ASEAN Perspectives

Malaysian royals prepare to pick king after historic abdication

  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysia’s royals prepared Monday to pick a new king to replace Sultan Muhammad V, who abdicated in a historic first after reportedly marrying a Russian former beauty queen, holding a special gathering at the national palace. The king stepped aside Sunday following intense speculation about his future after reports surfaced in recent weeks that he had taken medical leave, and then wed the former Miss Moscow. As the country […]

Mothers of missing Vietnamese teenage girls fear daughters were sold as “child brides” in China

by Jenny Vaughan and Tran Thi Minh Ha Agence France Presse MEO VAC, Vietnam (AFP) — Vu Thi Dinh spent weeks scouring the rugged Vietnamese borderland near China after her teenage daughter vanished with her best friend, clutching a photo of the round-faced girls now feared sold as child brides. The anguished mother showed everyone she met the snap of the 16-year-old friends Dua and Di in white and red velvet dresses, the words “Falling […]

ASEAN may be forced to choose between US, China, according to Cambodia PM’s son

  BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Southeast Asian nations may soon have to “choose sides” between the US and China in their ongoing trade war, the political heir to Cambodia’s strongman ruler Hun Sen warned Wednesday in rare public comments. Impoverished Cambodia has become an unlikely staging ground for geopolitical influence in Asia. In recent years it has turned into a key China ally, heading off criticism of the superpower over its claims to disputed seas […]

Meth precursors fuelling Myanmar’s unstoppable drug trade

  YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — A flood of precursor chemicals into Myanmar is fuelling record meth production, officials said Wednesday, as the country’s multi-billion-dollar drug trade spills out across Asia-Pacific. The “Golden Triangle” — a lawless wedge of land intersecting China, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos — has for generations served as a base for opium and heroin production. But it is Myanmar’s meth production and trafficking that has skyrocketed to “alarming levels” in recent years, […]

President Duterte recognizes Filipino artists and institutions preserving cultural heritage

  President Rodrigo Duterte has recognized this year’s awardees for the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA), Philippine Heritage Award, and the Order of National Artist, noting that cultural heritage is vital to the formation of the Filipino identity. President Duterte honored seven new national artists in their respective fields: Lauro “Larry” Alcala for Visual Arts, Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio for Theater and Literature, Ryan Cayabyab for Music, Eric de Guia also known as Kidlat Tahimik for […]

PHL sends relief and humanitarian assistance to Indonesia to help quake victims

  (Eagle News) — The Philippines on Wednesday, October 10 sent off to Indonesia much needed supplies and humanitarian assistance for the victims affected by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit the country on September 28. The aid supplies were loaded onto a Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo ship. Relief goods and other assistance, including six water filtration units, six generators, 100 tents, 4,400 assorted sleeping kits, were among the supplied loaded to the […]

ASEAN explores stronger public-private partnership in Disaster Management conference

The ASEAN ministers in-charge of disaster management gathered in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Friday, October 05, 2018 for the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (COP to AADMER). Prior to this, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad opened the commemoration of the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management before the ASEAN Ministers in charge […]

No more importation of “fancy” varieties

(Eagle News) — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said he would seek a ban on the importation of “fancy” varieties next year, now that the National Food Authority is under his supervision. Secretary Emmanuel Piñol also said the NFA council approved the measure tightening the monitoring of imported rice and would ensure what enters the country is of good quality and free from infestation.

President Duterte instituting reforms to protect rights of law-abiding Filipinos, Cayetano tells UN assembly

  (Eagle News) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano told the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York of the Philippine government’s efforts in instituting reforms to protect law-abiding Filipinos in the country, as he defended the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and criminality. Cayetano said that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to “salvage” the Philippines, and preventing it from becoming a narco-state. “As a sovereign and democratic country led […]

EU launches Asia strategy to rival China’s ‘new Silk Road’

  by Damon Wake Agence France Presse BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — As doubts grow over China’s vast “Belt and Road” trade infrastructure project, the EU is launching an alternative plan for Asia that it says will not saddle countries with debt they cannot repay. EU member countries are expected to sign off on the new “Asia connectivity strategy” — which aims to improve transport, digital and energy links while promoting environmental and labor standards — […]

Protection of OFWs, $140-M investments secured: Duterte cites benefits of historic visits to Israel and Jordan

  (Eagle News) – The commitment to protect the country’s thousands of overseas Filipino Workers in Israel and Jordan, $140 million in combined investments, cooperation in the defense and the fight against terrorism, education, labor and human resources, as well as the respect and strengthened friendship for the Philippines by the two important Middle East countries. These were just among what Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said were his achievements in his successful trip to Israel […]