Asean Morning News For March 30

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 30
Estimated Reading Time: 36 minutes |

Asean Morning News is the most comprehensive selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today.

 

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday

 

ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Malaysia-EU Trade, Myanmar Insurance Sector, and Indonesia Tax Compliance
Malaysian and EU authorities expect the proposed Malaysia-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will increase trade volumes from 10 percent to 20-30 percent. The growth is based on EU’s existing FTA with South Korea, which grew by 35 percent in the last five years. Both South Korea and Malaysia have similar EU trade volumes.
— ASEAN Briefing

Trump’s Real ASEAN Test
Given the unprecedented attention that former U.S. President Barack Obama paid to Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in U.S. Asia policy, it was always going to be a challenge for the Trump administration to match its predecessor’s level of engagement with the subregion and for the chattering classes to accept that sobering reality.
— The Diplomat

How Asean’s vision can jive with China’s belt and road initiative
Asean members face a number of challenges, including internal divisions and the fact that good infrastructure is desperately needed for smaller and poorer members to attract foreign direct investment.
— The Straits Times

ASEAN talks South China Sea in Siem Reap
Chinese and ASEAN representatives are meeting in Siem Reap to begin hammering out a code of conduct for the highly contested South China Sea.
— The Phnom Penh Post

ASEAN SOMRI institutes mechanisms to strengthen cooperation in promoting ASEAN vision, identity
he ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information (SOMRI) have agreed to establish mechanisms that will strengthen coordination among its community pillars to further promote the vision and identity of the ASEAN region.
— Philippine Canadian Inquirer

 

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Phnom Penh Property Market Glut
Phnom Penh’s mushrooming property market is set for a massive crash with new apartment prices set to plummet by up to 50 per cent over the course of this year compared with March 2016 prices.
– AEC News Today

Higher skills for a busy aviation sector
In its first two months of regular operation Cambodia’s first civil aviation training centre has provided certificates to dozens of aviation officials and airport staff, helping to raise the skill level of personnel in the Kingdom’s fast-expanding aviation sector.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Oil firm ready to ink production-sharing agreement
Executives at Singapore-listed energy firm KrisEnergy Ltd say they have settled terms with the Cambodian government and are ready to sign a long-awaited production-sharing agreement that would pave the way for the first-ever extraction of petroleum from Cambodian territorial waters.
— The Phnom Penh Post

UN Says Party Law Contravenes International Law, Calls for Overhaul
Breaking its silence on the government’s controversial am­endments to Cambodia’s Law on Political Parties, the U.N.’s human rights office this week said the changes breached several of the country’s obligations under international law—maybe even its own Constitution—and recommended a thorough overhaul.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Government Comes Down Hard On CNRP Leadership
The Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that it would not recognize Kem Sokha as CNRP president or three other opposition lawmakers as deputy presidents, promising “further measures” that analysts say could sideline the party in upcoming commune elections.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia’s government increases pressure on opposition
Cambodia’s interior ministry on Wednesday told the main opposition party its leader had been elected illegally and it must change its campaign slogan ahead of local elections.
— Reuters

ASIA’S FUTURE CITIES: Cambodian start-up introduces anti-pollution masks
Every day, millions of people in Phnom Penh fill their lungs with bad air.
Whenever they breathe – roughly about 30,000 times a day for an adult – their respiratory system becomes exposed to harmful pollutants hovering over the city.
— Channel NewsAsia

Cambodia’s ban on breast milk sales throws spotlight on growing international trade
Cambodian authorities have permanently banned the sale and export of human breast milk after suspending exports from a US company that has been collecting it from impoverished mothers for more than two years.
— The Sydney Morning Herald

Still no answers 20 years after Cambodia’s deadly grenade attack
Thursday marks 20 years since a vicious grenade attack carried out on a Cambodian opposition party protest left 16 people dead and hundreds more wounded.
— Southeast Asia Globe

Is Cambodia’s property market set to crash?
As well as heading Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar operations for power tool giant Bosch, AndAlre de Jong is chairman of the Real Estate and Construction Committee of Eurocham Cambodia. He discusses Cambodia’s real estate boom, health and safety issues in the industry and developing Cambodia’s picturesque coast
— Southeast Asia Globe

Swedish aid agency offers funds for SMEs
Sweden’s development agency will provide $7 million to foster the development of small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Cambodia, according to state-run news agency AKP.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia signs deal with Chinese province
The Cambodian government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with officials from China’s Shaanxi province aimed at bolstering trade and tourism, according to a release yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Sugar Plantation in Preah Vihear Suspected in Mass Fish Deaths
The Environment Ministry is studying water samples from Preah Vihear province to find out what has been killing thousands of fish in the Stung Sen River, where villagers are reportedly blaming a sugarcane plantation.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

After Sok An’s Death, Bin Chhin’s Duties Continue to Grow
The portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin has grown again after he was handed a handful of new jobs on Tuesday, including advising the prime minister on anti-corruption efforts and overseeing the Council of Jurists and “one-window” service for foreign investors.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Hun Sen Calls for ‘Peaceful, Free and Fair’ Election
Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for peaceful local commune elections ahead of the vote in June. He called on Cambodians, officials and the armed forces to ensure a stable environment during the election campaign.
— VOA

Cambodia’s Government On Board With Opposition Congress: CNRP
Cambodia’s government has no objections to the results of an extraordinary congress held by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) earlier this month to appoint new leadership, the CNRP said Wednesday.
— Radio Free Asia

Explore Ancient Cambodia with the Newly Renovated All-Suite Anantara Angkor Resort
Anantara Angkor Resort reopens as Siem Reap’s premier all-suite boutique resort and gateway to the heart of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer Empire.
PR Newswire (press release)

The Angkor Wat Alternative: Exploring Cambodia’s Forgotten Ruins
The Khmer Empire was successful in building what seems to be the largest religious monument in the world, gradually becoming the symbol and icon of Cambodia. It’s no wonder why many tourists would want to visit the famous Angkor Wat temples.
— Travelers Today

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

Indonesian Tax Amnesty Program Set to End Friday
About 10 percent of Indonesians are registered taxpayers and only about one million report their taxes to the government.
— Voice of America

Citibank Indonesia Booked 46% Profit Increase in 2016
Citibank Indonesia, a local unit of global banking giant Citi, saw a 46.2 percent increase in net income last year due to strong growth in interest and operational income streams.
— Jakarta Globe

Gov’t Focuses in Improving the Ease of Doing Business
The Indonesian Government is focused in improving its ease of doing business indicator by reforming its tax and customs service sector. “The Finance Ministry has two, customs and taxation. Cross border transfer and the ease to pay tax,” says Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
— Tempo

Antam Gets Initial Clearance for Indonesia Nickel Ore Exports: Official
Indonesia’s state-owned miner Aneka Tambang (Antam) has been granted an initial approval to export up to 2.7 million tonnes of nickel ore over the next 12 months, a mining ministry official said on Wednesday (29/03).
— Jakarta Globe

House Speaker Highlights Indonesia-France Trade Value
The Indonesian House of Representatives supports the increased level of partnership between Indonesia and France ever since both countries signed a strategic partnership back in July 2011. Bilateral relations between both countries have always improved.
— Tempo.co

ERTH WIRE — Indonesia, France to conduct joint research to develop renewable energy
The Indonesian Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology has agreed here, Wednesday, to conduct joint research with Frances Commission of the Alternative and Atomic Energies to develop renewable energy.
— Antara News

Indonesia stocks hit record high, Singapore near 20-month peak
Indonesian stocks hit a record high on Wednesday while Singapore shares climbed to their highest in nearly 20 months as data showing strong U.S. consumer confidence boosted sentiment in export-reliant Asian economies.
— The Star Online

ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Malaysia-EU Trade, Myanmar Insurance Sector, and Indonesia Tax Compliance
Malaysian and EU authorities expect the proposed Malaysia-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will increase trade volumes from 10 percent to 20-30 percent. The growth is based on EU’s existing FTA with South Korea, which grew by 35 percent in the last five years.
— ASEAN Briefing

Indonesia in Tentative Deal for Airbus A400M Military Planes
Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to buy Airbus A400M military aircraft, French President Francois Hollande’s office said on Wednesday. The provisional agreement was signed during a visit to Indonesia by Hollande and covers an unspecified number of aircraft, according to a list of deals issued by his office.
— Netral News

How Indonesia Boosts Its Ranking in EODB
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) here on Wednesday urged to speed up efforts to improve Ease of Doing Business (EODB) indicators to boost Indonesia’s ranking.
— Netral News

Indonesia rising as import partner
Each new presidential administration has the opportunity to define its strategic and security interests and priorities. Though focus is high on challenges the U.S. faces in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, and Asia, there is one nation we must see as critically important to American security and economic interests: Indonesia.
— The Missouri Times

PT Dirgantara, Airbus Helicopters Hand over Chopper Units to TNI
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) together with Airbus Helicopters handed over a number of helicopters to the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). Specifically one H215M, two units of H225M, two Fennec combat helicopters, and two AS565 MBe Panther in basic its platforms, from Airbus’ first batch of production.
— Tempo

DCNS Energies and PT AIR Strengthen their Cooperation to Develop A Tidal Energy Industry in Indonesia
Alongside the visit to Indonesia by the French President, François Hollande, DCNS Energies and PT AIR (ptair.co.id) have signed a Letter of Intent designed to deliver a roadmap for the engineering, industrial development and commercial ramp-up of a tidal energy industry in Indonesia.
— Newswire Today (press release)

Logos begins expansion into Indonesia with $130m development
Logos has bought its first development site in Indonesia, soon after the logistics specialist was given US$400m (€371m) in funding from two Canadian institutional investors.
— IP Real Estate

Thousands of anti-coal activists march in Jakarta, deliver complaints to anti-graft agency
Around 2,000 people from across the Indonesian archipelago gathered in Jakarta last week to call for investigations into cases of alleged corruption in the coal and mineral industry. Demonstrators visited the office of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), bringing forward cases related to Indonesia’s extractive industries.
— Mongabay

Indonesia: Creador “closely monitors” tech sector, toying with idea of creating digital fund, says president director, Cyril Noerhadi
Indonesia’s private equity market experienced a minor slump last year, recording $1.6 billion, a slight pullback from 2015’s $2.1 billion, but still with internet sector receiving about one third of total investments. Go-Jek, an Indonesian unicorn startup, led with the highest deal value, pocketing $550 million from KKR and Warburg Pincus.
— Deal Street Asia

Swedish defense firm launches defense studies scholarship
Swedish defense and security company Saab will provide a scholarship to 20 Indonesians – both civilians and members of the military – who are interested in defense studies.
— Jakarta Post

Singapore tops list of countries where rich Indonesians stashed funds
Singapore topped the list of countries where rich Indonesians stashed money and assets, according to figures on the country’s tax amnesty programme from its finance ministry this week.
— The Straits Times

Asian Muslims cast a wary eye on Trump’s travel ban
When Annisa Rochadiat made a recent trip to Japan, she was worried about whether she would be able to re-enter the U.S. The Indonesian national has been living in Detroit for the past few years, and this was the first time she had traveled outside America since Donald Trump took office as U.S. president in late January.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Over 500 Hindu inmates across Indonesia granted remissions for Nyepi
A number of Hindu prisoners in Indonesia are receiving prison sentence remissions in honor of the Balinese Hindu New Year, Nyepi, which fell on Tuesday.
— Coconuts Bali

Alarming Increase in Gang Rape Cases, Child Sexual Abuse in Indonesia
The number of gang rape cases has increased since 2015, Witness and Victim Protection Agency, or LPSK, and child rights watchdog report.
— Jakarta Globe

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Isuzu Believes Strategy Used by Tripetch Will Secure Market Share in Laos
The management of Tripetch ISUZU Sales, a partnership between Mitsubishi Corporation and Isuzu Motors (Japan), strongly believes that the marketing strategy it has used for three decades will help ISUZU secure a strong place in the small but tough market of Laos.
— Lao News Agency

LAK 11.6 Billion from Leaders’ Car Auction Transferred to Treasury
The Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday that over 11.6 billion kip (USD 1.4 million) raised through the recently held leaders’ car auction has been transferred to the national treasury.
— Lao News Agency

Rail freight set to cut transport costs significantly
The transport of goods by railway could cut costs by 30 to 50 percent of the current charges for road transportation, a senior government official has said.
— Vientiane Times

Billions of kip embezzled in Savannakhet
At least 20 finance officials in Savannakhet province have been found guilty of spending billions of kip of state money on personal affairs, according to a report released this week.
— Vientiane Times

Review: A non-fiction look at the CIA war in Laos
The war in Laos (1961-1975) brought the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Hmong together as allies when the agency engaged the Hmong to fight the North Vietnamese and the Communist Pathet Lao.
— The Detroit News

Laos builds botanical gardens
Vientiane tourism authorities are planning to open a botanical garden to boost attractions for both tourists and residents in the capital city.
— TTR Weekly

Project development fund for investment in CLMV countries
The government today said it has created a project development fund (PDF) to facilitate Indian investment in four countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
— India.com

Lao Villagers Face Eviction From Dam Sites After Refusing ‘Unfair’ Compensation
Residents of three villages in southern Laos are facing forced removal from their homes by the end of March if they fail to move from the sites of planned dams to an area they are calling unsuitable for farming, sources in the Southeast Asian country say.
— Radio Free Asia

New tourist attraction to boost economy in Khong district
Authorities in Khong district, Champassak province, are confident that a new tourist attraction will help to draw more visitors and generate income for public and private investors.
— Vientiane Times

Social security fund to increase payments for health services
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) will pay more to hospitals for health services following a new agreement reached between the fund and participating hospitals yesterday.
— Vientiane Times

Training Course Held on Effects of Using Asbestos
The Lao Federation of Trade Union (LFTU), in cooperation with the Union Aid Abroad- APHEDA, held a training course on understanding the health impact of using asbestos for trainers of the LFTU.
— Lao News Agency

More Vientiane Residents Donate Blood to Save Lives
Many Vientiane residents joined a blood donation campaign to mark the two year anniversary of Vientiane Center Shopping Center in Vientiane Capital on March 28.
— Lao News Agency

 

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Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Malaysia may ease rules on short-selling of govt bonds
Malaysia is considering easing rules on the short-selling of government bonds to deepen domestic financial markets and revive interest in its debt.
— The Star Online

Malaysia’s insurance sector likely to consolidate further
Further consolidation may be in the cards for the Malaysian insurance industry in the years to come as measures to strengthen local insurers and make them more efficient as well as resilient are implemented.
— The Star Online

US firms upbeat on Malaysia prospects
AMERICAN corporates are upbeat about their future investments in Malaysia, especially with the digital economy agenda, which they believe will lift the Malaysian economy to new heights.
— New Straits Times

Bison Consolidated in segment with less competition: Maybank IB Research
Maybank IB Research is keeeping its buy call on Bison Consolidated Bhd with a target price of RM2.25 as the firm has seen 1QFY17 revenue grow and is a player in the convenience retail channel space where there is less competition.
— New Straits Times

Parliament passes Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2016
The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2016, which among others, protects social guarantors from being declared bankrupt, was passed by Parliament today.
— Malay Mail Online

Zahid: Over 1.8 million foreigners working legally in Malaysia
Malaysia deported 70,000 illegal immigrants in 2016 and now has over 1.8 million foreign workers legally here, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysia’s DRB-Hicom says detailed evaluation of Proton bids underway
Malaysian business conglomerate DRB-Hicom is still evaluating all bids for a foreign strategic partner (FSP) to turn around its ailing automotive company Proton Holdings Bhd, a search that may end by first half of this year.
— Deal Street Asia

Exclusive: Malaysia inspects North Korean coal ship for possible U.N. sanctions breach
Malaysia briefly prevented a North Korean ship carrying coal from entering its port in Penang because of a suspected breach of United Nations sanctions, a port worker and Malaysian maritime officials told Reuters on Wednesday
— Reuters

Malaysia in ‘sensitive’ talks with North Korea after Kim Jong Nam murder: Najib
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said Wednesday (March 30) his government was engaged in “very sensitive” talks with North Korea over nine Malaysians being prevented from leaving Pyongyang after the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam.
— Today Online

25 years’ jail for duo behind Malaysia terror act
Two men have been sentenced to 25 years in jail each for throwing a hand grenade and injuring eight people at the Movida nightclub in Puchong last year.
— The Straits Times

RM 55bil East coast rail kicks off
The East Coast Rail Line (ECRL), estimated at RM55bil and the largest ever railway project to be undertaken by the private sector, is poised to kick off.
— The Star Online

Foreign funds invest RM4.7bil in Bursa Malaysia
Foreign investors have pumped some RM4.7bil into Bursa Malaysia year to date.
— The Star Online

Worldwide Holdings signs 10-year deal to rehabilitate, preserve landfill in Sabak Bernam
Worldwide Holdings Bhd (Worldwide Holdings), in a joint effort with Sabak Bernam District Council (MDSB) today, has signed a 10-year agreement to rehabilitate and preserve the existing non-sanitary landfill at Panchang Bedena in Sabak Bernam.
— New Straits Times

Ringgit opens weaker against US dollar
The ringgit opened weaker against the US dollar today on mild profit-taking and lack of demand for the local note.
— New Straits Times

UM aims to be among world’s top 100 universities by 2020
Now inside Asia’s best 100 universities according to Times Higher Education (THE), Universiti Malaya is looking to enter the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings in coming years.
— Malay Mail Online

Najib chairs BN Supreme Council meeting
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight chairs the Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting at Menara Dato’ Onn here.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysia intercepts N. Korean coal ship
Malaysia briefly prevented a North Korean ship carrying coal from entering its port in Penang because of a suspected breach of United Nations sanctions, a port worker and Malaysian maritime officials told Reuters yesterday.
— The Straits Times

Malaysian PM highlights bilateral ties with China
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday highlighted his country’s relations with China, saying the bilateral ties are of strategic importance.
— Xinhua

 

Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Myanmar opens first biomass power plant
Myanmar has utilised Japanese know-how to open its first biomass gasification power plant in its capital city Nay Pyi Taw.
— Bangkok Post

Myanma Railways to run express trains in Mandalay-Myitkyina
Myanma Railways will run express trains for the Mandalay-Myitkyina route in fiscal 2017-2018, according to the railway system, which operates under the ministry of Transport and Communications.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Malaysia-EU Trade, Myanmar Insurance Sector, and Indonesia Tax Compliance
Malaysian and EU authorities expect the proposed Malaysia-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will increase trade volumes from 10 percent to 20-30 percent. The growth is based on EU’s existing FTA with South Korea, which grew by 35 percent in the last five years.
— ASEAN Briefing

Military drill carries China’s message for Myanmar peace
China launched a military drill near its border with Myanmar aimed at “testing the troops’ capabilities in rapid manoeuvre, precise destruction, vertical blockade, and joint strikes” on Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
— Global Times

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi receives World Bank delegation
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar received a delegation led by Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank (WB) Group at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Indian state parliament wants Myanmar to scrap boundary project
Parliament in India’s northeastern Nagaland State has appealed to the New Delhi government to persuade Myanmar to stop building a fence along the border, media reports said.
— Frontier Myanmar

Growing expectations on Myanmar’s civilian government
On Thursday (Mar 31), Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy government will mark one year in office. What has the NLD achieved so far, and where has it fallen short?
— Channel NewsAsia

Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has lost her voice
I’m writing this sitting in a Yangon hotel that I’ve been to many times. The first, was the most memorable because I was chased through the lobby by the Special Branch of Myanmar’s police who had followed me from the headquarters of the National League for Democracy where I had interviewed Aung San Suu Kyi just after her release from house arrest.
— Aljazeera

Myanmar population will reach 65m by 2050 : survey
Myanmar’s total population will reach about 65 million in 2050, according to a survey conducted by the Population Department under the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population.
— The Nation

Annan commission offers a glimmer of hope for Rakhine
AS THE Advisory Commission on Rakhine State noted in its interim report released on March 16, “various issues have complicated its work” over the past six months. The October 9 attacks and military clearance operations, a boycott by some Rakhine hardliners, and increased tension between domestic and international actors – just to name a few.
— Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar Now Journalist Demands Authorities Take Action Against U Wirathu
Myanmar Now chief correspondent Ko Swe Win has requested the government take action against U Wirathu, claiming the ultranationalist monk has broken laws and defamed Buddhism.
— The Irrawaddy

Fiscal Year 2017-18: a New Dawn for Economic Policies
The new fiscal year will start on April 1, which also marks the start of new laws and economic policies for Myanmar. The new Myanmar Investment Law, which was recently passed, will come into effect on April 1 and its implementation and enactment will spell changes for the country’s businesses and investors.
— Consult-Myanmar

Eighty-eight Myanmar fishermen brought home from India safely
Eighty-eight Myanmar fishermen who had been detained at the Open Distress Camps in India for violating the law of India were repatriated yesterday.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visits Kachin IDP camps
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi made a rare visit to Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, and camps of internally displaced persons (IDP) on March 28.
— Myanmar Times

Sagaing Region reclaiming nearly 1,000 acres of land for landless farmers
Sagaing Region is reclaiming nearly 1,000 acres of land for landless farmers and upgrading the existing farmlands this financial year, according to the regional ministry of agriculture, livestock and irrigation.
— Eleven

46m people in Myanmar now use the internet, up 10m from last year
The number of internet users in Myanmar has jumped by 10 million over the past year, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Transport and Communications acquired by Eleven.
— Coconuts Yangon

Finance committee wants golf budget cut
The committee for finance, planning and economy told the Yangon Region parliament on March 28 not to allow Ks 550 million (US $400,000) asked by the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) for the maintenance of two golf courses.
— Eleven

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Duterte promotes martial law as cure to PH ills
Three turbulent decades after the Philippines shed dictatorship, President Rodrigo Duterte is offering a return to authoritarian rule as a solution to all the problems that democracy has failed to fix.
— Inquirer.Net

Duterte hints at amnesty for Reds
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday floated the idea of giving amnesty to communist rebels, days before the expected resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front.
— ABS-CBN

PHL rating affirmed, GDP forecast hiked
THE PHILIPPINES yesterday got a shot in the arm amid nagging political noise, as Fitch Ratings, Inc. affirmed the country’s credit standing and S&P Global Ratings raised its growth forecast anew.
— Business World Online

PAL approves equity restructuring
The board of directors of the parent firm of Philippine Airlines (PAL) has approved an equity restructuring to remove both existing and additional deficit to be incurred after the acquisition of Zuma Holdings and Management Corp. and subsidiary Air Philippines.
— Phil Star

Manpower crunch crimps construction sector
CONSTRUCTION companies are experiencing an unprecedented “tightness” in the supply of skilled workers that threatens to derail the real estate sector’s growth momentum and the government’s ambitious infrastructure program.
— Business World Online

Philippines ‘Not Afraid to Show Interest’ in Russian Weapons
Victor Kladov, director of international cooperation and regional policy at Rostec State Corporation, spoke with Sputnik in an interview saying that Russia is gaining popularity among the countries that it has never cooperated with before but are now “literally knocking on [their] door.” One such country is the Philippines.
— Sputnik International

MPTDC raises stake in TMC to 67%
The toll road unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is increasing its stake in Tollways Management Corp. (TMC) to 67 percent from 60 percent through the acquisition of shares worth over P400 million.
— Phil Star

DoF seeks reconsideration of SC wage ruling
According to Finance Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Y.C. Joven, the DoF has not drafted rules for the tax refunds to minimum wage earners (MWEs), as it is still waiting for the SC to act upon its motion following its receipt of the decision last month.
— Business World Online

Duterte confronts US over SChina Sea
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday hit the United States anew, this time for failing to stop Beijing’s island-building activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
— The Manila Times

Local shares end flat amid lack of strong leads
THE MAIN INDEX traded flat on Wednesday, failing to follow the rebound of US markets due to strong data coupled with an affirmation of two more Federal Reserve rate hikes this year.
— Business World Online

DILG Usec. Hinlo appeals for lot donors for additional jail facilities
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary for Public Safety Jesus Hinlo Jr. appealed before local government units (LGUs) to donate lands for the construction of jail facilities and consequently address jail congestion.
— Manila Bulletin

DFA twice denied China’s bid to explore Benham Rise
THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday bared it had rejected China’s request to conduct scientific research at Benham Rise twice and that the reported activity of Chinese survey ships in the area last year may not have had permission from the agency.
— The Manila Times

Creation of new department urged to handle PH’s maritime assets
National Security Council (NSC) Director-General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. asked Congress on Thursday, March 30 to create a Department of Maritime Resources and Ocean Affairs (DRMOA) that will deal with various problems and strategies to protect and harness the potentials of the countries’ maritime assets, including the 24-million hectare undersea Benham Rise in the Pacific ocean and West Philippine Sea territories.
— Manila Bulletin

Deployment of Filipino HSWs on the rise
The deployment of newly-hired Filipino household service workers (HSW) abroad continues to increase even after the country lost one of its major markets in the Middle East.
— Manila Bulletin

Dengue cases dip 67.9 % in Caraga
Dengue fever, the dreaded mosquito-borne disease, has dipped in the region to almost 70 percent according to the recent data released by the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office 13.
— Manila Bulletin

Rights violations involving police officers on the rise
After declining in the last two years, the number of policemen accused of human rights violations rose in the first quarter of 2017, according to data from the Philippine National Police-Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP-HRAO).
— Inquirer.Net

‘Chinese research in Benham still a mystery’
What a Chinese research vessel did during its three-month expedition at Benham Rise last year remains a mystery to the Philippine government, even as security officials have maintained the incident did not pose any threat to the country’s sovereignty.
— Phil Star

Gov’t to borrow P180 B, seeks longer tenor bonds
The government is set to borrow P180 billion from the domestic market through the sale of T-bonds and T-bills in the second quarter, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said yesterday.
— Phil Star

Philippines to raise China reclamation in talks
The Philippines on Thursday, March 30, said it will raise China’s reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) when the two countries begin one-on-one talks in May.
— Rappler

‘Gina Lopez may have violated Mining Act’
Embattled Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has ordered suspended mining companies to put up non-government organizations (NGOs) for the rehabilitation of affected areas – an apparent violation of the 1995 Mining Act.
— Phil Star

Philippines: Rabies outbreak declared in Negros Occidental town
Two people have died from rabies in the town of Cauayan, Negros Occidental province prompting the declaration of an outbreak, according to a Philippines media account.
— Outbreak News Today

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Singapore tops list of countries where rich Indonesians stashed funds
Singapore topped the list of countries where rich Indonesians stashed money and assets, according to figures on the country’s tax amnesty programme from its finance ministry this week.
The Straits Times 

Singapore Changi Airport’s passenger movements up 1.5% in Feb
SINGAPORE Changi Airport handled 4.67 million passenger movements in February 2017, up 1.5 per cent from a year ago.
The Business Times

Singapore government warns digital revolution will impact jobs
Country must be prepared for jobs and middle-class white-collar wages to be affected, says Singapore’s smart nation minister, as he reveals plans for 10,000 government employees to be trained in data science.
ZDNet 

Singapore’s first Zika cluster of 2017 reported at Simon Place
Two cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infections have been confirmed at Simon Place in Hougang, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (Mar 29).
Channel NewsAsia

Win Streak May Continue For Singapore Shares
The Singapore stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost 60 points or 1.9 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just below the 3,185-point plateau, and the market may see continued support on Thursday.
RTT News 

The Weird Reason Singapore Is the World’s Most Expensive City
The Economist’s Intelligence Unit recently published its list of the most expensive cities on earth, and once again Singapore has landed on top of the world.
Money 

Singapore to Host World’s Top Business Leaders at 2018 YPO EDGE
YPO, the world’s premier peer network of chief executives, announced today that Singapore will be the host city for YPO’s flagship event, YPO EDGE, bringing more than 2,700 young business leaders and delegates to the city in March 2018 and marking the second time Singapore will host YPO’s landmark annual event.
NewsMaker 

Samsung Galaxy S8 unveil: 5 things to know
Electronics giant Samsung on Wednesday (Mar 29) threw the covers off its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, with much of its fortunes – at least in the mobile phone space – riding on it being a hit with consumers.
Channel NewsAsia 

Over 200 retrenched Singaporeans find new jobs since start of 2017
Some 230 countries retrenched workers were able to find jobs since the start of the year, through the help of the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation.
HRD Sinapore

NUS to train 2,000 Singapore civil servants in data science annually
The National University of Singapore (NUS) will provide data science training to 2,000 public officers annually, under a new memorandum of intent (MOI) it signed with the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) on Wednesday (Mar 29).
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore partners with Bahrain to develop a fintech ecosystem
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) inked a partnership with fintech incubator and ecosystem builder Singapore Fintech Consortium (SFC) to establish a fintech ecosystem and regulatory framework.
Singapore Business Review 

Indonesia stocks hit record high, Singapore near 20-month peak
Indonesian stocks hit a record high on Wednesday while Singapore shares climbed to their highest in nearly 20 months as data showing strong U.S. consumer confidence boosted sentiment in export-reliant Asian economies.
The Star 

Dynamic pricing less than attractive for cabbies
After trying out the new JustGrab service launched for beta-testing a week ago, cabbies said they would be more judicious about accepting such bookings, noting that they are less profitable.
Today Online 

URA to develop Kallang River into lifestyle hub
At Kallang Distripark in Geylang Bahru Road sits the dull, boxlike shape of a disused rubber factory that has been converted into a warehouse.
The New Paper 

Singapore to host YPO EDGE again
The Young Presidents’ Organisation’s (YPO) landmark YPO EDGE event, which brings together more than 2,700 young business leaders, will be held in Singapore next March.
The New Paper 

Customer satisfaction in Singapore up at 71.8 points
The national customer satisfaction score in Singapore rose to 71.8 points in 2016, driven by increases across all sectors except Logistics and Private Education, data from the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore (CSISG) showed.
Singapore Business Review 

SCCCI aims to strike balance between firms’ concerns and current economic transition
MANY smaller, older companies here are now at a fork in the road to survival, and the newly-installed president of one of Singapore’s largest chambers of commerce knows that in order to help them, his chamber must “strike a balance” between their worries and the government’s
The Business Times 

Profits before legacy for family businesses in Singapore: survey
A new report by KPMG and CPA Australia on Singapore family businesses found that 93 per cent of business founders surveyed said continued profitability was more important than preserving their legacy.
The Business Times 

Man decapitated from 15th-storey hotel room fall
A Malaysian businessman staying at Hotel Boss in Jalan Sultan was woken up from his sleep early yesterday morning by the commotion in a room nearby.
The New Paper 

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

 

MPC ups GDP growth forecast, keeps policy rate
THE BANK of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) revised up its forecast for this year’s economic growth to 3.4 per cent based on a further recovery of merchandise exports, while leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent at its meeting yesterday.
— The Nation

Escalated sea patrol to protect giant clams from poachers
Marine park officials at Phi-Phi islands have stepped up sea patrolling to watch out for poachers who are trying to steal giant clams and rare fish to feed the appetite of some Chinese tourists.
– Thai PBS

Call for superhighway to help move to 5G
Thailand urgently needs development of a digital information superhighway to support the transition in consumer lifestyles in the upcoming 5G era, says a key official.
— Bangkok Post

PPP Committee wants 6 more transport projects fast-tracked
THE PUBLIC Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Committee yesterday resolved to place six more transportation projects worth Bt600 billion on the fast track for implementation.
— The Nation

Transport Ministry prepared for public van strike
The Minister of Transport has assured the office is ready if public transport vans go on strike in April and has affirmed to adhere to the government’s policy on improving transport for the public.
– NNT

Alibaba plans trade centre in Thai
E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba Group is still investing in Thailand, planning to set up a regional electronic-trade centre and logistics system here to link Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) markets, Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said.
— The Nation

Attorney-General to announce whether to pursue criminal charges against Red Bull heir “Boss” today
The Office of the Attorney-General says it will make an announcement on whether to pursue criminal charges against Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, 31, after a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a police officer four years ago.
– Thai PBS

OAG to announce whether to indict Red Bull heir tomorrow
The Office of the Attorney General will announce tomorrow (Thursday) whether to indict heir of Red Bull energy drink empire Worayuth Yoowitthaya alias Boss in connection with a fatal road accident in which one traffic policeman was crushed to death on Sukhumvit road five years ago.
– Thai PBS

National oil company would be in ‘national interest’
General Akanit Muensawat, spokesman of the National Legislative Assembly’s (NLA) committee on energy affairs, insisted that the provision for the establishment of a national oil company would follow a thorough study and was in the national interest.
— The Nation

Alro clears wind farm development
The Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) said Wednesday that 16 wind farm projects located on Sor Por Kor government land are legal and can continue as planned.
— Bangkok Post

No bail yet for ex-TAT governor and daughter
The Appeals Court has not granted bail for former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan and her daughter, Jitsopha, after they were sentenced to 50 years and 44 years imprisonment respectively on corruption charges.
– Thai PBS

THAI Smile to sync with parent’s GDS
THAI Smile is on course to adopt a new booking system in common with parent Thai Airways International (THAI) in June.
— Bangkok Post

Prawit defends sub purchase
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has dismissed criticism of the purchase of Chinese-made submarines, and insists the purchasing process is transparent.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand looks set to host MotoGP round in 2018
Thailand looks set to be the latest country to be granted a MotoGP race for 2018, with the Chang International Circuit the venue.
GPxtra (press release)

RETHINK USE OF ABSOLUTE POWER, UN RIGHTS COMMITTEE TELLS THAILAND
Thailand’s military government should reconsider the use of absolute power and end all military trials of civilians, the UN Human Rights Committee recommended Tuesday night.
Khaosod English

Special stamp collection introduced commemorating King Rama 9
hailand Post has joined hands with the Office of the Royal Projects Development Board (RPDB) to create the “In Celebration of the 70 Year Reign” stamp collection honoring His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his achievement as the world’s longest reigning monarch.
– NNT

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Vietnam’s Economy Takes Knock as Samsung Production Drops
Vietnam’s economy grew at a slower pace than economists estimated in the first quarter as industrial output eased and Samsung Electronics Co. cut production of smartphones.
Bloomberg 

Vietnam’s growth slows down to 5.1 percent in Q1
Vietnam posted a gross domestic growth (GDP) rate of 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2017, signalling a slowdown compared to the first-quarter rates of 6.12 percent in 2015 and 5.48 percent in 2016.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam welcomes over 3 million foreign visitors in Q1
Vietnam welcomed more than 3 million foreign visitors in the first quarter of 2017, a 30 percent increase from the same period last year, official data showed. Over 70 percent of arrivals were from Asian countries.
VnExpress 

Vietnam’s PM orders investigation into latest Chinese tour scams
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the northern province of Quang Ninh to investigate reports of Chinese tour scams following a sudden jump in the number of Chinese visitors in March.
VnExpress

Changes needed to ensure sustainable agriculture
The slow growth of the agricultural sector starting in 2015, shortcomings of small-scale production, poor quality and productivity amid fiercer global competition are threatening the sustainability of farming in Viet Nam and demanding institutional and mechanism changes.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Japan’s Hitachi, SMBC launching e-money system in Vietnam
Hitachi and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. of Japan as well as Vietnam Post in mid-April will begin offering an e-money pension payment system in the Southeast Asian nation.
Nikkei Asian Review 

Food safety remains an issue in Vietnam, report says
A new report from the World Bank highlights the risk of consuming tainted meat products from wet markets in Vietnam.
VnExpress 

Vietnam, Japan ink MoU to boost tourism
The two sides were represented by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO).
VietNamNet Bridge 

5,000 health insurance cards issued with incorrect information
Local health insurance authorities of the central province of Nghệ An have issued some 5,000 health insurance cards with wrong personal information, the provincial authority has said.
Viet Nam News 

India, Vietnam call truce in trade spat; Delhi pledges pest-free goods
India has decided to extend the hand of reconciliation to Vietnam to avoid a repetition of a recent spat which both countries banning each other’s farm products, including coffee beans and peanuts.
The Hindu Business Online 

Vietnam receives great attention from Korean investors
Director of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) in Hanoi Park Chul Ho made the remark in an interview granted to Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) newspaper on the occasion of the RoK’s participation in the Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2017) in April as an honourary country.
VietNamNet Bridge

Ministry tightens regulations on guest worker providers
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will tighten regulations to ensure only qualified enterprises are permitted to provide guest worker services.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam to expand program to eliminate tuberculosis
A conference was yesterday organized to clarify tuberculosis in Vietnam and the need to improve the national strategy to prevent the disease aiming to eliminate it totally in the country.
Saigon 

$45mn debris detection system proposed for Vietnam’s major airports
Vietnam’s aviation watchdog is seeking approval for a multimillion-dollar project to equip two of the country’s biggest airports with a system that will ensure planes do not hit foreign objects on their runways.
Tuoi Tre News 

Vietnam’s agro exporters to raise quality for Japanese market
Vietnamese businesses are investing millions in developing better raw materials and modern factories to produce agricultural products that meet Japan’s high import standards.
Tuoi Tre News 

Bình Thuận temporarily bans mollusc and bivalve exploitation
The southern central province of Bình Thuận has issued a temporary ban on the exploitation of molluscs and bivalves across its sea waters as part of an effort to protect and regenerate dwindling marine resources.
Viet Nam News

Strong partnership needed to tackle modern slavery, trafficking
Strong partnership and multi-agency efforts were vital for success in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking, a conference that opened in central Đà Nẵng City heard on Wednesday.
Viet Nam News 

Forging Intergenerational Links in Vietnam
In Vietnam, which lacks an adequate social welfare system, informal community-based activities play a major role in the well-being of elderly residents. The Intergenerational Self-Help Club (ISHC) in Thanh Hóa province on Vietnam’s north central coast is one example.
Nippon 

 

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Asean Morning News is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today and published M-F: Governance, not government; policies not politics.

 

 

 

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