The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Saturday 21 April 2018 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

Vietnam opens consulate in Macau
From News Reports:
Hanoi, January 9: Vietnam's Hong Kong Consulate General launched a consulate office in the Macau Special Administrative Region of China on Friday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Consulate General of Hong Kong, Tran Than Huan, said at the launching ceremony that the office aims to better ensure the rights of Vietnamese citizens and tourists in the region.
He said that the consulate office in Macau will provide easier access to information about Vietnam, saying that
it would boost friendship and co-operation between Vietnam and Macau.
The Consulate General said that the office expected to recieve support from local organisations including the Vietnam Fellow Countrymen Friendship Association in Macau.
More than 20,000 Vietnamse are employed as domestic workers, in the service industry at Macau's casino's.
Vietnamese also operate tourist and services companies.
The Southeast Asian Times

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

Hanoi, July 6, 2015: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will visit the United States from July 6 to July 10 at the invitiation of the United States State Department in a "landmark" visit, Rueters reports.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong will meet United States President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Rueters quotes a se
nior state department official saying that the meeting between the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the President of the United States "would skirt protocol" because the General Secretary is "not part of a government".
"Obama saw the visit as crucial", Rueters reports the senior state department official as saying.
Rueters also quotes the senior state department official saying that "there was a broad agreement that it made sense to treat General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong as the visit of "the top leader of the country".
"It's a pretty big event," Rueters quotes the state department official as saying.
The Southeast Asian Times

France agrees to return Aboriginal remains home to Australia
From News Reports:
Canberra, November 25: French president Francois Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have agreed to work together to return Aboriginal remains to Australia during the first official visit by a French head of state to Australia last week, reports Australian Associated Press.
The French head of state and the Australian prime minister said that a joint expert committee is to be established to help identify the origin of the Aboriginal remains held in France.
The head of state and prime minister said in a joint statement that the identification process would respect the sensitivities and values of the two countries and consider the requests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including the French legal system.
"The French government will examine possible solutions to enable the return of the Aboriginal human remains to their community of origin." the statement said.
Australia believes the remains of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are being held in Museum collections around the world including in Europe and the
United States.
In 2010 a British museum agreed to return 138 sets of Aboriginal skeletal remains to Australia including the severed head of Australian Aboriginal warrior, Yagan, to the Noongar of South West Western Australia after being missing in action for about 177 years. Yagan was shot dead for his resistance to British settlement on the Swan river.
The Southeast Asian Times


"No " to proposal to delete religion from Indonesian national identity card

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 10: Islamic-based political party politicians oppose the proposal put by the newly selected Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, that national identity cards (KTP) do not include the religion of the car holder.
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Aboebakar Al Habsy said that not to include the religion of the card holder on national identity cards (KTP)
contradicted the country’s founding philosophy of Pancasila
“If we believe that Pancasila is our state ideology and our national identity, then why should we be ashamed of including our religion on our national identity card," he said
Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo also proposed that the regious beliefs of Indonesian citizens be omitted from official government documents.
He said that the religion of Indonesian citizens on national identity cards (KTP) or in official government documents should not be imposed.
"It's up to the people", he said.
The Souheast Asian Times

The Wolf bridge: An insult to Thai monarchy
From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 31: Thai University students, Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Mankong, 26, were charged in the Ratrachada Court on Monday, with defamation of the Thai monarchy in a play titled "The Wolf Bridge" performed at the Thammasat university in October 2013, reports the Bangkok Post.
The students were charged with insulting the Royal Thai family in the fictional depiction of the monarchy in a play performed in commemoration of the 37th and 40th anniversaries of the October 6, 1976 and October 14, 1973 pro-democracy student uprisings at Thammasat University.
The prosecution cites nine passages from the plays's script, a work of fiction that depicts a fictional monarch, that allegedly insults the monarchy and as such is in violation of the lese majeste law.
Patiwat Saraiyaem, actor and Pornthip Mankong, producer of the play, in detention since arrested on 13 August, have been refused bail are scheduled to appear in court to enter pleas on December 29.
The Southeast Asian Times

World including
Asean PM's and Presidents to attend inauguaration of Indonesian president
From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 18: World Prime ministers, Presidents and State representatives including US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will attend the inauguaration of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as President of Indonesiaon on Monday.
The speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Zulkifli Hasan said that representatives from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member nations have also been invited to attend the swearing in of the former governor of Jakarta, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as president of Indonesia.
"The Prime Ministers and Presidents of Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea are also expected to attend", he said.
He said that the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) has also invited "domestic VIP's" including former Presidents and Vice-Presidents.
“All chairpersons of political parties have also be invited,” said the speaker.
The Southeast Asian Times


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 12: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag found flying from a coconut tree in Aceh on Sunday has been torn down, reports the Jakarta Post.
The discovery of the banned ISIS flag was reportedly the first in Aceh.
Police chief First Inspecter Azwan said that the flag of the nationally banned movement was discovered by chess players sitting at a food stall near the coconut tree in the Sungai Raya district of East Aceh regency in Aceh.
He said that a bomb disposal team inspected the area before the flag was taken down.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced Indonesia's rejection of the State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and banned the teaching of ISIL ideology in Indonesia last month at his parliamentary state-of-the-nation address and ahead of the 69th anniversary of Indonesias Independence.

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

From News Reports:
Singapore, August, 18: The passing of the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act by the Singapore parliament last week will enable Singapore regulators to sue individuals or companies in neighbouring countries for causing severe air pollution in Singapore.
The Act that was first proposed in 2013 would enable Singapore to impose fines of up to S$2 million on companies that cause or contribute to transboundary haze pollution in Singapore.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that under the Act, Singapore will have the legal right under the Objective Territorial Principle to take legal action against air polluters.
"While neighbouring countries have the sovereign right to exploit their natural resources in accordance with their policies they also have a responsibility to ensure that "slash and burn" agricultural practices do not cause damage to Singapore", he said.
The passing of the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act gives Singapore the legal power to serve notices on those that do not have assets or a presence in Singapore.
Indonesia is yet to ratify an Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution that was signed by ASEAN member counries in November 2003 in order to
address haze pollution arising from land and forest fires.
A bill passed in the Indonesian House of Representatives in July 2013 gave the Indonesian goverment the power to seize assetts gained from illegal logging and illegal clearing of forests for palm oil plantations.
The new bill, designed to protect more than 13 million hectres from deforestation, gave the Indonesian government a mandate to establish a task force including police to monitor the prevention and eradication of deforestation.
The Southeast Asian Times

Papua Biak massacre remembered in Sydney
with 136 white carnations
From News Reports:
Sydney, July 5: A ceremony to mark the 16th anniversary of the Biak Massacre in West Papua ua on 6 July 1998 will be held at the Waverley Cliffs cemetery in Sydney on Sunday.
The Waverley Cliffs community will throw 136 white carnations from the waverley cliffs into the Pacific Ocean in memory of the Biak massacre.
A citizens tribunal, hosted by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney last year on the 15th anniversary of the Biak massacre found that 136 West Papuan protesters were thrown into the sea by Indonesian security forces.
The tribunal heard eye witness testimony that the West Papuan demand for the right to vote for independence from Indonesia was met with gunfire by Indonesian security forces.
Survivors of the massacre told the international team of jurists that the unarmed West Papuan protesters were surrounded and shot by Indonesian security forces and that survivors were thrown into the sea on 6 July 1998.

The Southeast Asian Times


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Malaysia's first indigenous candidate to stand in May elections

Nasir Dollah, 31, a Temiar tribesman, is believed to be the first indigenous candidate to stand for election in Malaysia's history

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, April 21: Nasir Dollah, 31, a Temiar tribesman, who is believed to be the first indigenous candidate to stand for election in Malaysia' history, was selected by the Kelanatan Democratic Action Party (DAP) to contest the Galas state seat, reports the Star.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) nominated Nasir Dollah, a member of the Indigenous People's Network of Malaysia or Jaringan Orang Asli Kelantan (JOAK), to contest the Barisan Nasional ruling party seat in Galas held by Abdul Aziz Yusoff on Thursday.
Jaringan Orang Asli Kelantan (JOAK) chairman, Mustafa Along, said the Orang Asli community in Galas support Nasir Dollah, saying that the community would support any party that protects Orang Asli rights.
"Particularly over the gazetting of native customary land", he said.
Democratic Action Party (DAP) official, M Manogaran said that the party would map Orang Asli traditional land if elected in May, saying that surveyors would be employed to identify and draw boundaries.
He said that identification of the Orang Asli traditional land is a problem because the land is gazetted as either forest reserve or government land, saying that the party "would have the authority to act" should it win the May elections.
The Temiar community in Kelmanatan's Galas state has reportedly conducted numerous blockades over the last decade in an effort to stop logging in forest reserves.
In January 2017 the Kelantan Forestry Department arrested 21 Orang Asli at the Balah forest reserve in Kelantan despite a magistrate's court ruling that "the Orang Asli have rightful occupation and actual possession of the land."
The Orang Asli had blocked entry to the reserve in an effort to protect the forest from logging.
The arrests followed 47 arrests at the Balah forest reserve in December 2016 after a notice was served by Kelantan authorities on the Orang Asli giving them two weeks to dismantle the blockade and vacate the area.
The Kelantan chief minister, Ahmad Yakob ordered the Orang Asli to dismantle their blockade or face arrest, saying the blockade was illegal and that the Orang Asli community were "hampering development."
More than 200 Forestry Department, police, Civil Defence Department and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission were deployed to tear down the blockade at the Balah forest reserve.
The Southeast Asian Times
Malaysia opposition to stop
borrowing from China after elections

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia would stop borrowing from China should his opposition four party coalition be elected

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, April 20: Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 92, says Malaysia will stop borrowing from China and will review Chinese investments if his opposition four party coalition is elected in the 9 May elections, reports the Associated Press.
Former Prime Minister Mahathir reportedly warned on Wednesday that Malaysia had borrowed a large amount of money from China and may not be able to repay it, saying that "Sri Lanka had to give China ownership of a port and other projects to repay the debt."
Chinese investment in Malaysia reportedly includes the East Coast Rail Link project with an estimated cost of $$ billion ringgit ($14.1 billion) and in a real estate development project in southern Johor state.
The former Prime Minister said that Malaysia would stop borrowing from China should his opposition four party coalition be elected, saying that Malaysia would renogotiate the terms of the loans.
He said that in the case of projects, "we may have to study whether we would continue or we would slow down or we would renegotiate the terms.
Former Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday that a 30 percent swing by rural ethnic Malays away from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak would be enough to secure the opposition victory in the May elections.
"Malay support for the opposition has increased," he said.
In March 2016 former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying that the party is seen as "supporting corruption."
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said then that he would not be joining the Malaysian opposition parties but would continue
together with a "core group" of national leaders to work towards the removal of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from office.
"I may rejoin the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party once party president and Prime Minister Najib Razak has left", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian court rules seizure of luxury yacht involved in 1MDB invalid
Indonesian police seize the luxury yacht 'Equanimity' in Bali on February 28
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, April 19: The South Jakarta District Court ruled that the February seizure of luxury yacht 'Equanimity' in Bali, that was allegedly linked to the recovery of assets that were purchased with misappropriated funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund, was invalid and without legal basis.
Justice Ratmoho said on Tuesday that "the seizure of the yacht should have been carried out under the reciprocal legal assistance framework as stipulated by the 2006 law which gives the mandate to the law and human rights ministry and not the police."
"We declare the confiscation by police as invalid and legally baseless," he said.
Indonesian National Police, spokesman Muhammad Iqbal Abduh said following the seizure of the luxury yacht 'Equanimity' in Bali on February 28 that the US Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requested police cooperation to enforce a United States Justice Department court order to seize the yacht.
The US Justice Department says that more than $1.7 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund was invested in hotels, luxury real estate in Manhattan, Beverly Hills and London, $100 million in the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street" including the luxury yacht 'Equanimity' valued at US$250 million.
Lawyer, Andi Simangunsong, representing Equanimity Cayman Ltd, said that the the luxury yacht 'Equanimity' was not linked to any criminal case in Indonesia, therefore the local police had no authority to seize the vessel.
He said that a reciprocal legal assistance arrangement between Indonesia and a foreign country is possible but it must go through the law and human rights ministry, not just through the police,
"The handing over of the yacht to the US authorities by the police would constitute a breach of legal procedures", he said.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began an investigation into allegations published in the Wall Street Journal on 2 July 2014 that funds that had allegedly been donated by one of nine sons of the late Saudi king Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board, denied the allegations, saying that he would take legal action against the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The Wall Street Journal reported that US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) was deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak account between 2011 and 2013, more than the US$681 million that was identified in the initial investigation.
The Southeast Asian Times

Arrest warrants issued for mob attack on Phnom Penh hit-and-run driver
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh: April 18: Cambodia's National Police have issued warrants for the arrest of four men for their involvement in the brutal mob attack of University of Cambodia, Professor of English, Suy Sareth, 52, accused of fleeing the scene of a traffic accident in Phnom Penh on March 11.
Arrests warants for Daun Penh security guards Sam Sotheara, 22, Pheach Kimhak, 20, Seth Mesa, 23, Sum Chhaya, 18 are four of ten warrants that have been issued by the Cambodian National Police in the last week.
Cambodian National Police, Phnom Penh Municipal police minor crime bureau chief, Bun Satya, said that "in all authorities are pursuing 10 suspects.
“We are burning hands and legs to find them,” he said.
Witnesses to the accident reportedly began chasing the alleged hit-and-run driver when he failed to stop after striking a motorbike near Wat Tuol Santevoan in Russey Keo district, causing the driver to fall off his motorcycle.
Bystander, Prak Hak, 60, said the mob was incensed because rumour had spread that Suy Sareth had severely injured or killed the motorcyclist, saying that "we were shocked when we saw the beating".
A video shows a group of men surrounding the vehicle driven by Suy Sareth and throwing large rocks through the window of his car.
It shows the mob kicking his car, beating him about the head with motorbike helmets, throwing rocks at him and slamming his fingers in the car door.
An unidentified witness to the assault said that she saw about 100 motorbikes pursue Suy Sareth and "almost beat him to a pulp"
The woman said that she was selling her goods on the corner near where the professor was attacked.
She claims that she saw people pickup rocks to beat him, saying that "Suy Sareth was on the brink of death when police arrived."
Academic, Suy Sareth, sustained serious head injuries as a result of the brutal bashing and was reportedly tranferred to Vietnam for medical treatment for severe facial injuries. He has since been transferred to Thailand for further medical treatment.
His lawyer, Chhi Sambath, who has reportedly demanded $300,000 in compensation from the assailants, says that his client is feeling "a bit better because he can eat or chew, saying that his client has had his broken teeth replaced.
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmar soldiers sentenced to prison for killing suspected terrorists
From News Reports:
Yangon, April 17: Seven Myanmar soldiers were sentenced by a civilian court to 10 years imprisonment for their involvment in the summary execution of 10 suspected members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State last year, reports the Myanmar Times.
Four officers were reportedly condemned and dismissed and sentenced to 10 years in a civilian prison and three of other ranks were demoted to private, dismissed and sentenced to 10 years in a civilian prison.
The seven soldiers were convicted of involvment in the massacre of villagers in Inn Din Village in Maungdaw township in Myanmar's northern Rakhin state in September last year.
The investigative team led by Lt-Gen Aye Win of the Office of Commander-in-chief of Defence Services found a mass grave in Inn Din Village containing human remains in January.
The investigative team found that while the Myanmar soldiers were responsible for the killings in Inn Din Village the soldiers were not directly involved in the killing.
The investigation found that the Myanmar soldiers were conducting clearance operations in Inn Din Village in September last year where they were confronted by about 200 villagers armed with knives and sticks.
The investigation team claim that the Myanmar soldiers fired warning shots, saying that "the mob ran away but 10 were arrested."
The Myanmar soldiers claim to have responded to orders to secure areas where terrorist attacks had occurred saying that " the 10 men under arrest admitted that they were recruited by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) to carry out terror attacks.
The Investigative team found that the soldiers had killed the 10 suspected members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) while they were in detention.
The investigative team said that "the soldiers had failed to supervise the detention of the villagers and seek orders from higher command.”
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly carried out assaults on police outposts and on a military base in northern Rakhine state on 25 August in what the Myanmar government called "extremist terrorist" attacks by Muslim insurgents.
Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs said then that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) had aimed to "undermine the efforts of the government to find a lasting solution.
Myanmar reportedly considers the Muslim Rohingya illegal migrants from Bangladesh but Bangladesh rejects the Rohingya's, rendering them stateless.
The exudus of thousands of Rohingya Muslims across the Mynmar border to Bangladesh reportedly follows Myanmar's retaliation to the assualt on police outposts and military bases by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
The Southeast Asian Times


Filipino workers in Hong Kong want Philippine president to fulfill electoral promises
Filipino protesters in Hong Kong say that working conditions of domestic workers abroard have not improved during Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's administration, saying that migrant workers are not protected from extraordinary fees demanded by employment agencies
From News Reports:
Hong Kong, April 16: Filipino's from the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body called on Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte to fulfill his electoral promises during the presidents three day visit to Hong Kong last week, reports the South China Post.
Filipino protesters in Hong Kong held banners and chanted slogans amid high security, accusing the president of not respecting human rights or fulfilling his electoral promises that included creating jobs in the Philippines.
Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, spokesman Eman Villanueva claimed in reference to the war on drugs launched by the Philippine president that “most of those killed are poor, saying that "they are accused of selling drugs but there is no due process".
He claims that "people are killed, thrown and left in the streets.”
Hong Kong Migrant workers official, Dolores Balladares, who has been a domstic worker in Hong Kong for 20 years, said that the Philippine president had not fulfilled many of his electoral promises.
“He promised that he would create jobs in our country and that we would not have to go abroad. But that did not happen,” she said.
She said that Filipino workers in Hong Kong "did not like Filipinos exported to other countries, treated like commodities, and waiting for our remittances to feed the Philippine economy.”
“We want jobs in the Philippines,” she said.
About 203,600 Filipino domestic workers are employed in Hong Kong.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippine president apologises for Hong Kong tourists shot dead in Manila
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte drew applause from the crow of about 2,500 at the Hong Kong Kai Tak Cruise Terminal for his apology for the Manila bus seige in 2010 that left nine Hong Kong tourist dead and 14 injured
From News Reports:
Hong Kong, April 15: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a public apology in Hong Kong on Thursday for the Manila bus seige that left nine Hong Kong tourists dead and 14 injured eight years ago, reports the South China Morning Post.
"As president of the Republic of the Philippines, and on behalf of the people of the Philippines, may I apologise from the bottom of my heart and say sorry for what happened," he said.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte accepted the blame for the botched rescue attempt of the Hong Kong hostages, saying that "I would like to make this guarantee – it will never happen again, ”
His predecessor former president Benigno Aquino refused to accept the blame for the botched rescue attempt that left nine Hong Kong tourists dead Rogue former policeman Rolando Mendoza, 55, who hijacked the bus, was also shot dead.
The disgruntled former policeman, hijacked a busload of Hong Kong tourists in Quirino Grandstand in Manila’s historical Rizal Park.
in August 2010 in a desperate bid to get his job back.
The disgraced former senior policeman Rolando Mendoza, shot the nine tourists dead and injured others before a sniper’s bullet felled him ending a 12- hour siege aboard a bus at the historical Rizal Park tourist attraction in central Manila.
The former policeman, who demanded the return of his benefits and salary, had freed nine hostages, including children, during the day of the seige.
The Filipino bus driver escaped from the bus only moments before police commandos stormed the vehicle in an effort to free the Hong Hong hostages.
The disastrous rescue attempt left a further 13 Hong Kong tourists injured.
The policeman in charge of the hostage rescue, Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay, was ordered to take leave while investigations were conducted to determine if the Hong Kong tourists had been shot by Rolando Mendoza, 55, the disgruntled former policeman who hadtaken the Hong Kong tourists hostage or by the police commandos who stormed the bus.
Autopsies performed on five of the eight Hong Kong tourists showed they died from bullet wounds mostly in the head and neck.
Hong Kong Democratic Party legislator, James To Kun-sun, said that the apology, although late, was a positive sign.
“Duterte is, after all, an elected president and he apologised on behalf of the Filipino people. I believe that it can help improve the relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines.”
The Southeast Asian Times

East Timor to establish Community Police Councils ahead of elections
From News Reports:
Dili, April 14: Police in East Timor's capital, Dili, are to established Community Police Councils (KPK) ahead of the parliamentary elections in May in order to maintain security in the 442 sucos or villages throughtout East Timor, reports the Dili Weekly.
The National Police of East Timor (PNTL) for Dili municipality, Second Commander, Assistant Superintendent, Euclidis Belo, said that the establishment of the Community Police Councils (KPK) "is to help identify problems that have not been adequately addressed by Suku Police Officers (OPS)".
"There are16 sukus across Dili municipality that have not yet established a Community Police Councils (KPK)", he said.
He said that all Suku Police Officers (OPS) are volunteers, saying that "they are ready to support the Community Police Councils (KPK) despite not getting paid."
He said that the Community Police Councils (KPK) do not have equipment but work in cooperation with Sukus Police Officers (OPS), sharing the use of motorcycles and laptops.
Dili resident, Frederico Ximenes, said that he was happy with the establishment of the Community Police Councils (KPK) in the capital, saying that the councils "help to maintain order and security at community level".
“We thank the police for this initiative in establishing the community police councils to control those who create conflict in the sukus,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmar judge rejects petition for dismissal of charges against Rueters reporters
From News Reports:
Yangon, April 13: A Myanmar judge rejected a petition for the dismissal of charges brought under the Burma Official Secrets Act against two Myanmar reporters employed by Rueters News Agency on Wednesday, reports Rueters.
Judge Ye Lwin said there was “proper cause” for the charges brought against the two reporters and therefore “they should not be released.”
The judge said that he wanted to hear the eight remaining prosecution witnesses out of the 25 listed.
Myanmar reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, who were arrested for violating the Burma Official Secrets Act on December 12, have been held in custody at the Insein prison in Yangon since their arrest.
An application for bail was rejected by the court in January on the grounds that the charge against the reporters was a "non bailable offence".
Lawyer, Than Zaw Aung, for the reporters claims that the arrest of the two reporters "amounted to entrapment by police."
He said that the two reporters had been arrested immediately after they had been handed documents, believed to contain information about "the situation in northern Rakhine" at a meeting in Yangon arranged by two police officers.
“Their arrest was entrapment,” he said.
He said that the charges against his clients were made under Section 3.1 (c) of the Burma Official Secrets Act that dates back to 1923 when Myanmar then Burma was a province of British India.
Section 3 reportedly covers entering prohibited places, taking images or handling secret official documents that “might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy”.
The documents recovered from the two reporters included "details of police strength and weapons and the position of security forces in northern Rakhin State.
Reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27 were reportedly investigating alleged abuses by Myanmar government security forces against the Muslim Rohingya's in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
The two police officers who had reportedly handed the alleged secret official documents to the reporters were also arrested for having violated the Burma Official Secrets Act.
The exudus of thousands of Rohingya Muslims across the Mynmar border to Bangladesh reportedly follows Myanmar's retaliation to the assualt on police outposts and military bases by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly carried out assaults on police outposts and on a military base in northern Rakhine state on August 25 in what the Myanmar government called "extremist terrorist" attacks by Muslim insurgents.
Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs said then that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) had aimed to "undermine the efforts of the government to find a lasting solution.
Myanmar reportedly considers the Muslim Rohingya illegal migrants from Bangladesh but Bangladesh rejects the Rohingya's, rendering them stateless.
The United Nations has urged the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 70, and the ASEAN community to take action against the alleged ongoing abusive military action against the "Rohingyas" or "Bengalis".
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnamese court sentences political activist to 13 years in prison
Political activist, Nguyen Van Tuc, 54, on trial at the People's Court in Vietnam's Thai Binh province on Tuesday for attempting to overthrow the state
From News Reports:
Hanoi, April 12: The Peoples Court in Vietnam's Thai Binh province sentenced one of seven charged by the Supreme People's Procuracy with attempting to overthrow the Vietnamese government and replace it with a pluralistic multi-party system, to prison on Tuesday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Nguyen Van Tuc, 54, was sentenced to 13 years in prison followed by five years probation for attempting to overthrow the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under Clause 1 Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.
The Thai Binh Provincial People's Procuracy found Vietnamese political activist, Nguyen Van Tuc, guilty of engaging in activities aimed at overthrowing the Vietnamese government including his role in the "Brotherhood for Democracy"
The "Brotherhood for Democracy" is deemed by the Thai Binh Provincial People's Procuracy to be a "reactionary organisation" that is "involved in illegal activities against the state" whose aims are to "eliminate the Communist Party of Vietnam".
The Thai Binh Provincial People's Procuracy found that Nguyen Van Tuc, who was the deputy chief of the representative committee and first vice president of the northern Vietnam branch of the "Brotherhood of Democracy" organisation, was a threat to national security.
The Thai Binh Provincial People's Procuracy's claim that Nguyen Van Tuc was a threat to national security was based on his recruitment by organisations such as "Democratic party 21", "Association for victims of injustice" and Democratic group" where he received financial support and encouragement to become a "leader".
The Vietnam News reports that Nguyen Van Tuc also joined the U.S.-based group "Viet Tan", alleged "terrorist organisation.
The Southeast Asian Times

Community summons Cambodia's officials over sale of state forest land
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, April 11: Officials of Cambodia's Mondulkiri Sen Commune have been summoned by the community to answer charges of selling forest land belonging to the state, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The summons follows a complaint lodged by 55 families from the Phong ethnic community in Purang village in O'Raing district on Wednesday.
The community has accused deputy Purang village chief, Seng Ye, and former Purang Primary School director, Yorn Sarith, of illegally selling 59 hectres of community forest land to petrol station owner, Sreng Lorn.
Phnong community head, Nhan Srey said that documents for the illegal sale of the land were signed by village and commune officials in January, saying that "the community did not know that the land had been sold until clearing of the land began last month."
Sen Monorom commune chief, Kvan Trel, said that she had signed the documents for the sale of the land to the petrol station owner, claiming that she did not know that the land belonged to the state.
Purang village chief, Ung Serey Vuthy, said that he had signed the documents for the sale of the land, claiming that ownership of the land had been held by a former village chief.
Adhoc provincial coodinator, Sok Rotha, said that authorities had inspected the land illegally sold to petrol station owner, Sren Lorn, and have confirmed that the land is state forest land.
“No one has the authority to have ownership of forestland,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnamese on trial for attempting to overthrow government
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press conference in Hanoi last week that there were no "prisoners of conscience" in Vietnam, saying that "Vietnamese were not arrested for expressing their beliefs and opinion, but that all illegal activities would be punished by law, just like in every other country"
From News Reports:
Hanoi, April 10: The trial of six Vietnamese, charged by the Supreme People's Procuracy with attempting to overthrow the Vietnamese government, began at the Hanoi People's Court on Thursday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Nguyen Van Dai, 49, Pham Van Troi, 36, Nguyen Trung Ton, 36, Nguyen Bac Truyen, 50, Truong Minh Duc, 58, Le Thuy Ha, 36, are charged with attempting to overthrow the Socialist Republic of Vietnam between March 2013 and July 2017.
The six are reportedly accused of attempting to overthrow the government under the guise of a civil society organisation, the 'Brotherhood for Democracy'
The Supreme People's Procuracy argues that the 'Brotherhood for Democracy' is a guise for its members "to collaborate with illegal organisations both in and outside Vietnam".
The members of the 'Brotherhood for Democracy' are accused of seeking funds and support from "overseas hostile forces" in order to "spread anti-state propaganda."
The six are accused of establishing a representative office and website for the 'Brotherhood for Democracy' organisation, issuing a manifesto, formulating internal and external policies and guidelines and recruiting and providing training programmes for new members.
The Supreme People's Procuracy argues that the 'Brotherhood for Democracy' aimed to 'subvert the political system of Vietnam' and replace it with a pluralistic multi-party system.
The Supreme People's Procuracy argues that Nguyen Van Dai, 49, was the "mastermind" of the "Brotherhood for Democracy" and that he was involved in the development of the manifesto and the direction of the 'Brotherhood for Democracy'
The Vietnam News Service reports that he is accused of recieving US$71,726 and 9,161.31 euros in order to "spread anti-state propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam."
The Supreme People's Procuracy argues that Pham Van Troi, 36, directed six members of the "Brotherhood for Democracy", who he recruited, to protest against the National Assembly's parliamentary election in May 2016 and to spread anti-state propaganda.
Engaging in activities aimed at overthrowing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a punishable offence in Vietnam under the 1999 Penal Code.

The Southeast Asian Times

Thai students against postponment of elections and martial law on bail
Pro-election student protestors at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on 10 February saying "Stop putting off the election" and "Stop power succession"
From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 9: Pro-election student activists, who were charged under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) political gatherings ruling for protesting in central Bangkok against the postponment of elections, were released on bail, reports the Bangkok Post.
Forty pro-election students who protested against the postponment of the Novemebr elections at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok demanded that the government hold elections this year and to dissolve the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
Anuson Unno, dean of Thammasat University's Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, student, Netiwit Chotipatpaisal, Piyarat Jongthep, head of the For Friends Association were among the pro-election students charged under the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO) ruling on political gatherings.
All forty students are members of the "People Who Want Elections" group.
The forty, who denied the charges at the Dusit District Court on Friday, were reportedly "allowed bail on their own recognisance" and ordered to appear in court on June 4.
The Thai National Legislative Assembly (NLA) decision in January to extend the enforcement of the organic bill on elections for a further 90 days , effectively postponed the general elections until February 2019.
Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who is also the Commander of the (NCPO) had reportedly warned that the government would not call a general election in November unless public order was maintained despite authorities reportedly saying that there was no sign of public disorder.
He claimed that he would not call an election while there was conflict, saying "keep the peace if you want an election."
The Thai prime minister and commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO), has the power to call an election under Article 44 of the interim constitution.
Article 44 of the interim constitution reportedly gives National Council for Peace and order (NCPO) Commander, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha absolute power over executive, legislative and judicial decisions and allows it to overrule judicial and legislative authority.
In 2014 the Royal Thai Army declared martial law on the grounds that ongoing protests between political rivals were a threat to Thailands security and to the safety of life and property.
The Southeast Asian Times

Chinese developer warns Cambodian farmers to vacate their land
From News Reports:

Phnom Penh, April 8: Chinese company, Development Group (UDG), warned Cambodian farmers on Tuesday to vacate their land within seven days in order to begin construction of a $3.8 billion tourist complex, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The warning for farmers to vacate their land follows the company's destruction of crops on seven farms in Koh Kong province in Kiri Sakor District on Cambodia's south west coast on Tuesday.
Development Group (UDG) representative, Chieng Lan, reportedly led 20 security and armed personnel with batons and guns including two excavators to destroy farm land in order to begin construction of the tourist complex.
Kiri Sakor District authorities reportedly said that farmers whose land had been cleared by the Development Group (UDG) on Tuesday had accepted compensation.
But farmer, Peurng Loun, 45, said that she had refused compensation for her 2.5 hectares of land in Koh Sdach commune in Kiri Sakor district, saying that the " Development Group's excavators had destroyed hundreds of coconuts, mangoes and cashews."
The Chinese development group reportedly bulldozed crops and trees belonging to seven families who had not accepted compensation, the farmers saying that the offer of up to $30,000 was not enough.
The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (Lcadho) in Phnom Penh, coordinator, Hour In, said that Development Group (UDG) was granted about 45,000 hectares of land by the Cambodian government for the development of a toursit complex.
"The land that spans over Kiri Sakor and Botum Sakor districts effects thousands of families," he said.
He said that while some farmers have relocated, others are fighting for fair compensation, saying that "some families who are relatives of the authorities have received compensation of up to $100,000.”
"Compensation offered by the government inter-ministerial committee, led by the Environment Ministry is not tranparent at all," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Blasphemy charges pressed against daughter of Indonesia's former president Soekarno
Sukmawati Soekarnoputri faces charges of blasphemy brought by the Muslim East Java Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 7: The Muslim East Java Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) has pressed charges against the daughter of the first president of Indonesia, Soekarno who is also the sister of former president Sukmawati Soekarnoputri for blasphemy, reports the Jakarta Post.
Lawyer Denny Andrian Kusdayat for the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) filed a complaint against Sukmawati Soekarnoputri with the Jakarta police on Wednesday.
He claims that a poem read by Sukmawati Soekarnoputri at a fashion show held in celebration of the 29th anniversary of the works of fashion designer Anne Avantie is blasphemous.
He claims that the poem titled Ibu Indonesia (Mother Indonesia) insulted Islam and had invited public scrutiny, saying that Sukmawati Soekarnoputri
among other insults had insulted Islam by mocking the full face veil.
The lawyer said that the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) pressed charges against Sukmawati Soekarnoputri for blasphemy in order to avoid "secretarian issues" ahead of the 2018 regional elections and 2019 presidential and legislative elections.
"The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) urged all Muslims to remain calm and not be easily provoked," he said.
The Indonesian Muslim Advocates Association (IKAMI) secretary general, Djudju Purwanto, claims that the poem read by Sukmawati Soekarnoputri at the fashion show had the "potential to to cause distruption", saying that the comparison of Sharia law with other religions showed a lack of understanding of Islamic beliefs.
He reportedly warned that Sukmawati Soekarnoputri should take lessons from former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) who was imprisoned for two years for blasphemy.
Charges against Sukmawati Soekarnoputri have reportedly been pressed under Article 156a of the Criminal Code on blasphemy and the 2008 law against racism.
The Southeast Asian Times

PT Pertamina admits that burst pipeline caused oil spill
State oil and gas company PT Pertamina Refinery Unit (RU) V general manager Togar MP (left) announced that the oil spill in Balipapan Bay was caused by a burst oil pipeline at a press conference in Balikpapan on Wednesday
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 6: State oil and gas company PT Pertamina said on Wednesday that a burst pipeline caused the oil spill in Balikpapan Bay on Indonesia's Borneo Island, killing five fishermen in the oil spill blaze, reports the Jakarta Post.
Pertamina Refinery Unit (RU) V general manager Togar MP said that the oil spill that polluted Balikpapan Bay on Saturday was caused by a burst pipeline, saying that the pipeline is used to trasfer crude oil from the Lawe-lawe Terminal in North Penajam Paser regency, East Kalimantan to refinery facility in Balikpapan.
The announcement by PT Pertamina Refinery Unit (RU) V general manager Togar MP that the oil spill was caused by the PT Pertamina oil pipeline follows the initial denial that the company had caused the oil spill.
The general manager claimed on Saturday that the oil spill was not from the PT Pertamina refinery, saying that the oil spill was not crude oil.
"The oil is not crude oil from the PT Pertamina Balikpapan refinery but from marine fuel oil (MFO)", he said on Sunday.
Indonesian environmental group WALHI said that the oil spill left serious pollution stretching from Balikpapan City to North Penajam Paser Regency, the county to the southwest of the refinery, saying that this was not the first spill in Balikpapan Bay,.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysia's political parties warned against campaigning in Singapore
From News Reports:
Singapore, April 5: Singapore police have issued a warning to Malaysia's political parties against campaigning in Singapore in the lead-up to Malaysia's yet to be announced general elections, reports the Straits Times.
"Foreigners visiting, working or residing in Singapore should not use Singapore as a platform to further their political causes," Singapore police said in a statement yesterday.
The police reminded non-Singaporeans residing in Singapore to abide by Singapore laws including those regulating public assembly.
Police said that under the Public Order Act, organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit is illegal, saying that non-Singaporeans will not be granted permits for assemblies used for political or electoral campaigns.
"Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visas or work passes, where applicable," the police staement said.
The Malaysian parliament is reportedly expected to be be dissolved this week, with the House sitting for the final time for the 2013-2018 session today.
The Southeast Asian Times

Smokers warned not to light cigarettes in Balikpapan bay
PT Pertamina denies that the oil spill off Balikpapan that is drifting towards the Makasar Straits in South Sulawesi was caused by the PT Pertamina refinery in Balikpapan
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 4: The status of the oil-spill blaze in the waters off the port city of Balikpapan on Indonesia's Borneo Island was raised to "emergency" on Monday, with East Kalimantan municipal secretary, Sayid MN Fadli, warning smokers to refrain from lighting cigerettes, reports the Jakarta Post.
The municipal secretary warned Balikpapan bay coastal residents to make safety a priority following the oil spill blaze that was believed to have been ignited by a cigerette.
“I may be exaggerating but the bay is like a gas station,” he said.
PT Pertamina Refinery Unit V Balikpapan general manager, Togar MP Manurung, denied that the oil spill blaze was caused by the PT Pertamina refinery.
He claims that the oil spill that is reportedly four kilometres long is not crude oil from the PT pertamina Balikpapan refinery.
"The oil is not crude oil from the PT Pertamina Balikpapan refinery but from marine fuel oil (MFO)", he said.
He said that PT Pertamina suspects that the oil spill was caused by the coal barge, MV Ever Judger 2.
The MV Ever Judger 2, reportedly did not catch fire but was engulfed in thick smoke.
Balikpapan general manager, Togar MP Manurung claims that the fire in the waters off Balikpapan was started by two fishermen who died in the blaze, saying that the fire was caused by a spark from a cigarette.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos to strengthen triangle economic cooperation
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith agreed to national cooperation at the 10th Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam Development Triangle Summit in Ha Noi on Saturday
From News Reports:
Hanoi, April 3: The Prime ministers of Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao signed a joint declaration at the 10th Development Triangle Area Summit in Hanoi on Saturday, approving the direction given in the Master Plan on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam Economic Connectivity, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Cambodia Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and Lao Prime Minister Rhongloun Sisoulith agreed to infrastructure development, institutional and economic co-operation and to the promotion of people to people exchange in education on the signing of the joint declaration.
Vietnam Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, called for the improvement of institutional and legal connectivity in order to facilitate economic cooperation in the development of private enterprise in the three Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.
He said that cooperation between the three countries, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao, would no longer be restricted to the 13 border areas of the triangle, saying that "the three countries are fully committed to the development of national co-operation."
"A triangle intra-tourism plan is expected to increase economic growth in the three countries," he said.
The three Prime ministers also agreed to increase cooperation in security in order to fight timber smuggling, human and drug trafficking, transnational crime and to the removal of post-war unexploded ordinance.
The Southeast Asian Times

Two fishermen dead in oil spill blaze in waters off Balikpapan
Smoke billows from the oil spill blaze in the waters off the port city of Balikpapan on Indonesia's Borneo Island.
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 2: The Balikpapan Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has retracted its statement that Indonesia's state owned energy company PT Pertamina caused the oild spill and ignited it on Saturday in the waters off the port city of Balikpapan on Indonesia's Borneo Island, leaving two fishermen dead, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Balikpapan Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) said yesterday that PT Pertamina did not order the burn-off as a clean-up measure for the oil spill blaze in the waters off Balikpapan, believed to be from the PT Pertamina refinery, as first stated.
The Balikpapan Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) offered an apology to PT Pertamina saying, "we at BPBD apologize for the trouble caused due to our lack of communication with Pertamina."
PT Pertamina Refinery Unit V Balikpapan general manager, Togar MP Manurung, said that "although the oil spill is not from the PT Pertamina oil refinery
that PT Pertamina has the responsibility of cleaning it up because the oil spill is in the vicinity of our refinery operations."
He said that the oil spilled in the waters off Balikpapan was not crude oil from the PT Pertamina Balikpapan refinery but from marine fuel oil (MFO)
"Tests show that the oil was marine fuel oil (MFO) from a shipping vessel, not crude oil from the PT Pertamina refinery," he said.
He said that PT Pertamina suspects that the oil spill was caused by a coal transport barge, the MV Ever Judger 2, saying that the 20 crew on board were taken to the PT Pertimina Hospital in Balikpapan for smoke inhalation treatment.
"Police are investigating the cause of the oil spill," he said.
The coal transport barge, the MV Ever Judger 2, reportedly did not catch fire but was engulfed in thick smoke from the oil spilt in the waters off the port city.
Balikpapan general manager, Togar MP Manurung said that PT Pertamina suspects that the fire on the waters off Balikpapan was started by the two unidentifed fishermen who died in the blaze, saying that the fire was caused by a spark from a cigarette.
The Southeast Asian Times

Japan denies nuclear sharing with US proposal
From News Reports:
Tokyo, April 1: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kono Taro, rejected claims made by the Japan Communist Party member of the House of Councilors, Inoue Satoshi, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had called for the deployment of nuclear weapons at United States military bases in Japan, reports the Japan Press Weekly.
Japan Communist Party member of the House of Councilors, Inoue Satoshi, claims that Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Akiba Take, had called for a 'nuclear sharing' arrangement between the United States and Japan's Ministry of Defence in 2013.
He said that the call for the deployment of nuclear weapons in Japan was reported in the United States Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) annual report in 2013.
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Akiba Take, reportedly said that, “the only effective nuclear deterrent option for Japan is an arrangement similar to the ‘nuclear sharing’ arrangement the United States provided during the Cold War to several members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) who do not have their own nuclear weapons.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kono Taro, said in defence of the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Akiba Take, that "Akiba claims that he has no memory of holding conversations with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) people.”
"The Japanese government firmly upholds Japan's Three Non-nuclear Principles," he said.
Japan Communist Party member of the House of Councilors, Inoue Satoshi, says that the call for the deployment of nuclear weapons at United States military bases in Japan went against Japan's Three Non-nuclear Principles of "nonproduction, nonpossession, and nonintroduction" of nuclear weapons.
"It is unforgivable for the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Akiba Take to make statements in violation of the nation’s Three Non-nuclear Principles", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Sulawesi governor sent to prison for granting mining licenses
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) sentenced Southeast Sulawesi governor Nur Alam to prison and ruled that he cannot be a member of a political party for five years after his release from prison
From News Reports
Jakarta, March 31: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) court in Jakarta sentenced Southeast Sulawesi governor, Nur Alam, to 12 years in prison on Wednesday for bribery in the granting of mining licenses that led to environmental damage, reports the Jakarta Post.
The court also ordered Southeast Sulawesi governor Nur Alam, who is a member of the National Mandate Party (PAN) to pay a fine of Rp 1 billion (US$72,700) and Rp 2.7 billion for misuse of authority.
The former Sulawesi governor was found guilty of granting a mining license to nickel miner, PT Anugerah Harisma Barakah (AHB) between 2009 and 2014, in which he owned a 2 percent share that was registered in the name of his aid.
Former Southeast Sulawesi governor Nur Alam said prior to sentencing that "I hope the respected judge will consider that I deserve a sense of justice because I have served as a state apparatus and given my best while on duty."
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors called for a sentence of 18 years.
But presiding judge Diah Siti Basariah claimed that there were mitigating circumstances in the sentencing, saying that "the former governor had received numerous awards for his service to Southeast Sulawesi as governor."
The panel of judges ruled that the total loss to the state of Rp 4.3 trillion claimed by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors included Rp 2.7 trillion in environmental damage caused by the miner.
The judges claimed that environmental damage was not the responsibility of Southeast Sulawesi governor Nur Alam but that of the mining company, saying that " the mining company had tried to rehabilitate the area."
Former Southeast Sulawesi governor Nur Alam denied any wrong doing, saying that he would "waste no time" in lodging an appeal against the verdict.
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established in 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by President Megawatti on 29 December 2003 - five years after Indonesia said that it had had enough of corruption and President Soeharto.
The People’s Consultative Assembly said in 1998, the same year that Soeharto resigned, that they wanted " a clean state administration free from corruption, collusion and nepotism".
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 to increase surveillance of anti-government organisations
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, March 30: The Phnom Penh Municipal Police have ordered increased surveillance of anti-government civil society orgnisations and communities including Non Government Organisations (NGOs) in order to avoid social instability and political turmoil, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Chuon Sovann, called for increased surveillance in Phnom Penh in order to "prevent demonstrations and protests related to labour strikes, human rights protests and land disputes."
He said that authorities should be alerted to demonstrations before the events take place, saying that "authorities must continue to monitor anti-government groups such as Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and unions."
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) adopted a five-year political program that called for heightened internal surveillance on anti-government civil society organisations and communities including Non Government Organisations (NGOs) in January, two months following the Supreme Court dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November 2017.
The dissolution of the opposition followed the arrest of its president on treason charges, Kem Sokha, without a warrant in September 2017 at his Phnom Penh residence.
Cambodia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn claims that the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, who was accused of "plotting to topple the government", had committed a "clear act of treason", saying that a video taken in Australia in 2013 showed him talking on the role of democratic grassroots movements in overthrowing regimes at the ballot box and the political advice he received from the United States.
The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) monitor, Am Sam Ath said the increased security by the government are restricting rallies and demonstrations and the right to express their views as guaranteed under Cambodia’s Constitution.
He claims that civil society organisations are scared and feel threatened, saying that "civil society organisations should be working as a partner with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) government to continue the development of Cambodia".
Coalition for Integrity and Social Accountability (CISA) official, Him Yun claims that Non-Government Organisations (NGO's) are not working against the government, saying that "Cambodia needs all stakeholders to contribute to the development of Cambodia."
The Southeast Asian Time
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Phnom Penh court again rejects bail application for political prisoner
Supporters of jailed former president of the dissolved oppossion Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, at the Phnom Penh Appeal Court in Phnom Penh on Tuesday
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh: March 29: The Phnom Penh Appeal Court again rejected an application for bail for the dissolved oppossion Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former president, Kem Sokha, on Tuesday amid scuffles between supporters, police and security guards outside the court, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Phnom Penh Supreme Court reportedly upheld the decision of the lower court earlier this month refusing bail for jailed opposition party president, Kem Sokha, saying that his detention was justified.
The former president of the dissolved opposition political party has been held in police custody on treason charges since his arrest in September 2017, two months ahead of the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November.
Cambodia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn claims that the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, who is accused of "plotting to topple the government", had committed a "clear act of treason", saying that a video taken in Australia in 2013 showed him talking on the role of democratic grassroots movements in overthrowing regimes at the ballot box and the political advice he received from the United States.
Lawyer, Meng Sopheary, for the jailed former opposition party president, said that the extention of her clients detention at a prison in Tbong Khmum province affects his legal rights becasue there is no evidence.
“I, as any other citizen, can see this is a political case because there was no crime,” she said.
The former president of the dissolved opposition party did not appear in court on Tuesday for the bail application hearing.
The Phnom Penh Post reports that Prisons Department deputy chief, Nuth Savna, claimed "security concerns" for the non-appearance of Kem Sokha, at the bail application hearing on Tuesday.
Cambodia prime Minister Hun Sen said prior to the Appeal Court decison on Tuesday that he did not believe that the Appeal Court would release "the chief traitor".
"But I will respect the court's decision", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Conviction of former Christian Jakarta governor stands
Supreme Court judges, Artidjo Alkostar, Salman Luthan and Margiatmo, rejected the appeal againt the conviction of former Jakarta governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, found guilty of blasphemy
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 28: The appeal against the conviction of former Jakarta governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to two years imprisonment last year, was rejected by the Supreme court on Monday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Supreme Court spokesman, Suhadi, said that judges, Artidjo Alkostar, Salman Luthan and Margiatmo, had rejected the former Jakarta governor's challenge against his conviction.
"The appeal has been rejected," he said.
The former Jakarta governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, was defended by his sister, lawyer, Fify Lety Indra.
She appealed the conviction on the grounds that the North Jakarta District Court had made a mistake in declaring the former Jakarta governor guilty of blasphemy.
She said that the Supreme court had rejected the argument that the blasphemy charges against the former Jakarta governor were based on tampered video footage.
"Communication academic, Buni Yani, was found guilty of tampering with the video footage that had recorded the speech given by the former Jakarta governor to fishermen while he was on an election campaign," she said.
She said that the tampered video had been used as evidence to charge the former Jakarta governor with blasphemy.
The North Jakarta District Court found the former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama guilty of blasphemy for insulting Muslims in his use of Al-Maidah 51 in the Quran in May 2017.
He reportedly told fishermen in a speech while on an election campaign that the fishermen had been deceived by those who use Al-Maidah 51 in the Quran to discourage Muslims from supporting him.
The former governor was initially charged under Article 156 (a) on blasphemy of the Criminal Code, with a maximum jail sentence of five years and Article 28, point (2) of the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law on promoting hate speech, that carries a maximum six years imprisonment.
But Prosecutor, Ali Mukartono, withdrew the accusation that the former governor had violated Article 156 (a) of the Criminal Code, saying the prosecution could not prove that the former Jakarta governor had insulted Islam as a whole but that he had insulted individual Muslims.
The prosecution claimed that they had proven that the former Jakarta governor was guilty of "showing animosity towards Muslims."
The Southeast Asian Times

Japan calls on Cambodia to begin talks with dissolved opposition party members
Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura and Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Friday
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, March 27: Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kentaro Sonoura, called on Cambodia's ruling party to begin talks with the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party members, at a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh last Friday, reports the Khmer Times.
Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kentara Sonoura, reportedly called on Prime Minister Hun Sen to begin negotiations with the opposition members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who were suspended from participating in politics for five years with the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November 2017.
"Japan's interest in this matter should not be seen as interference but rather as a desire for clearer understanding between friendly nations," he said.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he supported the Supreme Court decision to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) opposition party, saying that "the Supreme Court decision was made according to the principle of rule of law.
The dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) followed the arrest of its president, Kem Sokha, without a warrant in September 2017 at his Phnom Penh residence.
He was charged with treason and refused bail by the Phnom Penh court last month.
Cambodia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn claims that the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, who was accused of "plotting to topple the government", had committed a "clear act of treason", saying that a video taken in Australia in 2013 showed him talking on the role of democratic grassroots movements in overthrowing regimes at the ballot box and the political advice he received from the United States.
Former deputy president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Mu Sochua, one of 118 senior opposition party members who have been suspended from participating in politics for five years, commended the suggestion of negotiations in an email message on Sunday.
She said that the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) unequivocally welcomes Japan’s role in the restart of the culture of dialogue,”
“We ask that key signatories join Japan to witness and to serve as guarantor to the dialogue,” she said.
Former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy, who is in exile in France following a defamation conviction by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in December 2017 and who was ordered to pay Prime Minister Hun Sen $1 million in damages, said in an email: “I continue to believe in the culture of dialogue when it is sincerely implemented, meaning without threat or bullying.”
The Southeast Asian Times

Woman charged with attemped murder of maid put on immigration blacklist
Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali failed to appear in court on Wednesday to attend court proceedings onWednesday to review the sentence that was ammended from the attempted murder of her maid to causing grevious bodily harm
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 26: The Malaysian Immigration Department was ordered by the High court on Thursday to 'blacklist' Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali, who is on bail for the attempted murder of her maid, to stop her from fleeing the country, reports the Star.
Attempts to serve Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali, with a summons to appear in court on Wednesday have reportedly failed.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, said that the department had recieved a court order to "blacklist" for Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali, saying that "the Immigration department is checking whether she has attempted to leave the country."
The High Court ordered the Immigration Department to apprehend the convicted woman should she attempt to leave Malaysia following her failure to attend court proceedings to review the ammended sentence from the attempted murder of her Indonesia maid, 19 year-old, Suyanti Sutrinso to causing grevious bodily harm.
Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali failed to appear in court on Wednesday after attempts by the court to serve her with a summons were made at her home at Mutiara Damansara in Kuala Lumpur.
The Attorney General's Chambers lodged a notice of appeal against the amended sentence on March 17 two days after the the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court sentenced Cto be bound over for five years on a good behaviour bond of RM20,000.
About 400,000 Malaysians signed a petition calling for "equal justice for Malaysians" following the sentence handed down by Petaling Jaya Sessions Court Judge, Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar.
The petition that is to be delivered to prime minister Najib Tun Razak claims that Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali Rozita should have received a harsher sentence, saying that "being rich and carrying the title "Datin" should not give her the right to treat her maid in an inhumane manner".
Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali Rozita was found guilty of inflicting multiple injuries to her Indonesia maid, 19 year-old, Suyanti Sutrinso with household items including a knife at her home in Mutiara Damansara on 21 June 2016.
The maid suffered multiple injuries to her body including her eyes, legs, hands and internal organs including her right lung. The maid also suffered a fractured shoulder and cheek bone and a blood clot to the brain.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia refuses money from the United States
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, March 25: The Cambodian government has refused United States funding, conditional on the release of the president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the reinstatement of the political party, saying that "Cambodia did not abide by the edicts of any country", but that "the United States was still a friend not a foe," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The United States Senate said in approving a government funding bill of $1.3 trillion on Friday that "none of the funds made available to assist the Cambodian government will be forthcoming unless Cambodia takes effective steps to respect the rights enshrined in Cambodia’s constitution."
The bill reportedly includes the restoration of the civil and political rights of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, media, and civil society organizations and the restoration of all elected officials to their elected offices as a condition to the available funds
The bill also says that United States funding is dependent on the “release of all political prisoners, including journalists, civil society activists, and members of the opposition political party, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)."
Cambodian government spokesman, Phay Siphan, said that "the United States is not out boss."
"Cambodian people are our boss," he said.
He said that Cambodians respect the court and cannot take money to overrule our constitution or the court, saying that "we stand firm in the protection of the rule of law."
In November 2017 Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen announced that the government supported the Supreme Court decision to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) opposition party, saying that "the Supreme Court decision was made according to the principle of rule of law.
The dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) followed the arrest of its president, Kem Sokha, without a warrant in September 2017 at his Phnom Penh residence and charged with treason and who was refused bail by the Phnom Penh court last month.
Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn said that the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, had committed a "clear act of treason", saying that a video of a speech taken in Australia in 2013 showed that he had received assistance from the US.
The jailed opposition party president, Kem Sokha, reportedly talked about the role of democratic grassroots movements in overthrowing regimes at the ballot box and the political advice he received from the United States in the video.
The Southeast Asian Times

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

"Rockefeller and the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi" by Kerry B. Collison "is undoubtedly fictional but by no means improbable, " says Johannes Nugroho ....open page here
The Southeast Asian Times wishes its readers a happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year with a special thankyou to its treasured letter writers

 

A cartoon goes inside the tour bus in Manila on the day that ended with the slaying of eight Hong Kong tourists ...Open page here

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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

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