The Southeast Asian Times
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established 2000
Sunday 29 May 2016 
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.

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

Hanoi, July 6: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will visit the United States from July 6 to July 10 at the invitiation of the United States State Department in a "landmark" visit, Rueters reports.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong will meet United States President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Rueters quotes a 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

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Thai farmers sue Australian gold miner for environmental damage under re-drafted Constitution
From News Reports

Bangkok, May 29: Thai farmers are suing Australian gold miner Akara Resources Public Company for damage to their health and the environment in a class action lawsuit made possible by the re-drafted Thai Constition that allows farmers the right to environmental protection and managment of natural resources, reports the Bangkok Post.
About 300 residents who live in the vicinity of the Australian operated Chatree gold mine located north of Bangkok in Pichit province
and including Phetchabun province have demanded compensation of 1.58 million baht each and a 50-million-baht contribution to an environmental clean-up fund.
Lawyer for the claimnants, Phadungsak Thianphairoj, said more farmers are expected to join the class-action suit to claim compensation for medical treatment, deterioration of health and loss of benefits from natural resources.
The Thai Industry Ministery ordered the closure of the Australian operated Chatree gold mine, Akara Resources Public Company, a subsidiary of Australian-based Kingsgate Consolidated earlier this month.
Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang says that the ministry would not issue new gold exploration concessions to Akara Resources Public Company, saying that the closure of the mine by the end of May was due to testes conducted by the Thai Industry Ministry, Central Institute of Forensic Science, Rangsit University and the Public Health Ministry last year that reportedly showed 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."
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 an assessment of the impact of gold mining in January 2015 that showed above-standard arsenic and manganese levels in farmers living in the vicinity of the Chatree gold mine.
The Southeast Asian Times

Survivors of bombed Japanese cities welcome US president
U.S. president Barack Obama lays a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
From News Reports:
Tokyo, May 28: The first serving U.S. president to visit two atom bombed cities in Japan in 71 years was met with the approval of Hibakusha - survivors the atomic bomb - and a welcome from the mayors of the bombed cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reports the Japan Press Service.
U.S. president Barack Obama is the first U.S. serving president to visit the U.S. atom bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Japanese surrendered in August 1945 following the US bombing of Nagasaki.
The US president said that he would honour all who died in the bombing of the Japanese cities but stopped short of an official apology to the survivors.
U.S. president Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his nuclear disarmament agenda, said "we must pursue a world without nuclear weapons."
Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations or Nihon Hidankyo, Secretary General Tanaka Terumi said, that the Confederation has invited President Obama to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to visit the atomic bomb museum to see the horrific damage "with his own eyes".
"I hope he will apologize to the A-bomb survivors ,” he said.
Japanese Communist Party Chairman, Shii Kazuo , said that the U.S. government should change its policy that resists international negotiations to ban nuclear weapons.
"Such a policy change is crucial to help realize “a world without nuclear weapons”, he said.
The Japanese Communist Party Chairman also urged the Japanese government to abstain from speaking for the nuclear weapons states that boycott meetings established by the United Nations General Assembly to discuss laws that would help create “a world without nuclear weapons”
Japan had reportedly abstained in annual U.N. General Assembly meetings for 20 years prior to the UN adoption of resolutions in 2015 that began international negotiations to achieve a total ban on nuclear weapons.
"This policy of the Japanese government is shameful because it is the only nation to have actually been bombed with nuclear weapons," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Proposal to name Soeharto a national hero rejected

Human rights activist, Maria Catarina Sumarsih, 64, protests the naming of Soeharto a national hero at the State Palace in Jakarta
From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 27: Human rights activists in Indonesia have called on the government to reject the proposal to name the late former president Soeharto a national hero, reports the Jakarta Post.
Human rights activist, Maria Catarina Sumarsih, 64, whose son Bernardus Realino Norma Irawan was killed in student protests that demanded the resignation of president Soeharto in Semanggi in 1998, said there would be more losses than benefits for Indonesia in naming Soeharto a national hero.
"By naming the former president a national hero the government would endorse the military authoritarianism that Soeharto upheld during his administration" she said.
Indonesian historians reportedly say that they are outnumbered by the military on the hero selection committee.
They say that the selection committee should be dominated by historians to make sure that the granting of hero status is based on historical facts.
In September 2013 the proposal to rename one of four streets surrounding Jakarta's Merdeka Square from Jalan Madan Merdeka to Jalan Soeharto was rejected.
Historian Muhammad Isa Ansyari rejected the proposal by the government sanctioned, Council of 17', led by former chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Jimly Asshidiqie, to rename the street.
In July 2012 the National Human Rights Commission, or Komnas HAM2026 lodged a report with the Indonesia Attorney General’s Office saying that the 1965 massacre of Communists and their supporters was a gross violation of human rights. The massacre of Communists reportedly proved essential to the rise and 30-year-rule of the Soeharto “New Order” government.
In November 2011 Soeharto was dropped from the government’s list of potential heroes following Gadjah Mada University historian advice to the then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono not to name former president Soeharto a hero until 2014.
“The time is not proper for the government to grant national hero status to Soeharto due to the ongoing polemic within the society over the issue,” said the historian in 2011.
In February 2008 People's Consultative Assembly Speaker Hidayat Nurwahid said that proposals declaring former president Soeharto a national hero should be abandoned while judges were still deciding whether he was corrupt.
"Declaring Soeharto a hero before the decision would be counter to parliamentary Decree 11/1998 that says the government must investigate and prosecute Soeharto, his family, and his cronies for alleged corrupt practices", he said.

Singapore closes Swiss bank over allegations of money laundering with Malaysia
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 26: Singapore has closed Swiss bank BSI AG operations in the city-state following criminal proceedings in Switzerland against the private bank in its transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), reports Rueters.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director, Ravi Menon, said that BSI AG Bank's status as a merchant bank in Singapore had been withdrawn for serious breaches of anti-money laundering rules.
He said that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has referred five former executives of BSI AG Bank to the public prosecutor for possible criminal charges including a suspended executive.and its previous Asia CEO, Hanspeter Brunner.
"BSI AG Bank is the worst case of control lapses and gross misconduct that we have seen in the Singapore financial sector," he said.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in Zurich that Swiss-based BSI AG had committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations through business relationships and transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB),
The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund that was founded by Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in 2009 is being investigated for money-laundering in at least six countries.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began investigation of allegations published in the Wall Street Journal on 2 July 2014 that funds that had allegedly been donated by one of nine sons of the late Saudi king Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board, denied the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) allegations.
The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has reportedly amassed RM42 billion in debts since its establishment six years ago.
The Wall Street Journal reports that US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) was deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak account between 2011 and 2013, more than the US$681 million identified in the initial investigation.
The Southeast Asian Times

US President Obama lifts weapons embargo on Vietnam
U.S. President Barack Obama and Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang at the presidential palace in Hanoi on Monday
From News Reports:
Hanoi, May 25: US President Barack Obama lifted the decades-old US weapons embargo on Vietnam during an official visit to Vi?t Nam this week, reports Thanh Nien.
US President Obama announced the end of the ban on weapon sales to Vietnam at a press conference held in Hanoi on Monday during the three day US official visit to Hanoi and HCMCity.
US President Obama said at the joint press conference attended by Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang that "the United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for about fifty years".
US President Obama said that the decision to lift the weapons sales ban was not based on China's sovereignty claim over the East Vietnam Sea.
"The arms embargo move was not linked to China but on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process towards normalization with Vietnam," he said.
Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang said that lifting the ban on weapon sales to Vietnam "is clear proof that the US and Vietnam have completely normalized relations".
"Vietnam very much appreciates the U.S. decision to completely lift the ban", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

US President in Vietnam to advance bilateral co-operation

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Sunday night

From News Reports:
Hanoi, May 24: The US President Barack Obama official visit to Vi?t Nam this week reportedly aims to advance co-operation with Vietnam as part of the US strategic "re-balance" of the Asia-Pacific.
US President Barack Obama is to hold official meetings in Hanoi and HCMCity on bilateral relations including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) of which Vietnam is a signatory and which has yet to be approved by the US congress.
The US President Barack Obama said at the first US-ASEAN Summit, hosted by the United States in California in February that "US engagement with ASEAN is central to the regions peace and prosperity and "to the shared goal of building a regional order where all nations play by the same rules".
The US President said that the United States that is a Pacific nation, would "re-balance" United States foreign policy and play a larger and long-term role in the Asia-Pacific.

The Southeast Asian Times

US warships in Philippines under co-operation agreement

From News Reports
Manila, May 23: US warships of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) strike group with about 8,500 sailors onboard visited Subic Bay and Manila in the Philippines on Friday and Saturday on a sheduled visit, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The visit over the weekend follows the interception of two Chinese fighter jets by a US military reconnaissance aircraft on a routine patrol in the international airspace over the South China Sea this week.
The US strike group of seven warships reportedly visited the Philippines last month for the US-Philippine Balikatan exersises.
The U.S. sent 6000 Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps personnel to the Philippines to train alongside 5000 Filipino soldiers in April reportedly more than double the number sent to US - Philippine military training last year.
The increased U.S. presence follows the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed between the U.S. and the Philippines in 2015 that expected large numbers of U.S. military personnel to rotate through bases in the Philippines over the next decade.
America’s permanent facilities in the islands closed in 1992 after the Philippine Senate refusal to ratify a treaty extending their lease.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in November last year that the court has jurisdiction to consider the Philippine case against the China claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 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.
The Southeast Asian Times

Tear gas for protesters who want KPK to investivate Jakarta Governor
From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 22: Police fired tear gas at protesters at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta on Friday, saying that the protest turned violent when bottles, stones and other objects were thrown at police, reports the Jakarta Post.
Hundreds of protesters claiming to be members of the Betawi Brotherhood Forum ( FBR ), the North Jakarta Community Alliance
( AMJU ) and the Luar Batang Warriors from North Jakarta called on the Corruption Eradication Commission ( KPK ) on Jl. Rasuna Said in South Jakarta to investigate Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.
Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has reportedly been questioned by the commission as a witness in cases "pertaining to land acquisition and reclamation".
Jakarta Police spokesman Jr. Comr. Awi Setiyoni said "police were forced to fire tear gas as the demonstration turned violent."
He said that violence broke out mid afternoon Friday as protesters held talks with Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)
“While their representatives were in dialogue with the KPK, protestors threw rocks at police officers who guarded the KPK,” he
The protestors had earlier demonstrated at the City Council on Jl. Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta, demanding that the council impeach Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for evicting residents of Kampung Polu in East Jakarta including in Kalijodo, Pasar
Ikan and Akuarium village in North Jakarta.
The call for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigation into Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama
follows the proposed amendment to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law in February
The House of Representatives is reportedly seeking to revise the Corruption Eradication Commission KPK, law that would alter the Commissions methods of conducting investigations
Four proposed amendments to Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) would reportedly mandate the establishment of a supervisory council that would monitor the KPK, give the KPK the authority to terminate investigation warrants in corruption cases, require the KPK to obtain permits to conduct wiretaps and remove its ability to recruit its own investigators.
In May 2015 Indonesian Military (TNI) selected two military personnel to take up the positions of secretary-general and internal supervisor at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) pending amendement to the recruitment that does not allow for the recruitment of Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel as investigators in the KPK.
The Southeast Asian Times

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong signs MoU in Russia
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet ahead of the Asean-Russia Commemorative Summit "Towards Strategic Partnership for the Sake of the Common Good" that began in Sochi in Russia on Thursday
From News Reports:
Singapore, May 21: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) - the regulatory body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU0 , reports the Straits Times.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong signed the agreement between Singapore and Russia that is expected "to pave the way for negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Russia ahead of the ASEAN-Russia summit "Towards Strategic Partnership for the Sake of the Common Good" held in Sochi this week.
The free trade agreement (FTA) between Singapore and the five countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that includes Russia is expected to be completed by 2018 for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Russia.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that a Russian Cultural Centre will open in Singapore in two years in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations with Russia.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that his late father the former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, believed that Russia would play a major role in world affairs.
"I was encouraged to study Russian when I was a teenager," he said.
He said that the late former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, was a board member of the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management and supported the Russia-Singapore Business Forum.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia said that "it is essential that both Asean and Russia seek to improve integration with a view to establishing links between the current large-scale economic projects implemented in the territory of the Asia-Pacific region."
The Russia-ASEAN summit was held in Russia this week rather than in a member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN diologue partnership.
The Southeast Asian Times

Call for immigration reform following ban on Bersih 2.0 chairwoman from leaving Malaysia
From News Reports:

Kuala Lumpur, May 20: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, Bersih 2.0, has called on the Malaysian government to include immigration reform in its call for institutional reform following the ban on its chairwoman by the
Malaysian Immigration Department from leaving Malaysia on Sunday, reports the New Straits Times.
Chairwoman Maria Chin Abdullah of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, Bersih 2.0 that includes 46 civil society organisations,
was barred from leaving Malaysia to receive a human rights award in South Korea on Sunday.
Immigration director general Sakib Kusmi, said that under the ruling that came into force two months ago Malaysians who discredit or ridicule the Government can be barred from travelling overseas for three years.
“Anyone who runs down the Government or ‘memburukkan kerajaan’ in any manner will be barred from going abroad", he said.
The Immigration director general says that those who "disparage" the Government while abroad will also be barred from leaving the country for three years on their return.
"The Government has the discretion to issue, defer or revoke the Malaysian international passport ,” he said.
In September 2015 Bersih 2 chairwoman Maria Chin Abdullah was one of seven summoned by police to assist with their inquiries into the organisation of an alleged illegal protest in Kuala Lumpur that was attended by about 200,000.
Officers of the Classified Investigation Unit under Section 120, 124C and 141 of the Penal Code that includes sedition said that they required an "explanation for the protest" that called for the resignation of prime minister Najib Tun Najib.
The Classified Investigation Unit also summoned the seven Bersih 2 protest organisors to assist them in their enquiries into the case of two women who had "stomped" on a picture of prime minister Najib Tun Razak at the protest.
A statement of intent to move a vote of no confidence against prime minister Najib Tun Razak was signed by Members of Parliament
in the month before the protest following an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police into allegations published in the Wall Street Journal on July 2 that US$700mil (RM2.6bil) was transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is reportedly Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia and Russia sign co-operation agreement on nuclear power
Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen in Gorki in Russia on Tuesday on the 60th anniversary of Russian-Cambodian relations
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 19: Prime minister Hun Sen of Cambodia and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia signed an agreement in the Russian city of Gorki on Tuesday on bilateral military-technical cooperation including the construction of a nuclear power plant in Cambodia, ahead of the two day ASEAN-Russia summit held in Sochi this week, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The agreement that was witnessed by the State Secretary of the Ministry of National Defense of Cambodia, Neang Phat and director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, included an agreement on cooperation in the "peaceful use of nuclear power".
The establishment of a joint Cambodian-Russian working group for "cooperation in the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes and for the establishment of a nuclear power information center in Cambodia" was included in a Memorandum of understand (Mou).
The Russia-ASEAN summit "Towards Strategic Partnership for the Sake of the Common Good" held in Sochi in Russia this week is reportedly expected to adopt a declaration that will lay the basis for an action plan for Russia-ASEAN cooperation in "political, economic and cultural spheres, including security"
Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen said that the summit will contribute to the ASEAN-Russia partnership saying, "we note significant progress in the development of ASEAN-Russia partnership over the past two decades in politics, security, trade, culture and diplomacy."
"Phnom Penh backs the Sochi declaration that is expected to be approved after the summit", he said.
The Russia-ASEAN summit is to be held in Russia this week rather than in a member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN diologue partnership.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesian military arrests Maluku activists for supposed display of communist symbol

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 18: The 1501 Ternate Military Command in north Maluku has arrested four Alliance of Indigenous People (AMAN) activists for wearing a T-shirt with the abbreviation PKI despite the military having no authority to make such arrests, reports the Jakarta Post.
The four arrested, Adlun Fiqri, M. Yunus, Alfajri, Supriadi Sudirman and Radju Drakel, aged between 20 and 25 years reportedly wore T-shirts emblazoned with the abbreviation PKI, that the activists say stood for pecinta kopi Indonesia (PKI) or Indonesian coffee lovers and not for the defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
North Maluku Police chief Brig. Gen. Zulkarnain Adinegara said the men were charged with violating a 1966 People’s Consultative Assembly ( MPR ) decree and the 1999 Law on communism.
The charges reportedly follow President Joko Widodo's directive last week to take legal action against the dissemination of communism, Leninism and Marxism based on a decree of the Temporary People’s Consultative Assembly issued in 1966.
The North Maluku Police have charged two of the men with "disseminating communism, Marxism and Leninism" a violation punishable with up to 12 years in prison.
The four Alliance of Indigenous People ( AMAN ) activists who were detained for two days have been released and are to report to the police twice a week.
The Civil Movement for Democracy ( Gema Demokrasi ) spokesman, Asep Komarudin, said that Indonesian law does not permit the military to be involved in the arrest of civilians.
“Such practices will ruin our legal system and democracy,” he said.
He says that he believes that the "crackdown on communism is systematic" and that he suspects that there was "a secretive institution propelling the crackdown".
Police reportedly released two Indonesians last week for selling German-based trash metal band Kreator T-shirts that were emblazoned with a hammer and sickle in south Jakarta, saying that "no evidence of treason was found".
A Singaporean wearing a red T-shirt bearing the communist hammer and sickle symbol was also arrested last week by Batam City Military Command officers as he entered Batam on the Riau Islands.
In November 2015 Judges of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in The Hague concluded that the Indonesian government was responsible for the 1965-1966 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters.
The judges said that the killings under president Suharto of up to two million Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters had "the political objective of removing the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its sympathizers from the Indonesian political scene".
The Southeast Asian Times

Chris Ray investigates the impact of poisoned water on residents and fishing in Williamtown in the southern Australian state of New South Wales page here

Benedict Anderson, a man without a country, dies in Indonesia. ...Senior editor at the New Republic , Jeet Heer, reports page here


The Southeast Asian Times wishes its readers a happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year with a special thankyou to its treasured letter writers

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

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


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

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

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


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


What they're saying open page here


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

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

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory


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Singapore properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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

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

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

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

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

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

Court for construction
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

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