The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Thursday 15 November 2018 
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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Malaysia's PM censures Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi over Rohingya Muslims at ASEAN Summit

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore on Tuesday

From News Reports:
Singapore, November 15: Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad said at the ASEAN summit held in Singapore this week that Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi was trying to "defend the Indefensible " over alleged atrocities committed by Myanmar's military against Rohingya Muslims, reports Rueters.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said after he delivered a speech on how Myanmar and the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been dealing with the alleged human rights violations against Rohingya muslims, forced to flee Myanmar's Rahine state for Bangladesh, that “It would seem that Aung San Suu Kyi is trying to defend what is indefensible."
"They are actually oppressing these people to the point of killing them, mass killing,” he said.
The United Nations reportedy urged Aung San Suu Kyi, and the ASEAN community to take action against the alleged ongoing military action against the Rohingya Muslims, who Myanmar calls "Bengalis", with United Nations Human Rights Council's Fact-Finding Mission report on Myanmar in October accusing the Myanmar military of "genocidal intent" and that called for its commander-in-chief and five generals to be prosecuted under international law.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi claims that her civilian government should not bear all responsibility for the allegations made by the United Nations because the Myanmar military retains a powerful political role under the constitution.
Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 2015 General elections, is subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar constitution.
In January 2016 the Myanmar Parliament extended the power of the military-controlled Home Affairs Ministry to include the Ministry of Immigration and Population days before the incumbent military-dominated Parliament handed over legislature to the National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
President U Thein Sein who is also the chairman of the military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) reportedly called on the Parliament to combine the Ministry of Immigration and Population and Ministry of Home Affairs in the military drafted constitution that would put the Ministry of Home Affairs, border affairs and defence under military control.
Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir Mohamad who was elected in May declared in September that Malaysia would no longer support Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi over her handling of the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar, saying that "Aung San Suu Kyi does not want to say anything against the action taken by the military against the Rohingyas."
"We make it quite clear that we don't support her anymore," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Amnesty International withdraws award from Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, 70, called for foreign investment in Myanmar at the Asean Business and Investment Summit (Abis) in Singapore on Monday following the European Union (EU) threat to impose trade sanctions on Myanmar last week

From News Reports:
Myanmar, November 14: Amnesty International has withdrawn its Ambassador of Conscience Award from Myanmar State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, 70, for alleged human rights violations against Rohingya muslims forced to flee Myanmar's Rahine state for Bangladesh, reports Rueters.
Amnesty International secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, accused the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, of
"perpetuating human rights abuses by not speaking out about violence against the Rohingya Muslims."
"Our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself, he said.
Amnesty International named, Aung San Suu Kyi as its 2009 Ambassador of Conscience Award recipient while she was under house arrest in Phnom Penh for her opposition to Myanmar's military rule.
National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is no longer under house arrest, won about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 2015 General elections, is subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar constitution.
Amnesty International said that Aung San Suu Kyi had failed to speak out and had "shielded the security forces from accountability" for the violence against the Rohingya, calling it a "shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for".
Amnesty International secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, said that Amnesty International was withdrawing the Ambassador of Conscience Award, saying that Amnesty International was "profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defense of human rights".
Last month Canada's honorary citizenship that was bestowed on Aung San Suu Kyi in 2007 in a unanimous House of Commons resolution
was revoked in a unanimous senate vote for alleged human rights violations against Rohingya muslims forced to flee Myanmar's Rahine state for Bangladesh.
"We need to send a strong signal in Canada and around the world that if you're an accomplice to genocide, you are not welcome here. Certainly not as an honorary Canadian citizen," said Canada's Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar.
The exudus of 700,000 Rohingya Muslims across the Mynmar border to Bangladesh last year follows Myanmar's retaliation including destruction of homes to the assualt on police outposts and military bases by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly carried out assaults on Myanmar police outposts and on a Myanmar military base in northern Rakhine state on August 25 in what the Myanmar government called "extremist terrorist" attacks by Muslim insurgents.
Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) had aimed to "undermine the efforts of the government to find a lasting solution to what Myanmar calls illegal migrants.
Majority Buddhist Myanmar reportedly considers the Muslim Rohingya illegal migrants from Bangladesh calling them "Bengalis" but Bangladesh rejects the Rohingya's, rendering them stateless.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnam calls for acceleration of investigation into corruption
From News Reports:
Hanoi, October 13: Vietnam's Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption has called on government agencies to hasten investigation, prosecution and judgement of outstanding corruption cases at a meeting held in Hanoi on Saturday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption Party General Secretary, President Nguyen Phu Trang, called on government agencies to accelerate the fight against petty corruption, particularly in government administration, saying that "widespread irregularities even on a small scale could erode the people’s trust."
The Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption called for government agencies to hasten investigation in the State-owned Mobile Telecom Services Corporation (MobiFone) purchase of the private multimedia company Audio Visual Global (AVG) with irregularites found at the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) and other offices.
The Government Inspectorate (GI) found that Mobile Telecom Services Corporation (MobiFone) had broken regulations in the acquisition of Audio Visual Global (AVG) by declaring an inaccurate financial position, allegedly leading to State losses of VNDD7 trillion.
The Government Inspectorate (GI) found that Mobile Telecom Services Corporation (MobiFone) was dishonest in its report of the financial position of Audio Visual Global (AVG) to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) during acquisition.
The Government Inspectorate (GI) also found irregularities in valuations provided by consultants and in the examination of the results in the purchase of Audio Visual Global (AVG).
Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption Party General Secretary, President Nguyen Phu Trang, said that the role of assessment agencies was vital to the fight against corruption, saying that "assessors will be examined to see whether they perform their tasks in conformity with the lawt."
"We need to bring to court the transgressions made within the watchdog agencies, at any step of the inspection, so as to uphold stringent discipline,” he said.
In 2008 Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith announced during a two day visit to Hanoi that Australia would provide $500,000 to support a training programme for “25 senior officials to strengthen Viet Nam’s corruption prevention, detection and enforcement efforts.”
Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith who met with Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem in Ha Noi during the visit said that "the support “reflects the key role that the Communist Party plays in anti-corruption policy development and capacity building within government.”
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines ant-corruption court orders arrest of former first lady Imelda Marcos

Former first lady Imelda Marcos, 89,

From News Reports:
Manila, November 12: The Philippines’ anti-corruption court ordered the arrest of former first lady Imelda Marcos, 89, after finding her guilty on seven counts of corruption during the two-decade rule of her husband and former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, reports Rueters.
The court ordered congresswoman, Imelda Marcos, to serve six to 11 years in jail for each of the seven counts of corruption.
The former first lady was charged with seven bank transfers totalling $200 million to Swiss foundations during her term as Manila governor.
Anti-corruption special prosecutor, Ryan Quilala said that the arrest warrant may not be executed immediately because Imelda Marcos can appeal the ruling.
He said that Imelda Marcos can elevate the appeal to the Supreme Court if the former first lady sees grave abuse of discretion in the anti-corruption decision, saying "this is not yet final and executory".
In July 2010, the then newly-elected Nacionalista Party Senator for Ilcocos Norte Province, northwest Luzon, Ferdinand Bong Bong Marcos Jr, son of former first lady Imelda Marcos and former president Ferdinand Marcos, revealed that an estimated US$658 million that his father amassed before it was frozen in Swiss bank deposits had disappeared.
The Swiss government froze the money after Ferdinand Marcos was toppled in a popular revolt in 1986 and transferred it to an escrow account in 1998.
In 1995 the Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants - arrested, tortured and executed during the 13 years from 1972 in which Ferdinand Marcos ruled by decree and martial law won US$2.7-billion in exemplary damages against the former president’s estate at a hearing in the United States federal court, Hawaii.
The Federal Court of Hawaii found Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations.
A "people power" revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, forcing him and his family to flee to Hawaii, where he died in exile in 1989.
His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and is preserved in a refrigerated crypt at his Batac hometown in Ilocos Norte.
The Southeast Asian Times


Muslims want ban on LGBT in Borgor

Muslims called for the Bogor administration to ban the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communty from the city in Bogor after prayers on Friday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 11: Thousands of Muslims called for the Bogor administration to ban the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
communty from the city in a protest at the mayor's office, surrounding the the Bogor Mayor’s office on Jl. Ir H. Djuanda and making speeches, reports Tempo.
The Anti-LGBT Bogor Community Forum, Abdul Halim, said that "until now in Bogor city or any other city in Indonesia, there is no regional administration in Indonesia that has a regulation that bans LGBT."
He said that the protest that began after Friday prayers with a long march from Jl. Raya Tajur to the Bogor city Mayor's office was held as a form of concern over the "rampant activities of the LGBT community in the city."
“LGBT is very contagious and dangerous for the nation’s generations, it can even cause dangerous and contagious diseases, such as HIV and AIDS,” he said.
He said that LGBT people now have the courage to appear as they take refuge behind human rights, saying that "the community must play an active role in refusing them and not giving them any space to keep them from growing."
In February hundreds protested outside the Baiturrahman grand mosque in Banda Aceh after Friday prayers, calling for Aceh to be free from transgenders following police raids on hairdressing salons in the Lhoksukon district of North Aceh.
The North Aceh police reportedly forced the transgender women to shave their heads and to dress as men, saying that parents had claimed that the transgender women had seduced their teenage sons.
In March 2016 Aceh sharia agency banned the employment of transgenders at beauty parlors, saying that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) had a negative influence on youth.
The ban was issued by Aceh Sharia agency to the owners of beauty parlours ordering them not to employ LBGT "or face the revocation of business permits."
The Southeast Asian Times

Australia to counter China's influence in Pacific with infrastructure bank

Australia's prime minister, Scott Morrison and the Papua New Guinea's prime minister, Peter O’Neill, shake hands on a joint naval base on Papuan New Guinea's Manus Island in Sydney last week ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference to be held in Papua New Guinea next week

From News Reports:
Canberra, November 10: Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is to establish a $2 billion infrastructure development bank for investment in the Pacific in order to counter China's rising influence in the Asia Pacific, with the Prime Minister saying that he wants Australia to be the first port of call for Pacific nations, reports the Australian Associated Press.
The Australian Prime Minister said ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference to be held in Papua New Guinea next week that "the $2 billion infrastructure initiative will significantly boost Australia's support for infrastructure development in Pacific countries including Timor Leste."
He said that the establishment of an Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific will provide grant funding combined with long term loans in order to support high priority infrastructure development in energy, communications, transport and water.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, pledged to open diplomatic missions in Palau, the Marshal Islands, French Polynesia, Niue and the Cook Islands and to strengthen defence cooperation in the region.
"This will mean Australia is represented in every member country of the Pacific Islands Forum," he said.
Prime Minister Morrison's announcement this week to increase support for infrastructure development in the Pacific in order to counter China's One Belt One Road infrastructure development investment strategy reportedly follows the the Prime Minister's rebuke of the Victorian state government for going ahead with an agreement with China's One Belt One Road initiative without consultation with the government.
Australia is reportedly not included in the 68 countries that include New Zealand that have signed up to the Chinese One Belt One Road infrastructure development bank and is working with the United States, India and Japan to establish an alternative scheme.
Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said that Australia was “returning the Pacific to where it should be – front and center of Australia’s strategic outlook, foreign policy and personal connections.”
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia's Northern Territory to bolster co-operation with Vietnam

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory in Australia Michael Gunner and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Bình Minh in Hanoi on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Hanoi, November 9: Chief Minister of the Northern Territory in Australia, Michael Gunner, said that the Northern Territory "stood ready to bolster co-operation in trade, investment, and education with Vietnam," at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) in Hanoi on Wednesday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory in Australia, Michael Gunner, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce (NTCC), with the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, saying that "the Northern Territory would consider cooperation in transport and tourism with Vietnam,"
He said that the Northern Territory would facilitate conditions for low-cost Vietjet Air to open an air route to the city of Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.
The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory welcomed Vietnam's corporations including Vingroup and TH True Milk to invest in the Northern Territory in husbandry, plantation and tourism.
Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh, called on the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory to provide scholarships for Vietnamese students in the Northern Territory Government's “Study in Australia’s Northern Territory” (StudyNT) programme at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (Mou), saying that "Vietnam is interested in the development of high-tech agriculture, in human resources training, and in science-technology."
The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner and government delegates attended working sessions with Vietnam's Minister of Education Phung Xuan Nha, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong, and business representatives in trade, agriculture, education, and transport during the three day visit to Vietnam this week.
The Southeast Asian Times


CPP rejects 'wipe out' claim made by Philippine government
From News Reports:
Manila, November 8: Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, Jose Maria Sison, has rejected Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana claim that the Philippine government Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was "on track to wipe out the New People's Army (NPA) rebels by mid 2019, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Jose Maria Sison said from exile in the Netherlands that Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana's figures of the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was incorrect.
"Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana does not know his arithmetic", he said.
Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday that recent victories of government forces, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), against the insurgents "would lead to the end of the communist insurgency by the second quarter of 2019."
The Philippine Defence secretary says that the records of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Peace and Development Office show that 3,443 rebels have surrendered with 1,162 insurgents either arrested or killed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has cleared 210 barangays of New People's Army (NPA) influence and has dismantled three guerrilla fronts", he said.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, Jose Maria Sison, claims that the total number of New People's Army (NPA) rebels are far beyond that claimed by Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
"The total number of armed New People's Army (NPA) rebels are far beyond 5,000 in more than 110 guerrilla fronts in 73 provinces are intact, alive and kicking," he said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, Jose Maria Sison, reportedly claimed last month that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte intends to declare martial law nationwide in January 2019 in order to ensure that "the Duterte administration control and determine the results of the elections.”
“Duterte himself and his innermost cabal are hell-bent on ensuring their stay in power through a presidential proclamation of martial law nationwide before the May 2019 midterm elections, ” he said.
In June 2017 Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a revolutionary organization that represents the Mindanao fight for autonomy, and the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), to fight alongside government Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) security forces against Maute Abu Sayyaf ISIS militants in Marawi City in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines.
The declaration of martial law over Muslim Mindanao followed the occupation of the city with President Duterte saying then that "the proclamation will last 60 days."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam and China agree to stepping up defence collaboration

Vietnam Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich and China's vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, Xu Quiliang in Beijing last week

From News Reports:
Beijing, November 7: Vietnam's Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission, General Ngo Xuan Lich and China's vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xu Quiliang, agreed that defence is the pillar of the Vietnam and China relationship , saying that "collaboration should be stepped up" at the eighth Beijing Xiangshan Forum, held in Beijing last week, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam's General Ngo Xuan Lich, who led the Vietnamese military delegation to the forum, at the invitation of China's State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, said that "collaboration in defence is an important pillar of Vietnam-China relations."
Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, Xu Quiliang, said that "China's Central Military Commission stands ready to share its experience in military building with Vietnam."
Vietnam's General, Ngo Xuan Lich, and China's Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission, Xu Quiliang, agreed to defence cooperation with a focus on meetings between the Central Military Commission's in order to maintain dialogue.
Both Vietnam and China agreed to maintain joint fishery patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of northern Vietnam and southern China in the South China Sea.
A Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea is reportedly sought between the ten Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries and China in order to prevent the escalation of the maritime dispute between China and four Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) member country claimants,Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippine
Both Vietnam and China also agreed to direct telephone links between national defence authorities as proposed by China State Councilor and China Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, in Singapore last month.
The China Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, said that China supports an open and inclusive regional security framework with ASEAN in order to build a China-ASEAN community.
"China hopes to strengthen communication with the defense departments of ASEAN countries," he said.
The China Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, called on China and ASEAN to work towards direct telephone lines between defense authorities, joint drills and exercises and cooperation in disaster-relief and emergency-rescue operations.
China's State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, said in Bejing at the end of the two day forum last Friday that Vietnam's visit to China and attendance at the Beijing Xiangshan Forum is a "vivid manifestation of friendship between the two Parties, States and militaries".
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia approves new political party, the Workers Prosperity Party

Former Khmer Rouge photographer, Nhem En, told the Khmer Rouge Tribunal at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh in April 2016, that he was a teenager in 1976 when he was sent to China to learn photography in order to take photographs of prisoners at Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh, saying that “we had no choice but to do what was assigned to us”

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, November 6: Cambodia's Interior Ministry has approved an application by a former Khmer Rouge photographer for the formation of a political party in Siem Reap province with the proviso that the new party, the Worker's Prosperity Party (WPP), provide 4,000 thumbprints from its members, reports the Khmer Times.
Interior Minister, Sar Kheng, said in the letter of approval to the applicant, former Khmer Rouge photographer, Nhem En, that in order to have valid legal standing the applicant, "must fulfill requirements in accordance with the Law on Political Parties".
The former Khmer Rouge photographer and also a former Oddar Meanchey provincial opposition official until his resignation in 2015, Nhem En, says that his party, the Worker's Prosperity Party (WPP), will contest the next election, claimimg that he created the political party because he wanted transparency.
“My party’s stance adheres to the principles of a multi-party democracy and is committed to reforming government loopholes,” he said.
He said that he had established the Worker's Prosperity Party (WPP) because of his love for Cambodia, saying that “my party does not oppose the government."
"We will reform aspects of the government that are lacking and we will present constructive criticism.”
He said that his party will contest the upcoming elections, saying that "a congress is to be held in order to determine who will lead the party".
Dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former member, Ou Chanrath, said that all new poltical parties are welcome
but that Nhem En's party will not be an effective force in taking power away from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)
He said that even with 20 new political parties that were created prior to the July elections, such as the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP), the parties could not take power from Hun Sen's ruling party.
The Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) claimed in August that "the election was not free or fair", citing the Supreme Court dissolution of the oppostion Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), intimidation of civil society organisations, restrictions on journalists and use of government facilities for election campaigning.
The Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) claimed then that its participation in the election was to "educate and to establish a new political culture", saying that "Cambodian's will ultimately, support peaceful change".
In 1976, Nhem En was sent by the Khmer Rouge regime to study photography in China and on his return was placed at Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh by the regime to take photographs of inmates.
In 2005, he became Anlong Veng deputy district governor joining the district council in 2009.
In 2011, he became district deputy governor before becoming an Oddar Meanchey provincial official in 2014.

The Southeast Asian Times

Australian catholic nun deported from Philippines for political activities

Australian catholic nun, Sister Patricial Fox ,71, at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday

From News Reports:
Manila, November 5: Philippines presidential spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, said that the deportation of Australian catholic nun, sister Patricial Fox,71, from the Philippines on Saturday was a reminder to all foreigners that the exercise of political rights are exclusive to Filipino citizens, reports the Manila Bulletin.
Catholic nun, sister Patricial Fox, who has lived in the Philippines for 27 years and who is accused of illegal political activities, was deported from the Philippines on Saturday despite the Philipine Justice Secretary, Menardo Guevarra, decision in June to allow the Catholic nun to remain in the Philippines and to continue her missionery work.
The Australian nun, a lawyer and the regional superior of the international Catholic congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, and was involved in the Philippine tribal communities fight for their right to land, was deported on a directive from Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo defended the government action taken against the Catholic nun, saying that "her participation in rallies violated the conditions of her stay, thereby mocking our laws, and abusing Philippine hospitality.”
He said that sister Fox was deported because she participated in political rallies that are in violation of the Bureau of Immigration Order No. SBM 2015-025, saying that “ the fact that Sister Fox joined protest rallies is undeniable."
"Sister Fox has publicly acknowledged that joining these activities is part of her advocacy,” he said.
The Catholic Theological Society of the Philippines said following president Duterte's order in April to investigate sister Fox and her subsequent arrest and detention in May that her arrest "is part of a large scale crackdown of the government against church people and organisations that oppose anti-poor government policies and that criticise its dubious human rights record."
Australian Catholic nun, Sister Patricial Fox, 71, is accussed of taking part in news conferences, labor-related fact-finding missions and protests calling for political prisoners to be freed, for human rights and land rights to be respected and for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia's victims of ANZ bank loan want compensation for eviction

Kompong Speu province communities who lost their land to Phnom Penh Sugar Company protest at the Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank in Phnom Penh

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, November 4: Victims of the Phnom Penh Sugar Company development project in Cambodia's Kampong Speu province
that was financed by the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank in Phnom Penh have called on the bank to pay compensation for their eviction and loss of land following admittance that the bank had provided finance to build a refinery, not to seize plantation land, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
ANZ Bank executive director Shayne Elliot said at the October 26 Australian Parliamentary Committee conference that the bank had provided financing to build a refinery, not to seize plantation land, saying that “the bank will consider compensation for the affected".
The Phnom Penh Sugar Company development project reportedly received a $40 million loan from ANZ joint venture the ANZ Royal Bank in 2011 forcing farming communities off their land to make way for a sugar plantation and refinery in Kampong Speu province.
The Phnom Penh Sugar Company is reportedly accused of employing child labourers who worked in dangerous conditions.
Equitable Cambodia executive director Eang Vuthy said that the ANZ Bank should pay compensation for the destruction of the farming communities.
"It is good that the bank now admits the problem, but recognition alone is not enough, the bank needs to pay compensation", he said.
The community members who were evicted from their land to make way for the sugar plantations say that the sugar plantations would not have been established without a loan from the ANZ bank to the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat.
The communities say that they were driven off their land by Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat who is a direcor of the Phnom Penh Sugar Company.
In January 2015 ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh officially refused to pay compensation to about 800 Kompong Speu province community members following a petition submitted to the bank demanding payment.
In July 2014 the ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh CEO, Grant Knuckey told the Kompong Speu communities that "any obligation the bank had ended when the loan was repaid by the Phnom Penh Sugar Company ."
The ANZ bank reportedly told community leaders representing the families that the Australian majority owner of ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, "was not responsible for past actions of past clients".
"ANZ is no longer a financier to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company", spokesman at ANZ bank in Melbourne reportedly said in August 2014.
The Southeast Asian Times

Singapore to conduct survey on death penalty
From News Reports:
Singapore, November 3: The Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is to conduct a survey of Singaporeans attitude towards the death penalty following renewed calls from Human Rights Watch for the abolishment of capital punishment as a deterrent to crime, reports Agence France Presse.
The hanging in Singapore's Changi prison last week of six convicted Malaysian drug traffickers sparked renewed calls to abolish the death penalty from Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director, Phil Robertson, saying "there's been no indication whatsoever that Singapore's position on the use of the death penalty is softening."
"One wonders whether the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is counting on the survey of public opinion to back their views and provide justification for their continued defiance of the international trend towards abolishing the death penalty," he said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly commissioned market research consultancy Blackbox Research to survey about 2000 Singaporeans on their attitude towards the death penalty.
The Ministry said in a statement that "participants would be selected at random based on age, race and gender for a representative sample of the Singapore resident population."
The survey of the Singapore criminal justice system will reportedly include Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
In 2011 British writer Alan Shadrake, 76, who campaigned against the death penalty in Singapore, was sentenced to prison and fined after the Singapore High Court dismissed his appeal against his conviction for impugning the impartiality, integrity and independence of the republic’s judiciary in his book "A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice In The Dock".
Judge Quentin Loh imposed a six-week jail sentence and a fine of about US$ 15,370 after he ruled the book, "A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice In The Dock", implied that Singapore judges were “influenced by political and economic situations and are biased against the weak and the poor and could cause readers to lose faith in Singapore's justice system.
Shadrake’s book describes the work of Singapore’s former principal executioner, Darshan Singh, at Changi prison, who the author says, executed about 1,000 men and women from 1959 until he retired in 2006.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia calls on Australia to clarify ban on Lion Air

Part of the Lion Air logo from the ill fated Lion Air flight JT 610 that crashed into the sea after take off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Jakarta on Monday was retrieved from Tanjung Karawang waters by Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 2: Indonesia's transport minister has called on the Australian government to clarify its policy banning Australian citizens from flying on Indonesia's Lion Air following the crash of Lion Air flight JT 610 into Tanjung Karawang waters after take off from Jakarta with 189 including crew onboard, all believed to be dead, reports Antara.
Indonesia's Air traffic controllers reportedly lost contact with the Lion Air flight JT 610 at 6.33am on Monday after the plane took off at 6.20am from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued an instruction advising Australian officials and government employees
not to fly on any Lion Air flights following the crash of flight JT610 on Monday.
“Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air plane on 29 October 2018, Australian government officials and contractors have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air. This decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear,” the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s said in a statement on Monday.
Indonesia's Transportation Minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, said on Wednesday that "we will seek clarification from the Australian government on the banning of Australian citizens from flying on Lion Air", he said.
"I will meet with Australian authorities to discuss the ban", he said.
The transport minister claims that the Australian ban on Lion Air has had minimum impact, saying that "there are few Lion Air flights to Australia."
"Many Lion Air`s international flights are to Singapore and Malaysia," he said.
Lion Air flight JT 610, carrying 189 including crew including Indonesian government officials from various ministries including the Finance Ministry, the State Assets and Auction Services (KPKNL) and the State Treasury Services Office (KPPN), Environment and Forestry Ministry, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) and the Bangka-Belitung legislative Council.
The Southeast Asian Times

MP calls for statement from ousted Malaysian PM in murder of translator
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, November 1: The Malaysian parliament has called on statements from former prime minister of Malaysia Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor in the investigation of the murder of Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shariiburi, 28, in Malaysia 12 years ago, following the reopening of the investigation with the ousting of Najib Razak, head of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and the election of prime minister Mahathir Mahamad head of Pakatan Harapan (HP) coalition in May, reports the Star,
Penang Member of Parliament member of Pakatan Harapan (HP) coalition, Ramkarpal Singh,who is to represent the Altantuya family in the civil suit against the Malaysian government in January, called for statements from the former prime minister and his wife following an online interview given by businessman J. Deepak.
The businessman, who reportedly had previously "enjoyed good relations with former prime minister Najib Razak" said in an online interview that has since been deleted, that former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor were directly involved in the murder of the Mongolian translator.
Member of Parliament, Ramkarpal Singh, claims that revelations made by businessman J. Deepak in the interview were important to the investigation of the murder, saying that the information could pinpoint the motive behind the murder of the Mongolian translator.
"Deepak had clearly stated that Najib Razak was involved in the murder of Altantuya," he said.
The Member of Parliament called on the Royal Malaysia Police to take a statement from businessman J Deepak, saying that the revelations are leads that could help to solve the motive for the murder of the Mongolian translator.
Mongolian translater Altantuya Shariiburi, 28, who was believed to have been pregnant, reportedly died of two bullet wounds to the head in 2006 with C4 explosives reportedly used to blow up her body in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam.
Malaysian Strategic Research Centre executive director, Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 56, who was believed to be the Mongolian translator's boyfriend, was charged in 2008 with conspiring to murder Altantuya Shariiburi.
He was aquitted of any charges when Judge Mohammad Zaki Mommad Yasin decided there was insufficient evidence to convict him of conspiring to murder the Mongolian woman.
Unit Tindakan Khas, or Special Action Squad, member Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 43, and chief inspector Azilah Hadri, 38, members of an elite unit that guarded the then Prime Minister, Ahmad Badawi, and the then Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Razak, were charged with the murder of the Mongolian translater in 2008.
Former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, 38, said in his defence that a superior had ordered him to help Malaysian Strategic Research Centre executive director, Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, and that he did not have a motive to kill or destroy the Mongolian translator.
He said that he had done no more than to meet Altantuya Shaariibuu and advise her not to harass Abdul Razak Baginda or create a 'ruckus' outside Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda's residence.
Former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar, 43 described himself as a “sacrificial lamb” during the 2009 court proceedings.
The Southeast Asian Times

Former Australian PM warns of
embassy move to Jerusalem

Indonesia's president Joko Widodo and former prime minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull at the Our Oceans Conference held in Bali on Monday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 31: The former prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull warned that the relocation of Australia's embassy from Tela Viv to Jerusalem would be met with "a very negative reaction" in Indonesia following a meeting with Indonesia's president Joko Widodo
at the Our Oceans Conference held in Bali on Monday.
The former prime minister reportedly said that president Joko Widodo had raised his concern with the relocation of the Australian embassy to Jerusalem directly with him.
He said that he has assured the president of Indonesia that no decision had been taken by the Australian government, saying that "advice, reactions and feedback from our neighbours would be taken onboard".
"This is after all the largest majority Muslim country in the world so we have to be very clear-eyed about that", he said.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrision who had previously said that Australia was committed to a two-state solution, said earlier this month that he was "open-minded" to proposals to formally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sparking a response from Indonesia's Foreign Ministery.
Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Retno LP Marsudi, advised caution following the United States relocation of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December last year, saying that “Indonesia conveys strong concern to the Australian Prime Minister's announcement and questions its merit."
In December 2017 eight of the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were included in the 128 countries that rejected the United States decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Laos is not a member of the United Nations Security Council.
The Philippines, an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member country, was one of nine countries that included the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshal Islands, Togo, Micronesia and Nauru that opposed the United Nations Security Council draft resolution.
The United Nations Security Council draft resolution called on all countries to refrain from opening embassies in Jerusalem.
China, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and France were among the 128 member countries that approved the United Nations Security Council draft resolution.
Canada, Mexico and Australia were among the 35 registered absentions.
United States President Donald Trump reportedly acted under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that accepts Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and requires the United States to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the United States decision to relocate the embassy in December 2017.
The Southeast Asian Times

CPP claims that Philippine president wants to declare nationwide martial law

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has denied claims that he intends to declare nationwide martial law

From News Reports:
Manila, October 30: The founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) , Jose Maria Sison, claims that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte intends to declare martial law nationwide in January in order to ensure that "the Duterte administration control and determine the results of the elections,” reports the Philippine Inquirer.
“Duterte himself and his innermost cabal are hell-bent on ensuring their stay in power through a presidential proclamation of martial law nationwide before the May 2019 midterm elections, ” he said on Sunday
The Philippine Communist Party (CCP) chairman claims that president Duterte would declare martial law because "he is worried that his candidates for the lower house and the Senate would be defeated by the opposition candidates and that there would be enough of the opposition in Congress to impeach him and try him for high crimes.”
"The President would use the alleged plots for his ouster to justify the declaration of martial law nationwide," he said.
Philippine presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo denied the accusation that president Duterte would declare martial law before the 2019 mid-term election in order to maintain power, saying that "Duterte has repeatedly and consistently assured he won’t stay in office a day longer than his term, which will end on June 30, 2022".
He claimed that president Duterte has expressed willingness to cut short his term in office should the proposal for federation be adopted by congress before 2022, saying that "the claim made by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, Jose Maria Sison, that president Duterte would declare nationwide martial law to ensure his stay in power is dowright ludicrous."
The presidential spokesman said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, Jose Maria has been “foisting martial law bogey” for more than a year as part of his psywar campaign against the Duterte administration.
Philippine presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo, who is also Chief Presidential Legal Councel, said that "martial law can only be proclaimed under the conditions outlined by the Constitution".
The Southeast Asian Times




"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


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 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




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

 

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

 

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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

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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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