KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has criticised the apparent collusion between some developers, valuers and banks for pushing up property prices to levels which it called “exorbitant” and said that stronger measures are needed to deter speculation.
HBA said in a statement that in addition to low interest rates and easy credit which had fuelled speculative activity, greed had taken over the market.
“A ‘unholy alliance’ exists between certain developers, valuers and banks,” said HBA.
“In an environment of hot demand, the banks work in cahoots with developers assisted by those wayward valuers. Our ‘teh tarik syndrome’ is also very relevant. When the price of condensed milk increases by 20 sen, the entire cost ‘teh tarik’ increases by 20 sen. Similarly, when the cost of construction increases by 20 per cent, the equivalent cost of housing increases.”
The association suggested that the government implement stronger measures to deter speculation as the 70 per cent loan-to-value ratio (LVR) mortgage cap introduced would be of limited effect.
“For those in the speculation business, the 20 per cent reduction in LVR will not really deter them,” said HBA.
It gave the example of a RM300,000 house, which would now require a 30 per cent downpayment, but this would be based on the subsequent progressive payments for a property under construction, after which the end-financing loan of 70 per cent kicks in.
“If he (the speculator) can flog the house off at a profit at this stage, he does not need to incur an additional sum to his housing loan,” HBA pointed out.
“Speculators or maybe ‘syndicates’ are also cash rich because of the roll-over system they are using. In other words, whatever profit they earned from the previous house, they put into the new house, thus the 30 per cent up-front is not a major deterrent factor. Those who buy en-bloc may feel the heat but when collaborating with their ‘friendly’ developers/ builders, terms and conditions may be ‘cushion off’.”
The association also called for the sliding scale Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) rate to be reintroduced.
This would entail a one-time RPGT exemption after which the next two properties should be taxed starting at 30 per cent for properties disposed of within two years and a reduction to zero per cent for properties disposed after five years.
For third and subsequent properties, HBA is proposing that a 30 per cent flat rate RPGT would apply.
The association also proposed that a quota of low-medium and medium-cost houses priced between RM250,000 to RM550,000 be imposed on developers similar to the 30 per cent quota for low-cost houses.
“It has always been the Government’s aspiration for every citizen to have a roof over their head and the Government should continue to push this agenda,” said HBA.
The high prices of property in urban areas prompted the Najib administration to introduce a first-home ownership scheme in March in addition to the loan-to-value ratio cap in a bid to stave off discontent.
The measures pale in comparison, however, to efforts seen elsewhere in the region, such as China and Singapore.
The Chinese government last year introduced curbs on foreigners buying property and raised the minimum downpayment for first-time buyers to 30 per cent from 20 per cent and banks were ordered to suspend mortgages on third homes and above in some cases — in addition to hiking interest rates three times since October.
Singapore, meanwhile, raised stamp duty on new properties to as much as 16 per cent of the sale price to be paid by the seller if the house is offloaded within a year of purchase.
The amount that banks can lend for a second property has also been lowered to 60 per cent of the home’s value.
The Hindu cemetery in Batu Kawan has been left to rot for 18 years by the previous owner, says Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
GEORGE TOWN: The Hindu Endowment Board (HEB) Penang is set to take over the ownership and management of an abandoned Hindu cemetery in Batu Kawan, Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy said here today.
He told a press conference that the five-acre cemetery, containing over 1,000 deceased burial grounds, had been abandoned by its previous owner, a local temple management committee.
Batu Kawan’s Sri Maha Mariamman Kovil management abandoned the cemetery in exchange for a new two-acre burial ground during a land acquisition by the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) to facilitate the construction of Stadium Batu Kawan.
The new burial ground is two kilometres away from the old cemetery, which is near the stadium.
It’s learnt that a portion of the old cemetery lies beneath the mammoth stadium ground.
Ramasamy said that state secretary Farizan Darus has asked him a month ago on whether the remains in the old cemetery can be exhumed to allow the remaining land to be gazetted for the stadium.
“However, I objected to it and insisted that it was only appropriate for the land to be reinstated as a Hindu burial ground,” said the Batu Kawan MP and Prai assemblyman.
Acting on Ramasamy’s suggestion, the Seberang Perai Selatan district land office is now conducting a land survey to prepare a paper that would be tabled at the State Land Committee to gazette the land under the safekeeping and administration of HEB.
HEB is a statutory body set up by the British colonial rulers in 1900s as a public trust to manage properties belonging to Hindus in Penang.
On Sunday, a few local residents accompanied MIC, Indian Progressive Front and Gerakan members to stage a protest in Batu Kawan, calling on the state government to hand over the old cemetery ground back to the temple management.
New land as compensation
However, Ramasamy, the HEB chairman, said it was unfair and unjust for the temple management to reclaim the land given that it had already accepted a new land as compensation.
Secondly, he said the temple management had abandoned the old ground to rot for 18 years ago.
“The temple management lacked professionalism to operate the burial ground.
“It has no legitimacy or moral authority to talk about managing burial matters,” said Ramasamy.
Moreover, it will cost the temple management millions to acquire the land while it will only cost HEB RM1 land premium to do so.
He said if HEB were to take over the cemetery, the state government would ensure full benefits accrue to the Indians in Batu Kawan constituency.
He said its operation and maintenance would be given to committed, dedicated and sincere constituents.
“As a HEB head and Batu Kawan MP, I have a social responsibility to safeguard the political, social and cultural interests of Penang Indians.
“I will not sit to witness the gradual loss of Indian cultural and social spaces in the state,” said the former academician.
Najib is screaming himself hoarse on Malay unity instead of calling for the general election to secure his own mandate.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is at his wit’s end that Umno’s clear lack of a political ideology since 1946 has finally caught up with it to haunt its future.
It’s nothing short of amazing that the so-called backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has managed to survive all these years without the kind of vision, mission, objectives and goals that drives ideology.
Instead of re-inventing itself along ideological lines which doesn’t preach about Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy), Umno has fallen back on its usual hype with an appeal for Malay political unity.
Umno, in the absence of a political ideology, has always been about jealousy of the Chinese in business. This was whipped up into a racist rant that scared the Malays into circling the wagons and uniting under one political platform. The searing Sino-Malay race riots of May 13, 1969 were the catalyst that goaded the Malays into a unity of sorts.
Even PAS, in the wake of the riots, was moved to jump on the BN bandwagon. Gerakan and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) were virtually coerced under threats that there would be no resumption of elections and democracy otherwise.
At the same time, Umno dedicated itself with a vengeance to chopping up the non-Malay communities among as many political platforms as possible straddling the divide. The native majorities in Sabah and Sarawak, Dusun and Dayak, were not allowed to make common cause but splintered to make their superior numbers meaningless. This allowed the state governments in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to be helmed by local Muslim proxies of the ruling elite in Kuala Lumpur.
Gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries maximised the number of Malay seats while keeping non-Malay ones, the rural heartlands in Sabah and Sarawak included, to the bare minimum.
It did not take long for PAS to realise that Umno was bent on destroying it from within so that it would remain the unchallenged platform for Malay politics. The Islamists got out in the nick of time but not before it was damaged to such an extent that it would be decades before it could regain control of Kelantan, its home ground.
Now, after having failed since 2008 – once bitten, twice shy – to woo PAS back into a unity government with Umno, Najib is advising the Islamists to cut its links with Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition alliance, “for the sake of Malay unity”.
What is this Malay unity that Umno talks about? What’s the purpose of this unity if not to strengthen the ruling elite at the expense of the people? Whom does this unity benefit if not a handful in the ruling elite?
It’s public knowledge what Umno did in the name of Malay unity since May 13. The party did not hesitate to amass absolute power for itself, abuse power, muzzle the organs of state and make them subordinate and subservient to it and remove the checks-and-balances inherent in a democracy, maul the Federal Constitution, raid the Public Treasury at its whims and fancies, and generally avoid any semblance of transparency, good governance and public accountability.
If we are today poised to expect change and reformation in the nation’s politics, it’s not because Umno outdid itself during the Mahathir Mohamad years from 1981 to 2003 to bring us to 2008.
Mahathir, like his predecessors, thought that he could carry out another purge of Umno and get away with it. He had the experience of 1987 when he left out Kelantan Prince Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah after Umno Baru was registered to replace the outlawed Umno.
It transpired in the courts that Mahathir’s 43-vote victory over Razaleigh in the presidential election was from illegal branches. Instead of awarding Razaleigh the party presidency, a compliant Judiciary gave Mahathir a new lease of political life by declaring the entire party unlawful.
Mahathir and Umno Baru survived Razaleigh.
Mahathir thought that he could get away with the same trick twice when he sacked Anwar Ibrahim, his then deputy prime minister, in 1998. No one, Mahathir reckoned, could survive outside Umno as proven by Razaleigh earlier. But Anwar has proven Mahathir wrong in the subsequent rise of his PKR, ostensibly wedded to change and reformation, but like Umno has Ketuanan Melayu as its core philosophy.
Unlike Umno, however, PKR has no qualms about allowing the DAP to eye every urban and Chinese seat in Malaysia, across both sides of the South China Sea. This has undercut the BN ground from underneath Umno and resulted in the destruction of Gerakan in Penang and the MCA being relegated to the sidelines along with the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), the MIC, and the PPP.
Therein lies Umno’s dilemma which Anwar privately hopes will force his old party to re-negotiate Malay unity with him on his terms. This will never happen as long as Mahathir is still alive and his children are in public office.
In the absence of Umno, PAS and PKR coming together, an unlikely event, the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia are freed from their feudal past and spoilt for choice in exercising their political options.
It’s a fact that the bigger the community, the greater the tendency for it to be politically divided if there is any number of competing options. One has to only look at India where a short-lived experiment by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – for a Hindu state – ended in disaster after one term and 11 days in office. India is 85% Hindu.
The reverse is equally true but Umno, at the height of Malay unity, ensured that even the tiniest communities in Malaysia like the Bidayuh and Orang Ulu in Sarawak were carved up among three political parties or more.
It may no longer be so. The minorities are striking back as evident in the rise of Hindraf Makkal Sakthi in the wake of the disputed conversion of the late Everest hero Maniam Moorthy, 36, to Islam.
The Orang Asli is on the warpath for land rights.
The Christians in Malaysia are increasingly unhappy with the “restrictions” placed from time-to-time on their faith which is predominant in Sabah and Sarawak and assertive in Peninsular Malaysia.
The Dusun and Dayak are flogging the Borneo Agenda, the unrealised promises of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement in international forums. This will translate into votes that will bring down Umno in Sabah and the Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) in Sarawak.
The Chinese in Sabah and Sarawak have shed their traditional parochialism and see the benefits of uniting under one national political platform like the DAP and Lim Kit Siang. This was proven in the April 16 Sarawak state election when the DAP captured 12 seats and awarded another, Batu Lintang, to PKR.
Malay unity calls are a case of too little, too late. Mahathir should have thought twice before doing a number on Razaleigh and incarcerating Anwar.
He does his so-called legacy no good by consistently attributing Malay political disunity – whatever it means – to Anwar and PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat. His recommendation so far, for dealing with these two leaders, has been to “knock their heads together”.
If the general election is held tomorrow, both DAP and PAS will prevail stronger than ever in Peninsular Malaysia and pull up PKR by its bootstraps as in 2008. If Hindraf, the Orang Asli and the Christians don’t come around to Pakatan, they will be part of the pro-Pakatan third force along with those in Peninsular Malaysia who reject being in BN and Pakatan.
Over in Sabah and Sarawak, Najib’s so-called “fixed deposit” states, BN will never be able to repeat its performance in 2008. The tsunami of that year in Peninsular Malaysia will make a delayed debut in Malaysian Borneo.
It has been conceded by analysts that six – covering the recent 12 seats won by the DAP – to 10 parliamentary seats in Sarawak will fall to the opposition, both Pakatan and the third force. The BN can also expect to lose a further six – Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Beluran, Tenom and Pensiangan – to 10 parliamentary seats in Sabah to the combined opposition.
It’s little wonder, therefore, that Najib is screaming himself hoarse on Malay unity instead of calling for the general election to secure his own mandate.
Clearly, all the hype on the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) has failed to work their magic on the people as expected.
(Harakah Daily) - KUALA LUMPUR, May 3: The police has been taken to task over attempts to indoctrinate teachers and institutions of education in the country by aiding UMNO's smear campaign against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Speaking to the press today, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said Abdul Rahman Ismail, the deputy director-general of Bukit Aman's Special Branch research and secretariat, was responsible for organising four seminars on ‘Current National Security Issues' over the past three months launched by deputy Finance minister Awang Adek Hussin in Kelantan.
“The organising committee includes the police, National Security Council and Bachok Education Department. I am informed that four seminars were held involving 2,000 school heads and teachers from all over Kelantan," he said, adding that schools in the state were forced to send a group of nine staff including headmasters.
Azmin said the seminar did not touch on national security issues, but was instead used to discuss such topics as sex and lewd issues accusing Anwar, as well as the Memali tragedy of 1985 which resulted in the deaths of 14 villagers who resisted the Internal Security Act, shot dead on the order of the police and cabinet.
“Abdul Rahman ‘punished’ Anwar Ibrahim as guilty, as a sodomite as one who frequents prostitutes. How can the police conduct a professional investigation if one of its officers is involved in this disgusting agenda?” added Azmin.
PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Seri Setia state assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad last week revealed complaints from teachers in Kelantan that a senior police officer, who was involved in sex accusations against Anwar, had attempted to influence a group of teachers over the ongoing pornographic clip saga released by several UMNO leaders.
Malaysians are using "religious persecution" as a reason for seeking asylum in Britain.
Of the 55 who applied for such a status last year, five cited religious freedom as the reasons for their application. Six had claimed that they were being penalised for being "members of a particular social group" – gays and lesbians – while three others sought political asylum.
Legal sources say that those who claimed religious persecution had cited that they were unable to practise their faith of choice and had produced newspaper cuttings, court judgments and other documents related to the several "conversion cases" in Malaysia including those of Lina Joy and Sharmala. Some of them claimed that their choice of religion is being restricted by "strict religious laws", not civil law.
As for gays, the Supreme Court of England and Wales formulated the tests to be considered and said the UK Immigration Tribunals should decide on the evidence whether an applicant was gay and whether he would face persecution if he lived openly in his own country.
If this is established, he would have a well-founded fear of persecution, even if he could avoid the risk by living discreetly. Malaysian are using a clause in the Penal Code which makes it an offence for homosexual acts and upon conviction can be jailed for up to 20 years and are also liable to fine or whipping.
Huon Neon Hook, 30, from Sarawak became the first Malaysian gay to have had his matter appealed successfully at the Immigration Tribunal.
Huon claimed asylum in December 2010, having first arrived in the UK in 2006. He held a student visa which expired in May 2009 and subsequently overstayed. He was arrested for a drug-related offence and was detained pending removal. He claimed asylum on the grounds that he was gay and faced persecution if he was sent back to Malaysia and was eventually granted Refugee Status.
Latest data obtained from the UK Border Agency under a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 26 other applications were received from individuals who cited reasons not covered by the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Fifteen of these withdrew their applications before asylum interviews could be conducted.
Individuals granted refugee status have full entitlement to access public funds, services and mainstream benefits – the same entitlement as a British citizen. Refugees are not entitled to additional funds by virtue of their refugee status.
However, the UK Border Agency says it provides support and advice to help refugees with critical integration needs to access those mainstream entitlements. They will also have access to Family Reunion provisions and to Refugee Convention Travel Documents.
The Immigration and Asylum Act provides for the asylum support scheme and the Secretary of State may provide support for asylum seekers or dependants of asylum seekers, who appear to be destitute or likely to become destitute within a prescribed period.
A destitute single asylum seeker with no assets or income will receive approximately £152 (RM745) in cash support each month in order to buy food and other essential toiletries.
Besides, the local authority provides accommodation for all asylum seekers. Individuals who are granted Refugee Status in the United Kingdom are allowed to work immediately and have no restrictions placed on their access to the labour market.
But for UMNO, this does not matter as their racist and religious supremacy prevails.
Never mind if they staunt especially the Indian poor growth.
(see Utusan Malaysia 30/4/2011 at page 3)
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice
PETALING JAYA, May 3 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed confidence today PAS will not accept Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s invitation to leave Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and join the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Anwar said the Umno president’s latest move show that the ruling coalition was on the brink of desperation in wanting to remain in power.
“I have full faith and confidence in the PAS leadership...Umno is desperate in wanting to create tension between PAS and PKR.
“As far as PKR is concerned we have to trust in the PAS leadership and president to keep us informed,” Anwar told reporters today.
PAS leaders were amused and have ridiculed Najib’s invitation for the party to ditch Pakatan Rakyat (PR) by joining the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
The prime minister earlier said that PAS must work together with Umno for the sake of the Malay and Muslim community, telling the Islamist party that it could not achieve its aim while partnering with the DAP.
“Why play nice with DAP? Does DAP champion Islam?” Najib asked in Kuala Terengganu over the weekend.
Najib’s invitation follows a call last weekend by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite the Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by the DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.
But MCA has objected to PAS’s entry, saying it should drop its Islamic state ambitions. Najib said yesterday he did not want to be dragged in the debate over PAS’s stand.
Anwar launched into a verbal tirade against Najib today and accused the PM of being a hypocrite.
“Umno’s proposal is desperate- 1 Malaysia to the Chinese and Indians, but 1 Malay to the Malay...thinking Malaysians are not smart.
“This smacks of hyprocrisy, inconsistency on Najib’s part, he keeps playing on Malay unity talks with PAS, quite desperate,” added Anwar.
Najib’s invitation continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.
The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders keen on exploring talks with Umno emerging big winners.
More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was once again broached.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into the BN entailed both PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon PR, but spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.
Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi reassured his partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.
In an interview with The Malaysian Insider last year, PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said there was no possibility of PAS working with Umno or joining BN.
“Absolutely not. There is no way that PAS would even consider unity talks with Umno,” he had said.
He recounted how PAS had in the past briefly joined BN and that it resulted in a divided PAS.
According to Nik Aziz, back in 1971 PAS had joined BN’s bandwagon when the late Tun Abdul Razak — Najib’s father — extended an invitation to the Islamist party.
“Umno was desperate back then, especially after the May 13 riots in 1969. When PAS joined BN, PAS Kelantan was split into four groups, and we were not united because each group supported a different idea,” he said.
Nik Aziz pointed out that Umno eventually “kicked PAS out” of the BN coalition.
He refuses to answer questions on the sex video but other Pakatan leaders were on hand to defend the PKR supremo.
PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today refused to be drawn into the challenge to prove his innocence over the sex video scandal via a polygraph test.
He called the challenge made by businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, one of the three responsible for the screening of the video, as a “non-issue”.
“It’s a non-issue,” a visibly annoyed Anwar told a press conference here after chairing Pakatan Rakyat’s presidential council meeting.
The former deputy prime minister dodged all questions on Shazryl’s challenge, forcing other Pakatan leaders to do the answering.
PKR had earlier today said it will not bow to the demands of Shazryl and two others who are collectively knowns as “Datuk T” or “Datuk Trio” who challenged Anwar to take the lie detector test.
Party leaders insisted that the trio should instead be tried under Syariah laws under “qazaf” for accusation of fornication without witnesses.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang defended Anwar and their qazaf demand, saying the “sumpah laknat” (religious oath) undertaken by Shazryl last Friday was invalid.
“The way they performed the sumpah was wrong. They swear on the Al-Quran without following the basic tenets,” Hadi told the same press conference.
Police reports against PKR
Anwar has been implicated in a 21-minute video showing a man resembling him having sex with a woman believed to be a Chinese prostitute. Anwar has denied that it was him.
The video clip was first disclosed to the media at the prestigious Carcosa Seri Negara hotel here last month by a man who identified himself as Datuk T, which was later revealed to be Shazryl, former Malacca Chief Minister Rahim Thamby Chik and ex-Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim.
PKR leaders rose to defend Anwar, claiming the video was a conspiracy masterminded to tarnish the former deputy prime minister by political rivals Umno.
Umno has denied any involvement in the fiasco while PKR leaders immediately filed a qazaf report with the religious authorities against the trio for their role in showing the sex tape in public.
Shazryl, who is said to face the prospect of being charged with distribution of pornographic material, said yesterday he was willing to take a lying test to prove his accusation that Anwar was the man in the video.
But Shazryl said Anwar must also undergo the test which should be screened live on national television, saying the two conditions were to avoid any deception or conspiracy in taking the lie detector tests.
The businessman undertook his oath last Friday in Masjid Amru al-As in Sentul that his claims were true.
There were attempts by PKR supporters to block the event from taking place. Several pro-Umno supporters have since lodged a police report against PKR.
Transparency and fairness, and not handouts, says DAP’s Violet Yong
KUCHING: Although the answer should be obvious by now, those who walk along the corridors of Putrajaya and Petrajaya are still asking: “What do the Chinese really want?”
It is as if they were not listening when they were campaigning for one general election, a string of by-elections and a state election.
So, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has decided to spell out the answer. “They want the government to be transparent and fair,” she said.
Sharing lui cha, a Hakka tea-based gruel, with members of the Sarawak Hopoh Community Association on Sunday, Yong, who won her seat for DAP in the recent state election, said the Chinese were proud and hard working people and did not need handouts.
“The Chinese just want transparency and fairer policies put in place,” she said. “They believe that incomes will increase as a result.
“And when we all have a high income, we won’t need to wait for funds, we won’t need to depend on government allocations.”
The remark was a stinging reminder of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s infamous “you help me, I help you” offer to the Chinese community on the eve of the Sibu by-election last year.
‘We’re not beggars’
Even as Najib made his RM5 million offer, a Sibu resident was heard saying: “We are not beggars. Our money built these roads.”
Citing the Hopoh association and similar groups, she said CBOs (community based organisations) “do not want government allocations of RM3,000 to RM5,000”.
“What they want,” she repeated for the benefit Putrajaya and Petrajaya, “is a transparent and fair government.
“I believe if everyone enjoyed a good income, they will not mind contributing towards their community and looking after their own.”
In essence, she said, this was the message that voters tried to send out to BN in the 2008 general election, the by-elections that followed and the Sarawak election on April 16.
Transparency in policy making was essential in effective governance as the DAP-led Penang government had proven, she added.
Referring to a recent agreement between China and Penang to build three subways in the northern peninsula state, she said: “It shows that the Chinese government regards Penang as a state which observes and practises transparency.”
She dismissed claims that Pakatan states were unable to secure foreign investments, saying Penang and Selangor had been more successful than BN-ruled states.
He also tells the state assemblymen, incuding Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, to wear skirts for future sittings.
GEORGE TOWN: A controversial local NGO leader today slammed Pakatan Rakyat state representatives as “pondans” (transvestites) and told them to wear skirts when attending assembly sittings in future.
Pertubuhan Suara Anak-Anak Malaysia (Voice of Malaysian Children’s Association) chief Mohamed Ghani Abd Jiman said this when he was barred from entering the Penang Legislative State Assembly to submit a memorandum to Speaker Abdul Halim Hussain.
Security officers rejected his request to enter the building and told him that his memorandum would be received by a representative outside the House.
An upset Ghani then launched a verbal tirade against the Pakatan representatives in front of the media and police.
“Pakatan representatives are all cowards and pondans.They don’t dare allow me to enter the assembly building to hand over a memorandum.
“They should not wear pants when they come to assembly sittings in future. They should wear skirts,” he told reporters.
Ghani said that he would personally buy the skirts for Pakatan representatives, including Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
After submitting the memorandum, the NGO leader and three others were taken in a police truck to have their statements recorded at the city police headquarters.
The commotion created massive traffic jams in the vicinity.
Ghani had been involved in a series of public spats with Pakatan representatives, including Lim and his political secretary and Komtar representative Ng Wei Aik, for the past three years.
He once challenged Lim to a fight to settle their differences. In March, he paraded and placed two coffins on the waysides of Komtar and Paya Terubong, for Ng.
The case was investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation and for illegal assembly under Section 27(5) of the Police Act 1963. But Ghani had yet to be charged with any offence.
His memorandum today highlighted several past issues, including Ng’s alleged racist “Balik India” (go back India) remark, for the state government’s urgent attention.
Today was the first sitting of the 12th Penang State Legislative Assembly’s fourth session.
One notable absentee was state opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim, who was scheduled to return to the assembly sitting since his six-month suspension ended last week.
Azhar had been receiving intensive treatment for heart failure at the Island Hospital here since last week.
The Penaga assemblyman was suspended from the sitting for six months after the assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee found him guilty of violating the standing order by uttering seditious words during a heated argument with the chief minister last May.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Robert Fisk, a journalist with the Independent, a UK newspaper, who has interviewed bin Laden, said that people should stop talking about the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the Pakistan security forces, as if they were a single entity.
He said: "They're [the ISI] not all one unique institution, they are differing in their views, some of them are pro-American, some of them are very anti-American, some of them are clearly sympathetic towards Islamists, extremists, whatever you like to call them.
"I called up one of the men I know last night and put it to him, 'look, you know, this house was very big, come on, you must have had had some idea.'
"What he said to me was 'sometimes it's better to survey people than to attack them.'
"And I think what he meant was that as long as they knew where he [bin Laden] was, it was much better to just watch rather than stage a military operation that may bring about more outrages, terrorism, whatever you like to call it."
William Greider asks: "The Ghost of bin Laden:" Now that Osama is dead, can America at last break free of the conceit of endless war?
In Libya, pro-democracy fighters have welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden.
Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught spoke to opposition fighters in the remote Nefusa Mountains in Western Libya.
"Burial Lessons: from Che to Bin Laden" by John Lee Anderson in The New Yorker
"There are some uncanny analogies between the story of Osama bin Laden’s life and death and that of a another charismatic political outlaw, a man who “declared war” on the United States. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine-Cuban revolutionary and close confidante of Fidel Castro, was no terrorist, but he was a Communist who espoused violent political change, and who defied America by seeking to start guerrilla wars around the world—to create “one, two, three, many Vietnams” to draw in the U.S. military, sap its strength, and ultimately bring about a new, socialist world order"
Osama bin Laden's death is blockbuster news for Hollywood, whose attempts to dramatize the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have largely bombed.
Instead of churning out little-seen films about death and destruction wrought upon civilians and military personnel, the studios can now tap into resurgent American pride with movies about the hunt for the world's most wanted man.
If only John Wayne were still alive or Arnold Schwarzenegger were younger to star in a gung-ho film about the daring strike by dashing Navy SEAL operatives on a compound in suburban Pakistan. Picture "Black Hawk Down" with a happier ending, or "Die Hard" in Islamabad.
Coincidentally, the Oscar-winning director of "The Hurt Locker" -- an Iraq war film that earned just $17 million at the box office -- has a chance to reach a wider audience with an aptly named follow-up, "Kill Bin Laden."
US may release photos of Osama bin Ladens burial at sea on Tuesday,but no final decision has been made - US official tells Reuters.
Lawmakers question whether Osama bin Laden hid in plain sight of Pakistani army, intelligence
And that Robert Fisk interview which we mentioned earlier is now available for you to watch here.
Ana Murison, Global Jihad Analyst, speaks to Al Jazeera - you can watch it here.
Imtiaz Tyab: The police has told us that there are six to seven bedroom, there was a kitchen garden and some chickens were kept too - so it was a self sufficient compound. They could grow their own food.
Marc Grossman, US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, has held talks with leaders from both countries. It is the second day of his pre-arranged visit to Islamabad.
The talks focused on better cooperation but has been overshadowed by Osama Bin Laden's death.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is glad Bin Laden has been killed. A number of his followers met in the German city of Hamburg to plot the 9/11 attacks.
They were mostly students from other countries, but they left behind a legacy that many local Muslims are still struggling with.
Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer reports from Hamburg.
Having spoken to residents of the area, Imtiaz Tyab reports: "Some say they simply can't believe that the world's most wanted man lived behind these walls. Many people expressing shock and disbelief.
"They said they never actually had any questions about those living in the compound."
Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab reports from outside the compound where Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad: "The compound is very surprising to look at, very much like a prison.
"It is much larger than other houses in the neighbourhood - a home with an awful lot of security."
Robert Fisk: "The basis of Al Qaeda is that if you wake up one morning and say I'm Al Qaeda, then you are."
Robert Fisk, Journalist who has interviewed Bin Laden, says "it seems like Bin Laden was given away" - you can watch the interview live on Al Jazeera English.
And we will have it here very soon.
In the Pakistani city of Quetta, more than a hundred supporters of an Islamist party took to the streets to protest. Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder updates on the situation from Peshawar.
According to Reuters, China hailed the death of Osama bin Laden while defending its regional partner Pakistan against accusations it had done too little against terror threats.
"We have noted the announcement and believe that this is a major event and a positive development in the international struggle against terrorism," Jiang, Chinese spokeswoman, said about the White House's announcement that Bin Laden was killed in a US raid, Chinese newspapers reported on Tuesday.
"Pakistan stands at the forefront of the international struggle against terrorism," Jiang told a regular news conference, after her initial statement on Bin Laden had appeared.
"The Pakistani government's determination to fight terrorism is staunch and its actions have been vigorous. Pakistan has made important contributions to the international struggle against terror," she said.
"China will continue staunchly supporting Pakistan developing and implementing its own anti-terror strategy based on its own national conditions."
Afghanistan, which neighbours Pakistan, was invaded precisely because of the Al Qaeda inspired attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.
But now the country's president says Bin Laden's killing in Pakistan vindicates his view that the main problem is across the border.
Al Jazeera's James Bays reports from Kabul.
Pervez Musharraf, the man who was in charge of Pakistan before President Zardari, has also denied that Pakistan knew where Bin Laden was.
Al Jazeera speaks to Mike Griffin, Author and Al Qaeda expert - you can watch it here.
Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi reports on the anti-US sentiment in Pakistan and the Pakistani government's reaction.
David Cameron, UK prime minister says Britain would continue working with Pakistan to combat militancy despite questions over who knew that al Qaeda
leader Osama Bin Laden was hiding in the country.
"The right choice is to engage with Pakistan and to deal with the extremists rather than just throw up our hands in despair and walk away which would be a disastrous choice," he told BBC radio.
Asked if the death of Bin Laden would allow Britain to speed up the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, Cameron said: "It is clearly a helpful development, I don't think it will necessarily change any timetables , but we should use it as an opportunity to say to the Taliban, now is the moment to separate yourself from al Qaeda, to give up violence, to accept the basic tenets of the Afghan constitution."
The United Arab Emirates has described the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a "positive step" but called for "caution and vigilance", AFP reported.
Bahrain has also welcomed bin Laden's death in what it hoped would be "an opportunity to unify international efforts to find solutions to eradicate terrorism and the deviant ideology on which it grows".
According to AFP news agency, Israeli media have hailed the US raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, comparing it to so-called targeted killings carried out by Israeli troops against alleged terror leaders.
"The United States has succeeded in carrying out a targeted killing operation par excellence," one public radio commentator said, in a view that was repeated across much of the Israeli media.
And here is an update from Al Jazeera's correspondent, So Rahman, who is in Islamabad.
With Bin Laden dead, Muslims living in the US hope for a new beginning. Watch this report.
Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports on what's next after Bin Laden's death. You can watch it here.
AFP reports that the US embassy in Islamabad and all consulates in other cities are closed to the public.
China has joined world governments in welcoming the US announcement that Osama bin Laden has been killed.
"We have noted the announcement and believe that this is a major event and a positive development in the international struggle against terrorism," Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement issued by the ministry's website.
"China advocates that the international community should strengthen cooperation and together combat terrorism."
ABC news reports that the video of Osama bin Laden's body being buried at sea will be made public, though officials will do "cautiously".
The Associated Press also reports, citing a US official, that 23 children and nine women were in the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, and that it had served as his home for six years.
US Navy SEALs who carried out the operations also recovered a large amount of material in the form of computer hardware, DVDs and documents, the official said.
The Associated Press reports that the courier who eventually led them to Osama bin Laden was Kuwait-born Sheikh Abu Ahmed.
And here's that Carrie Lemack interview we promised you earlier.
That Op-Ed by Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, was published in the Washington Post.
Entitled "Pakistan did its part", the piece insists that the Pakistani people, government, military and intelligence agencies are "united" in their fight against extremism in the country. He lauds the death of Bin Laden as marking the "beginning of the end" of the war against religious militancy in the name of Islam.
As he often does in op-eds, Zardari also makes reference to Benazir Bhutto, his wife and the former prime minister of the country who was killed by members of the Pakistani Taliban.
You can read the published Op-Ed here.
In an opinion column, Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani President, confirms that Pakistan was not involved in the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, adding that the al-Qaeda leader was "not anywhere we had anticipated", Reuters reports.
He has also rejected speculation that Pakistan is not wholeheartedly pursuing militants in the country.
Here's that promised interview with Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former US secretary of state Colin Powell.
Carrie Lemack, the founder of the Global Survivors Network, whose mother died in the September 11th attacks, has told Al Jazeera that while she is glad that the voice of a "mad man" has been silenced, this should not be seen as a moment of celebration.
Lemack said that the focus should be on telling the stories of survivors of terrorist attacks around the world.
Video of that interview to follow.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former US secretary of state Colin Powell, has just been on Al Jazeera, admitting that the Bush administration took its "eye off the ball" when it invaded Iraq, insomuch as that country was not connected to al-Qaeda operations.
Furthermore, Wilkerson says that the US should pull out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible, as the situation in that country is causing Pakistan to become destabilised.
Video of that interview to follow shortly.
Barack Obama, the US President, will be visiting the site of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City on Thursday.
Meanwhile, AFP reports that Pakistan will be launching a full inquiry into the "intelligence lapse" that allowed Osama bin Laden to live in Abbottabad undetected.
The White House has released photographs of President Barack Obama discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden with his national security team.
CNN reports that President Obama watched the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, along with his national security team and key advisors, live from a room in Washington DC.
In a press conference, John Brennan, the US president's deputy national security advisor, said:
"We were able to monitor on a real-time basis the progress of the operation, from its commencement, to its time on target, to the extraction of the remains. We were able to have regular updates to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation."
John Brennan, the US deputy national security advisor to President Obama, has been speaking with the media in Washington DC about the Abbottabad raid. Here's an excerpt from that press conference.
A photo of a battered and bruised dead corpse of Osama Bin Laden is fake, the Guardian says.
Robert Fisk on the latest developments re: Osama Bin Laden's death and what it means in the larger "fight against terrorism".
The murky legal framework of the war on terror complicates things somewhat. While the U.S. government would never condone the extrajudicial killing of a most-wanted fugitive like Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, the United States maintains that senior members of al Qaeda are "enemy combatants" and therefore not subject to civilian due process. Some vehemently disagree with this interpretation, but if a CIA drone pilot had bin Laden in his sights, it's unlikely that his first call would be to a lawyer.
Aerial views, released by the United State Department of Defense May 2, 2011, shows before (L) and after (R) views of the compound that Osama bin Laden was killed in on Monday in Abbottabad, Pakistan; via Reuters.
A drawing, released by the United State Department of Defense May 2, 2011, shows the compound that Osama bin Laden was killed in on Monday in Abbottabad, Pakistan; via Reuters.
AFP reports that US forces administered Muslim religious rites for Osama bin Laden aboard an aircraft carrier Monday in the Arabian Sea, an American official said after the raid that killed the Al-Qaeda leader.
Traditional procedures for Islamic burial were followed. The deceased's body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag.A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat-board... (and) eased into the sea. The ceremony began at 0510 GMT and ended some 50 minutes later aboard the aircraft carrier which is stationed off the coast of Pakistan to help US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Hillary Clinton issues a statement on Osama Bin Laden's death.
Head of the Palestinian dissolved government Ismail Haniya has decried the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and described the man as an Arab Muslim Jihadist, despite the differences in viewpoints among the Arab and Muslim worlds on al-Qaeda’s role.
Speaking at a meeting with Palestinian journalists in his Gaza office, Haniya said the assassination was a continuation of the US policy of repression in the region.
In Somalia, Sheikh Hassan Tahir Owais, the leading figure in Shababal Mujahidin in Somalia said the jihadist mission would never be put off by Bin Laden’s death, while so many people had died for the same cause.
Head of the Iranian parliament national security committee and foreign policy, Ala-addin Brojardi said killing Bin Laden was not a great victory for the US.
The timing of the Bin Laden’s killing operation and the US announcement of it, was aimed at justifying the argument for keeping permanent US military bases in Afghanistan, Brojardi added.
No statement was issued by al-Qaeda to confirm or deny the death of Osama Bin Laden via forums used by the organization for disseminating al-Qaeda statements and messages by its leaders.
But the AFP has quoted an al-Qaeda member in Yemen as confirming after contacts he said he had made with colleagues in Pakistan, the news that al-Qaeda leader Usama Bin Laden was killed. w
A website named “Shumoukh al-Islam” has posted a comment by Asadul Jihad Ithnein who is viewed as being very close to al-Qaeda, he mourned Bin Laden, saying, the battle against international tyranny would never end by the death of Bin Laden whom he described as Assadul Islam (God’s Lion)
But Assadul Jihad did not confirm Bin Laden’s death, while other al-Qaeda members called for calm in dealing with the news, prior to the release of an official statement by the organization.
Many respondents have called for revenge if the news was authentic, reasserting that the message of jihad would never be defunct by the death of Bin Laden.
It is reported that three other males and one female were also killed in the 40 minute raid on the house Osama Bin Laden was staying in.
Hillary Clinton issues statement on Osama Bin Laden's death:
This has been a broad, deep, very impressive operation. We must redouble our efforts. In Afghanistan we will continue taking the fight to al-Qaeda, the Taliban and their allies ... In Pakistan we are committed to supporting the people and government"
The FBI has updated its list of Most Wanted terrorists to note that Osama bin Laden is dead. Its website - with details about bin Laden and the $27 million being offered in rewards - now includes a large red-and-white "deceased" label atop bin Laden's photograph.
Nine other highly sought after terrorists are still included on the FBI's list, including bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
The US special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al-Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a US national security official told Reuters.
"This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture bin Laden alive in Pakistan.
An Indonesian Islamist group has hailed assassinated Osama bin Laden as a "martyr" who championed Islam against America. Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) spokesman Son Hadi told AFP:
If it's true Osama bin Laden is dead, then he died a martyr. He fought for Islam and he fought for the lands colonised by America. Al-Qaeda didn't die with him. Jihad will not be dampened just because he's dead because jihad is a command of the religion, not of individuals.
Saudi Arabia, the country of bin Laden's birth, hopes his killing will help the international fight against terrorism and stamp out the "misguided thought" behind it, the Saudi state news agency said.
"An official source expressed the hope of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the elimination of the leader of the terrorist al Qaeda organisation would be a step toward supporting international efforts aimed at fighting terrorism," the news agency said.
Iran says the death of bin Laden has removed "any excuse" for the United States and its allies for deploying forces in the Middle East under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
The Palestinian group Hamas condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden, saying that this was a "a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood".
Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, noted doctrinal differences between bin Laden's al-Qaeda and Hamas, but said:
We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.
The death of bin Laden was greeted with near-silence on Monday from Gulf Arab states, including his birthplace Saudi Arabia.
By mid-afternoon, the only official comment from the Arabian Peninsula came from Yemen, bin Laden's ancestral homeland, where an official speaking on condition of anonymity hoped the killing would "root out terrorism throughout the world".
Saudi Arabia's official news agency merely noted that the United States and Pakistan had announced bin Laden had been killed in a US military operation in Pakistan but gave no clue to Riyadh's thinking.
The foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, attending a meeting of Gulf foreign ministers in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, all declined to comment on bin Laden's death.
NATO Secretary-General statement on Osama bin Laden
I congratulate President Barack Obama and all those who made the operation against Osama Bin Laden possible. This is a significant success for the security of NATO Allies and all the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism to make the world a safer place for all of us.
NATO made clear that it considered the September 11 attacks on the United States an attack against all Allies. We remember the thousands of innocent lives lost to terrorist atrocities in so many of our nations, in Afghanistan, and around the world.
As terrorism continues to pose a direct threat to our security and international stability, international cooperation remains key and NATO is at the heart of that cooperation. NATO Allies and partners will continue their mission to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for extremism, but develops in peace and security. We will continue to stand for the values of freedom, democracy and humanity that Osama Bin Laden wanted to defeat.
Japan, a key US ally, welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden and said it would step up security at military bases in case of possible reprisal attacks. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said:
We welcome this significant progress in counter-terrorism measures, and I pay respect to the efforts by the officials concerned, including those in the United States and Pakistan.
Libyan rebels, fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, broadly welcome the news of the death of al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.
Afghanistan's president lauded bin Laden's death as a serious blow to terrorism and argued that the strike in Pakistan proves the real fight against terrorists is outside his country's borders. President Hamid Karzai told an assembly of district government officials in Kabul, as the hall erupted in applause:
This is a very important day. Maybe you have already heard on the television or on the radio that American forces have killed Osama bin Laden, delivering him his due punishment.
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will have to answer to God for having killed many people and exploiting religion to spread hate, the Vatican said.
Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that while Christians "do not rejoice" over a death, it serves to remind them of "each person's responsibility before God and men".
Osama bin Laden, as everyone knows, had the grave responsibility of having spread division and hate among people, causing the deaths of an innumerable number of people and exploiting religion for these purposes.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told AFP in an interview that the US killing of Osama bin Laden, not far from the Pakistani capital, was a "great victory".
Pakistan's foreign ministry says the death of bin Laden shows the resolve of his country and the world to battle terrorism. Pakistan's first official statement about the operation to kill bin Laden said Monday's raid was a US operation.
Bin Laden was killed an a luxury house in the town of Abbottabad not far from a Pakistani military academy, raising questions over whether Pakistani may have known of his whereabouts. The statement did not address those questions.
Al Jazeera's Andrew Coombes took this picture outside the White House after the "Bin Laden is dead" announcement:
After bin Laden was killed, senior administration officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours, the official said.
Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said.
So the US decided to bury him at sea. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security matters, did not immediately say where that occurred. (Associated Press)
Osama bin Laden's body was taken to Afghanistan and later buried at sea after he was slain in Pakistan. (New York Times)
Britain has told its embassies to review their security for fear of reprisals following the killing of bin Laden, Foreign Secretary William Hague said. Hague told BBC Radio 4:
There may be parts of al-Qaeda that will try to show that they are still in business in the coming weeks as indeed some of them are.
I have already this morning asked our embassies to review their security, to make sure that vigilance is heightened and I think that will have to be our posture for some time to come.
This is a picture gallery of some reactions around the world to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said that US soldiers should be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Essam al-Erian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's governing body, told Reuters:
With Bin Laden's death, one of the reasons for which violence has been practised in the world has been removed. It is time for Obama to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and end the occupation of U.S. and Western forces around the world that have for so long harmed Muslim countries.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority said that the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces was "good for the cause of peace". PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said:
Getting rid of Bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods -- the violent methods -- that were created and encouraged by Bin Laden and others in the world.
Kenya's prime minister, Raila Odinga, thanks America and Pakistan for bin Laden's killing, saying that it was positive for Kenya.
Kenyans are happy and thank the US people, the Pakistani people and everybody else who managed to kill Osama. Osama's death can only be positive for Kenya but we need to have a stable government in Somalia.
The killing of Osama bin Laden is "good news for all men in the world who think freely and are peaceful," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
Americans cheer outside the White House in Washington after US President Barack Obama announced live on television the death of Osama bin Laden. [Reuters]
Said Agil Siradj, chairman of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, says bin Laden's death will help restore Islam's image as one of people, not violence.
But he believes terrorism will continue as long as there is injustice against Muslims.
Sohaib Athar, a resident of Abbottabad, tweeted from his account (@ReallyVirtual) when the raid on Osama bin Laden probably happened. Here are some tweets:
A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S” (posted 10 hours ago)
Since taliban (probably) don't have helicpoters, and since they're saying it was not "ours", so must be a complicated situation #abbottabad (posted 9 hours ago)
Al Jazeera's Tarek Bazley prepared this report:
At least two Pakistani television stations broadcast pictures of what they called unconfirmed images of Osama bin Laden's bloodied face after the United States said he had been killed.
This picture was uploaded on Twitter by user Shaheryar Mirza:
The dollar rebounded from three-year lows and US crude slid more than 1 per cent on after news that Osama bin Laden was killed reduced the perception of security risks facing the United States.
A leading US Muslim organisation welcomed the killing of bin Laden, saying he was a threat to America and the world. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement:
We join our fellow citizens in welcoming the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world through the actions of American military personnel.
As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and Al-Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide.
India said the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a "victorious milestone" in the war against terrorism but urged the world to continue battling militancy, a statement from the foreign ministry said.
The world must not let down its united effort to overcome terrorism and eliminate the safe havens and sanctuaries that have been provided to terrorists in our own neighbourhood. The struggle must continue unabated.
Thousands have flocked to Ground Zero to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden, alleged mastermind of the devastating September 11 attacks on New York nearly 10 years ago.
New York's police chief Raymond Kelly called the death of bin Laden a "welcome milestone" for the families of the 3,000 victims of the 2001 strikes by Al-Qaeda.
Abbottabad is named after a colonial officer, so the 'Abbott' is the same as the Western pronunication of the name.
'abad'= aa-baa-d. Low 'a's, as in the British pronunciation of 'class'.
This background on the operation to kill bin Laden was given to Al Jazeera by a senior US offiicial:
On June 2, 2009 the President signs a memo to Director Panetta stating “in order to ensure that we have expanded every effort, I direct you to provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice Usama Bin Ladin…”
In the lead up to this operation, the President convened at least 9 meetings with his national security Principals. Principals met formally an additional five times themselves; and their Deputies met 7 times. This was in addition to countless briefings on the subject during the President’s intelligence briefings; and frequent consultations between the NSC, CIA, DoD and Joint Staff. The President was actively involved in reviewing all facets of the operation.
The President made the decision to undertake the operation at 8:20am on April 29th in the Diplomatic Room before he left for Alabama. In the Dip Room were Donilon, Daley, Brennan and McDonough. Donilon then prepared the formal orders and convened the Principals at 3pm to complete the planning.
May 1 -- staff worked pretty much all day today on the operation. Principals have been in the Situation Room since 1pm.
2:00pm the President met with the Principals to review final preparations.
3:32pm the President returned to the Sit Room for an additional briefing.
3:50pm the President first learns that UBL was tentatively identified.
7:01pm the President learns that there’s a “high probability” the HVT was UBL.
8:30pm the President receives further briefings.
US president Barack Obama said Osama bin Laden, the most-wanted fugitive on the US list, was killed on Sunday in a US operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, about 150km north of Islamabad. Click here for more.