Three boys are now safely back at home after a four-day bicycle adventure across Roi-Et Province. The mini-biker gang set off from the home of gang leader Tawee Senputtawong, 13, in the Kasetwisai District of the province with the aim of visiting his sister who is incarcerated on theft charges in a Juvenile Observation and Protection Center in Roi-Et Town. On August 18, young Tawee led his two younger accomplices, Tontrakan Phosrirat, 10, and Phongphet Thaonoo, 9, out on two old bicycles. The boys took turns pedaling and balancing on the back for the 70-kilometer journey. When they reached the town Tawee became confused by the unfamiliar streets and found he could not remember where the detention center was. The boys therefore decided to pedal around the town in an attempt to find it. When they could pedal no more, they stopped at a sala for the night. They remained there for two days before a park security guard finally noticed them and kicked them out. Soon after, the boys, now exhausted and very grubby, were stopped by a police officer. After talking with the boys the officer discovered that they had been reported missing and took them ©to Roi-Et Town Police Station. They recounted their tale to the police officers there. The officers, taking pity on them, treated them to a meal and held a collection to raise money for them. In total they collected over 500 baht, most of it coming from Pol Sen Sgt Maj Naphrat Supratri who had won money in a recent lottery. The police then contacted the boys’ parents and told them to come pick them up. Tawee’s and Tontrakan’s parents said the boys might have to wait a bit; they had no money for the bus fare and would have to try to borrow it from neighbors. In the meantime, Tawee and Tontrakan told Phongphet that they were going out to buy food and would be back soon. After a few hours the two boys had still not returned, so police sent out a team to look for them. They could find no trace. Phongphet was collected by his parents. The search was called off when the boys turned up at school the following day, having cycled the 70km back home. After the story was released, reporters went to interview the object of the boys’ quest, Tawee’s 15-year-old sister. She said that this wasn’t the first time her brother had done something like this. Two weeks earlier he had turned up at the center in the middle of the night after cycling all the way to see her. She said that three years before, when Tawee was 10, he had cycled all the way to Nakhon Ratchasima where she had been working, a distance of about 300 kilometers. She explained that she and her brother were very close and she was the only person Tawee would listen to. When she was living at home she would take care of her brother as the family was very poor and their parents were busy working, she said.
NO Plastic Bag! @ Central Phuket
China has the most atheists. Indonesia and Philippines the most believers.
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.
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.
SOURCE: Data Leads
Stunning Malaysian election result ousts Barisan Nasional
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.”
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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