Malaysia's Muslim prime minister broke new ground in national race relations yesterday, appearing for the first time at a Christian gathering to dismiss the notion that his country was governed as an Islamic state. \nIn an emotional speech, which followed a moving Christian prayer for his cancer-stricken wife, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wiped away tears in front of dozens of priests and nuns as he appealed for religious dialogue and moderation. \n"As prime minister of Malaysia, I am not a leader of Muslims but a Muslim leader of all Malaysians," the former Islamic scholar told a conference of the World Council of Churches (WCC), an umbrella group of most Christian denominations. \n"Therefore I have a responsibility not just to my fellow Muslims, but also to Malaysians who profess other religions as well," he said before finishing his speech with a call for religious unity and quoting from the Bible. \nAbdullah took the leadership of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference last year and has tried to galvanize a group speaking for a fifth of humanity into more effective positions on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. \nBut at home he runs a secular government ruling over a population where Muslims are a slim majority and the state religion is Islam. Almost half the population, with big ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, follow other faiths or beliefs. \n"I do not want to claim that there are no problems among the different ethnic and religious communities in Malaysia," he said. \n"There are still very many things that we need to work on, but if the world ever needed a lesson in diversity and making it work, I am confident Malaysia can be a showcase," he said. \nWhen asked after his speech why he had shed a tear, the prime minister said his mind had turned to all the suffering in the world. \nBut it was clear the prayer for his wife, led by a Malaysian bishop, had moved him before he rose to speak. \nAbdullah's wife has been undergoing breast cancer treatment in the US.
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
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RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
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