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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                        30  August 2011

Singapore Muslims warned of “dark clouds”

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Singapore Muslims will celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Tuesday, the first day of the month of Syawal. The Mufti of Singapore, Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, made the announcement on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, has urged the Malay-Muslim community to be prepared for dark clouds which are gathering.

In his traditional Hari Raya message to the community, he said Hari Raya is being welcomed in Singapore amid an economic climate that is still relatively bright compared to many other nations.

But, he said when dark clouds gather, previous experiences showed the need to exercise diligence in three areas - children's education, employability and family finances.

Dr Yaacob said: "First, we must continue to invest in our young as they are our future. Education develops minds and at the same time, opens doors for better employment and a better quality of life.

"It is the key to our community's success and the continued progress of our nation. We must ensure our children take up opportunities offered by our self-help groups so that they can attain what they are capable of.

"Secondly, we must ensure that our skills are always relevant and up-to-date. Economic cycles are getting shorter and we must take every opportunity to train and pick up new skills so that employers always find us valuable.

"Thirdly, we must continue to exercise financial prudence ensuring that long-term needs like our children's education and our own health needs are well catered to."

Dr. Yaacob, who is also the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, said the community is progressing steadily because all have made the effort.

Many more Malay-Muslim families are taking charge of their lives. In the spirit of "gotong royong", those who have done well are helping those in need, while community organisations are working collectively to provide targeted assistance.

With these efforts, Dr. Yaacob believes the community is stronger.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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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.

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