The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Monday 18 January 2021
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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Cambodia to inoculate with China's vaccine without WHO certification

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the signing of the China Cambodia free trade agreement in Phnom Penh, October, 12, 2020

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, January 18: Cambodia has accepted China's Sinovac Biotech donation of vaccine for inoculation against Covid-19 without certification by the World Health Organisation (WHO), with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that "it is no longer possible for Cambodia to wait for certification, reports the Agence Kampuchea Presse.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Saturday that Cambodia has accepted
1 million doses of the vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech despite previously saying that Cambodia would only accept vaccines that had been certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"We cannot wait any longer for certification of the vaccine," he said.
He said that China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi was inoculated with the made-in China vaccine in October, saying that "Foreign Minister Wanh Yi's visit to ASEAN members countries after he was vaccinated gave Cambodia confidence in China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine."
He said that Cambodia will use China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine without certification of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine
by the World Health Organisation.

Indonesia
Indonesia's Vice presidential spokesman, Masduki Baidlowi, said that the Indonesian government will not begin inoculation of China's Sinovac Biotech to Indonesia's population of 250 million of which 90 percent are Muslim without a fatwa issued on the halal status of the vaccine by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
"A fatwa issued on the China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine would ensure that the vaccine is religiously acceptable," he said.
Indonesia's Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said that three million doses of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine arrived in Indonesia last month, saying that the vaccine would be distributed after the Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) gives emergency-use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine," he said.
"The vaccination program would be conducted after the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issues a fatwa on the halal status of the vaccine," he said.

Thailand
The Thai Ministry of Public Health deputy permanent secretary, Supakit Sirilak, called for verification of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine ordered from China following a report from Brazil’s public Butantan Institute, that the vaccine developed in partnership with China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd is less effective than stated.
Brazil’s public Butantan Institute revealed on last week, ahead of the arrival of China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine. that the vaccine is 50.4 percent effective in preventing coronavirus infections, saying "this is well below the 78 percent effectiveness announced by China's Sinovac Biotech last week."
Thai Ministry of Public Health said that the Thai government would go ahead with the order of vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd despite the reported effectiveness.
China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd., has agreed to deliver the first 200,000 dosages of the vaccine by the end of February with a further 800,000 dosages in March and one million in April.

Philippines
The Food and Drug Administration,(FDA) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have launched investigations into the unauthorised vaccination against Covid-19 of the President Rodrigo Duterte's Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel with vaccine illegally imported from China's Sinopharm International Corp.
The Senate inquiry into the inoculation of select members of the Philippines Cabinet, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against Covid-19 with vaccines illegally imported from China will begin with a Senate inquiry into the purchase of the vaccine from China Sinopharm International Corp.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said that the Senate inquiry will focus on the P72.5 billion approved by Congress to the Department of Health (DOH) for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
"The Senate inquiry will focus on the road map for the P72.5 billion approved by Congress for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Student arrest under lese majeste law first with court approved warrant

Thammasat University student Sirichai Nathuang, 21, second from left, at the Thanyaburi Court in Pathum Thani province on Thursday is the first to be arrested under the Lese Majeste law with a court approved warrant

From News Reports:
Bangkok, January 16: A Thai student was arrested under the Lese Majeste law with the first court approved arrest warrant since Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-0-cha announced in November that all laws including the Lese Majeste laws would be enforced to deal with protesters, reports the Bangkok Post.
Bangkok Thammasat University Rangsit campus student, Sirichai Nathuang, 21, was arrested on Wednesday under the Lese Majeste law that prohibits defaming, insulting or threatening the Thai monarchy, for defacing the portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn at the Bangkok Thammasat Univiersity Rangsit campus.
Sirichai Nathuang, who is a member of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration was arrested and charged with spraying messages calling for the abolition of the lese majeste law on portraits of King Maha Vajiralongkorn at six locations at the university including the nameplate of the university.
Human Rights lawyer, Noraset Nanongtoom said that student, Sirichai Nathuang, is the first to be arrested and charged under the Lese Majeste law since the November announcement that all laws would be enforced against protesters.
He said that the court has denied police requests for arrest warrants for protesters saying that "protesters calling for reform of the monarchy were summoned to acknowledge charges but released without arrest."
Sirichai Nathuang, who was arrested for insulting the king under Section 112 of the Criminal Code and for vandalising property under Section 358, was released on bail of 150,000 baht, 30,000 baht in cash and the remainder guaranteed by a lecturer at the Thammasat University.
In September 2020 Thammasat University student protesters of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration forced their way through the gates of the Thammasat University Tha Phra Chan campus, calling for reform of the Thai monarchy, and then moved to the Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace to reinstall a plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution that overthrew absolute monarchy.
In August a 10 point manifesto was submiited to the Thai Parliament by student organisation United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration and the Free Youth Movement calling for reform of the monarchy but stating that demand for amendements to the constitution did not include a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy.
The 10 point manifesto called for repeal of the criminalisation of criticism of the Thai King under the Lese Majeste law, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand investigates police and state officials for smuggling illegal workers

Assistant Police Commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has callled for the prosecution and disciplinary action of those implicated in the smuggling of Myanmar migrant workers to Thailand

From News Reports:
Bangkok, January 16: Thai National Police are to investigate police officers and state officials for negligence of duty and for aiding and abetting the smuggling of illegal workers across the Thai-Myanmar border, with the assistant police commissioner calling for criminal prosecution and disciplinary action of those involved, reports the Bangkok Post.
Assistant Police Commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas called on national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk on Thurdsay to prosecute and to take disciplinary action against those implicated in the smuggling of Myanmar illegal workers to Thailand.
He said that an initial investigation found that 33 officials were involved in smuggling of illegal workers across the Thai-Myanmar border in Thailand's Kanchanaburi Sangkhla Buri district.
He said that more than 20 non-commissioned and commissioned police officers including deputy commanders are to be investigated, saying "officials in other state agencies are also to be investigated for their role in the smuggling of illegal workers across the Thai-Myanmar border."
"Police are to issue arrest warrants for eight Thai civilians who are part of a smuggling ring who smuggled Myanmar workers to Thailand allegedly with the help of police and other government officials to work in Samut Sakhon province," he said.
He said the illegal Myanmar workers, who were unknowingly infected with Covid-19, are believed to have spread the Covid-19 infection to Thai's working at the central shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province, an outbreak that spread to other provinces in Thailand.
In September 2020 the arrest of 6,000 Myanmar workers on the Myanmar Thai border attempting to flee Myanmar for Thailand out of fear of catching Covid-19 after the outbreak in Rakhine State, had doubdled in two weeks.
Aid Alliance Committee of Myanmar Workers official, Ko Ye Min, said that Thai's living on the border feared that the Myanmar migrant workers would bring Covid-19 infection to Thailand, saying "the virus has spread in Myanmar since an outbreak in Rakhine State on August 15."
The Southeast Asian Times

Thailand wants verification of effectiveness and safety of China's vaccine

Thai Ministry of Public Health deputy permanent secretary, Supakit Sirilak, says that Thailand is to go ahead with order of millions of dosages of vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd

From News Reports:
Bangkok, January 15: The Thai Ministry of Public Health has called for verification of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine ordered from China following a report from Brazil’s public Butantan Institute, that the vaccine developed in partnership with China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd is less effective than stated, reports Bangkok Post.
Brazil’s public Butantan Institute revealed on Tuesday, ahead of the arrival of China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine to Thailand next month, that the vaccine is 50.4 percent effective in preventing coronavirus infections.
Thai Ministry of Public Health deputy permanent secretary, Supakit Sirilak, said that the Thai government would go ahead with the order of vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd despite the vaccines less than stated effectiveness.
He said that the request for verification of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine has been sent to China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd., saying "further information is required for approval of the vaccine by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA)."
Brazil’s public Butantan Institute said that the coronavirus vaccine developed in partnership with China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd was 50.4 percent effective in preventing coronavirus infections and that this is well below the 78 percent effectiveness announced by China's Sinovac Biotech last week.
Thai Ministry of Public Health deputy permanent secretary, Supakit Sirilak, said the ministry relied on the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that 50 percent efficiency is enough for emergency use.
"The vaccine has already been given to about 100,000 medical and military personnel without any harmful side effects, " he said.
China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd., has agreed to deliver the first 200,000 dosages of the vaccine by the end of February with a further 800,000 dosages in March and one million in April.
China's Food and Drug Administration is awaiting efficiency and safety data from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd, before approving the vaccine.
The Southeast Asian Times


Chinese working in the Philippines face deportation for inoculation with unauthorised vaccine from China

Philippines Senator Richard Gordon said that about 100,000 Chinese nationals working in the Philippines for offshore gaming (POGO) could be deported

From News Reports:
Manila, January 14: Chinese nationals working for Philippines offshore gaming operators (POGO) face deportation for inoculation against Covid-19 with vaccines illegally imported from China's Sinopharm International Corp., reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Philippines Senator Richard Gordon said that about 100,000 Chinese nationals working for Philippines offshore gaming operators (POGO) are subject to deportation for the inoculation of a vaccine unathorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, saying "they violated the law."
He said that while foreigners in the Phillipines should be vaccinated, they should be vaccinated within the requirements of the law, saying "foreigners who do not use an authorised vaccine are in violation of the law and as such are subject to deportation."
He said that the law applied regardless of the success of the illegally imported vaccines from China's Sinopharm International Corp, saying "the Chinese nationals violated the law, it's as simple as that."
The Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have launched investigations into the unauthorised vaccination against Covid-19 of the Presiden Rodrigo Duterte's Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel with the illegally imported from China's Sinopharm International Corp vaccine.
The Senate is conducting an inquiry into the inoculation of Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel against Covid-19 of the vaccine developed by the China Sinopharm International Corp., with the Senate summons of Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III to explain the Presidential Security Group (PSG) unlawful inoculation of the Covid-19 vaccine.
In May 2020 Chinese nationals working for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) in the Philippines resumed gaming operations after the operations were closed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) orders in March, reportedly in order for the government to raise funds to combat Covid-19 in the Philippines.
Presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, said then that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), that cater to online gamblers in China, are not subject to closure under quarantine orders, saying that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) fall under the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) classification.
He said that operators are third party providors not gamblers, saying "no gambling by Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) is conducted in the Philippines."
The Southeast Asian Times


King of Malaysia assents to government decision to declare state of emergency

Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin proclaimed a state of emergency with the concent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, king of Malaysia in a live telecast on Tuesday January 12, 2021

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, January 13: The constitutional monarch and head of state of Malaysia, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, king of Malaysia, proclaimed a nationwide state of emergency as a proactive measure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic after rejecting the government's call for a state of emergency in October setting a precedent that favoured the king's decision over the governments, reports the Star.
The king of Malaysia, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, gave his concent to a state of emergency after at a meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.
Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement on Tuesday that Yang di-Pertuan Agong, king of Malaysia, decreed that the emergency be in force to August 1 or earlier if the number of Covid-19 cases can be effectively controlled and reduced.
"Al-Sultan Abdullah also consented to a government proposal to set up an independent committee comprising of government and opposition MPs as well as health experts to manage the Covid-19 situation," he said.
He said that the Independent Committee will make recommendations to His Majesty if it deems fit that the emergency can be withdrawn earlier.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was appointed as Prime Minister by Yang di-Pertuan Agong, king of Malaysia, in March 2020 amid claims that the new Prime Minister did not have the support of the members of parliament, proclaimed a state of emergency on Monday with the concent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, king of Malaysia.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that six states would be put under the movement control order (MCO) with three districts under conditional movement control order (MCO).
In August 2018, in the months after Mahathir Mohamad became Prime Minister of Malaysia for the second time, he said that there were no plans to return absolute monarchy to Malaysia.
He said then that the Malaysian government would not amend the Federal Constitution that allows Bills to automatically become law in 30 days without the constitutional monarch and head of state of Malaysia, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong - King of Malaysia - assent
"There are no plans to return power to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong - King of Malaysia to reject laws passed by Parliament", Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the parliament.
The then Prime Minister Mathathir said that in a democracy the voice of the people decide everything, saying that "if the King were given absolute power to reject laws that it would mean a loss of the people's power and we would no more be a democracy but an absolute monarchy."
The Southeast Asian Times


Signals detected from black box on
ill-fated flight that crashed into sea after take-off from Jakarta

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) at Tanjung Priok Port in Jarkarta carry bags containing remains of victims recovered from the Sriwijaya Air SJ 182 crash

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 12: The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has detected signals from the black box on Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 that crashed into the sea after taking off from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta international airport on Saturday, with the National Search and Rescue Agency saying the agency would focus on finding the black box, reports the Jakarta Post.
The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Chief Bagus Puruhito said that research vessel Kri Rigel-933 detected signals from two points
believed to be the planes black box.
He said that the findings are yet to be confirmed, saying the two signals were detected in areas marked as the location where Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 crashed into the sea.
"The search team also found turbines allegedly belonging to the crashed airliner," he said.
The Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 crashed in the waters between Laki Island and Lancang Island 11 nautical miles from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang in suburban Jakarta.
The Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi has confirmed that airport authorities lost contact with Sriwijaya Air flight number SJ182 on the Jakarta-Pontianak route at about 2:40 p.m.on Saturday.
The Boeing 737-500 jet, registration number PK CLC, had its last contact at 11 nautical miles north of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after passing an altitude of 11,000 feet and rising to 13,000 feet.
"The SJ182 Sriwijaya Air plane carried 50 passengers and 12 cabin crew on its flight from Soekarno-Hatta Interntional Airport to Pontianak, West Kalimantan," he said.
Operations Director of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Rasman said Rescue workers retrieved human remains believed to be passengers on the ill-fated flight, saying "five bags containing human remains have been handed to the Disaster Victim Identification (DIV) of the National Police (Polri) and the National Committee for Transportation Safety (KNKT) for further investigation."
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesian government waits for fatwa or haram on China's vaccines before mass inoculation

The Indonesian government will not begin mass vaccination of China's Sinovac Biotech without a fatwa issued by the Indonesia's the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI)

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 11: The Indonesian government will not begin mass vaccination of China's Sinovac Biotech without a fatwa issued by the Indonesia's largest Muslim organistion, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), on the halal status of the vaccine, reports, the Jakarta Post.
Vice presidential spokesman, Masduki Baidlowi, said that the Indonesian government will not begin administration of
China's Sinovac Biotech to Indonesia's population of 250 million of which 90 percent are Muslim without a fatwa issued on the halal status by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
He said the Covid-19 vaccine program will be undertaken after Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issues a fatwa on the halal status of the China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine.
"A fatwa issued on the China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine would ensure that the vaccine is religiously acceptable for consumption," he said.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the vaccination program would be conducted after Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issues a fatwa on the halal status of the vaccine
"Three million doses of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine that arrived in Indonesia last month would be distributed after the Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) gives emergency-use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine," he said.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said in a statement that the orgnisation would not issue a final fatwa on the halal status of the vaccine from China until the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Bio Farma, approves the vaccine and issues an emergency use authorisation.
Indonesia recorded its highest daily number of new infections on Friday at 10,617 bringing the total of infections to 808,340, with 233 recorded fatalities over 24 hours, taking the death toll to 23,753.
The Southeast Asian Times


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Indonesia declares China's Sinovac Biotech coronavirus vaccine halal but has not issued a final fatwa

Health workers check boxes containing coronavirus vaccines developed by China's Sinovac Biotech after they arrived in Bali, on Thursday, January 7, 2021

From News Reports:
Bangkok, January 10: Indonesia's largest Muslim organistion, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), declared on Friday that coronavirus vaccines developed by China's Sinovac Biotech are halal but that a final fatwa will not be issued until the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Bio Farma, approves the emergency use of the vaccine, reports Rueters.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) declared that millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine from China is halal ahead of the planned mass vaccination of Indonesia's population of 250 million of which 90 percent are Muslim.
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said that China's Sinovac Biotech has assured the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Bio Farma, that the vaccines developed in China do not contain ingredients derived from pork that is against Muslim beliefs.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said in a statement that the orgnisation would not issue a final fatwa or a religious edict on the vaccine from China until the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Bio Farma, approves the vaccine and issues an emergency use authorisation.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said that the halal status of other vaccines is yet to be issued, saying "halal status on all coronavirus vaccines would reassure Indonesians that inoculation against covid-19 is not against Muslim beliefs."
Indonesia has signed multiple agreements with vaccine companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Novavax Inc., which are yet to arrive in Indonesia.
The Indonesia Ministry of Health is to carry out the distribution of the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd to all 34 provinces, with the Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi saying the distribution will begin as soon as the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Bio Farma issues an emergency use authorisation.
Indonesia recorded its highest daily number of new infections on Friday at 10,617 bringing the total of infections to 808,340, with 233 recorded fatalities over 24 hours, taking the death toll to 23,753.
The Southeast Asian Times


Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir released from prison after pledgeing loyalty to Pancasila

Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 81, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), was released from the Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java Province on Friday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 9: Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 81, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), who was found guilty by the South Jakarta District Court in 2011 for organising acts of terror, was released from Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java Province on Friday, two years after his planned release was cancelled on grounds that the cleric refused to pledge loyalty to the state ideology, Pancasila, and the Republic of Indonesia, reports the Jakarta Post.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir was to be released from prison after serving nine years of a 15 year sentence in January 2019 on humanitarian grounds citing his old age and deteriorating health under Law No. 8 of 2018 on counter-terrorism that upholds the principles of human rights and respects human dignity.
But President Joko Widodo backtracked on the decision to release the Muslim cleric, saying that the requirement of Government Regulation (PP) No. 99/2012 must be met before Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir can receive conditional parole.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir was ineligible for unconditional release in January 2019 after he refused to declare loyalty to Pancasila, a requirement for convicted terrorists to obtain parole as stipulated in Government Regulation (PP) No. 99/2012.
National prisons spokeswoman Rika Aprianti said that Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 81 was released from the Gunung Sindur prison at about 5.30am on Friday, saying that he was accompanied by members of Indonesia's counter-terror squad, Densus 88.
"He was handed over to his family and a team of lawyers who came to pick him up at the penitentiary," she said.
The spokeswoman said that Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir was expected to return to his hometown Solo city in Java.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir's arrest in 2012 was the third effort since 2000 to have him convicted for “terrorism” although he served almost 26 months in jail before he won his appeal in 2006 against his conviction for conspiracy following the Bali bombings of 2002 in which more than 200 people, most of them Australians, were killed.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir was arrested in February 2012 after the discovery of a paramilitary training camp in Aceh, northern Sumatra, but denied the charges.
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was accused of supporting a military-style training facility on Jantho Mountain, Aceh, and of collecting rupiah 350 million, about US$ 41,000, from donors to fund the facility.
The cleric was originally charged with “mobilising people for acts of terror,” a charge that carries the death penalty - and the armed robbery of Bank CIMB Niaga, Medan.
In January 2013 Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who was then in a maximum security prison on Nusakambangan Island off the coast of Cilacap, Central Java published a 176-page book saying, “the rulers have to replace the law of the land, the positive law of the Unitary State of Indonesia, with sharia.”
The Southeast Asian Times


Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy activists for subversion in District Council elections

Power for Democracy convenor Andrew Chiu Kayin, who was among the 53 pro-democracy activists arrested in Hong Kong on Wednesday, had his earlobe bitten off in November 2019 while campaining in the District Council Elections

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, January 8: Hong Kong Police under the Security Bureau of Hong Kong arrested 53 pro-democracy activists for subversion under the new law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that was passed into legislature in Beijing last year, for their involvement in the organisation of the 2020 cancelled District Council elections that attempted to exclude candidates chosen by Beijing, reports Rueters.
District councillors, including Power for Democracy convenor Andrew Chiu Kayin, who coordinated the poll, former student leader Lester Shum of the Occupy protests, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, who organised mass protests last year and American lawyer John Clancey were among 53 arrested in dawn raids in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The 53 pro-democracy activits were arrested for subversion for their invovlvement in the campaign to win a majority in Hong Kong’s 70-seat Legislative Council, in the 2020 elections, with accusations from Hong Kong Secretary for Security Security Bureau of Hong Kong, John Lee Ka-chiu, that the pro-democracy activists attempted to block central government proposals.
Hong Kong Secretary for Security Security Bureau of Hong Kong, John Lee Ka-chiu said that the 53 arrested were involved in subversive acts in their attempt to destroy the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) legal execution of duties in a plan that would require Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to resign should the legislature fail to pass the annual budget twice.
"The new law on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong prohibits disruption and interference in the city's administration," he said.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, legislator Holden Chow, said the political party supported the arrest of the 53 pro-democract activists, saying "their organisation of the 2020 District Council elections was an intentional and purposeful attempt to undermine the central governments exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong."
In the November 2019 District Council elections the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress pro-China rule over Hong Kong candidate, Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan, who held positions in the District Council, the Legislative Council and the Executive Council, lost his seat in the Sai Wan constituency of Central and Western District Council to a pro-democracty candidate.
Almost three million voted for democratic candidates in November 2019 with the pro-democracy camp securing almost 406 of the 452 District Council seats, an overwhelming increase over the 2015 District Council elections in which the pro-democracy camp secured only 100 of the 452 seats.
Pro-democracy candidate Cheung Sau-yin, who defeated incumbent Wilson Wong Wai-shun in the Yuen Lung constituency in Yuen Long, described the November 2019 election results a “tsunami”, calling on his allies in the pro-democracy camp to keep up their efforts in both the District Council and on the streets
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippines Senate inquiry into unlawful inoculations begins with purchase of vaccine from China

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said that the Senate inquiry will focus on P72.5 billion approved by Congress to the Department of Health (DOH) for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines

From News Reports:
Manila, January 7: The Senate inquiry into the inoculation of select members of the Philippines Cabinet, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against Covid-19 with vaccines illegally imported from China is to go ahead but will begin with a Senate inquiry into the purchase of the vaccine from China Sinopharm International Corp, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said that the Senate inquiry will focus on the P72.5 billion approved by Congress to the Department of Health (DOH) for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
"The Senate inquiry will focus on the road map for the P72.5 billion approved by Congress for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines," he said.
He said that the Senate inquiry into the unathorised inoculation of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) with vaccine illegally imported from China will be conducted at a separate Senate hearing despite the requirement for heads of executive departments to secure President Rodrigo Duterte permission to appear in a Senate inquiry.
Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, who is under investigation for the unauthorised vaccination of Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel, was directed by President Rodrigo Duterte not to attend the Senate hearing.
"Do not obey the summons," President Rodrigo Duterte told Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, in a televised address on Monday.
"I am ordering you to stay put in the barracks," he said.
Minority Floor Leader of the Senate, Franklin Drilon, said that the Senate should continue with the hearing into the unlawful inoculation of select members of the Philippines Cabinet, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against Covid-19 with vaccines illegally imported from China despite the requirement to secure permission from President Duterte to appear at the Senate hearing.
He said the Senate should continue with the hearing, saying that further unlawful inoculations have beed discovered.
" 100,000 Chinese online gambling workers in the Philippines have also been inoculated with the unauthorised Covid-19 vaccine from China."
The Southeast Asian Times


President Duterte orders presidential security commander to ignore senate summons over vaccine inoculation

President Rodrigo Duterte said that Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel had used the unauthorised vaccine in good faith

From News Reports:
Manila, January 6: Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, who is under investigation for the unauthorised vaccination of his Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel, has been directed by President Rodrigo Duterte to ignore a legislative summons, reports Rueters.
The Senate is conducting an inquiry into the unauthorised approval of the inoculation of Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel against Covid-19 of a vaccine developed by the China Sinopharm International Corp.
The Senate has summons Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III to explain the Presidential Security Group (PSG) unlawful l inoculation of the Covid-19 vaccine.
President Duterte said that Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel had used the vaccine in good faith, saying "the Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel could not afford to wait for regulatory approval."
"Do not obey the summons," President Rodrigo Duterte told Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, in a late-night televised address on Monday.
"I am ordering you to stay put in the barracks," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would not allow his soldiers, for all their good intenions, to be brutalised at a senate inquiry.
"I am prepared to defend my soldiers," he said.
Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III l said that President Duterte’s Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel had administered the COVID-19 vaccine, saying "the Presidential Security Group (PSG) administered the vaccine from China without the help of a medical professional."
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the vaccines administered to members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were illegally imported into the Philippines, saying "the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized the use of the China Sinopharm International Corp.vaccine."
"The President’s Presidential Security Group (PSG) were vaccinated as early as September without authorization from President Duterte himself," he said.
The Food and Drug Administration,(FDA) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have launched separate investigations into the unauthorised vaccination against Covid-19 of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippine officials under investigation for innoculation using unauthorised Covid-19 vaccine

Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III l said that members of President Duterte’s Presidential Security Group (PSG) had administered the COVID-19 vaccine from China among themselves

From News Reports:
Manila, January 5: Philippines government officials are under investigation for the approval of the inoculation against Covid-19 of President Rodrigo Duerte's Presidential Security Group (PSG) of a vaccine from China that has not been authorised by Philippine regulators, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) spokesperson, Ferdinand Lavin, said that inquiries will be undertaken to find out if the government officials who approval the innoculations knew that the vaccines were not registered in the Philippines
President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had been inoculated against Covid-19 with a vaccine but reortedly refused to reveal the source of the vaccine.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel who were innoculated with the vaccine reportedly developed by the China Sinopharm International Corp were later confirmed to be members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III l said that members of President Duterte’s Presidential Security Group (PSG) had administered the COVID-19 vaccine among themselves, saying "the Presidential Security Group (PSG) administered the vaccine from China without the help of a medical professional.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the vaccines administered to members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were smuggled into the Philippines, saying "the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized the use of the vaccine from China."
"The President’s Presidential Security Group (PSG) were vaccinated as early as September without authorization from President Duterte himself," he said.
The Food and Drug Administration,(FDA), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have launched separate investigations into the Presidential Security Group (PSG) vaccination.
Senator Richard Gordon said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP and the Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III could be the 'fall guys' in the smuggling of the unauthorised Covid-19 into the Philippines from China, saying he did not believe the claim that Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III that the vaccine was procured on his own initiative.
"Durante loyalty to President Duterte , while admirable, should be within the bounds of the law," he said.
He said that the government should determine who brought the Chinese vaccine to the Philippines to treat our people like guinea pigs.
The Southeast Asian Times

Islam Defenders Front establish new mass Islamic organisation within hours of government ban

Islam Defenders Front (FPI) headquarters dismantled after Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs ban of the mass Islamic orgainsation on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 4: The Islam Defenders Front (FPI) announced the establishment of a new mass Islamic organisation within hours of the announcement by the Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs on Wednesday that the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) organisation was banned, saying the organisation was associated with terrorist organisations and had committed violent acts against civilians, reports the Jakarta Post.
Islam Defenders Front (FPI) chairman Ahmad Shabri Lubis and 18 members declared the establishment of the new Islamic organisation also named the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) in a statement saying "we hereby declare the establishment of the United Islamic Front (FPI)."
"A new Islam Defenders Front (FPI) Islamic organisation was establishment in order for the executive boards, members and supporters of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) across Indonesia and abroad to avoid fueding with the banned Islam Defenders Front (FPI) despotic regime," he said.
The new Islam Defenders Front (FPI) chairman Ahmad Shabri Lubis said the government decision to ban the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) last week was unconstitutional, saying the ban was unlawful and was an attempt to distract the public from the fatal shootings of six Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members last month.
Indonesia's House of Representatives, National Commission of Inquiry 111, called for an independent team to investigate the shootout between the now banned Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Indonesian National Police on the Cikampek toll road, Karawang, east of Jakarta last month that left six Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) security guards dead, with the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the police issuing differing statements, reports the Jakarta Post.
Jakarta Metro Police Chief Insp. Gen. M. Fadil Imran confirmed that police officers shot six Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) security guards dead last month during police pursuit of a vehicle carrying supporters of Islamic Defenders Front cleric Rizieq Shihab, who returned to Indonesia last month after three years in self exile in Saudi Arabia.
He said pursuit of the vehicle was launched on reports that thousands of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) supporters were on their way to Jakarta Police headquarters where Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) cleric Rizieq Shihab had been arrested for promoting mass-meetingss against the Indonesian Constitution or Pancasila.
The Southeast Asian Times



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Indigenous Australians in the northern Queensland town of East Trinity aim for economic independence from eco-cultural tourism, reports Christine Howes in "Australian indigenous eco-cultural tourism venture wins best small project national award " ...open here


Kavi Chongkittavorn talks about the UK application to become an ASEAN dialogue partner in "New dynamics of Aseans external ties," with consensus yet to be reached on admitting a former colonial master of four ASEAN member countries into the Southeast Asian bloc....open

Esther Samboh talks about the choise between thousands dying of Covid-19 or from hunger in densely populated Jakarta in the new normal in "Medics dying, infections soaring - it's still the economy" ...open page here



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


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Read what Son Nguyen has to say about the impact of China's virus on Vietnam's economy in "When the economy gets sick" open here


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


Has the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra suffered a fatal blow, or will it rise again? asks Australian reporter Chris Ray... Open page here

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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"
........open page here



"Goodbye America" says B.A. Hamzah as he calls for Asians to determine their own political destiny in "Time for Asia to set it's own course, minus the U.S."...open here


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

"Rockefeller and the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi" by Kerry B. Collison "is undoubtedly fictional but by no means improbable, " says Johannes Nugroho ....open page here

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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




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Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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