ASEAN Perspectives

President Duterte, PM Mahathir discuss need for closer defense, security cooperation in ASEAN region

  (Eagle News) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad discussed “matters of mutual interest” during their meeting on Monday afternoon, July 16, in Malaysia, a day after watching the fight and phenomenal win of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. The two leaders met at 3 p.m.. Monday at the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office in Putrajaya where they “renewed and reaffirmed the long-standing brotherhood and friendship between the Philippines and Malaysia.” […]

Trump-Kim landmark summit could lead to peace and stability in Asia, says PHL Ambassador to US

  (Eagle News) – The landmark and historic summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be good for the stability of Asia, according to Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez. Noting that the summit happened on June 12, the same day as the Philippines was commemorating its 120th Philippine Independence Day, Romualdez said that this meeting between the two leaders would “lead to […]

Malaysian top judges quit as new government cleans house

  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysia’s top two judges are resigning, court officials said Wednesday, the latest senior public servants to leave their posts since the former government lost power. Chief Justice Raus Sharif and appeals court president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin are to step down on July 31, a judiciary statement said. They are the latest senior officials to quit, or be forced from, their jobs since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad won a shock election […]

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 […]