The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Tuesday 20 August 2019
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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West Papuan students detained for alleged vandalism of Indonesian flag

West Papuans call on the Indonesian government to hold a referendum for West Papua independence at the US embassy in Jakarta on Thursday, two days ahead of Indonesia's 74th Independence Day anniversary Saturday August 17

From News Reports:
Surabaya, August 20: Papuan students were forcibly removed from their dormitory in Surabaya by the district police on Saturday, Indonesia's 74th Independence Day anniversay, for alleged vandalism of the Indonesian national flag, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Surabaya district police, who were armed with riot shields, reportedly fired tear gas at the dormitory on Jl Kalasan before forcing their way into the dormitory and forcibly detaining 43 Papuan students.
The Papuan students were reportedly forced into three trucks and taken to the Surabaya district police headquarters for questioning.
Surabaya district police deputy police chief Assistant Superintendent Leonardus Simarmata said that police are investigating alleged vandalism of the Indonesian national flag, saying that a red and white flag was thrown in a sewerage drain at the student dormitory.
"Vandalism of the Indonesian national flag was allegedly committed by a “rogue” Papuan student, " he said.
He said that police have taken statements from 40 male and three female Papuan students at the Surabaya district police headquarters.
On Thursday Papuan activists protested at the United States embassy in Jakarta on the 56th anniversay of the United Nations-brokered New York Agreement that transferred control of western Papua New Guinea from the Netherlands to Indonesia, calling for a referendum.
The Papuans reject the result of the Act of Free Choice Pepera) an election held on August 2, 1969 in which the 1,025 voters were selected by the Indonesian Military (TNI).
They demand the withdrawal of the Indonesian Military (TNI) from Papua, an end to exploitation and deforestation, and full independence from Indonesia.
West Papuans hoisting the West Papua independence Bintang Kejora or Morning Star separatist flag that is banned by the Indonesian government have been given prison sentences of up to fifteen years.
In December 2016 Non-Papuan Indonesian activists and intellectuals declared support for West Papuans to exercise the right to self-determination, calling for a referendum.
Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua spokesman, Surya Anta, representing non-Papuan Indonesia activists said that "persistent oppression and discrimination, cultural and historical differences are sufficient reasons for Papuans to decide their own fate in a referendum".
"There is no happiness for Papuans as long as they are part of Indonesia."
In May 2016 Thousands of West Papua referendum supporters held simultaneous rallies in seven cities in four provinces including Merauke, Jayapura and Wamena in Papua, Fakfak and Sorong in West Papua, Semarang in Central Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi to show support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua ULMWP ) in their support for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The Southeast Asian Times


China ambassador warns Australians not to interfere in Hong Kong

Students in support of China rule over Hong Kong condemned Australians who do not support China rule over Hong Kong, saying that Australians were in support of "rioters" at the "Stop Riots in Hong Kong" rally in Sydney on Saturday

From News Reports:
Sydney, August 19: China's ambassador to Australia warned Australians not to support anti-China protesters in Hong Kong ahead of protests in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney, saying that Hong Kong affairs are solely the internal affairs of China, reports Reuters.
China's ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye warned Australians ahead of the protests in Melbourne on Friday night and in Sydney on Saturday morning "not to support pro-democracy protesters."
Ambassador Cheng Jingye denounced the Hong Kong anti-China protesters in Hong Kong describing their actions as "radical, violent and illegal, as hundreds of anti-China rule over Hong Kong protesters clashed with pro-China rule over Hong Kong protesters in Melbourne on Friday.
"The protesters are determined to undermine China's one country two systems rule," he said.
He said ahead of the more than three thousand for and against China rule over Hong Kong protesters at the "Stop Riots in Hong Kong" rally in Sydney that the behavour of protesters in Hong Kong "had grossly trampled on the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong."
He said that mass protests in Hong Kong had "seriously threatened the life and safety of residents, saying that "the ongoing protests had severely jeopardised Hong Kong's prosperity and stability."
He said that the unfolding situation in Hong Kong was solely the internal affairs of China, saying that "any attempt to undermine China's one country two systems rule in Hong Kong is doomed to fail."
"We sincerely hope that people from all walks of life in Australia will see the real picture of the situation in Hong Kong, act in the interests of Hong Kong's prosperity, stability and rule of law," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesian military and police ordered to shoot wildfire arsonists on site

Haze over Singapore from Indonesian fires August 2

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 18: The National Police and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), the regional disaster mitigation agency (BPBD) and the national disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) have been ordered to shoot wildfire arsonists in South Sumatra on site, reports the Jakarta Post.
Joint Task Force Commnder, Colonel Arh Sonny Septiono, tasked with extinguishing land and forest fires in South Sumatra, has reportedly ordered the joint task force "to shoot on site" if necessary.
"The order to shoot wildfire arsonists on site is a last resort option," he said.
He said that the order to shoot on site was aimed at arsonists caught red handed lighting forest fires, saying that "I ordered those on patrol to act decisively."
President Widodo said at a cabinet meeting in Jakarta earlier this month that he had ordered the National Police and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to "fire the officials responsible for failing to tackle the fires.
The President ordered urgent action to deal with forerst fires including waterbombing helicopters ahead of a scheduled visit to Malaysia and Singapore last week, saying that "haze was a headline in both countries".
The Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) reports that 80 percent of the 1,128 forrest fires in the 10 Asean member countries since July 14 are in Indonesia, with smog from the Indonesian fires blanketing Malaysia and Singapore.
The Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry reports that wildfires burned 42,640 hectares across Indonesia between January and May this year, almost double the 23,745 hectares burned during the same period last year.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia military prepares for attack in West Papua on Independence Day

Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L. Nainggolan said that the military and police would strive to ensure security in Mimika, West Papua, on Independence Day urging residents to remain calm

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 17: The Indonesian military (TNI) and Papua police are taking precautionary measures against an attack on the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) mine in Mimika in West Papua ahead of Independence Day celebrations and following the arrest of soldiers charged with selling ammunition in Mimika, reports Antara.
Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L. Nainggolan said that precautionay measures were deemed necessary according to intelligence reports, saying "there is a possibility that armed Papuan rebels are likely to launch an attack on Indonesia's 74th Independence Day anniversary on August 17."
"The areas under close monitoring would cover Tembagapura Sub-district in Mimika District and Mimika City and its outskirts," he said.
He said that existing security posts would be strengthened and the rebels moves would be restricted, saying that precautionary measures would be taken in areas of Tembagapura where the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) conducts exploration of ore containing copper, gold, and silver in the Grasberg minerals district.
Three Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers were arrested in Mimika, West papua, earlier this month for selling ammunition to an armed criminal group in Mimika.
Cendrawasih Information Center Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto said that the soldiers , who are in detention at Cenderawasih Military Police headquarters in Jayapura, were arrested on August 4 after leaving Mimika and heading for Dobo regency by boat.
He said that the soldiers, who are charged with dealing in weapons and supplying weapons to an armed criminal group, face discharge from the Indonesian Military (TNI) .
"The soldiers face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment, the death penalty or 20 years imprisonment as stipulated by the 1951 Emergency Law", he said.
In December 2018 West Papuan pro-independence separatists, described as "stronghold separatists" who have battled Indonesian rule for almost 50 years" reportedly shot dead up to 31 migrant construction workers in an attack on the construction of the Trans-Papua highway.
The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack on December 2, 2018 on construction workers employed by Indonesia's state-owned company, PT Istaka Kar, saying they were not armed criminals as claimed by Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, "but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua".
The Southeast Asian Times

China denies US Navy port visit to Hong Kong
From News Reports:
Hong Kong, August 16: China has denied the US Navy a scheduled port visit to Hong Kong this Saturday saying that the US Navy visits to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) during the mass anti-China protests "are untimely and inconvenient," reports the China Daily.
Professor Li Haidong of US studies at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing claims that China has the right to review and approve port call requests to Hong Kong by foreign navy warships in accordance with the principles of national sovereignty.
He claims that the visit of US Navy war ships in Hong Kong, scheduled for Saturday, August 17 and also in September would send an "extremely dangerous and wrong signal to Hong Kong's anti-China protesters", saying that "the arrival of US Navy war ships in Hong Kong would signal that the protesters have the support of the US military."
"The visit of US Navy war ships to Hong Kong would stir up new trouble and escalate tensions to perilous heights," he said.
He said that the US Navy has a long track record of port visits to Hong Kong given its strategic location, and requests for such visits must be submitted in advance.
"Coincidence or not, the US Navy couldn't have picked a more terrible time for a port call," he said.
The United States Pacific Fleet's deputy spokesman, Nate Christensen, confirmed on Tuesday that China has denied requests for scheduled port visits in Hong Kong by the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay for Saturday, August 17 and by the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie in September.
Port call activities reportedly consist of diplomatic exchanges, repairs, refueling, restocking of supplies and local tours, shopping and other friendly and relaxing activities.
The Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong and Macao is tasked with submitting requests and other information regarding US naval port calls.
The Southeast Asian Times

China accuses US members of Congress of distorting the truth over Hong Kong

The Hong Kong International Airport reopened on Tuesday following a Hong Kong court order prohibiting the protesters, who have occupied the airport since Saturday, from "unlawfully and willfully obstructing and interfering with the proper use of the airport"

From News Reports:
Beijing, August 14: China has again accused the United States of interference in the escalating mass protests in Hong Kong streets and the International Airport with the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs accusing US members of Congress of "distorting the truth."
In July the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying, accused the US of interference following the US call on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to respect freedom of speech and assembly in Hong Kong.
"I remind the US that Hong Kong belongs to China and that the Chinese government absolutely does not allow any foreign interference in Hong Kong's affairs," she said.
On Tuesday spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused U.S. House Speaker Pelosi, Senator McConnell, Senator Rubio and Congressman Yoho
of interference for saying that "the Hong Kong police repressed demonstrators with violence and that China's central government eroded democracy and freedom in Hong Kong."
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that the US deliberately misinterpreted the work of the Hong Kong police, saying that "the police were enforcing the law, fighting crime and upholding social order."
"The US members of congress interpreted violent crimes as a struggle for human rights and freedom", she said.
She said that Hong Kong affairs are entirley China's internal affairs and that US members of Congress are neither entitled nor qualified to comment on them.
Protests that began with the "pro-democracy umbrella movement" in 2014 returned to the streets of Hong Kong in April and have continued despite the postponement of the passing of the extradition bill.
The "pro-democracy umbrella movement" that saw hundreds of thousands of students camped in tents on major highways, defying police demands to vacate the streets, became a symbol of defiance against Beijing with students calling on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections and for the resignation of the Chief Executive.
The Southeast Asian Times


Refugees and asylum seekers accuse UNHCR Indonesia of discrimination

Refugees and asylum seekers call on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in Central Jakarta for relocation to Australia

From News Reports:
Jakarta, August 14: About 500 single male refugees and asylum seekers of the more than 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, have accused the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of in Jakarta of discrimination, reports the Jakarta Post.
The single male rufugees and asylum seekers say they have been stranded in Jakarta for more than seven years because "they have no family to support."
The refugees and asylum seekers claim that their application to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jakarta for resettlement in Australia has not been approved because they are single.
The about 500 single male refugees and asylum seekers reportedly fear their fates are more uncertain than refugees with families.
The single male refugees and asylum seekers claim they have spent seven years waiting in Indonesia for resettlement in Australia without receiving "any clarity of their asylum applications."
"We have no right to a secure job or to own a vehicle as a single refugee, " says Abdul.
He says that single refugees have applied for relocation and demanded their rights for years but without a reponse from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) only responds to refugees with families not to single refugees," he said.
The single refugees and asylum seekers claim that their applications to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jakarta for resettlement in Australia have not been approved because they "have no family to support."
Australia has reportedly reduced its annual contribution to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) program, a regional cooperation arrangement signed by Australia and Indonesia in 2001 in order to meet the basic needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia.
The Southeast Asian Times

ASEAN police on alert for arrival of Sam Rainsy in Cambodia

Sam Rainsy, former president of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that was dissolved by the Phnom Penh Supreme Court in November 2017 says he is determined to return to Cambodia

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August13: The Cambodian National Police called on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) police to alert Cambodia of the arrival of Sam Rainsy in their countries, saying that the former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and his supporters are on their way to Cambodia, reports Khmer Times.
“We acknowledge that authorities in regional countries cannot take action against Sam Rainsy and his supporters," said National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kim Chhay Khoeun
"But I’m sure regional police will inform us of the arrival of Sam Rainsy in their country becasue we have requested their cooperation,” he said.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued arrest warrants in absentia in March for Sam Rainsy and eight former high ranking members of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) charging them with plotting against the government and incitement.
The former members of the dissolved opposition party are charged with committing offences under articles 453, 494 and 495 of the Cambodia Criminal Code that includes meetings in the United States on January 20 where the former members reportedly planned the return of the former president of the disolved party to Cambodia.
Cambodia National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kim Chhay Khoeun said that the Cambodia National Police and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces have ordered their forces and provincial governors "to implement the court order and arrest former president of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
"Our police and armed forces must be ready to arrest former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy and his supporters should they enter Cambodia by land, sea or air," he said.
Former president and co-founder of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party, Sam Rainsy, said that he was determined to return to Cambodia and called on all Cambodians in South Korea in April where he was awarded the “Champion of Democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia” to return with him, saying that he and the Cambodian people would arrest Hun Sen.
He claimed that Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family have robbed Cambodia.
The former president and co-founder of the dissolved opposition party, Sam Rainsy, went into exile 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).
The Southeast Asian Times


"88 Generation" students call for end to military rule in Myanmar

The 31st anniversary celebration of the August 8, 1988, People Power Uprising in Myanmar held at Maha Bandoola Park in Yangon on Thursday was organised by students of the "88 Generation for Peace and Open Society"

From News Reports:
Yangon, Monday 12: Thousands at the 31st anniversay celebration of the August 8, 1988, People Power Uprising in Yangon, Mandalay, Toungoo, Monywa, Myeik, Loikaw, Pathein, Taunggyi, Myitkyina, Kyaukto, Mawlamyine, Dawei, and Myawady on Thursday, called on the military in Myanmar to end its rule, reports the Myanmar Times.
The 1988 People Power Uprising, also known as the "8888 Uprising," included a series of pro-democracy demonstrations, marches and protests against General Ne Win that began as a student movement in Yangon before spreading to other cities in Myanmar.
U Min Ko Naing, a student in the 1988 People Power Uprising, identified as the "88 Generation for Peace and Open Society" said that the organising committee of the anniversary celebrations has issued a statement calling on the Myanmar military to end dictatorship, strengthen democracy and to establish a federal union.
The statement submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Assembly of the Union contains more than 3000 proposals for the amendment of the military-drafted 2008 constitution
"The statemenst calls for the popular elected government to lead together with the people to accomplish the unfinished goals of the "8888 Uprising," he said.
He said that the commemoration of the "8888 Uprising" on Thursday will be remembered as "8888 Democracy Revolution Day"
"The transformation of the country depends on the Myanmar military's foresight, consideration for the future and goodwill for the country," he said.
He said that the "88 generation" students will use their many years of experience to deal with an armed force that obstructs or destroys their revolution.
"People will welcome the armed forces if it respects their wishes", he said.
National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won the popular vote with about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 2015 General elections, is subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar constitution.
The military-drafted Myanmar constitution allows for the allocation of 25 percent of parliamentary seats in both houses to unelected military officers.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysia files criminal charges against US bank, Goldman Sachs

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who was appointed Attorney General of Malaysia despite opposition to his appointment by the Institute of Islamic Strategic Research Malaysia (Iksim) on the grounds that the attorney general was a non-Muslim, filed charges against Goldman Sach Group, Inc., for perpetrating a scheme to defraud the Government of Malaysia on Friday

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, August 11: Malaysia has filed criminal charges against 17 directors of three Goldman Sach Group, Inc. subsidiaries for their involvement in the misappropriation of RM42 million from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), being the first time a country has filed criminal charges against the US investment bank, reports the Star.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said that the charges against Goldman Sach Group, Inc., subsidiaries filed on Friday under Section 367(1) and 179 of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 are related to charges filed last year against the three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries and their key employees, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, as well as 1MDB ex-general counsel Jasmine Loo Ai Swan and fugitive Low Taek Jho.
The three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries and their key employees were charged last December with "perpetrating a scheme to defraud the Government of Malaysia and the purchaser of three bonds with a face value of US$6.5 billion.
"The three bonds were reportedly underwritten by Goldman Sachs and issued by subsidiaries of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB by way of the commission and abetment of false or misleading statements to dishonestly misappropriate billions from the bond proceeds, " he said.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said that the accused were directors of the three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries between May 2012 and March 2013, the period during which acts giving rise to Section 179 charges against their companies took place.
“They occupied the highest executive positions in the Goldman Sachs subsidiaries, and exercised or ought to have exercised decision-making authority over the transactions of those bodies corporate,” he said.
He said that custodial sentences and criminal fines would be sought against the accused for charges under Section 367, given the severity of the scheme to defraud and fraudulent misappropriation of billions in bond proceeds.
"The lengthy period over which the offences were planned and executed, the number of Goldman Sachs subsidiaries, officers and employees involved and the relative value of fees and commissions paid to Goldman Sachs for their multiple roles played in arranging, structuring, underwriting and selling the three bonds were factors that added to the severity of the scheme," he said.
In July 2018 former Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak of Malaysia was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of using his position as Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board for gratification under Section 52 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2009.
The arrest of former Prime Minister Najib Razak in July 2018 and his subsequent successful bail application follows the May 9, 2018 Malaysian general elections that saw the defeat of the ruling Barisan National (BN) party lead by the former Prime Minister Najib Razak
The election of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister of Malaysia in May 2018 followed the declassification of the 1MDB audit report that had been marked secret under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said after he was sworn in that he would appoint a finance ministry advisor to oversee efforts to recover US$700mil (RM2.6bil) that was allegedly transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak private bank accounts.
The Southeast Asian Times

China warns US off deployment of missiles in Asia Pacific

Director General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Fu Cong, called on Australia, Japan and South Korea not to allow the US deployment of missiles in their countries

From News Reports:
Beijing, August 10: China warned that it would take countermeasures should the United States deploy gound-based missiles in the Asia - Pacific, following the US announcement that it was free to deploy missiles following the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia, reports Agence France Presse.
China Director General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FU Cong, said that "China will be forced to take countermeasures should the US deploy intermediate-range ground-based missiles in this part of the world. "
"China will not stand idly by," he said.
The Director General of the Department of Arms Control, FU Cong, called on Australia, Japan and South Korea not to allow the US deployment
of its intermediate-range missiles on their territory, saying "we call on our neighbours to exercise prudence."
"The US deployment of its intermediate-range missiles on their territory would not serve the national security interest of these countries," he said.
He said that it was important to bear in mind that the US is talking about the deployment of intermediate range missiles offshore, saying that "the US is not talking about deploying missiles on their own territories."
"The US is proposing to install weapons on China's "doorstep", he said.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said ahead of an official visit to Australia last week following the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia that Washington would like to deploy the missiles "sooner rather than later,"
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at an Australia-US ministerial meetings in Sydney that "the United States is a Pacific nation, and our national defense strategy makes clear this is our priority theater."
He said that the US exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia on August 2 allows the US to develop a "ground-based deterrent posture" whether it's in the Asia Pacific or elsewhere.
"He said the US stands firmly against a disturbing pattern of aggressive behavior, destabilizing behavior from China," saying "the United States will not stand by idly while any one nation attempts to reshape the region to its favor at the expense of others, and we know our allies and partners will not either".
The Southeast Asian Times

Legal aid for Cambodian women to
be funded by PM Hun Sen himself

Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen is to fund the “Samdech Hun Sen Legal Team” a new volunteer legal aid team himself

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, August 9: The “Samdech Hun Sen Legal Team” a female dominated team of about 30 volunteer lawyers established to defend women who cannot afford to pay for legal representation, is to be funded by Prime Minister Hun Sen himself, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodian Government Lawyers Council, Ky Tech, says that he was instructed by Prime Minister Hun Sen to establish a volunteer team
of lawyers who would not be paid by the government, saying that "the new volunteer legal aid team is to be under the direct supervision of Prime Minister Hun Sen."
"The funds will come from Prime Minister Hun Sen's personal budget", he said.
He said that Prime Minister Hun Sen wants to make it clear that funding for legal representation of women would not come from the national budget, saying that the funds provided by Prime Minister Hun Sen would cover living expenses including expenses for lawyers representing women in rural Cambodia.
"This group of lawyers would not work for the state," he said.
He said that the volunteer lawyers would not receive a government salary, saying that the 'unpaid volunteer lawyers' would assist Prime Minister Hun Sen in providing legal representation to women.
"Women who were victimes of 'land grabs' cannot afford representation," he said.
13 women, known as the "Boeung Kak 13" who were found guilty of “aggravated rebellion” for the illegal occupation of land at Phnom Penh's Boueng Kak lake by judge Phou Povsun in May 2012, could not afford legal representation.
The "Boeung Kak 13" who were arrested at the site of their former dwellings at Phnom Penh's Boueng Kak lake and who were susbsequently, found guilty and sentenced to prison on the same day at the Phnom Penh municipal court, were without legal representation during the three hour hearing.
The women were unable to defend their right to land in accordance with Cambodia’s 2001 Land Law without legal representation.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge sentenced the women to a year in jail with a 2 million riel (US$500) fine.
More than 4,225 families were reportedly evicted and their homes demolished at Boueng Kak lake in central Phnom Penh in 2010 to allow China's Inner Mongolia Erdos Hongjun Investment Corporation to fill the lake to build luxury apartments.
The Phnom Penh municipal administration and Shukaku Incorporated reportedly signed a US$79 million 99 year lease agreement for more 133 hectares of prime real estate including Boeung Kak lake and its surrounds in February 2007.
Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) spokesman, Soeung Sen Karuna, said he supported the idea of a volunteer legal aid team, but that the volunteer lawyers should not be involved in politics.
“We want a process that allows legal institutions to help poor women but we do not want it to be involved with influential political leaders," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam's "No-U" protesters call on China to withdraw survey vessels

Vietnam's "No-U" protesters call for China to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the South China Sea at the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Monday

From News Reports:
Hanoi, August 8: Vietnamese calling themselves the "No-U" called on Beijing to withdraw its geological survey vessels from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in a protest at the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Tuesday, accusing China of conducting illegal activities in the East Vietnam Sea, reports Rueters.
The protesters have reportedly taken the name "No-U" from the U-shaped nine-dash line marking China's claim over the South China Sea that includes Vietnam's continental shelf in the East Vietnam Sea.
"We are protesting in front of the Chinese embassy to show our anger to the world," said Le Hoang.
The protesters called on Beijing to remove the Chinese Geological survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 including support vessels from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), saying that "Chinese vessels were disrupting fishing."
"No-U" protesters have called on Vietnam to launch a lawsuit in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China over sovereignity, saying that the Chinese Geological survey vessels are conducting illegal activities in the East Vietnam Sea.
Last month the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs reportedly called on China to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) following reports from the United States of China's missile launch in the South China Sea.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokeswoman, Le Thi Thu Hang, said that "Vietnam is deeply concerned about the reports from the United States Department of Defence that China has launched anti-ship ballistic missiles from man-made structures near Vietnam's Truong Sa or Spratly islands."
"Vietnam calls for all parties involved in activities in the South China Sea to respect the sovereignty of Vietnams East Sea," she said.
She said that Pentagon spokesman Lt.Col. Dave Eastburn confirmed that China had launched a missile from the man-made structures in the East Vietnam Sea.
The China Maritime Safety Administration reportedly announced that China's naval forces would be conducting a series of anti-ship ballistic missile tests in an area to the north of the Spratlys from June 29 until July 3, calling on all fishing vessels to avoid the 22,500-square-kilometer area during the exercise.
China claims sovereignty over almost all the resource-rich South China Sea with the construction of reefs capable of hosting military aircraft, despite rival claims of sovereignty from ASEAN neighbours Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.
The Southeast Asian Times


China's People's Liberation Army not to be deployed to Hong Kong

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor dismissed claims that China has deployed the People's Liberation Army to Hong Kong

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, August 7: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor dismissed the claim that China has deployed the People's Liberation Army as protests that began with the "pro-democracy umbrella movement" continue in the streets of Hong Kong, while saying that the government would take a tough approach, reports the South China Morning Post.
“The government will be resolute in maintaining law and order in Hong Kong and restoring confidence,” said Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at a press conference on Monday.
Chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she would not resign in the face of the Hong Kong wide transport strike on Monday and Tuesday, in protest against China rule over Hong Kong, saying that the ongoing civil unrest is an attack on Beijing’s sovereignty.
Chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor accused anti-government protesters of attempting to destroy Hong Kong, saying that "anti-government protesters are dragging the city down a path of no return" in the face of the second strike at the Hong Kong International Airport in a week, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
Cathay Pacific Airways and Cathay Dragon cancelled 140 flights, budget carrier Hong Kong Express cancelled 10 services and Hong Kong Airlines 37 flights on Monday with flights also cancelled on Tuesday as traffic controllers called in sick mass as part of the two month continuous protest against China rule over Hong Kong.
"The ongoing civil unrest is an attack on Beijing’s sovereignty, on “one country, two systems”, and an attempt to destroy Hong Kong," she said.
Chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor claims that the anti-government protesters demand for her resignation, the withdrawal of the extradition bill and an investigation into police enforcement has“seriously undermined law and order in Hong Kong.
The Southeast Asian Times

Consensus on almost all RCEP negotiations reached in Beijing

Ministers from 10 ASEAN member countries and 6 partner countries say it is in the region’s collective interest and of the highest priority to reach agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact this year

From News Reports:
Beijing, August 6: China Ministry of Commerce reports that Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations between ASEAN member countries and partners China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India have made progress towards completion of the trade agreement, with concensus reached on 80 percent of negotiations, reports Xinhua.
China Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan, called on the 700 representatives from 16 countries attending the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Beijing on Friday and Saturday to accelerate the ongoing negotiations in an effort to meet a conclusion by the end of the year.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also called for the acceleration of the agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the 32nd ASEAN Summit held in April 2018, saying "it has become urgent to proceed with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement now that the United States has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)"
The call for acceleration of the agreement follows the failure of the 16 member trade partnership to reach agreement at the 31st ASEAN Summit held in the Philippines in November 2017 with calls on Indonesia to conclude negotiations with ASEAN member states and the 6 partner countries.
Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTIP) trade undersecretary, Ceferino Rodolfo, said then that "contentious issues remain unresolved" between the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and the 6 country partners.
In July 2017 the Indonesian People Coalition for Economic Justice (IPCEJ) rejected the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on the grounds that the agreement includes an Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) that would grant corporations the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue the Indonesia government for compensation at an international arbitration tribunal should government regulations such as rise in minimum wage decrease corporate profits.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that was launched in 2012 and that does not include the US, is the world's largest trading bloc, with 45 percent of the world's population, 40 percent of global trade and one-third of the world's GDP.
The Southeast Asian Times

Protesters demand release of founder of banned Hong Kong National Party

Andy Chan, 28, founding member of the banned Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) was arrested on Thursday

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, August 5: Protesters against China rule over Hong Kong are demanding the release of founding member of the banned Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), Andy Chan, 28, who was arrested together with seven others on Thursday, reports the South China Morning Post.
About 100 protesters surrounded the Hong Kong police station on Thursday night demanding the release of Andy Chan who was arrested hours earlier, shouting "free the martyrs."
"No charges have been laid against Andy Chan" his lawyer said on Friday.
The founder of the banned political party, Andy Chan, 28, and seven others aged 24 to 31 began protesting against China rule over Hong Kong with the student "pro-democracy umbrella movement" in 2014.
The "pro-democracy umbrella movement" saw hundreds of thousands of students camped in tents on major Hong Kong highways, calling on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections, defying police demands to vacate the streets.
Students protested against the Beijing ruling in August 2014 that Hong Kong would use the "one man one vote" system to elect the Chief Executive in 2017 from only two or three candidates that would be elected by a nominating committee in Beijing.
The protest against China rule over Hong Kong became a symbol of defiance against Beijing with students calling on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections and for the resignation of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)
The protests have escalated over the last two months to include thousands of civil servants taking to the streets against the the extradition bill that would see those charged with a criminal offence in Hong Kong sent to the China mainland to face trial and for the resignation of the current Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
In August 2018 Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) founding member, Andy Chan, said in a speech at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondence Club that “China is, by nature, an empire, a threat to all free peoples in the world.”
“If Hong Kong were to become truly democratic, Hong Kong’s sovereignty must rest with the people of Hong Kong,” he said.
Hong Kong’s chief secretary Matthew Cheung said then that it was “regrettable” that the Foreign Correspondence Club had provided a platform for Andy Chan’s views, which he said breached Hong Kong’s constitution that says that Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China.
The Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), that was banned on grounds that it posed a threat to national security, was founded in March 2016 following the "pro-democracy umbrella movement" mass protests.
The political party that promoted independence from China was banned by the Security Bureau of Hong Kong in September 2018 a month after Andy Chan's speech with a notice saying, I hereby order that the operation or continued operation of the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) in Hong Kong be prohibited."
The Southeast Asian Times


Hong Kong civil servants protest against China rule despite warning

Hong Kong civil servants claim that civil servants have the right to speak freely and to participate in protests, saying "after work we are just ordinary Hong Kong citizens"

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, August 4: Civil servants from 52 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government departments joined hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong protesters in Hong Kong streets on Friday in support of protests against China rule over Hong Kong, despite warnings that civil servants are required to maintain political neutrality, reports the South China Morning Post.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) chief secretary, Matthew Cheung, warned ahead of the protest that civil servants are bound by the Civil Service Code that requires civil servants to maintain political neutrality, saying that "the government calls for total loyalty from civil servants to the chief executive of the Hong Kong Administrative Region (HKSAR).
"The city's 180,000 civil servants must remain politically neutral," he said.
Thousands of Hong Kong civil servants joined the nine week protests in support for direct elections in Hong Kong, the withdrwal of the extradition bill that would see those charged with a criminal offence in Hong Kong sent to the China mainland to face trial and the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in an "unprecedented step of dissent."
Hong Kong civil servants, that include the Hong Kong Public Doctors’ Association union and the Radio Television Hong Kong Programme Union, claim that civil servants have the right to speak freely and to participate in protests, saying "after work we are just ordinary Hong Kong citizens."
Civil servants, who identified themselves as "off-duty civil servants" from 52 governmanet departments, said in a statement that "civil servants' right to public assembly was protected by Article 27 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) mini-constitution.
“We demand the government respect and follow the Basic Law."
Protests that began with the "pro-democracy umbrella movement" in 2014 saw hundreds of thousands of students camped in tents on major Hong Kong highways, defying police demands to vacate the streets, became a symbol of defiance against Beijing with students calling on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections and for the resignation of the then Chief Executive
The protests continued following the ban by the Security Bureau of Hong Kong in September 2018 of the newly established Hong Kong National Party (HKNP)
The banned Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), the first political party in Hong Kong that would promote independence from China and that was founded following the 2014 "pro-democracy umbrella movement" was served with a notice saying "I hereby order that the operation or continued operation of the Hong Kong National Party in Hong Kong be prohibited."
The Southeast Asian Times


Bangkok Post columinist, Kavi Chongkittavorn, writes "Asean does not have to choose sides if its leaders are all on the same page" ahead of the 34th ASEAN Summit held in Thailand this weekend ...Open page here


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


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



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


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

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

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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



What they're saying open page here


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Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

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Updated daily.
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US...0.7582
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1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
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East Timor.
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Indonesia Rupiah
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Laos..6,140.58
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Myanmar..923.19
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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 local property sales and marketing company, Min Zin Agency, in Yangon to sell condos in Singapore.
Managing director of the Min Zin Agency in Yangon, Ko Kyaw Min Zin, said that Singapore's Far East Organization has expanded its sales and marketing efforts into Myanmar.
“The Far East Organisation has been selling their Singapore properties to Myanmar buyers since 2009,” he said.
The Far East Organisation reportedly have over 750 properties in Singapore’s residential, hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial sectors,
including 45,500 or one in every six private homes in Singapore listed with the Min Zin Agency in Yangon.
The Southeast Asian Times


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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

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