ASEAN IN FOCUS

Papua New Guinea bans travellers from all ‘Asian ports’ due to coronavirus scare

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — Papua New Guinea shut air and seaports to all foreign travellers coming from Asia on Wednesday, in a desperate bid to prevent the deadly coronavirus from reaching the impoverished Melanesian nation. In a note to airlines and boat operators, the ministry of immigration said “all citizens originating from the Asian ports will be refused entry to the country effective today”. The ministry also announced that Papua New Guinea’s […]

Asian nations try to shield against deadly outbreak

  Asian nations were ramping up defences against a deadly viral epidemic Tuesday, sealing borders, shuttering public places and clamping down on visitors from China. Concern over the steadily expanding contagion, which has killed over 100 in China and sickened more than 4,500, is prompting an increasingly urgent push for protection. Hong Kong, which has eight reported cases of the SARS-like disease, announced the sealing of six of its 14 border crossings to the mainland […]

Malaysia bares first 3 cases of coronavirus adding to Southeast Asian countries with confirmed infections

  (Eagle News) – Malaysia confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday, Jan. 25, saying the patients were all Chinese nationals coming from Wuhan, China. The cases were also related to the first coronavirus case in Singapore, a 66-year old man from Wuhan. With this confirmation, the countries in Southeast Asia with positive coronavirus infections are the following:  Malaysia, SIngapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The Chinese nationals who were found to be positive […]

Top UN court orders Myanmar to prevent Rohingya genocide

  by Danny KEMP Agence France Presse THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — The UN’s highest court ordered Myanmar on Thursday to do everything in its power to prevent the alleged genocide of Rohingya Muslims, as international justice stepped into the crisis for the first time. The International Court of Justice rejected arguments made by Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in The Hague in December and set out urgent steps for the majority Buddhist […]

Ten missing after migrant boat capsizes off Indonesia

PEKANBARU, Indonesia (AFP) — Ten people were missing after a boat carrying 20 migrant workers capsized off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, a search and rescue official said Thursday. The wooden vessel, which was bound for neighboring Malaysia, began taking on water when it was inundated by high waves on Tuesday evening. “There were 20 people on board — 10 of them were rescued while 10 others are still missing,” local search and rescue […]

Malaysia says, It won’t be ‘garbage dump’ as it returns waste

BUTTERWORTH, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysia has sent back 150 shipping containers of plastic waste to mostly wealthier nations, with the Southeast Asian country saying Monday it would not be the world’s “garbage dump”. The region has been flooded with plastic from more developed economies such as the United States and Britain since 2018 after China — which previously boasted a massive recycling industry — ordered a halt to most imports. Many Chinese recycling businesses moved […]

Seven killed, three missing in Indonesia bridge collapse

BENGKULU, Indonesia (AFP) — Seven people drowned and three others are missing after a bridge collapsed on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, the disaster agency said Monday. Some 30 people, mostly students, were on the bridge Sunday afternoon in the town of Kaur when the newly built crossing suddenly collapsed, hurtling some teens into the water below while others clutched on to the railing. The water level in the river below the bridge was higher than usual […]

China’s Xi stands with Myanmar despite Rohingya genocide accusations

  by Hla-Hla HTAY and Dene-Hern CHEN Agence France Presse NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (AFP) — China’s Xi Jinping doubled down on his support for fallen rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday, signing dozens of infrastructure and trade deals and meeting with the Myanmar army chief accused of overseeing a genocide against Rohingya Muslims. The Chinese president’s state visit to Myanmar’s purpose-built capital came as Western investors give a wide berth to the country due […]

Treason trial opens for Cambodia opposition leader

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AFP) — Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha stood trial for treason Wednesday, more than two years after his arrest in a highly anticipated case decried by his family as a “farce” and described by the US as politically motivated. The 66-year-old co-founded the now-banned Cambodia National Rescue Party — once considered the sole viable opponent to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) led by strongman premier Hun Sen. But Kem Sokha was […]

Flood-hit Jakarta residents sue over deadly disaster

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Jakarta’s governor has been hit with a lawsuit filed by residents of the sprawling city after torrential rain sparked floods and landslides that killed dozens and left thousands homeless, a lawyer said Tuesday. More than 200 flood victims are seeking a total of 43 billion rupiahs ($3 million) in compensation in the class action, which was filed Monday in Jakarta district court. The suit claims Governor Anies Baswedan was responsible for […]

Indonesia deploys fighter jets, warships to patrol islands near disputed South China Sea

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia has deployed fighter jets and warships to patrol islands near the disputed South China Sea, the military said Wednesday, escalating tensions with Beijing after a diplomatic spat over “trespassing” Chinese vessels. President Joko Widodo also headed Wednesday to the fishing-rich waters around the Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China despite competing claims from other Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, the […]

Cambodia building collapse death toll hits 36 as rescue called off

KEP, Cambodia (AFP) — The search for victims in the rubble of a collapsed building in southern Cambodia drew to a close Sunday with the final death toll at 36 — the latest tragedy in a string of deadly construction accidents. Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, said 23 people had been pulled alive from the rubble of the seven-storey hotel, which crumpled to the ground in seaside Kep on Friday afternoon. On Sunday rescuers also […]