ASEAN Perspectives

Officer, 4 attackers dead in Indonesia police station assault: official

PEKANBARU, Indonesia (AFP) — Four men were shot and killed as they staged an attack on a police headquarters that left one officer dead and two wounded, Indonesian authorities said Wednesday, days after a wave of deadly suicide bombings in another part of the country. The group slammed a minivan into a gate at the station in Riau on Sumatra island and then attacked officers with samurai swords, according to the country’s national police. “Four have […]

Malaysia poll win offers hope: Anwar

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim Wednesday said his country was on the verge of a new “golden era”, with the toppling of a corruption-riddled regime offering hope to people “clamouring for freedom” everywhere. But Anwar, a leading member of the People’s Justice Party that teamed with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to oust scandal-tainted premier Najib Razak, also cautioned that “one election does not a democracy make”. “I always believed in […]

19 dead in fighting between Myanmar army, rebels: military

  YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — At least 19 people have been killed in fresh clashes between Myanmar’s military and an ethnic armed group on Saturday in remote northern Shan State, Myanmar army and local sources told AFP, as fighting in the country’s borderlands intensifies. “Nineteen [people] were killed in fighting,” the military source said, adding that two-dozen had been injured. Rights defenders say clashes in northern Myanmar near the China border have ramped up in recent […]

UN Security Council team visits Rohingya in Bangladesh camps

KUTUPALONG, Bangladesh (AFP) — A UN Security Council team visited Rohingya refugees trapped in the no man’s land along the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar Sunday, as it weighs its response to one of the world’s worst refugee crises. Myanmar has faced intense international pressure since the start of a military campaign in August that has driven some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims over the border into Bangladesh, where refugees have provided harrowing testimony of murder and rape […]

SE Asia faces threats from IS, cyber-attacks, summit hears

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Southeast Asia faces “very real” threats from the Islamic State (IS) group despite their defeat in the Middle East, as well as cyber-attacks, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned Saturday as he opened a regional summit. Parts of the 10-country region, encompassing about 650 million people, have long struggled with Islamic militancy and the emergence of IS has served as a new rallying point for radicals and re-energized extremist groups. A […]

Dominguez cites urgency of harmonizing tax policies among Asia-Pacific economies

  Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III underscored the urgency of harmonizing and constantly updating tax policies and administration practices across the Asia-Pacific region to combat tax evasion against the backdrop of an increasingly borderless world. Dominguez cited, in particular, the cigarette manufacturing industry, where harnessing new tools for surveillance, the improved documentation of tax payments, and closer cooperation between tax and customs authorities are needed to check against tax fraud. In the Philippines, Dominguez said […]

PHL, Australia reaffirm commitment to war vs terror

Cayetano, Turnbull discuss human rights, the West Philippine Sea, others in bilateral meet in Sydney (Eagle News) – The Philippines and Australia reaffirmed their commitment  to fight terrorism, and discussed human rights, rule of law,  the West Philippine Sea, and people-to-people relations in their bilateral meeting in Sydney, Australia. This was according to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who represented President Rodrigo Duterte during the bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull  on […]

Australia warns on encrypted apps as Southeast Asia vows terror cooperation

by Martin Parry Agence France Presse SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Use of encrypted messaging apps to plan terrorist attacks is the greatest threat facing intelligence agencies in modern times, Australia warned Saturday as Southeast Asian leaders vowed closer cooperation to counter extremism. An ASEAN-Australia special summit in Sydney heard that use of the “dark web” was a spiralling problem and countries in the region must work together to keep on top of it. Australia’s Home […]

Indonesia makes criticizing politicians a crime

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesians could be jailed for criticizing national politicians under a new law which came into force Thursday, in what critics slammed as a major step back for the world’s third-biggest democracy. The vaguely worded bill passed the 560-member house last month but has just become official, over the objections of President Joko Widodo who refused to sign off on the controversial legislation. Widodo does not have veto power over the […]

Defense lawyers slam Malaysian police over Kim murder probe

  by M Jegathesan Agence France Presse SHAH ALAM, Malaysia (AFP) — The Malaysian police’s investigation into the murder of the North Korean leader’s estranged half-brother was “shoddy” and could result in an unfair trial, a court heard Wednesday. Defence lawyers for two young women — Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong — charged with the Cold War-style killing of Kim Jong-Nam sought to discredit the manner in which the police conducted their […]

Murder shocks Filipinas in Kuwait, but some vow to stay

    by Salima Lebel Agence France Presse KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (AFP) — The murder of a Filipina maid whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait has triggered outrage and prompted Manila to impose a departure ban for its citizens planning to work in the Gulf state. But the estimated 252,000 Filipinos and Filipinas already working in Kuwait must weigh their fear of sharing the fate of Joanne Demafelis against the potential loss […]

Abuse or unemployment: stark choice for many Philippine domestics

  by Mynardo Macaraig Agence France Presse MANILA, Philippines (AFP) — After the murder of a Philippine maid in Kuwait, domestic helpers are streaming back to Manila with tales of abusive employers — but many are still prepared to take their chances overseas again. For them, the sometimes brutal conditions and the hide-and-seek with Kuwaiti police are outweighed by the need to provide for their families at home. “The mother of my boss, she would […]