The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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


Public demonstration bill debate brought forward
From News Reports:
Hanoi, June 10: The proposed draft public demonstraton bill, prepared by the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security, is to be presented to the National Assembly for possible approval earlier than planned, reports Thanh Nien.
The draft public demonstration bill that was expected to be completed within the next five years was brought forward for possible approval by legislators following public protests in 22 provinces against the deployment of the Chinese oil rig in alleged Vietnam waters on May 1.
HCMCity National Assemblyman, Truong Trong Nghia said that the government has yet to offer the public a legal means to demonstrate.
"The government is required to protect the people's right to express themselves despite conflicting interests", he said.
371 of 436 legislators agreed to debate the proposed draft public demonstration bill at a mid year session next year with voting on the possible passing of the bill to follow at the end of the year.
The Southeast Asian Times


'Islam is not a state,' says author of book published for Indonesian high school students

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 3: The book titled, 24 Weeks to a Civic Example: A Muslim Student’s Agenda, that was launched by pro pluralism organisation, the Maarif Institute, in Indonesia last month, encourages the idea that being religious is synonymous with being a good citizen, reports the Jakarta Post.
"Being a good Muslim is analogous to exemplary civic conduct but one should not conflate Islam with the state," said co-author Bambang Q. Anees, philosophy at the Bandung State Islamic University (UIN).
He warned of the dangers of religious instruction that he said must be addressed in the national curriculum.
“The current Islamic studies curriculum needs to be revised", he said.
He said that Muslims have been brought up to think that Islam is all about the history of Muslim wars and
nationhood.
"This belief translates into the belief that Islam is a state,” said the co-author at the launch of the book at the Muhammadiyah Center of Study in Menteng, Jakarta.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia votes for new parliament and new president

From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 10:
Indonesians voted for a new parliament yesterday in a poll that will decide who will run for president in the presidential elections scheduled for July 9, reports the Jakarta Post.
About 75 percent of the more than reportedly 186 million registered voters caste their vote for almost 236,000 candidates in about 500,000 polling stations yesterday.
A party or coalition requires 112 of the 560 seats in the lower house of parliament to nominate a candidate for the presidency
The Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) is the only party out of 12 parties nationawide seen as having a chance of achieving this result without forming a coalition, reports the Jakarta Post.
The PDI-P has been ahead in the opinion polls and reportedly extended its lead with the nomination of Jakarta governor, Joko Widodo, 52, known as "Jokowi".
PDI-I had almost 20 percent of the reportedly 30 percent of votes counted at 2,000 polling stations yesterday or almost 20 percent of about 50 percent of total votes counted.
The official results of the legislative elections are not expected to be announced until 9 May.
The Southeast Asian Times

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Jokowi ministerial candidates unofficially named after KPK investigation
Indonesia's new President Joko Widodo was sworn in as the Republic of Indonesia's seventh president at the House of Representatives in Jakarta yesterday. “I swear by Allah to fulfil the duties of president of the Republic of Indonesia to the best of my capabilities and in the fairest way possible,” he said
From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 21: The names of ministerial candidates for the newly sworn in Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Jusuf Kalla administration that were submitted to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for investigation on Friday were announced yesterday ahead of an official announcement expected to be made by the new president today, reports the Jakarta Post.
The unofficial announcement of cabinent members in the Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Jusuf Kalla administration that include former trade minister in the Megawati administration, Rini Sumarno; Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's (PDI-P) deputy secretary-general, Hasto Kristiyanto; party secretary-general, Tjahjo Kumolo and World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati have reportedly been approved by the KPK and admitted to the Cabinet.
The Jakarta Post reports that the names of the ministerial candidates were handed to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for investigation on Friday by the chairman and deputy of the Joko “Jokowi” Widodo transition team, Rini Mariani Soemarno and Hasto Kristiyanto.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) delivered its report on the ministerial candidates to the then yet to be sworn in President-elect Joko Jokowi Widodo on Sunday night, ahead of his inauguration yesterday.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi said that the then yet to be sworn in President-elect met with four KPK officials at 8.30pm to 9.15pm on Sunday night.
He said that the KPK officers, Abraham Samad, Adnan Pandu Praja, Zulkarnain and Bambang Widjojanto met with Jokowi who was "alone without his transition team".
"The names of the ministerial candidates were immediately handed over to Jokowi", he said.
The KPK spokesman said that the four KPK officers, that reportedly did not include KPK deputy chairman Busyro Muqoddas, and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reviewed the KPK investigation of the ministerial candidates and discussed the corruption eradication programs planned for the Jokowi five year term on Sunday night.
The Southeast Asian Times


Outgoing President Yudhoyono candidate to challenge incumbant KPK deputy chairman position
Outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudjoyono handed over state documents at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java on Friday ahead of the inauguaration of incoming President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo scheduled to take place today. "What my government did during a decade of governance must be made known to the state and the people," he said
From News Reports:
Jakarata, October 20: One of the two candidates recommended by outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for selection for the position as deputy-chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), in the House of Representatives is under scrutiny by the Indonesion Corruption Watch (ICW), reports the Jakarta Post.
Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recommended head of international relations of the Cabinet Secretariat, Roby Ayra Brata, to challenge incumbent KPK deputy chairman Busyro Muqoddas for the position of deputy chairman.
President Yudhoyono made the recommendation four days ahead of the inauguaration of incoming President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo scheduled to take place today.
Incumbent KPK deputy chairman Busyro Muqoddas, was recommended for selection by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) by his colleagues at the KPK for another term.
The affiliation of outgoing President Yuduhoyono with the head of international relations of the Cabinet Secretariat, Roby Ayra Brata, has raised concern by Emerson Yuntho of the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
Emerson Yuntho says that the head of international relations of the Cabinet Secretariat, Roby Ayra Brata, affiliation with outgoing president Yudhoyono "may help the retiring president to shield himself and his family from possible corruption charges".
He said that the public must monitor the process at the House of Representatives to ensure that no political bargaining takes place, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Jakarta Post reports that outgoing President Yudhoyono and the ruling Democratic Party were allegedly implicated in the alleged embezzlement of US$106 million in the bail out of Bank Century that had defaulted on a US$56 million loan payment in 2008.
Prosecutors said in 2010 that embezzlement of the bail out funds followed the Yudhoyono government decision to nationalise the bank. Former Deputy President Boediono was central bank governor at the time of the disbursement of bail out funds.
Yudhoyono’s youngest son Edhie “Ibas” Baskoro was reportedly implicated in a number of graft cases handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Head of international relations of the Cabinet Secretariat, Roby Ayra Brata, denied allegations that he was a "Yudhoyono man" saying that he was critical of the Yudhoyono government programs.
“For those who know me well, they know that I am not an SBY boy", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai Loan shark agrees to write off debt
Money lender Thidarat Thep-arak, a Lop Buri Province landlord has agreed to write off the debt of the woman who set herself alight, saying that he will count it as merit-making
From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 19: The money lender who loaned money to a Lop Buri Province woman who set herself on fire in Bangkok on Wednesday claiming that she had been "cheated" have agreed to write off the debt after negotiating with Lop Buri Governor Thanakom Jongjira and provincial police chief and a senior military officer.
Lop Buri Governor Thanakom Jongjira said that the "loan shark" had agreed to cancel the debt so that Sangvien Raksapetch, 52, in the intensive care unit with 50 percent burns to her body, can recuperate "without worry".
"The moneylender says he will count this as merit-making," he said.
The Thai woman from Lop Buri Province set herself on fire at a Thai government agency administered by the Prime Ministers's Permanent Secretary Office and located opposite Government House where she reportedly told government agency official, Suksawat Suwannawong, that she had borrowed from the money lender using her land title as security against the loan.
The Bangkok Post reports that the woman said that she was illiterate and had signed up for a Bt1.5 million debt when in fact she had borrowed only about Bt400,000.
The money lender had reportedly demanded Bt1.5 million in full payment when Sangvean Raksaphet missed a repayment.
The woman reportedly said "why can't you help me" at the Bangkok government agency before she poured fuel over herself and set herself alight.
Prime Minister's Office Minister ML Panadda Disku said that the most widely reported problem at government centres such as the one attended by Suksawat Suwannawong was to do with "out of system" or "loan shark" debt.
Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said that "loan sharking" had resulted in high household debt.
"the problem needed to be resolved at the core through job creation and improvement of wealth distribution.
The Southeast Asian Times

Lawyers march on parliament
house to repeal sedition act

Advocates of the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948 are against the introduction of the proposed National Harmony Act saying that section 121 of the Penal Code is sufficient to cover offences of racial incitement and to keep peace and harmony

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, October 18: Up to 2,000 lawyers, led by Malaysian Bar president Chris Leong, marched on Parliament House on Thursday to submitt a proposed draft Bill to Prime Miniser Najib Tun Razak for the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948, reports the Star
Universiti Malaya law lecturer and Star columnist Prof Dr Azmi Sharom, 45, charged with sedition under the Sedition act 1948 last month for allegedly challenging the power of the Sultan of Perak also participated in the march.
The academic was charged with causing disaffection against the Sultan of Perak with words deemed to have "seditious tendency" in an article published on 13 August. The alleged seditious comments contained in the article apply to the February 2009 decision made by the Sultan of Perak, Azlan Shah, to swear in Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as Perak’s new Menteri Besar, or chief minister, rather than dissolve the legislative assembly and call a new election.
Politicians including Opposition MPs Gobind Singh Deo, Darell Leiking, N. Surendran, Wong Chen and Ong Kian Ming also participated in the march on Parliament House under the ‘Repeal the Sedition Act’ banner in the "Walk for Peace and Freedom’ march.
Malaysian Bar president Chris Leong said that the Sedition Act 1948 undermines the aspirations of "right-thinking and moderate" Malaysians.
“We believe in robust debate, diversity of opinion as well as freedom of speech and expression that will ultimately inculcate and maintain true and enduring peace, harmony, unity and mutual respect among Malaysians,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the draft Bill proposed by the Malaysian Bar Council to replace the Sedition Act 1984 is not endorsed by the government.
"The government has not made any decision to abolish or amend the act, nor replace it with a new act", he said.
He said that a proposed draft Bill can only be prepeared by the Attorney-General’s office.
Prime Minister Najib Razak announced last month that Malaysia's Sedition Act is to be replaced with the National Harmony Act but that the proposed
National Harmony Act would not grant total freedom of expression.
He said Malay rights, the sanctity of Islam as the official religion of Malaysia and the Royal institution, that were enshrined in the Federal Constitution would not be open to question with the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948.
"The government is in no hurry to push for the National Harmony Act", he said.
Consitutional lawyer Syahredzan Johan said last month that he advocated the repeal of the Sedition Act but does not advocate the replacement of it with the National Harmony Act, saying that section 121 of the Penal Code covers those who wish to overthrow the government through violent means.
"We already have the penal code to keep peace and harmony", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia's Police and military arrested for murder of reporter investigating illegal logging
Former Royal Cambodian Armed Force (RCAF) soldier, La Narong, 32, believed to be the gunman who fired the shot that killed reporter, Taing Try, 49, on Sunday
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, October 17: Three men have confessed to the murder of reporter Taing Try , 49, shot dead on Sunday in Cambodia's Kratie province where he and five reporters were investigating alleged illegal logging, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Kratie provincial deputy police chief, Oum Phy said at a press conference attended by reporters from the Khmer Journalist for Democracy Association on Monday that police had arrested commune police chief Ben Hieng, 31, of Keo Seima district in Mondolkiri Province, Phnom Penh military police officer, Khim Pheakdey, 27, and former Royal Cambodian Armed Force (RCAF) soldier at Mondolkiri and believed to be the gunman, La Narong, 32.
"All three have confessed to the murder", he said.
He said that the men confessed to the murder of the reporter because he threatened to report their "logging activities" to the court and the provincial forestry administration.
“Provincial police arrested all three one by one and all of them have been sent to the Kratie provincial police station and will be sent to court,” he said.
Editor of the Niseth Khmer newspaper, Sa Piseth said that he was with reporter Taing Try when thier vehicle became bogged on a dirt road.
He said that he left the journalist with the vehicle to seek help.
The newspaper editor says that he found Taing Try lying on the side of the road with a bullet wound to his head when he returned.
“My colleague Taing Try was shot with a single bullet in his head and died beside his Camry car,” he said
The six reporters had reportedly paired off in three cars to investigate a warehouse owned by Chhun Phoeun, brother of deputy Snuol dstrict military police chief Chhun Khoeun, where oxcarts were allegedly used to transport timber logs under the cover of darkness.
The Phnom Penh Post reports that an overturned unlicensed vehicle was found within two hundred metres of the bogged vehicle where the journalists was found dead on the road.
The overturned vehicle, identified as a Lexus LX470 SUV, reportedly owned by Commune police chief Ben Hieng, 31, one of the three men arrested, was abandoned after it "rolled" as the men attempted to flee the murder scene, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Reporter Taing Try was reportedly arrested for extortion in 2010 and appeared in the Kompong Chhnang Provincial Court last month. He maintained over four years that he was arrested because he had witnessed illegal timber smuggling in the province.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai woman sets herself alight at
government agency
Sangvean Raksaphet, 52, set herself on fire after calling for help on a Thai government agency, administered by the Prime Ministers permanent secretary's office, following demands for payment made by a money lender
From News Reports
Bangkok, October 16: A Thai woman, believing that she had been cheated by a money lender, set herself on fire at a Thai government agency administered by the Prime Ministers's Permanent Secretary Office and located opposite Government House yesterday, reports the Bangkok Post.
Sangvean Raksaphet, 52, had reportedly told government agency official, Suksawat Suwannawong, that she had borrowed from money lender, Tidarat Thep-arak, using her land title as security against the loan.
The money lender had reportedly demanded full payment of the amount borrowed when Sangvean Raksaphet had missed a repayment.
Sangvean Raksaphet told the government agency official that the moneylender had demanded 1.5 million baht.
She said that she had been "cheated" by the money lender, reports the Bangkok Post.
The agency official said that he was making a call to the assistant district chief of Khok Samrong, Lop Buri province, about the woman's complaint when the woman poured fuel over herself and set herself alight.
He said he heard her say "why can't you help me?"
Police officers, stationed nearby, transported the woman to the Vijira Hospital after putting out the flames.
Sangvean Raksaphet suffered 50 percent burns to her body and is in the intesive care unit of the hospital.
Prime Minister's Office, Minister ML Panadda Duskul said that the woman's medical bills would be attended to by state agencies.
The Southeast Asian Times

West Papuan separatists arrested in protest
for release of French journalists
French journalists Valentine Bourra, left, 29, Thomas Dandois centre, 40, from Franco-German television channel Arte with an unidentified Indonesian immigration official in Jayapura city in West Papua following their arrest in August
From News Reports:
Jayapura, October 15: Indonesian police dispersed and arrested 17 West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members protesting the arrest of two French Journalists, claiming that the West Papuan separtists did not have a permit for the public protest.
Jayapura police chief, Chief. Alfred Papare said that police had rejected the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) application for a permit to hold a public demonstration that called for the release of the French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested in August.
"The protesters did not have the Surat Tanda Terima Pemberitahuan (STTP) permit ", he said.
He said that police dispersed the protesters and transported the 17 arrested including West Papua National Committee (KNPB) chairman, Agus Kosay and vice chairman Eliaser Anggainggom to the Jayapura police station for further questioning.
Police officers reportedly confiscated banners including the banned Morning Star flag or Bintang Kejora flag of the West Papuan independence movement and a banner that read "The United People of West Papua urge the Indonesian government to release the French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois".
The French journalists were arrested in Wamena on August 5 together with West Papuan, Areki Wanimbo, for filming a documentary on the West Papuan separatist movement for Franco-German television channel Arte TV on a tourist visa.
West Papua Immigration officer, Garda Tampubolon reportedly said that the French journalists face five years jail and a fine of Rp500 million ($46,000)
"It depends on the panel of judges", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Complaint that ANZ Bank profits at the expense of Cambodians lodged with OECD
Kampong Speu province familiesf have lodged a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) claiming that the ANZ bank was complicit in the Phnom Penh Sugar Company's violations of their rights, having profited from a loan agreement with the sugar company
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, October 14: About 650 displaced Kampong Speu province families have filed a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) against The Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, claiming that the bank profited from a loan to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company that resulted in the loss of their land and livelihood, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The 17 page submission reportedly contains a list of breaches that have allegedly been violated under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Inclusive Development International managing director, David Pred said that the ANZ bank should not be allowed to get away with profiting from the "grand theft" of hundreds of poor families' land and livelihoods.
“If ANZ wants to continue advertising itself as an ethical business, then it must divest itself of this ill-gotten gain and use those funds to help the
victims get back on their feet,” he said.
The filing of the complaint follows the protest of about 100 Kompong Speu province family members at the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank in Phnom Penh last week.
The family members say that the ANZ bank financed the sugar plantations and that the plantations would not have been established without the loan from the ANZ bank to Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat, who they say drove them off thier land.
The plantation is owned by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat through his company, the Phnom Penh Sugar Company.
The company holds a 8,343 hectare land concession in Kampong Speu that has been at the centre of land disputes and child labour scandals, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The families first protested the loss of their land at the ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh in August but bank officials said then that the ANZ Bank could not help "resolve the land dispute" saying that "any obligation the bank had ended when the loan for the sugar plantation was repaid in July."
The Southeast Asian Times

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


Search for priceless artworks at Marcos residences to be continued
Former first lady, Imelda Marcos was ordered by the Supreme Court in 2003 to forfeit 150 priceless artworks including La Baignade Au Grand Temps by Pierre Bonnard,Vase of Red Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet, Still Life with Idol by Paul Gauguin, Portrait of the Marquesa de Santa Cruz by Francisco de Goya, L’aube by Joan Miro, and Jardin de Kew press de la Serre 1892 by Camille Pissarro
From News Reports:
Manila, October 13: The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has ordered that the search for 150 priceless artworks including Madonna and Child by Michelangelo and Femme Couche VI by Pablo Picasso allegedly in the possession of the former Philippines first lady, Imelda Marcos, are to be continued.
Chairman of the commission, Andres Bautista ordered a further search of the Marcos family residence and offices following the National Bureau of Investigation failure to seize the artworks in a series of raids on Marcos premises last week.
He said yesterday that the government was acting on the Supreme Court 2003 ruling on the forfeiture of the Marcos family estimated wealth of $10 billion, including $658 million in Swiss bank deposits, priceless artworks and prime realestate abroad.
The Commission's order for the ongoing search for the alleged "stolen" artworks follows the Philippine Corruption Court order on September 30 to seize 150 paintings that the court ruled had been purchased by the Marcos family with illegally acquired public funds during the Ferdinand Marcos rule of the Philippines.
The court order was followed by a series of raids by the National Bureau of Investigation on former first lady Imelda Marccos, her son Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and her daughter, Imee Marcos premises last week.
The National Bureau of Investigation inspectors said that only 15 paintings were seized.
Four were reportedly reproductions and the remainder did not include the 150 priceless art works issued by the court in the "writ of attachment" for the seizure.
The inspectors said that they had been kept waiting for up to an hour before the former first lady Imelda Marcos, 85, allowed them entry. They said that paintings had been removed from the walls prior to the raid and replaced with prints.
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chairman, Andres Bautista said that the Marcos family had been "tipped off" of the court order to seize the 156 priceless artworks allegedly held by the Marcos family at their homes in San Juan City, Fort Bonifacio Global City, office at the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City and the ancestral house in Ilocos Norte.
The Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants- arrested, tortured and executed from 1972 to 1985 in which Ferdinand Marcos ruled by decree and martial law won US$2.7-billion in exemplary damages against the former president’s estate at a hearing in the United States federal court, Hawaii, in 1995.
A "people power" revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, forcing him and his family to flee to Hawaii, where he died in exile in 1989.
The Southeast Asian Times


Protester against swearing in of non- muslim Jakarta governor arrested
The yet to be sworn in Jakarta Governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama , a Protestant of Chinese descent, has instructed police to investigate the "mastermind" behind the protests including the "funder" by the Islam Defender Front (FPI) against the scheduled swearing in of a non muslim
From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 12: Police have arrested Islam Defender Front (FPI) secretary general, Novel Bamu'min for organising a protest at city Hall in central jakarta that turned violent agianst the scheduled swearing in of a non-muslim Jakarta Governor on October 20.
Jakarta Police chief detective, general crimes Sr. Comr. Heru Pranoto said that Novel Bamu'min was detained for questioning as coordinator of the protest against the appointment of Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama , a Protestant of Chinese descent, as governor of Jakarta to replace outgoing Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
The Jakarta Post reports that the protest turned into a riot that left 16 police officers injured and damage to several viehcles.
Police chief detective, general crimes Sr. Comr. Heru Pranoto said that Novel faces a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment if convicted for provoking others to violate laws under Article 160 of the Criminal Code.
General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Husni Kamil Manik said that the ceremony will go ahead despite further threats from the Islam Defender Front (FPI) and the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) of protests at the Legislative Council in Jakarta against the swearing in of Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, a non-muslim, as Jakarta governor.
The Southeast Asian Times

Coast Guard to investigate hijack of Vietnamese oil tanker off Singapore
Nguyen Quyet Thang, captain of oil tanker Sunrise 689, says that ten masked men boarded his ship at sea brandishing guns and swinging knives. “They withdrew on a fishing boat flying the Malaysian flag at the bow and the Vietnamese flag at the stern", he says
From News Reports:
Hanoi, October 11: The Vietnam Coast Guard is investigating the"hijack" of Vietnamese tanker, Sunrise 689, that disappeared from radar on Friday October 3 after leaving Singapore with a crew of 18 onboard and carrying 5,200 tons of diesel, reports Thanh Nien.
The 6000 ton cargo vessel valued at 125 billion dong ($5.9 million) reappeared six days after its disappearance to be towed by two Vietnamese fishing vessels to Vung Tau.
Vietnam’s Coast Guard vice commander rear admiral Ngo Ngoc Thu said that the last known location shown on radar of the cargo ship before its disappearance was close to Indonesian islands known as the "home of hijackers" about 115 nautical miles northeast of Singapore.
"This is the first time a Vietnam cargo ship has gone missing in Southeast Asia", he said.
Sunrise 689 Captain Nguyen Quyet Thang reportedly called the owners of the tanker, Hai Phong Sea Product Shipbuilding Co, saying that "pirates" had stolen the diesel from his ship.
He said that more than ten "pirates" boarded the ship brandishing guns and swinging knives.
Captain Nguyen Quyet Thang also said that the "pirates" destroyed all navigation equipment except for the rudder and compass.
"They ransacked the cabins taking cell phones, tablets, clothes, watches and jewelery.
Two crew members were reportedly injured in a scuffle with the "pirates".
Crew member Pham duc Thanh said that the pirates wore masks to disquise their identities but that they spoke Indonesian.
Captain Nguyen Quyet Thang said that he and his crew had sailed in Southeast Asian waters for "many years" and had met with people from all over the region.
The caption said that the "pirates" took control of the Sunrise 689 and sailed the tanker northeast into Malaysian waters to Cambodia and then towards Vietnam.
He said that the "pirates" met with a tanker at sea where about 1500 tons of the 5,200 tons of diesel was siphoned from the Sunrise 689.
"They intended to take all the oil onboard but they were stopped by a warning that maritime security were searching for the Sunrise", he said.
The International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur reports that the Sunrise 689 was the twelfth "pirated" tanker in Southeast Asian waters since April that has been "hijacked" and released after its oil cargo has been siphoned to a waiting vessel.
The Southeast Asian Times



.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

Can educators from a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world help keep young people out of jail in outback Australia? ..Reporter Chris Ray ..open here


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

 

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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

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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