The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Wednesday, 8 July 2015
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House
From News Reports:

Hanoi, July 6: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will visit the United States from July 6 to July 10 at the invitiation of the United States State Department in a "landmark" visit, Rueters reports.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong will meet United States President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Rueters quotes a senior state department official saying that the meeting between the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the President of the United States "would skirt protocol" because the General Secretary is "not part of a government".
"Obama saw the visit as crucial", Rueters reports the senior state department official as saying.
Rueters also quotes the senior state department official saying that "there was a broad agreement that it made sense to treat General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong as the visit of "the top leader of the country".
"It's a pretty big event," Rueters quotes the state department official as saying.
The Southeast Asian Times

France agrees to return Aboriginal remains home to Australia
From News Reports:
Canberra, November 25: French president Francois Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have agreed to work together to return Aboriginal remains to Australia during the first official visit by a French head of state to Australia last week, reports Australian Associated Press.
The French head of state and the Australian prime minister said that a joint expert committee is to be established to help identify the origin of the Aboriginal remains held in France.
The head of state and prime minister said in a joint statement that the identification process would respect the sensitivities and values of the two countries and consider the requests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including the French legal system.
"The French government will examine possible solutions to enable the return of the Aboriginal human remains to their community of origin." the statement said.
Australia believes the remains of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are being held in Museum collections around the world including in Europe and the
United States.
In 2010 a British museum agreed to return 138 sets of Aboriginal skeletal remains to Australia including the severed head of Australian Aboriginal warrior, Yagan, to the Noongar of South West Western Australia after being missing in action for about 177 years. Yagan was shot dead for his resistance to British settlement on the Swan river.
The Southeast Asian Times


"No " to proposal to delete religion from Indonesian national identity card

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 10: Islamic-based political party politicians oppose the proposal put by the newly selected Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, that national identity cards (KTP) do not include the religion of the car holder.
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Aboebakar Al Habsy said that not to include the religion of the card holder on national identity cards (KTP)
contradicted the country’s founding philosophy of Pancasila
“If we believe that Pancasila is our state ideology and our national identity, then why should we be ashamed of including our religion on our national identity card," he said
Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo also proposed that the regious beliefs of Indonesian citizens be omitted from official government documents.
He said that the religion of Indonesian citizens on national identity cards (KTP) or in official government documents should not be imposed.
"It's up to the people", he said.
The Souheast Asian Times

The Wolf bridge: An insult to Thai monarchy
From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 31: Thai University students, Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Mankong, 26, were charged in the Ratrachada Court on Monday, with defamation of the Thai monarchy in a play titled "The Wolf Bridge" performed at the Thammasat university in October 2013, reports the Bangkok Post.
The students were charged with insulting the Royal Thai family in the fictional depiction of the monarchy in a play performed in commemoration of the 37th and 40th anniversaries of the October 6, 1976 and October 14, 1973 pro-democracy student uprisings at Thammasat University.
The prosecution cites nine passages from the plays's script, a work of fiction that depicts a fictional monarch, that allegedly insults the monarchy and as such is in violation of the lese majeste law.
Patiwat Saraiyaem, actor and Pornthip Mankong, producer of the play, in detention since arrested on 13 August, have been refused bail are scheduled to appear in court to enter pleas on December 29.
The Southeast Asian Times

World including
Asean PM's and Presidents to attend inauguaration of Indonesian president
From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 18: World Prime ministers, Presidents and State representatives including US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will attend the inauguaration of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as President of Indonesiaon on Monday.
The speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Zulkifli Hasan said that representatives from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member nations have also been invited to attend the swearing in of the former governor of Jakarta, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as president of Indonesia.
"The Prime Ministers and Presidents of Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea are also expected to attend", he said.
He said that the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) has also invited "domestic VIP's" including former Presidents and Vice-Presidents.
“All chairpersons of political parties have also be invited,” said the speaker.
The Southeast Asian Times


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 12: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag found flying from a coconut tree in Aceh on Sunday has been torn down, reports the Jakarta Post.
The discovery of the banned ISIS flag was reportedly the first in Aceh.
Police chief First Inspecter Azwan said that the flag of the nationally banned movement was discovered by chess players sitting at a food stall near the coconut tree in the Sungai Raya district of East Aceh regency in Aceh.
He said that a bomb disposal team inspected the area before the flag was taken down.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced Indonesia's rejection of the State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and banned the teaching of ISIL ideology in Indonesia last month at his parliamentary state-of-the-nation address and ahead of the 69th anniversary of Indonesias Independence.

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

From News Reports:
Singapore, August, 18: The passing of the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act by the Singapore parliament last week will enable Singapore regulators to sue individuals or companies in neighbouring countries for causing severe air pollution in Singapore.
The Act that was first proposed in 2013 would enable Singapore to impose fines of up to S$2 million on companies that cause or contribute to transboundary haze pollution in Singapore.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that under the Act, Singapore will have the legal right under the Objective Territorial Principle to take legal action against air polluters.
"While neighbouring countries have the sovereign right to exploit their natural resources in accordance with their policies they also have a responsibility to ensure that "slash and burn" agricultural practices do not cause damage to Singapore", he said.
The passing of the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act gives Singapore the legal power to serve notices on those that do not have assets or a presence in Singapore.
Indonesia is yet to ratify an Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution that was signed by ASEAN member counries in November 2003 in order to
address haze pollution arising from land and forest fires.
A bill passed in the Indonesian House of Representatives in July 2013 gave the Indonesian goverment the power to seize assetts gained from illegal logging and illegal clearing of forests for palm oil plantations.
The new bill, designed to protect more than 13 million hectres from deforestation, gave the Indonesian government a mandate to establish a task force including police to monitor the prevention and eradication of deforestation.
The Southeast Asian Times

Papua Biak massacre remembered in Sydney
with 136 white carnations
From News Reports:
Sydney, July 5: A ceremony to mark the 16th anniversary of the Biak Massacre in West Papua ua on 6 July 1998 will be held at the Waverley Cliffs cemetery in Sydney on Sunday.
The Waverley Cliffs community will throw 136 white carnations from the waverley cliffs into the Pacific Ocean in memory of the Biak massacre.
A citizens tribunal, hosted by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney last year on the 15th anniversary of the Biak massacre found that 136 West Papuan protesters were thrown into the sea by Indonesian security forces.
The tribunal heard eye witness testimony that the West Papuan demand for the right to vote for independence from Indonesia was met with gunfire by Indonesian security forces.
Survivors of the massacre told the international team of jurists that the unarmed West Papuan protesters were surrounded and shot by Indonesian security forces and that survivors were thrown into the sea on 6 July 1998.

The Southeast Asian Times

Thai military not invited to
US 4 July celebrations in Bangkok
From News Reports
Bangkok, July 2: Senior Thai military officers have not been invited by the US embassy in Thailand to attend Independence Day celebrations on 4 July in Bangkok, reports the Nation.
National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Colonel Werachon Sukondhapatipak said that Commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), General Prayuth and four other senior military officers have not received an invitation from the US embassy to attend the annual US Independence Day celebration on the 4 July in Bangkok.
The US embassy in Thailand will reportedly hold a reception on Thursday at a Bangkok hotel to celebrate Independence Day.
Invitations were extended to senior government officials, selected members of the public and the diplomatic community but did not include senior Thai military officers.
Invitations for the US Independence Day celebrations that began arriving last week and that did not include senior Thai military officers
follow the ban last week on the participation of the Thai navy in the US led Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) attended by 22 navies.
The ban on the Thai navy participation in the biennual maritime exercise in the Asia-Pacific follows the declaration of martial law by Commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), General Prayuth Chan-ocha on May 22.
The Southeast Asian Time


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Bangkok Military Court releases students in detention for political assembly
Supporters of the 14 student anti-coup protesters wait for their release outside Bangkok Military court yesterday
From News Reports:
Bangkok, Wednesday 8: The Bangkok Military Court yesterday ordered the release of 14 New Democracy Movement students who have been in detention since their arrest last month for breaching a ban on political assembly, reports the Bangkok Post.
The court reportedly rejected a request by Military Police to extend the pre-trial detention of the students by 12 days.
The Military Court ruled that detention was unnecessay because "the students had exhibited no intention to flee Thailand ahead of the trial"
The students were arrested on June 26 under Section 44 of the interim constitution that is implemented by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) under Military Commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and Prime Minister and that includes the ban on political assembly of more than five people.
The students allegedly wrapped the Democracy Monument in Bangkok in black cloth in protest of the declaration of Martial Law in May 2014.
Lawyer for the 14 students, Krisadang Nutcharas, said the students have denied the charges under Section 116 of the Criminal Code that they incited disorder and defied the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) ban on political assembly.
He said before the students were released from detention that he believed the students would continue to gather on their release.
"If not they will continue their fight from their cells", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Police disperse Christians after complaints from the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI)
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 7: Police dispersed about 1,500 Christian elementary and junior high school students at the Wonogondang camping ground in Yogyakarta at the foot of Mount Merapi last week, following complaints from members of the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI), reports the Jakarta Post.
Yogyakarta chapter of the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI) commander Abdul Rohman said that local residents were worried about the presence of Christians and unauthorized activities.
Friends of Freedom of Religion and Faith (Sobat KKB) activist Dwi Rusbiyati said that the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI) claim that "the camp constituted a Christianization effort" was a baseless fear that could not be proven.
Members of the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI) claimed that the event, organized by the Advent Christian church in Surakarta Central Java, had not obtained the necessary permit from police to hold the event.
The Jakarta Post reports that "dozens"of Islamic Jihad Front (FJI) members including from other Islamic groups arrived at the camping ground demanding to see the permit.
Islamic Jihad Front (FJI) members removed banners, blocked the road and prevented students who had arrived from Yogyakarta, Central Java, East Java, Jakarta and Sumatra from entering the camping ground.
Police dispersed the students as the event was about to begin, reports the Jakarta Post.
Sleman Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Faried Zulkarnean said that 80 police were deployed to the camping ground after he received information that Islamic Jihad Front (FJI) and Muslim groups were to meet at the camping ground.
The Police chief said that Advent Christian church organisers should have notified the the Sleman, Yogyakarta and National Police headquarters and the Religious Affairs Ministry of their intention to hold the event.
“It is a religious activity that involves participants from outside the province", he said.
Wonogondang Campgrounds manager Bambang Kotir said that Advent Christian church organisers claimed that they had received permission to hold the event from "top-ranking police officials" at the National Police headquarters.
He said that permission from the police to hold the event was not in writing.
The Southeast Asian Times

Investigation begins into alleged "funnelling" of funds into Malaysia PM's account
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, Monday 6: A multi-agency taskforce is to investigate allegations in a report published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that US$700mil (RM2.6bil) was "funnelled" from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts, reports the New Straits Times.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is reportedly Finance Minister and Chairman of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board.
The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has reportedly amassed RM42 billion in debts since its establishement six years ago. Malaysia Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said that taskforce officers from the
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak denies Wall Street Journal (WSJ) allegations saying that the report was "political sabotage" and an effort to "undermine confidence in our economy, tarnish the government, and remove a democratically elected prime minister"
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and the police were analysing documents seized in a raid on three companies named in the Wall Street Journal allegations.
"I will advise the taskforce on the next course of action after the documents have been analysed", he said.
The three companies named in the Wall Street Journal, the SRC International Sdn Bhd, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd that were raided on Friday, are accused of transferring US$700mil (RM2.6billion) into five accounts held at AmBank Private Banking in Malaysia by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
The New Straits Times reports that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak denies the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) allegations that funds were "funneled" from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into his personal bank accounts. saying he will take legal action against the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Hong Kong bureau chief Ken Brown reportedly said that WSJ had been "very careful" with the report given that it involved a country leader.
"We stand by the report", he said
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia calls on Vietnam to stop road construction on border
Cambodian senior minister in charge of border affairs, Var Kimhong, demands that Vietnam cease all planned road construction and other infrastructure projects on the Cambodian Vietnam border until the Joint Border Commission (JBC) completes demarcation of the border
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, 5 July: The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has called on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to stop road construction on the Cambodian Vietnam border until the Joint Border Commission (JBC) has completed demarcation of the border, reports Xinhua.
The roads allegedly under construction by the Vietnamese include the road about 20 meters in the non-demarcated border in Chantrea district in Svay Rieng province, the road about 10 metres in the non-demarcated border in Kampong Ror district in Svay Rieng province and the road about 45 Metres in the non-demarcated border in Kampong Ror district in Svay Rieng province.
Cambodian Senior Minister in charge of Border Affairs, Var Kimhong, said that Cambodia believed that Vietnam has violated a bilateral border agreement that prevents both Cambodia and Vietnam from road construction in non-demarcated border areas.
"Vietnam has violated the Joint Press Communique (JPC) of January 17, 1995 between the two countries by building roads at the locations that have not yet been fully demarcated," he said.
Xinhua reports that a special Joint Press Communique (JPC) meeting will be held from July 6 to 9 in Siem Reap province in Cambodia in order to solve the border dispute.
About 80 percent of the 1,270 km border that Cambodia shares with Vietnam has been demarated.
The Southeast Asian Times


Claims that crashed Air Force Hercules C130 carried paying passengers dismissed
All 122 passengers onboard the Airforce Hercules C130 cargo carrier including 12 Air Force personnel of whom 10 were members of Battalion 462 of the Indonesian Air Force Special Force (Paskhas) unit were killed when the aircraft crashed after take-off from the Soewondo military airbase in Medan in North Sumatra
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 4: Air Force Chief Marshall Agus Supriatna has dismissed claims that the Hercules C130 cargo carrier with 122 onboard that crashed on Tuesday in North Sumatra was carrying paying passengers, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Air Force carrier lost altitude after take-off from the Soewondo military airbase, "nosedived" and crashed on Jl. Jamin Ginting highway, killing all onboard.
The Jakarta Post reports that there were 12 Air Force personnel and 110 civilians onboard the 50 year old Hercules C130 cargo carrier.
Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Agus Supriatna said that the Indonesoan Airforce is investigating the cause of the crash.
He said that he would "sack" those responsible if the claims that the Air Force carrier was carrying paying passengers proved to be true.
Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said that it was "alright" for Airforce aircraft to carry non-military passengers.
"He said that the Air Force provided a community service for "less well-off citizens".
"I do not know of any paying passengers", he said.
The Jakarta Post reports that a relative of two civilian passengers on board the Air Force carrier had paid for a seat on the ill fated flight that was enroute to Tanjung Pinang and Natuna Island in Riau Islands Province.
"My 13-year-old nephew and his father paid 800,000 rupiah each", the Jakarta Post quotes Tetdi Pakpahan as saying.
The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore Supreme Court in third day of PM compensation claim against blogger
From News Reports:
Singapore, July 3: A hearing at the Singapore Supreme Court to assess the amount of compensation allegedly due to Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, for an alleged defamatory blog posted by a Singapore blogger last year is in its third day.
Blogger, Roy Ngerng, 33, a former healthcare programme coordinator at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore, posted a blog on 15 May last year in which he compared the use of Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies by Singapore Prme Minister Lee Hsien Loong with the alleged misuse of church funds by City Harvest Church leaders who are curently on trial for Criminal breach
Singapore blogger, Roy Ngerng, 33, who is conducting his own defence, cross examined Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for six hours in the Singapore Supreme Court yesterday
of trust in the Singapore Supreme Court.
Lawyer, for the Singapore Prime Minister, Davinder Singh, said in July last year when the Prime Minister had applied for a summary judgement to the High Court to rule in his favour in the defamation suit against Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng, that he understood the article posted by Roy Ngerng to mean that the Prime Minister of Singapore and chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd, (GIC) is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd, (GIC) is a sovereign wealth fund that manages more than $100 billion of the city-state's foreign reserves and is the state pension fund.
He said that the blog posting constituted a serious libel against Singapore Prime Minister Lee.
"The blog post disparages the Singapore Prime Minister and impugns his character, credit and integrity", he said.
"The case for "a very high award for damages" was compelling due to the blogger's "malice and continuing attacks", he told the Court yesterday.
He said that "the case merited higher damages than the $100,000 to $400,000 in precedent libel cases against top government leaders".
Roy Ngerng, who is conducting his own defence, is arguing that he had no malicious intent when he posted the blog and that there is no basis for The Prime Minister to demand aggravated damages.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian Air Force investigates crash of its
50 year-old aircraft

The Indonesian Air Force Hercules C-130 aircraft with 113 passengers onboard "nosedived" on Jl. Jamin Ginting highway two minutes after take-off from the Soewondo military airbase in Medan in North Sumatra
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 1: The Indonesian Air Force is conducting an investigation into the crash of its Hercules C-130 aircraft on take-off from Soewondo military airbase in Medan in North Sumatra with 113 passengers onboard on Tuesday, reports the Jakarta Post.
All passengers including 12 Air Force personnel onboard are reportedly feared dead.
The Jakarta Post reports that 10 of the 12 Air Force personnel onboard were from Battalion 462 of the Indonesian Air Force Special Force (Paskhas) unit.
Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Agus Supriatna said that the Indonesoan Airforce is investigating the cause of the crash of the 50 year-old aircraft.
The Air Force carrier reportedly lost altitude after take off from the Soewondo military airbase enroute to Tanjung Pinang and Natuna Island in Riau Islands Province.
The C-130 aircraft that carried both supplies and passengers reportedly "nosedived" on Jl. Jamin Ginting highway that connects Medan to the Brastagi tourist resort after losing altitude on take-off at 11:30 a.m.
The Jakarta Post quotes Indonesian military (TNI) spokesman Major General Fuad Basya as saying that the Hercules C-130 carrier was "fit for flying".
He said that the Hercules C-130 aircraft registration number A-1310 was manufactured in the US in 1964.
The Jakarta Post reports that Indonesia received 10 C-130 aircraft from the US government in exchange for CIA pilot Allan Pope who was arrested for assisting the rebel Permesta movement in Sulawesi in 1958.
The Southeast Asian Times

Arrest warrants for officials who failed to appear in court on rice scheme corruption charges
From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 1: Arrest warrants have been issued for two Thai officials who failed to appear in court to face corruption charges in the government-to-government rice-sales scheme during the Yingluck Shinawatra government, reports the Bangkok Post.
Weerawut Wajjanapukka and Suthee Luanthaisong were among 21 government and private sector officials summoned to appear at the Bangkok court to answer charges of corruption in the rice scheme.
Former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom appeared in court and reportedly pleaded not guilty to corruption in the government-to-government rice-sale scheme.
The officials are to submit written testimony to the court by 31 August in preparation for the first examination of evidence on 29 September.
The 21 officials including the former commerce minister, Boonsong Teriyapirom , his former secretary, Weerawut Wajjanapukka and Suthee Luanthaisong, his deputy, Poom Sarapol and Department of Foreign Trade, director general, Manas Soiploy and Ratthanit Sojirakul, Somkid Euansupha and Lit Phojai, who represent the private sector in the rice sales were charged in March for "committing and supporting malfeasance in violation of the Criminal Code and competitive-bidding and anti-corruption laws.
Prosecutors allege that the officials colluded to help two Chinese firms not authorised by the Chinese government to undertake G2G deals with the Thai government to buy rice from stockpiles generated by the Yingluck Shinawatra government rice pledging scheme.
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was charged in March for violating Article 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the 1999 Counter Corruption Act by committing nonfeasance and malfeasance while holding the post of Prime Minister for failing to stop alleged massive corruption in the rice pledging scheme.
Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pleaded not guilty to charges of alleged corruption in the national rice pledging scheme on the first day of her trial on 18 May, reports the Bangkok Post.
The National Assembly voted to impeach former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in February making her the first Prime Minister in Thai political history to be impeached and follows the decision by the Office of Auditor General (OAG) to press criminal charges against the former prime minister over the alleged corrupt rice pledging programme.
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was ousted from government in May 2014 following the declaration of Martial Law by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
An agreement signed in November 2014 by Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisanto to sell 1.2 million tonnes of rice to China was reportedly stopped on the dissolution of the Thai Parliament.
The Southeast Asian Times

Task force to stop Indonesian universities from awarding students fake degrees
Research and Technology and Higher Education Minister, Muhammad Nasir, centre, said that higher education institutions that issue fake degrees could be charged under the 2003 National Education System Law and the 2012 Higher Education Law
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 30: A task force to stop Indonesian universities from awarding online students alleged fraudulent degrees is to be established by the Indonesian Research and Technology and Higher Education Ministry, reports the Jakarta Post.
Research and Technology and Higher Education Minister, Muhammad Nasir, said the task force will include the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office and the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry in an effort to stop the issuance of fake degrees in higher education institutions in Indonesia.
"The task force would verify the degrees received by civil servants, House of Representatives lawmakers and Provincial Legislative Council councilors", he said.
Minister Muhammad Nasir said, following an unannounced inspection of the International Management Institution of Indonesia (LMII) in Central Jakarta earlier this month, that all degrees issued by the institution in the last ten years were invalid.
Minister Muhammad Nasir said that the International Management Institution of Indonesia (LMII) is one of 18 universities nationwide that the ministry suspects has issued fake degrees to online students.
The International Management Institution of Indonesia (LMII) reportedly claims to be a branch of the University of Berkley in Michigan in the US.
The University of Berkley in Michigan and Texas reportedly say that undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered online by International Management Institution of Indonesia (LMII) in the name of the University of Berkley over the last ten years are illegitimate.
The Southeast Asian Times
 

Indonesian judge denies US intervention in extradition of Singaporean
Lim Yong Nam, 41, was aquitted by the Singapore High Court of violation of a US trade embargo against Iran and "abetting terrorism" for exporting USmade radio modules as part of bomb components from the United States to Iran through Singapore in 2011
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 29: Indonesia's Riau Islands Batam District Court Judge, Cahyono denied accusations that intervention from the United States and Singapore was behind the postponement of the hearing on the extradition of Singaporean Lim Yong Nam, 41, to the United States, saying that there had been "no intervention from anybody." reports the Jakarta Post.
Judge Cahyono said it was the judges perogative to postpone the hearing to July 1.
"Our duty is to examine the extradition process against Lim Yong Nam filed by the Indonesian government through the prosecutor’s office,” said judge Cahyono.
Indonesia and the US reportedly have no extradition treaty.
Lim Yong Nam, 41, was one of four Singaporeans arrested for exporting US-made radio modules as part of bomb components from the United States to Iran through Singapore in 2011.
Three Singaporeans who were found guilty by the Singapore High Court were extradited from Singapore to the US to face charges relating to the violation of a US trade embargo against Iran and "abetting terrorism".
Lim Yong Nam was found not guilty by the Singapore court but US authorities remained convinced that Lim Yong Nam was guilty and sought his arrest for his alleged involvement in "abetting terrorism" through Interpol.
Lim Yong Nam Lim was arrested by Batam Immigration Agency officials during a regular check of passengers at the Batam passenger terminal last week from a wanted persons list.
National Police spokesman Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar said that police are questioning Singaporean Lim Yong Nam and are yet to decide on his extradition to Singapore or to send him to the US for further questioning.
The Southeast Asian Times


Children starve to death in West Papua
Indonesia's Islamist United Development Party (PPP) legislator, Okky Asokawati says ''Where are you, Mr. President'' in her call for President Joko Widodo to address malnutrition in children in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) West Timor
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 2: Indonesia's Islamist United Development Party (PPP) has called on President Joko Widodo to address malnutrition, saying that children were dying from malnutrition in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) West Timor, reports The Jakarta Post
United Development Party (PPP) legislator, Okky Asokawati, said that of the 330,000 children weighed from January to May this year, 1,918 under-five suffered from malnutrition.
"11 of them had died" she said.
Legislator, Okky Asokawati, said that Indonesia had the largest number of "stunted" children in Southeast Asia and that the number of children suffering from malnutrition is increasing.
The legislater has called on the Indonesian government to increase funds allocated to the Ministry of Health for nutrition.
She said that only 7 percent of the Rp 75 trillion allocated to the Ministry of Health 2015 budget was allocated to nutritian.
The Jakarta Post reports that almost all 22 districts and municipalities in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) West Timor including the districts of Southwest Sumba, Kupang, South Mideast and North Mideast had reported malnutrition in children.
In 2012 the governor of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) West Timor, Frans Lebu Raya, supported Bishop Dominikus Saku in his call for manganese miners in West Timor to halt work immediately.
Bishop Dominikus Saku called on the provincial government not to process the more than 400 manganese mining licence proposals, saying that ''the cash that the people receive directly from mining activities is not comparable with the damage to the environment''.
"Numerous people had abandoned farming for mining and West Timor was threatened with an agricultural crisis", said the Bishop.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia and West Papua admitted
to Melanesian regional bloc

From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 27: Member countries of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) met in Honiara in the Solomon Islands yesterday to announce the admittance of Indonesia as a full member to its inter-governmental regional group.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) that represents independence from Indonesia was admitted as an observer, reports the Jakarta Post.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) said that the admittance of Indonesia that includes the province of West Papua and the admittance of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) "will test our commitment to the basic principles of human rights and the rule-of-law."
He said that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) that includes member countries Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) subscribe to the United Nations charter.
Indonesia will be represented in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), by elected officials of its "ethnic" Melanesian provinces including West Papua, reports the Jakarta Post.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) that represents independence from Indonesia failed in its bid for full membership to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was instead granted observer status on condition that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) only represent West Papuans living outside West Papua.
The arrest of 47 West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members in Jayapura on 28 May, a day ahead of a planned demonstration in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) bid for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), was reportedly an effort by the Indonesian government to prevent the success of the proposal.
Police reportedly charged the demonstrators with incitment against the Indonesian government that carries a maximum prison sentence of six years in violation of Article 160 of the Criminal Code.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian court orders return of seized Christian education material
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, June 26: The Court of Appeal has ordered the Home minister and the Malaysian government to return eight Christian religious teachings compact discs (CD's) seized from Sarawak Christian, Jill Ireland, by Malaysian Customs seven years ago, reports the New Straits Times.
The discs that contain the word "Allah" and were reportedly purchased in Indonesia were seized from the Sarawak Christian on her return from Jakarta to Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur airport on May 11, 2008 on the order of senior Customs officer Suzanah Muin.

The seized CD's including the title "Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah" or "True Worship Under Allah's Kingdom" contain the word "Allah" that is prohibited in non-Muslim religious material, reports the New Straits Times.
The CD's that were reportedly seized under Section 9 (1) of the Printing
Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who ordered the return of CD's that contained the word "Allah" that were seized on the order of a senior Malaysian Customs officer, said that there was nothing stipulated in Section 9 of the of the Printing, Press and Publication Act 1984 that indicates that the power of the minister could be delegated to a subordinate authority such as a Customs officer
Press and Publications Act 1984 does not allow the Islamic word "Allah" to be used as a synonym for the Christian word "God".
Court of Appeal judge Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who chaired the three judge panel, ruled that senior Customs officer Suzanah Muin who ordered the seizure was not authorised to do so.
The judge said that the Customs officer was "fully competent" to issue an interim order to withhold suspected printed materials but she was "ill-equipped" to issue the seizure order.
"The seizure of the CD's has been a classic case of "ultra vires" where a public official had acted in excess of what the law had authorised the official to do," said the judge.
Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said that senior Customs officer Suzanah Muin had gone beyond the powers of Section 9 of the Printing, Presses and Publication Act 1984 as envisaged by the Malaysian Parliament.
Sarawak Christian Jill Ireland argued that she has "the legitimate expectation" to exercise her right to possess, use and import publications containing the word "Allah", saying that the seizure of the CD's had violated her religious rights and equality before the law.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia rejects plan to free West Papuan political prisoners
From News Reports:
Jakarta, 25 June: The House of Representatives in Jakarta has rejected the plan to pardon political prisoners in Papua despite the pardon of five West Papuan political prisoners last month, saying that there were fears that the release of the political prisoners "would inflame separatism in the resource-rich region", reports the Jakarta Post.
Five West Papuan political prisoners, sentenced from twenty years to life imprisonmen in 2003, were pardoned by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Abepura Penitentiary in Jayapura on May 9.
The President, reportedly said in May on his second visit to the restive provinces of Papua and West Papua since elected in July last year, that about 90 political prisoners would also be released from prison including from the Nabire and Biak prison.
The House of Representatives summoned Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Moeldoko and National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman to a closed-door meeting with Commission I on Monday
Commission I that oversees defense and foreign affairs reportedly refused to support the government plan to pardon about 90 political prisoners.
The refusal to release the West Papuan political prisoners follows the arrest of 47 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) on 28 May a day ahead of a planned demonstration in support of the Papuan effort to secure membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is expected to decide on the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULM) bid for membership in July.
Indonesia has reportedly stepped up its lobbying of Melanesian states to prevent the proposal succeeding.
Indonesia's Security Minister, Djoko Suyanto reportedly said in October 2011 that West Papua will remain part of Indonesia with special autonomy its only option for those who want independence.
“Any party proclaiming a new state, a new cabinet, a new president, a new government must be dealt with according to the law,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Jakarta court rejects appeal for clemency for French national on death row
The execution of convicted drug trafficker, French national, Serge Atlaoui, 51, is reportedly to be carried out after Ramadan in mid July
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 24: The State Administrative Court in Jakarta dismissed an appeal for clemency against the death sentence for convicted drug trafficker, French national, Serge Atlaoui, 51, on Monday, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Jakarta court upheld its previous April decision that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the challenge to the clemency plea.
Nancy Yuliana, lawyer for death row French national Serge Atlaoui argued for clemency on Monday on the grounds that Indonesian President Joko Widodo had rejected the plea for clemency "without proper consideration" for a judicial review.
"We are disappointed with the decision but we will continue to look for other legal avenues," she said.
The clemency plea is reportedly the final legal step for convicted drug trafficker, Serge Atlaoui, 51, to avoid execution.
Lawyer, Nancy Yuliana, said that the legal team was "considering its next step"
We are not asking for him to be set free, we are asking for his sentence to be reduced to life imprisonment," she said
She said that the legal team believes that French national, Serge Atlaoui, is innocent.
Convicted drug trafficker, Serge Atlaoui, a welder and father of four was arrested at a drug manufacturing factory outside Jakarta in 2005,
accused of being a "chemist".
Serge Atlaoui denied the accusation claiming that he was installing machinery in what he thought was an acrylics plant.
He was initially sentenced to life in prison but the Supreme Court increased the sentence to death on appeal.
Serge Atlaoui was due to be executed with seven foreign drug offenders including Australian convicted drug traffickers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in April but won a temporary reprieve after pressure from the Frenh European Affairs Ministery to allow the outstanding appeal to run its course.
The Southeast Asian Times


Police stop Cambodians from entering Cambodia Vietnam unmarked border area
About 100 police were deployed to stop Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) supporters from entering
disputed land on the Vietnam Cambodia border in order to avoid a clash with Vietnamese who are allegedly laying the foundations for a military post
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 23: About 200 opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) supporters including party lawmakers, Sam An and Real Camerin were stopped by police from entering alleged disputed territory in Koh Thom district in Kandal province on the Cambodia Vietnam border on Saturday, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Kandal provincial police chief, Eav Chamroeun, said that police had prohibited Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmakers from entering the disputed border area to avoid a clash with the Vietnamese.
"strictly to maintain safety", said the police chief.
Opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker, Sam An, said that Vietnamese had allegedly encroached on disputed land on the Cambodia Vietnam border identified as the "white area" or unmarked border.
He said that Vietnamese were reportedly constructing a military post in Koh Thom district in Kandal province in the "white area" or unmarked border.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Real Camerin said that party members had managed to break the police line and witness the construction of a military post in Koh Thom for themselves.
“Stopping people and lawmakers from entering the encroached land is wrong", he said.
The Cambodian government renewed a call to the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh for Vietnam to halt activities it says are encroaching on Cambodian territory.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia reiterates its request to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to cease immediately the said activities until the Joint Border Commission of the two countries has completely demarcated this area.”
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnam Coast Guards question alleged oil tanker highjackers
Vietnam Coast Guards question one of eight men who landed on Tho Chu Island in a life raft on Friday. The eight men, believed to have highjacked the oil tanker Orkim Harmony, claim that their fishing boat had sunk
From News Reports:
Hanoi, June 22: Vietnam Coast Guards are questioning eight men accused of hijacking the Malaysian oil tanker Orkim Harmony that disappeared off the radar on June 11 enroute from Malacca to Kuantan Port.
Vietnamese authorities apprehended the accused highjackers in waters off Tho Chu Island on Friday after having reportedly fled the oil tanker in a lifeboat, leaving 22 crew onboard.
Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) Zone 4, Colonel Doan Bao Quye, said that the suspected hijackers were at first detained on Tho Chu Island, off the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang in the Gulf of Thailand but have since been transferred to Phu Quoc Island.
Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) were notified by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA ) on June 18 that the oil tanker Orkim Harmony was entering Vietnamese waters, about 23 nautical miles southwest of Tho Chu Island.
At 8 am on Friday 19 the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
(MMEA ) notified the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) that the highjackers had fled the oil tanker in a resue boat.
At 9.30 am the Tho Chu Island Border Guard Station reported that a rescue boat carrying the eight alleged hijackers had landed on the island.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) conducted the search operation for the missing oil tanker that included the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and Indonesian Navy over a 20,000 sq km area in Malaysian, Cambodian, Singapore and Indonesia waters .
The MT Orkim Harmony had reportedly been repainted and renamed 'Kim Harmon' before the oil tanker was found off the Vietnamese coast.
Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) Commander, Major General Nguyen Quang Dam, said that the hijackers has re-painted the tanker and replaced the ships International Maritime Organization (IMO) number with false number in order to avoid detection.
MT Orkim Harmony oil tanker was carrying 6,000 metric tonnes of RON95 fuel for the Malaysia's Petronas oil and gas company from its Malacca refinery to Kuantan when it was boarded by the alleged highjackers.
The Southeast Asian Times




The long history of persecution of Armenians in the Middle East is continuing apace, with jihadists trying to wipe out this Christian minority in Syria
Reports Chris Ray.....open page here


Land granted to Australian Aborigines under the Land Rights Act is up for grabbs by developers.
Aboriginal Land Rights activist, Dr William B Day urges former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Ian Viner, AO QC to act .........open page here


Indonesia ready for big 'brother' role in ASEAN
By Prashanth Parameswaran .......open page here

 

Timor-Leste justice threatened by firing of foreign judges
By Susan Marx ...open page here

Thousands of Northern Australia's indigenous rock art sites are under threat from buffalo, fire and feral animals. Tim Lee reports ........open page here




.MEDIA CHECK
The Yogyakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) want the murder of Yogyakarta journalist in 1996 remembered in proposed Anti-Violence against Journalists Day...open here

 

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Copy of letter dated 29 May 2012 from Vietnam Womens Union to International Olympic Committee...open here

 

What they're saying open page here

 

A cartoon goes inside the tour bus in Manila on the day that ended with the slaying of eight Hong Kong tourists ...Open page here

 

Bombed by the Americans for Christmas in 1972, Ha Noi Bach Mai hospital is still a war zone...Christina Pas reports...Open page here

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory Australia
PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

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Singapore properties listed for sale in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Yangon, November 25: Singapore's largest property developer, the Far East Organization, is to partner with Myanmar's local property sales and marketing company, Min Zin Agency, in Yangon to sell condos in Singapore.
Managing director of the Min Zin Agency in Yangon, Ko Kyaw Min Zin, said that Singapore's Far East Organization has expanded its sales and marketing efforts into Myanmar.
“The Far East Organisation has been selling their Singapore properties to Myanmar buyers since 2009,” he said.
The Far East Organisation reportedly have over 750 properties in Singapore’s residential, hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial sectors,
including 45,500 or one in every six private homes in Singapore listed with the Min Zin Agency in Yangon.
The Southeast Asian Times


China to invest in rail and road construction
in Indonesia

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 10:
Indonesia's Railway Corporation (PT KAI) and state construction company PT Jasa Marga signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with China Investment Fund (CIF) to develop indonesia's railway services and toll road construction.
Witness to the signing, coordinating Minister for the Economy Sofyan Djalil, said that the MoU will provide the groundwork for further cooperation between China Railway and P KAI and China Investment Fund (CIF).
"The MoU is the first step towards further development of public services between China and Indonesia" he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia, Xie Feng said that the MoU would spark more cooperations between China and Indonesia and would bring about "real benefits to the public."
The Southeast Asian Times

Penang health department shuts down soya bean factory
From News Reports:
Penang, October 19: Five Penang food factories including a 100 year old soya bean factory at Tanjong Bungah were ordered closed by the state health department for failure to observe health standards.
State health, food safety and quality division, deputy director Ku Nafishah Ku Ariffin said soya bean products were processed in an unclean "rusty and moldy kitchen".
"Our inspectors found that wet products were left to dry on "dirty" bamboo sticks along with bathing towels. The bamboo sticks were also dirty and dusty," she said.
A "sweets" factory in Teluk Kumbar, a noodle factory in Simpang Ampat and a sauce factory in Bukit Metajam were also closed by the state health department
The Southeast Asian Times

Fuel smugglers including military personnel under arrest
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 15: Riau Islands Police have arrested 30 suspects including several Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel and seized 64 cars, two boats and 106 tons of fuel.
Riau Islands Police chief Brig. Gen. Arman Depary said in Batam last week that the seized cars had been modified to hold 100 litres of fuel.
"The Military (TNI) personnel are suspected of fuel smuggling and have been handed over to the military base", he said.
TNI Commander Gen. Moeldoko said that the alleged suspected fuel smugglers are honor-based service military personnel.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai coup blammed for fall in tourist arrivals
From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 18: The Thai tourism sector suffered its largest fall in international visitors to Thailand in June, the first month after the establishment of marshal law and the military seizure of the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Tourism reportedly accounts for 10 percent of the Thai economy.
Data from the Thai Department of Tourism shows that inernational tourist arrival numbers in July fell by 10.9 percent compared to the same time last year.
International arrivals in July totalled 1.91 million compared to 2.15 million in July 2013.
Arrivals from China with a18 percent share of all visitors to thailand and the largest group of visitors to Thailand, fell by 25.3 percent.
Arrivals from the United Kingdom with a 4 percent share of all visitors to Thailand, was one of the few large markets to record a gain, of 6.2 percent
The Southeast Asian Times

US Senate approves sales of nuclear equipment to Vietnam
From News Reports:
Hanoi, July 31: The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations passed legislation approving a 123 agreement on civil nuclear commerce with Vietnam at a business meeting of the committee last week.
The 123 agreement under the US Atomic energy Act of 1954 establishes a civil nuclear commerce agreement that allows the US to export nuclear reactors, research information and equipment to Vietnam.
The civil nuclear commerce agreement between the US and Vietnam is "part of Vietnam's effort to ease its shortage of energy towards meeting over 10 percent of the domestic power demand by 2030", reports the Vietnam News Service
The Southeast Asian Times

Court for construction
Industry
established
in Malaysia
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 3: The first two Construction Courts for Malaysia were opened by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam last week, reports the Star.
The courts will deal with disputes in the construction industry.
Works Minister Datuk Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof said that the establishment of the courts will transform the way the construction business in the country operates.
"The construction industry stakerholders can now have their disputes resolved by judges with expert knowledge and experience in construction industry disputes', he said.
The proposal by the Construction Industry Board (CIDB) for the establishment of the construction courts was first put to the Judiciary in January 2013.
Britain is the only other country that has a specially designated court that deals with construction industry disputes.

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

From News Reports:
Denpasar, April 14: Bali community-based tourism operators have called for amendments to regulations that stipulate that the local community pay the Bali regency administration 60 percent of their total tourism revenue.
Penglipuran tourist village in Bangli, community-based tourism manager, Nengah Moneng, said that he objected to the fact that his community received only 40 percent of the total revenue.
"We want to have 60 percent share of the tourist revenue to pay for operating costs", he said.
The Penglipuran tourism manager said that operating costs for trekking, traditional dance, cultural shows including religious rituals had increased.
The cost of operating lodges and community halls for tourism had also increased.
"An increase in revenue for not only the Bangli community but for tourism based communities across Bali would benefit tourism island-wide" said the tourism manager.
The Southeast Asian Times

Riau forest fires force Chevron to shut down oil wells
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 21: PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI), the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based oil company Chevron has shut down 573 oil wells in the Riau province of Sumatra.
The deteriorating quality of air due to forest fires that have been raging for the last month has forced PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) to shut down its oil wells and evacuate workers and there families.
Indonesia's upstream oil and gas regulator, SKK Migas, public relations officer, Handoyo Budi Santoso, said that oil assets in Riau province are important to national crude oil production.
"The biggest production loss came from the shutdown of Rokan block, operated by Chevron Pacific Indonesia, the country's biggest producer of crude oil production", he said
The Jakarta Posts reports that potential losses are estimated at about 12,000 barrels of oil a day.
The Southeast Asian Times


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 5:
The New Straits Times reports that there was an 86 percent increase in tourist arrivals from China
to Sabah in the last two years.
Data from the Sabah Tourism Board reportedly shows that 193,010 tourist tourists arrived in Sabah from China in 2011 increasing to 360,361 in 2013
Sabah West Coast Coffeeshop Association chairman, Yong Chee Yun, said coffee shop operators were catering to the influx of tourists from China.
"Coffee shops displayed tourist friendly signs in Chinese saying 'how are you?' and menues included China's favourite foods", he said.
Sabah and Labuan Chapter chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels and general manager of the At Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort,
said that staff members are encouraged to learn Mandarin.
"So that they can converse better with guests" he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

From News Reports:
Jakarta,January 29: A pilots strike forced State-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines to cancelled all scheduled flights to Surabaya, Merauke and Timika on Saturday, reports The Jakarta Post.
Merpati corporate secretary Riswanto Chendra Putra said that the airline had not paid salaries to pilots and cabin crew for two months.
The Jakarta Post reports that PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines was required to restructure its operations.
Merpati corporate secretary Riswanto Chendra Putra says that Merpati has signed a memorndum of understanding (MoU) with PT Armagedon Indonesia and PT Bentang Persada Gemilang to restructure the company.
The airline has debts of Rp 6.5 trillion (US$533 million) reports the Jakarta Post.
"The management would pay the salaries around March or early April, said the Merpati corporate secretary.
Merpati’s workers union advisory board official, Erry Wardhana, said about 200 Merpati pilots planned to strike again next Saturday for an indefinite period.
"The pilots would strike until 1,600 Merpati employees were paid", he said.
The union advisory board official says that this is the first time that Merpati workers have gone on strike over unpaid wages.
The pilots are owed wages for December and January reports the Jakarta Post.
The Southeast Asian Times


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