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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        3  May 2011

Malaysia hopes for peace

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Malaysia said on Monday that the death of Osama bin Laden could take the world towards "greater peace and universal harmony."

Home minister Hishammuddin Hussein told state media the killing of the Al Qaeda mastermind was an opportunity.

"I hope it will lead to greater safety, peace and universal harmony, which is our global shared responsibility," he told state media.

He said it was very important for everyone to understand the reasons behind the birth of militant movements, some of which still operate in the region.

Malaysian police said they have tightened security at various locations throughout the country following news of bin Laden's death.

"Police have raised the level of security in important and sensitive areas in the country," senior official Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf told news agency Bernama.

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia last month signed a security and intelligence sharing agreement geared towards stopping terrorism.

Last year, Malaysia uncovered an attempt by Islamic extremists led by a Syrian scholar with suspected ties to Al Qaeda who were planning to blow up houses of worship.

The suspects, mainly students who have all been deported, were also trying to revive the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) by attracting new members from Malaysian universities.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has said his government would tighten security to prevent a resurgence of JI, which is blamed for a string of major attacks in the region including the 2002 Bali bombings in neighboring Indonesia.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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