The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Tuesday 3 August 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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Money laundering charges withdrawn against British public relations consultant for former PM Najib

British national Paul Geoffrey Stadlen agrees to deposit funds into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Trust Account
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, August 3: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has withdrawn money laundering charges against a British public relations consultant for ousted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was found guilty of the misappropriation of RM42 million from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds and subsiduary SRS International Sdn Bhd and sentenced to 12 years in prison, reports the Star.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) withdrew money laundering charges against British national Paul Geoffrey Stadlen after the public relations consultant for ousted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, voluntarily agreed to deposit RM7,192,873.84 into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Trust Account.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) charged Paul Geoffrey Stadlen and lawyer Hafarizam Harun under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 for misappropriating funds from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Paul Geoffrey Stadlen was charged with money laundering for ordering payments totalling RM14.3 million ($3.5m) over 27 transactions via lawyer Hafarizam Harun client account between June and December 2014 and between January and August 2015 to individuals and companies linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds .
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, was Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board that had reportedly amassed RM42 billion in debts under his administration.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) also charged lawyer Hafarizam Harun with money laundering of RM14.3 million ($3.5m) in the
the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in 2014 and 2015.
Paul Geoffrey Stadlen, who was a public relations consultant for ousted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, for nine years left Malaysia for the UK after former Prime minister Najib Razak lost the May 2018 elections to
Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad appointed a Finance Ministry advisor immediately after his election on May 9 to oversee efforts to recover US$700mil (RM2.6bil) that was allegedly transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak private bank accounts.
The Southeast Asian Times

 

Myanmar military pledge new multi-party elections and cooperation with ASEAN special envoy

Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar commander-in-chief, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing said the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar would hold another general election and transfer power to the successful party
From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, August 2: The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, who seized the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February, has reportedly pledged to new multi-party elections and cooperation with any special envoy sent to Myanmar by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reports Reuters.
“Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework including dialogue with the ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar,” said Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, commander-in-chief, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing in a televised address on Sunday.
Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing said following the declaration of a state of emergency, and the arrest of Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD) President, Win Myint and State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, on February 1, 2021 that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar would conduct investigations into alleged voter irregularities and suspected fraud in the November 8, 2020 elections, saying that the State Administration Council (SAC) has found 11 million election irregularities.
"The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar would hold another general election and transfer power to the successful party," he said.
The November 8, 2020 elections that resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, with the majority of seats in the parliament and the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar supported Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) calling for a re-run of the elections.
Myanmar's Union Election Commission (EUC) rejected calls by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), to provide a list of voters in military townships after calls for a re-run of the election was rejected by the commission.
Union Election Commission (EUC) commissioner, U Myint Naing, under the then National League for Democracy (NLD) elected government, said then that there would be no re-run of the November 8 elections that showed that the National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, won 419 of the 440 seats in the Union Parliament, saying "the result of the election is final."
Last month at the Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers Meeting, United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, called on ASEAN Foreign Ministers including the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar appointed Foreign Minister, U Wunna Maung Lwin, who attended the meeting, to hold Myanmar accountable to the ASEAN five point consensus plan.
The five point consensus plan includes the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar, the ASEAN provision of humanitarian aid and the proposal that a special ASEAN envoy and delegation visit Myanmar.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urged Myanmar to end violence, to restore democratic transition and to release all those unjustly detained,
The Southeast Asian Times


Scalpers sell Covid-19 vaccination jabs in Bangkok

Thousands queue for Covid-19 vaccinations at the Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok on Wednesday
From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 1: Bangkok Metropolitan Police have charged Department of Medical service officials including a mobile operator with hacking into the vaccination booking system at the Bangkok Bang Sue Grand Station vaccination centre in Bangkok in order to sell vaccine bookings, reports the Bangkok Post.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that 11 Department of Medical services officials hacked into the vaccine booking system through the mobile operator connected to the vaccination booking system.
"It's not clear how many were involved in the scam," he said.
He said that the Department of Medical services officials were fraudulently selling vaccination bookings at the Bang Sue Grand Station, saying about 1,500 fraduelent vaccine bookings were sold a day."
Bangkok Metropolitan Police Maj Gen Amnat Traipot said that police had found a group of
city office and factory workers outside the Bang Sue Grand Station with fraudelent vaccine bookings
"An investigative panel will be set up to detect suspicious use of information on the vaccination booking system," he said.
Dr Mingkwan Wichaidit, manager of the vaccination centre at the Bang Sue Grand Station,
said that the centre became suspicious when they found a large number of vaccination bookings
in the system, saying "up to 2,000 bookings were found in a day."
The Southeast Asian Times

Former PM Mahathir calls for resignation of Malaysian government

Malaysia's King Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that he has not given consent for the revocation of emergency ordinances to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur. July 31: Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for overruling the King to revoke the emergency ordinance during the state of emergency, reports the Star.
Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has no power to revoke the emergency ordinances in the Parliament without the King's consent, saying "the Prime Minister has deliberately lied to Parliament."
He said the announcement in the Parliament on July 26 to revoke the emergency ordinances was made as if Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had the power to revoke the emergency ordinances, saying "such powers are solely in the hands of the King during the Emergency."
King of Malaysia, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said in a statement that the King has not given his consent for the revocation of emergency ordinances on July 21 as claimed by the Minister of Parliament and Law in the Prime Minister's Department, Takiyuddin Hassan, saying "the government is expected to table the ordinances for debate in the Parliament."
Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that although it was not Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who announced the revocation in the Parliament on July 26 but the Minister of Parliament and Law in the Prime Minister's Department, Takiyuddin Hassan, the Prime Minister cannot absolve himself of the responsibility.
He said that the Prime Minister made no attempt to correct the announcement in the Parliament to revoke the emergency ordinances that overruled the King during the Emergency.
He said that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is “responsible for this shameful act”, as are the other members of the Cabinet, saying "therefore it is incumbent upon him to resign as Prime Minister and his Cabinet members must follow suit."
The state of emergency that was declared in January and was to end August 1, allowed the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to rule by decree and to suspend parliament.
The suspension of Parliament reportedly stopped former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad from seeking a vote of no confidence against the leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Parliament.
Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed in March 2020 after Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as Prime Minister that prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin did not have the majority of support from the 222 Members of Parliament (MP) of the lower house of Parliament, saying "we have the majority."
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia Social Affairs Minister sentenced to 11 years in jail for bribery

Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, arrested for accepting bribes in the procurement of Covid-19 food aid packages for the poor on December 7, 2020
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 30: Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors called for a 11 year jail sentence for former Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, found guilty of accepting bribes from contractors in the procurement of Covid-19 food aid packages, at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Wednesday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, was arrested together with Ministry of Social Affairs officials, on December 7, 2020 following Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) raids on several locations in Jakarta.
Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, was charged with receiving a total of Rp32.2 billion in bribes including Rp1.28 billion from Social Affairs official, Harry Van Sidabukke, Rp1.9 billion from Social Affairs official, Ardian Iskandar Maddanatja and Rp29.2 billion from 272 companies that were contracted by the Social Affairs Ministry to provide Covid-19 aid packages for distribution to the poor.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors demanded that former Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, be jailed for 11 years and fined Rp500 million or serve a further jail term of six months.
The Jakarta Corruption Court prosecutors also demanded that former Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, pay compensation of Rp14.5 million.
Former Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, and member of Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has had his political right to stand for election as a public official revoked for 4 years after serving the sentence.
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established in 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by President Megawatti who founded the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and is the current leader.
Indonesia established - anti-corruption courts in 33 provinces in 2011 each with six judges with two of the judges attached to the higher court. The corruption courts reportedly hold trial hearings with their secretariats at existing district courts.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia PM receives Order of Friendship from Russia

Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi in Russia at the ASEAN-Russian Federation Commemorative Summit to Mark the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-Russian Federation Dialogue Partnership "Moving Towards a Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit" in May 21, 2016
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, July 29: Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, received the Order of Friendship from President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, on Sunday in recognition of Cambodia's foreign policy that steered Cambodia closer to Russia and China, reports Phnom Penh Post.
The Russian embassy in Phnom Penh said that Prime Minister Hun Sen was awarded the Order of Friendship for his significant contribution towards strengthening the bonds between Russians and Cambodians, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodian government spokesman, Phay Siphan, said that Prime Minister Hun Sen was honoured with the Order of Friendship in recognition of Cambodia's foreign policy, saying "Cambodia's foreign policy brands no country as an enemy and accepts all countries as friends."
He said that Prime Minister Hun Sen was honoured with the award for policies that achieved reforms that expanded Cambodia's engagement abroad.
"Cambodia's foreign policies steered Cambodia towards closer ties with powerful countries, Russia and China, and towards closer ties with our ASEAN neighbours," he said.
The Order of Friendship awarded to Prime Minister Hun Sen follows the round table video conference entitled "The Role of Russia and ASEAN’s Responsible Political Forces in Strengthening the Architecture of Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific," on June 29, 2021.
The video conference that was initiated by Russia was held to mark the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-Russian relations, with ASEAN member country Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen saying "these dialogue platforms were essential in sending a strong message to rejecting a new Cold War mentality and to make efforts to create space for cooperation beyond this geopolitical divide."
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is the president of the ruling Cambodia People's Party (CPP), said at the conference that "the world is witnessing an intense competition between mutually exclusive systems, an escalating clash of values and competition for global leadership, saying "all of which could bring military confrontation or even a new arms race."
He said that international relations are being subjected to the corrupting influence of this great geopolitical divide, saying "this pressure is obstructing smaller nation’s rights to self-determination and their right to choose a development path that fits that countries’ national context."
The Southeast Asian Times

PM convenes Parliament and ends State of Emergency on Kings' orders

Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin withdraws plan to extend the state of emergency and suspension of Parliament at the convening of Parliament on July 26, 2021
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, July 28: Malaysia's largest political party, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), that was founded to defend the Malay Royal Institution, claimed credit for the Government's withdrawal of the plan to extend the state of emergency and extend suspension of Parliament, reports the Star.
The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party member of coalition ruling Barissan Nasional (BN) withdrew support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier this month, saying the government has failed to address the Covid-19 pandemic effectively and has failed to abide by the royal decree to reconvene Parliament.
The constitutional monarch and head of state of Malaysia, King Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who chaired the Conference of Malay Rulers earlier this month, ruled that the state of emergency that expires on August 1 should not be extended and that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible.
"The King and the Conference of Malay Rulers have decided that the ongoing state of emergency that expires on August 1 should not be extended," said the keeper of the Conference of Malay Rulers seal, Danial Syed. Ahmad after the conference.
The ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said earlier this month that the state of emergency would not end on August 1, saying that "Parliament would reconvene in September or October provided that daily Covid-19 infections fell below 2,000."
"Malaysia's daily new Covid-19 infections would not be below 4,000 on August 1," he said.
The state of emergency that was declared in January and was to end on August 1, allowed the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to rule by decree and to suspend parliament.
The suspension of Parliament reportedly stopped former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad from seeking a vote of no confidence against the leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Parliament.
Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed in March 2020, after Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as Prime Minister, that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin did not have the majority of support from the 222 Members of Parliament (MP) of the lower house of Parliament, saying "we have the majority."
"We have 114 MPs backing us, " he said.
Mahathir Mohamad described the appointment of Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister as "a very strange thing", wherein a man with no majority support becomes prime minister, saying "let the parliament see to this."
"Of course, they can delay the Parliament sitting.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed Prime Minister by the King in accordance with Article 40(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution that says that the King of Malaysia "may act in his discretion" in the appointment of the prime minister.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australian MP supports civil disobedience protests against freedoms lost in Sydney lockdown

New South Wales Police Force has formed a task force to identify the about 7000 Sydneysiders protesting against the restriction of freedoms under lockdown on Saturday that contravened the public health order against mass gatherings
From News Reports:
Sydney, July 27: Australia's Member of Parliament for the state of Queensland, George Robert Christensen, has endorsed protests held in Sydney and Melbourne against the restriction of freedoms under lockdown, on Saturday saying "civil disobedience was moral, reports Reuters.
"This is what we’ve seen in Melbourne today," he said.
National Party of Australia Member of Parliament for Dawson in the Australian state of Queensland, George Robert Christensen, said after the anti-lockdown protests in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday that "civil disobedience eventually becomes the only response to laws that restrict freedom."
"Looks like thousands upon thousands of Sydneysiders are protesting against the removal of freedoms under the guise of the pandemic," he said.
"One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws," he said.
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said that "rallies in Sydney and other locked down cities were selfish and self defeating because it "won’t end the lockdown sooner," saying "it will only risk the lockdowns running further."
He said that Australians have free speech and can attend rallies where public health orders allow, saying “I don’t support the suggestion that civil disobedience was moral for the gathering in Sydney and Melbourne, whatsoever,” he said.
The NSW Police Force rejected an application to declare the protests a lawful assembly, saying the protest in Sydney on Saturday was an unlawful assembly, despite the view held by National Party of Australia Member of Parliament for Dawson in the Australian state of Queensland, George Robert Christensen, that the protests amount to a constitutionally protected form of freedom of polical communication.
New South Wales Police arrested fifty seven Sydney protesters charging them with offences including failing to comply with a public health order and knowingly joining an unlawful assembly with about 500 protesters issued with penalty notices.
The Southeast Asian Times


International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to charge Philippines with crimes against humanity

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew Philippine membership from the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the court announced that it would look into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the war on drugs campaign
From News Reports:
Manila, July 26: The Philippines Supreme Court has ruled that the International Criminal Court (ICC) can prosecute government officials for alledged crimes against humanity committed before the Philippines withdrew from the tribunal in 2019 despite President Rodrigo Dutere claim that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over the Philippines, reports Agence France Presse.
Philippines Supreme Court judges said in the ruling released on Wednesday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) retains jurisdiction over any and all acts committed by government officials until March 17, 2019, saying that "withdrawal does not affect the liabilities of individuals charged before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for acts committed up to this date,”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew Philippine membership from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March 17, 2019, a year after International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced the opening of a preliminary examination of the Philippines that would investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs campaign.
Chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said that she has determined that there is reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in the Philippines between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the Government of Philippines war on drugs campaign.
"A preliminary examination suggests that vigilante-style killings were perpetrated by Philippine police officers themselves, or other private individuals hired by authorities, leading to a death toll of between 12,000 to 30,000 civilians," she said.
She said that extrajudicial killings perpetrated across the Philippines appear to have been committed pursuant to an official State policy of the Philippine government, saying " police and other government officials planned, ordered, and sometimes directly perpetrated extrajudicial killings."
She said that the prosecution does not take a position on the Philippine government administration anti-drug program, saying that the investigation into alleged crimes against humanity was made in accordance with her obligations under the Rome Statute.
President Rodrigo Duterte condemned the International Criminal Court (ICC) for interfering in the Philippines domestic affairs, saying that the Court in the Hague had no jurisdiction over the Philippines.
He claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not have evidence that crimes against humanity were committed under his administration, saying that the drug related deaths occurred as suspects attempted to "fight it out" with authorities.
The Southeast Asian Times

Political prisoners chant against Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule

Dr Htar Htar Lin, former Director and Program Manager of the Covid-19 Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) under the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, was arrested together with her husband and son in Yangon on June 10, 2021
From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, July 25: Political prisoners detained in the Insein Prison in Yangon for their support of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government that was overthrown by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in February called for medical treatment for covid-19 prisoners and the release of political prisoners on Friday, with chants including "end the dictatorship! against Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule, reports Irrawaddy.
Political prisoners at the Insein Prison in Yangon also chanted "our cause! protest, protest! Start, start! Revolution! must prevail!.
Political prisoners imprisoned at the Shwe Bo Prison in Sagaing Region and the Obo Prison in Mandalay also joined the chant against Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule on Friday.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar are holding thousands of Myanmar civilians in detention in prisons across Myanmar including medical practioners charged with unlawful association and incitement for their involvement in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).
The Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), that was classified a terrorist orgnisation by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, called on hundreds of thousands of civil servants in the ministry of Education, Health, Transport, Electricity and Energy, Labor, Immigration and Population and Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement ministries, including academics and university students across Myanmar to stop work in the week the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar seized the elected government on February 1, 2021.
Yangon lawyer, U Khin Maung, said that political prisoners at the Insein Prison in Yangon demand the release of all charged with incitement under 505A of the Penal Code, saying that inmates facing other charges were released this week.
He said that political prisoners demand proper medical treatment for inmates, saying that Covid-19 infections at the Insein Prison are increasing.
Trials for inmates charged with incitement under 505A of the Penal Code that are held in a special court inside the Insein Prison in Yangon have been suspended following an increase in Covid-19 infections.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai company withdraws threat to fire employee after boycott threats

Sitthichoke Setsawet, 25, captured on camera at the fire at the base of the billboard portrait of the King at the mass anti-government protest in Bangkok on Sunday July 18, 2021
From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 24: Panda food service delivery company withdrew its threat to fire an employee, arrested at his home in Pathum Than, Bangkok on Monday, for setting fire to a portrait of the King at the mass anti-government protest in Bangkok on Sunday, after protesters threatened to boycott Panda food services reports the Nation.
Panda food service delivery company said that burning the portrait of the King was an act of terrorism and that employee, Sitthichoke Setsawet, 25, would be immediately fired, but withdrew the threat following calls from protesters for the boycott of Panda food services.
Panda food service delivery company has reportedly offered an apology, saying that the threat to fire an employee arrested under the Lese Majeste Law was not in line with company policy and was not approved by the Pand foof service delivery company.
Pathum Thani police charged Sitthichoke Setsawet, 25, with arson, violation of the Lese Majest law and violation of the Emergency Decree ban on public gatherings on Monday.
Deputy Metropolitan Police chief, Piya Tawichai, said that Sitthichoke Setsawet admitted to participating in the protest but denied setting fire to the royal portrait.
"Police have evidence that proves he burned the royal picture," he said.
Panda food service employee, Sitthichoke Setsawet, 25, who claims he was delivering food to protesters on Sunday, was captured on camera riding a Panda food service delivery mororcycle at the pro-democracy protest on Sunday.
Panda food service delivery company employee, Sitthichoke Setsawet, was allegedly captured on camera pouring petrol on the base of a large portrait of the King and setting it alight.
Sitthichoke Setsawet, denies that he set the portrait of the King alight saying that he was attempting to put out the fire.
On Sunday pro-democracy protesters burned effigies of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, demanding that the Thai government be held accountable for alleged gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic and calls for amendements to the constitution, the decriminalisation of the Lese Majeste law, reform of the military, and the resignation of the Prime Minister
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian MP charged with criminal breach of trust ahead of reconvening of Parliament

Syed Saddiq, 29, opposition Parti Ikatan Demokratik (Muda) president, MP for Muar, says he has been threatened multiple times with prosecution for refusing to join the ruling coalition
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, July 23: Opposition Parti Ikatan Demokratik (Muda) president, Member of Parliament for Muar, Syed Saddiq, 29, charged with criminal breach of trust, pleaded not guilty to the missappropriation of RM1 million from the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU), saying he has been threatened multiple times with prosecution for refusing to join the ruling coalition, Perikatan National, party, reports the Star.
Member of Parliament for Muar, Syed Saddiq, formerly Minister of Youth and Sports (Malaysia) in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and founding member of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU), charged with criminal breach of trust under Section 405 of the Penal Code, punishable by imprisonment of up to ten years, a whipping, and a fine has claimed trial.
Member of Parliament for Muar, Syed Saddiq, and founding member of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU) is charged with the missappropriation of RM1 million from the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU) following an investigation conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) charged Member of Parliament for Muar, Syed Saddiq, with the missappropriation of RM1 Million that was raised in a fundraising dinner for the 2018 general election campaign.
Member of Parliament for Muar, Syed Saddiq, allegedly withdrew funds from the Menara CIMB Bank on March 2, 2020 in his capacity as the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU) Youth Chief without prior approval from the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU) central leadership committee.
Opposition Parti Ikatan Demokratik (Muda) secretary-general Amir Abd Hadi, said that authorities are conducting a political persecution campaign against the party president, member of Parliament for Muar, Syed Saddiq.
He said that the Syed Saddiq could have charged Syed Saddiq long time ago, saying "all witnesses were called in last year."
He said that the investigation conducted by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was used to pressure Syed Saddiq into supporting the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, saying "pressure was applied on Syed Saddig in the vote to elect the parliamentary speaker before
the tabling of the 2021 Budget and now when Parliament is about to reconvene."
The Southeast Asian Times

West Papuans protest passing of revised Special Autonomy Law that includes division of Papua

About 50 Papuans sprotesting against the passing of the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua at the House of Representatives in Jakarta on July 15, 2021 were arrested and taken to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 22: Papuans protesting against the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua, that was revised in Jakarta last week to include the division of Papua, were arrested in Sarong, Jayapura, Manokwari and in Jakarta on Monday, reports Reuters.
People's Front Against Special Autonomy Chapter II, protesters, were arrested in Sarong West Papua as they make speeches against the revised Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that includes the division of Papua into three provinces.
People's Front Against Special Autonomy Chapter II, spokesperson said that 20 years of the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua has not brought any significant changes in education, the economy or healthcare.
He said that there has been no protection against human rights violations or empowerment for the people in Papua under the indonesian Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua, saying "revision of the Otsus Law in Papua represents the wishes of Indonesia to pursue Indonesia's economic and political interests in Papua."
In May hundreds of Papuan People's Solidarity (SRP) protesters were arrested in Manokwari in West Papua in their attempt to petition the Papua People’s Council (MRPB) to reject the renewal of the 20 year-old Special Autonomy for Papua law (Otsus), with Papuan People's Solidarity (SRP)
Papuan People's Solidarity (SRP) spokesman Arnold Halitopo, said that 143 protesters were arrested and detained before a petition to reject the renewal of the Special Autonomy for Papua law (Otsus) could be delivered to the West Papua People’s Council (MRPB).
West Papua People's Council (MRPB) in Manokwari chairman, Timotius Murib, said ahead of the passing of the revised 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua last week that the council was "silenced", saying the West Papua People’s Council (MRPB) was not involved in the revision process of the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that now includes the division of Papua into three provinces despite the inclusion of Papua People’s Council (MRPB) in consultations being explicitly required by law.
He said that Indonesia President Joko Widodo should first address human rights violations in Papua, saying that the formation of new provinces in Papua would “worsen the situation”, adding to the violence committed by the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) in the name of security.
"The division of Papua would worsen economic inequality and depopulate the lands of natives Papuans." he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Former PM Mahathir wins appeal to register new political party, Fighters of the Nation

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who celebrated his 95th birthday on July 10, 2021, won an appeal to register new political party, Fighters of the Nation
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, July 21: Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, won an apeal at the Supreme Court to register a new political party, saying that the Members of Parliament of the new political party, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), (Fighters of the Nation), would propose a National Recovery Council to respond to the economic impact of Covid-19 when parliament reconvenes for a special sitting on July 26, reports the Star.
The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) (Fighters of the Nation) was offiicially registered as a political party with Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman on July 8, after the Supreme Court ordered Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin to make a decision within 14 days on the application for registration of Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) or Fighters of the Nation.
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, first submitted the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) (Fighters of the Nation) for registration with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) in August 2020, saying that he was notified of the rejection of the application in January, 2021.
He said that the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) (Fighters of the Nation) the application for registration of the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) (Fighters of the Nation) was rejected on grounds that the application did not fulfil the criteria.
He said that the Registrar of Societies (RoS) had referred the application for registration to Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, saying that the referral of the application to Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin was not required by law.
"The referral of the application for registration of a political party to Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin means that the administrative process has become political," he said.
In June, 2021 former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, put a proposal to reintroduce the National Operations Council that was first introduced in 1969 following the May 13 racial riots in Malaysia, to the King of Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that he advised the King to re-introduce the National Operations Council for the economic impact of Covid-19, saying that the National Operations Council had previously been formed to solve a national crisis, saying that the council be named the National Rehabilitation Council and that he has since renamed the National Recovery Council.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai protesters demand government accountability for mismanagement of Covid-10 pandemic

Pro-democracy protesters burn effigies of Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha in Bangkok at first anniversary of the Free Youth pro-democracy protest movement
From News Reports:
Bangkok. July 20: Pro-democracy protesters demanded that the Thai government be held accountable for gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic, at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on Sunday, burning effigies of the Prime Minister to mark the first anniversary of the Free Youth pro-democracy protest movement, reports the Bangkok Post.
Deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, said that about 2000 police, who were deployed to secure Government House, were forced to fire water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets at about 1000 pro-democracy protesters.
"Police intercepted the protesters as they burned effigies of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha at Government House," he said.
Protesters reportedly burned effigies of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and mock bodies of victims of the Covid-19 pandemic demanding that the government be held accountable for gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic following the rise in Covid-19 deaths that reached a record high of 147 deaths and 11,397 new infections on Saturday.
The inaugural Free Youth pro-democracy protest movement that called for amendements to the constitution, the decriminalisation of the Lese Majeste law, reform of the military, and the resignation of the Prime Minister also called on the government to end harassment of protesters under the emergency Covid-19 decree.
About 1000 students from the Student Union of Thailand, representing 10 universities including the Thammasat university and the Free Youth pro-democracy protest movement protested at the Democracy Monument at the inaugural protest on July 18, 2020, saying "the emergency decree has been used to control people."
Free Youth pro-democracy movement secretary-general, Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree, called on the Prayut Chan-o-cha government to dissolve Parliament, saying that it has failed in its economic management, saying the state of emergency and the nationwide lockdown had led to rising unemployment and lack of income.
He also called for the drafting of a new constitution, saying "the current constitution is designed to enshrine the dictorial system under the cloak of democracy."
“We want the government to top harassing people and dissolve the parliament because the government is utterly ineffective.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysian charged with insulting the King pleads not guilty, claims trial

Mohamad Arif Ahmad, 29, is charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) for insulting the King
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, 19 July: A 29 year-old Malaysian, who pleaded not guilty to insulting the King of Malaysia on social media, claimed trial at the Koto Tinggi Session court in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, reports the Star.
Mohamad Arif Ahmad, 29, is charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) for allegedly insulting the King of Malaysia, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on social media on October 25, 2020, faces a fine of RM50,000 or a maximum jail term of one year or both and a further fine of RM1,000 for each day the offence is posted.
Mohamad Arif Ahmad pleaded not guilty to charges that he posted a statement on Twitter about 5.20am on October 25, 2020 with "the intention of hurting the feelings of others."
Kota Tinggi Sessions Court Judge, Wan Mohd Norisham Wan Yaakob, said that the posting on Twitter that has allegedly insulted the King of Malaysia was read about 3.30pm at a restaurant in Air Papan, Mersing, on the same day it was posted.
In April 2021 Malaysia's Dang Wangi police arrested graphic artist and activist Fahmi Reza under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for sharing offensive and menacing content, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Graphic artist and activist Fahmi Reza was arrested for satirical responses in jealousy-themed playlists on Spotify to a tweet posted by the Queen of Malaysia,Tunku Azizah Aminah.
A follower of the Queen of Malaysia postings onTwitter that were about cooking Malaysian dishes including bubur lambuk, roti John, cucur jagung in the palace kitchen, asked whether the Palace chefs had received the Covid-vaccine.
The response from the Queen of Malaysia, “Dengki ke?” Jealous? was used by artist and activist Fahmi Reza in numerous playlists on Spotify with the title “This is dengki ke?” also featured a picture of the Queen of Malaysia,Tunku Azizah Aminah.
Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. criminalises any speech that excites disaffection, contempt or hatred to members of Malaysia's royalty.
Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act is reportedly used in Malaysia against human rights defenders, journalists, political opponents and members of the public and has reportedly been used to investigate more than 250 individuals alleged to have spread fake news about COVID-19.
Laws under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) are used to investigate, arrest, charge, and convict individuals who have criticised government officials or Malaysian royalty or shared opinions about sensitive issues including race and religion.
The Southeast Asian Times

Protesters for decriminalisation of Lese Majeste law charged with violation of Covid-19 Emergency Decree

Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, 22, was one of eight protesters arrested on March 15, 2021 for violation of the lese majeste law for reinstalling 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
From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 18: Pro-democracy protesters calling for amendements to the constitution, the decriminalisation of the Lese Majeste law, reform of the military, and the resignation of the Prime Minister were charged at the Office of the Attorney-General on Thursday, with incitement, gathering to cause unrest and violating the Emergency Decree Covid-19 decree on mass gatherings in Bangkok last year, reports the Bangkok Post.
Protesters including Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, Panupong "Mike" Jadnok, Arnon Nampa, Juthathip Sirikhan, Thatthep Ruangprapaikitseree, Natthawut Somboonsap, Korakot Sangyenphan, Suwanna Tanlek, Thanayut Na Ayutthaya, Baramee Chairat, Thotsaporn Sinsomboon, Dechathorn Bamrungmuang, Thanee Sasom and Panumas Singprom were released on bail of 35,000 baht each with guarantees given by a Thammasat University professor and Move Forward Party Member of Parliaments, Rangsiman Rome and Thanyawat Kamonwongwat.
In August 2020 Protesters calling for the decriminalisation of the Lese Majeste law that prohibits defaming, insulting or threatening the Thai monarchy submitted a 10 point manifesto to the Thai Parliament calling 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.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who is the current Prime Minister of Thailand was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters on 22 May 2014.
The Southeast Asian Times



United States calls on ASEAN to hold Myanmar accountable to ASEAN five point concensus plan

The Special ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers' Meeting held on Wednesday July 14, 2021 was co-chaired by United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saleumxay Kommasith
From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, July 17: The United States called on ASEAN Foreign Ministers including the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar appointed Foreign Minister, attending the Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers Meeting videoconference on Tuesday to hold Myanmar accountable to the ASEAN five point consensus plan, reports Reuters.
The Special ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers' Meeting that was co-chaired by Saleumxay Kommasith, Laos Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, was attended by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, U Wunna Maung Lwin, who acknowledged the ASEAN five point plan that was reached by consensus and that includes the cessation of violence in Myanmar.
United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, called on ASEAN Foreign Ministers to hold the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar accountable to the five point plan that was reached by consensus at the urgently held ASEAN, Leaders Meeting of Foreign Ministers in April.
United States Secretary of State urged Myanmar to end violence, to restore democratic transition and to release all those unjustly detained,
He said that the ASEAN five-point consensus plan is an important step forward and urged ASEAN to take immediate action to hold the Myanmar military regime accountable to the consensus and to appoint a special envoy.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers at the ASEAN, Leaders Meeting in April that included the attendence of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, reached concensus for the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar, for the commencement of dialogue, that a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair with assistance from the Secretary General of ASEAN would facilitate mediation, that ASEAN would provide humanitarian assistance and that the special ASEAN envoy and delegation would visit Myanmar to meet with all parties.
The Southeast Asian Times


Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar raid Aung San Suu Kyi home without search warrant

National League for Democracy (NLD) State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi appearance at the Naypyitaw court on May 24 was broadcast in a news bulletin by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar on Radio and Television
From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, July 16: Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Major Win Htut Oo, who testified at the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, state councillor of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, that was overthrown by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar on February 1, said that he did not have a search warrant when he led a raid on the home of the state councillor on February 1, reports Irrawaddy.
Elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi and National League for Democracy (NLD) President, Win Myint, were arrested on February 1 following the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declaration of a state of emergency under the Natural Disaster Management Law that includes any danger specified by the National Natural Disasters Management Committee under the command of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar established State Administration Council (SAC).
Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with four offences including interacting with a crowd during the coronavirus pandemic under Section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law, with the illegal importation of radio transmitters or walkie talkie's under Section 8 of the Export and Import Law, with incitement under Article 505(b) that criminalizes speech deemed to cause fear or alarm in the public and also with the illegal operation of a radio transmitter or walkie talkie without a licence under Section 67 of the Penal Code and Telecommunications Law.
Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Major Win Htut Oo, testified at the trial held in Naypyidaw on Monday that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar did not have a search warrant when the military searched and detained state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, on February 1.
Major Win Htut Oo told the court in Naypyidaw on Monday that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar found radio transmitters or walkie talkies on the premises but that the radio transmitters or walkie talkies were found in the security guards quarters and not at the home of state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Major Win Htut Oo reportedly testified that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar did not find any evidence such as receipts to prove that Aung San Suu Kyi had bought the radio transmitters or walkie talkies.
The Southeast Asian Times

China warns the United States off the Paracel Islands in South China Sea

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "nowhere is the rules-based maritime order under greater threat than in the South China Sea"
From News Reports:
Beijing, July 15: China accused the US guided missile destoyer USS Benfold of trespassing on Monday, warning the United States off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea with threats that the United States "would pay the price if it did not leave the vicinity of the Paracel Islands," with China's People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesman saying that the United States has violated China’s sovereignty and security, reports Reuters.
Southern Theatre Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesman, Tian Junli said that the US military action has violated China's sovereignity and security, saying that USS Benfold tresspass of the Paracel Islands has "seriously damaged peace and stability in the South China Sea."
He said that the USS Benfold tresspass has violated international law, saying that "the United States tresspass was proof that the United States is engaged in navigational hegemony of the South China Sea."
"The US will bear all consequences that arise from this," he said.
The United States 7th Fleet depoyment of USS Benfold to the South China Sea under the freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) on Monday coincides with the fifth anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea.
" All of our operations are designed to be conducted in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows regardless of the location of excessive maritime claims and regardless of current events."
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the freedom of the seas is an enduring interest of all nations, saying "nowhere is the rules-based maritime order under greater threat than in the South China Sea.
"The People's Republic of China continues to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation in this critical global throughway," he said.
On July 12, 2016 the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea that includes the West Philippine Sea, with China rejecting the Hague Court ruling, claiming that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid verdict on the South China Sea dispute, saying that the dispute was not covered by 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
The Southeast Asian Times


United States reaffirms Hague court ruling in favour of Philippines against China's claims over South China Sea

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's said at a conference on the fifth anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling on the Philippines, that China's sovereignty rights and interests in the South China Sea have been formed in the course of a long history
From News Reports:
Manila, July 14: The United States reaffirmed its policy on maritime claims in the South China Sea on Monday, the fifth anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling on the Philippines complaint against China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The United States Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinkin reaffirmed the United States policy of July 13, 2020 on maritime claims in the South China Sea in accordance with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling on the Philippines.
On July 12, 2016 the Hague court ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of “historic rights”over the South China Sea, with the judges saying "there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line."
United States Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinkin, also reaffirmed that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke US mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.
Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinkin, called on the People’s Republic of China to abide by its obligations under international law, cease its provocative behavior, and take steps to reassure the international community, saying "the United States is committed to the rules-based maritime order that respects the rights of all countries, big and small."
People’s Republic of China, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian said in a statement issued by China's embassy in Manila on the fifth anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling on Monday that
United States discregard of the historical merits and objective facts of the South China Sea was "extremely irresponsible".
"The United States violates and distorts international law, and breaks the United States government’s long-held public commitment of not taking a position on the South China Sea sovereignty dispute," he said.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
Then China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang reportedly said that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
The Southeast Asian Times


Mass Hong Kong pro-democracy councillor resignations ahead of pledge of allegiance to China ceremony

John Lee, Chief Secretary of the committee is to vet canditates standing for election in the Hong Kong District councillor elections in November, 2021, saying that candidates deemed not patriotic will be disqualified ffrom standing for election
From News Reports:
Hong Kong, July 13: Mass resignations of pro-democracy Hong Kong District Councillors are expected to continue ahead of the oath-taking ceremony that requires councillors 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, reports Reuters.
More than 150 pro-democracy Hong Kong District Councillors of the about 390 pro-democracy Hong Kong district councillors who secured seats in the November 24, 2019 elections have resigned as of last Thursday, ahead of the oath-taking ceremony next week that requires councillors to pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that adheres to new laws passed into legislature in Bejing in June 2020 and to the ruling on patriots in the Hong Kong legislature in May, 2021.
Candidates are subject to the new law adopted by National Peoples Congress of the People's Republic of China on the Safeguarding of National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that upholds the institutional system of one country two systems and a further ruling that allows only candidates deemed patriots to stand for election.
A further 230 district councillors who were involved in pro-democracy mass protests against China rule over Hong Kong and who displayed banned protest slogans in their electoral offices are reportedly expected to be disqualified from standing for the Legislative Council elections scheduled for December 19, 2021 under the new ruling in May that allows only candidates deemed patriots to stand for election.
Beijing appointed Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, appointed four officials including three pro-Beijing officials that includes John Lee, Chief Secretary of a vetting committee that would screen out candidates deemed unpatriotic or a threat to national security.
In 2019 a record 4.1million of 7 million Hong Kong residents registered to vote in the November 24, 2019 Hong Kong district Councillor elections that resulted in pro-democracy candidates securing 404 of the 452 District Council seats.
In the 2015 Hong Kong District Councillor elections, the pro-democracy candidates secured only 100 of the 452 seats.
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmar military election commission claims 11 million irregularities in 2020 elections

Thein Soe was appointed chairman of the Union Election Commission (UEC) on February 2, 2021 after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar take over the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government
From News Reports:
Naypyidaw, July 12: Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC) that was included in the take over of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in February, claims that 11 million irregularities were found in the 2020 elections that resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD) party winning a majority of the Union Parliament seats, reports Reuters.
Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, said after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government led by State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, that the newly established State Administration Council (SAC) would investigate alleged voter irregularities and suspected fraud in the November 8, 2020 elections
The Union Election Commission (UEC) under Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule reported llast week that the Union Election Commission (UEC) has found about 11 million instances of fraud in the elections
that resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD) government winning the majority of the Union Parliament seats the National League for Democracy (NLD) government won 396 of the 476 seats contested in the election securing a majority in the 664 seat bicameral parliament leaving the military party with 33 seats in the November 8, 2020 general elections.
The Union Election Commission (UEC) reports that the commission found fraud in all constituencies, saying that "errors in voter registrations were premeditated mistakes."
The Union Election Commission (UEC) reportedly found instances of people without citizenship on voter rolls and duplicate registrations in all 315 constituencies.
On February 1, 2021 The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar transferred full authority of the administration of Myanmar to commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, who reportedly said that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar would take action against the alleged election irregularities in the November 8, 2020 elections,
Myanmar's Union Election Commission (EUC) under the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government led by State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, who introduced military-civilan joint polling stations that were located outside Myanmar military bases, rejected calls by the military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), to provide a list of voters in military townships after calls for a re-run of the election was rejected by the commission.
Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing said that the National Defense and Security Council would investigate alleged voter irregularities and suspected fraud in the elections that left the military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), with 21 seats of the 440 seats in the parliament, saying "the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar would hold another general election and transfer power to the successful party."
The Southeast Asian Times


Papuan separatists fire shots at celebration for restoration of peace

Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) District Military Commander, Brig.Gen.Iwan Setiawan, says that the Lekagak Telenggen and the Teri Mayu armed criminal groups are known to be active in Puncak regency
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 10: The Papauan Lekagak Telenggen and the Teri Mayu group, that Indonesia has identified as armed criminal groups (KKB) and as such have been declared terrorist groups, fired gunshots over a traditional Bakar Batu stone burning ritual in Illaga, Puncak regency in Papua province on Thursday, triggering a counter-attack by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), reports Antara.
Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) District Military Commander, Brig.Gen.Iwan Setiawan, said that armed separatists distrupted the Bakar Batu stone burning ritual held to celebrate the restoration of peace and security in the Puncak regency.
He said that the celebration for the restoration of peace and security was attended by the Pubcak district governor, local Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI), Puncak government officials and local residents, saying "the armed rebels sporadically fired shots over their heads at the Bakar Batu stone-burning ritual."
He said that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) searched for the armed separatists, saying "the Lekagak Telenggen and the Teri Mayu armed criminal groups are known to be active in the regency,"
In April 2021 President Joko Widodo ordered the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) to huntdown all armed separatists and terrorists groups in Papua following the fatal shooting of the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) by the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB), saying "there is no place for armed kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups in Papua or elsewhere in Indonesia."
"I order the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) to huntdown and arrest all members of kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups in Papua," he said.
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) Free Papua Movement, who demand independence from Indonesia for Papua, claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya, who was shot dead in an ambush at Daungbet village, in the Beoga in Puncak regency, in West Papua on April 25, 2021, saying that he had launched counter -insurgency operations in Beoga district in Puncak regency.
The Southeast Asian Times


UMNO, Malaysia's largest political party, withdraws support for PM

United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, withdrew support for the government at the supreme council meeting on Wednesday
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, July 9: Malaysia's largest political party, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), party member of opposition coalition Barisan Nasional, has withdrawn support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, saying the government has failed to address the Covid-19 pandemic effectively and failed to abide by the royal decree to reconvene Parliament, reports the Star.
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said at the supreme council meeting held on Wednesday that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has failed to fulfil requirements outlined by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) secretary on the swearing in of the Muhyiddin Yassin government on March 11, 2020.
He said that United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) could no longer support the government, saying "the government had failed to fulfill the Malaysian people's aspiration in managing the Covid-19 pandemic."
"Inconsistent policies had led to the inefective implementation of lockdowns and misuse of the Emergency Ordinance," he said.
He said the failure of the government to immediately abide by calls from the King and the Malay Rulers to reconvene Parliament was a further reason why the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) cannot support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin," he said.
He said that the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is the main defender of the Malay Royal Institution as enshrined in Article 3 of the UMNO Constitution, saying "UMNO cannot compromise with the government's attitude towards the monarchy."
The King, who chaired the Conference of Malay Rulers earlier this month, ruled that the state of emergency that expires on August 1 should not be extended and that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible.
"The King and the Conference of Malay Rulers have decided that the ongoing state of emergency that expires on August 1 should not be extended past its original end date of August 1," said the keeper of the Conference of Malay Rulers seal, Danial Syed. Ahmad after the conference.
Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that the state of emergency would not end on August 1, saying that "Parliament would reconvene in September or October providing daily Covid-19 infections fall below 2,000."
"Malaysia's daily new Covid-19 infections would not be below 4,000 on August 1," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate outstanding hit and run charges against Red Bull heir

Red Bull heir, Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, arrested on September 3, 2012 for reckless driving in the hit and run accident that caused the death of Bangkok police officer Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert, 48.
From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 8: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) formed a committee on Tuesday to investigate current and retired officials involved in outstanding hit and run charges including reckless driving against Red Bull heir, Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, 27, who allegedly drove a Ferrari sports car that fatally struck a police officer in 2012, reports the Bangkok Post.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) newly formed committee is tasked with the investigation of 15 senior police officers, prosecutors and investigators involved in the September 3, 2012 hit and run accident in Thong Lor Bangkok that caused the death of Bangkok police officer Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert, 48.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) deputy secretary-general Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said on Tuesday that high-ranking police officers, both in office and retired, would be investigated for their involvement in outstanding charges including reckless driving and cocaine use against the Red Bull heir.
"The committee must complete its investigation within two years but can extend the investigation for one year under Section 48 of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)," he said.
Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, was charged in September 3, 2012 with reckless driving, speeding over the limit at 177 km/h, drunk driving, fleeing the scene of the crime and causing the death of a police officer, Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert.
In July 2020 the Office of Attorney General (OAG) withdrew all charges against the Red Bull heir after a new investigation found new evidence that the Red Bull heir hit and run accident that resulted in the death of Bangkok police officer Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert was not caused by reckless driving.
Two new witnesses testified in July 2020 that the Red Bull heir drove a Ferrari sports car at between 50-60km/h on September 3, 2012, and that the motorcycle driven by the Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert, 48, who was killed in the hit and run accident, abruply changed lanes and cut in front of the Ferrari.
In August 2020 the Thai Constitution Court called for an investigation into the Office of the Attorney General (AOG) decision to withdraw all charges against the Red Bull heir saying "the nation's justice system has been rendered meaningless after the prosecution decision to withdraw all charges and the police failure to challenge the decision."
Cocaine use by the Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, that was not included in the original charges against the Red Bull heir in September 2012 was added to reckless driving charges in August, 2020.
Police found illicit chemical substances including cocaine in blood tests in the 2012 original investigation but claimed that Vorayuth Yoovidhya used cocaine for dental treatment, saying that a dentist confirmed that he had administered medicines that contained cocaine for dental treatment to Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya.
The Southeast Asian Times


No Covid-19 help for town against Armed Forces of Myanmar rule

Covid-19 burials at Kalaymyo cemetary in Sagaing Region north west Myanmar have increased since outbreak in May
From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, July 7: More than half the population of 300,000 in Kalaymyo in Chin state in north west Myanmar is infected with the Covid-19 virus, with more than 20 deaths in a single day since the outbreak in May, with residents saying they have not received any assistance from the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, reports Irrawaddy.
Residents in Kalaymyo in Chin State who were among the first to take up arms against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar after the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February, say that "people have died every day with more than 20 in a single day."
Kalaymyo resident, U Ko Ko Maung, said that Tar Han ward in Kale in west Kalaymo has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 outbreak, saying that 50 percent of housholds in Tar Han are infected with the virus.
He said that most residents in Tar Han Ward in Kale are ethnic Chin, saying that "there were many ethnic Chin buried at the Chin cemeteries."
"The high number of Covid-19 deaths in Kale is due to the shortage of oxygen," he said.
He said that many Covid-19 patients at the Kalaymyo Hospital died on June 27 after the town ran out of oxygen, saying buses transporting the oxygen broke down on the way and other buses were stranded due to fighting between the Chin National Defense Force (CNDF) and the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar on the Kalay-Gangaw road.
He said that the dusk-to-dawn curfew that effectively stops emergency patients from admittance to the Kalaymyo Hospital at night has contributed to the number of deaths from Covid-19 in Kalaymyo.
"In the last week the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar shot at a couple who were outside curfew hours, killing one of them.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippine military transport aircraft crash lands in Sulu killing 42 personnel

Philippine Air Force C-130H Hercules transport aircraft crash lands in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu Province on Sunday morning killing 42 of 95 military personnel onboard
From News Reports:
Manila, July 6: A Philippines military transport aircraft that left Villamor Air Base in Pasay City in the National Capital Region on Sunday morning enroute to Lumbia Airport and Jolo, in Sulu Province with 95 military personnal onboard, crash landed in Patikul, Sulu Province at about 11.am, killing 42 military personnel and three civilians on the ground, with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) saying "it’s a very unfortunate incident, the saddest day for us." reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The Philippines military transport aircraft, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules, that was seen hovering and circling above Sitio Amman in Patikul, Sulu before it crashed, left 42 military personnel dead, 49 injured and five missing, three civilians on the ground dead and four injured.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana confirmed that a C-130H Hercules transport aircraft crashed in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu Province on Sunday morning saying "it’s a very unfortunate incident, the saddest day for us."
Chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said that the military transport aircraft crashed while transporting military personnal from Cagayan De Oro to Sulu Province, saying "the aircraft missed the runway".
He said that the aircraft tried to regain power but failed, saying "the aircraft ended up crashing in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu."
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft that was one of two transport aircraft procured by the Philippines Air Force (PAF) with a grant provided by the US, with the Philippines contributing PHP1.6 billion and the US PHP900 million, arrived in the Philippines in January.
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft, a four engine turboprop military aircraft that was designed and orginally built by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin, was designed as a troop, medical evacuation and cargo transport aircraft and is reportedly capable of using unprepared runways for takekoffs and landings.
Villagers in Tausug said that black smoke trailed the military transport aircraft as it hovered and circled above Sitio Amman in Patikul, Sulu before it plunged near a garbage dump area.
“We ran for safety,” said Tausug store owner, Abdel Taradji, saying “We thought it would fall on us."
"Fortunately, it fell quite far from our place,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


US imposes sanctions on spouses and children of Armed Forces of Myanmar

Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar Vice-Senior General Soe Win said that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar is prepared to weather any sanctions or political isolation imposed by the international community
From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, July 5: The United States has imposed sanctions on family members of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and restrictions on four entities that have provided support to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar following the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February, saying "the Mynamar military suppression of democracy and campaign of brutal violence against the people of Myanmar are unacceptable."
Seven key members of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and 15 spouses and children of senior military officials whose financial networks have contributed to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar were sanctioned by the State Departments Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAO) on Friday.
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAO) Director, Andrea Gacki said that the sanctions "demonstrate that the States will continue to impose increasing costs on Myanmar's military and promote accountability for those responsible for the military coup and ongoing violence, including by targeting sources of revenue for the military and its leaders.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced on Friday that four entities were sanctioned including King Royal Technologies Co., Ltd., a telecommunications company providing satellite communication services to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar.
Wanbao Mining and its two subsidiaries, Myanmar Wanbao Mining Copper, Ltd. and Myanmar Yang Tse Copper, Ltd., copper mining companies that provide support to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar through revenue-sharing arrangements with Myanma Economic Holdings Limited were also sanctioned.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said that Export Administration Regulations (EAR) require a license for items destined for the four sanctioned entites, saying that the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will review any license application under a reveiw policy of a presemption of denial.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said that these sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma, saying
"blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma."
The Southeast Asian Times


Former Thai Deputy PM to be investigated for malfeasance in national rice program

Former Deputy Prime Minister and commerce minister, Kittiratt Na-Ranong, under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for alleged malfeasance for his involvement in the national rice pledging program
From News Reports:
Bangkok, July 3: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is investigating former Deputy Prime Minister and commerce minister, Kittiratt Na-Ranong, for alleged malfeasance for his involvement in the national rice pledging program that incurred B14.5 billion in losses to the state under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, reports the Bangkok Post.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said on Tuesday that the commission would form a sub-panel to look into malfeasance allegations against the former Deputy Prime Minister and commerce minister, Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
fThe National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) claim that the former Deputy Prime Minister failed to order an investigation into the unlawful selection of Siam Indica Co by the Thai Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) to supply rice to Indonesia's food procurement agency Bulog.
Indonesia's food procurement agency Bulog signed a contract to buy 300,000 tonnes of rice at US$559 per tonne from Thailand on August 18, 2011.
The Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) claimed it had called for bids to find a rice supplier.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) claims that the Thai Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) failed to call for bids to find a rice supplier, saying that it was in breach of its own regulations.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) claims that the Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) vice president, Pitheera Tangpossawat and assistant president Somsak Wongwatthanasan coluded to ensure Siam Indica climched the rice export deal uncontested.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) claims that it has grounds to believe that former Deputy Prime Minister and commerce minister, Kittiratt Na-Ranong violated the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the Commissions Act.
In May 2014 National Anti-Corruption Commission, commissioner, Vicha Mahakun, said that the commission had formally warned then Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra that the national rice pledging programme could create problems and incurr great losses.
"The programme allows corruption to take place at all stages of its implementation", he said.
He said that 'loopholes' in the rice programme left it open to corruption.
In February 2015 the office of the Attorney General filed charges with the Supreme Court under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the Corruption Prevention and Suppression Act against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged derelection of duty and abuse of authority in the national rice pledging programme.
The Supreme Court Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions found that rice-purchase agreements were not government-to-government (G2G) contracts but instead involved sales of rice under the national rice pledging program to private companies that sold the rice to a third party including China's state-owned trading house (COFCO).
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia PM calls on ASEAN and Russia coopertion in Asia-Pacific

Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, left, at the roundtable video conference "The Role of Russia and ASEAN’s Responsible Political Forces in Strengthening the Architecture of Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific," on Tuesday, July 29, 2021

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, July 2: Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, called on ASEAN and Russian political parties to work together on security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific at the roundtable video conference attended by ASEAN and Russia's political party representatives on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying " these dialogue platforms were essential to rejecting a new Cold War mentality," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The conference, entitled "The Role of Russia and ASEAN’s Responsible Political Forces in Strengthening the Architecture of Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific," that was initiated by Russia's ruling political party, United Russia Party, was held to mark the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-Russian relations.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is the president of the ruling Cambodia People's Party, said at the conference that
"the world is witnessing an intense competition between mutually exclusive systems, an escalating clash of values and competition for global leadership, saying "all of which could bring military confrontation or even a new arms race."
"These dialogue platforms were essential in sending a strong message to reject a new Cold War mentality, and to make efforts to create space for cooperation beyond this geopolitical divide, he said.
He said that international relations are being subjected to the corrupting influence of this great geopolitical divide, saying "this pressure is obstructing smaller nation’s rights to self-determination and their right to choose a development path that fits that countries’ national context."
Vietnam's Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong said at the video conference "the Asia-Pacific lies in a location of geographically strategic importance."
"The region is facing traditional and non-traditional security challenges," he said.
He said that the shaping and building of regional architectures requires the invovlvement and joint action of parties concerned and includes upholding ASEAN's central role, saying "particularly in mechanisms intitiated and led by ASEAN."
The Southeast Asian Times



What they're saying open page here

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



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



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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


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



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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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
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US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
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ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
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East Timor.
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Indonesia Rupiah
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Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
V
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