The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Sunday 3 July 2022
GATHERINGS:
An informed guidexto happenings throughout
the region.  

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


Vietnam opens consulate in Macau

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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Candidate deemed patriotic by Beijing sworn in as chief executive of Hong Kong by President Xi Jinping

John Lee Ka-chiu, sworn in as the 6th Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) by the President of China, Xi Jinping, in Hong Kong on Friday, July 1 2022

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, July 3: John Lee Ka-chiu, 64, who was appointed Hong Kong Chief Secretary of the vetting committee to screen out candidates deemed unpatriotic to China or a threat to national security in the Hong Kong District Councillor elections in November, 2021, was sworn in as the 6th Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) by the President of China, Xi Jinping, in Hong Kong on Friday, with the President saying "there should be no compromise on the principle of patriots administering Hong Kong." reports the South China Morning Post
The new Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Lee Ka-chiu, who was selected by the 1,461 member election committee, to be the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), replaced incumbant Hong Kong Chief Executve Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor who ended her five year term on
July 1.
Former Hong Kong Chief Executve Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor appointed pro-Beijing officials including John Lee Ka-chiu, Chief Secretary of the vetting committee that would screen out candidates deemed unpatriotic or a threat to national security ahead of the oath-taking ceremony for the November 2021 Hong Kong District Councillor elections.
The Hong Kong District Councillor elections required candidates to pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that upholds the one country two system Beijing policy and to the ruling that allows only candidates deemed patriots to stand for election.
President of China, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi Jinping, said on Friday that there should be no compromise on the principle of patriots administering Hong Kong, saying "keeping political power in the hands of patriots is a political rule practised throughout the world."
The ruling Chinese Communist Party, (CCP) candidates won all but one of 90 seats in the Hong Kong Legislative Council elections in November 2021, with the opposition Hong Kong Democratic Party (HKDP) winning one seat despite pledging allegiance to Beijing under the newly adopted patriot law that adhered to the one country two systems principle.
Opposition Democratic Party chairman, Lo Kin-hei, said on Friday that the newly appointed Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) John Lee Ka-chiu "should listen to dissenting voices if it hoped to improve governance, saying "there is concern in keeping the administrative power of Hong Kong in the hands of patriots with the definition of patriot defined by Beijing."
"Past incidents have proved that the definition of patriot has changed in determining whether one is qualified for public office," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippines fishers want new president to stop oil exploration negotiations with China

Imelda Marcos, left, mother of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., centre, and wife Maria Louise Marcos, right, at the inauguration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr as Philippines 17th president on Thursday June 30, 2022

From News Reports:
Manila, July 2: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 64, son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who announced that he would run for President at the Filipino-Chinese business club in Manila in September 2021, was inaugurated the 17th President of the Philippines on Thursday, with a coalition of fishing organisations calling on the new President "to permanently shelve talks with China on oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea," despite former President Rodrigo Duterte order to "terminate completely" negotiations with China on joint oil exploration ahead of the inaugurtion, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
National coalition of fishing organizations, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), chairperson, Fernando Hicapa, called on the new president "to look for alternative sources of energy than to pursue talks on joint oil exploration with China," saying "we attest that this joint venture will institutionalize and intensify China's plunder of our marine resources."
"Everyone has witnessed how China blatantly disregards our legal and political rights over the West Philippine Sea amid an international ruling that invalidated its claim," he said.
Former Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., said ahead of the inauguration that oil and gas exploration negotiations with China in the West Philippines Sea was "terminated completely" on orders from President Rodrigo Duterte, saying "it is up to Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to protect Philippines sovereignty.
He said that three years on and we had not achieved our objective of developing oil and gas resources so critical for the Philippines, saying "development of oil and gas resources should not be at the price of sovereignty."
National coalition of fishing organizations Pamalakaya chairperson, Fernando Hicapa, said that the termination of negotiation between the Philippines and China on the development of oil and gas resources in the West Philippine Sea "will not make a difference", saying "Beijing has already established its control over the entire exclusive economic zone."
"This is one of the issues that Marcos Jr.’s administration should put at the forefront," he said.
In January 2022 the then presidential candidate former Senator Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., said that the Philippines should continue to engage with China, saying he would dismiss any help from the United States in negotiations with China over the West Philippine Sea if elected president.
"If Americans are involved in negotiations in the West Philippine Sea with China, it is bound to fail,” he said ahead of the Presidential elections in May, 2022.
He said that is was not feasible to seek to enforce the 2016 International Arbitration Court in the Hague ruling in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea " saying that China has rejected the verdict that the Philippines has sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea."
He said that the Philippines was not strong enough to engage in a defensive war with China, saying "China's incursions
in the West Philippine Sea is a problem between the Philippines and China.
"Going to war with China over the South China Sea would not be an option and should be considered a ludicrous idea," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Supreme Court rejects appeal for disqualification of Marcos presidential candidacy two days before inauguration

The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) submit appeals at the Supreme Court in Manila on Thursday May 19, 2022 against Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissal of disqualification of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jnr from the presidential elections

From News Reports:
Manila, July 1: The Philippines Supreme Court rejected the appeal by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) to disqualify President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., from the presidential elections, two days ahead of the inauguration Ferdinand Marcos Jnr., as the 17th President of the Philippines in Manila on Thursday, with the Supreme Court saying "respondent Marcos Jr., is qualified to run for and be elected to public office,” reports Reuters.
"The exercise of the Supreme Court power to decide the present controversy led the Supreme Court to no other conclusion but that respondent Marcos Jr., is qualified to run for and be elected to public office," said the Supreme Court in a statement.
"Likewise the Ferdinand Marcos Jnr., Certificate of Candidacy (COC) that was valid and in accord with the law, was rightfully upheld by the Commission on Elections (Comelec)," said the statement.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed three of five petitions in February that claimed that the conviction of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for tax evasion in 1995 fell within the Comelec’s grounds for disqualification for the presidential candidacy to run for president, saying "the deprivation of one’s right to stand for election should not be exercised whimsically and capriciously, lest we will be preventing qualified candidates from pursuing a position in public office."
The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the resolution of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the dismissal of two petitions filed by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) seeking disqualification President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., from the presidential elections, with chairman of the campaign saying "the erosion of law in the country would continue."
Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) chairman, Bonifacio Ilagan, said that "he and his colleagues were not surprised that the Supreme Court has opted to swim with the tide of acquiescence to a Marcos rehabilitation."
"It was difficult to comprehend that the tribunal decided on merit that Marcos Jr. did not disobey the law by wilfully not paying taxes, did not commit moral turpitude, and could go scot-free, being now above the law," he said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned that "upholding the petitioners submissions would estblish a “dangerous precedence for future litigations of petitions for disqualification grounded on violations of the tax code," saying that the 1997 Court of Appeals ruling removed the penalty of imprisonment and imposed a fine for failure to file an income tax return."
“Whether the law provides for the imposition of either fine or imprisonment is further bolstered by the fact that the Court of Appeals decision never meted the penalty of imprisonment against Marcos,” it said.
It also ruled that Marcos was not convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, which could have been a ground for disqualification, citing Supreme Court rulings.
The withholding of the right to stand for election cannot be made on a mere proposition that the penalty of perpetual disqualification for violation of Section 45 of the 1977 National Internal Revenue Code be written in the taxe evasion 1995 decision.
In 1995 the Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants - arrested, tortured and executed during the 13 years from 1972 in which Ferdinand Marcos ruled by decree and martial law, won US$2.7-billion in exemplary damages against the former president’s estate at a hearing in the United States federal court, Hawaii.
The Federal Court of Hawaii found Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations.
A "people power" revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, forcing him and his family to flee to Hawaii, where he died in exile in 1989.
His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and is preserved in a refrigerated crypt at his Batac hometown in Ilocos Norte.
The Southeast Asian Times

ASEAN Special Envoy to Mynamar wants Aung San Suu Kyi in national reconciliation talks

Cambodia ASEAN Chair for 2022 and ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh Post, June 30: Cambodia ASEAN Chair for 2022 and ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar has called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to release former State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, from prison ahead of the ASEAN Special Envoy's second visit to Myanamar after the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD), calling on the State Administrative Council (SAC) chairman to involve Aung San Suu Kyi in national reconciliation talks, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, to release Aung San Suu Kyi from solitary confinment at the Naypyitaw prison, saying "it is imperative that former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi be involved in talks that lead to national reconciliation through peaceful political solutions."
ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) "to exercise compassion and return former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi
to house arrest on humanitarian grounds in light of her fragile health and overall well-being."
The ASEAN Special Envoy called for the return of Aung San Suu Kyi to house arrest after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Myanmar State Administration Council (SAC) orderd the former State Councillor's
transferr from house arrest to solitary confinement at the Naypyitaw prison last week.
The trial of former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi for incitement under Section 505(b) that criminalizes speech deemed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to incite public unrest, that has been conducted at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar courtroom in Naypyidaw after the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) in February 2021 is to be continued at a purpose built court at the Naypyitaw prison.
The ASEAN Special Envoy called for former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi return to home arrest "out
of respect for the fair and judicious practice of the rule of law," saying "we all share the view that a peaceful national reconciliation cannot be effectuated when one party to the conflict is taken out of the resolution equation."
He said that "all our ASEAN colleagues strongly encourage the Myanmar State Administration Council (SAC) to begin an inclusive process of national reconciliation without further delay, saying "a peaceful political resolution to a conflict, no matter how complex it is, must involve the sharing of political space by all those involved."
In March 2022 ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn met with three ministers of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in Naypyitaw in the first visit of the ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar.
ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar met with Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar ministers, U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, U Ko Ko Hlaing, Union Minister for International Cooperation and Chairman of the Task Force on ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance, and Lt. Gen. Yar Pyae, Union Minister for the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government, and Chairman of the National Solidarity and Peace-making Committee in an effort to implement the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus (5PC) that was introduced by the ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta in April 2021 and that was attended by Myanmar commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
The ASEAN Five Point Concensus (5PC) includes restrain of security forces, commencement of dialogue with ASEAN, facilitation of mediation with Secretary General of ASEAN, Special ASEAN envoy and delegation to visit Myanmar and ASEAN provision of humanitarian assistance.
The Southeast Asian Times

"Australia's future is tied to the future of South East Asia," says Australia

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on Monday June 27, 2022

From News Reports:
Hanoi, June 29: Australia's Foreign Minister said ahead of an official visit to ASEAN member countries Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia this week that "Australia's future is tied to the future of South East Asia," reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Foreign Minister of Australia Penny Wong said ahead of an official visit to Vietnam on Monday that "It's more than geography that binds us", saying "we have genuine links in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia with family, business, education and tourism."
Foreign Minister of Australia Penny Wong said at the official meeting with Vietnam President, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on Monday that "Australia attached great importance to Vietnam’s role in the ASEAN region and that the new Australian government would continue to strengthen the strategic partnership with Vietnam."
Vietnam Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son called on Foreign Minister of Australia, Penny Wong, to provide favourable conditions for Vietnamese to live, study and work in Australia and integrate into the Australian community, saying that "Vietnamese intergration into the Australian community would make a positive contribution to the sound relationship between Australia and Vietnam."
Foreign Minister of Australia Penny Wong said "many Australians have family and friends in the ASEAN region, in Vietnam particularly," saying "we want to make sure we work to deepen this relationship."
"It’s important for me to come here, to do the work, to listen because our futures are tied together,” she said.
Vietnam Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son also called on Australia to continue to make positive contributions to cooperation in the ASEAN region based on respect for the central role of ASEAN.
"Vietnam welcomed Australia’s comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN," he said.
Foreign Minister of Australia, Penny Wong, said that "Australia held great importance to ASEAN's central role and the Australia-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership."
Vietnam joined 12 Indo-Pacific countries in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) trade pact that was launched in Japan by United States on May 23, 2022 with Prime Minister of Vietnam, Ph?m Minh Chinh, pledging to work with ASEAN members and United States partners to bring about an economic agenda that is conducive for each country in the ASEAN region.
"The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) trade pact will be best harnessed when it complements existing economic connectivity initiatives," he said.
"Vietnam is committed to pursuing and is making all efforts towards an independent, self-reliant economy hand-in-hand with extensive and substantive international integration," he said.
The United States and 12 Indo-Pacific countries, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam signed the Indo-Pacific Economic in Japan on Monday with three ASEAN members, Myamar, Laos and Cambodia abstaining.
United States National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF)
is to provide a United States led alternative to China's influence in the Indo-Pacific, saying "the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is intended to reassert United States economic engagement in a vital region.
"The IPEF was foundational to U.S. efforts in the region, "he said.
He said the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) commits the United States to work with partners on key economic priorities including ensuring smooth supply chains, fighting corruption and promoting green energy, saying "unlike traditional trade pacts the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) would not guarantee market access to the United States, saying "the United States is the usual sweetner to persuade nations to make concessions."
The Southeast Asian Times


NASA launches first rocket from commercial spaceport in northern Australia

NASA launches first of three rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) commercial spaceport at the Dhupuma Plateau on the Gulkala escarpment in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory in Australia on Monday June 27, 2022

From News Reports:
Darwin, June 28: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the first of three rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) commercial spaceport in the Northern Territory of Australia on Monday, with the United States Consul-General saying "today marks a moment that will go down in history for the United States and Australia in our space collaboration efforts," reports Reuters..
United States Consul-General, Kathleen Lively, said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that contracted Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) to prepare a feasibility study to launch rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory, "reaffirmed the deep partnership between the two nations," saying "our collaboration is furthering space exploration, to improve our understanding of the solar system and the universe."
Northern Territory of Australia Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said that the rocket that was aborted several times before it was launched after midnight on Monday from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory, "will help attract global space investors to the Territory."
She said that the launch of the rocket from Arnhem Land that will provide new data on the structure and evolution of the cosmos,"is an incredible milestone for Australia in establishing the Northern Territory as a launch site and an important player in space exploration."
"Working with the Gumatj people in Arnhem Land in launching the rockets into space combines one of the oldest cultures in the world with some of the most advanced technology ever," she said.
In October 2017 the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust granted a lease of about 275 hectares of land in north east Arnhem Land to Gumatj Corporation Limited for use as a commercial rocket launching facility.
Gumatj Corporation Limited sub leased the land to a private company, Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) to construct aechnologies to provide access to space for commercial, research and government organnd operate the launching facility on the Dhupuma Plateau on the Gulkala escarpment in Australia's Northern Territory.
Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) was contracted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), that is an independent agency of the United States Government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research, to prepare a feasibility study on launching sounding rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory.
Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) CEO, Scott Wallis, said the Canberra company would use proven launch vehicle technologies to provide access to space for commercial, research and government organisations, saying "this project provides a competitive alternative to large launch complexes, both in terms of infrastructure and associated launch costs."
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmar's People’s Defense Forces ready to go on offensive

National Unity Government (NUG), spokesperson, Ko Nay Phone Latt, said "the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) are a professional army a year after they were formed" at a press conference on Tuesday June 21, 2022

From News Reports:
Nepoypyitaw, June 27: Myanmar's civilian National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded by the parliamentary committee of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the civilian government reports that the armed wing of the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) is a professional army
with National Unity Government (NUG) spokesperson saying "the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) are ready to go on the offensive."
National Unity Government (NUG), spokesperson, Ko Nay Phone Latt said at a press conference on Tuesday "the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) have matured" saying "they are a professional army a year after they were formed."
"The People’s Defense Forces (PDF) have achieved progess in training, grouping, command, arms and weapons production," he said.
He said the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) are conducting a variety of operations, incuding ambushes, targeted assasinations, bombing, the sabotage of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar related facilities and business, saying " and lately seizing Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the Myanmar Police Force outposts."
"Previously, the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) only waged guerilla warfare but that they are now ready to go on the offensive, he said.
In May 2021 the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declared the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), the People's Defence Force (PDF) and the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) "terrorist groups" on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar controlled MRTV network in Yangon and Naypyiday, saying "acts of violence committed against the state by the People's Defence Force (PDF) were instigated by the National Unity Government (NUG)."
National Unity Government (NUG), Deputy defense minister, Daw Khin Ma Ma Myo said following the declaration that the task of the People's Defence Force (PDF) is to stop the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar from committing crimes including war crimes against the people of Myanmar, saying that the National Unity Government (NUG) has the responsibility of ending 70 years of civil war."
She said that the formation of the People's Defence Force (PDF) by National Unity Government (NUG) would be followed by the formation of a Federal Union Army.
The National Unity Government (NUG) was founded under a Federal Democracy Charter in April 2021 in order to eliminate the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar drafted 2008 constitution and dictatorship with the support of the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), a coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar including the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the largest political party in Myanmar.
The Southeast Asian Times


Communist Party of the Philippines accussed of planning to disrupt Marcos inauguration 17th president

President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to be inaugurated 17th President of the Philippines at the National Museum in Manila on Thursday June 30, 2022

From News Reports:
Manila, June 26: Philippines Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) report alleged plans to disrupt the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the National Museum in Manila next Thursday, with Undersecretary of DILG and spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), saying
"the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and front organisations plan to embarrass and discredit the inauguration," reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Undersecretary of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), Jonathan Malaya, said that "it was no surprise that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed and political wings, the New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines, (NDFP), were planning to embarrass and discredit the incoming administration, saying "whoever sits in Malacañang is their enemy because ultimately, all they want is to overthrow the government through violent means to be followed by a socialist revolution."
He said that former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) claim that communist groups and front organisations have been meeting with farmers in Hacienda Tinang, with head of the Tinang Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Orlando Baluyot, saying "farmers at Hacienda Tinang do not want Ferdinand Marcos Jr to sit as the president of the Philippines."
"Farmers in Hacienda Tinang will do anything before President-elect Marcos Jr. takes his oath on June 30," he said.
Undersecretary of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), Jonathan Malaya, said that former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who served as Justice Secretary and Defence Minister during the President Ferdinand E. Marcos administration claims that "groups in America and in the Philippines are planning to embarrass and discredit the President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr inauguration."
“We are taking these intelligence reports seriously and we will do what is necessary to thwart any attempt to embarrass or discredit the forthcoming inauguration,” he said.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) have accused the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) of spreading rumours about an alleged plan by the party to disrupt the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on June 30 in order to to preempt protests.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), spokesperson, Marcos Valbuena, said "the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) must be condemned for engaging in brazen red-baiting to justify their plan to use the police to suppress by force the planned mass actions by broad democratic sectors, saying "this clearly aims to intimidate and bully the people from joining the planned mass demonstrations."
"The information from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG including the claim by former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is a communist bogey aimed to stop people from holding protests at the Marcos inauguration," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar military attendance at ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Cambodia indicates unified ASEAN

Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Minister of Defence General Mya Tun Oo attended the 16th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) in Cambodia Wednesday June 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 25: The 16th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), that was attended by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Minister of Defence General Mya Tun Oo, adopted ‘Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Defence Cooperation to Strengthen Solidarity for Coordinated Security," with Cambodia saying "the presence of Myanmar Minister of Defence, General Mya Tun Oo, indicated a unified ASEAN, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, who chaired the 16th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), said "the participation of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Minister of Defence General, Mya Tun Oo, in the (ADMM) underscored ASEAN's commitment to maintaining Asean centrality, unity, and cooperation for peace, security and sustainable development in the region."
He said that Asean must stay united to maintain its strength and resilience, saying "the whole region is confronting the pressures of increasing geopolitical competition, transnational crime, terrorism, security and technological challenges, climate change, disasters and epidemics."
"We must all be ready to accept those obstacles and try to solve them together based on the spirit of peace, non-discrimination, cooperation, trust and respect for each other," he said.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) called on the Asean Defence Ministers ahead of the 16th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) not to extend an invitation to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Minister of Defence General, Mya Tun Oo, to ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) held on Wednesday.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) presented the ASEAN Defence Ministers with 299 signatures from regional and international civil society organisations calling on the ASEAN ministers not to extend an invitation to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Minister of Defence General, Mya Tun Oo, saying "the Myanmar Minister of Defence General, Mya Tun Oo, is a prticipant of the the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC)."
"As a participant of the State Administration Council (SAC), General Mya Tun Oo has been directly involved in and responsible for decision making concerning state functions and is therefore responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law."
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said that it is imperative that ASEAN does not award legitimacy to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, saying "ASEAN should uphold the ASEAN charter and respect international human rights and humanitarian law by excluding the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar from ADMM."
"In allowing the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to participate in ADMM, ASEAN is risking complicity in the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar crimes."
The Southeast Asian Times

Aung San Suu Kyi transferred from house arrest to solitary confinement
at Naypyidaw prison

Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, transferred from house arrest at an undisclosed location to solitary confinement at Naypyitaw prison on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, June 24: Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest at an undisclosed location and is on trial for corruption at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court, was tranferred to solitary confinement at Naypyitaw prison on Wednesday, reports the Irrawaddy.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Myanmar Police Force’s Special Branch ordered the transfer of former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, whose elected government was overthrown by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar courtroom in Naypyidaw, on Tuesday.
The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi that has been conducted at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar courtroom in Naypyidaw is to be continued at a court at the Naypyitaw prison, with the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar judge saying "a new building for the court at the Naypyitaw Prison is complete."
On Monday March 14, 2022 National League for Democracy (NLD) State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, denied accepting bribes at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court in Naypyitaw, saying "the allegations are completely false."
Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, denied allegations of corruption for reciving $600,000 and more that 10kg of gold in bribes from the National League for Democracy (NLD) Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein.
“The allegations are completely false. I had no reason to take it, no reason to accept it," she said.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, who has not been detained by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, testified in October, 2021 that in his role as Yangon chief minister he gave about 11.4kg of gold and US$600,000 to Aung San Suu Kyi in 2017 and 2018.
National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, dismissed his claims as "all absurd."
Khin Mi Mi Kywe, wife of Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, told the military court in November 2021 that she took gold from her gold shop and bought US dollars from money changers for Aung San Suu Kyi, saying that her husband, the National League for Democracy (NLD) Yangon Region chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, had said that "they were in exchange for her protection and support."
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi said she did not know about the gold and US dollars corruption charge that had allegedly taken place in 2017 and 2018 until the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar sent her a letter of investigation after the takeover of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in February 2021.
Former State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, former President Win Myint and former Naypyitaw Mayor, U Myo Aung, who were arrested in February 2021 after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government and the declaration of martial law, were sentenced to two years in prison in December 2021 for incitement under Section 505(b) that criminalizes speech deemed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) to incite public unrest.
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi. President Win Myint, and Naypyitaw Mayor U Myo Aung, were also charged with violating Covid-19 restrictions during the November 8, 2020 election campaign under Section 25 of the state of emergency Natural Disaster Management Law under the command of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC).
In January 2022 State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi received a further prison sentence of four years for the illegal importation of radio transmitters or walkie talkie's under Section 8 of the Export and Import Law, and with the illegal operation of a radio transmitter or walkie talkie without a licence under Section 67 of the Penal Code and Telecommunications Law.
The Southeast Asian Times


Former chairman Hanoi People's Committee appeals guilty verdict in purchase of cleaning agent for Hanoi lakes

Former chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, Nguyen Ðuc Chung, pleads not guilty to "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties" at the Hanoi People's Court on Monday June 20, 2022

From News Reports:
Hanoi, June 23: Former chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee appealed a guilty verdict at the Hanoi People's Court on Monday for "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties" in the purchase by the Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company of a water cleaning agent purchased from a German company to treat polluted lakes in Hanoi, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Former chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, Nguyen Ðuc Chung, pleaded not guilty, appealing a six year prison sentence, saying he was unaware that his wife had invested in the Hanoi company that had sold the water cleaning agent to the Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company.
Former chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, Nguyen Duc Chung, pleaded not guilty to "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties" in the purchase of water cleaning agent Redoxy-3C to treat polluted lakes in Hanoi, saying "the water cleaning agent was ordered by the Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company from German company, Watch Water Company."
He said the Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company purchased the water cleaning agent Redoxy-3C from Hanoi company, Arktic company.
Former chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee said he was unaware that his wife, Nguyen Thi Truc Chi Hoa, had invested VNÐ5 billion in the Hanoi company, Arktic company, that had purchased the water cleaning agent from Hanoi Water Drainage Company for re-sale to the Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company.
The Hanoi People's Court found that former chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, Nguyen Duc Chung, had ordered Artic Company to import more than 489,000 kg of Redoxy-3C for more than VNÐ115 billion ($5 million) between 2016 and 2019.
The Artic company resold the water cleaning agent to treat polluted lakes in Hanoi to the Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company for VNÐ151 billion, making a profit of VNÐ36.1 billion.
State-owned Hanoi Sewage and Water Drainage Company former general director Vo Tien Hung was sentenced to four years in prison and Artic Company director Nguyen Truong Giang to four and a half years for "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties.
In May 2015 Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong presented legislators at the National Assembly in Hanoi with proposed amendments to the Penal Code including the death penalty for seven crimes.
Amendments to the Penal Code included the abolition of the death penalty for seven of twenty-nine crimes that carry the death penalty in Vietnam.
Crimes that carry the death penalty include murder, armed robbery, treason, drug trafficking, the sexual abuse of children, economic crimes and corruption including the embezzlment of state property.
The proposed abolition of the death penalty for seven crimes include the embezzlment of state property, the destruction of national security facilities, treason, crimes against humanity, war crimes and drug trafficking.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines medical practioners lodge complaint against Communication Undersecretary for red-tagging

Philippines medical practioners call on the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Pasay on Monday June 20, 2022 to revoke the registration of Communications Undersecretary, Lorraine Badoy, for repeated red-tagging

From News Reports:
Manila, June 22: Philippines Medical practicioners have lodged a complaint with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), seeking the revocation of registration of physician from Communications Undersecretary, Lorraine Badoy, for repeated red-tagging that allegedly associates health workers with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) armed movement and as such enemies of the state, saying "Lorraine Badoy's accusations are wrong and unethical," reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Medical practicioners are seeking the revocation of registration of physician from Communications Undersecretary, Lorraine Badoy, who is the spokeperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), for repeated red-tagging of health workers.
Movement Against Disinformation (MAD) lawyer, Jin Arabejo, says that "Lorraine Bado violated the code of conduct and ethical standards of the medical profession when she associated health workers with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) armed movement and as such enemies of the state."
"Lorraine Badoy's behavior of red-tagging and vilifying groups and individuals runs counter to the oaths that she took when she entered the medical profession and assumed the position of Communications Undersecretary,” he said.
He said that the main tenet of the medical profession is the Hippocratic Oath, saying "the Hippocratic Oath requires that physicians do no harm."
He said that Communications undersecretary, Lorraine Badoy, has contrubuted to the culture of impunity, fear and intimidation and has done nothing but run counter to the most fundamental truth," saying "the health workers will be given an opportunity to explain red-tagging as the basis for the revocation of her license."
Health Alliance for Democracy, (HEAD) chairperson, Dr. Edelina dela Paz, said "red-tagging has discouraged medical professionals from serving the marginalized, depriving poor Filipinos of access to quality health services."
"Communications undersecretary, Lorraine Badoy, has been vilifying members of the health sector working in community health programs," she said.
In November 2020 Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate National Defense and Security panel, who is investigating red-tagging by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), called for the branding of government critics and activists as communists or enemies of the state to be a crime, saying red-tagging should be declared a criminal act.
He said that red-tagging is a crisis in itself," saying "red-tagging or branding government critics and activists as communists or enemies of the state imperils our conscientious effort to uphold and protect human rights."
"Red-tagging entails the use of government resources and funds to target people based on their political beliefs and as such is an affront to the constitutional right to freedom of expression," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

U.S. calls on Cambodia to release Cambodian-American lawyer in prison for treason

Former member of the Court-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Cambodian-American lawyer, Seng Theary, was sentenced to six years in prison for treason for plotting to overthrow the ruling Hun Sen government

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 2: The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced 42 former members and supporters of the Court-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) including Cambodian-American lawyer, Seng Theary, to six years in prison for treason for plotting to overthrow the ruling Hun Sen government, with the United States embassy in Phnom Phenh calling for her release from prison," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The United States Embassy said "freedom of expression and association and tolerance of dissenting views are vital components of democracy," saying "we are deeply troubled by today’s unjust verdicts against Seng Theary and others."
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court also sentenced former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy to eight years in prison in absentia for treason for plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government, incitement to committ a felony and inciting military disobedience under Articles 453, 471, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code.
Cambodia Justice Ministry spokesman, Chin Malin, said the Phnom Penh Municipal Court's decision was the direct implementation of Cambodian law, saying "the court had a solid and clear legal basis to charge and sentence the former members of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) for treason for plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government under the pretext of the return to Cambodia of its president Sam Rainsy from exile in France .
Former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party members, Eng Chhay Eang, Ou Chanrith, Tok Vanchan, Ho Vann, Men Sothavarin are among the 42 party members and Human Rights activists who were sentenced to prison from six to eight years for treason for plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government under the pretext of the return from exile in France to Cambodia in 2019 of its president Sam Rainsy.
Cambodia Justice Ministry spokesman, Chin Malin, said that the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party members, had attempted a coup d'etat that was led by former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy, saying "Sam Rainsy proclaimed that he would return to Cambodia on November 9, 2019 to arrest Prime Minister Hun Sen."
"Sam Rainsy had incited and appealed to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, civil servants and the public to rise up against the Hun Sen government and to raise funds to provide the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to execute the plan," he said.
Former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Sam Rainsy, was charged and convcited with treason for plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government in absentia with former party members arrested in May and June 2020 charged with involvement in the plan for the return of Sam Rainsy to Cambodia from Paris for Cambodia Independence celebrations in November 2019.
The Phnom Penh Municiple Court accused the Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM) former president Sam Rainsy and supporters of inciting the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to revolt against the Hun Sen government and for invovlement in the plan for Sam Rainsy's return to Cambodia from Paris.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former president and co-founder of the party, Sam Rainsy, went into exile in Paris in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges for his accusation of corruption against the Hun Sen Cambodia's People's Party (CPP).
In September 2013 the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) boycotted parliament following the July general elections which saw the fourth consecutive victory of the Cambodian People's Party (CCP) gain 68 seats of the National Assembly and the opposition occupying the remaining 55 seats, claiming that that up to 1.25 million Cambodians who were eligible to vote were not on the electoral role and accused the ruling Cambodia's People's Party (CPP) of poll fraud.
The Southeast Asian Times


Heirs of Bangkok governor ordered to pay compensation for 2004 purchase of unused fire vehicles and boats

Former Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej, died of cancer aged 74, on November 24, 2009

From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 20: The Bangkok Supreme Administrative Court has ordered the family of the late Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej who was investigated by National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) over the purchase of unused fire vehicles and fire vessels in 2004, to pay compensation to City Hall, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Bangkok Supreme Administrative Court has ordered the beneficiaries of the estate of the late Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej, his widow, Khunying Surat Sundaravej, and daughters, Kanchanaporn Chailarp and Kandapa Mungthin, to pay 587.58 million baht of the estimated 1.958 billion baht plus interest owing in compensation to City Hall within 60 days of the ruling.
The late Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej was charged with corruption dereliction of duty, abuse of authority for ordering the Krung Thai Bank to issue a letter-of-credit to purchase 315 fire vehicles and 30 fire vessels worth 6.7 billion baht from the Steyr Daimler Puch Company in Austria on August 27, 2004.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) charged the late Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej, his successor Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin and nine officials including Interior Minister, Pokin Polakul with corruption in the purchase of the unused fire vehicles and fire vessels under Article 157 of the Criminal Code.
The puchase of the fire trucks and fire vessels followed an agreement of understanding between the then Ministry of Interior Thailand, Pokin Polakul and Austria’s Ambassador to Thailand in April 2004, with the officials travelling to Singapore to collect about $1.5 million for their approval of the purchase.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) found that the cost of the fire vehicles and fire vessels that were manufactured in Thailand and then sent to Europe for the installation of engines were "hugely" overpriced.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) conducted investigations into the overpricing of the unused 315 fire vehicles and 30 vessels as the fire vehicles and fire vessels lay at Laem Chabang port from February 2007 waiting to be sent to Europe, for the installation of engines, reportedly "rusting under the sun and sea breeze."
The Southeast Asian Times


Ruling Cambodia party sues opposition Candlelight Party vice-president for public defamation

Opposition Candlelight Party (CP), vice-president Son Chhay charged with alleged public defamation against ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on Friday June 17, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 19: Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC) lodged a lawsuit against the vice-president of opposition Candlelight Party (CP), that won 18 percent of 11,622 commune councillor positions on June 5, for alleged public defamation against ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) that won 80 percent of the commune elections, with founder of the Candlelight Party (CP), saying "the results showed the Candlelight Party had successfully revived democracy in what has effectively been a one-party state in recent years," reports Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC) deputy secretary-general Som Sorida and Phnom Penh Municipal Court official Dim Sovannarom lodged a complaint against the vice-president of opposition Candlelight Party (CP), vice-president Son Chhay on Friday for public defamation under Article 305 of the Criminal Code, calling on the court to penalise the vice-president for misleading the public.
Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC) deputy secretary-general Som Sorida claims that opposition Candlelight Party (CP) vice-president Son Chhay has misled the public with the claim that the June 5 commune elections did not reflect the will of the people.
Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC) deputy secretary-general Som Sorida said that "such a claim seriously affects the National Election Committee (NEC), saying "the National Election Committee (NEC) has to fulfil its mission with independence and neutrality."
Opposition Candlelight Party (CP), vice-president Son Chhay alleged that the June 5 commune election did not reflect the will of the people and was marred by threats, vote-buying and rigging after the elections in the hosted by United States based Khmer language Cambodia Daily.
He claimed that on the day of the vote on June 5 incumbant ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) commune chiefs were "taking note of votes" and "the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces were moving around and causing fear."
Founder of the Candlelight Party (CP), Sam Rainsy, who said "the results of the commune election on June 5 showed the Candlelight Party had successfully revived democracy in what has effectively been a one-party state in recent years, was found guilty of treason in absentia, announced his return to Cambodia from exile in France should the opposition Candlelight Party (CP) win in the upcoming Commune Elections on June 5.
Opposition Candlelight Party (CP) was re activated after years of being dormant, emerged as the main opposition party to challenge the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in the June 5 Commune elections after recruiting about 90 percent of about 500 former commune chiefs of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in 2017.
The Candlelight Party (CP), formerly known as the Sam Rainsy Party and the Khmer Nation Party, was founded in 1995 and merged with other opposition forces to form the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in 2012.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha expected to survive motion of no-confidence

Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, left, submits motion of no-confidence against Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 cabinet ministers to House of Representatives speaker Chuan Leekpai, right, on Wednesday June 15, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 18: Thailand's six opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) filed a motion of no-confidence censure debate against Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 cabinet ministers on Wednesday, with the Office of Innovation for Democracy at King Prajadhipok’s Institute, saying Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha should survive the motion of no-confidence," reports the Bangkok Post.
Office of Innovation for Democracy at King Prajadhipok’s Institute director, Stithorn Thananithichot, said that the ruling coalition Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, should survive the motion of not-confidence next month, saying "the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) coalition was unified."
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew said the motion for the censure debate was submitted to the House of Representatives Speaker, Chuan Leepai, under section 151 of the constitution, saying "the no-confidence debate is expected to last five days, from July 18 to 22."
He said the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha ruling coalition Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) and 10 cabinent ministers "will be the last censure debate the opposition can initiate ahead of the expiry of the government's tenure in March next year."
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP), the largest party in the legislature. has accused Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 cabinent ministers of mismanagement of state affairs, violations of the Constitution and laws including ethical standards, negligence in the performance of duties, allowing corruption to take place, failure to implement policies stated in parliament, violations of human rights and the undermining of parliamentary democracy.
Opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew has accused Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 cabinent ministers of corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines with allegations of the government embezzling funds from the state budget for the procurement of China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine.
"A discrepancy of 2 million-baht between the approved funds from the state budget for five batches of Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine and the amount actually paid have been found," he said.
In September 2021 ruling coalition Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet ministers survived a parliament motion of no-confidence censure debate, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, securing 264 votes of confidence and 208 votes of no confidence with three abstentions after a four day Parliament censure debate.
The opposition who required 242 of the 482 parliamentary votes to oust Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also failed to oust cabinet members including Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who secured 269 votes of confidence with 196 no confidence and 11 abstentions and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin secured 263 votes of confidence with 201 no confidence and 10 abstentions.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia shares Japan's vision for rules based Free and Open Indo-Pacific

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi at the Ministry of Defence in Tokyo Wednesday June 15, 2022

From News Reports:
Kyodo, June 17: Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister met with Japan Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi in Kyoto for talks on security in the Indo-Pacific on Monday after attending the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La 2022 Security Dialogue held in Singapore on Sunday, with Australia's Defence minister saying "Australia and Japan share a vision for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, one where the sovereignty of all states is respected," reports Kyodo News.
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles, said "Japan is a critical partner in achieving our regional objectives, saying "our partnership continues to grow as we pursue new and ambitious avenues for cooperation."
Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, said that "Japan would reinforce the Japan U.S.Alliance in the Indo- Pacific" at the Shangri-La 2022 Security Dialogue held in Singapore on Sunday, saying "Japan would advance the Kishida Vision for Peace by promoting five initiatives."
The five initiatives include the maintainance and strengthening of the rule-based Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Japan's reinforcement of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, promotion of a world without nuclear weapons, strengthening the functions of the United Nations including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and strengthening international cooperation in economic security.
Australia, Japan and the United States Defence Ministers committed to work together to ensure security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific at the 10th Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting (TDMM) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La 2022 Security Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, including support for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), with Australia's Defence Minister saying "the Indo-Pacific is in the midst of the most consequential strategic alignment of our time."
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, Japanese Minister of Defense Kishi Nobuo, and U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin III affirmed a trategic alignment at the 10th Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting (TDMM) in Singapore with plans to continue to enhance trilateral defense cooperation in the interest of regional security including support for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Australia, Japan and the United States Defence Ministers reaffirmed their unwavering support for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) unity and centrality saying "ASEAN is important in promoting positive norms and behaviour."
"ASEAN contributes to regional security, building consensus and practical regional cooperation through the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus)."
Japan Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, who was elected Prime Minister in November 2021, affirmed predecessor Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's support of ASEAN member state Indonesia's adoption of the 'ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific' (AOIP) initiative, saying "maintaining and strengthening the rules-based, free and open Indo-Pacific international order has become more important."
"We are facing many challenges, including the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the South China Sea territorial disputes including Vietnam's East Sea and nuclear arsenal in North Korea," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Militant Khilafatul Muslimin muslim cleric arrested for promoting Indonesian Islamic State

Muslim cleric, Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja, arrested for involvement in the militant Khilafatul Muslimin group that promotes the establishment of an Islamic state on Monday June 13, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 16: Indonesian National Police arrested 77-year-old, muslim cleric, Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja, for involvement in the militant Khilafatul Muslimin group that promotes the establishment of an Islamic state, with Jakarta police saying that the muslim cleric is a close friend of muslim cleric, Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 82, of the Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist group, reports the Jakarta Post.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Endra Zulpan, said "the militant Khilafatul Muslimin group is less known by the public compared to other militant groups," saying "the Khilafatul Muslimin has a very long history of terrorism acts since the group's establishment in 1997."
He said that 77-year-old, muslim cleric, Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja, was arrested in the Lampung provincial capital of Bandarlampung on Monday and brought to Jakarta for further questioning following a series of motorbike convoys in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities promoting the establishment of an Islamic state.
"Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja's arrest follows motorbike convoys in capital cities including in West and Cenral Java provinces and includes Indonesia's largest city of Surabaya," he said.
He said that the militant Khilafatul Muslimin group's members including their children carried banners saying "Greet the Rise of Khilafah Islamiyyah or Islamic Caliphate."
In January 2021 Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 82, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), who was found guilty by the South Jakarta District Court in 2011 for organising acts of terror, including the Bali bombings was released from Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java Province after pledging loyalty to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and to Pancasila state ideology.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir's arrest in 2012 was the third effort since 2000 to have the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) convicted for terrorism.
He served almost 26 months in jail before he won his appeal in 2006 against his conviction for conspiracy following the Bali bombings of 2002 in which more than 200 people, most of them Australians, were killed.
In January 2022 Convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists incarcerated in Indonesian prisons swore allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and loyality to Pancasila state ideology under the deradicalizing of terrorism program with the Directorate General of Corrections Indonesia, saying that 122 convicted terrorists pledged allegiance to Pancasila ideology in 2021.
She said that 68 convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists at the Gunung Sindur Prison, 13 at the Batu Nusakambangan Prison, nine at the Pasir Putih Nusakambangan Correctional Institution, and 32 at other penitentiaries in Indonesia pledged allegiance to Pancasila ideology in 2021.
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN calls on North Korea to comply with UN Security Council in ballistic missile tests

The Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) firing a missile from an undisclosed location on South Korea's east coast during a South Korea-US joint live-fire exercise aimed to counter North Korea’s missile test on Monday June 6, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 15: ASEAN Foreign Ministers have called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Kim Jong Un, to exercise self-restraint following the surge in North Korea's Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launches, with ASEAN Chair for 2022, Cambodia, calling on North Korea to fully comply with all relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
ASEAN Chair for 2022, Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, said that “ASEAN expresses grave concern over the surge in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) intercontinental ballistic missile tests and ballistic missile launches", saying "this development reflects an increased tension on the Korean peninsula and threatens peace and stability in the region and in the world."
"ASEAN urges North Korea to exercise self-restraint in order to de-escalate tensions and avoid actions that may further aggravate the situation, "he said.
ASEAN reiterated calls for North Korea to fully comply with all relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, urging "North Korea to exercise self-restraint in order to de-escalate tensions and avoid actions that may further aggravate the situation."
"Diplomatic efforts, including the creation of a conducive environment for peaceful dialogue among all concerned parties, should remain a priority," he said.
ASEAN reaffirmed its readiness to play a constructive role in any negotiation process including through the utilisation of ASEAN-led mechanisms, saying "the ASEAN Regional Forum is ready to play a constructive role in order to de-escalate tensions and ultimately bring about a complete, veritable, irreversible and peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula."
United States Secretary of State, Anthony John Blinkin said at a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of South Korea (ROK), Park Jin, at the United States Department of State in Washington on Monday "that the recent increase in Pyongyang’s ballistic missile testing has raised tension throughout the Indo-Pacific region and beyond."
"We contine to seek the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.
He said the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted 13-2 to impose stronger sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the wake of an unprecedented number of provocative missile tests including with Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launches, saying "only China and Russia opposed it."
"The United States with Japan and the Republic of Korea, two of our closest allies, we are working trilaterally to address by the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)," he said.

The Southeast Asian Times

Australia's new Defence Minister meets with China to begin dialogue on South China Sea

Australia's Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and China Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit 2022 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday

From News Reports:
Singapore, June 14: Australia's and China's Defence Ministers met at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit 2022 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, with Australia Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, raising China's militarisation of the South China Sea, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Australia Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, said "this was an important meeting between two countries of consequence in the Indo-Pacific."
"It was a critical first step," he said.
Australia's delegation led by Defence Minister Richard Marles met with China's delegation led by Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe after a reportedly "two year diplomatic freeze" between Australia and China, with Australia Defence Minister, Richard Marles, saying "Australia and China's relationship is complex and it's precisely because of this complexity that it is really important that we are engaging in dialogue right now."
"A number of issues of concern to Australia including China's interception of an Australian air force plane over the South China Sea were raised at the meeting," he said.
He said that Chinese militarisation of features in the South China Sea needs to be understood for what it is, saying the Chinese militarisation of the South China Sea is intended deny the legitimacy of its neighbours' claims in this vital international waterway through force."
United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit 2022 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday that "there had been an alarming increase in the number of unsafe aerial intercepts and confrontations at sea by Chinese planes and ships."
Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe rejected the United States claim of an increase in aerial intercepts and confrontations at sea by Chinese planes and ships, accusing the United States of interference, saying "the United States has long practised navigation hegemony on the pretext of freedom of navigation."
"The United States has flexed its muscles by sending warships and warplanes on a rampage in the South China Sea," he said.
China's claim over the South China Sea is contested by Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines with the Philippines first proposing a Code of Conduct (COC) in 1997 but it was not adopted by ASEAN and China.
Instead five years later in 2002 the Philippines steered the adoption of a nonbinding Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), calling on the claimnants including China to exercise self-restraint.
Negotiations on the draft Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea follows the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruling in July 2016 that ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea.
China rejected the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling, saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
China reportedly claims that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said ahead of the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruling in July 2016 ruling 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

Australia, Japan, United States defence ministers support ASEAN security in Indo-Pacific

Australia Defence Minister Richard Marles, centre, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit 2022 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday June 11, 2022

From News Reports:
Singapore, June 13: Australia, Japan and the United States defence ministers committed to work together to ensure security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific at the 10th Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting (TDMM) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit 2022 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, including support for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), with Australia's Defence Minister saying "the Indo-Pacific is in the midst of the most consequential strategic alignment of our time," reports Reuters.
Australia’s newly-appointed Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, said ahead of the 2022 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday "I welcome the role this Dialogue plays in shaping robust conversation on strategic challenges and regional security dynamics."
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, Japanese Minister of Defense Kishi Nobuo, and U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin III affirmed a trategic alignment at the 10th Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting (TDMM) in Singapore with plans to continue to enhance trilateral defense cooperation in the interest of regional security with support for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Australia, Japan and the United States defence ministers reaffirmed their unwavering support for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) unity and centrality saying "ASEAN is important in promoting positive norms and behaviour."
"ASEAN contributes to regional security, building consensus and practical regional cooperation through the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus)."
The 15th anniversary of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus) in July 2021 called for the full implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) that was concluded between ASEAN and the Peoples Republic of China (RC) to promote regional peace and prosperity.
The ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus) also called for the conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) consistent with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus).
The Southeast Asian Times


Japan to reinforce the Japan-U.S. Alliance in Indo-Pacific

Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, gives Japan's vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific at 19th Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore Saturday June 1, 2022

From News Reports:
Singapore, June 12: Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, gave 500 delegates from 40 countries Japan's vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific at the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore on Saturday, saying "Japan would reinforce the Japan U.S.Alliance, reports Reuters.
Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, said at the opening of the two day 19th Shangri-La Dialogue security summit that "Japan has adopted a new type of realism diplomacy for a new era," saying "Japan would advance the Kishida Vision for Peace by promoting five initiatives."
He said the the first initiative includes maintaining and strengthening the rules-based free and open international order, saying that Japan would press forward in bringing new developments to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
He said the second initiative includes enhancing security, saying "Japan would advance the fundamental reinforcement of Japan's defense capabilities in tandem with reinforcing the Japan-U.S. Alliance."
"Japan would strengthen security cooperation with other like-minded countries," he said.
He said the third initiative includes promoting realistic efforts to bring about a world without nuclear weapons.
He said the fourth is strengthening the functions of the United Nations including United Nations Security Council reform.
He said the fifth is strengthening international cooperation in new policy areas including economic security.
Japan Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, who was elected Prime Minister in November 2021, affirmed predecessor Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's support of Indonesia's adoption of the 'ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific' (AOIP) initiative, saying "maintaining and strengthening the rules-based, free and open Indo-Pacific international order has become more important."
"We are facing many challenges, including the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the South China Sea territorial disputes including Vietnam's East Sea and nuclear arsenal in North Korea," he said.
In September 2020 the U.S. State Department reitorated the U.S. support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) at the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting at the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) online in Hanoi with emphasis on the role of ASEAN in the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific, with the then U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, saying that ASEAN centrality is fundamental to the U.S.vision for the Indo-Pacific.
The US Secretary of State said then that the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership is built on shared principals as outlined in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) including ASEAN centrality, respect for sovereignty and rule of law, good governance, transparency, inclusivity, rules-based frameworks and openness.
"The US Government works alongside the private sector to improve the lives and well-being of people across the Indo-Pacific, " said the US Secretary of State.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai opposition parties announce censure motion against PM

Opposition coalition Pheu Thai Party chairman Cholnan Srikaew, centre, and members of five opposition parties announced the the submission of a censure against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and nine cabinet ministers at Parliament on Thursday June 9, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 11: Thailand's six opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party announced at a press confererence at Parliament on Thursday that a censure motion against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and nine cabinet ministers would be submitted to the House of Representatives next week, with the Pheu Thai Party saying "the censure debate will follow the strategy "terminating the head, demolishing the scaffolding," reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition coalition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) chairman, Cholnan Srikaew, said at the press conference on Thursday that he believed that the no-confidence motion against the ruling coalition Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) cabinet ministers will be the last against the coalition government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, saying "the censure debate will follow a strategy called terminating the head, demolishing the scaffolding."
He said the censure debate would target the prime minister as the head and would also attack cabinet ministers, saying "cabinet ministers are like the scaffolding of the head of the government."
"The opposition coalition parties are confident that the censure debate would have a severe impact and bring down the government," he said.
He said that the opposition coalition are confident that the censure debate can bring down the government, saying "we have evidence against the ministers who broke the law."
"The prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will be held responsible," he said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet ministers survived a parliament motion of no-confidence censure debate in Septemeber, 2021 with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, securing 264 votes of confidence and 208 votes of no confidence with three abstentions after a four day Parliament censure debate.
The opposition who required 242 of the 482 parliamentary votes to oust Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also failed to oust five cabinet members including Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who secured 269 votes of confidence with 196 no confidence and 11 abstentions and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin secured 263 votes of confidence with 201 no confidence and 10 abstentions.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha defended the government against allegations of corruption in the procurement of Covid19 vaccines, saying "allegations that the government embezzled funds from the state budget for the procurement of China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine was untrue."
"The procurement of Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine was above board and transparent," he said.
The opposition alleged a discrepancy of 2 million-baht between the approved funds from the state budget for five batches of Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine and the amount actually paid.
The Southeast Asian Times


Opposition Candlelight Party revives democracy in Cambodia's one-party state

Opposition Candlelight Party (CP) Poipet Commune candidate, Chao Rattanak, filed a complaint at Commune Election Committee at Poipet commune in Poipet city after the commune elections on Sunday June 5, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, June 10: Ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) won the Commune elections on June 5 with founder of the opposition Candlelight Party (CP), Sam Rainsy, who is in exile in France, saying "the results showed the Candlelight Party had successfully revived democracy in what has effectively been a one-party state in recent years," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) won the Commune elections on June 5 with 80 percent of the 11,622 commune councillor positions with opposition Candlelight Party (CP) winning 18 percent of the commune councillor positions dispite the National Election Committee (NEC) disqualification of Candlelight Party (CP) candidates in 11 communes.
Opposition Candlelight Party (CP) vice president, Son Chhay, had called on the Ministry of Justice before the Commune elections to drop all charges against party members for involvement with founder of the Candlelight Party (CP), Sam Rainsy.
He called on the Ministry of Justice to delay the issuance of summonses for hearings until after the Commune Elections on June 5, saying "summonses and court proceedings were open threats that could have a chilling effect on Cambodia's political climate in the lead-up to the elections."
"The issue of summonses before the elections would undermine the very principle of holding a free and fair election," he said.
Opposition Candlelight Party (CP) Poipet Commune candidate, Chao Rattanak, said that she and her colleagues filed a complaint at Commune Election Committee at Poipet commune in Poipet city on Monday and Tuesday after the commune elections on Sunday June 5, saying "her complaints were rejected by the authorities on grounds that she had not provided enough evidence."
She said that her complant to the Commune Election Committee officials was about the officials of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) who were allowed to remain in the polling station, saying "officials of the opposition Candlelight Party (CP) were told to leave and were threatened."
“They also closed all the doors during the vote counting,” she said.
Founder of the Candlelight Party (CP), Sam Rainsy, who was found guilty of treason in absentia, announced his return to Cambodia from exile in France should the opposition Candlelight Party (CP) win in the upcoming Commune Elections on June 5.
Opposition Candlelight Party (CP) was re activated after years of being dormant, emerging as the main opposition party to challenge the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in the June 5 Commune elections after recruiting about 90 percent of about 500 former commune chiefs of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in 2017.
The Candlelight Party (CP), formerly known as the Sam Rainsy Party and the Khmer Nation Party, was founded in 1995 and merged with other opposition forces to form the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in 2012.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia PM launches NASA rockets in Australia's Northern Territory

Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, centre and Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles, right announced the launch of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sounding rockets in the Northern Territory on Wednesday June 8, 2022

From News Reports:
Darwin, June 9: Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, announced the launch of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sounding rockets from Australia's Northern Territory, in Darwin on Wedneday saying "the launch of the rockets in the Northern Territory will be the first time that NASA launches rockets from a commercial facility outside the US," reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles said "the NASA launch is a landmark occasion for the Top End," saying “we have backed this project from inception" she said.
"Now we’re less than a month away from seeing the launch of NASA's first sounding rocket from the Arnhem Space Centre,” she said.
Industry and Science Minister for Australia, Ed Husic, said "the launch marks a new era for the Australian space sector," saying "the launch of three NASA rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre in Australia's Northern Territory between 26 June and 12 July is an important milestone."
"The NASA launch will further enhance Australia's position as a launch destination," he said.
In October 2017 the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust granted a lease of 275 hectares of land in north east Arnhem Land to Gumatj Corporation Limited for use as a commercial rocket launching facility.
Gumatj Corporation Limited sub leased the land to a private Australian company, Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) to construct and operate the launching facility on the Dhupuma Plateau on the Gulkala escarpment in Australia's Northern Territory.
Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) was contracted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), that is an independent agency of the United States Government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research, to prepare a feasibility study on launching sounding rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory.
Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) CEO, Scott Wallis, said the Canberra company would use proven launch vehicle technologies to provide access to space for commercial, research and government organisations, saying "this project provides a competitive alternative to large launch complexes, both in terms of infrastructure and associated launch costs."
He said that the Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) company will also support and complement recent Australian space developments and ventures in small satellite construction and space environmental testing, saying “what we are doing has never been attempted commercially in Australia."
"This is uncharted territory, it certainly can be done, and Australia will enter into new frontiers for its space industry once launches commence," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia's PM to attend G20 summit in Bali with Russia President Putin

Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, and Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Palace in Jakarta on Monday, June 6, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 8: Newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, said he will attend the G20 summit in Bali in November that will be attended by Russia President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy after pressure on Indonesia as president of G20 for 2022 to exclude the two G20 members from the summit, with Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese saying “the work of the G-20 is critical at this time of global economic uncertainty."
Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese said from Indonesia on Monday during his first visit to Indonesia after he was sworn in as the 31st Prime Minister last month "the work of the G-20 is critical at this time of global economic uncertainty, saying "it will be by working with Indonesia that we most effectively tackle the many challenges we face in navigating the post-Covid global economic recovery."
President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and president of the G20 summit for 2022 has reportedly faced pressure from the United States and allies to exclude Russia President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy from the G20 summit, including former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said in March that "the idea of sitting around the table with Putin for me is a step too far."
President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and president of G20 summit invited Russia President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to the G20 summit, with both accepting the invitation.
Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese said "I will work closely with President Widodo to help deliver a successful summit."
He said that he is focused on sitting with Indonesia President Widodo, not Russia President Putin, saying 'it’s in Australia’s interest to have good relations with friends."
"The Indonesian presidency of the G20 summit is important," he said.
In March 2022 ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement demanding immediate ceasefire in Ukraine following the special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that voted in favour of the resolution that condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with abstentions from two of eight ASEAN memeber countries, Laos and Vietnam.
Of the 193 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) members, 141 voted in favour of the resolution, with 5 against including Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria and with 35 abstentions including ASEAN member countries Laos and Vietnam and including China and India.
Eight ASEAN member states including ASEAN rotating chair for 2022 Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, voted in favour of the resolution that demands that "Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
The Southeast Asian Times

Australia says on visit to Indonesia "the new government is serious about engagement with Southeast Asia"

Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese arrives in Jakarta on Sunday June 5, 2022 to discuss regional security with Indonesia President Joko Widodo

From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 7: Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong arrived in ASEAN member country Indonesia on Sundayfor talks on trade and investment, bilateral cooperation on climate and energy with President Joko Widodo, and Australia Foreign Minister Penny Wong saying "the new government is serious about its engagement with Southeast Asia."
Australia Foreign Minister Penny Wong said "we share a fundamental interest in promoting a more prosperous, stable and secure region, where sovereignty is respected," saying "Australia’s partnership with Indonesia has never been more consequential to this objective."
Santo Darmosumarto, director of East Asia and the Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia said "the visit of Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese so soon after he became prime minister is a testament to the importance that Australia attaches to ties with Indonesia."
“This shows how important the Indonesia-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership is,” he said.
He said that the new Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo would also discuss regional security, saying "they would discuss a security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States known as AUKUS."
ASEAN chair for 2022, Cambodia Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhon, said in February, 2022 that ASEAN had expressed concern that the establishement of the trilateral security pact AUKUS between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, "could be the starting point that triggers a regional arms race, fuels confrontation and increases regional tensions."
"ASEAN wishes to see the Southeast Asia region as a zone of peace and stability by further strengthening ASEAN Centrality and Unity," he said.
In September 2021 Malaysia's Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob warned that the new Indo-Pacific alliance between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, AUKUS, formed to build nuclear submarines in Australia, could provoke a nuclear arms race in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Malaysia feared that the new Indo-Pacific alliance AUKUS that would work in cooperation to build nuclear-powered submarines in Australia that includes the rotational deployment of U.S. military aircraft to Australia "would provoke other powers to also act aggressively in the region," he said.
He said that Malaysia fears that the new Indo-Pacific alliance between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, AUKUS, would provoke China to act aggressively in the South China Sea, saying "Malaysia as a member nation of ASEAN subscribes to the principle of maintaining ASEAN as a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN).
The Southeast Asian Times


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

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

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





Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
........open page here


Kang-Fu the Red Kangaroo is relentless in his fight to protect Australia's sovereignity...Open page here


Kang-Fu the Red Kangaroo is relentless in his fight to protect Australia's sovereignity...Open page here


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



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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Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

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Updated daily.
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US...0.7582
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ambodia...3,115.36
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Indonesia Rupiah
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iet Nam Dong..16,849.44

Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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