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Guns, drugs and an empty casket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Guns, drugs and an empty casket | The Thaiger

NAKHON SRI THAMMARAT: When a funeral goes on for several weeks and is protected by a gang of armed men, you can usually bet that it’s for someone important.

But a funeral in Thung Yai held for a fictitious money-spinning witch doctor left villagers confused when the funeral’s organizers started selling “lucky” lottery tickets.

The funeral was reported to the Nakhon Sri Thammarat Damrongtham Center, which acts as provincial ombudsman, by a citizen who complained that a house in Thung Yai District’s Tambon Ku Rae had been holding a ceremony for almost a month.

Mourners were smoking drugs and a number of thugs were carrying guns at the funeral, said the concerned citizen.

The complainant said that according to organizers, the funeral was for a Cambodian witch doctor who used to predict lottery results. The funeral organizers were selling tickets for a Malaysian lottery on the premise that good fortune was destined for the whole village.

Nakhon Sri Thammarat Vice-Governor Wichit Chatphaisit was informed of the complaint on July 16 and immediately ordered the Srivichai Task Force to coordinate with the chief administrative officer (palad) of Thung Yai District and deputy superintendent of Thung Yai District Police Station to investigate the funeral.

V/Gov Wichit said that at the house where the funeral was being held, the investigation team found the ceremony in full swing with about 50 people milling around the premises.

“There were many tough guys walking around, patrolling the proceedings, all with pistols. The officials identified themselves and asked to search the property. They found many types of guns: the pistols that the tough guys were carrying, some more guns hidden around the house and yet more hidden in a banana grove outside,” said V/Gov Wichit.

“Officials also found three safes which the owner of the house at first claimed belonged to his daughter. The officers detained the organizers and took them to Nakhon Sri Thammarat Provincial Hall to record the arrests before questioning began,” he added.

Phemsak Leuansunthon, head of the Srivichai Task Force, said that when police questioned Amphon Amnuay, 61, the owner of the residence, he acted suspiciously and gave contradictory statements. Amphon also claimed to be on good terms with the governor of Chumphon Province and the chief of staff of Army Region 4.

 Amphon stated that the funeral was being held for a Cambodian witch doctor who had died in Chumphon Hospital on July 5, said K. Phemsak. The Governor of Chumphon had conducted the funeral rites, Amphon added.

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NO Plastic Bag! @ Central Phuket

The Thaiger

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NO Plastic Bag! @ Central Phuket | The Thaiger

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China has the most atheists. Indonesia and Philippines the most believers.

The Thaiger

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China has the most atheists. Indonesia and Philippines the most believers. | The Thaiger

China is the least believing country in the world but belief in a God gets 100 per cent mention in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh and Philippines, according to the survey by Gallup International.

According to the survey exploring religious tendencies of 66,000 people in 68 countries across the world, 62 per cent of people in the world define themselves as religious, 74% of people globally believe we have a ‘soul’ and 71% believe in a God. Another 56% believe in heaven, 54% in life after death and 49% in hell.

China has the highest percentage of atheists in the world with 67% not believing in any religion. Every seven out ten people are atheists, more than double than any other country. 23% consider themselves as non-religious. Less than 10% identify themselves as religious in China.

China’s atheist percentage is followed by Japan, a long way behind in second place at 29%, Slovenia (28%) and Chech Republic (25%). Despite rapid industrialisation and urbanisation religion has stayed relevant in the South Korean region with only 23% identifying as atheist.

China has the most atheists. Indonesia and Philippines the most believers. | News by The Thaiger

European countries like Belgium (21 %), France (21%) , Sweden (18%) and Iceland (17%) also have a large percentage of believing population.

Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines are the most believing countries with entire population claiming to believe in God, soul, hell and heaven. Thailand and Pakistan have 99% believing population, followed by India, Vietnam and Mongolia.

The survey shows that the levels of religiosity diminish as income and education levels increase. While 66% of people with low income affirm to be religious, this percentage drops to 50% among people with higher incomes. The same trend is verified in relation to education levels: 83% of people with lower education level are religious against 49% of higher level.

According to the survey there is a connection between religiosity, beliefs and socio-demographic characteristics like age, income and education level. As education and income levels grow higher, religiosity levels tend to go down. Also, the expression of different beliefs is higher among young people.

The level of education has a considerable influence on the perception of religion by the society. Women and young children show higher percentage for spiritual forces.

China has the most atheists. Indonesia and Philippines the most believers. | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Data Leads

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Stunning Malaysian election result ousts Barisan Nasional

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Stunning Malaysian election result ousts Barisan Nasional | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

Malaysia’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition coalition has crossed the minimum threshold of 112 seats needed to form government in Malaysia. The Election Commission continue to count a few remaining votes this morning but have confirmed the win of the Pakatan Harapan party and coalition members.

The result brings to an end the rule of Barisan Nasional (BN) and it’s leader Najib Razak. Barisan Nasional, a nationalist right-wing government with strong links to it’s ethnic Malay constituency, has dominated Malaysian politics for decades.

In a press conference just before the official confirmation, opposition leader and former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad, now 92 years old, said his party had achieved a victory.

He said he hoped a swearing-in ceremony would be held on Thursday. Mr Mahathir will become the oldest elected leader in the world.

The final official results indicate PH had won 115 seats, with BN on 79 (these numbers will alter slightly as the counting finishes today).

The 92 year old pledged a government that would include a “young person”, referring to criticism during the campaign that he was too old to lead Malaysia again. Mahathir said he would honour his agreement to help secure a royal pardon for jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. The two became the odd couple of Asian politics after decades working together, then becoming bitter enemies. Anwar was Mahathir’s deputy PM at one stage but then fell out of favour.

But the two formed a curious coalition to bring down PM Najib Razak who they claimed was corrupt and had stained the country with the 1MDB financial scandal.

Mahathir said Anwar would have to win a by-election or be elected senator in order for him to take over as prime minister from Dr Mahathir, as per their agreement.

An upset was on the cards when unofficial results started trickling in about four hours after the ballot boxes were closed at 5.30 last night.

• 9pm – Bernama reported that caretaker Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, the president of BN component party Malaysian Chinese Association, had lost his Bentong seat.
• Caretaker Health Minister S Subramaniam, of BN coalition party Malaysian Indian Congress, was the next major casualty, losing his Segamat seat in Johor.
• 9.30pm, there was respite for BN when word came in that incumbent PM Najib Razak had successfully defended his Pekan seat in Pahang.

By 9.45pm last night, another four deputy ministers fell. At about the same time, it emerged that Mahathir would make a return to parliament after winning his Langkawi seat.

The result throws into doubt Najib Razak’s position in his party.
While he had been praised for his fiscal policies, he was also unpopular for rolling out a goods and services tax in addition to being a target of unwanted international attention over allegations funds were misappropriated from a state fund he advised, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He has denied consistently any wrongdoing.

Mahathir had accused his former protege Najib of corruption and abuse of power before quitting UMNO to form his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

But Mahathir has vowed: “We are not seeking revenge. We want to restore the rule of law.”

Stunning Malaysian election result ousts Barisan Nasional | News by The Thaiger

92 year old PM-elect Mahathir Mohamad, with a shirt emblazoned with his name, in case he forgot it whilst campaigning for the historic election.

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