Asean Morning News For May 4

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For May 4
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Cambodia morning news roundup

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday

 

Asean has invested ‘less than half’ of what it will need
Southeast Asia’s leading economies have some of the wider region’s fastest growth rates and most pressing infrastructure needs — as well as the biggest divides between reconciling the two.
– The Financial Times

The Truth About Duterte’s ASEAN South China Sea Blow
To say that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s chairman’s statement issued on April 29 following the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila was a little soft on China “would be an understatement,” a Philippine diplomat told me hours after its release.
– The Diplomat

ADB chief sees ‘even bigger role’ for multilateral lenders
Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao sees three key ways in which the institution has paved the way for the region’s economic emergence.
– Nikkei Asian Review

Walt Disney appoints new country managers for PHL, Indonesia, Thailand
The Walt Disney Company South East Asia on Wednesday said it has appointed Veronica Espinosa-Cabalinan as Philippine manager.
– GMA

Asean to focus on digital economy, trade facilitation in 2018 with Singapore as chair
DIGITAL economy will be a key priority for Asean next year as Singapore takes over chairmanship of the regional bloc, the city-state’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade), Lim Hng Kiang, said on Thursday.
— The Business Times

Growth in China and Japan to anchor Asean+3 growth: report
GROWTH in China and Japan will anchor growth in the Asean+3 region, which is expected to slow slightly to around 5.2 per cent in 2017 and further deepen to 5.1 per cent in 2018, according to the inaugural flagship report of the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (Amro) released on Thursday.
— The Business Times

Support over N. Korea to feature high on agenda
Support from Asean for robust implementation of sanctions against North Korea is likely to figure prominently when visiting Asean foreign ministers meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today (US time).
— The Newpaper

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Commentary: Is ASEAN’s economic integration still a work in progress?
ASEAN is a success in many ways. Since the regional bloc was founded 50 years ago, the number of member nations has doubled. The region has also long been peaceful and prosperous, thanks to the absence of inter-regional conflicts and impressive economic growth.
— Channel NewsAsia

Lao, Asean teams debate online media usage
Five young people from Laos attended a workshop on media literacy along with other Asean countries at the 2nd Asean Youth Workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand, from April 24-28.
— Channel NewsAsia

ASEAN Summit: Assertive China flexes its muscles as Trump gives conflicting signals
Obama’s pivot to Asia is dead. Despite the Trump administration’s confrontation with North Korea dominating headlines for the past several weeks, in the back channels of a major regional summit, diplomats all whispered the same thing, the pivot was over.
— Consult-Myanmar

Asean, China need reality check on South China Sea issue
Asean (the Association of South-east Asian nations) has let itself down again for buckling under external pressure and whitewashing the chairman’s statement of the 30th Asean Summit, which concluded in Manila over the weekend. Not for the first time, territorial disputes in the South China Sea were the spoiler.
— Today Online

After Summit, ASEAN Remains Divided on South China Sea
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wrapped up its annual summit in the Philippines on April 29. The regional bloc comprises 10 nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
— The Diplomat

Cambodia ready to host World Economic Forum on ASEAN
Cambodia is ready to host the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, which is scheduled from May 10 to May 12 in Phnom Penh, government officials said Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

China to work with ASEAN countries for full implementation of DOC
China is willing to work with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has said.
— Philippine News Agenc

Duterte’s soft-pedalling on Beijing: Good for Manila, bad for Asean
Since his ascent to the presidency, Mr Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a remarkable reorientation in Philippine foreign policy. Promising an independent course that would “not be dependent on the United States”, the tough-talking Filipino leader has downgraded military cooperation with Washington and taken a radically divergent approach to Beijing.
— The Straits Times

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US Hosting ASEAN Foreign Ministers to Discuss North Korea Threat
The United States is bringing its Southeast Asian allies on board to tackle what senior officials described as the number one national security priority for the U.S. — North Korea’s nuclear proliferation and missile threats — when foreign ministers from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gather Thursday in Washington.
— Voice of America

 

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

ADB guides Vietnam, Cambodia to greater growth
The Asian Development Bank funds physical infrastructure across the region, but unlocking a country’s growth potential takes more than roads and railways.
– Nikkei Asian Review

World Economic Forum Registration Underway
About 600 people have registered to attend the World Economic Forum on Asean in Phnom Penh next week, according to Transport Minister Sun Chanthol, whose ministry is an organizer of the event.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia Loses Regional Top Spot in Global Press Freedom Index
In a scathing attack on independent media in Cambodia which it claimed were abusing their freedoms, the country’s foreign ministry last month claimed that the press was so free that it was able to report false accusations against the government unimpeded.
VOA

On World Press Freedom Day, CPP touts record on free speech
A day after a prominent journalist was slapped with an arrest warrant, government officials pulled out all the stops yesterday to tout what they insisted was Cambodia’s free and unfettered press.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian farmers cash in on high cashew prices
International commodity prices for cashew nuts are rapidly increasing due to lower supply from Cambodia and Vietnam which is driving up profits for the Kingdom’s farmers, according to industry stakeholders.
The Phnom Penh Post

Life insurance market grows
Two new life insurance companies will launch operations in Cambodia by the end of this week, aiming to grab hold of a market that has seen rapid expansion in recent years while also creating stronger competition in the emerging industry.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia Says Laos Lacks Documents on Transboundary Impacts of Proposed Pak Beng Dam
Cambodia will request further information on the transboundary impacts of Laos’ proposed Pak Beng hydropower project following an upcoming regional stakeholder meeting on Friday, an official has said.
VOA

Cambodian Companies Falling Short of CSR Goals: Businesswoman
Misconceptions and a lack of regulation for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Cambodia are the main challenges facing ethical business practices in the country, an expert has said.
VOA

Cambodia ready to host World Economic Forum on ASEAN: minister
Cambodia is ready to host the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, which is scheduled from May 10 to May 12 in Phnom Penh, government officials said Wednesday.
Xinhua

Metawater to help save electricity at Cambodian water plant
Metawater will provide its power-saving inverter technology to a water treatment plant in Cambodia’s capital through an arrangement that will help the Japanese government earn carbon reduction credits.
Nikkei Asian Review

Breaking: Cambodian government accepts new CNRP bylaws
A Cambodian Ministry of Interior official today confirmed that the CNRP most recent set of amendments to its bylaws had been officially accepted, freeing up the party to reinstate three deputy presidents whose status had been challenged, and seemingly bringing an end to what had become a weeks-long bureaucratic obstacle course.
The Phnom Penh Post

Opposition MP Questions Alleged Corruption at Apsara Authority
Senior opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has called for a review of government spending on the Apsara Authority, the body that overseas the Angkor Archaeological Park.
VOA

Ministry Announces Press Museum Plans at Memorial Event
Coinciding with World Press Freedom Day, members of the media and government officials gathered in Phnom Penh on Wednesday to honor journalists slain during the 1970s civil war, with the Information Ministry announcing plans to build a press museum.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

CNRP Bylaws Accepted, but Vice Presidents Still Pending
After repeatedly rejecting the opposition CNRP’s amended bylaws for the past two months, the Interior Ministry on Wednesday finally accepted the changes, though it has yet to sign off on the party’s new vice presidents.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

City Hall to Survey, Grant Land Titles to Qualified Urban Poor
Families classified as being part of the urban poor could be granted land titles giving them the “legal right” to remain where they’re currently living if they pass an assessment by City Hall, a government official said on Wednesday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Media director Sitha Nuon on the value of hard work in Cambodia
Moving to Phnom Penh at the age of 18, Sitha Nuon spent years working at a minimart and as a receptionist before rising through the ranks of media giant Havas Riverorchid Cambodia
— Southeast Asia Globe

Review: ‘Angkor Awakens,’ a Blistering Account of Cambodia’s Painful Past
In 2012 the Cornell physics professor and documentarian Robert H. Lieberman directed “They Call It Myanmar,” an impressive portrait of that country as it struggled to emerge from military rule.
The New York Times

Man arrested in Cambodia child abuse probe
A British man has been arrested in Cambodia on suspicion of abusing young girls. In a video statement, police named him as 68-year-old Clive Cressy, believed to be from Hove in East Sussex.
BBC

Cashew prices skyrocket after low yields in Vietnam & Cambodia
Cashew nut prices have hit the roof and seem to be on a sustained rally due to a crop shortfall in Vietnam.
FreshPlaza

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

MMI eyes Rp 50 trillion in AUM this year
Bank Mandiri’s investment management subsidiary PT Mandiri Manajemen Investasi (MMI) expects its assets under management (AUM) to reach Rp 50 trillion (US$3.75 billion) this year amid a surging demand for protected funds.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s Export of Completely Built Up Car Units Surge in Q1-2017
Indonesian exports of completely built up (CBU) car units surged in the first quarter of 2017, a development that may indicate that global economic growth is improving (specifically in the export destination nations). Based on data from the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) Indonesia exported 56,371 units in Q1-2017, up 53.4 percent year-on-year (y/y) from 36,750 units in the same period one year earlier.
— Indonesia Investments

Indonesian power projects one step closer
UK-based Andalas Energy and Power has commenced the next steps in advancing its plans to develop a portfolio of wellhead independent power projects (IPPs) targeting 250-500MW of installed capacity fired with gas from proven fields.
— Asian Oil & Gas Magazine

Labor rumbles, quiet talks underlie Freeport standoff
After painting themselves into a corner, the Indonesian government and American mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold are finally taking tentative steps in quiet negotiations to end the impasse over the future of the world’s most profitable mine.
— Asia Times

Finance Ministry Foils Attempts by Firms to Claim Fraudulent Tax Refunds
The Ministry of Finance revealed on Wednesday (03/05) that it foiled an attempt last week by a local textile company to claim a tax refund by falsely reporting the value of its exports, raising concern that such cases may be rife.
— Jakarta Globe

President Jokowi to waive shipping cost of books to remote regions in Indonesia once a month
That Indonesians aren’t big readers is not surprising – last year, a study ranked Indonesia 60th out of 61 countries in terms of interest in reading. A big reason for this is undoubtedly the lack of access to books in many of Indonesia’s remote regions.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Jokowi gives nod to final batch of marquee projects
Entering the second half of his leadership tenure, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has approved various development projects that will become final additions to the current administration’s list of national strategic projects.
— The Jakarta Post

Strukton International Awarded Palmerah Tidal Bridge Project in Indonesia
Tidal Bridge BV, a joint venture of Strukton International and DEC, has been awarded the contract to construct the Palmerah Tidal Bridge in Indonesia. The Dutch company will build a floating bridge in the Larantuka Strait, located in East Flores in the eastern part of Indonesia.
— Indonesia Investments

Houses worth Rp 2 billion or less to be freed from tax
The Jakarta city administration is currently drafting a gubernatorial regulation exempting home owners of houses worth less than Rp 2 billion (US$150,000) from the Urban and Rural Land and Building Tax (PBB-P2).
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia to Enhance Water Security With ADB Investments
Indonesia will be among the largest recipients of loans from the Asian Development Bank to finance projects aimed at mitigating water shortages over the next three decades.
— Jakarta Globe

World Press Freedom Day Highlights Media as Pillar of Democracy
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the media is a pillar of democracy in Indonesia, during his opening speech at a World Press Freedom Day celebration in Jakarta on Wednesday (03/05).
— Jakarta Globe

So Good Food dispatches first milk export to Myanmar
Dairy and food producer PT So Good Food Indonesia has exported packaged milk to Myanmar for the first time, setting up a spring board to expand sales to ASEAN in the future.
— Tha Jakarta Post

Indonesia Fifth-Largest Country in Terms of Twitter Users
As of March this year, the number of Twitter accounts reached 328 million globally, representing a 14 percent increase from the same period last year.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia to Deliver Second Military Vessel to the Philippines: Defense Minister
Indonesian ship builder PAL will continue to export military vessels to the Philippines, with a Tarlac class strategic sealift vessel, or SSV, expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.
— Jakarta Globe

Death penalty cited at Indonesia UN review
Australia has called on Indonesia to reinstate a moratorium on the death penalty at the United Nations, just days after the second anniversary of the executions of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.
— The Australian

Indonesia, China boost anti-drug ties
Indonesia and China agreed in a meeting on Wednesday to intensify intelligence sharing in their quest to eradicate drug trafficking.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia to move capital from Jakarta amid heavy congestion, threats of sinking
Indonesia is assessing projects to remove its capital from Jakarta due to a number of infrastructure problems and to expand economic and cultural development to other regions of the country.
— Daily Sabah

Axiata to lease capacity on IPSTAR-1 for Indonesia
Malaysia’s Axiata Group has signed a four-year agreement to lease capacity over Thaicom’s IPSTAR-1 satellite for the provision of broadband services in Indonesia.
— Telecom Asia

Indonesia to Spend Rp1tn for World Bank – IMF Event
Indonesian Government has prepared a Rp1 trillion budget for the annual World Bank-International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) that will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali next year.
— Tempo.co

Action urged on threats against journalists in West Papua
A human rights advocate says more needs to be done to stop threats and violence against journalists in Indonesia’s West Papua region.
— Radio New Zealand

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Trillions of Kip Emerge From State Audit
Following an audit conducted by the State Audit Organization, an estimated 3.135 trillion kip (USD 384.776 million) has been uncovered as additional revenue, representing 3.11% of the total state revenue.
The Laotian Times

Cambodia Says Laos Lacks Documents on Transboundary Impacts of Proposed Pak Beng Dam
Cambodia will request further information on the transboundary impacts of Laos’ proposed Pak Beng hydropower project following an upcoming regional stakeholder meeting on Friday, an official has said.
VOA

Regional meeting cements partnership in tourism
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam plus Thailand (CLMV+T) have reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen their cooperation in promoting tourism.
Vientiane Times

Impoverished Laos Shows Resistance To Becoming A Client State Of China
Laos typically welcomes help from China. About 23% of the landlocked Southeast Asian country’s 6.8 million people live in poverty.
Forbes

Govt to encourage wider use of contraception
In a bid to lower maternal and child morbidity and mortality, Laos will aim to reduce the unmet need for contraception to 13 percent and increase the contraceptive prevalence rate using at least one method from 42 to 65 percent by 2020.
Vientiane Times

CLMV+T Discuss Cooperation Strategies for Tourism Promotion
The Regional Workshop on Methods and Strategies for Implementing Public Private Partnerships in the Tourism Sector for Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam plus Thailand (CLMV+T) is being hosted in Vientiane on May 3-4.
Lao News Agency

South Korea Grants LAK 400 Billion Loan for Mekong Riverside Development in Pakse
The Republic of Korea (ROK) has signed an agreement with the Lao government for a soft loan of over 400 billion kip (approx. USD 53 million) from the ROK for the development of Mekong Riverside in Pakse, Champassak, the southernmost province of Laos.
Lao News Agency

Lao, Asean teams debate online media usage
Five young people from Laos attended a workshop on media literacy along with other Asean countries at the 2nd Asean Youth Workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand, from April 24-28.
Eleven

Proposed law amendment to strengthen Youth Union
The Lao Youth Union wants the Law on Youth Union to uphold the role and responsibility of the mass organisation by strengthening its organisational features.
Vientiane Times

PM calls for end to favours for civil servants
Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith has said that a helping hand should no longer be given to anyone working in public administration, but suggested that such support instead go to volunteers working for the government in remote and rural areas.
Vientiane Times

NA Members Approve Law on LPRYU Executive Committee
Lawmakers at their ongoing 3rd Ordinary Session on Wednesday approved amendments to the Law on the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union’s (LPRYU) Executive Committee.
Lao News Agency

Family Planning Discussed for Economic Prosperity
The National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health held the 1st National Family Planning Conference in Vientiane Capital on May 3.
Lao News Agency

Naked Espresso: Bringing Café Cool to Vientiane
When he arrived in Sydney as a student in 2001, Ariya Khamvongsa spent his first days sightseeing.
The Laotian Times

Lao New Year 2560
I recently took an incredible journey to Chiang Khong, a city in Chiang Rai Province in the far north of Thailand, where I had the opportunity to enjoy diverse aspects of Lao, Thai and Burmese culture.
koreatimes (press release)

 

Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

BNM: Islamic banks no longer required to keep reserve fund
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced that Islamic banks are no longer required to maintain a reserve fund effective May 3.
The Star Online

Malaysia’s US$1.7 billion property deal to cut 1MDB debt falls through
A US$1.7 billion property deal that was expected to ease the debt burden of Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fell through on Wednesday (May 3), complicating Prime Minister Najib Razak’s efforts to move on from a financial scandal surrounding the fund.
Channel NewsAsia

More young investors entering into Malaysian market
Younger investors are entering the market in larger numbers, with Bursa Malaysia revealing a 36% jump in the number of Central Depository System (CDS) account holders aged 25 years and below.
The Star Online

Bandar Malaysia to get new master developer
Bandar Malaysia, a massive undertaking here with an estimated gross development value of RM150 billion, will have a new master developer.
New Straits Times

M’sia, Kazakhstan forging stronger economic partnership
Malaysia and Kazakhstan plan to further strengthen bilateral economic ties after both countries saw an over 30 per cent increase in two-way trade last year.
New Straits Times

Property deal of former 1MDB unit with China-Malaysia group lapses
A deal by a former unit of troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to sell its stake in a property development project to a consortium including China’s state-owned China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) has lapsed.
Deal Street Asia

Malaysian state of Malacca to be called Melaka from now on
The Melaka state government on Wednesday (May 3) announced that the name “Malacca” for the state, commonly used in English, will cease to be used and instead be replaced with the name Melaka.
Channel NewsAsia

Axiata to lease capacity on IPSTAR-1 for Indonesia
Malaysia’s Axiata Group has signed a four-year agreement to lease capacity over Thaicom’s IPSTAR-1 satellite for the provision of broadband services in Indonesia.
Telecomasia.net

DBKL moves against foreign traders
A bold move by City Hall to introduce new guidelines for foreign owned businesses in the city is expected to draw more high-end foreign businesses to operate in the city centre.
Malay Mail Online

Report: Prasarana firm GM, wife held over RM500,000 graft
A general manager of a Prasarana firm in charge of overseeing technical support for a bus complex here has been detained for allegedly taking half a million ringgit for personal gain.
Malay Mail Online

MoF calls off Bandar Malaysia deal
The prime movers of the development of Bandar Malaysia, the consortium called ICSB comprising Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC), have found themselves out of the deal to develop the choicest piece of land in the city.
The Star Online

TNB takes control of Track 4A
Hong Leong Investment Bank Research believes Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) becoming the controlling shareholder of project Track 4A will serve as the best available choice in order to ensure power security over the longer term.
The Star Online

Ringgit opens lower on mild profit taking
The ringgit retreated from yesterday’s gains to open marginally lower against the US dollar today on mild profit taking, dealers said.
New Straits Times

I-Bhd expects revenue of RM500 million this year
I-Bhd is confident of generating RM500 million in revenue this year, up from RM383.6 million in 2016.
New Straits Times

Malaysia, Singapore once again top Muslim travel index
Malaysia and Singapore have topped the list of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and non-OIC markets respectively for the third consecutive year, according to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2017.
TTG Asia

Najib: Loyalty, moderation and understanding key to ensuring country’s progress
The three intertwined principles of Wala’ (loyalty), Wasatiyyah (moderation) and Tabayyun (understanding) if practised properly, will embody a perfect cycle between the leaders and those being led for the survival of a nation that craves progress and ultimate success according to Islamic interpretation, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Malay Mail Online

Lazada CEO: While online sales grows, most shopping is still done in stores
In the last five years, the typical Malaysian online shopper has “transformed” from a young urban male to a family man. Or woman.
Malay Mail Online

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Over 168,000 Rohingya likely fled Myanmar since 2012 – UNHCR report
Study finds thousands of Rohingya fleeing violence and desperation have sought safety and stability in countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia in the last five years.
— UNHCR

Myanmar Dodges Human Rights Abuses against the Rohingya Minority, with US-EU Help
Myanmar appears poised to escape international scrutiny of its vast and expanding human rights abuses targeting its Rohingya minority.
— Center for Research on Globalization

Islamophobia redux in Myanmar
The April 28 forced closure of two madrassas in downtown Yangon by a mob of ultra-nationalist protestors backed by Buddhist monks was the latest indication that anti-Muslim vehemence is still a virulent undercurrent of instability in Myanmar’s unconsolidated democratic transition.
— Asia Times

US agency OPIC to inject $5m debt facility in Myanmar MFI DAWN
US government agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is making a debt capital investment of $5 million in Early Dawn Microfinance Company Ltd (DAWN), a Yangon based deposit-taking micro-lender.
— Deal Street Asia

Submarine cable link between Bangladesh, Myanmar on cards
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) and Singapore based Blueberry Telecom Pvt Ltd are going to establish a separate regional submarine cable link to connect Bangladesh with Myanmar.
— The Daily Star

CIMB Research retains Reduce call on Daibochi
CIMB Equities Research is maintaining its Reduce call on Daibochi Plastic &Packaging pending further financial details on the Myanmar joint venture at the company’s 1Q17 results briefing this Friday.
— The Star Online

Myanmar press freedom ranking jumps
Myanmar press freedom has hit an all time high, ranking No. 3 in ASEAN just behind Indonesia and the Philippines, according to the latest survey by Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF).
— Myanmar Times

World Press Freedom Day event held in Yangon
The third of May is World Press Freedom Day, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and supported by the UNESCO General Assembly. An event has been held in Myanmar every year since 2012, and yesterday it was held at the Chatrium Hotel.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Confounding Expectations, Media Access More Difficult Under Myanmar’s Civilian Government
Media access to officials and information in Myanmar has become more difficult under the year-old civilian government of de facto national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite indications the situation would get better, the chairman of a press organization said Tuesday.
— Radio Free Asia

China’s Silk Road Push in Thailand may Founder on Mekong River Row
China’s plan to blast open more of the Mekong River for bigger cargo ships could founder on a remote outcrop of half-submerged rocks that Thai protesters have vowed to protect against Beijing’s economic expansion in Southeast Asia.
— The Irrawaddy

Aung San Suu Kyi rejects UN Myanmar probe during Brussels visit
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday rejected a decision by the UN’s rights council to investigate allegations of crimes by Myanmar’s security forces against the Rohingya community in Rakhine State.
— Frontier Myanmar

21 investments get MIC permit
The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) says it has granted nine citizens’ investments, including the Nampaw Hydropower Project and 12 foreign schemes.
— Eleven

Police to crackdown on illegal gaming shops
At that meeting, U Than Naing Oo, Hluttaw Representative from Pabedan Constituency 1, asked whether there was a plan to classify which type of gambling machines are illegal at the gaming shops in Yangon Region and whether any action will be taken against offenders.
— Consult-Myanmar

Bank interest rate causes customers to pay double apartment cost
The current interest rate cause buyers to pay double the cost of an apartment despite use of an installment plan, said Khin Maung Than, chairman of Myanmar Real Estate Association.
— Eleven

Govt can’t be held hostage to unjust contracts
Where possible, contracts that have robbed the state of much-needed revenue should be renegotiated to reflect market rates.
— Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar police hunt scavengers who found huge jade boulder
Police are hunting five gem scavengers who discovered a huge jade boulder at a mine in northern Myanmar after a senior regulatory official accused them of leading an attempt to steal it.
— The Star Online

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Up to $770-M water, sanitation projects in 2017-2019 pipeline for ADB approval
Up to $770 million worth of Philippine water- and sanitation-related projects for implementation in 2017-2019 are up for Asian Development Bank (ADB) approval, according to a table the regional lender distributed to visiting journalists here by e-mail.
— BusinessWorld Online

Cebu Pacific passenger traffic slipped in Q1
The operator of budget airline Cebu Pacific Air saw passenger growth contract in the first quarter of 2017, partly on increased competition with domestic rivals.
– Philippine Daily Inquirer

EU trade perk boosts RP exports to 1.7bn euros
THE PHILIPPINES has exported 1.7 billion euros worth of goods to the European Union (EU) last year under a trade perk that allowed zero tariff for various local products, a nearly 10-per cent increase from 2015 that raised the stakes for the trade benefit, which the country might lose due to the government’s anticrime efforts. The Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP +) status, a condition.
— The Nation

Stop firing at Filipino fishers, DFA tells China
THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday asked China “to refrain from the threat or use of force,” including firing warning shots, in driving away Filipino fishermen from the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
– The Manila Times

Dennis Uy bags license to put up $300M gaming hub in Cebu
Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy has obtained a provincial license from the state-controlled Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) to develop a $300-million integrated gaming resort in Cebu.
— Inquirer.net

GMR in race for $800-m airport project in Philippines
The GMR-Megawide consortium which is currently operating the Mactan Cebu international airport in the Philippines, is in race for the Davao airport in the Far Eastern nation.
— Moneycontrol.com

Philippines: Regina Lopez, mine-closing environment minister, sacked
Lawmakers in the Philippines have removed the environmental secretary, who angered the mining industry by ordering the closure of more than half the country’s existing mines.
— BBC News

Senate to probe Aquino admin’s MRT-3 contract
SENATOR Grace Poe on Wednesday filed a resolution calling for a Senate investigation into the reportedly anomalous Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) maintenance contract between the previous Aquino administration and Korean firm Busan Universal Rail Inc.
– The Manila Times

Mining funds, politics played hand in Gina Lopez rejection—Reds
The Communist Party of the Philippines said it lost a friend in its struggle to defend the environment with the Commission on Appointments’ rejection of the appointment of Gina Lopez as Environment secretary.
— Inquirer.net

The Truth About Duterte’s ASEAN South China Sea Blow
To say that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s chairman’s statement issued on April 29 following the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila was a little soft on China “would be an understatement,” a Philippine diplomat told me hours after its release.
— The Diplomat

Suspects charged with Filipino newsman’s killing
A governor, his aide, and a police officer were charged with murder in the Philippines on May 2, on the eve of International Press Freedom Day, for the killing of a journalist in December.
— UCA News

Philippines: SM Prime sets interest rates for $300m retail bonds
SM Prime Holdings Inc marked its fourth listing of retail bonds with its issuance of up to $300 million (P15 billion) fixed rate bonds due in 2024.
— Deal Street Asia

ADB sees continued strong growth for Philippines
While political risks are “worrisome,” the Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees continued strong economic growth for the Philippines.
— The Philippine Star

UN says Philippines’ deal with rebels helped protect children
The government and rebels in the country’s south have made “significant progress” in preventing the recruitment of children in armed conflicts although children’s deaths and injuries remain a concern, a United Nations report said.
— The Philippine Star

House panel approves tax on diesel, lower income tax
The House of Representatives committee on ways and means approved yesterday a consolidated bill imposing a P6 diesel tax and increasing levies on other oil products and on cars.
— The Philippine Star

PDEA: Philippines has 4.7 M drug users
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) now estimates that there are 4.7 million drug personalities in the country, the highest figure cited by the administration since launching the drug war last July.
— The Philippine Star

Business, gov’t leaders discuss infrastructure for inclusive growth in ADB annual meeting
After the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines, the discussion on sustainable and inclusive growth for the region continues, as 5,000 participants from all over the word gather here, for the 50th Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting.
— Rappler

P300-K worth of shabu seized in CDO drug bust
Authorities seized P300,000 worth of shabu from a drug suspect in a buy-bust operation in this city Wednesday night.
— ABS-CBN

Risks flagged with delay of tax reform package
A GLOBAL BANK has raised concern about the delayed passage of the Finance department’s tax reform program, saying that holding the much-needed tax reforms hostage in Congress would negate the government’s ambitious infrastructure spending plans for the next six years.
— BusinessWorld Online

Transport sector to average 9.5% growth until 2022 — BMI
BMI RESEARCH, an arm of Fitch Ratings, said the government’s aggressive spending program will help the transport sector grow by an average of 9.5% annually over the medium term, though risks to growth include delays in certain projects funded via public-private partnerships.
— BusinessWorld Online

Lower House passes public Wi-Fi, 44 other bills
The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading 45 bills as the chamber’s leadership moved to act on at least 10 more bills of national application that have been included in the list of legislative priorities this month.
— Manila Bulletin

PHL shows populism still a boon for equity markets
If the last two decades of anti-establishment rule are any guide, the world may be on the brink of some monster stock rallies as it takes a turn toward populism.
— Business Mirror

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Further US rate hikes could put strain on Singapore borrowers: Analyst
The US Federal Reserve’s latest decision to keep key lending rate unchanged was widely anticipated, but policy makers expect to raise rates twice more for a total of three increases for 2017 – more hikes than they had made in the previous 10 years combined.
— Channel NewsAsia

Singapore PMI rises to 52.6 in April
The Nikkei Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, rose to 52.6 in April from 52.2 in March, hitting the highest reading in five months. April’s growth was supported by expansions in output and new orders.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Singapore’s NRF to invest $107m to boost capabilities in artificial intelligence
Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) will invest S$150 million ($107.3 million) in building the city-state’s capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI), with an emphasis on finance, healthcare and city management solutions.
— Deal Street Asia

Up to S$150m boost for Singapore’s artificial intelligence push
UP to S$150 million will be committed to AI.SG, a new national programme that seeks to boost Singapore’s capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI).
— The Business Times

Singapore residents can use registered profile on government’s personal data platform to open new accounts with four banks
The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) have launched a pilot with four banks to enable people to use their registered profile on Singapore government’s MyInfo service to apply for new bank accounts.
— Open Gov

Why this company’s scanning technology is a smugglers’ nightmare
At Decision Sciences International Corp.’s Poway headquarters, a 20-foot shipping container sits beneath a car-wash size scanner.
– The San Diego Union-Tribune

Drugs worth S$418,000 seized at Woodlands Checkpoint
Authorities intercepted a “sizeable quantity” of “ice”, cannabis and Erimin-5 that arrived at Woodlands Checkpoint in the guise of washing powder, flour and cereal, the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday (May 3).
— Channel NewsAsia

SCDF unveils new vessels to boost firefighting at sea
To respond quicker to marine emergencies, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) yesterday introduced two new Rapid Response Fire Vessels (RFVs).
— The Newpaper

Asia Stocks-Singapore extends gains; most others down
Singapore shares extended gains into a second session on Wednesday, helped by financials, while most other Southeast Asian markets finished lower as investors were cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision.
— The Star Online

Four banks start pilot use of MyInfo platform
MYINFO, Singapore’s digital personal data platform, which allows users to auto-fill details like their name, identity card number and registered residential address on government online forms, can now be used with four banks to auto-fill forms.
— The Business Times

Pan-United to spin off China ports business in HK listing
RIDING on a wave of improved sentiment around the world and in China, Pan-United Corporation said on Wednesday that it will spin off its profitable China river ports business and list it in Hong Kong as Xinghua Port Holdings.
— The Business Times

Singapore shares open flat on Thursday
SINGAPORE stocks opened flat on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index gaining 0.25 points to 3,238.06 as at 9.02am.
— The Business Times

Interns in Singapore can get up to $5k monthly, data shows
Interns working at foreign investment banks in Singapore and sovereign wealth fund GIC can receive between $3,000 and $5,000 monthly, according to data compiled by jobs site Glassdoor.
— The Straits Times

Diet high in saturated fats linked to gut inflammation: Study
Scientists have found more evidence that a diet high in saturated fats is linked to more inflammation in the gut that, in turn, could cause colorectal cancer.
— Today Online

Cyber Security Agency of Singapore organising gamified Cybersecurity Challenge in collaboration with UK Government-backed organisation
The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) is organising the Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore, a series of challenges and competitions designed to inspire and spur cyber enthusiasts to join the cybersecurity profession.
— Open Gov

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

Thai Q2 exports seen up 5 pct y/y – shippers’ council
Thailand’s exports are expected to grow 5 percent in April-June from the same period a year earlier, a similar pace to the first quarter, as buyers continue to build up inventory, a group of Thai shippers said on Wednesday.
– Nasdaq/ Reuters

Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor – What You Need to Know
With the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Thailand hopes to develop its eastern provinces into a leading ASEAN economic zone. The EEC straddles three eastern provinces of Thailand – Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao – off the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and spans a total of 13,285 square kilometers.
– Asean Briefing

Policy to extend helping hand to ‘micro-SMEs’ mulled
The government is considering a new policy to lend support to “micro-SMEs” — businesses that are smaller than small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — to help strengthen the Thai economy, says Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana.
– Bangkok Post

Property slowdown hits related sectors
The property market’s slowdown has prompted some makers of construction materials and furniture to rely more heavily on overseas buyers and rush new products to market in a bid to boost sales in the second half of the year.
– Bangkok Post

Marine Dept asked to solve pollution around Koh Sichang
Related agencies in the eastern province of Chon Buri are planning to demand the Marine Department to address pollution problems that have damaged the ecosystem and tourism of Koh Sichang.
– Pattaya Mail

High hope for tech FDI from China
The government expects its two technology megaprojects — the development of a digital innovation park and smart cities — to attract foreign Chinese direct investment this year.
– Bangkok Post

Education reform goes ahead as planned
The government is moving ahead with education reform to reduce inequality in preparation for the development of community economy.
– NNT

Ministry ready for bigger stake in IBank
The Finance Ministry may need to hold more than a 49% stake in state-owned Islamic Bank of Thailand (IBank) if the bank fails to draw new partners, according to the bank’s recapitalisation plan scheduled to go before the cabinet for approval in the next two weeks.
– Bangkok Post

Thai may face 150-year jail sentence for royal defamation
A Thai human rights lawyer could be sentenced to a maximum 150 years in prison after he was charged with a record ten counts of royal defamation, a rights group said Wednesday.
– The Star Online

Buyers of SIM cards in Deep South will have their fingerprints stamped
As part of security step-up in the restive Deep South, people in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla will be required to stamp their fingerprints when buying SIM cards for their mobile phones.
– Thai PBS

Thai news organizations urge government to scrap media control bill
Thirty media bodies in Thailand marked World Press Freedom day on Wednesday by calling on the military government to scrap legislation that seeks to tighten control of news reporting in the Southeast Asian country.
– Reuters

SRT told to conduct more feasibility study on Thai-Chinese train project
The Transport Ministry has rejected the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima due to incomplete feasibility study.
– Thai PBS

Pawnshops bustling with cash-strapped parents ahead of new school term
Government pawnshops across the country have prepared millions of baht in cash as parents need money to buy their children school supplies before the new school year.
– NNT

Commerce Ministry encourages northern entrepreneurs to penetrate CLMV markets
Commerce Minister Aphiradi Tantraporn unveiled guidelines for driving regional businessmen into neighboring countries’ markets, through the utilization of the Asean Design & Business Center.
– NNT

Thai government plans cloud data center
The Thailand government plans to build a new cloud data center in Bangkok as part of an ongoing initative to modernize its facilities and use them more efficiently, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.
– DatacenterDynamics

BOI Secretary General: SUBCON Thailand 2017 aims to generate 10 billion baht
The Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary General disclosed that SUBCON Thailand 2017 aims to pair up to 6,000 business partnerships and expects to generate a cash flow of 10 billion baht.
– NNT

Cambodian, Thai Tourism Ministers Hold Bilateral Talks
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul met her Cambodian counterpart Thong Khon in Bangkok last Friday in the first Cambodian-Thai Tourism Ministerial Meeting.
– NNT

Facebook, Apple logos removed from Thai royal funeral statue
Apple, Facebook and Google logos have been removed from a giant statue of a mythical beast that will stand inside the sprawling cremation complex being built for Thailand’s late king after their inclusion caused an online outcry.
– The Star Online

In Thailand, OriginClear Targets 2.8 Million Enterprises To Modernize Water Treatment
OriginClear Inc. (OTC/QB: OCLN), a leading provider of water treatment solutions, announced today that it agreed in principle to address the country’s long-term water crisis by directly targeting 2.8 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
– Water Online (press release)

Illegal Chinese tour guide wanted for abandoning Phuket tour group
Police are hunting for an illegal Chinese tour guide who abandoned 24 Chinese tourists at the side of the road in Phang Nga yesterday evening after arguing with them about money.
– Phuket Gazette

Public warned not to buy or sell their bank accounts or ATM cards
Members of the public are warned not to buy or sell their bank accounts or ATM cards or they may face jail terms and/or fines on money laundering charge.
– Thai PBS

AMLO Secretary General warns public against online fraud that offers high return
The Secretary General of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has warned the public against online frauds, offering to buy and sell book banks and ATM cards through Facebook while promising high returns.
– NNT

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

Textile sector growth surges
The textile and garment sector enters the second quarter (Q2) of this year with promising signs from new import markets, said General Director of the Việt Nam Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) Lê Tiến Trường.
Viet Nam News

Foreign tourists to VN surge past 4m in first four months
THE NUMBER of international visitors to Vietnam in the first four months of this year was estimated at 4.28 million, representing a year-on-year surge of 30.3 per cent.
The Nation

April has most new enterprises in past year
April had the highest number of newly-established enterprises in the past 12 months, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s National Enterprise Information and Registration System.
Viet Nam News

Vietnam can leverage the ADB and AIIB to its advantage
Deputy transport minister hopes for ‘positive competition’ between two lenders. Asia has two multinational lenders on the scene — the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a situation some view as a recipe for rivalry. Others, however, see it as an opportunity.
Nikkei Asian Review

ADB-backed projects key to Vietnam’s improved water security
Water operations supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have played an important role in strengthening water security in Vietnam’s most water-stressed areas.
Tuoi Tre News

Vietnam’s Jan-April rice exports fall to 9-year low – govt
Despite falling shipments and a smaller crop, Vietnamese rice prices remained stable over the past month and were cheaper than Thai rice.
VnExpress.net

Shares upbeat following holidays
Shares advanced during the first session on Wednesday after the National Reunification and International Labour holidays as investors remained positive about the market outlook.
Viet Nam News

Sabeco reports 18% rise in profit
Sài Gòn Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) announced its net profit in the first quarter of 2017 rose 18.8 per cent year-on-year to VNĐ1.12 trillion (US$49.78 million).
Viet Nam News

Pacific leaders urged to pressure Vietnam on poaching issue
Pacific leaders are being urged to increase the pressure on Vietnam to accept responsibility for its fishermen poaching beche de mer and other marine resources in coastal waters.
Radio New Zealand

Elevated highway proposed to ease traffic pressure at Tan Son Nhat airport
An elevated highway connected to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to begin construction at the end of the year, with capital investment estimated at VND2.6 trillion (US$114.3 million).
Tuoi Tre News

Cracking down on ‘mobile karaoke’ an onerous task in Ho Chi Minh City
Having a karaoke-addicted neighbor is a nightmare, but the proliferation of ‘mobile karaoke,’ whereby anyone with a bluetooth microphone and a smartphone app can be a singer at anytime, anywhere, only serves to worsen the situation.
Tuoi Tre News

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City overwhelmed by post-holiday gridlock
As the long weekend holiday came to its end, people rushing back to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City brought with them a traffic congestion nightmare at entrances to both cities.
Tuoi Tre News

Vietnam to chop pork imports in mission to save pig farmers’ bacon
Vietnam plans to cut pork imports and expand export markets for the meat as part of an unprecedented nationwide campaign to rescue pig farmers, the government said.
VnExpress.net

US man smuggled 93 exotic birds in luggage from Vietnam to LAX
A U.S. citizen flying from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Los Angeles Airport was arrested by federal agents in March for smuggling 93 exotic birds in his luggage, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statement Wednesday.
Washington Examiner

VN’s air emission standard stands low
Standards on emission concentration in Việt Nam are below international standards. More pollutants in Việt Nam, therefore, can be emitted than in other countries, said Ngụy Thị Khanh, Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) executive director in Hà Nội in a panel discussion on air quality held by the US Embassy on Wednesday.
Viet Nam News

Authorities, Taxi Drivers Cut Deal On Vietnam Border Rides
After nearly 50 Cambodian taxi drivers blocked a border checkpoint in Kandal province on Tuesday to protest their Vietnamese counterparts’ methods of picking up passengers, authorities cut a deal to even out the competition, police said.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

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