The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
Darwin Ha Noi Cairns Singapore Derby Bangkok Port Hedland Kuala Lumpur Kununurra Manila Townsville Denpasar HCM City Surabaya Penang Dili Port Moresby Phuket Phnom Penh Jakarta
established 2000
Wednesday 19 June 2019
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

Vietnam opens consulate in Macau
From News Reports:
Hanoi, January 9: Vietnam's Hong Kong Consulate General launched a consulate office in the Macau Special Administrative Region of China on Friday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Consulate General of Hong Kong, Tran Than Huan, said at the launching ceremony that the office aims to better ensure the rights of Vietnamese citizens and tourists in the region.
He said that the consulate office in Macau will provide easier access to information about Vietnam, saying that
it would boost friendship and co-operation between Vietnam and Macau.
The Consulate General said that the office expected to recieve support from local organisations including the Vietnam Fellow Countrymen Friendship Association in Macau.
More than 20,000 Vietnamse are employed as domestic workers, in the service industry at Macau's casino's.
Vietnamese also operate tourist and services companies.
The Southeast Asian Times

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

Hanoi, July 6, 2015: 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 se
nior 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


Read the letters to The Southeast Asian Times...open here

Philippines call on China to recognise jurisdiction over West Philippine Sea

Richard Blaza, left, was employed as a cook onboard the Philippine fishing vessel Gen-Vir 1 when the vessel was allegedly rammed by Chinese flagged fishing vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 in the West Philippine Sea on June 9

From News Reports:
Manila, June 19: Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo called on China to recognise Philippine jurisdiction over the Reed Bank in the disputed West Philippine Sea on Monday after the alleged collision between a Chinese flagged fishing vessel and a Philippines fishing vessel last week, saying that it was a "hit and run," reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Vice President Leni Robredo said that "the Chinese could face trial before the courts" for ramming the Philippines fishing vessel and leaving the crew to drown at sea".
Philippine fishing vessel Gen-Vir 1 with 22 crew onboard sank on June 1 on the Reed Bank in the disputed West Philippine Sea following the alleged collision with the Chinese flagged vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212.
Vice President Leni Robredo describes the collision as a "hit and run" claiming that the Chinese vessel rammed the Philippine fishing vessel
Gen-Vir 1, sinking it and leaving the Filippino crew to drown at sea.
Vice President Leni Robredo claims that the Chinese embassy has acknowledged the collision between the Chinese flagged vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 and the Philippine fishing vessel Gen-Vir 1 on the Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea saying it was "accidental" but denies the abandonment of the Filippino crew.
"The Chinese embassy claims that the Chinese fishing vessel left the area after the sinking of the Philippine fishing vessel because the crew were afraid of being besieged by seven to eight Philippine vessels," she said.
The Chinese embassy reportedly claims that the Chinese vessel did not abandon the Fillipino crew, saying that the vessel did not leave the area until the Filippino crew had been rescued.
The 22 crew onboard the Philippine fishing vessel Gen-Vir were reportedly rescued by a Vietnamese fishing vessel.
In 2013 The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
In 2016 Judges of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of “historic rights”over the South China Sea, with China rejecting the decision saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
The Southeast Asian Times


Hong Kong scraps extradition bill after second mass protest

Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the suspension of the passing of the extradition bill on Sunday

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, June 18: Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has retracted her statement that Hong Kong would not scrap the proposed extradition bill following the second mass protest on Saturday against the passing of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance extradition bill that would see those charged with a criminal offence in Hong Kong sent to the China mainland to face trial, reports the South China Morning Post.
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Sunday that "the government has suspended the proposed passing of the legislative amendment to the extradition bill."
The Chief Executive said that the passing of the extradition bill was suspended "with a view to restoring calmness in society and to avoid injuries, " saying "there is no timetable for restarting the process."
The Chief Executive apologised to the people of Hong Kong for "causing substantial controversies and disputes in society."
"I apologise to the people of Hong Kong and pledge to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements in serving the public," she said.
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at first refused to scrap the Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance proposed extradition bill last week following the first mass protest in Hong Kong streets that included calls from about 3000 lawyers from the Hong Kong Law Society and students to scrap the bill saying that "I will not simply follow orders from Beijing on extradition requests."
The Hong Kong Law Society lawyers called on extensive consultations on the proposed amendments to the extradition bill that was to be passed last week amid fears that political opponents and disidents would be extradited from Hong Kong to the China mainland under the proposed law.
Students from the student-led pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" that brought parts of Hong Kong to a standstill for months in 2014 protested
at the Legislative Council ahead of the hearing on the passing of the proposed extradition that was to be passed last week.
In 2014 the "Umbrella Movement" students protested against the Beijing ruling that Hong Kong would use the "one man one vote" system to elect the Chief Executive in 2017 but from only two or three candidates that would be elected by a nominating committee from Beijing, with students calling on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodians want charges for stopping bulldozer in land dispute with China dropped

The Kuoy community in Cambodia's Tbeng Meanchey district Brame commune Preah Vihear province on December 29, 2014.

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 17: The Kuoy community in Preah Vihear province Tbeng Meanchey district has called on the Preah Vihear Provincial Court that has placed them under court supervision for the alleged illegal detention and confinement of a bulldozer driver in a land dispute with a Chinese company, to drop all charges, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Preah Vihear Provincial Court judge, Chien Sros, ordered the supervision of 10 Kuoy community members and two officials from the non-government organisation, Ponlok Khmer on Wednesday, saying that the investigation into the alleged illegal detention and confinement of the bulldozer driver was completed last month.
Judge Chien Sros said that the Cambodian Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction reports that the land dispute between the Kuoy community and the Chinese company Lan Feng (Cambodia) International Co., Ltd. has been resolved.
The Preah Vihear Provincial Court court charged the Kuoy community members and Ponlok Khmer officials with the illegal detention and confinement of a bulldozer driver in Tbeng Meanchey district Brame commune Preah Vihear province on December 29, 2014 under Article 253 of the Criminal Code.
The Kuoy community members and the Ponlok Khmer officials were charged with the alleged detention and confinement of a bulldozer driver while protesting against the clearance of their land by China company, Lan Feng (Cambodia) International Co., Ltd.
Kuoy community, Toch Kum, claims that the community members did not detain and confine the bulldozer driver, saying that "they stopped the bulldozer from clearing their land."
She claims that the Chinese company, Lan Feng (Cambodia) International Co., Ltd. had encroached on their traditional land, saying that the Cambodian government had granted the Kuoy community land for cultivation in 2011.
"The Kuoy community rightfully own the land and has cultivated it for years," she said.
She claims that the Preah Vihear Provincial Court order requires the Kuoy community members to appear before the court once a month, saying that "the order has restricted our freedom to go about our business."
"The court should drop the charges", she said.
Ponlok Khmer official, Poek Sophorn, said that the Kuoy community should have received compensation for their land instead of charged for the illegal detention and confinement of the bulldozer driver.
"The Chinese Lan Feng company has successfully retained the land for its sugar plantation while the community lost land that belongs to them," he said.
He claims that the Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction report that the land dispute had been solved is unfair, saying that "the land dispute is ongoing".
The Southeast Asian Times


Australian gold miner wants compensation for closure of Thai mine

Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, subsidiary Akara Resources director, Siroj Prasertphon, says that the arbitration judgement would be binding

From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 16: Australian gold miner, Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, is seeking compensation from the Thai government for the closure of its gold mine in Phichit by Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, military commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) two years ago, alledgly causing heavy financial loss to the company.
Kingsgate Consolidated Limited that operated the Chatree gold mine in Phichit, the largest gold mine in Thailand, under the management of its subsidiary Akara Resources, is seeking compensation for the closure of its goldmine under a dispute clause in the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (Tafta).
The Australian gold miner is seeking compensation under the investor dispute clause that allows investor companies to appeal to an extraterritorial tribunal.
Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, subsidiary Akara Resources director, Siroj Prasertphon, said that the Australian gold miner and the Thai government are scheduled to attend an extraterritorial tribunal in Singapore in November, saying that "the judgement will be binding."
The Chatree gold mine in Phichit was closed by Thailand's Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang in January 2017 amid allegations that "the gold mine has caused heavy-metal and cyanide contamination to the environment and caused deteriorating health to thousands of farmers living in the vicinity of the Chatree gold mine.
"Blood and urine testes conducted by Central Institute of Forensic Science, Rangsit University and the Public Health Ministry in order to assess the impact of gold mining in Phichit, Phetchabun and Phitsanulok provinces showed above-standard arsenic and manganese levels in residents living in the vicinity of the Chatree gold mine," he said.
The Thai government stopped the issuance of new mining permits including 107 current gold mining applications, the renewal of existing 33 gold concession licences and 65 Special Prospecting Licences (SPLs) that had been issued to 12 provinces targeted for gold mining following the assessment of the impact of gold mining.
Thai prime minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, military commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) told farmers that no new mining permits would be issued "until all problems are dealt with",
"If the problems cannot be solved the mines would remain closed, he said.
Australian goldminer, Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, said in a statement following the closure of the gold mine that it would appoint a leading international law firm to represent it in arbitration, saying that "the Board of Kingsgate considers that the Company has excellent prospects of successfully recovering very substantial damages against the Kingdom of Thailand, and will vigorously prosecute its claim."
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia and Vietnam agree to UNCLOS in dispute with China

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Hanoi, June 15: Australia and Vietnam agreed in Hanoi on Wednesday, that China's claim to the South China Sea, that is disputed by Vietnam in its claim over the Hoang Sa or Paracel islands and Truong Sa or Spratly archipelago in Vietnam's East Sea, should be settled under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), reports the Vietnam News.
Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Maris Payne, and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh,
agreed that the settlement of disputes in the Vietnam Sea and the South China Sea should be conducted in line with international law, calling for the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) was signed by the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China in 2002 in order to "promote a peaceful, friendly and harmonious environment in the South China Sea between ASEAN and China for the enhancement of peace, stability, economic growth and prosperity in the region."
Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Maris Payne, who was in Vietnam on a two day visit at the invitation of Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh, said that "Australia strongly supports the ASEAN bloc's central role in the evolving architecture."
The Ministers also called for the ten Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China for the early formulation of a practical, effective and comprehensive Code-of-Conduct (CoC) in Vietnam's East Sea and China's South China Sea.
Negotiations between the ten Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea reportedly seeks to prevent the escalation of the dispute over sovereignity of the South China Sea between China and four Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member country claimants,Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.
China claims sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea and has reportedly constructed reefs capable of hosting military aircraft.
In 2016 Vietnam called for all signatories to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) that include ASEAN member states and China to comply with international law following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision that ruled against China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea.
The court in The Hague ruled that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China's President Xi Jinping said following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards, " calling on the European Union to maintain an objective stance and neutrality on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai blogger charged with violation of Lese Majeste law released on bail

Thai blogger Siraphop Kornaroot, 52 , with his daughters on release from the remand section of the Bangkok Klong Prem Prison on Friday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 14: A Thai blogger held in remand at the Bangkok Klong Prem Prison for five years for violation of the Lese Majeste law and the Computor Crime Act was released on bail on Wednesday on charges brought against him by the Bankgok Military Court following the 2014 coup, reports the Bangkok Post.
Blogger, Siraphop Kornaroot, 52, was released from the remand section of the Bangkok Klong Prem Prison on Tuesday on 500,000 baht bail as surety as he prepares for trial for violation of the Lese Majeste law and the Computor Crime Act that carries a 15 year jail term.
Six bail applications that were submitted to the Bangkok Military Court by lawyers and supporters including the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) since his arrest in June 2014 were unsuccessful.
The blogger was arrested for allegedly posting articles and poems, written in the name Rungsira, on his blog that were deemed offensive and insulting to then Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and his family.
He was arrested under the Lese Majeste law and the Computor Crime Act in violation of Article 112 of Thailands Criminal Code in the month after the coup in May 2014 that saw the ousting of the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.
In June 2014 more than 20 Thais charged with violating the Lese Majeste law were ordered to report to military headquarters in Bangkok with Royal Thai Army deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree urging the suspects to comply with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) summons.
He said that those charged with violation of the Lese Majeste law who did not present themselves to the military headquarters in Bangkok would be prosecuted in the Bangkok Military court instead of the Civil Criminal Court.
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Commander and current Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered army security forces to track down the suspected Lese Majeste violators who were reportedly at large in Thailand and who included Jakrapob Penkair, a former minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra government that was ousted in 2006, who was reportedly living in exile in Cambodia.
In May 2014 the Royal Thai Army declared Martial Law under the 1914 Martial Law Act that was followed by the establishment of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that gave Commander and current Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Prayuth Chan-ocha control of all security operations including the Internal Security Operation Command (Isoc), Royal Thai Police Office army, navy, air force, Interior Ministry and relevant government agencies.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysia's Orang Asli drink water contaminated by iron-ore mining

Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry deputy minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji, left, said that a through investigation would be carried out to identify the cause of bacterial infections in the Orang Asli Batek community in Kampung Kuala Goh, Gua Musang Kelantan

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, June 13: The Kelantan State Health Department in north eastern Malaysia has found 29 Orang Asli from the Batek community at Kampung Kuala Koh, Gua Musang suffering from bacterial infections this month following the death of 15 last month allegedly caused by water contaminated from iron-ore mining and plantation chemical runoff, reports the Star.
State Health Department Director Dr Zaini Hussin said that Orang Asli infants, children and adults from the Batek community were being treated for bacterial infections at the Gua Musang hospital in Kelantan.
"The Kelantan State Health Department received reports of bacterial infections in the Batek community on June 4", he said.
The Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (PEKA) president, Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, claims that the deaths of Orang Asli is caused by drinking contaminated water, saying that the deaths could have been prevented if the Kelantan State Government had ordered a stop to iron-ore mining in the area
She claims that the Orang Asli are feeling the impact of a decade of mining and palm oil plantation chemical runoff, saying that "the water used by the Orang Asli is contaminated by iron-ore mining and chemical runoff from palm oil plantations.
"Landclearing has resulted in dwindling food supply," he said.
She claims that 15 Orang Asli from the Batek community at Kampung Kuala Koh, Gua Musang Kelantan state died last month, saying that "only three of the deaths were reported to Police.
"The Orang Asli did not report the deaths to the police because they would have had to walk miles from their village to the police station, " she said.
“So they buried their dead in the forest and did not report them.”
Malaysia's Health Minister, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, said that the ministry is open to the exhumation of the bodies of the 12 Orang Asli reportedly buried in the forest for post-mortem.
"The location of the graves is a problem because the burials were carried out as per local Orang Asli custom, away from their villages deep in the jungle." he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai police to investigate reformer MP for violation of Lese-Majeste law

Future Forward Party's (FFP) Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich, in Parliament last week

From News Reports:
Bangkok. June 12: Thai police have ordered an investigation into the alleged violation of the Lese Majeste law by Future Forward Party's (FFP) Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich, who campaigned in the March general elections on military refom, reports the Bangkok Post.
Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich, is accused of posting a photo on social media including Facebook and Instagram that shows her gesturing towards a portrait of the late Thai King Rama 1X.
Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich claims that the 2010 photo
was "taken for fun on graduation day at Chulalongkorn University", saying that she "believed in the constitutional monarchy."
Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthayo said on Monday that an investigation would determine whether Member of parliament Pannika Wanich posts on social media including Facebook and Instagram violated computer crime and Section 112 of the Criminal Code Lese Majeste law
and if the posts affected national security.
He said that Thailand's Action Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression (Tactics) under the Royal Thai Police Office had ordered the Technology Crime Suppression Division, the Legal Affairs Division and the Special Branch Division of the Royal Thai Police Office to conduct the investigation.
The order to investigate the Future Forward Party (FFP) Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich, for alleged violation of the Lese Majeste law follows allegations made by pro-Royal Thai Armed Forces party, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Member of Parliament, Parina Kraikup on Facebook on Sunday.
Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Member of Parliament, Parina Kraikup, said on Facebook that Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich, had insulted the late King Rama 1X, calling the Future Forward Party (FFP) Member of Parliament, Pannika Wanich, "traitorous scum"
Last week Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha was elected by Members of Parliament and Senators of the House of Representatives as the 29th Prime Minister of Thailand in an overwhelming vote of 500 ahead of newley founded Future Forward Party (FFP) founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit with 244 votes.
The Election Commission (EC) reported after the general elections in March that of the 90 percent of votes counted, 7.5 million went to the pro-military Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha nominated as the single candidate for Prime Minister.
The Pheu Thai Party, associated with fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in 2006, received 7 million votes, with the Future Forward newly founded party that reporteldy campaigned on military reform receiving 5.2 million votes.
The newly founded Future Forward party reportedly "achieved a surprisingly good result given the youth of the party" with 6000 votes counted at one of 6,000 polling stations in Bangkok.
In June 2017 the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR) called on Thailand to bring its Lese Majeste law that criminalizes insults against the monarchy in line with international law with spokesman, Rupert Colville, saying that the UN was "very concerned by the rise in the number of lese majeste prosecutions in Thailand and the severity of the sentencing since the declaration of Martial Law in 2014."
The Southeast Asian Times


Thousands take to Hong Kong streets in protest against extradition bill

Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said "I can reject a rendition order issued by Beijing."

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, June 11: More than a million Hong Kong residents took to the streets including about 3000 lawyers against proposed ammendments to the extradition bill that could see those charged with a criminal offence in Hong Kong sent to the China mainland to face trial despite assurance from Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, saying "I will not simply follow orders from Beijing on extradition requests", reports the South China Morning Post.
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said that "no surrender will be considered for a political offence or if the purported charges are in fact on account of race, religion, nationality or political opinions."
The Chief Executive of Hong Kong said that "worries about undermining the rule of law and effecting business were unfounded"following the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China's call to withdraw the amended Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance extradition bill.
The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China reportedly feared that the amended extradition bill could lead to the rendition of foreign business represenatives and activists to the mainland, worsening US-Hong Kong relations.
The protest against the proposed extradition bill that began with the protest march of about 3000 Hong Kong lawyers and legal workers on Thursday was following by a mass protest that included business representatives, foreign diplomats, lawyers, academics and thousands of students on Sunday.
The Hong Kong Law Society called on extensive consultations on the amended Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance that is to be passed tomorrow amid fears that political opponents and disidents could be extradited under the proposed law.
Police clashed with students when the permit for the protest march expired at midnight on Sunday as thousands of students attempted a sit-in outside Hong Kong’s legislative council, demanding a meeting with Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
Police ordered students to disperse, using batons, pepper spray and tear gas, including students from the student-led pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" that brought parts of Hong Kong to a standstill for months in 2014.
Student protesters reportedly threw barricades at police on Sunday in their attempt to stand their ground at the Legislative Council ahead of the hearing on the passing of the proposed extradition bill to be held tomorrow.
In 2014 the "Umbrella Movement" students protested against the Beijing ruling that Hong Kong would use the "one man one vote" system to elect the Chief Executive in 2017 but from only two or three candidates that would be elected by a nominating committee from Beijing, with students calling on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections.
The Southeast Asian Times


PNG Council of Churches wants government department for religion

Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) General secretary Rev Roger Joseph wants a separate department for religion in new government

From News Reports:
Port Moresby, June 10: The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) has called on newly elected Prime Minister James Marape to establish a separate department for religion in his government, reports the National.
Council of Churches General secretary Rev Roger Joseph claims that having religion as a standalone entity would justify the preamble of the constitution, saying that "the preamble of the constitution declared Papua New Guinea a Christian country."
He said that newly elected Prime Minister James Marape's strong Christian background gave the churches the confidence to trust his leadership.
“We trust that his fear and reverence for God will help maintain justice for all, respect for the rights of all, and ensure integrity for our environment which is the very source of our survival and livelihood,” he said.
General secretary Rev Roger Joseph thanked former Prime Minister Peter O’Neil for his leadership over the past eight years, saying that “the Council of Churches pays tribute to the Alotau Accord that resulted in the decision for religion to come under the Department of Community Development."
The Alotau Accord reportedly set out five priority areas and strategies for the O'Neil government that included economic growth, infrastructure, law and order, education and health.
Prime Minister James Marape was elected Prime Minister in an overwhelming vote of 101 to eight on May 30 after his resignation as Finance Minister in the O'Neil government in April, citing "lack of trust in the Prime Minister."
His resignation was followed by defections from the Peoples National Congress (PNC) ruling party to opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) party including the resignation of Peoples National Congress (PNC) party member, the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Davis Steven, who said that his resignation had nothing to do with "personal differences", saying that "Papua New Guinea's political leadership is weakening state institutions."
He said that the rule of law is at stake in a political environment like Papua New Guinea where the system and process is weak, saying that "the government can easily be undermined or compromised by those who are in control or in leadership."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam secures seat on UN Security Council in landslide vote

Vietnam Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung reaffirmed Vietnam's commitment to become a constructive and responsible member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Friday

From News Reports:
Hanoi, June 9: Vietnam secured a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a landslide vote at the United Nations General Assembly's 73rd session in New York on Friday, with approval from all but one of the 193 voting countries and territories, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam's approval as a temporary member for the 2020-2021 tenure on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is reportedly the largest vote in the history of the United Nations with an almost unanimous vote of 192 from the 193 voting countries and territories.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said that Vietnam is “proud and honoured to be elected.”
"Vietnam would undertake the duties of a Council member to the best of our abilities to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security,” he said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung reportedly reaffirmed Vietnam's commitment to become a constructive and responsible member of the council, at the United Nations headquaters in New York following the "record results" of the vote by the United Nations General Assembly 73rd session.
"Vietnam would strive to live up to the confidence the international community has placed in Vietnam," he said.
He said that Vietnam would focus on the promotion of multilateralism and international law, cooperation between the Council and regional organisations, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding including the protection of civilians during conflicts.
Asean member state Vietnam joins Asean member state Indonesia as a temporary member of the United Nations Security Council in the Asia-Pacific
Vietnam was one of five countries including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Estonia, Niger, Tunisia elected in a secret ballot by the United Nations General Assembly's 73rd session in New York on Friday.
Niger, Tunisia and Viet Nam were reportedly elected unopposed with El Salvador competing with St. Vincent and the Grenadines representing the Latin American and Caribbean group and Romania losing out to Estonia in the East European group.
The Southeast Asian Times

Chinese warships leave Sydney Harbour after four day surprise visit

Chinese warship sails into Sydney Harbour on Monday flying the Australian flag

From News Reports:
Sydney, June 8: A fleet of Chinese warships sailing into Sydney Harbour on Monday came as a surprise to Australians despite Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrision's assurance that the arrival of three Chinese war ships was not a surprise to the Government, saying "we have known about the visit of the Chinese ships to Australia for some time," reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
"It may have been a surprise to others but it certainly wasn't a surprise to the government", he said.
Australian Prime Minister Morrision claims that the visit of three Chinese warships to Sydney is a "reciprocal visit," saying that "Australian naval vessels have visited China."
A People's Liberation Army-Navy frigate, an auxiliary replenishment ship and an amphibious vessel docked at Garden Island Naval Base for a four-day stopover after "a counter drug trafficking operation in the Middle East," he said.
Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific, head of National Security College, professor Rory Medcalf, said that the claim that the Chinese warships were on their way back from the Gulf of Aden was confusing, saying that "Sydney is hardly a convenient stopover."
"The docking of the Chinese warships in Sydney looks like a serious show of presence in the South Pacific", he said.
He said that Chinese naval visits to Australia have more typically been a lone frigate, not a task group with an amphibious assault ship and 700 personnel.
The Australian Defence Force reportedly received a request from China in April for the visit of 730 sailors onboard the three warships, the frigate Xuchang, the auxiliary replenishment ship Luoma Hu and the landing platform dock Kunlun Shan.
"Port visits are conducted by all navies to undertake basic logistics and resupply activities, low-level maintenance and to provide opportunities for crew respite," the Australian Defence Force said in a statement.
HMAS Melbourne reporteldy visited Qingdao in late April for the Chinese Navy's international fleet review.
"The Australian Government is committed to maintaining a long-term constructive relationship with China, founded on shared interests and mutual respect," the Australian Defence Force said in a statement.
The Australian Defence Force Personal Minister, Darren Chester, said ahead of the departure of the Chinese war ships on Friday that the Australian Defence Force would work with the public in explaining the movement of ships around Australia in the future.
"It's a question of making sure we're taking the public into our confidence," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Pro-Royal Thai Armed Forces party PM nominee elected for second term

Pro-Royal Thai Armed Forces party, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) nominee, current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, was elected for a second term on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 7: Prime Minister of Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha was elected as the 29th Prime Minister of Thailand in the House of Represenatatives on Wednesday in an overwhelming vote of 500 ahead of newley founded Future Forward Party (FFP) founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit with 244 votes, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Bangkok Post reports that the election of Prime Minister of Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha who is also commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO) as prime minister was expected.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha reportedly required at least 376 votes of the 750 votes in the House of Representatives of which 250 senators were selected by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO).
The selection by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha of senators is reporteldy stipulated in the 2017 constitution.
A list of 250 senators selected by the commander of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha that has absolute power over executive legislative and judicial decisions under Article 44 of the interim constitution, was presented to Thailand's newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn for endorsement last month.
The Commander in chief of the Royal Thai Army Apirat Kongsompong warned following the election results that saw Prime Minister of Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha win the popular vote, that efforts to overthrow the constitutional monarchy system of government in Thailand would result in division and cause civil war.
The Commander in chief of the Royal Thai Army Apirat Kongsompong urged then that all sides of politics respect the results of the election that saw the pro-Royal Thai Armed Forces party, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) that nominated current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, win the popular vote.
In May 2014 the Royal Thai Army declared martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act on the grounds that ongoing protests between political rivals were a threat to Thailands security and to the safety of life and property, martial law reportedly gave the military authority to intervene during times of crises.
Martial law commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is the current Prime Minister of Thailand, was declared the commander of the Peace Keeping Command Centre (PKCC) that was later replaced by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), on the signing of the Martial Law Act.
The Southeast Asian Times


PM Hun Sen supports Timor Leste's application for Asean membership

Camdodia's Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and Timor-Leste Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares, agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in trade, tourism and education in Phnom Penh on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 6: Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gave his support for Timor-Leste's application to Asean to become the 11th member during the two day visit of Timor-Leste's Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares, to Cambobia this week, reports the Khmer Times.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has previously expressed support for Timor Leste's application to Asean said that Asean needs consensus for Timor Leste to join the regional bloc.
"Timor-Leste has to seek support from other Asean member states," he said.
The Prime Minister said that a fact-finding working group will visit Timor Leste in order to find if Timor Leste is eligible to become an Asean member, saying that he believed that Timor Leste is eligible to join the regional bloc.
"Timor Leste's efforts in the development of human resources should not be overlooked in its application to become an Asean member state", he said.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said in Jakarta last month that Indonesia supports the Timor Leste application to join Asean that was first made in 2011, saying that "Indonesia is one of the Asean members that has consistently supported the Timor Leste application.
"Indonesia's support for Timor Leste is an effort to realize the vision of Asean founding fathers to unite all countries in the region into one organization," he said.
He claimed that becoming a member of Asean is a long process, saying that Timor Leste must meet standards in political, economical, and socio-cultural development.
In March 2011 the then foreign minister of Timor Leste, Zacarias da Costa, said after he formally presented his country's application to join the Southeast Asian grouping Asean to the then rotating chair of Asean, Indonesia, that "Timor Leste was developing very fast."
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was occupied by Indonesia for 24 years from 1975, gaining formal independence in 2002 after winning its freedom in a 1999 UN-backed referendum.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippine President wants military and leadership training for children

Senators, Franklin Drilon, Vicente Sotto, Panfilo Lacson and Juan Miguel Zubiri agree that the Senate requires time to debate the proposed bill that would restore the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program

From News Reports:
Manila, June 5: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent a bill that would immediately restore the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for grades 11 and 12 students in a letter sent to Senate President Vicente Sotto yesterday, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
President Duterte said that "restoring basic military and leadership training for grades 11 and 12 students would reinvigortate their sence of nationalism."
"Nationalism is necessary in defending the state and in promoting the vital role of youth in nation building", he said.
Last month the House of Representatives passed the bill reviving the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) that was previously implementded for students at college level but is now proposed to include students in grades 11 and 12.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri claims that the Senate requires time to thoroughly debate the bill, saying that "these measures will take time to debate."
"In my personal experience, it would be next to impossible unless we close our eyes and just approve in toto these measures", he said.
"I know the Senate would not agree to this," he said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that he agreed with Senate Majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri that not enough time would be given to debate the measures before the adjournment of the 17th congress on June 8.
"The debates would be governed by the rules of the Senate," he said.
Child rights group Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, secretary Eule Rico Bonganay, urged senators to block the bill reviving the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps that would include grade 11 and 12 students.
"The core of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program is militarism," she said.
She claims that the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program develops vulnerable young minds submissive to authorities, saying that "the program discourages criticism which is a complete opposite of patriotism which shall be fueled by young people's love for their fellow citizens, community, and country,"
The mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program was abolished by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who introduced the National Service Training Program (NSTP) in 2002, following the murder of a University of Santo Tomas student after his exposure of alleged corruption in the program.
The Southeast Asian Times

China warns US against interference in claim over Taiwan and South China Sea

US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan and China Defence Minister Wei Fenghe at the three day 18th Shangri-La Dialogue summit held in Singapore

From News Reports:
Singapore, June 4: The three day 18th Shangri-La Dialogue summit held in Singapore that was attended by defence ministers from 50 countries including the 10 ASEAN member states and that included the US vision on Indo-Pacific security, ended on Sunday with China warning the US not to interfere in the reunification of Taiwain and China's claim over the South China Sea, reports the Straits Times
On Friday acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan's meeting with ASEAN defence ministers at the Shangri-La Dialogue reportedly reaffirmed "Washington’s free and open Indo-Pacific policy",
"The US-supported co-operation mechanisms in which ASEAN led and played a central role in a free and open Indo-Pacific policy", he said.
The US Secretary of Defence said that the US was ready to partner with ASEAN to build a region of peace, stability and development, saying that "Washington attached great importance to the freedom of navigation, aviation and trade".
On Sunday China General Wei Fenghe reportedly warned Washington at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore not to interfere in security disputes over Taiwan and the South Chia Sea, saying that "China considers Taiwan a province that must be reunified."
"US moves are seen as a challenge to its sovereignty", he said.
General Wei Fenghe said in his speech that the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs for national unity if anyone dares to split Taiwan from China.
"Any underestimation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) resolve and will is extremely dangerous," he said.
He said that China would strive for the prospects of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but would make no promise to renounce the use of force.
The 18th Shangri-La Dialogue included six plenary sessions on the US vision on Indo-Pacific security; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) security: next steps; Asia’s evolving security order and its challenges; China and international security co-operation; preventing conflicts in contested domains; and ensuring a resilient and stable region.
Special sessions on maritime security, defence, industrial development and defence co-operation were also held at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
The Southeast Asian Times


PM Mahathir to renew license for Australian rare earth refinery

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he will allow Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) rare earth refinery in Malaysia to continue operation despite calls for its radio active waste to be sent back to Australia

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, June 3: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is to allow Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) rare earth refinery in Malaysia to continue operation at its processing plant outside Kuala Lumpur despite calls in March for the refinery to send its radio active waste back to Australia, reports the Star.
Prime Minister Mahathir said that he will allow the Australian owned rare earth refinery in Gebeng industrial zone, Pahang, to keep operating, saying "we think we'll have to renew the license,"
The Prime Minister said, "Malaysia did not want to lose such a large investment" following the announcement that Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) planned to spend A$500mil (RM1.45bil) to increase production.
In March Malaysia's Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Fuziah Salleh, called on Australia's Lynas radio active processing plant in Malaysia to send its radio active waste back to Australia, accusing Lynas of "dilly-dallying."
She accused the proposal put by Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) to conduct a study into Water Leach Purification (WLP) waste for possible thorium radioactive waste extraction a ploy to delay sending the waste to Australia.
"The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (MESTECC) is very clear that there should be no research into water leach purification (WLP) thorium radioactive waste that is produced during the rare earth extraction process," she said.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Ongkili said that Lynas must comply with the conditions of its Temporary Operating Licence that it remove from Malaysia all radio active residue generated by the plant, including all products made from the residue.
The Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board issued a licence to Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) that was not limited to rare earth processing but included radioactive waste processing to process ore in Malaysia in 2011 from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia .
Opposition to the construction of the Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) refinery in Malaysia began in May 2011 with then Kuantan Member of Parliament for the People's Justice Party and now Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Fuziah Salleh, coordinating protests against the proposed plant saying that "thorium radioactive waste would be left behind long after the rare earth from Australia was completely mined".
In December 2012 Lynas called the fourth halt to the sale of its shares in four weeks after four Malaysia government ministers warned the corporation that the licence for its rare-earth processing plant in the Gebeng industrial zone, Pahang, could be revoked if waste generated at the plant was not exported.
“Should Lynas fail to comply with this condition, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board is empowered to suspend or revoke the license and order Lynas to immediately cease operation,” said the four ministers in 2012.
The Southeast Asian Times


President Duterte approves sale of Imelda Marcos jewelery

Former first lady Imelda Marcos, 89, who was the minister of human settlements from 1976 to 1986 and governor of Manila from 1978 to 1984, was convicted of corruption and sentenced to prison but the convictions were quashed by the Supreme Court in 1998

From News Reports:
Manila, June 2: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the sale of jewelery identified as the "Hawaii Collection" valued at about P700
million, part of the alleged illegally acquired wealth of the late former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, directing government agencies to ensure that the Filipino people benefit from the proceeds, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
President Duterte who is reportedly obligated to recover the alleged illegally acquired wealth either by judicial action or compromise settlement under
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Executive Order No.1 issued by former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, said "the proceeds of the sale of the Marcos jewelery must reach the people."
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that President Duterte agreed to the sale of of the Marcos jewelery, identified as the "Hawaii Collection" saying that the jewelery would be sold at auctioned by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG)
"But the president is yet to sign the order to auction the jewelery", he said.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) called on President Duterte to approve the commissions proposal to sell the "Hawaii Collection", one of three jewelery collections held by Imelda Marcos, the widow of the former president, Ferdinand Marcos.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has reportedly advised Finance Secretary Carlos, Dominguez III, and Commission on Audit Chair, Michael Aguinaldo of the proposed sale at auction of the ""Hawaii Collection"
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is also planning to sell Marcos properties reporteldy worth about P336 million and stocks worth P40.35 million.
"The total value of the alleged illegally acquired wealth included in the planned auctions is about P1.081 billion," he said.
The "Hawaii Collection" of 300 pieces of jewelery includes a 25 carat pink diamond believed to have been owned by a Mogul emperor and estimated to be worth about P237 million was seized by the US Bureau of Customs in Hawaii in 1986.
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.
In 1995 the Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants, who were arrested, tortured and executed during the 13 years from 1972 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.
The Federal Court of Hawaii found Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations.
In April 2019 the US federal court ordered the distribution of $13.75 million to thousands of victims of martial law in the Philippines, who won a class action for human rights violations against the estate of the late former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos over objections from the Philippine government.
Lawyers for the victims of martial law said in a joint statement that despite objections from the Philippines Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on the settlement agreement, the US federal court has "the actual and apparent authority to bind the Philippines to the settlement.”
The Southeast Asian Times


Papua New Guinea elects new PM

Former Finance Minister James Marape elected new Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Port Moresby, May 31: The Papua New Guinea parliament elected former Finance Minister James Marape the new Prime Minister in an overwhelming vote of 101 to eight yesterday, reports the National.
Peoples National Congress (PNC) party member and former Finance Minister, James Marape, member for Tari-Pori in New Hela province resigned his position as Finance minister last month citing "lack of trust in the Prime Minister."
His resignation was followed by defections from the Peoples National Congress (PNC) ruling party to opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) party including the resignation of Peoples National Congress (PNC) party member, the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Davis Steven, who said that his resignation had nothing to do with "personal differences", saying that "Papua New Guinea's political leadership is weakening state institutions."
He said that the rule of law is at stake in a political environment like Papua New Guinea where the system and process is weak, saying that "the government can easily be undermined or compromised by those who are in control or in leadership."
On Tuesday Prime Minister Peter O'Neil announced that he had presented his resignation to the Governor General making his announced resignation on Sunday official and avoiding a vote of no confidence from the Peoples National Congress (PNC) ruling party.
Prime Minister Peter O'Neil announced his resignation at a press conference on Sunday after weeks of resisting calls for his resignation from opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) members and after adjourning the parliament for three weeks in an attempt avoid a vote of no confidence
He said on Sunday that he was confident that the Peoples National Congress (PNC) party will maintain the majority when Parliament resumes on Tuesday.
But the Prime Minister Peter O'Neil did not have the numbers and his official resignation was announced on Tuesday by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Job Pomat, who confirmed receipt of the letter of resignation from Governor General effectively making a vacancy in the office of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Peter O'Neil said after announcing his resignation in Parliament on Tuesday that his government had improved and delivered vital services to Papua New Guinea, saying that his government had delivered more infrastructure such as jetties, wharves and airports than any other government.
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O'Neil and President of China Xi Jinping signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Port Moresby during the APEC summit in Novemeber 2018, with Prime Minister Peter O'Neil saying "the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) gives access to capital and infrastructure building capacitiies that we are now developing together with China."
The Southeast Asian Times





MEDIA CHECK
Cambodia-China Journalist Association (CCJA) launched in Phnom Penh ...open here


Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
........open page here



"Goodbye America" says B.A. Hamzah as he calls for Asians to determine their own political destiny in "Time for Asia to set it's own course, minus the U.S."...open here


Is prescribed burning of grasslands in northern Australia out of control? ......Chris Ray reports ... open page here

"Rockefeller and the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi" by Kerry B. Collison "is undoubtedly fictional but by no means improbable, " says Johannes Nugroho ....open page here

Viet Nam is planning to go nuclear by the year 2020.reports
John Loizou
in "Calculating the costs of nuclear energy in Vietnam" ...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


The founder of the Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (Fretilin), Mari Alkatiri, the now former Prime Minister of Timor Leste, after losing the May 12, 2018 election to the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party, led by Xanana Gusmao, has accused the opposition of a coup attempt.
Twelve years ago Mari Alkatiri also accused the opposition of a coup attemp claiming then that the crises that led to his resignation was the result of a conspiracy. "I have no doubt about that" he told Darwin reporter John Loizou in an interview in Dili on 6 November 2006
......open page here

 

Cuba's 302 physicians in East Timor work at five hospitals and remote villages throughout the republic...writes Darwin reporter John Loizou ...open page here

 

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

 

Benedict Anderson, a man without a country, dies in Indonesia Jeet Heer reports.....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

 

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



What they're saying open page here


CLASSIFIED Advertisements click here

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

The Southeast Asian Times cannot be bought




;










































Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
..5,0710
East Timor.
..0.7582
Euro..
0.6794
Hong
sKong..
.5.8808
Indonesia Rupiah
.9,997.47
Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
V
iet Nam Dong..16,849.44

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

3