The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Tuesday 20 November 2017 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

Hanoi, July 6, 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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US calls on Cambodia to undo decision to dissolve opposition party
Jailed opposition leader of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha centre left, and former leader of the party Sam Rainsy, centre right, in Phnom Penh in 2013
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, Tuesday 21: The United States has called on the Hun Sen government to undo the Supreme Courts decision to dissolve the opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), saying that the United States will discontinue funding for the National Election Committes, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
United States Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly said that the United States would "pull" the two-year $1.8 million grant that was announced in April for the National Election Committee (NEC).
“On current course next year’s election will not be legitimate, free, or fair,” she said.
The United States Press Secretary also called on the Hun Sen government, the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), to release jailed CNRP leader Kem Sokha, calling on the ruling party to allow political parties, civil society and the media to “maintain their legitimate activities”.
"The disolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was based on meritless and politicized allegations that it participated in a conspiracy to overthrow the government", she said.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Kem Sokha was arrested on September 3 without a warrant at his Phnom Penh residence and charged with treason.
Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn said then that Kem Sokha had committed a "clear act of treason",
The Foreign Minister said that a 2013 video showed that the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP),Kem Sokha, had received assistance from the US and that the US had told him what to do.
Prime minister Hun Sen said following the Supreme Court verdict that the government supported the decision to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
"The Supreme Court decision was made according to the principle of rule of law," he said.
Prime minister Hun sen called on the Cambodia National Rescue Party's (CNRP) more than 5000 elected officials to defect to his Cambodian People's Party (CPP).
The prime minister said that he welcomed the United States cut to aid to the National Election Committee (NEC). and urged the United States "to cut it all."
"Cutting US aid won't kill the government but will only kill a group of people who serve American policies," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Fugitive Indonesian parliamentarian under police guard in Jakarta hospital
Fugitive House of Representatives speaker and Golkar chairman Setya Novanto under armed guard at a Jakarta hospital
From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 20: House of Representatives speaker, Setya Novanto, who was named a suspect in July in the investigation into the loss of Rp2.3 trillion to the state from the procurement of e-ID cards is under police guard in a Jakarta hospital after his arrest on Thursday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Parliamentarian, Setya Novanto was admitted to hospital for treatment for injuries suffered in a car accident on Thursday in South Jakarta after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) declared the House of Representatives speaker and former Golkar party chairman, a fugitive.
The parliamentarian, who was on the Indonesian police-wanted list had reportedly avoided arrest in a raid conducted by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and police on his Jakarta residence on Wednesday.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman, Febri Diansyah, said that further treatment for his injuries was required.
"Setya Novanto will remain in hospital under KPK and armed guard for the time being", he said.
The Indonesia Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said in July that House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto was "suspected of having a key role in setting the budget for the procurement of the electronic identity cards between 2011and 2012."
The budget was split with 51 percent or Rp2.662 trillion used for the procurement of the e-ID card and the balance was embezzled and devided between senior officials of the Home Affairs Ministry and lawmakers of the Commission II of DPR.
House of Representatives speaker, Setya Novanto received Rp574.2 billion from the division of the budget allocated for the procurement of the e-ID cards.
He is believed to have awarded the tender for the procurement of the e-ID card to businessman, Andi Agustinus, who has reportedly admitted to paying lawlers and senior officials at the Home Affairs Ministry in order to secure the tender for the procurement of the e-ID tender.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) found in July that there was sufficient preliminary evidence to charge Setya Novanto under article 2 paragraph (1) of Law No.31/1999 as amended by Law No. 20/2001 on corruption eradication adj. article 55 paragraph (1) of the Penal Code.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysian woman sentenced to 75 years imprisonment, escapes canning
A Malaysian mother has been sentenced to 75 years imprisonment after pleading guilty for forcing her two daughters into prostitution
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, November 19: A Johor Baru court sentenced a 39 year old unidentified single mother, who escaped canning, to 75 years imprisonment for forcing her two aged 10 and 13 year old unidentified daughters into prostitution, reports the New Straits Times.
The single mother pleaded guilty to 10 offences under Section 31(1)(b) of the Child Act and Section 16(1) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.
Judge Kamarudin Kamsun sentenced the single mother to 15 years in jail for each of the offences.
But her sentence was reduced by half to 75 years after the court ordered that the sentences be served concurre3ntly.
In sentencing, Judge Kamarudin Kamsun said the offences were of a serious nature, saying that the sentence should serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders.
The single mother was arrested on October 25 at Taman Bintang in Senai following information provided to police that her two daughters were forced into prostitution.
Sarawak CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Dev Kumar said that a village headman or ketua kampung brought the younger daughter to the police station after he learnt that she was working as a prostitute.
"The girl said she was forced by her own mother into prostitution" he said.
The single mother receivied up to RM50 for each of her daughters for a session at a budget hotel in Larken Perdana in Kuala Lumpur that is frequented by foreigners.The single mother pleaded guilty to the offences as charged that were reportedly committed on October 1 and October 4 to October 7.
Her two daughters were sent to the Sultanah Aminah hospital for medical examinations and were later placed under the care of the Welfare Department.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines agree to talks with China over South China Sea
From News Reports:
Manila, November 18: The Philippines has agreed to bilateral talks with China towards a peaceful resolution of China's claim over the West Philippine Sea at the 20th ASEAN-China Summit held during the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila last week, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
A joint statement issued by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping says that the Philippines and China agree to maintain peace and the freedom of navigation and flight over the South China Sea.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly agreed to bilateral talks with China over the maritime dispute of the West Philippine Sea, setting a precedent for three other Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member country claimants.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including areas claimed by Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) members countries Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Philippine presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, said that president Duterte wants bilateral talks rather than multilateral talks in resolving the dispute between China and the Philippines.
"President Duterte has been consistant in his preference for bilateral talks to resolve the dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea", he said.
Presidential spokeman, Harry Roque, says that China insists that disputes over the South China Sea should be dealt with bilaterally.
"China says that claimants should deal directly with Beijing and not a third party", he said.
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.
China rejected the Hague ruling, saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
China reportedly claims that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said 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.
The Southeast Asian Times
RCEP's ASEAN members fail to reach agreement with dialogue partner members
Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTIP) trade undersecretary, Ceferino Rodolfo, said that the Philippines considered its 2017 ASEAN chairmanship a “tremendous success,” despite the failure of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership's (RCEP's) ASEAN member countries to reach agreement with its dialogue partner countries
From News Reports
Manila, November 17: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) 16 member countries failed to reach agreement at its inaugral meeting held in Manila at the 31st ASEAN Summit this week, reports the Philippine Star.
Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTIP) trade undersecretary, Ceferino Rodolfo, said that "contentious issues remain unresolved" with out identifying the "issues"
He said thatt "contentious issues remain unresolved" between the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries and the 6 ASEAN dialogue partners.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countriesc includes the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and six dialogue partners, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that was established at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2012 summit in Cambodia was reportedly established as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In January 2017 the United States withdrew from the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that includes Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
In June 2015 Thailands former World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Supachai Panitchpakdi reportedly urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to focus on the Regional Cooperation on Economic Partnership (RCEP) that recognises ASEAN centrality.
He said that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) should not allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to disintegrate the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a political tool used by the United States to maintain power in the Asia-Pacific in order to arrest the increasing influence of China," he said.
Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTIP) trade undersecretary, Ceferino Rodolfo, said at ihe Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting at the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila this week, that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a "work in progress."
The Southeast Asian Times

China to begin bilateral negotiations with South China Sea claimnants at ASEAN-China summit
China Premier Li Keqiang assured Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the 20th ASEAN-China Summit held in the Philippines this week that China was not ready to go to war with anyone over the South China Sea
From News Reports:
Manila, November 16: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said ahead of the 20th ASEAN-China Summit held at the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila this week that China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, reports Philippine Inquirer.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and dialogue partner, China, reportedly began negotiation on the maritime Code-of-Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea on Monday in order to prevent the escalation of the maritime dispute between four Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China.
China's claim over the South China Sea is contested by Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.
China Premier Li Keqiang said "China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and resolving territorial and maritime rights disputes with parties directly involved through negotiations and in a peaceful manner.
"Such a stance would never change," he said.
The premier said that China expects to work with ASEAN member countries in order to effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and to move forward on negotiations on Code-of-Conduct (CoC)
"We hope that all parties will strive to adopt the Code-of-Conduct (CoC) at an early date on the basis of consensus and make the Code-of-Conduct (CoC) a stabilizer of peace in the South China Sea," he said.
In August the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries and China adopted a framework for a Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea at a Ministerial meeting in the Philippines.
"This framework epitomizes the consensus on the Code-of-Conduct (CoC) key elements reached by all parties and is an important outcome of their consultations already carried out," said premier Li Keqiang
The negotiations on the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea in Manila that began on Monday follow the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruling in July 2016 that ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea.
China rejected the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling, saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
China reportedly claims that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said ahead of the ruling 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.
Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said that as the Philippines is the country coordinator 20th ASEAN-China Summit "the Philippines will take a lead role in steering the negotiation for the Coc."
The Southeast Asian Times

ASEAN and China begin negotiations on Code-of-Conduct in South China Sea
From News Reports:
Manila, November 15: the Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China began negotiations on the maritime Code-of-Conduct (CoC) at the 20th ASEAN-China Summit held during the two day 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, reports Philippine Inquirer.
Negotiations between the ten Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea reportedly seeks to prevent the escalation of the maritime dispute between four Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China.
China's claim over the South China Sea is contested by Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The Philippines first proposed a Code of Conduct (COC) in 1997 but it was not adopted by ASEAN and China.
Instead in 2002 the Philippines steered the adoption of a nonbinding Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), calling on the claimnants including China to exercise “self-restraint”
The negotiations this week on the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea in Manila this week follow the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruling in July 2016 that ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea.
China rejected the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling, saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
China reportedly claims that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said ahead of the ruling 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.
Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said that as the Philippines is the country coordinator 20th ASEAN-China Summit "the Philippines will take a lead role in steering the negotiation for the Coc."
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippines call on ASEAN independence from US and China militarism
U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the gala dinner held in Manila on Sunday in celebration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 50th anniversary at the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila on Sunday
From News Reports:
Manila, November 14: Philippine protesters called for military independence for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) from both the United Sates and China at the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila on Sunday, reports Philippine Inquirer.
About 800 Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) protested the US military influence in the Phillipines at a location 10 kilometers away from Clark International Airport, as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member country heads of state and dialogue-partner countries including the United States and China arrived for the 31st ASEAN Summit to be held in Manila.
Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) national secretary general, spokeswoman Lawyer Virginia Lacsa-Suarez said that the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should not take the side of the United States or China.
She said that the United States had not backtracked from its Asia-Pacific policy as reflected by the deployment of 60 percent of its naval and air power in the Southeast Asian region.
"China’s strengthening of its military power was also creating worries among Asian states", she said.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) central Luzon chair, Roman Polintan, said that his group protested the intensification of neoliberal policies at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits.
He said that the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) protested against the plunder of resources in ancestral lands and the conversion of productive land into mega cities and the construction of highways and large military complexes
More than 600 policemen carrying iron shields and wielding wooden batons held positions at the the main gate of the Clark International Airport as dignatories from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and from dialogue-partner countries, China, Russia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand arrived to attent the 31st ASEAN Summit.
The Southeast Asian Times

US president Trump in praise of Vietnam's economic development
From News Reports:
Hanoi, November 13: US president Donald Trump said at a state banquet held in Vietnam following the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that ended in Danang on Saturday that "Vietnam was one of the great miracles of the world." reports the Associated Press.
US president Trump said that "there is nothing more impressive than the success of a country."
"Vietnam really is something to behold," he said.
The introduction of Doi Moi in 1986 at the 6th Congress of the Vietnam Communist Party in Hanoi was a historical moment in Vietnam's political and socio-economic history.
Vienam's economic association with the former Soviet Union and the socialist mode of production ended with the introduction of Doi Moi.
The focus on economic development rather than on war strategy began in 1986 with Doi Moi and with it came the shift to a market economy.
US president Donald Trump will be in the Phillippines today where the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are to begin negotiations with China for a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
Four ASEAN member countries Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei are in a maritime dispute with China over China's claim over the South China Sea.
The Southeast Asian Times

Signing of TPP agreement cancelled at APEC summit in Vietnam
From News reports
Hanoi, November 12: The signing ceremony for agreement between the eleven Pacific Rim member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP-11) to be held at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that ended in Danung yesterday, was cancelled following the non attendence of member country Canada, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Consensus on the trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia was reportedly not reached over several outstanding "trade issues," reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) could not be reached because several outstanding trade issues could not be resolved.
“Member countries failed to reach consensus on TPP-11 and the signing ceremony could not take place as expected,” he said.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11signing ceremony was reportedly cancelled because Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, did not attend the signing ceremony as scheduled.
Canada’s Office of Ministry of International Trade spokesman, Pierre-Olivier Herbert, said that there were oustanding issues for more than one TPP-11 member country including Canada that had yet to be resolved.
"We are working hard to maintain Canadian jobs in important industries such as automotive, agriculture, culture, and intellectual property,” he said.
In February 2016 the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), believed to be the largest trade agreement in history, was signed in New Zealand after five years of negotiations amid protests.
The then US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed in Auckland by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.
Ministers representing the then 12 countries said in a joint statement that the TPP "will set a new standard for trade and investment in one of the world fastest growing and most dynamic regions".
The trade agreement between the then 12 Pacific rim countries was the expected to provide improved access for goods and services to more than 800 million across the TPP countries that make up 36 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
In January 2017 the new United States administration announced its trade strategy, saying that it would start with the US withdrawal from the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that includes ASEAN member countries Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The White House said in a statement that US president Donald Trump was committed to renegotiating a trade deal with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The Southeast Asian Times

APEC reaffirms role as driver of economic growth and intergration
The 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting, under the chairmanship of the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and the Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, came to an end in Danang on Thursday
From News Reports:
Hanoi, November 11: The 29th Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit that began in Danang on Monday
ended on Thursday with reaffirmation of the forums role as the driver for economic growth and economic intergration in the region, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Avezedo who attended the meeting in Vietnam reaffirmed their commitment to "sustaining momentum on regional cooperation."
The ministers reinforced the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) role as the premier regional economic forum and upheld APEC’s ability to adapt, transform and provide leadership in the region.
The ministers emphasised the need for continued efforts in emergency preparedness and disaster management and building resilience for the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 21 economies.
The ministers stressed the importance of capacity building to further enhance the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 21 economies’ ability to participate in Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
APEC ministers reportedly welcomed the APEC member economies’ efforts to implement the Lima Declaration and Plan of Action on Industrial Development and Co-operation, 1975 on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
The Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting ended with the endorsement of the “APEC Towards 2020 and Beyond” paper that helps prepare APEC to enter its fourth decade of development and to achieve the Bogor Goals for realizing free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific by 2020.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency officers arrested for bribery
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, November 10: Five Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers based in Kota Kinabalu and Sarawak were in police custody on Monday following their arrest for accepting bribes from illegal foreign fishermen, reports the New Straits Times.
Remand orders were obtained from the Kota Kinabalu magistrates Court by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for logistics deputy director, 45, investigation officer, 53, an Able Rate personnel, 39, and two others, both in their 50's.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) prosecuting officer,
Mohd Faliq Basiruddin, said that three of the five officers were detained for six days for suspected involvement in a racket to allow foreign fishing vessels to enter Sabah waters.
He said that the other two Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers, were detained for five days in Sarawak for questioning about the increasing number of foreign fishermen in Sarawak waters.
"All five officers will be investigated under Section 17 (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act for soliciting or receiving gratification," he said.
The Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers in detention are reportedly five of 10 officers who were arrested at several locations in Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang and Terengganu on Monday.
The Southeast Asian Times

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

 

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

 

What they're saying open page here

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com




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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
..5,0710
East Timor.
..0.7582
Euro..
0.6794
Hong
sKong..
.5.8808
Indonesia Rupiah
.9,997.47
Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
Papua New Guinea
..2.4033
Philippines Peso..
35.3212
Singapore dollar...
1.0308
Thailand...Baht..
26.2521
Viet
Nam
Dong..16,849.44

Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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


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