ASEAN IN FOCUS

Malaysia’s new PM Anwar: from prison to power, a dream fulfilled

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AFP) by Martin ABBUGAO / M JEGATHESAN It has been a bumpy road to the pinnacle of power for Anwar Ibrahim, who on Thursday achieved his dream of the Malaysian premiership. In his decades-long quest for the top job, the 75-year-old has tasted political triumph and defeat, led street protests for democratic reforms and strung together a multi-ethnic opposition coalition while behind bars. He was named prime minister by Malaysia’s king after […]

Opposition leader Anwar named Malaysia PM: palace

  Malaysia’s perennial opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was named prime minister on Thursday, ending a days-long political impasse after inconclusive polls. His ascension — making him the country’s fourth leader in as many years — caps a turbulent political life for Anwar, during which he served jail time on corruption and sodomy charges. “After taking into consideration the views of Their Royal Highnesses the Malay Rulers, His Majesty has given consent to appoint Anwar Ibrahim […]

US VP Harris visits Philippine island near China-claimed waters

  Puerto Princesa, Philippines | AFP | by Allison JACKSON US Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday visited a Philippine island near waters claimed by China to show support for the longtime US ally and counter Beijing’s growing influence in the region. Harris is the highest-ranking US official ever to visit the western island of Palawan, the closest Philippine landmass to the Spratly archipelago in the hotly contested South China Sea. Beijing claims sovereignty over […]

URGENT: ‘Nearly 20’ dead, 300 injured in Indonesia quake: local official

Cianjur, Indonesia | AFP | Nearly 20 people have been killed and at least 300 injured in an earthquake that rattled Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, a local official from the town worst-hit by the tremor told local media. “The information I got for now, in this hospital alone, nearly 20 died and at least 300 people are being treated. Most of them had fractures from being trapped by the ruins of buildings,” […]

URGENT: 6.9-magnitude quake strikes off western Indonesia: USGS

Notable quake, preliminary info: M 6.9 – 212 km SW of Bengkulu, Indonesia https://t.co/xddDIngaJl — USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) November 18, 2022 #Earthquake (#gempa) confirmed by seismic data.⚠Preliminary info: M6.6 || 212 km SW of #Bengkulu (#Indonesia) || 10 min ago (local time 20:37:07). Follow the thread for the updates👇 pic.twitter.com/JUoqLHd8pt — EMSC (@LastQuake) November 18, 2022 Jakarta, Indonesia | AFP | A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off western Indonesia Friday, the United States Geological Survey said, […]

Police, protesters clash as Bangkok hosts summit

  Bangkok, Thailand | AFP | Thai police fired rubber bullets Friday in clashes with dozens of protesters trying to march to the venue of an Asia-Pacific summit in Bangkok. Around 50 people demonstrating against the event and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha threw rocks, bottles and broken glass during half an hour of scuffles with hundreds of riot police. The incident took place near the Thai capital’s Democracy Monument, around eight kilometres (five miles) from […]

British, Australian and Japanese prisoners freed in Myanmar junta amnesty

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — A former British envoy, an Australian economic adviser and a Japanese journalist flew to Thailand late Thursday after being freed by Myanmar’s junta in an amnesty releasing almost 6,000 prisoners. Since a military coup last year, Myanmar has seen a bloody crackdown on dissent in which thousands of people have been jailed. Former British ambassador Vicky Bowman, Australian economic adviser Sean Turnell and Japanese journalist Toru Kubota touched down in Bangkok […]

Myanmar junta to release UK ex-ambassador, Australian and Japanese prisoners

Yangon, Myanmar (AFP) ADDS fresh quote, 200 gathered outside prison, Australian FM statement Myanmar’s military said Thursday it will release almost 6,000 prisoners, including a former British ambassador, a Japanese journalist and an Australian economics adviser, in a rare olive branch from the isolated junta. The Southeast Asian country has been in turmoil since the military’s coup last year and a bloody crackdown on dissent during which thousands have been jailed. Former British envoy Vicky […]

Leaders to watch as Malaysia heads to the polls

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | AFP | Thursday 11/17/2022 Malaysians go to the polls on Saturday after four years of fractious politics that followed the fall of jailed former prime minister Najib Razak. At stake are 222 seats in the lower house of parliament, to be decided by 21 million registered voters. Here are thumbnail portraits of the key personalities: – Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob – Ismail is the vice chief of the ruling United […]

‘Unlikely’ Poland missile fired from Russia: President Biden

  Nusa Dua, Indonesia | AFP | by Sara HUSSEIN / Sebastian Smith US President Joe Biden said Wednesday it was “unlikely” a missile strike on Poland was launched from Russia, speaking after emergency talks with allies in Bali about the deadly attack. Biden huddled with G7 and NATO partners on Wednesday, hours after the strike that killed two people in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine. “We agreed to support Poland’s investigation […]

Indonesia president tells G20 leaders they ‘must end war’

  Nusa Dua, Indonesia | AFP | Indonesian President Joko Widodo told G20 members to “end the war” as he opened a leaders’ summit Tuesday in Bali that will be dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Being responsible means creating not zero-sum situations, being responsible here also means that we must end the war. If the war does not end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward,” he told leaders ahead of […]