French intelligence services have put in place a giant electronic surveillance gathering network similar to American spying programme, Prism, leading French newspaper Le Monde has reported.

Citing no sources, the paper said France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), the country's foreign intelligence agency, systematically collects information about all electronic data sent by computers and telephones in France, as well as communications between France and abroad.

According to Le Monde, data on "all emails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts'' are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the DGSE's headquarters in Paris.

The paper specified that it was the communications' metadata - such as when was call made and where an author was when she sent an email - that is being archived, not their content.

Government officials have not responded to requests for comment on the report, the AFP news agency said.

'Vast archive'

Le Monde said the vast archive of tens of millions of gigabytes, is accessible to France's other spy agencies, including military intelligence, domestic intelligence, Paris police and a special financial crimes task force.

Read more at: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/07/201374192137692789.html 

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