The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Friday 19 August 2022
GATHERINGS:
An informed guidexto happenings throughout
the region.  

China calls emergency COVID-19 meeting with ASEAN in Laos
From News Reports:
Beijing, February 19: An emergency meeting of foreign ministers from China and the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that was proposed by China is to be held in Vientiane, Laos on Thursday and Friday to discuss the COVID-19 virus epidemic.
The COVID-19 virus has so far killed 1,869 and infected 73,336 in China and has spread to the 10 ASEAN member states.
The meeting that was proposed by China is reportedly intended to share information and to improve coordination between China and the 10 ASEAN member states in order to combat the COVID-19 virus.
China Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi is reportedly to discuss China's measures in countering the COVID-19 virus epidemic at the meeting in Laos, with focus on strengthening joint prevention and control measures against the virus.
The meeting is also to explore the idea of establishing a long term and effective collaboration mechanism on public health to safeguard the region, with China Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying " China and Asean countries have been in close communication since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.
Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who will be attending the emergency COVID-19 virus epidemic meeting, said that the meeting will be an opportunity for the foreign ministers to discuss measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"The meeting will help strengthen cooperation between ASEAN member states in the midst of this global health threat," he said.
His said that Cambodia's participation in the emergency meeting that was proposed by China will demonstrate Cambodia’s support of China and confidence in the measures taken by the China government to address the coronavirus outbreak.
The Southeast Asian Times


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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Thailand opposition warn PM not to resort to House disolution before end of eight year term

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew, right, submits a petition seeking a Constitutional Court ruling on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's eight-year term in office to Parliament President Chuan Leekpai, left, on Wednesday, August 17, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 19: The six opposition coalition parties of Thailand led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) submited a petition for a Constitutional Court ruling on when the eight year term in office for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha began and ends, with the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) warning the Prime Minister not to resort to a House disolution before his term expires, reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president, Cholnan Srikaew and oppossition party Move Forward Party (MFP) president Pita Limjaroenrat, two of the six opposition coalition parties in Thailand argue that ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha eight year term ends on August 24, 2022.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP), president Cholnan Srikaew,threatened to seek the Constitution Court ruling ahead of the expiry of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure that he says is on August 24, saying "Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends this month."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup," he said.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP), president Cholnan Srikaew, said "the Constitutional Court would take into consideration facts and legal aspects relating to the tenure dispute," saying "particularly the constitution’s intention to limit tenure and prevent a monopoly and succession of power that would lead to conflict in society."
He said the major reason for dissolving the House was conflict between the executive and legislative branches, saying "to date, there was no conflict between the two branches."
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, claims that Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began on June 9, 2019, when his Prime Ministership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, saying "this means he would be entitled to serve up to 2027."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha can legally serve for up to eight years as prime minister from 2019 as stipulated by Section 158 of the constitution," he said.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters in May, 2014.
The Bangkok Post reported in May that the Royal Thai Army declared martial law on the grounds that ongoing protests between political rivals were a threat to Thailands security and to the safety of life and property.
Martial law was declared after a meeting that failed to find a solution to the political deadlock that was mediated by Military commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and attended by representatives of the red-shirt movement, the government, The Pheu Thai party, the Democratic party, the Peoples Democratic Reform Committe, the senate and the Election Commission.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia Human Rights Commission to investigate 2004 assasination of Human Right lawyer, Munir

Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM), led by Suciwati, widow of assassinated human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib, 24.

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 18: National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has formed an ad hoc team to investigate gross human rights violations in the assassination of human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib, 24, who died of arsenic poisoning during a Garuda Airways flight while travelling from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Singapore on September 7, 2004, reports the Jakarta Post.
National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) chairperson Ahmad Taufan Damanik said on Sunday that the formation of a team to investigate human rights violations was agreed to at a meeting on August 12, saying that the Munir Said Thalib case will be pursued with reference to Law Number 26/2000 in the Human Rights Courts.
He said that the determination of whether or not the Munir Said Thalib case is a gross human rights violation must be through a pro-justitia investigation conducted by the ad hoc team, saying "the ad hoc team must conduct a pro-justitia investigation first."
He said that the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) would send the results of the investigation to the Attorney General's Office (AGO) if the ad hoc team finds gross human rights violations in the assassination of human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib.
In December 2021 the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM), provided alleged new evidence in the assassination of human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib, 39, in 2004, in an effort to prove that the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) under the direct authority of former President,
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM), led by Suciwati, widow of assassinated human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib, said that the new evidence that was submitted to the Attorney Generals Office on Thursday, could reopen the investigation.
She said the new evidence contradicts the testimony given by former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy director, Muchdi Purwopranjono testimony at his trial for the murder of human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib at the South Jakarta District Court in 2008.
She said that Muchdi Purwopranjono testifed that at the time of the assassination he was assigned to duties in Kuala Lumpur by the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), saying "yet he was never assigned to Kuala Lumpur by the National Intelligence Agency (BIN)."
Former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy director, Muchdi Purwopranjono, who was formally Kopassus Commander Major General, and reportedly involved in an alleged “Rose Team” military campaign that led to the elimination of opponents of Indonesia’s “New Order” government, was found not guilty by three judges of the South Jakarta District Court for assigning an agent to poison the civil rights lawyer following the absence of key witnesses for the prosecution.
Dutch forensic scientists found that human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib, 39 had ingested enough arsenic to raise suspicion that he had been poisoned during his journey from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Singapore.
Human rights lawyer, Munir Said Thalib, who was founder of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, or Kontras, and who revealed that Indonesian Army Special Forces, or Kopassus, soldiers had helped abduct 13 critics of the then Soeharto government between 1997 and 1998. was assassinated aboard a Garuda Airways flight while travelling from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Singapore on September 7, 2004.
The Southeast Asian Times


Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to further six years in prison by Armed Forces of Myanmar military court

Former National League for Democracy (NLD) State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and Naypyitaw Mayor U Myo Aung, make their first appearance in the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar's military court on May 24, 2021 after their arrest on February 1, 2021

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, August 17: Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, 77, was sentenced to a further six years in prison by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court at the Naypyidaw prison court after finding her guilty of four corruption charges including founding a charity in memory of her late mother, reports the Irrawaddy.
Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was arrested by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in February 2021 on the declaration of martial law, faces a combined prison term of 164 years if found guilty of 20 charges including 13 corruption charges.
Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest at an undisclosed location was tranferred to solitary confinement at Naypyitaw prison in June, 2022.
The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi for corruption has been continued at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court at the Naypyidaw prison court.
On Monday March 14, 2022 National League for Democracy (NLD) State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, denied accepting bribes at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court in Naypyitaw, saying "the allegations are completely false."
Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, denied allegations of corruption for reciving $600,000 and more that 10kg of gold in bribes from the National League for Democracy (NLD) Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein.
“The allegations are completely false. I had no reason to take it, no reason to accept it," she said.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, who has not been detained by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, testified in October, 2021 that in his role as Yangon chief minister he gave about 11.4kg of gold and US$600,000 to Aung San Suu Kyi in 2017 and 2018.
National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, dismissed his claims as "all absurd."
Khin Mi Mi Kywe, wife of Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, told the military court in November 2021 that she took gold from her gold shop and bought US dollars from money changers for Aung San Suu Kyi, saying that her husband, the National League for Democracy (NLD) Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, had said that "they were in exchange for her protection and support."
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi said she did not know about the gold and US dollars corruption charge that had allegedly taken place in 2017 and 2018 until the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar sent her a letter of investigation after the takeover of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in February 2021.
Former State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, former President Win Myint and former Naypyitaw Mayor, U Myo Aung, who were arrested in February 2021 after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government and the declaration of martial law, were sentenced to two years in prison in December 2021 for incitement under Section 505(b) that criminalizes speech deemed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) to incite public unrest.
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi. President Win Myint, and Naypyitaw Mayor U Myo Aung, were also charged with violating Covid-19 restrictions during the November 8, 2020 election campaign under Section 25 of the state of emergency Natural Disaster Management Law under the command of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC).
In January 2022 State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi received a further prison sentence of four years for the illegal importation of radio transmitters or walkie talkie's under Section 8 of the Export and Import Law, and with the illegal operation of a radio transmitter or walkie talkie without a licence under Section 67 of the Penal Code and Telecommunications Law.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian workers want government to revoke Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law that removes minimum wage

Thousands of Indonesian workers call for the revocation of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law that determines the minimum wage at the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta Wednesday August 10, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 16: Thousands of Indonesian workers called on President Joko Widodo to revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law that determined the minimum wage at the House of Representatives (DPR) last week, with Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) chairperson Nining Elitos saying that workers have gained no benefits from the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law, reports Jakarta Post.
Workers from unions including the All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI), the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) and the Indonesian Prosperous Labour Union (SBSI) called on President Joko Widodo to revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law, that Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) chairperson Nining Elitos says "Job Creation Law has been a disaster for workers".
"Workers unions had warned President Joko Widodo about the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law before it was born," she said.
President Joko Widodo signed the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law that determined the Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) for 2022 in March 2022 , saying "the revision of over 70 existing laws is vital to investment and to labour market competitiveness."
The House of Representatives (DPR) amended the law in the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law that allows employers to arbitralily determine employees working hours and salary, with Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions (KSPI), president, Said Iqba, warning of escalating protests against the Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) for 2022.
"If the Joko Widodo government fails to implement the November 2021 Constitutional Court’s ruling as unconstitutional a nationwide strike against the Provinvial Minimum Wage (UMP) for 2022 of two million workers from 60 federations of national labor unions will paralize the economy," he said.
He said that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary, saying "the removal of the sectoral minimum wage will lead to a low-wage regime as district governments or city councils are no longer duty bound to set a minimum wage for workers."
He said that if the new provision on outsourcing comes into force, Indonesian workers could be made life-long contract workers as contract periods can be extended indefinitely and the scope is no longer restricted to five types of jobs.
"In short, this is modern slavery,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodians sentenced to prison for incitement, treason, insulting the King

Lanh Thavry, a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) official, leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 25, 2022 where she was charged with incitement

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 15: The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a further seven former members and supporters of the Court-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to prison on Thursday for plotting to overthrow the ruling Hun Sen government and for insulting the King on Facebook, with Mich Heang shouting "it was injustice the court is just a government’s tool, "reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Judge Khun Sona sentenced five males, Long Ry, Men Thavarin, Morn Phalla, Monh Sarath, and Mich Heang and two females, Kim Tola, and Lanh Thavry from 18 month to three years prison for incitement and treason in plotting to overthrow the ruling Hun Sen government and insulting King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia on Facebook between 2018 and 2021.
Mich Heang claimed that he was expressing his opinion on the Facebook post, saying "it is a right guaranteed by the Constitution."
"I did not have any intention to incite people against the government or insult the King," he said.
He said that he did not agree with his conviction.
"I did not commit anything as accused. I will appeal against it," he said.
He shouted "it was injustice, the court is just a government tool," when Judge Sona announcement the sentence.
In June, 2022 the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced 42 former members and supporters of the Court-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) including former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy to prison.
Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy was sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia for treason for plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government, incitement to committ a felony and inciting military disobedience under Articles 453, 471, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code.
The Phnom Penh Municiple Court accused the Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM) former president Sam Rainsy and supporters of inciting the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to revolt against the Hun Sen government and for invovlement in the plan for Sam Rainsy's return to Cambodia from Paris.
Cambodia Justice Ministry spokesman, Chin Malin, said that the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party members, had attempted a coup d'etat that was led by former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy, saying "Sam Rainsy proclaimed that he would return to Cambodia on November 9, 2019 to arrest Prime Minister Hun Sen."
"Sam Rainsy had incited and appealed to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, civil servants and the public to rise up against the Hun Sen government and to raise funds to provide the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to execute the plan, he said.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former president and co-founder of the party, Sam Rainsy, went into exile in Paris in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges for his accusation of corruption against the Hun Sen Cambodia's People's Party (CPP).
In September 2013 the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) boycotted parliament following the July general elections which saw the fourth consecutive victory of the Cambodian People's Party gain 68 seats of the National Assembly and the opposition occupying the remaining 55 seats, claiming that that up to 1.25 million Cambodians who were eligible to vote were not on the electoral role and accused the ruling Cambodia's People's Party (CPP) of poll fraud.

The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand PM Prayut Chan-o-cha waits on Constitutional Court to rule on tenure

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda wait for Constitutional Court ruling on expiry of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 14: Ministers of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) coalition say they will "bow out" with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha if the Constitutional Court rules that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha term ends at the end of August with Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda saying that he and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon "would unlikely be interested in succeeding Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha," reports the Bangkok Post.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said there was no possiblility that he or Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon would take over as the Prime Minister, saying "no, definitely not."
He said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and himself, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda "see no need to put political protégés in place before they leave politics."
"I have no personal interest in contesting the next general election, he said.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP), president Cholnan Srikaew, has threatened to seek the Constitution Court interpretation ahead of the expiry of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure that he says is on August 24, saying "Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends this month."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup," he said.
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, claims that Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began on June 9, 2019, when his Prime Ministership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, saying "this means he would be entitled to serve up to 2027."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha can legally serve for up to eight years as prime minister from 2019 as stipulated by Section 158 of the constitution," he said.
In May 2014 Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was commended by Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda for his leadership in the establishment of Marshal Law that effectively ousted the Yinluck Shinawatra government in May, 2014, with Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda saying "the Royal Thai Army must take action when the nation is in crisis."
"The people supported the military action", he said.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters in May, 2014.
The Bangkok Post reported in May 2014 that the Royal Thai Army declared martial law on the grounds that ongoing protests between political rivals were a threat to Thailands security and to the safety of life and property.
Martial law was declared after a meeting that failed to find a solution to the political deadlock that was mediated by Military commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and attended by representatives of the red-shirt movement, the government, The Pheu Thai party, the Democratic party, the Peoples Democratic Reform Committe, the senate and the Election Commission.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australian advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi pleads not guilty to violation of Secrets Act in Myanmar military court

Australian economist, Professor Sean Turnell, right, and former Mynamar State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, in Syndey, Australia in November 2013 with the Lowy Institute

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, August 13: Australian economist, Professsor, Sean Turnell, who served as adviser to former Mynamar State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, pleaded not guilty to violation of the Burma Official Secrets Act 1923 at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court at the
Naypyitaw prison on Thursday, reports Associated Press.
Australian economist, Professor Sean Turnell, was arrested following the arrest of former Mynamar State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar after the military takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February 2021.
Australian economist, Professor Sean Turnell, who has been held at the Naypyitaw prison since his arrest, denied allegations of violations of the Burma Official Secrets Act 1923 at his first court appearance at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court at the Naypyitaw prison on Thursday.
Australian economist, Sean Turnell, pleaded not guilty to violation of the Burma Official Secrets Act 1923 at the Myanmar military court that was relocated from Naypyitaw city to the Naypyitaw prison compound in June, 2022.
The trial of Australian economist, Sean Turnell, who also faces prosecution under the Burma Immigration (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1947, is adjourned until next week with former Mynamar State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, expected to testify.
In June 2022 ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, to release Aung San Suu Kyi from solitary confinment at the Naypyitaw prison.
He called on Myanmar's State Administration Council (SAC) appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, "to exercise compassion and return former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi to house arrest on humanitarian grounds in light of her fragile health and overall well-being."
The trial of former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi for incitement under Section 505(b), that criminalizes speech deemed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to incite public unrest, was conducted at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar courtroom in Naypyidaw after the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) in February 2021 but was continued at a purpose built military court at the Naypyitaw prison from June, 2022.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand to buy submarines with made-in China diesel engines

Royal Thai Navy (RTN) spokesperson, Pokkrong Monthatphalin, said on Tuesday that China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) has sent specifications of an improved version of the China-made CHD620 diesel engine.

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 12: The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is to buy S26T Yuan-class submarines constructed by state-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) with China-made CHD620 diesel engines after cancelling the contract on grounds that China could not provide German-made MTU396 diesel engines, with Royal Thai Navy (RTN) spokesperson saying “If the substitute from China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) cannot pass the test the contract must be terminated, reports Bangkok Post.
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) purchase of three S26T Yuan-class submarines from China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC), worth 13.5 billion baht (US$408 million), was stalled due to China's failure to obtain German-made diesel engines as stipulated in the contract.
The German government refusal to supply MTU396 diesel engines to state-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) to be fitted in the S26T Yuan-class submarines built in China for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is based in the 1989 European Union (EU) arms embargo imposed on China.
State-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) has reportedly called on the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) to alter the contract to replace the German-made MTU396 diesel engines with diesel engines made in China.
Royal Thai Navy (RTN) spokesperson, Pokkrong Monthatphalin, said on Tuesday that China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) has sent specifications of an improved version of the China-made CHD620 diesel engine.
"The engines must match the specifications before the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) carries out a thorough assessment", he said.
He said that if the specifications prove satisfactory the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will ask the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) to send the engine for testing, saying "if it passes the test there will be no need to amend the contract."
“If the substitute from China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC)cannot pass the test the contract must be terminated," he said.
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) signed a contract with state-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) in 2017 without approval from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) majority parliament led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha or the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) of Thailand.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) lawmaker, Yuttapong Charasathien, has questioned whether representatives from the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and representatives of the state-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC)
who signed the 2017 agreement for delivery of the submarines had the authority to do so and why the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) required the submarines in Parliament.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian minister accused of reviving authoritarianism of President Suharto New Order regime

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment and founding commander of the Special Detachment 88 anti-terror squad has called for active Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) officers to hold positions in state ministries and institutions

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 11: The proposal for active Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) officers to hold positions in state ministries and institutions by founding commander of the Special Detachment 88 anti-terror squad, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, is reportedly "an effort to revive the authoritarianism of the New Order regime of President Suharto," reports Antara.
Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Chairperson, Muhammad Isnur, said that the call for active Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) officers to hold positions in state ministries and institutions "is in line with government policy moves that show signes of the revival of the New Order (Orba) regime of former president Suharto."
He said that there are many policies by President Joko Widodo that show signs of the revival of the authoritarianism of the New Order regime, saying "efforts to militarise civilians through the Reserve Component (Komcad) system for state civil servants (ASN) is one example."
He said that the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, proposal to revise Law Number 34/2004 on the National Armed Forces (TNI) is in line with growing signs of authoritarianism.
"This proposal poses a serious threat to democracy as a fruit of reformasi that is the political reform process that began in 1998," he said.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who proposed revision to the National Armed Forces (TNI) law that would allow active National Armed Forces (TNI) officers to hold positions in government ministries and institutions, said that revision was necessary.
"Active National Armed Forces (TNI) officers should be assigned to government ministries and institutions at the request of the institutions and with the agreement of President Joko Widodo.
In Septemeber 2019 thousands of university students protested against proposed amendments to the yet to be passed Criminal Code (RKUHP) and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) law that was passed in the the House of Representatives, saying that the ammendments are an attempt to roll back two decades of political reform and a return to the New Order era under President Suharto.
Students demand that the House of Representatives hold off the passage of the revised Criminal Code (KUHP), saying that "the revised Bill threatened democracy and civil liberties" and that ammendments to Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that "weakend the commission" should be revoked.
President Joko Widodo reportedly ordered that deliberation of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in the House of Representatives be postponed until the new 2019-2024 parliamentary period.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai tax court rules in favour of fugitive ousted former PM Thaksin and against summons of daughters

Daughter of fugitive ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, 36, was nominated the opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) candidate for prime minister in the next general election in 2023

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 10: the Central Tax Court in Bangkok issued a ruling in favour of fugitive ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in the sale of Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings in 2006 on Monday, with the Central Tax Court ruling against the summons of his daughters, Panthongtae and Pintongta, saying they were proxies, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Central Tax Court revoked the Revenue Department order for ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to pay 17 billion baht in tax over the 2006 sale of a stake in Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings, ruling against the summons for assessment of the daughters the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Central Tax Court ruled that the Thailand Revenue Department order for a tax assessment of the daughters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was unlawful under Section 19 of the Revenue Code, ruling that both daughters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Panthongtae and Pintongta were proxies.
The Central Tax Court found that daughters, Panthongtae and Pintongta, acted as proxies on behalf of their father in the Shin Corp share sale in January 2006.
The Central Tax Court ruled that proxie ownership did not constitute a change of share ownership in Shin Corp, saying that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra retained share ownership and was not liable to pay about 17 billion baht in tax under Section 39 and Section 40(2) of the Revenue Code.
The Central Tax Court ruled to revoke the Revenue Department Por Ngor Dor 12 form demanding a 17.6 billion baht back tax payment, saying "the Revenue Department’s tax appraisal was made after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions ruled to seize former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra assets worth about 46 billion baht.
In 2010 nine judges of Thailand's Supreme Court ordered in absentia the seizure of baht 46 billion, about US $1.4 billion, from fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s US$2.29 billion in frozen assets, after deciding that he had abused his political power for personal gain.
But the judges said that "to seize all the money would be unfair since some of it was made before Thaksin Shinawarta, 61, became prime minister."
Prosecutors had argued that Thaksin Shinawarta and his former wife, Potjaman Pombejra, concealed ownership of shares in his family business Shin Corporation while in office from 2001 to 2006, and that he abused power by tailoring policies to benefit the company.
Thaksin Shinawarta was accused of abusing his authority while the Prime Minister by issuing measures which caused the state damage and benefited businesses controlled by his family including the Ratchadaphisek land deal, the purchase of rubber seedlings, the procurement of luggage trolleys at Suvarnabhumi airport, the two- and three-digit lottery case and the Export-Import Bank of Thailand's soft loan to Myanmar.
Fugitive ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra fled to Dubai in 2008 to avoid facing trial for malfeasance in the raising or approval of alleged fraudulent Krung-Thai-Bank (KTB) non-performing loans worth almost baht 12-billion under Article 157 of the Criminal Code - the law that governs the behaviour of officials of State agencies; the Commercial Banks Act; the Securities and Exchange Act, and the Public Companies Act.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai Women imprisoned for violation of Lese Majeste law leave by ambulance after 64 days on hunger strike

Netiporn "Bung" Sanesangkhom, 26, and Natthanit "Bai Por" Duangmusit, 20, taken from the Central Women's Correctional Institution in Bangkok by ambulance after a 64 day hunger strike

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 9: Two women charged with violation of the Lese Majeste law and sedition were taken from the Central Women's Correctional Institution in Bangkok by ambulance after a 64 day hunger strike, reports the Bangkok Post.
Natthanit "Bai Por" Duangmusit, 20, and Netiporn "Bung" Sanesangkhom, 26, who are members of the pro-democracy group Thalu Wang or "shattering the palace" that was formed earlier this year advocates for the abolition of Article 112 of the Thailand Criminal Code that makes it illegal to defame, insult, or threaten the monarch of Thailand.
The pro-democracy group Thalu Wang or "shattering the palace" advocate amendements to the 2017 Constitution including the section that states "changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State or changing the form of the State shall be prohibited" that includes the section that states "the Prime Minister may not present such a draft Constitution Amendment to the King for signature."
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR, Krisadang Nutcharus, said that Natthanit Bai Por Duangmusit, 20, and Netiporn Bung Sanesangkhom, 26, were extremely weak, saying "the two women had been in custody at the Central Women's Correctional Institution in Bangkok for more than three months awaiting trial under the kingdom's lese majeste laws."
"Their condition is not good," he said.
He said that more than 200 Lese Majeste cases have been brought since November 2022, saying that conviction under the Lese Majeste law carries a jail term of up to 15 years in prison with pro-democracy activists facing multiple charges that could result in consecutive sentences lasting for decades."
In May 2021 Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, who was one of eight protesters who co-lead the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation that reinstalled a plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution that overthrew Thai absolute monarchy at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace in Bangkok in September 2020, was released from the Central Women's Correctional Institute in Bangkok after a 38 day hunger strike.
The eight protesters who were arrested in March 2021 and who include Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, submitted a 10 point manifesto to the Thai Parliament on August 10, 2020, calling for amendements to the Thailand Constitution, that was drafted by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and signed into law by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, but stating in the manifesto that demands for reform of the monarchy are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy.
Protests by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation calling for the reform of the monarchy went ahead at the Thammasat University Tha Phra Chan Campus in August 2020 ahead of the submission of the 10 point manifesto to the parliament, despite guidelines signed by Thammasat rector Assoc Prof Gasinee Witoonchart that effectively banned thousands of protesters from holding the anti-monarchy protest on campus, with Panasaya "Rung" Sitthijirawattanakul, 22, saying "if they lock the gates, we will break the chain."
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN to establish ASEAN Centre for Climate Change in Brunei

ASEAN Foreign Ministers ratifide the climate agreement made by the 10 ASEAN memner states in November 2021 at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP26 in Glasgow, at the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) in Phnom Penh on Wednesday 3 August 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 8: ASEAN Foreign Ministers ratifide the climate agreement made by the 10 ASEAN memner states at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP26 in Glasgow, last year at the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) this week with plans to establish an ASEAN Centre for Climate Change (ACCC) in Brunei-Darussalam, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers plan to establish an ASEAN Centre for Climate Change (ACCC) in Brunei-Darussalam in order to increase climate change cordination and cooperation among the ASEAN member states.
"The establishment of an ASEAN Centre for Climate Change (ACCC) would increase resilience to climate change and reduce carbon emissions," said the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in a statement.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers said they favoured the ratification of the climate agreement made at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021 that included the phasing out of coal-fired power plants, with Indonesia's President Joko Widodo's claimingt that deforestation in Indonesia is in decline and that Indonesia was phasing out coal fired power.
Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign spokesperson M Iqbal Damanik said that President Joko Widodo's claim of success in the reduction of forest and land fires, the plan to rehabilitate 600,000 hectares of mangrove forest by 2024 and the phasing out of coal fired power plants by 2040 for transition to renewable energy was "empty talk".
He said that President Jokowi's claim that forest and land fires were in decline by 82 percent between 2020-2021 and that the decline was the result of government policies is "empty talk."
He said that the decline in deforestation by 82 percent between 2020-2021 was largely influenced by natural factors, saying "deforestation declined in the wet season."
"The decline in forest fires cannot be claimed by Jokowi as a success," he said
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia walks out on ASEAN meeting over Russia invasion of Ukraine

Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, walks out on Russian counterpart Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, address at the 12th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday August 5, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 7: Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, walked out on Russian counterpart Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, address to the 12th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday, reportedly in protest over "the Russian slaughter of civilians in its brutal invasion of Ukraine, reports The Australian.
Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Penny Wong walked out during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the 12th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, that was included in the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
from July 29 to August 5.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers called for respect of sovereignty, political independence and territory integrity in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict in a joint communique of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM).
ASEAN Foreign Ministers called for compliance with international laws and the United Nations Charter in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict
saying in the joint communique "the Meeting underlined the importance of an immediate cessation of hostilities and the creation of an enabling environment for the peaceful resolution of conflict."
" We support the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General in the search for a peaceful solution," said the joint communique.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers also called for "the facilitation of rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine, and for the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel, and persons in vulnerable situations" in the joint communique.
In March 2022 ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement demanding immediate ceasefire in Ukraine following the special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that voted in favour of the resolution that condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with abstentions from two of eight ASEAN memeber countries, Laos and Vietnam.
Of the 193 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) members, 141 voted in favour of the resolution, with 5 against including Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria and with 35 abstentions including ASEAN member countries Laos and Vietnam and including China and India.
Eight ASEAN member states including ASEAN rotating chair for 2022 Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, voted in favour of the resolution that demands that "Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia, China renew committment to Mekong-Lancang Cooperation and China's Belt and Road Initiative

China State Councillor Wang Yi Sokhonn, left, and Thailand Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak at the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) at Phnom Penh on Wednesday August 3, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 5: Cambodia and China pledged to implement the outcome of the 7th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) meeting that was held in Myanmar last month at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Phnom Penh this week, with Cambodia Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, and China State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, pledging to implement the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) projects in the next five years, saying that "the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) projects would boost econmic development," reports Phnom Pehn Post.
The 7th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, "Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity" that was held last month, was co-chaired by China State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, and Myanmar Minister of Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin, with Cambodia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prak Sokhonn, and Foreign Ministers
from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam participating.
Ministers at the 7th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) meeting in July, reaffirmed commitment to promote cooperation between the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) with international and regional initiatives, including China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI).
ASEAN member Indonesia President Joko Widodo committed to the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI) that was initiated by China in a vist to Beijing last month, with China President Xi Jinping saying that China welcomed Indonesia support and commitment to the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI).
"China is ready for closer communication and cooperation with Indonesia in the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI)," he said.
He said that China proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI) to uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the building of national security on the basis of insecurity in other countries.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia sees Taiwan as part of China under One-China Policy

United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting the Taiwan parliament on Wednesday August 3, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 5: ASEAN member, Indonesia, says "Indonesia sees Taiwan as a part of China, during the United States visit to Taiwan on Wednesday with Indonesia saying "Indonesia continues to stick to the One-China Policy, " reports Antara.
United States House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said in Taiwan on Wednesday that the United States Congress delegation
visit to Taiwan confirmed the United States firm commitment to supporting democracy in Taiwan.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, called all parties to take concrete steps to ease geopolitical tensions following United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan, saying "Indonesia continues to stick to the One-China Policy."
"Indonesia sees Taiwan as a part of China", he said.
He said that Indonesia is concerned by the increasingly intense rivalry between superpowers, saying "it holds the potential for open conflict that will disrupt stability and peace, including in the Taiwan Strait."
In July 2022 John Lee Ka-chiu, 64, was sworn in as the 6th Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) by the President of China, Xi Jinping, in Hong Kong .
with the President saying "there should be no compromise on the principle of patriots administering Hong Kong."
The new Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Lee Ka-chiu, who was selected by the 1,461 member election committee, to be the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), replaced incumbant Hong Kong Chief Executve Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor who ended her five year term on
July 1.
The Hong Kong District Councillor elections required candidates to pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that upholds the one country two system Beijing policy and to the ruling that allows only candidates deemed patriots to stand for election.
In June 2022 Timor Leste's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno, said that Timor-Leste will continue to adhere to the one-China policy that includes Taiwan and Hong Kong saying "the one-China policy is the cornerstone of developing bilateral relations."
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said that China appreciates that Timor-Leste abides by consensus reached in the establishment of diplomatic ties between Chna and Timor-Leste in 2002 that includes the one-China policy.
"The one network, one expressway and one port projects in Timor-Leste jointly built by China and Timor Leste the two under the Belt and Road Initative (BRI) have become a benchmark for practical cooperation," he said.
In June 2021 Papua New Guinea Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Soroi Eoe, upheld the one-China policy in talks with China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in Guiyang City, Guizhou province, reaffirming China's claim that the People's Republic of China is the legal government representing all China's citizens in Taiwain, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said that China values Papua New Guinea's recognition of the one-China policy and non-interference in China's internal affairs in Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, saying "China would support Papua New Guinea on its development path." he said.
In November 2018 Papua New Guinea became the second Pacific nation after East Timor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In January 2019 Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a joint communique reaffirming China's claim of sovereignty over Taiwan on the conclusion of a four day visit to China that included the siging of infrastructure project agreements under China's Belt and Road Initiative, reports the Associated Press.
The joint communique between Cambodia and China states in part that “Cambodia is opposed to the idea of Taiwanese independence in any form and will continue to support the peaceful development and reunification of China, ” and that “Cambodia will continue to adhere to the One-China Policy and recognise that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an integral part of China’s territory.”
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN confirms plan to ban, prevent use or test nuclear weapons in ASEAN

The Myanmar chair remained empty at the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) in Phnom Penh on Tuesday August 2, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 4: The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) chaired by Cambodia in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, confirmed the plan of action (PoA) by the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) that followed the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday, with Cambodia Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, agreeing to continue to ban and prevent the use or testing of nuclear weapons in the Asean region, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, said at the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) meeting hosted by Cambodia "the ASEAN Foreign Ministers agreed to continue to implement the action plan that has been drafted and implemented in the past from 2023 until 2027 to continue to ban and prevent the use or testing of nuclear weapons in Asean region,”
In February 2022 ASEAN Foreign Ministers including Cambodia Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, said at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) Retreat) held by Cambodia ASEAN chair for 2022 in Phnom Penh, that while ASEAN welcomed the five Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS), Britain, China, France, Russia and United States, statement on "Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races", that ASEAN remains concerned over the existence and modernisation of nuclear weapons.
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a statement on the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons saying that while "ASEAN member states welcome the intention expressed by the five Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS) to avoid military confrontations, to strengthen stability and predictability, and to increase mutual understanding and confidence, to ensure that the world remains peaceful, stable and secure," ASEAN remains concerned.
The ASEAN foreign ministers said in the statement "ASEAN remains concerned over the existential threat facing humanity posed by the existence and modernisation of nuclear weapons," saying "We firmly believe that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only way to guarantee against their use and threat of use."
The ASEAN foreign ministers called on the five Nuclear -Weapon States (NWS) to fulfill their obligations in advancing nuclear disarmament in accordance with the Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
"We reiterate our commitment to preserve the Southeast Asian region as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction, as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty) and the ASEAN Charter, and to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime in achieving general and complete nuclear disarmament, as stipulated in Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)," said the ASEAN foreign ministers.
The Southeast Asian Times


Opposition Pheu Thai Party claims Thai PM eight-year term ends this month

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha secured 256 votes of confidence against 206 votes of no confidence with nine abstentions at the four day no-confidence censure debate in the Bangkok Parliament ending Saturday July 24, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 3: The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) coalition has challenged opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) claim that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha eight year term expires this month, saying that the Prime Ministers term began with Royal endorsement that meant he is entitled to serve until 2027, reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP), president Cholnan Srikaew, has threatened to seek a court interpretation ahead of the expiry of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure on August 24, insisting that Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends this month.
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup," he said.
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, claims that Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began on June 9, 2019, when his premiership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, saying "this means he would be entitled to serve up to 2027."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha can legally serve for up to eight years as prime minister from 2019 as stipulated by Section 158 of the constitution," he said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and ten cabinet ministers survived the four day no-confidence censure debate in the Bangkok Parliament that ended on 23 July 2022, with opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew accusing the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers of corruption of violations of the Constitution and laws including ethical standards, mismanagement of state affairs negligence in the performance of duties, allowing rampant corruption to take place, failure to implement policies stated in parliament, violations of human rights and the undermining of parliamentary democracy.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Amarat Chokepamitkul, said at the censure debate that "the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) procurement and construction projects are not transparent and are wasteful."
She claimed that the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) drafted Constitution provides Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha with extended power through the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) appointed 250 seat Senate, accusing the Prime Minister of "being a tyrant who is bent on undermining the democratic system."
"Several of the army’s construction projects were implemented by handpicked contractors, often before bidding was held or before bid results were announced," she said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar military arrest Tokyo documentary filmaker in Yangon for participating in protest

Activists at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japa in Tokyo with placard of Japan documentary film maker, Toru Kubota, who was arrested by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in Yagon on Saturday July 31, 2021,

From News Reports:
Yangon, August 2: The Japan embassy in Yangon has confirmed the arrest of a Tokyo documentary filmaker by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar with an unidentified embassy official saying "I can confirm a Japanese national was arrested in Yangon on Saturday," reports Reuters,
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar that declared martial law after the takeover of the elected League for Democracy (NLD) government, arrested Tokyo documentary filmaker, Toru Kubota, 26, and two unidentified protesters against Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule.
The unidentified Japan embassy official said "the Japan embassy in Yangon is in contact with the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar ruling State Administration Council (SAC) to secure the release of the Japanese national."
"The Japan embassy has no information on whether the Tokyo documentary filmaker was arrested for participating in the protest, " said the unidentified embassy official.
Organisor of the Yangon Democratic Youth Strike, identified as Toru Kubota, confirmed the arrest of the two unidentifed protesters against Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule, saying "the arrests were also reported by other groups against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar take over of the elected League for Democracy (NLD) government."
He said that Tokyo-based documentary filmaker, Toru Kubota, was arrested for participating in the protest, saying that protesters chanted slogans opposing the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected League for Democracy (NLD) government in February 2021.
He said that Tokyo-based documentary filmaker, Toru Kubota, was arrested not for taking pictures of the protest but for participating in the protest.
"Tokyo-based documentary filmaker, Toru Kubota, was taking pictures a short distance from our protest," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar military execution of
pro-democracy activists shows lack
of support for ASEAN

Cambodia Prime Minister, Hun Sen, said in a statement following the execution of pro-democracy activists by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar "this is an issue that ASEAN takes seriously"

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 1: ASEAN Chair for 2022, Cambodia, declared the execution of four Myanmar political activists by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar as highly reprehensible, saying in a statement that the execution represented a lack of will by Myanmar to support the ASEAN chair implementation of the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus (5PC), reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia prime Minister Hun Sen said in the ASEAN statement that followed the execution of pro-democracy activists, Kyaw Min Yu, Hla Myo Aung, Aung Thura Zaw Phyo Zeya Thaw last week that "the execution represented a gross lack of will to support the ASEAN chair effort to expedite progress on the implementation of ASEAN Five-Point Consensus (5PC).
"The execution of the pro-democracy activists has presented a lack of will by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar ruling State Administration Council (SAC) in building trust and confidence to engender a dialogue among all parties in order to end violence," said the statement.
"ASEAN denounces and is strongly disappointed by the execution of four opposition activists despite appeals by Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, in his capacity as the ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN member states, for the sentences to be reconsidered, " said the statement
"This is an issue that ASEAN takes seriously,” it said.
Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen reportedly sent a letter to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar ruling State Administration Council (SAC) chairman, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing ahead of the execution of the Myanmar pro-democracy activists urging him to reconsider the plan to execute the political activists.
In March 2022 ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, met with three ministers of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in Naypyitaw on the first visit of the ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar since the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the
elected National League for Democracy (NLD) in February 2021.
ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar met with the three Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar ministers in an effort to implement the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus (5PC) that was introduced by the ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta in April 2021 and that was attended by Myanmar commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
The ASEAN Five Point Concensus (5PC) includes restrain of security forces, commencement of dialogue with ASEAN, facilitation of mediation with Secretary General of ASEAN, Special ASEAN envoy and delegation to visit Myanmar and ASEAN provision of humanitarian assistance.
The Southeast Asian Times


Bangkok Metropolitan Administration officials barred from accepting gifts

Bangkok Governor, Chadchart Sittipunt, adopts Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) policies that barr officials from accepting gifts on Tuesday, July 26, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 31: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) adopted Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) policies on Tuesday that includes barring officials from accepting gifts, with Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt saying "all City Hall officials will have to sign a document acknowledging their participation in the anti-corruption policy," reports the Bangkok Post.
Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said the public did not trust Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) when it comes to transparency, saying that his team has been working with Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) on ways to prevent malpractice.
"The Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) has recommended five policies including barring officials from accepting gifts," he said.
He said that the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) recommended that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) investment arm, Krungthep Thanakom, become a member of the Private Sector Collective Action against Corruption (CAC) and require its trading partners to become members.
He said that the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) recommended that Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) shorten the deadline for issuing a licence to build a small house, saying "shortening the time for issuing a licence prevented unscrupulous officials from making excuses and demanding bribes to have the licence granted quickly."
"All Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)-operated hospitals will have to pledge to end all collection of commissions on the purchases of medicinal products from pharmaceutical firms," he said.
Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said public participation was crucial in fighting corruption, saying Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) Traffy Fondue (TF), that is for reporting problems and submitting suggestions, has launched "Krungthep Prongsai" or Transparent Bangkok, in order for the public to give anonymous tip-offs on corruption at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) secretary-general, Mana Nimitmongkol, said last month that the Parliament House of Thailand in Bangkok has adopted Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) policies that include the scrutiny of public spending, saying "public spending in parliament is sad and shameful."
"One example was the purchase of overpriced wall clocks to be hung in every room in parliament including under-the-stairs storerooms and toilets," he said
He said that corruption thrives where people with power wield influence over state officials and politicians who feel submissive to them.
"It was laughable to think that parliamentarians who could afford a wristwatch and a smart phone would need a wall clock to check the time," he said.

The Southeast Asian Times


South Korea to work with Indonesia to develop new national capital in Borneo

Indonesia President Joko Widodo and South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on Thursday July 28, 2022 to revise agreement to work together on development of new Indonesian national capital

From News Reports:
Seoul, July 30: Indonesia and South Korea revised the agreement to work together on the development of a new Indonesian national capital city (IKN) Nusantara in East Kalimantan in Borneo that would replace Jakarta, with Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) of East Kalimantan, saying "the construction of the new capital has the potential to displace 20,000 indigenous people, reports Antara.
President Joko Widodo met with South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on Thursday where Indonesia and Japan revised the 2019 agreement to work together on the $32 billion (IKN) Nusantara development, with
South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol, saying "the new agreement laid the groundwork for our companies to actively contribute to building the new Indonesian capital's infrastructure, electronic government and smart city systems."
Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) of East Kalimantan on Borneo Island, Pradarma Rupang, said ahead of the meeting between Indonesia President Joko Widodo and South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on Thursday "the construction of the new capital (IKN) Nusantara in East Kalimantan has the potential for the eviction of 20,000 local and indigenous people."
“IKN Nusantara development will cause multi-layered damage to 53 villages located around the proposed IKN Nusantara development," he said.
He said that indigenous peoples have lived in the forest long before the proposed new capital IKN Nusantara development, saying "the 260,000 hectares of land proposed for the IKN Nusantara development is not empty land."
He said that 40 percent of the total area proposed for the IKN Nusantara development is occupied by indigenous peoples, saying "this data was confirmed by the Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry for the National Land Agency (BPN).
(IKN) Nusantara Management Authority, Bambang Susantono, said that IKN Nusantara is set to become a liveable city by 2024, saying "later IKN Nusantara will be a complete urban ecosystem with educational facilities, health facilities, daily necessities facilities, as well as amusement centres."
"Tourist destinations will be intergrated with the central government in the IKN Nusantara," he said.
President Joko Widodo met with South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on Thursday after visiting China President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday where he committed to the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI) initiated by China and after visiting Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Wednesday where Indonesia and Japan reaffirmed cooperation toward realising a free and open Indo-Pacific as outlined in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), with Japan announcing that the Japan Gound Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) would participate in the Grand Shield annual joint exercise for the first time between the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) next month.

The Southeast Asian Times


Japan to participate in first
Indo-Pacific joint defence exercise

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Tokyo Wednesday July 27, 2022

From News Reports:
Tokyo, July 29: Indonesia and Japan reaffirmed cooperation toward realising a free and open Indo-Pacific as outlined in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) at a meeting between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Wednesday, ahead of Japan's particpation in the first Indo-Pacific joint defence exercise in Indonesia, reports Antara.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said ahead of the Japan Gound Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) participation in the Grand Shield joint exercise in Indonesia for the first time next month that "Japan vows to help further strengthen maritime security in the region."
The Japan Gound Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) is to participate in the Grand Shield annual joint exercise between the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) next month, with
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida saying "I hope bilateral security cooperation, including defense exchanges, will further advance cooperation."
Japan Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, who was elected Prime Minister in November 2021, reaffirmed predecessor Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's support of Indonesia's adoption of the 'ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific' (AOIP) initiative, saying "maintaining and strengthening the rules-based, free and open Indo-Pacific international order has become more important " at a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta in May 2022.
"We are facing many challenges, including the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the South China Sea territorial disputes including Vietnam's East Sea and nuclear arsenal in North Korea," he said.
In October 2020 then Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, said at a meeting with Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java that Japan fully supports Indonesia's adoption of the 'ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific' initiative.
He said that Japan's determination to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Southeast Asia is evident by Japan's recognition that ASEAN plays an important role in realizing a free and open Indo-pacific, saying "Japan and Indonesia are maritime countries located in the Indo-pacific region."
"Japan and Indonesia are strategic partners," he said.
In October 2020 United States National Security advisor, Robert O'Brien, said that the United States as a Pacific power
would conduct maritime security missions in the western Pacific, saying in a statement that the presence of the United States Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacifc ensures that the United States will remain the maritime partner of choice in the region,
He said that new-generation Coast Guard vessels would conduct maritime security missions including fishing patrols in the western Pacific in order to enhance maritime-domain awareness and enforcement efforts.
He said that the United States maritime security missions would be conducted in the western Pacific in collaboration with regional partners that have limited offshore surveillance and enforcement capacity.
"China's illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of countries in the Indo-Pacific threatens United States sovereignty and the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors, endangering regional stability," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


China and Indonesia to step up bilateral relations

Indoneisa President Joko Widodo and China President Xi Jinping in Beijing Monday July 25, 2022

From News Reports:
Beijing July 28: China welcomed Indonesia's participation in BRICS and commitment to the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI) initiated by China, during President Joko Widodo's visit to Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, with Indonesia President Joko Widodo and China President Xi Jinping agreeing to step up bilateral relations between Indonesia and China, reports Antara.
China President Xi Jinping said that China welcomed Indonesia's continued participation in BRICS, a multilateral forum of emerging national economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, saying "China welcomes Indonesia's preparedness to cooperate with BRICS in the future."
China President Xi Jinping said that China welcomed Indonesia support and commitment to the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), saying "China is ready for closer communication and cooperation with Indonesia in the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI)." he said.
"A sound China-Indonesia relationship not only serves the shared long-term interests of both countries, but also has positive, far-reaching impacts regionally and globally," he said.
China President Xi Jinping said at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in China on April 21, 2022 that China proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI) "to uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the building of national security on the basis of insecurity in other countries."
The Southeast Asian Times


First pro-democracy executions
under Myanmar military Counter-Terrorism Law

Pro-democracy activists protest the executions in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday July 25, 2022

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, May 6: Pro-democracy activists, Kyaw Min Yu, 52, Hla Myo Aung, Aung Thura Zaw and opposition legislator Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41, who were sentenced to death by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court on January 2, 2022, were executed on Saturday.
The four pro-democracy activists, who were tried in the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court under the Counter-Terrorism Law, 2014, were sentenced to death by hanging.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rejected appeals from the four activists, announcing that the death sentence would go ahead on June 3, 2002 with United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, saying he was "deeply troubled by the military’s decision to proceed with the executions of political dissidents."
“This is a blatant violation of the right to life, liberty, and security of person as per Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he said.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar that declared martial law after the takeover of the elected League for Democracy (NLD) government in February 2021 transferred all executive and judicial authority to regional military command under martial law.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declared the National Unity Government (NUG) and the People's Defence Force (PDF) that were founded after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, "terrorist groups."
The four pro-democracy activists are the first to be executed of 114 sentenced to death including 41 in absentia by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar since the overthrew the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government.
Pro-democracy activist, Kyaw Min Yu was arrested in October 24, 2021 in Yangon charged with allegedly inciting unrest and allegedly taking part in terrorist acts, under the Counter-Terrorism Law, 2014.
Former National League for Democracy legislator, Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41, was arrested on November 18, 2021 in a raid on Yangon Dagon Seikkan township, charged under the Counter-Terrorism Law, 2014 and the Public Property Protection Act.
Pro-democracy activists Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were convicted in the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court for killing an alleged informant under the Counter-Terrorism Law, 2014.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia's curruption commission to investigate alleged bribes paid to legislators for division of Papua

Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka denies paying bribes to House of Representatives (DPR) legislators to divide Papua with control of new regions to Indonesia central gvernment

From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 26: Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is to investigate bribes allegedly paid by Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka to House of Representatives (DPR) legislators to amend the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua in order to include the division of Papua into six regions that would be controlled by the Indonesia central government, reports the Jakarta Post.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesperson, Ali Fikri, said that the commission is ready to investigate bribery allegations made against Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka to House of Representatives (DPR) lawmakers after verification of the report recieved from the Anti-Corruption Forum on Tuesday July 19, 2022, saying " Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) public complaints team will study the report."
He said that verification and study will be conducted to confirm whether or not the allegations fall into the realm of a corruption crime , saying "the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has the authority to decide if it is corruption or isn't."
The Anti-Corruption Forum report was submitted to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta after a video in which Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka allegedly admits to bribing House of Representatives (DPR) lawmakers went viral.on social media.
The video reportedly shows Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka making a speech about costs incurred to change an Article in the revised Papua Special Autonomy Law that would divide Papua into six autonomous regions (RUU DOB), that would be in the control of the Indonesia central government.
The Anti-Corruption Forum report asserts that the bribery of House of Representatives (DPR) lawmakers is related to amendments to the 2001 revised Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua without involving or discussing the division of Papua into six autonomous regions (RUU DOB) with the Papuan people.
Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka denied that he had bribed House of Representatives (DPR) lawmakers to amend the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua within days of the video going viral, saying " "truthfully and absolutely I say that there were no bribes paid to the House of Representatives (DPR) lawmakers."
"If anyone writing in the mass media says there were bribes, I deny it all, it is absolutely untrue. And it can be proven. It is absolutely untrue," he said.
In April 2022 the House of Representatives (DPR) legislative body (Baleg) approved the draft law for the establishment of three of six new provinces in South Papua, Central Papua and Papua Central Highlands, with Papua People's Council (MRP) Manokwari chairman, Timotius Murib, saying "the House of Representatives (DPR) legislators approved the establishment of new regions in Papua without adequate consultations."
He warned that new regions in Papua could eliminate the Papua People’s Council (MRP) cultural territories, saying "the Papua People’s Council (MRP) consists of customery leaders."
"These bills ignore the rules stipulated in the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that requires consultations with the people of Papua," he said
He said that the under the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua the establishment of new regions must be consulted with and approved by the Papua People’s Council (MRP).
"The inclusion of Papua People’s Council (MRP) in consultations on the revised 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua in July 2021 are explicitly required by law," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


PM survives four day censure debate in the Bangkok parliament

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha secured 256 votes of confidence against 206 votes of no confidence with nine abstentions at four day no-confidence censure debate in the Bangkok Parliament that ended Saturday July 24, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 25: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and ten cabinet ministers survived the four day no-confidence censure debate in the Bangkok Parliament that ended on Saturday, accused of violaton of the Constitution from the opposiion Pheu Thai Party (PTP), but proving the Office of Innovation for Democracy at King Prajadhipok’s Institute prediction that the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) coalition was unified," reports the Bangkok Post.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha secured 256 votes of confidence against 206 votes of no confidence with nine abstentions, saying at a press conference after the no-confidence censure debate, "yes, it's a relief. "
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon received the highest number of votes with 268 and Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit the lowest of 241 votes of confidence.
Six opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP), the largest party in the legislature filed a motion of no-confidence against Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 cabinet ministers last month, with Office of Innovation for Democracy at King Prajadhipok’s Institute director, Stithorn Thananithichot, saying that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha should survive the motion of no-confidence.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and ten cabinet ministers were accused of violations of the Constitution and laws including ethical standards, mismanagement of state affairs negligence in the performance of duties, allowing rampant corruption to take place, failure to implement policies stated in parliament, violations of human rights and the undermining of parliamentary democracy.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew accused the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers of corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines with allegations of the government embezzling funds from the state budget for the procurement of China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine.
"A discrepancy of 2 million-baht between the approved funds from the state budget for five batches of Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine and the amount actually paid have been found," he said.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Amarat Chokepamitkul, said at the censure debate that "the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) procurement and construction projects are not transparent and are wasteful."
She claimed that the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) drafted Constitution provides Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha with extended power through the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) appointed 250 seat Senate, accusing the Prime Minister of "being a tyrant who is bent on undermining the democratic system."
"Several of the army’s construction projects were implemented by handpicked contractors, often before bidding was held or before bid results were announced," she said.
Thai Sang Thai Party or Building Thailand's Future party that was co-founded by four former ministers of the ruling Royal Thai Armed Forces, Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) in January, submitted a petition to the Parliamentary Committee on Corruption Prevention and Suppression to investigate members of the Senate , saying "more than 50 relatives of senators filled seats on Senate working panels during 2019-2022 with the state paying more than 2.3 billion baht for the senators and their assistants."
Thai Sang Thai Party communications director, Treerat Sirichantaropas said that some assistants were not appointed for their merit, saying "assistants were appointed to exploit the position for their own financial gain and that is a waste of taxpayer money."
He said that relatives of Prime Minister Chan-o-cha were appointed as senators by the Royal Thai Armed Forces that is led by the Prime Minister, saying "the senators also voted for the Prime Minister in office."
In August 2016 about 50 million Thai's voted in a referendum that resulted with 61 percent approval for the 250-seat senate to be fully appointed by the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) administered government under Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha whose administration followed the May 2014 the Royal Thai Army declaration of martial law.
The Southeast Asian Times


New US ambassador to Australia to make big impact in Pacific

New United States ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, arrives in Sydney on Friday July 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Sydney, July 24: New United States ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, said on arrival in Sydney on Friday that the U.S. and Australia will make an impact in the Pacific," saying "China certainly has a big presence here in the region, but I think our partnership does as well," reports Australian Associated Press.
"The United States and Australia working together will make a big, big impact in the Pacific", she said.
She said that the United States-Australia partnership will work together in the region on security, economic engagement, climate change, health, and security, saying " "America has a lot of work to do in the Pacific."
"We're putting our embassies back in the Pacific, and the Peace Corps is coming and USAID is coming back," she said.
The new United States ambassador to Australia said that "there was a big agenga in the United States Australia relations seen in the work done bilaterally, regionally and globally in the Australia, United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) and the Australia, India, Japan and United States, Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)
In May 2022 Newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, declared Australia's commitment to the Australia, India, Japan and the United States, Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) saying that the new Australian government's priorities align with the Quad agenda.
"Taking action on climate change and building a stronger and more resilient Indo-Pacific region through better economic security, better cybersecurity, better energy security and better environmental and health security aligns with the Quad agenda."
"We know that China is seeking to exert more influence in the Pacific and we know that climate change is such an important issue," he said.
"That's why my government will take ambitious action on climate change and increase our support to partners in the region as they work to address it, including with new finance," he said.
In September 2021 Malaysia's Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob warned that the new Indo-Pacific alliance between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, AUKUS, that was formed to construct nuclear submarines in Australia, could provoke a nuclear arms race in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Malaysia feared that the new Indo-Pacific alliance AUKUS that was announcement at the State Department in Washington DC,
would work in cooperation to build nuclear-powered submarines in Australia and that the rotational deployment of U.S. military aircraft to Australia "would provoke other powers to also act aggressively in the region."
In September 2021 China Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Zhao Lijian said in Beijing following the annoucement in Washington DC of the formation of the Indo-Pacific AUKUS alliance that nuclear submarine cooperation between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, (AUKUS) would undermine regional peace and stability, intensify the arms race and undermine international non-proliferation of nuclear weapons efforts.
"Australia as a non-nuclear weapon state under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a party to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, has introduced nuclear submarine technology of strategic and military value," he said.
In September 2021 then Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton, said that the AUKUS partnership that included the rotational deployment of all U.S. military aircraft to Australia, would "significantly enhance Australia's Force Posture Cooperation and Alliance Integration, increase interoperability and deepen alliance activities in the Indo-Pacific."
He said that the AUKUS security partnership would include greater air cooperation through rotational deployments of all types of U.S. military aircraft to Australia.
"Australia is committed to the highest standards for safeguards, transparency, verification, and accountancy measures to ensure the non-proliferation, safety, and security of nuclear material and technology." he said.
He said that Australia remains committed to fulfilling all of its obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state, including with the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying "Australia, United Kingdom and the United States AUKUS are deeply committed to upholding our leadership on global non-proliferation."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam National Assembly presents draft law for democracy at grassroots level for deliberation

Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra at the National Assembly in Hanoi on Friday May 27, 2022

From News Reports:
Hanoi, May 31: Vietnam presented a report on the draft law on the implementation of democracy at grassroots level at the third session of the National Assembly on Friday with the Minister of Home Affairs saying that the draft law on the implemention of democracy at grassroots level is intended to ensure that state power belongs to the people, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra said that the 7 chapters and 74 articles on the draft law on the implemention of democracy at grassroots level is intended to ensure that state power belongs to the people, saying "the draft law affirms the nature of the Vietnamese state as a law- governed socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people.
"The draft law on the implementation of democracy includes the authorisation of the implementation of grassroots democracy,"she said.
She said that the draft law specifically stipulates the rights and obligations of citizents, cadres, civil servants, public employees and employers, saying "Vietnamese have the right to complain, initiate lawsuits and denounce violations relating to the implementation of democracy at the grassroots level."
"Vietnamese are under obligation to propose and report violations to the implementation of democracy at grassroot level to the authorities," she said.
National Assembly Law Committee chairman Hoang Thanh Tung said that the Law Committee agrees with the draft law to regulate the implementation of democracy at the grassroots levels including communes, wards, townships and residential communities, agencies, agencies of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and public non-business organisations, socio-political organisations and business National Assembly Law Committee also agreed to assign competent agencies, organisations and individuals to specify the implementation of democracy within agencies and particular institutions such as Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) agencies, the National Assembly, the People's Council, the People's Court, the People's Procuracy, the People's Army, the People's Public Security, and socio-political organisations from central to local levels.
"National Assembly Law Committee agreed that the law should have a separate chapter stipulating the content, form and method of implementing democracy at grassroots level in enterprises, including specific provisions for State-owned enterprises that directly manage and use resources of the State," he said.
In May 2021 Vietnam's National Election Council (NEC) chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, deemed the National Assembly (NA) election held on Sunday May 23, 2021 a success, saying that 95.65 percent of 66 million Vietnamese voted for a Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) representative candidate in the 15th National Assembly 2021 - 2026 tenure election.
Almost all registered voters cast a ballot in 80,000 polling stations in 32,000 constituencies over 63 provinces for one of 868 candidates nominated by the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), for 500 deputies to represent them in the National Assembly.
National Election Council (NEC) chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, who is also National Assembly Chairman and member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, said ahead of the election on May 23, 2022 that "voting in National Assembly elections gives power to the people," said after the elections "early voting results have shown a high voter turnout."
The Southeast Asian Times





Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
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Kang-Fu the Red Kangaroo is relentless in his fight to protect Australia's sovereignity...Open page here


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



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Australian reporter, Chris Ray, investigates why Australia dropped five spots in the World Press Freedom Index...open


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Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
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"Goodbye America" says B.A. Hamzah as he calls for Asians to determine their own political destiny in "Time for Asia to set it's own course, minus the U.S."...open here


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

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



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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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



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Australia

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ambodia...3,115.36
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iet Nam Dong..16,849.44

Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Yangon, November 25: Singapore's largest property developer, the Far East Organization, is to partner with Myanmar's
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