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Ooh La La. Things are moving fast after the Rulers’ statement on 1MDB.

Fresh from the attorney general clearing 1MDB for the second time after Bank Negara had submitted its investigation paper on 1MDB, the central bank has decided to act.

Bank Negara has revoked three permissions granted to 1MDB under the ECA for investments abroad totalling USS1.83bn. It has also issued a direction under the Financial Services Act 2013 to 1MDB to repatriate the amount.

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The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet comprising the General Union of Tunisian Workers, the employers’ union (UTICA), the Tunisian Bar Association, and the Human Rights League (LTDH), the first independent human rights association in the Arab world.

The full citation:

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is to be awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011. The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest. It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war. It was thus instrumental in enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few years, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief.

The National Dialogue Quartet has comprised four key organizations in Tunisian civil society: the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT, Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA, Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat), the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH, La Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme), and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers (Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie). These organizations represent different sectors and values in Tunisian society: working life and welfare, principles of the rule of law and human rights. On this basis, the Quartet exercised its role as a mediator and driving force to advance peaceful democratic development in Tunisia with great moral authority. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is awarded to this Quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such.

The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in 2010-2011, but quickly spread to a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East. In many of these countries, the struggle for democracy and fundamental rights has come to a standstill or suffered setbacks. Tunisia, however, has seen a democratic transition based on a vibrant civil society with demands for respect for basic human rights.

An essential factor for the culmination of the revolution in Tunisia in peaceful, democratic elections last autumn was the effort made by the Quartet to support the work of the constituent assembly and to secure approval of the constitutional process among the Tunisian population at large. The Quartet paved the way for a peaceful dialogue between the citizens, the political parties and the authorities and helped to find consensus-based solutions to a wide range of challenges across political and religious divides. The broad-based national dialogue that the Quartet succeeded in establishing countered the spread of violence in Tunisia and its function is therefore comparable to that of the peace congresses to which Alfred Nobel refers in his will.

The course that events have taken in Tunisia since the fall of the authoritarian Ben Ali regime in January 2011 is unique and remarkable for several reasons. Firstly, it shows that Islamist and secular political movements can work together to achieve significant results in the country’s best interests. The example of Tunisia thus underscores the value of dialogue and a sense of national belonging in a region marked by conflict. Secondly, the transition in Tunisia shows that civil society institutions and organizations can play a crucial role in a country’s democratization, and that such a process, even under difficult circumstances, can lead to free elections and the peaceful transfer of power. The National Dialogue Quartet must be given much of the credit for this achievement and for ensuring that the benefits of the Jasmine Revolution have not been lost.

Tunisia faces significant political, economic and security challenges. The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that this year’s prize will contribute towards safeguarding democracy in Tunisia and be an inspiration to all those who seek to promote peace and democracy in the Middle East, North Africa and the rest of the world. More than anything, the prize is intended as an encouragement to the Tunisian people, who despite major challenges have laid the groundwork for a national fraternity which the Committee hopes will serve as an example to be followed by other countries.

Oslo, 10 October 2015

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A man places a portrait of the late Anthony Kevin Morais, the deputy public prosecutor who was murdered last month, during a mass funeral at Church of Divine Mercy in Shah Alam on 3 October 2015. Photograph: The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

This is something I wrote for the Herald to mark the funeral of Kevin Morais on 3 October.

This weekend, we pause to reflect on the funeral of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais, who was abducted and then believed to have been cruelly slain.

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Petronas’ profit before tax has slumped by about 43 per cent so far in the current financial year and this is bound to have an effect on government revenue and Petronas’ own reinvestment plans.

In fact, profit before tax was almost halved in the second quarter compared to the same period last year while cash flow from operating activities dropped by a third.

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This is Najib speaking at the UN general assembly, where he delivered an impassioned speech about the need to oppose extremism. (Check out 2:45 in the video to see the other Malaysians at the UN.) All well and good, but will he oppose extremism, whether religious or racial, which threatens to tear us apart in Malaysia? We are watching, and so far not many are convinced by his resolve in reining in the bigots out to create trouble here.

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Check this out, the position at 28-29 September, courtesy of The Edge.

Change so far in 2015
Currency Latest bid End prev year % Move
Japan yen 119.29 119.66 +0.31
Sing dlr 1.4307 1.3260 -7.32
Taiwan dlr 33.280 31.718 -4.69
Korean won 1195.24 1099.30 -8.03
Baht 36.43 32.90 -9.69
Peso 46.92 44.72 -4.68
Rupiah 14715.00 12380.00 -15.87
Rupee 66.13 63.03 -4.68
Ringgit 4.4750 3.4965 -21.87
Yuan 6.3644 6.2040 -2.52

And the end is not in sight. Another key test looms this week.