The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Thursday 23 May 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


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Tear gas fired on protesters against
re election of Indonesian president

Anti-Riot Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in support of losing presidential Muslim candidate Prabowo Subianto at the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 23: Anti-Riot Police fired tear gas on protesters at the General Elections Commission (KPU) headquarters in central Jakarta on Wednesday after the announcement that Christian presidential candidate incumbent President Joko Widodo, had won the elections held on April 17, reports the Jakarta Post.
Supporters of losing Muslim presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto who has refused to concede defeat, had reportedly planned to protest aganst the
General Elections Commission (KPU) announcement on Wednesday.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen M. Iqbal claimed ahead of the anouncement on Wednesday that members of the Jamah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), planned to detonate bombs by remote control at the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta.
He said that the National Police elite anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, had reportedly arrested 29 Jamah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) suspected terrorists in raids in West Java, Central Java, East Java and Lampung ahead of the General Elections Commission (KPU) announcement.
Central Jakarta deputy police chief Dep. Comr. Arie Ardian said that he had ordered the protesters who had started gathering at General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta at mid day on Tuesday to "go home" three times before the Anti-Riot Police fired tear gas into the crowd just after midnight.
"The majority of protesters had gone home by 9.00pm," he said.
He said that the Anti-Riot Police fired tear gas into the more than two hundred protesters who had refused to disperse, saying that "the remaining protesters had provoked police by throwing rocks, glass bottles and firecrackers."
"The protesters had tried to enter the General Elections Commission (KPU) office but failed," he said.
Anti-Riot Police warned residents in the area surrounding the General Elections Commission (KPU) office to stay inside their houses, saying that the protesters had barricaded themselves in alleys in the residental area.
The Mosque Management Organization of the Jakarta Nahdlatul Ulama (LTM PWNU) called on all mosques in Jakarta to deny accommodation to those protesting against the result of the presidential elections that showed that Christian incumbent president Joko Widodo and his running mate Muslim Ma'ruf Amin secured 85 million of the 154.26 million valid votes cast or 55.5 percent, with former Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) General, Prabowo Subianto and his running mate deputy Governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Uno securing 68 million votes or 44.5 percent.
Husni Muhsin, chairman of Jakarta Nahdlatul Ulama (LTM PWNU) that manages about 7,000 mosques in Jakarta said the organization has called on mosque organizers under its supervision not to accommodate participants of the planned mass protest.
"All mosque managers are instructed to reject protesters wanting to stay overnight", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Joko Widodo re elected president of Indonesia for five years

General Elections Commission (KPU) declared incumbent president Joko Widodo lefet, and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin, right, the winners of the presidential and legislative elections held April 17

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 22: The General Elections Commission (KPU) has officially declared incumbent President Joko Widodo the winner of the presidential and legislative elections held last month with losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto rejecting the results claiming vote-rigging, reports the Jakarta Post.
General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Arief Budiman said that the final tally showed that incumbent president Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin secured 85 million of the 154.26 million valid votes cast or 55.5 percent, with former Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) General, Prabowo Subianto and his running mate deputy Governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Uno securing 68 million votes or 44.5 percent.
He said that losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto can challenge the election results at the Constitutional Court within three days of the official announcement of the election results.
"The General Elections Commission (KPU) will officially name Jokowi and Ma’ruf duly elected as president and vice president for the 2019-2024 period on Friday if there is no legal challenge, " he said.
Supporters of losing presidential candidates former Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) General, Prabowo Subianto and his running mate deputy Governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Uno say they will not accept the election results claiming structural, systemic and massive vote rigging.
But the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has rejected the claim of election fraud, saying that presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto had failed to provide evidence.
General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Arief Budiman said that votes from 34 provinces including votes from overseas Indonesians have been counted saying that President Joko Widodo won in Gorontalo, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Bangka Belitung, Bali, West Sulawesi, Yogyakarta, East Kalimantan, Lampung, North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, Central Java, Riau Islands, West Papua, Jakarta, North Sumatra, Maluku and Papua.
Prabowo Subianto won in Bengkulu, South Kalimantan, North Maluku, Jambi, South Sumatra, Banten, Southeast Sulawesi, Aceh, West Nusa Tenggara, West Sumatra, West Java, Riau and South Sulawesi.
East Java Police spokesman Chief Comr. Frans Barung Mangera said on Monday that more than a thousand supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto from Aceh, Riau, Riau Islands, West Sumatra, Lampung and East Kalimantan were stopped from travelling to Jakarta ahead of the General Elections Commission (KPU) scheduled announcement.
Prabowo Subianto supporters were planning to join a mass protest rally against the election results outside the offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.
The Souteast Asian Times

Police warn against protests on results of Indonesian presidential elections

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. M. Iqbal, center, at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday, announced the discovery of an alleged plot by Jamah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) to detonate bombs at the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in Central Jakarta on May 22

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 21: National Police have warned the public to avoid
the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta on Wednesday for the announcement of the results of the presidential elections held last month, following the discovery of an alleged plot by an Islamic State-affiliated group to detonate bombs, reports the Jakarta Globe.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen M. Iqbal said that militants, believed to be members of the Jamah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), planned to detonate several bombs by remote control at the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta tomorrow.
He said that a mass protest by supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Uno was planned at the General Elections Commission (KPU) tomorrow.
"I urge members of the public to avoid the area", he said.
The National Police elite anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, reportedly arrested 29 Jamah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) suspected terrorists in raids in West Java, Central Java, East Java and Lampung this month, saying that seven of those arrested were returnees from Syria.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen M. Iqbal said that police do not want a crowd outside the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta tomorrow for the announcement of the winner of the presidential elections.
He said that police cannot give an assurance that all Jamah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) members have been arrested, saying that "Detachment 88, is continuing its work."
"I urge the public not to stage the planned protest rally on May 22," he said.
About 32,000 Indonesian National Police and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) have been deployed to secure the area surrounding the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta following the planned protest of supporters of presidential candidate Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) General, Prabowo Subianto and deputy Governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Uno.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Viryan Aziz reported in the week after the elections that incumbent president Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin were ahead in the polls with 54.87 percent of the vote against former Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) General, Prabowo Subianto and deputy Governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Uno with 45.13 percent of the popular vote.
The Southeast Asian Times

Australia's conservative Liberal party miraculously wins over Labor centre-left

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the election victory was not about him, or even the Liberal Party, but every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first

From News reports:
Sydney, May 20: Australia's conservative coalition government, the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia, have claimed victory in the Australian federal elections held on Saturday, over the Australian Labor Party in what the leader of the Liberal Party, Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrision, described as a "miracle."
"I have always believed in miracles," said Prime Minister Scott Morrision after the leader of Australian Labor Party, Bill Shorten, conceded defeat.
Pre-election opinion polls had leader of centre-left opposion Australian Labor Party, Bill Shorten ahead in the polls over the conservative coalition government, the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia in the days before the elections held on Saturday.
Exit polls conducted as more that 20 million voters left the polls on Saturday reportedly showed that the Australian Labor Party was ahead of the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia coalition.
But the Australian Election Commision (AEC) delivered an election night result including pre-poll votes showing that the incumbent conservative coalition government, the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia, had won at least 74 seats and the centre-left opposion Australian Labor Party at least 65 seats of the 151 seats in the House of Representatives.
Pre-election opinion pollsters said before the elections that the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia coalition government would lose its bid for a third three-year term and that incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrision would have "one of the shortest tenures as prime minister in the 118 year history of the Australian federation.
Public confidence on an Australian Labor Party victory was shown in the payout by Australian online bookmaker Sportsbet of A$1.3 million (US$900,000) yesterday on bets made ahead of the federal elections on a Labor party win, with Sportsbet saying that "70 percent of wagers had been placed on Labor at odds of $1.16."
Australian Labor Party, leader, Bill Shorten, 52, a former Australian Workers' Union (AWU) leader campaigned on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding medicare to include dental and cancer treatment, increasing school funding and tax reforms that would increase taxes for the "top end of town" or 10 percent of Australian taxpayers including shareholders and property investors who would pay $32 billion over the next four years.
Liberal Party of Australia, leader Scott Morrison, 51, a former tourism marketer, promised lower taxes and argued that the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia, coalition would better manage the economy.
Opposion Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten conceded the election to Liberal Party of Australia leader, Scott Morrision at about 11.30pm on the night of the elections following the Australian Election Commision (AEC) results, saying that he would step down from the Labor leadership.
The Southeast Asian Times


Call for President Duterte to declare Muslim Mindanao elections a failure

Filipinos rally at the coordinated "Black Friday protests" in Legazpi City at the Pinaglabanan Monument against alleged election fraud including red-tagging of candidates in the mid term elections

From News Reports:
Manila, May 19: Filipino's rallied on Friday in coordinated "Black Friday protests" in cities across the Philippines demanding an independent investigation into election fraud in the mid-term elections held on Monday, with protesters in Muslim Mindanao in the southern Philippines calling on President Duterte to declare the elections a failure, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Non-government organisations including youth organisations together with opposition candidates and allies of the former Aquino administration denounced the credibility of the elections in what they decribed as "one of the country's dirtiest elections ever"
The protesters claim that vote buying and the massive number of vote counting machines that malfunctioned in the May 13 mid-term elections had allowed the pro-President Rodrigo Duterte administration senatorial candidates to shut out the opposition.
About 1000 protesters in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur province in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the southern Philippines gathered at Friday prayers to condemn alleged fraud in the elections, calling on President Duerte to intervene and declare the elections in the province including Marawi City a failure.
Losing Marawi City mayoral candidate, lawyer Ramayan Basman, said that her party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, had witnesses who have signed affidavits saying they saw "vote manipulations at the Barangay level."
"We have videos showing that Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) themselves were manipulating votes and also videos showing vote buying,” she said.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman, James Jimenez, urged those with evidence showing vote manipulatons to file a complaint with the commission, saying that "we encourage whoever has information on video to come forward and file a complaint.”
But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) rejected calls to suspend the proclamation of the winning senatorial candidates until allegations of vote counting fraud and vote buying in the mid-term elections have been resolved with spokesman James Jimenez claiming that only 400 to 600 vote counting machines out of 85,000 vote counting machines had malfunctioned during the mid-term elections.
"That number of malfunctioning vote counting machines falls within the acceptable range," he said.
The Philippine Department of Education undersecretary, Alain del Pascua, claims that the department had received reports from polling precincts that 1,333 vote counting machines had malfunctioned on the day of the mid-term elections.
"The number of malfunctioning vote counting machines came from consolidated reports from teachers who served as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) at polling precincts that included schools throughout the Philippines," he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that hundreds of Filipinos were arrested for buying and selling votes, with spokesman Col. Bernard Banac saying that those arrested in cities throughout the Philippines including metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon were either caught red-handed accepting money in exchange for their votes or handing out cash to voters.
The Southeast Asian Times


Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia, dies in Sydney age 89

"Bob Hawke was a great Australian who led and served our country with passion, courage, and an intellectual horsepower that made our country stronger," said current Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, Scott Morrison

From News Reports:
Canberra, May 18: Flags flew at half mast in Australia on Thursday to mourn the death of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, who died at age 89 at his home in Sydney.
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke who led the Australian Labor Party to four consecutive election victories, served as Australia's Prime Minister from 1983-1991, was responsible for the introduction of a new national anthem "Advance Australia Fair" replacing the British national anthem "God Save the Queen".
Current Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, Scott Morrison paid tribute to former Prime Minister Bob Hawke saying, "profoundly Australian, Bob Hawke was a conviction politician who became a political legend.”
He was true to his beliefs in the Labor tradition and defined the politics of his generation and beyond.
We remember him for his unique capacity to speak to all Australians as one - from everyday battlers to business leaders.
“His popularity, coupled with his strong intellect and discipline, achieved many important reforms in the national interest, strongly supported by the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia in opposition at the time.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrision said that former Prime Minister Bob Hawke led one of the most significant governments in Australia's history.
"He modernised Australia’s economy, deregulated the financial system, brokered landmark agreements with the trade unions and implemented Medicare as we know it today," he said.
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke served as president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 1969 to 1980 before becoming prime minister.
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) secretary Sally McManus and president Michele O'Neil described former Prime Minister Bob Hawke as "a hero of the working people", saying that "millions of working people owe their health, prosperity and dignity in retirement to Prime Minister Bob Hawke."
Current leader of the in opposition Australian Labor Party, Bill Shorten, said that as President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Bob Hawke was the champion of unpopular causes including the right of unions to organise and bargain.
He said that Prime Minister Bob Hawke opposed French nuclear testing in the Pacific, the war in Vietnam, Apartheid and defended Nelson Mandela when conservatives branded him a terrorist.
"Bob Hawke was a leader of conviction and a builder of consensus", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippines to go ahead with proclaimation of senatorial candidates

The Philippines Catholic National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez has called for an independent and impartial investigation into allegations of fraud in the mid term elections held on Monday

From News Reports:
Manila, May 17: The Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) has rejected calls to suspend the proclamation of the winning senatorial candidates until the conflicting number of malfunctioning vote counting machines and allegations of vote buying in the mid-term elections held on Monday are resolved, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The Catholic National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) Caritas Philippines, executive secretary, Fr. Edwin Gariguez, urged the
Commission on Elections (Comelec) to call off the upcoming proclamation of senatorial candidates, saying that "Caritas Philippines are calling on the Commission on Elections to suspend the proclamation of winning senatorial candidates until the allegations of fraud are resolved."
"We demand an independent and impartial investigation into the allegations," he said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ruled out the possibility of postponing the proclamation of the winning senatorial candidates, saying that "the allegations are unsubstantiated."
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez said that 400 to 600 vote counting machines out of 85,000 vote counting machines had malfunctioned during the mid-term elections held on Monday, saying that "the number of malfunctioning vote counting machines falls within the acceptable range", he said.
“If an allegation of fraud was enough to suspend a proclamation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) there would never be any proclamations", he said.
He said that if he were losing the elections all he would have to do is to allege fraud "and everything would come to a standstill."
The Philippine Department of Education undersecretary, Alain del Pascua, claims that the department had received reports from polling precincts that 1,333 vote counting machines had malfunctioned on the day of the mid-term elections.
"The number of malfunctioning vote counting machines came from consolidated reports from teachers who served as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) at polling precincts that included schools throughout the Philippines.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that hundreds of Filipinos were arrested for buying and selling votes, the day after the elections with
spokesman Col. Bernard Banac saying that those arrested in cities throughout the Philippines including metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon were either caught red-handed accepting money in exchange for their votes or handing out cash to voters in favor of a candidate.
The Southeast Asian Times

President Duterte declared winner in mid term elections

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday after casting his vote in his hometown of Davao City in Mindanao in the southern Philippines that "vote buying has been an "integral part" of elections in the Philippines
From News Reports:
Manila, Philippines, May 15: The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has declared President Rodrigo Duterte's Philippine Democratic Party-People's Power (PDP-Laban) as the dominant majority party and the Nacionalista Party as the dominant minority party in the May 13 mid-term elections, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) also accredited the Liberal Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, United Nationalist Alliance, Lakas-CMD, Workers and Peasants Party, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, National Unity Party and Aksyong Demokratiko as major political parties.
The political party of presidential daughter Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago and 10 other local political parties have been declared sole major local parties in their respective regions.
The sole major local parties are ARANGKADA in Bulacan, Asenso Manileño Movement in Manila, Bileg Party in Ilocos Sur, Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod in Davao City, KABAKA for National Capital Region, MAKIMAZA in Zambales, Partido Abe Kapampangan in Pampanga, Partido Navoteno, Serbisyo sa Bayan Party in Quezon City and Unang Sigaw in Nueva Ecija.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reports that several criteria including the ability to field candidates from municipal level to senatorial positions and the number of incumbent elected officials belonging to a particular party were considered in its classification.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reports that from 94.26 percent of the votes counted from the 61 million eligible voters on Tuesday, nine of the 12 candidates with the most votes were allied with President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban party or with a coalition supportive of his adminstration.
The Southeast Asian Times


Candidate for mayor in Quezon City arrested for vote buying

Quezon City represenative, Vincent Crisologo and his son lawyer, Frederick William, at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) in Quezon City
From News Reports:
Manila, May 15: Candidate for mayor in Quezon City and his son were arrested ahead of the mid term senatorial and mayoral elections held in the Philipines on Monday for their alleged involement in vote-buying, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Quezon City represenative, Vincent Crisologo and his son, lawyer Frederick William, were arrested following the arrest of a campaigne poll watcher in a raid by Philippine National Police (PNP) Barangay Tor in Quezon City.
Candidate for mayor in Quezon City, Vincent Crisologo, who is running for mayor under Philippine Democratic Party-People's Power (PDP-Laban), the party of President Rodrigo Duterte, against incumbent Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, claims wongful arrest.
He claims that he was arrested as he arrived at Aqueda Street, Road 20 in Barangay Tor in Quezon City after receiving a report that police had raided the premises of his campaigne poll watchers for alleged vote-buying.
"Our rights were not read to us and we were not informed of the nature of the arrest", he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reports that hundreds of Filipinos were arrested for buying and selling votes ahead of the mid-term elections with
60 campaigne poll watchers suspected of vote buying or selling votes arrested in Makati City and a further 52 including senior citizens under investigation at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) office of special operations.
Philippine National Police (PNP) in Makati City raided the San Isidro barangay hall ahead of the elections after receiving a tip that vote buying and vote selling activities were in progress. Police seized seized 820 P500 bills, 19 identification cards, 10 cell phones, lists of voters with addresses and precinct numbers and campaigne leaflets accusing incumbent Makati Mayor Abigail Binay of corruption.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) reports that nine President Rodrigo Duterte allies were poised to win seats in the Senate from intial results taken from 330 of the 85,769 voting precincts nationwide.
The Southeast Asian Times


Hundreds arrested for vote buying
in Philippines mid term elections

Filipinos at the Bautista Elementary School in Dasmarinas City, Cavite, vote to select senators and local officials in the mid term election that is seen as a referendum on President Rodrigo Duterte

From News Reports:
Manila, May 14: The Philippine National Police (PNP) reports that hundreds of Filipinos were arrested for buying and selling votes despite the deployment of 150,000 Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) throughout the Philippines to secure the mid term elections held yesterday, reports the Philippines Inquirer.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said that those arrested in metro Manila, Calabarzon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon and other cities in the Philippines were either caught red-handed accepting money in exchange for their votes or handing out cash to voters in favor of a candidate.
The Philippine Department of the Interior and local government secretary, Eduardo Ano, said that Commission on Election (Comelec) would ensure that 61 million Filipinos were free to exercise their right to vote, saying that thousands of Philippine National Police (PNP) were trained to serve as
Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) at polling precincts throughou the Philippines.
He said that thousands of police trained to serve as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) were deputised by the Commission on Election (Comelec) for poll duty at polling precincts at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), saying that “we do not want to take any chances during the elections on Mindanao."
"The Abu Sayyaf, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other factions still remain a peace and order issue in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM),” he said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said that the military was prepared and ready for the polls, saying that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was tasked with supporting the Philippine National Police (PNP) in securing the polls and to ensure the delivery of election paraphernalia nationwide.
He said that voters in the farthest islands in the country would be able to cast their votes, saying that "the military used ships and aircraft to transport poll paraphernalia"
"Groups that may try to sabotage the democratic exercise will not succeed,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Communist Party of the Philippines urge President Duterte to resume peace talks

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with Philippine Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidates for May13 midterm elections at Philippine Sports Arena in Pasig City on Saturday said that "both he and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and chairman, Jose Maria Sison, had nowhere else to go but hell"

From News Reports:
Manila, May 13: Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and chairman, Jose Maria Sison, urged Philippine President Duterte to resume peace negotiations between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) umbrella organisation the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Sunday in order to "escape the wrath of hell," reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and chairman, Jose Maria Sison, called on President Duterte to work with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New Peoples Army (NPA) in order to respond to the demands of the Filipino people for social, economic and political reforms.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and chairman, Jose Maria Sison, said from the Netherlands where he has been in self-exile for more than three decades that he had "absolutely no intention of accompanying President Duterte to hell" in reponse to President Duterte saying that "both he and Sison had nowhere else to go but hell."
"We won’t be going to heaven" said President Duterte at a Philippine Democratic Party (PDP) meeting in Pasig City on Saturday
"It's really hell for us", he said.
Jose Maria Sison, reportedly said that President Duterte "is destined for historical damnation for treason, tyranny, murder, corruption and swindling."
He said that Presdient Duterte could still save himself from eternal dammnation by reopening the stalled peace talks with the communist rebels.
“I invite Duterte to change course from the direction of hell, mend his ways and resume serious and sincere peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) through duly-authorized negotiating panels within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration,” he said.
In February the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered the the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue a summons on Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and chairman, Jose Maria Sison, in the government's effort to officially declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) armed wing The New People's Army (NPA) a terrorist group.
In December 2018 Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte signed the proclaimation that classifies the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People's Army as terrorists under the Republic Act 10168 and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for the implementation of tactics used by President Suharto in 1965-66 to eliminate communists in Indonesia in eliminating the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New Peoples Army (NPA) in a speech to the 10th Infantry Division Headquarters at Camp General Manuel T. Yan Sr. in Mawab, Compostela Valley Province in Mindanao in the southern Philippines in December.
The President said that he would adopt the late President Suharto's campaign against communism that led to the killing of up to two million Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia bids for observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen shakes hands with members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Koh Pich Exhibition Centre in Phnom Penh on Tuesday

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 12: Cambodia made a bid for observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) formerly the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) at Ramadan celebrations held in Cambodia on Tuesday, attended by the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, reports the Khmer Times.
Prime Minister Hun Sen reportedly said at the Ramadan celebrations held at the Koh Pich Exhibition Centre in Phnom Penh that he wants observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in order to enhance human resources training and open new economic opportunities.
The Prime Minister told more than 4000 members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) including representatives of non-government organisation and members of the diplomatic corp that he would appoint senior minister Othsman Hassan as a special envoy to apply to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for observer status.
The Prime Minister said that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states can help Cambodia by purchasing local products, providing scholarships to students of religion and providing jobs for migrant workers.
He called on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) secretary general, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, to urge member states to buy rice and other goods from Cambodia.
The secretary general, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, said at the Ramadan celebrations hosted by Prime Minister Hun Sen that "the general secretariat will continue to work with the Royal Government of Cambodia to facilitate the application for observer membership in the OIC.”
"The OIC commends the successful Cambodian model of diversity, multiculturalism and coexistence between Muslims and Buddhists in the region," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian parliament calls for investigation into deaths of election officials

Almost 500 polling station officials reportedly died from exhaustion or injuries from a traffic accident during the general elections held throughout Indonesia on 17 April

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 11: The deputy speaker of the Indonesian Parliament has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the deaths of almost 500 polling station officials who reportedly died from exhaustion or injuries from a traffic accident during the general elections held throughout Indonesia last month, calling for the establishment of an investigative team, reports Reuters.
Deputy speaker of parliament, Fahri Hamzah, called for the parliamentary committee on domestic affairs to form an investigate team in order to investigate the deaths of the polling station officials who manned the 800,000 polling stations during the Indonesian 17 April elections.
"There has never been this kind of precedent in election history anywhere in the world," he said.
Indonesia's General Elections Committee (KPU) reports that about 7 million polling station officials manned the about 800,000 polling stations in Indonesia's 25 provinces on election day.
Masnun Binti Abdul Hamid, reportedly said that her husband died after working long hours at a polling station at Bekasi in West Java, saying that he worked all day on election day.
She said that her husband, Abdul Rochim, 40, who had no history of heart disease or high blood pressure, started feeling weak and short of breath two days later, and was taken to hospital but died in intensive care.
Indonesia's General Elections Committee (KPU) commissioner Viryan Aziz announced this week that 456 polling station working committee (KPPS) officers, 91 Elections Supervisory Committee (Bawasu) members, 22 Indonesian National Police and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) died during the elections, with 4,310 reportedly falling ill.
Commissioner Viryan Aziz announced 10 days after the elections that 230 polling station working committee (KPPS) officers died from exhauston or injuries from traffic accidents with 1,671 reportly falling ill.
Commissioner Viryan Aziz announced at the electorial office in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on the day following the elections , that “54 people have died and 32 have fallen ill,
He said that the General Election Commission (KPU) together with the Finance Ministry has agree to pay compensation to the families of the polling station working committees (KPPS) officers including Indonesian National Police and the Indonesian National Armed Forces.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodian farmers ordered to prove ownership of land

Community representatives from Koh Kong province arrive in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to prove ownership of their land at the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planing and Construction

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 10: Cambodia's Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction have called on families in Koh Kong province who have been in a decade long land dispute with China company Union Development Group (UDG) to prove ownership of their land, reports Phnom Penh Post.
Saing Puy, one of 24 community representatives of 77 farmer families from Koh Sdech and Samrong Takeo communities who claim ownership of their land, said that the ministry wants the families to provide proof of ownership of their plots of land.
She claims that the 77 families have been living on plots of land covering almost 150ha in Koh Sdech and Samrong Takeo communities in Kiri Sakor and Botum Sakor districts in Cambodia's Koh Kong province since 1980.
"The ministry has asked me to identify the location of my land and the number of years that I have lived there," she said.
She disputes the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction claim that she and other families have counterfeit land title documents or have grabbed other people’s or state land, saying that she has worked honestly with the ministry.
"I am not a fraud," she said.
In April 2018 Chinese company, Development Group (UDG), warned Cambodian farmers to vacate their land within seven days in order to begin construction of a $3.8 billion tourist complex on Cambodia's south west coast.
The warning by the Development Group (UDG) followed the company's destruction of crops on seven farms in Koh Kong province in Cambodia's Kiri Sakor District on April 3, 2018.
Development Group (UDG) representative, Chieng Lan, reportedly led 20 security and armed personnel with batons and guns including two excavators to destroy farm land in order to begin construction of the tourist complex.
Kiri Sakor District authorities reportedly said then that farmers whose land had been cleared by the Development Group (UDG) had accepted compensation.
But farmer, Peurng Loun, 45, refused compensation for her 2.5 hectares of land in Koh Sdach commune in Kiri Sakor district, saying the the compensation offered by the Development Group (UDG) that had destroyed hundreds of coconuts, mangoes and cashews was not enough.
The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (Lcadho) in Phnom Penh, coordinator, Hour In, said then that the China Company Union Development Group (UDG) was granted about 45,000 hectares of land by the Cambodian government for the development of a toursit complex.
"The land that spans over Kiri Sakor and Botum Sakor districts effects thousands of families," he said.
He said that while some farmers have relocated, others are fighting for fair compensation, saying that "some families who are relatives of the authorities have received compensation of up to $100,000.”
"Compensation offered by the government inter-ministerial committee, led by the Environment Ministry is not tranparent at all," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Reporters released from Myanmar
prison on presidential pardon
Myanmar reporters employed by Rueters, Wa Lone, 32 and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 were released from Insein prison on Tuesday
From News Reports:
Yangon, May 9: Two Myanmar reporters employed by Rueters, who were found guilty of breaching the Burma Official Secrets Act, have been released on a presdential pardon from the Insein prison in Yangon where they have been held in detention since their arrest in December 2017, reports Rueters.
Reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were two of thousands of prisoners who were released from prison last month on a presidential pardon issued by Myanmar President Win Myint in celebration of the Myanmar traditional New Year held in April.
The two reporters were sentenced to seven years in prison in September 2018 with Yangon district judge Ye Lwin, saying that "the court had taken into account the time served since their detention."
Last month the Supreme Court rejected the second and final appeal for the release of the two Myanmar reporters.
The reporters
pleaded not guilty to breaching the Burma Official Secrets Act of 1923, with lawyer for the reporters, Khin Maung Zaw, saying "Our hopes now turn to a presidential pardon."
In January the Supreme Court of Myanmar rejected the first appeal for the release of the reporters with Supreme Court Judge Aung Naing saying that the burden of proof of innocence was on the Myanmar reporters, calling for evidence of their claim of "police-set-up."
The reporters claim they were investigating alleged abuses by Myanmar government security forces against the Muslim Rohingya's in Myanmar's Rakhine State when arrested.
Laywer for the reporters, Khin Maung Zaw, claimed at the trial in April last year that the arrest of the reporters "amounted to entrapment by police."
He said that the reporters had been arrested immediately after they had been handed documents, believed to contain information about "the situation in northern Rakhine" at a meeting in Yangon that was arranged by two police officers.
Myanmar Police Captain, Moe Yan Naing reportedly told the Yangon court during the trial in April that a high ranking police officer had ordered two policemen to meet the Myanmar reporters who were employed by the international news agency, Rueters, and hand over documents believed to contain information that reportedly contravened the Burma Official Secrets Act of 1923.
He told the court that the order to entrap the two Reuters reporters who were found with documents that contained "details of police strength and weapons and the position of security forces in northern Rakhin State", was given by Brig Gen Tin Ko Ko.
"Brig Gen Tin Ko Ko ordered two police officers to hand over secret documents to the two reporters", he said.
He claimed that the meeting between the two Rueters reporters and the two police officers was arranged at a restuarant outside Yangon, saying that a police team intercepted, arresting the reporters with the documents.
The Southeast Asian Times


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

Newly crowned Thai King to endorse senators selected under Article 44

Newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn is to endorse senators selected under Article 44 of the interim constitution on Friday
From News Reports:
Bangkok, May 8: A list of 250 senators selected by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), that has absolute power over executive legislative and judicial decisions under Article 44 of the interim constitution, is to be presented to Thailand's newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn for endorsement on Friday.
Deputy Prmie Minister Wissanu Kreangam said that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has selected 50 senators from the list of candidates in an intra-group selection process, asking the senators to accept the job.
"Some have declined the offers and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is considering those on the reserve list," he said.
He said that those who accept the job of senator must meet constitutional and legal requirements including rules regarding qualifications.
"Senators must not own shares in media organisations or companies that are granted state concessions," he said.
The senators appointed by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and who will reportedly be endorsed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Friday will serve a five year term.
"The senators first task is to join the House of Representatives in voting to select the Prime Minister," he said.
The senators must reportedly be appointed within three days of the endorsement of the results of the March 24 elections by the Election Commsiion (EC) that are expected to be announced today.
"Aspiring senators are required to resign from their current jobs in the government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) before the names can be incuded in the list submitted to King Maha Vajiralongkorn for endorsement on Friday.
Preliminary results from the March 24 elections, the first elections held since 2011 and the first since the last military coup in May 2014, reportedly show that the pro- Royal Thai Armed Forces party, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) that nominated current Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, are ahead in the polls.
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.
Current Prime minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters on 22 May 2014.
The Southeast Asian Times


Memorials held worldwide for Vietnam's General Le Ðuc Anh

Former Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh returns to HCMCity for burial at the the Martyrs’ Cemetery after a memorial ceremony in Hanoi
From News Reports:
Hanoi, May 7: Memorial ceremonies were held in Vietnam with the flying of the flag at half mast at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi and at Vietnamese embassies in ASEAN member countries, Vietnamese embassies in Australia in Britian, France, Saudi Arabia and Morocco on Friday to pay tribute to former Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh who died at age 99 in HCMCity on April 22, reports the Vietnam News.
Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in Hanoi that Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh has made a great contribution to the cause of national liberation and reunification including national construction and defence including in Cambodia.
"We will forever remember him as a close comrade, a talented general, an outstanding leader and a person of righteousness and generosity," he said.
In HCMCity Politburo and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said on behalf of the HCMCity Party Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee, Vietnam Fatherland Front and retired senior Party and State officials that "Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh has left important imprints in the revolutionaly cause of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Vietnamese nation including the historic HCMCity campaign in 1975".
"Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh will be remembered as an excellent leader with great vision in strategic matters who made major contributions to the cause of Ðoi Moi Reform, national development and international relations, he said.
Delegates and representatives from international organisations paid their respects at Vietnamese embassies worldwide including in ASEAN member countries Indonesia, Singapore, laos, Cambodia and Myanmar with the ASEAN Secretariat flying the flag at half-mast at its headquarters in Jakarta.
In Tokyo, former Japanese Ambassador to Viet Nam and Friendship Exchange Council (FEC) Senior Managing Director Hiroyuki Yushita Viroth Sundara visited the embassy to express this condolences.
"The death of former Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh is a great loss to the Vietnamese government and Vietnamese people at home and abroad," said Viroth Sundara.
Representatives from India also paid their respects to the late president.
Representatives from the Philippines, Cuba, Austria, Libya, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Singapore and other diplomatic agencies attended Vietnamese embassies located in Australia in Canberra, Sydney and Perth to pay tribute to Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh.
Vietnamese embassies in Europe including Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland, were also attended by delegates and represenatives who paid tribute to former Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh.
Former Vietnam President and General Le Ðuc Anh who died at age 99 in HCMCity on April 22 is to be buried at the Martyrs Cemetery in HCMCity.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnamese pleads guilty to lesser charge in murder of North Korean

Vietnamese national, Doan Thi Huong, 30, released from prison in Malaysia after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of "causing injury" in the the murder of North Korean Kim Jong Nam at the Kuala Lumpur airport February 13, 2017
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 6: Vietnamese national, Doan Thi Huong, 30, was released from prison in Malaysia on Friday after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of "causing injury" in the murder of half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman, Kim Jong Nam, reports the Star.
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong was charged together with Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, 25, with the murder of Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur in February 2017.
Murder charges against Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah were withdrawn during her trial that ended in March, reportedly without grounds given by the prosecution for the withdrawal.
Both women were accused of applying the banned VX deadly nerve agent to Kim Jong Nam's face at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International airport where the half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman, Kim Jong Nam, was found dead on February, 13 2017,
The trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, that began in Kuala Lumpur in March, ended on Friday with the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court handing down a two year jail term for "causing injury" that was cut due to sentence remissions
The trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong followed the trial of Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, despite the withdrawal of charges against Indonesian national Siti Aisyah and her subsequent release from prison and return to Indonesia.
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong said that she was surprised that the murder charge against the Indonesian national was withdrawn, with her lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik saying that "Huong is entitled to the same kind of consideration as Aisyah.”
Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, maintained her innocence throughout her six month trial, saying that she was recruited by a North Korean at a Kuala Lumpur Hotel in January 2017 to star in a prank for a television show, a month before Kim Jong Nam was found dead after the application of the banned VX deadly nerve agent to his face.
Lawyers for Indonesian national Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong claim that photographs and recordings on mobile phones provide evidence that the women as claimed, believed that they were acting in a prank for a television show at the Kuala Lumpur airport on the day that Kim Jong-nam was found dead from the effects of the banned VX deadly nerve agent, reportedly within 20 minutes of the application of the nerve agent.
The lawyers claim that the women were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and that the prosecution failed to show the women had any intention to kill.
The Southeast Asian Times


Court orders protection of marine environment in West Philippine Sea

Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea is guarded against China's alleged incursion by a contingent of Philippine marines onboard the rusting Navy vessel BRP Sierra Madre that was deliberately run aground by the Philippine Navy in 1999 to mark Philippine territory in the South China Sea
From News Reports:
Manila, May 5: The Supreme Court has ordered the protection and rehabilitation of destroyed marine environment in the West Philippine Sea, in areas that have allegedly been seized by China or surrounded by Chinese vessels, in the writ of Kalikasan that protects the constitutional right to a healthy environment, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Abdiel Fajardo said the issuance of the writ of Kalikasan by the Supreme Court affirmed their position that the three reefs that are all within the Philippines 370-kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), should be protected by Philippine authorities from further environmental degradation.
"This affirms the Philippine position made before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague that the disputed islands fall within the 370-kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines and must therefore be protected by Philippine authorities as required by the Constitution and domestic environmental law,” he said.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) that represents Kalayaan Palawan Farmers and Fisherfolk Association and residents of Sitio Kinabukasan in Cawag Zambales, said that "the Philippine government inaction on the activities of Chinese fishermen in contested areas in the South China Sea violated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, the Philippine Fisheries Code and Presidential Decree No. 1586, which established the Environmental Impact Statement System."
In March this year allegations of crimes against humanity reportedly committed in the South China Sea by China were lodged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague accusing China President Xi Jinping of implementing a systematic plan to control the South China Sea, undermining food and energy security of a number of nations, causing destruction of the environment and depriving thousands of fishermen of their livelihoods.
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 fishing in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), 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 July 2016 the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea that includes the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
The Court in the Hague ruled that Panganiban Reef and Ayungin Shoal, that is guarded by a small Philippine Marines contingent aboard the rusting Navy vessel BRP Sierra Madre and that is surrounded by Chinese vessels, are within the Philippines 370-kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The then United States Assistant Secretary of State, Daniel Russel, reportedly said in Washington that as both Beijing and Manila are signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they are legally bound to abide by the the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision.
China reportedly claimed that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute with China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang saying then that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
"China's position of neither accepting nor participating in the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines remains unchanged," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Filipino's call for regulations on employment contracts on May Day

Thousands of Philippine workers marched on the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila on Wednesday to celebrate Labor Day, torching a giant effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte
From News Reports:
Manila, May 4: More than 8000 Filipino's marched on the Malacanang Presidential Palace on Labour Day calling on the government to outlaw employers who misuse short-term employment contracts, warning Philippine President Duterte that workers would not vote for candidates who did not support regulations on contractualisation in the May13 midterm elections, reporst Agence France Presse.
Workers called for the regulation of contractual employment saying that they recieved less benefits and protection under endo or contractualisation, saying that workers on the temporary work contract are terminated before the contract expires allowing the employer to avoid providing the employee with permanant work and benefits that include Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth, Pagibig housing fund contribution, unpaid leave and 13th Month Pay.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panel said that the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition that includes over 40 of the largest labor unions in the Philippines including May First Labor Movement or the Kilusang Mayo Uno ((KMU) blamed Philippine President Duterte for "various labor problems."
He warned that nationwide protests organised by the May First Labor Movement or the Kilusang Mayo Uno ((KMU) "would scare off investors and lead to job losses."
President Duterte reportedly said on Labor Day that he had called on congress to implement the existing constitutional and statutory provisions against illegal contracting, saying that the passing of the bill "would protect workers rights in security of tenure and self-orgainsation".
The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition official, Rene Magtubo, said that the call on Labor Day for congress to pass the regulation bill on contractualisation was a ploy by President Duterte to "protect his candidates in the May 13 midterm elections from the wrath of disappointed workers.
"The workers will get angry if congress does not pass the bill," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


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


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Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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

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