The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Sunday 27 May 2018 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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US accused of violating independence of Cambodian sovereignty
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh Post, May 27: The Cambodia ruling Cambodia People's Party (CPP) called legislation that was introduced by the US congress last week that would enact sanctions on Cambodians who are allegedly responsible for undermining democracy, "a violation of the independence of Cambodian sovereignty", reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Republican Party and chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, congressman, Ted S Yoho, said that the Cambodian Democracy Act of 2018 "would push back against the undermining of democracy and related human rights abuses in Cambodia."
“This bill will help the people of Cambodia in their pursuit of democracy by imposing costs on Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen consolidation of power,” he said.
The legislation would reportedly freeze assets, restrict all financial transactions with the US, and deny entry of all senior Cambodian government, military and security officials into the US who the US determines have “directly and substantially undermined democracy in Cambodia”.
Cambodian government spokesman, Phay Siphan, said that "the US congress effort to enact a law to sanction Cambodian government officials could be seen as interference in Cambodia’s internal affairs and could deteriorate the relationship between the two countries.
Former lawmaker of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Ou Chanrath, welcomed the introduction of the US Cambodian Democracy Act of 2018, saying that the Cambodian Democracy Act would put pressure on the Cambodian government and high-ranking officials.
"I hope that the sanctions would not have a negative impact on the poor and the general population of Cambodia," he said.
In November 2017 the US called on the Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen to undo the Supreme Courts decision to dissolve the opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), saying that the United States would discontinue funding of $1.8 million over two years for the National Election Committees.
The US also called on the Hun Sen government, the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), to release jailed opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha, calling on the ruling party to allow political parties, civil society and the media to “maintain their legitimate activities”
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Kem Sokha was arrested on September 3 without a warrant at his Phnom Penh residence and charged with treason.
The Foreign Minister said that a 2013 video showed that the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, had received assistance from the US.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysia assured that Chinese investors will return

Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president, Tan Yew Sing said that political stability in Malaysia has inspired confidence in Chinese investment

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 26: Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president, Tan Yew Sing, assured the Council of Eminent Persons’ (CEP) members that Chinese investors would return to Malaysia at a meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, saying that the new government lead by Dr Mahathir Mohamad would provide a secure investment environment, reports the Star.
"The peaceful transition in government in Malaysia has inspired confidence in Chinese investment in Malaysia," he said.
In the lead-up to the Malaysian general elections on May 9 Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia would stop borrowing from China and would review Chinese investments if his opposition four party coalition was elected.
He warned that Malaysia had borrowed a large amount of money from China and may not be able to repay it, saying that "Sri Lanka had to give China ownership of a port and other projects to repay the debt.
In the week before the Malaysian elections Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) chairman, Dr Chang Wei Lu, called on the Penang Chinese community not to vote for opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) lead by Mahathir Mohamad, saying that the Chinese community were aware of mistakes made by the Democratic Action Party (DAP) that is one of the four parties of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in Malaysia.
The chairman was reportedly referring to the Democratic Action Party (DAP) decision by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in December to cancel the Culture and Heritage Chinese New Year celebration.
The Southeast Asian Times

Political monk arrested for role in 2013 Bangkok Shutdown

Buddhist monk, Phra Isara, right, and Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) head, Suthep Thaugsub, left, after they were charged by the special public prosecutor in March on criminal charges including treason and terrorism for their role in the "Bangkok Shutdown" anti-government protest in 2013
From News Reports:
Bangkok, May 25: Buddhist monk, Phra Isara, known as the "political monk" was one of eight monks arrested in raids on temples for there role in the "Bangkok Shutdown" protests against the then Prime minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, reports the Bangkok Post.
About 200 commandos from the Crime Suppression Division conducted early morning raids yesterday on Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Sa Ket and Wat Samphanthawong in Bangkok and Wat Kudeethong in Sing Buri, arresting the "political monk" at Wat Onoi in Kamphaeng Saen district.
In March Buddha Isara the "political monk" was charged together with 16 People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) members with criminal charges including treason and terrorism for their role in the “Bangkok Shutdown” anti-government protest in 2013.
In January nine Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) core leaders, headed by Suthep Thaugsuban, were also charged with with treason and terrorism for their role in the “Bangkok Shutdown” anti-government protest in 2013.
Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) head, Suthep Thaugsuban, called for charges against several academics who were charged with criminal offences such as the occupation of the Finance Ministry building in November 2013, terrorism and treason should be dropped.
"Academics who gave speeches against the Yingluck Shinawatra government should not be charged with terrorism or treason," he said.
Protests against the Yingluck Shinawatra government accelerated in November 2013 when the government attempted to pass a political amnesty Bill that would allow former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, brother of Yingluck Shinawatra, to return to Thailand having fled to avoid a jail sentence for corruption.
The Bill was ultimately withdrawn but protests against the government continued by Shinawatra opponents that included unions and academics who saw the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as corrupt.
The Bangkok Post reports that the Department of Special Investigation has so far charged 29 with criminal charges including treason and terrorism for their role in the “Bangkok Shutdown” anti-government protest.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia blames gold miners for contamination of Prek Te River

Cambodia's Industry Minister, Cham Parasidh, says that contaminated water in the Prek Te River was traced to the use of cyanide in gold mine operations

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 23: Cambodia's Industry Minister, Cham Parasidh, blamed gold miners for the death of 18 and the cause of illness of 300 living in Cambodia's Kratie Province upstream from gold mining operations in Mondulkiri province, reports the Phnom Penh post.
Industry Minister, Cham Parasidh, blamed gold miners for the deaths and the cause of illness including headaches, nausea, exhastion, dizziness, abdominal pain and difficulty breathing, saying that "gold miners use cyanide to flush shafts allowing it to run into waterways,"
Causes of unexplained illness were initially blamed on tainted rice wine and
the contamination of water from Prek Te River that was blamed on farmers use of weed and insect pesticides containing chromium, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
But Industry Minister Cham Prasidh claims that weed and insect pecticides do not contain cyanide, saying that an investigation by experts from multiple institutions with the cooperation of local authorities found that the Prek Te Rive contained cynanide.
The investigation reportedly revealed that while methanol in rice wine and chromium and nitrous acid in water from the Prek Te River had contributed to the unexplained illness, the discovery of cyanide in the water originating in the upper sections of the river also contributed to the deaths and illness in Kratie Province.
The Industry Minister claims that the contaminated water in the Prek Te River was traced to the use of cyanide in gold mine operations in both licensed and unlicensed operations in Mondulkiri province.
"When it rains the cyanide from the gold mine operations flow into the river", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Call for Philippine President to act on the militarization of the South China Sea
From News Reports:
Manila, May 22: Philippine Senator Panfilo Lacson called on President Rodrigo Duterte to act on China's militarization of the South China Sea including the West Philippine Sea, saying that the Philippines should seek the help of its ally countries to pressure China to stop its military activities, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
He said that ally countries should insist on the UN arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in the Arbitration Court in the Hague in July 2016.
The court ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea that included the West Philippine Sea.
China rejected the Hague ruling, claiming that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on the matter" with China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang saying that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
In February Philippine presidential spokesman, Harry Roque said that the Philippines rejected the names given by China to five reefs in the West Philippine Sea, saying that the names, Jinghai Seamount, Tinabao Seamount, Haidonquing Seamount, Cuiqiao Hill and Jujiu Seamount given by China to areas located within 200 nautical miles of the east coast of Luzon are not recognised by the Philippines.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang claims that the naming of reefs in the West Philippine Sea was approved by the International Hydrographic Organization – Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (IHO-IOC GEBCO) Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) at a sub-committe meeting in October 2015 and again in September 2017.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would not provoke China into a war saying that there was no assurance that the U.S. would remain on the side of the Philippines if war broke out.
"A more feasable solution would be to forge a joint exploration pact with China to harness the potential of the disputed West Philippine Sea".
The Southeast Asian Times

Former PM Najib summoned by Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak has asked for witness protection, claiming those linked directly or indirectly to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds abroad had made threats to his life and his family

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 21: Former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been summoned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for questioning tomorrow about the misappropriation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds, reports the Star.
The summons follows the election of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said after the defeat of the ruling Barisan National (BN) party lead by the former Prime Minister Najib Razak on May 9 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.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began investigation of allegations published in the Wall Street Journal on 2 July 2014 that funds that had allegedly been donated by one of the nine sons of the late Saudi king Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who was then the Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board, denied the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) allegations.
The luxury yacht 'Equanimity' that was seized in Bali in February was allegedly linked to the recovery of assets that were purchased with misappropriated funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund.
The US Justice Department claims that more than $1.7 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund was invested in hotels, luxury real estate in Manhattan, Beverly Hills and London including $100 million in the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street" and including the luxury yacht 'Equanimity' valued at US$250 million.
In July 2015 Singapore reportedly closed Swiss bank BSI AG operations in the city-state following criminal proceedings in Switzerland against the private bank in its transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority or Finma said in Zurich that Swiss-based BSI AG had committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations through business relationships and transactions 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The Southeast Asian Times


Evicted Koh Kong province community calls for compensation for loss of land

Community members, evicted from their homes in Koh Kong province to make way for sugar plantations, called for compensation at the Ministry of Land Management in Phnom Penh on Thursday

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 20: Koh Kong province community members, who called for compensation for their loss of land at the Ministry of Land Management in Phnom Penh, returned home empty handed, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
About 300 community members evicted from their homes in Sre Ambil district in Dong Paeng commune in Koh Kong province to make way for sugar plantations, financed by the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank, blocked the entrance to the Ministry of Land Management in Phnom Penh on Thursday to force a response to their claim for compensation for loss of land.
The communitee members say they were evicted from their land to make way for the Phnom Penh Sugar Company owned by businessman and ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator, Ly Yong Phat.
The community members called for compensation such as that received by 375 families in Koh Kong Province that included cash and allocation of land.
Koh Kong community member, Suon Vannat, 50, said he travelled to Phnom Penh in order to ask for a compensation package of 3 hectares and $2,500.
"The ministry refused to help and told us to return home,” he said.
The Ministry of Land Management reportedly said that it has no authority to resolve the dispute between the Koh Kong province community members and the Phnom Penh Sugar Company owned by businessman and ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator, Ly Yong Phat.
The Ministry of Land Management reportedly told the Koh Kong province community members that they should return home to resolve the dispute over land compensation with provincial authorities.
In February 2016 communities in Thpong and Oral districts in Kampong Speu province claimed that the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank in Phnom Penh financed sugar plantations, saying that "the sugar plantations would not have been established without the loan from the ANZ bank to Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat.
The Kompong Speu district communities say that they were driven off their land by Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat who is a direcor of the Phnom Penh Sugar Company.
In January 2015 ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh refused to pay compensation to about 800 Kompong Speu province community family members following a petition submitted to the bank demanding payment.
In July 2014 the ANZ bank has reportedly told representatives of the community families that the Australian majority owner of ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, "was not responsible for past actions of past clients".
In October 2014 Kompong Speu province family members who lost their land to Phnom Penh Sugar Company placed a curse on the ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, calling on the spirits of their ancesters to ruin the banks business.
The Southeast Asian Times

New minister calls for investigation into military land development
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 14: Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, who was appointed by newly-elected Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad last week, has called for an investigation into the privatisation of military land for commercial development that was approved by former Prime Minister Najib Razak, reports the Star.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu is reportedly acting on a claim made last month by former International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz that former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was defence minister in 2008, had recommended the privatisation of over 40,000ha of military land for development by a private company.
"The privatisation of military land would be investigated to determine whether elements of corruption were involved," she said.
The Defence Minister said that while the appointment of the company to carry out development projects on military land was in accordance with the procedures established under the Public Private Partnership Unit in the then Najib Razak Prime Minister’s Department, an investigation would be conducted.
The Southeast Asian Times

Former deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim released from prison

Former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim at a press conference at his home in Segambut after his release from prison on Wednesday

From Nws Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 18: Former Deputy Prime Minister, Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh and People's Justice Party opposition party founder, Anwar Ibrahim, 70, was released from prison on a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after serving three years of a five -year jail sentence for sodomy, reports the New Straits Times.
Anwar Ibrahim said at a press conference held at his home in Segambut after his release on Wednesday that he was grateful to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the royal pardon granted him, saying that "the royal pardon has cleared him of all accusations of wrongdoings".
He also thanked the newly elected Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for helping to expedite the royal pardon.
Anwar Ibrahim was convicted in February 2105 and sentenced to five years imprisonment in what he says is a "political conspiracy" by ruling party, Barisan national (BN) lead by former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
In April 2015 an application for a royal pardon and a judicial review of the decision by Commissioner-general of prisons prohibiting Anwar Ibriham
attending parliamentary sittings was dismissed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Pardons Board of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong stated that the five-year jail sentence imposed on Anwar Ibrahim should be carried out.
The commissioner-general of prisons prohibiting Anwar Ibrahim from attending parliamentary sittings from prison on grounds that the former Deputy Prime Minister was disqualified as a member of parliament (MP) under Article 48(4)(c) of the Federal Constitution.
Anwar Ibrahim spent six years in prison between 1998 and 2004 under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad administration after being convicted of corruption and sodomy of his former family driver.
Three judges of the Federal, Malaysia's highest court, eventually partially overturned the sodomy conviction after finding contradictions within the prosecution.
Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty to the sodomy charges brought by Mohammad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, at a condominium in Kuala Lumpur on June 26 2008.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysia's Official Secrets Act lifted on 1MDB audit report
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 17: The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report has been officially declassified following a police order by newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to lift the Official Secrets Act (OSA) seal on 1MDB, reports the New Straits Times.
Auditor-General Dr Madinah Mohamad announced the declassification of the 1MDB audit report previously marked secret on Tuesday, less than a week after the Malaysian general elections that saw the defeat of the ruling Barisan National (BN) party lead by former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“The 1MDB audit report has been reclassified as an open document and the executive summary of the report is available on the Audit Department’s website,” she said.
Auditor-General Dr Madinah Mohamad said that the 1MDB audit report was classified as secret on 22 January 2016 and presented to the Public Accounts Committee on 4 March 2016.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said after he was sworn in last Thursday 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.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began investigation of allegations that funds that had allegedly been donated by a son of the late Saudi king Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who was reportedly Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board, denied the allegations
The luxury yacht 'Equanimity' that was seized in Bali in February was allegedly linked to the recovery of assets that were purchased with misappropriated funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund.
The US Justice Department claims that more than $1.7 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund was invested in hotels, luxury real estate in Manhattan, Beverly Hills and London including $100 million in the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street" and including the luxury yacht 'Equanimity' valued at US$250 million.
In July 2015 Singapore reportedly closed Swiss bank BSI AG operations in the city-state following criminal proceedings in Switzerland against the private bank in its transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority or Finma said in Zurich that Swiss-based BSI AG had committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations through business relationships and transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The Southeast Asian Times

Mahathir says no to ties with UMNO despite resignation of Najib as president

Newly-elected Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says that United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) status as a registerd political party remains unclear
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 16: Newly-elected Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says that the now ruling Pakatan Harapan (BN) party
would not establish political ties with United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), despite the resignation of former prime minister Najib Razak as president, reports the New Straits Times.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) status as a registerd political party remained unclear.
He said that the registration of the party was a matter for the courts, saying that "it's up to to Regstrar of Societies to decide United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) status.
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) vice-president Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he had been given the mandate by Umno supreme council members to hold negotiations with Barisan Nasional (BN).
"We will use all the strength within Umno and BN to hold negotiations and collaborate with anyone in order to be either part of the government or the opposition", he said.
He reportedly called on all United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders and members" to start accepting the reality that they are no longer part of the ruling government."
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said before the general elections in Malaysia last week that he was confident that the opposition coalition party Barisan Nasional (BN) would succeed in bringing down the Barisan Nasional (BN) by winning in Putrajaya, a United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) stronghold.
In March 2016 Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying that the organisation is seen as "supporting corruption."
Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said then that he would not be joining the Malaysian opposition parties but would continue together with a "core group" of national leaders to work towards the removal of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from office.
"I may rejoin the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) once party president and Prime Minister Najib Razak has left", he said.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began an investigation into allegations that funds were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who was reportedly Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board, denied the allegations.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia makes first arrest under Lese Majeste Law introduced in February
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 15: A Cambodia teacher arrested on Sunday for allegedly insulting the monarchy on Facebook, is the first arresedt since the Cambodian National Assembly unanimously passed amendments to the Constitution and Criminal Code in February making it illegal to disrespect the King under the Lese Majeste Law, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Police in the central province of Kampong Thom reportedly arrested Kheang Navy, 50, a primary school principal, over comments on Facebook allegedly critical of King Norodom Sihamoni, his father the late King Norodom Sihanouk and his half-brother Prince Norodom Ranariddh over their alleged role in the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November last year.
Police chief, Nhem Chhunly said that Kheang Navy had admitted to Kampong Thom police that the comments on Facebook were his, saying that he was in detention and that he did not know when he would be sent to court to face charges.
The amendments to the Constitution and Criminal Code that introduce restrictions to political participation were reportedly passed in the national interest in order to stop foreign interference.
The amendments were passed in a full plenary session, the 123 parliamentarians of ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), royalist Funcinpec, and two other minor parties unanimously approved the amendments, with Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh saying that he voted for the Lese Majeste Law law because the law "would benefit Cambodians."
Prime Minister Hun Sen, said in February that amendments to the Constitution and Criminal Code were necessary in order to protect the country from outside influence, saying that "all political parties, politicians and Cambodians should work together to protect Cambodia’s independence and sovereignty."
"They should work against any interference from outsiders,” he said.
He announced in November 2017 that the government supported the Supreme Court decision to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) opposition party, saying that "the Supreme Court decision was made according to the principle of rule of law.
Additions to the Criminal Code create penalties for violation of the new lese majeste law of between one and five years in prison and fines of 2 million riel to 10 million riel ($500 to $2,500).
The Southeast Asian Times

Police guard Catholic churches in Surabaya after bombings
From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 14: Police have been deployed to guard three Catholic churches in Surabaya following suicide bombings yesterday morning that have left two dead and 13 injured with further casualties expected, reports the Jakarta Post.
The bombing at Santa Maria Tak Bercela (SMTB) Catholic Church on Jl. Ngagel in Gubeng in Surabaya yesterday reportedly claimed two lives, including the suicide bomber, injuring at least 13.
East Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Frans Barung Mangera said that "one victim was a member of the Catholic church congregation and the other was the perpetrator."
"It was a suicide bombing", he said.
Casualities have yet to be confirmed following the bomb attack on Pantekosta Pusat Surabaya (GPPS) Church on Jl. Raya Arjuna and Kristen Indonesia (GKI) Diponegoro Church on Jl. Diponegoro.
“We have yet to confirm any casualties in the bombing," he said
In December 2017 police deployed 10,000 police to guard 1,629 churches in Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi ahead of Christmas services, including the Catholic cathedral in central Jakarta, with police saying that "there would be no mass organisations including the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), that incorporates all Indonesian Muslim organisations including the Islamic Defender Front (FPI) conducting raids on Christian church services and venues celebrating Christmas and New Year."

The Southeast Asian Times

Former Malayian PM Najib Razak and wife fly to Jakarta

Former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta at 12.30pm yesterday
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 13: Former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, who left Malaysia for Indonesia yesterday on a private jet from the Subang airport outside Kuala Lumpur, reportedly arrived at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma Airport at midday, reports the Star.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said yesterday that he was taking a "short break".
"I will take a short break to spend time with my family whom I have not seen enough of in recent years," he said.
"I apologize for any shortcomings and mistakes, and I thank you, the people, for the opportunity to lead our great nation."
Dozens of journalists reportedly descended on Subang Airport after a manifest showed that former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor were due to board a flight for Jakarta.
Malayisan Immigration Department, director-general Mustafar Ali denied reports that the former prime minister and his wife were on a travel blacklist and would not be allowed to leave Malaysia.
"They are not blacklisted so far," he said.
Newly elected prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said following the defeat of the ruling Barisan National (BN) party lead by the former prime minister Najib Razak 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.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began investigation of allegations that funds that had allegedly been donated by one of the nine sons of the late Saudi king Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is reportedly Finance Minister and Chairman of the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) advisory board, has denied the allegations..
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysia's ruling party concedes defeat after 60 years in office
Incumbant prime minister Najib Razak concedes defeat at a televised press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 12: Incumbant prime minister, Najib Razak, conceded defeat following Malaysia's general elections this week that saw the ruling party, Barisan Nasional (BN) lose after 60 years in office, saying "I and my colleagues accept the verdict of the people," reports the Associated Press.
"The Barisan Nasional (BN) that has ruled for almost the entirety of its modern-day history will honour the principle of democracy in the parliament", he said.
He said following the swearing in of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister by the Yang di pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V on Thursday that he is willing to help facilitate a smooth transition of power.
Newly elected prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday after he was sworn in as prime minister that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition alliance party would be discussing its cabinet lineup, saying that "heads will roll."
"We find that some people are aiding and abetting former prime minister Najib who was described by the world as a 'kleptocrat'," he said.
He said that "heads of certain government departments will fall."
Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has fought five general elections in his 22 years as prime minister, said that he is "not seeking revenge" against the former prime minister Najib Tun Razak over allegations that funds from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), of which prime minister Najib Tun Razak was finance minister and chairman, had been tranferred to his private bank accounts.
"What we want to do is to restore the rule of law," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Dr Mahathir Mohamad sworn in as Malaysia's PM for second time
The Pakatan Harapan (PH) victory with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman, center, has ended the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that ruled Malaysia since its establishment with independence in 1957
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 11: The Malaysian Election Commission has declared the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition alliance party lead by former prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, the winner of the14 general elections held on Wednesday, winning the majority of the 222 parliamentary seats, reports the Star.
Election Commissioner, Tan Sri mohd Hashim Abdullah, announced that the People's Justice Party (PKR) had won 104 seats, followed by ruling party Barison Nasional (BN) with 79 seats, the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) with 18, Democratic Action Party (DAP) nine, Parti Warisan Sabah (WARISAN) eight, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) one and independent candidates three.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that the coalition had been contacted by the Palace and that he expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister by the Yan di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negra.
"The palace has contacted us becasue it is official that we have achieved a majority", he said.
He said that he would be appointing Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the deputy prime minister and other ministers after he is sworn in, saying that "the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition party would work towards the pardon of People's Justice Party (PKR) de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim."
"Once he is pardoned, he will be eligible to stand as Prime Minister," he said.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has fought five general elections in his 22 years as prime minister, said before the elections that he was confident that the opposition coalition party would succeed in bringing down the Barisan Nasional (BN) by winning in Putrajaya, a United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) stronghold.
He said that he is "not seeking revenge" against the former prime minister Najib Tun Razak over allegations that funds from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), of which prime minister Najib Tun Razak was finance minister and chairman, had been tranferred to his private bank accounts.
"What we want to do is to restore the rule of law," he said.
In March 2016 Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying that the organisation is seen as "supporting corruption."
Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said then that he would not be joining the Malaysian opposition parties but would continue together with a "core group" of national leaders to work towards the removal of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from office.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began an investigation into allegations that funds that had allegedly been donated by one of nine sons of the late Saudi king Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodians protest land loss to sugar plantations financed by ANZ bank
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 10: Hundreds of Koh Kong and Preah Vihear province communities evicted from their homes in Koh Kong and Preah Vihear provinces to make way for sugar plantations, financed by the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, called on the Phnom Penh Land Management Ministry for compensation for their loss of land, last week, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
300 protesters representing about 500 communitee members say they were evicted from their land to make way for the Phnom Penh Sugar Company owned by businessman and ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator, Ly Yong Phat.
Kit Ten, representing evicted communitee members in Preah Vihear said some had been offered new plots of land as compensation, but have not accepted the land.
“That’s why we continue protesting,” he said.
The protestors claim that ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Preah Vihear, spokesman Sous Yara and Chouch Phoeun, colluded with provincial authorities and deployed the military and police to clear the area, destroying homes, schools, hospitals and pagodas.
But Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Preah Vihear, spokesman Sous Yara claims that communittee members have been compensated for their loss of land.
Preab Rotha, representing 210 evicted community members from Koh Kong, said they were forced off their land by businessman and ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator, Ly Yong Phat in 2005.
In February 2016 communities in Thpong and Oral districts in Kampong Speu province claimed that the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Royal Bank in Phnom Penh financed sugar plantations, saying that "the sugar plantations would not have been established without the loan from the ANZ bank to Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat.
The Kompong Speu district communities say they were driven off their land by Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Senator Ly Yong Phat who is a direcor of the Phnom Penh Sugar Company.
In January 2015 ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh officially refused to pay compensation to about 800 Kompong Speu province community family members following a petition submitted to the bank demanding payment.
In July 2014 the ANZ bank reportedly told representatives of the communities that the Australian majority owner of ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, "was not responsible for past actions of past clients".
In October 2014 Kompong Speu province family members who lost their land to Phnom Penh Sugar Company placed a curse on the ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, calling on the spirits of their ancesters to ruin the banks business.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysians in London want their postal votes counted today
Malaysian protest against Malaysia's Election Commission (EC) at the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board office near Trafalgar Square in London on Monday
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 9: Malaysian in London, claiming they have not received their ballots to vote in Malaysia's general elections held today, protested against Malaysia's Election Commission (EC) at the Malaysian Tourism office in London on Monday, reports the Star.
About 30 registered overseas voters complained that they have not received their ballot papers or received them too late, making it impossible for their votes to reach Malaysia by the 5pm deadline today.
Postgraduate student and lawyer, Melissa Sasidaran, 32, said in London that she had yet to receive her ballot papers from Malaysia's Election Commission (EC).
The Pasir Gudang constituent said that "there are thousands of Malaysians overseas who are not able to vote because they have not received their ballot or the ballots have arrived too late."
"Voting is a democratic right for everyone," she said.
Postgraduate student Hazri Hail, 35, said that he had received his bollots to vote in the Stampin constituent on Friday, but that "it was too late for the Undi Rabu group to deliver votes from London to Malaysia."
"I am here to show solidarity with other Malaysians who are not able to vote," he said at the protest in London.
Pensioner Teoh Hun Teng, 65, who is a Bukit Bendera constituent, travelled from Kent to London to protest against the delivery of his bollot on time for him to vote.
"I am still Malaysian," he said.
Malaysians who received their ballots on time also protested against the high cost of sending their votes back to Malaysia, saying that "prices ranged from £24 to £80 (RM128 to RM428) for each ballot."
The Southeast Asian Times

Najib and Mahathir both confident of winning Putrajaya UNMO stronghold
Caretaker prime minister and also chairman of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) party says that he is confident of winning in Putrajaya, a United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) stronghold
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 8: Malaysia's caretaker prime minister, Najib Razak, said he is confident that the Barisan Nasional (BN) party will win the 14th general election held tomorrow by a "wide margin", reports the New Straits Times.
Prime minister, Najib Razak, who is also the chairman of the Barisan Nasional (BN) said at the "meet-the-people" campaign in Peramu Jaya on Saturday that his confidence was founded on the briefings from United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leaders who have campaigned around the country since nomination day on 28 April.
He said that his visit to Penang including Kepala Batas and Tasek Gelugor on Saturday showed that he would be able to retain the two parliamentary seats there.
Caretaker prime minister, Najib Razak, claims that the "meet-the-people" campaign in Sungai Siput was "so crowded that there were not enough chairs", saying that "we have a good chance of wrestling the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat from the oppostion", he said.
"Insya Allah, if this happens we can win big provided that we can defend the seats that are already in our hands," he said.
Former prime minister of Malaysia and chairman of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) party Mahathir Modamad said that he was confident that the opposition coalition party will succeed in bringing down the Barisan Nasional (BN) by winning in Putrajaya, a United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) stronghold.
Mahathir Modamad, who has fought five general elections in his 22 years as prime minister said that his confidence came from the outpouring of public support for Pakatan Harapan (PH) including in Putrajaya with 10,000 supporters.
Mahathir Modamad, who is contesting the parliamentary seat of Langkawi in his home state of Keda, claimed that party campaigning in Temerloh had drawn 20,000 supporters and 40,000 in Kuantan.
"I have never seen support like this", he said.
In March 2016 former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying that the organisation is seen as "supporting corruption."
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said then that he would not be joining the Malaysian opposition parties but would continue
together with a "core group" of national leaders to work towards the removal of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from office.
"I may rejoin the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) once party president and Prime Minister Najib Razak has left", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Penang Chinese community urged not to vote for Mahathir

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 7: The Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) has called on the Chinese community not to vote for the opposition coalition Democratic Action Party (DAP) lead by former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, in Malaysia's elections held this week, reports the New Straits Times.
Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) chairman, Dr Chang Wei Lu, said that the Chinese community should be aware of the mistakes made by the
Democratic Action Party (DAP) over the past 10 years.
"We must go all out to deny the DAP and the opposition from returning to lead this state", he said.
He said at the Malaysian Chinese Asociation (MCA) at the Tan Si Eng Chuan Tong Association Hall in Penang on Saturday that "enough is enough".
"We must go all out to deny

Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) chairman, Dr Chang Wei Lu, has called on the Penang Chinese community not to vote for opposition coalition lead by former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad
the DAP and the opposition from returning to lead this state", he said.
He said at the Malaysian Chinese Asociation (MCA) at the Tan Si Eng Chuan Tong Association Hall in Penang on Saturday.
The chairman was reportedly referring to the Democratic Action Party (DAP) decision by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in December to cancel the Culture and Heritage Chinese New Year celebration.
He said that New Year celebrations were cancelled because the state government had failed to settle a loan payment to the Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) that helped to manage the Chinese New Year celebrations.
"The state government had promised to pay RM80,000 to organise the event", he said.
The chairman said that "the Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) was among several non-governmental organisations that helped to ensure Democratic Action Party (DAP) victory in Penang".
In April former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia would stop borrowing from China and would review Chinese investments if his opposition four party coalition is elected in this months elections.
He warned that Malaysia had borrowed a large amount of money from China and may not be able to repay it, saying that "Sri Lanka had to give China ownership of a port and other projects to repay the debt.
Former Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that a 30 percent swing by rural ethnic Malays away from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak would be enough to secure the opposition victory in the May elections.
"Malay support for the opposition has increased," he said.
In March 2016 former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying that the party is seen as "supporting corruption."
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said then that he would not be joining the Malaysian opposition parties but would continue
together with a "core group" of national leaders to work towards the removal of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from office.

The Southeast Asian Times

Military and police first to vote in Malaysia's elections
Putrajaya District Police chief Assistant Commissioner Rosly Hassan was among the first to cast his vote in Malaysia's 14 general elections yesterday
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 6: The Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police and General Operations Force personnel cast their vote in Malaysia's 14th general elections early yesterday morning, reports the New Straits Times.
Election Commission (EC) chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Hasim Abdullah, said that about 278,590 voters from the military and police were expected to cast their vote.
He said that 111,702 police were expected to vote including 7,695 retired police.
"A further 5,854 police postal votes were expected," he said.
He said that voting at 585 polling centres will be witnessed by agents of contesting candidates and local election observers from non-government orgainsations appointed by the Election Commission (EC).
"The ballot papers will not be counted until May 9," he said
He said that the ballots would be kept in police lock-ups until then.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun assured police that their vote, like other votes, would be secret, saying that “we do not tell police which party they should vote for."
Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, reportedly urged police and military personnel to decide on which party to vote for by taking into account the government's contribution to the nation and security forces and "not yielding to instigation."
"The Government had never prohibited, restrained nor directed the security forces personnel on how they should vote," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Registration of Cambodia's political parties begin without opposition party
Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman Dim Sovannarom in Phnom Penh on Monday shows registration of political parties list for July elections
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, May 5: Registration of political parties in the July national elections began on Monday, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that there would be no return for the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that was dissolved by the Phnom Penh Supreme Court in November 2017 would not contest the elections.
He encouraged new political parties to register with the National Election Committee (NEC), saying that "a large number of new political parties were expected to register."
The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Central Committee, depury chief, Ork Kimhan said that he submitted 271 registrations for candidates from Cambodia's 24 provinces to the National Election Committee (NEC) on Monday, saying that "registration of the candidates on the first day will give the party time to make changes."
Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) president, Pich Sros said that his party submitted 234 candidates from 17 provinces, saying that " the party was only contesting in provinces with three or more seats, he said.
In October 2017 the Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) filed a complaint to the Ministry of Interior calling for the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), accusing opposition party officials of treason.
National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman, Dim Sovannarom, said four other political parties had paid a deposit to register, but had yet to submitt their candidate lists.
The Norodom Ranariddh’s Funcinpec party (NRP), Mam Sonando’s Beehive Social Democratic Party ((BSDP), the Khem Veasna-led League for Democracy Party (LDP) and new entrants Ponleu Thmey, or New Light Party and the Farmer’s Party for Cambodia have reportedly yet to return their application forms to the for registration to the National Election Committee (NEC) to contest the July elections.
National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman, Dim Sovannarum, announced in December that China had pledged to donate equipment to serve the elections in July, saying that China's assistance would help ensure transparency, accuracy and accountability in the poll.
China is reportedly to donate ballot boxes and voting booths to Cambodia for the July elections following the withdrawal of support from the United States and the European Union, who said that the elections has no legitimacy.
In November 2017 the United States called on the Hun Sen government to overturn the Supreme Courts decision to dissolve the opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), saying that the United States will discontinue funding Cambodia's National Election Committees.
The Southeast Asian Times

 
Bali police arrest Chinese nationals for cybercrime and extortion

Bali Police and the Counter Transnational and Organized Crime (CTOC) Task Force arrested 103 Chinese nationals in raids across Bali for alleged cybercrime including extrtion and violation of Indonesian immigration law

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 4: Bali Police and the Counter Transnational and Organized Crime (CTOC) Task Force arrested 103 Chinese nationals and 11 Indonesians for alleged cybercrime including extortion and violation of Indonesian immigration laws in raids across Badung regency in Bali on Tuesday, reports Antara.
Police spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Iqbal said that the arrests were made in three Bali locations, at the Mutiara Abianbase complex at Mengwi in Badung, Bedahulu Street in Denpasar and Gatsu Street in Denpasar.
He said that the Chinese nationals were arrested for extorting money from from wealthy Chinese officials or businessmen in China.
"The suspects pretended to be Chinese law enforcement officials," he said.
Police seized 51 telephones, five laptops, 82 passports, 53 cellular phones, 18 routers, two printers, and 27 hubs in the Bali raids.
In January the Bali Police Counter Transnational and Organized Crime (CTOC) task force arrested 48 Chinese nationals for their alleged involvement in an international extortion racket that focused on extorting money from Chinese officials or businessmen in China.
In August 2017 the Bali Police and the Counter Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) task force arrested 150 Chinese nationals for their alleged involvment in cybercrime including extortion, seizing 38 phones, 25 modems, seven routers, 10 laptops, eight cellular phones, CCTVs, and six passports.
Bali Police, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Ruddy Setiawan said that the Chinese nationals were arrested in raids in Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, Batam and East Java, saying that "we were alerted by China's police department."
He said that Chinese nationals who had been operating in Indonesia for six months had made 6 trillion ($450 million) by extorting money from wealthy Chinese officials or businessmen in China
"The syndicate began by finding information on outstanding charges on wealthy Chinese officials or businessmen," he said.
The victims were approached by Chinese nationals who posed as police or officials from China's Attorney General's office and were threatened with exposure.
They reportedly demanded payment in return for an acquital of the legal charges.
Bali police said that it was only after the transfer of the money did the victims realize that they had been cheated and reported it to Chna's police.

Cambodia
In April Cambodian police arrested 100 Chinese nationals at a high rise condominium in Phnom Penh for operating a Phnom Penh-based international extortion racket that focused on extorting money from wealthy Chinese, Chinese officials or businessmen in China.
The Cambodian Immigration Investigation Bureau chief, Uk Haiseila, said that the police raids in Phnom Penh followed a request from Chinese police.
In March Cambodian police arrested 119 Chinese at two loccations in Phnom Penh for extorting money from wealthy Chinese officials or businessmen in China in China.
The Cambodian Immigration Investigation Bureau chief, Uk Haiseila, said then that the raids followed a request from the Chinese police on information provided by the Cambodian police.
The Bureau chief urged Cambodians who rent rooms or lease property to Chinese nationals to be vigilant.
He said that they should note if their tenants possess many computors and telephones, stay in their room for long periods and do not allow locals to enter the premises.
The Southeast Asian Times

Court rejects fugitive former Thai PM's appeal against cancellation of passport

Fugitive former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, and his sister fugitive former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Tokyo on 29 March 2018, where he predicted that the political party that he founded in 2008 , the Pheu Thai Party, would win in a landslide victory in the next Thai general elections

From News Reports:
Bangkok, May 3: The Bangkok Central Administrative Court rejected fugitive former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, 69, appeal against the cancellation of his passport for the second time, reports the Bangkok Post.
An injunction by the former fugitive prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra to the Central Administrative Court to stop the cancellation of his Thai passports including a diplomatic passport, was also dismissed in January 2016.
The passports were cancelled in May 2015 after the former prime minister accused privy councillors of supporting the 2014 coup that ousted the former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is also his younger sister, in a media interview in Soeul in South Korea.
Department of Consular Affairs director-general, Thongchai Chasawat, reportedly cancelled the passports on "national security" grounds, claiming that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's interview in Soeul undermined “national security and dignity”.
In October 2008 fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was found guilty in absentia of curruption by the Supreme Court and sentenced to two years in jail.
The judges found the fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin guilty of violating articles of the National Counter Corruption Commission law that forbids holders of public office and their spouses from entering into a contract with the State.
The charges resulted from his wife Pojaman Shinawatra purchase of State-owned prime land in Bangkok’s Thiam Ruam Mit Road in the Ratchadaphisek business district at an auction arranged by the Bank of Thailand's Finance Development Fund.
“Thaksin violated the article of the constitution dealing with a conflict of interest, as the prime minister and head of government, and was supposed to work for the benefit of the public,” the presiding judge said.
A warrant for the arrest of the fugitive former prime minister Thaksin, who sought political asylum in Britain where he and his wife fled after jumping bail, was immediately issued with a warrant of arrest that was followed by the cancellation of his diplomatic passport.
His passports were reinstated by his sister, former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in 2011.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines again reject China's right to name Philippine seas
From News Reports:
Manila, May 2: The Philippines have again rejected China's right to name five areas located off the east coast of Luzon in the Philippines, with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte to visit Philippine Rise or Benham Rise in order to assert Philippine sovereign rights over the sea areas named by China, reports the Philstar.
"I'm going to Benham Rise to make a statement that nobody but nobody owns this place including the continental shelf," he said.
The Chinese names of the five sea areas were submitted by the China Ocean Minerals R&D Association to the International Hydrographic Organization - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (IHO-IOC GEBCO) Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) in 2014 and 2015 with approval given in 2017.
The Philippines argue that it has jurisdiction over the five sea areas under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
But Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) chair, Hans Werner Schenke, said that United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) "has legally no explicit effect with regard to the naming of undersea features in exclusive economic zones (EEZ)."
"China's proposals followed all guidelines and rules of this office", he said.
He said that to revoke the names given by China after the names have been adopted would give precedence to other possible revisions, saying that the Philippines was left with one remaining option to reverse the names given by China.
"The only option for nullification would be a submission by China to the Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) to withdraw the names," he said.
He said that "the withdrawal of the names would require Manila to ask Beijing to withdraw the names".
In February presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, said that the Philippines had lodged its concern with China in the naming of five areas with the names, Jinghai Seamount, Tinabao Seamount, Haidonquing Seamount, Cuiqiao Hill and Jujiu Seamount.
"The Philippine embassy in Beijing has raised our concern with China", he said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang claimed in February following the Philippine rejection of the naming of five underwater areas that " China's naming of underwater areas located on the east coast of Luzon was permitted."
The Southeast Asian Times



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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What they're saying open page here

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com




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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
..5,0710
East Timor.
..0.7582
Euro..
0.6794
Hong
sKong..
.5.8808
Indonesia Rupiah
.9,997.47
Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
Papua New Guinea
..2.4033
Philippines Peso..
35.3212
Singapore dollar...
1.0308
...Baht..
26.2521
Viet
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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