With TPP Trumped, Finalisation of RCEP More Urgent as War Drums Beat

With TPP Trumped, Finalisation of RCEP More Urgent as War Drums Beat

United States Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s recent provocative comments about China, while perhaps good for local consumption, is setting off alarm bells across the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Tillerson, a former ExxonMobil chief executive, has threatened to block Chinese access to the artificial islands it built in the South China Sea. In anyone’s language, “them’s fighting words”. It seems […]

GFP 2016 Ranks Indonesia As Asia-Pacific’s Military Might

GFP 2016 Ranks Indonesia As Asia-Pacific’s Military Might

With its well-equipped and highly-trained land, sea, and air forces Indonesia sits at the apex of Asean in terms of military might, easily besting the nine other Asean Community (AC) members. With a population of almost 261 million and a GDP of $936.243 billion, Indonesia’s position as Asean’s military might probably comes as no surprise to some. […]

Thailand’s Zero-Baht Tour Battle a Success. Chinese Shun Thailand

Thailand’s Zero-Baht Tour Battle a Success. Chinese Shun Thailand

A crackdown by the Thailand government on so-called zero-baht tours from China has had the desired effect. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists planning to visit “the Land of Smiles’ have cancelled their holidays, sending Thailand inbound tourism figures plummeting and forcing the government to resort to incentives traditionally only offered in the wake of […]

New Cables to Boost Internet Service In Five Asean Nations

New Cables to Boost Internet Service In Five Asean Nations

Internet users in five Asean member countries will soon be experiencing faster and more reliable Internet services with three submarine fibre optic cable projects scheduled to be completed over the next 12 months. The three underwater cable projects are the: Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand (MCT) submarine cable expected to go online in early 2017; the Singapore-Malaysia-Indonesia SeaX-1 subsea cable […]

Toyota Dominates Asean Car Sales in H1 2016

Toyota Dominates Asean Car Sales in H1 2016

In the first half of 2016 (H1 2016) motor vehicles manufactured by Japanese car maker Toyota dominated Asean car sales in three Asean member countries whose population combined represents some two-thirds of the entire Asean Community (AC). According to Focus2move’s Best Selling Cars Ranking for the first half of 2016 Toyota sold the most cars in […]

Budget Cut Threatens Vital Philippine Education Programmes

Budget Cut Threatens Vital Philippine Education Programmes

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point national agenda which places a premium on investing in human resources, particularly education, is at risk before it gets off the ground with the House of Representatives taking  pruning shears to two vital Philippine education programmes. Last month the Lower House slashed US$41.59 million (P2 billion) from the Commission on […]

VietJet IPO: Delayed Launch Takes Another Turn

VietJet IPO: Delayed Launch Takes Another Turn

Vietnam budget carrier VietJet’s on again, off again initial public offering (IPO) is on again… at least for the time being. With its 2013 plans for an overseas IPO in a seemingly endless holding pattern the company says the VietJet IPO will now take place on the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Stock Exchange before moving […]

Indonesia Tax Amnesty Generates Megabucks For Infrastructure Programme

Indonesia Tax Amnesty Generates Megabucks For Infrastructure Programme

Indonesia President Joko Widodo is well on his way to finding the funds necessary for his ambitious infrastructure development plans with the Indonesia tax amnesty programme delivering results far better than expected. Just three months into the programme it has been hailed as the most successful ever tax amnesty programme run by any government in […]

Government Ineptitude Turns Koh Tao Into Filthy Cesspool

Government Ineptitude Turns Koh Tao Into Filthy Cesspool

The scene of a grisly double murder, a bungled police investigation, and a gross miscarriage of justice, the Thailand holiday island of Koh Tao is rapidly devolving into a filthy, putrid, cesspool sending tourists fleeing and riling local residents. One of Thailand’s best known tourist destinations, the tranquility and charm of Koh Tao was shattered […]

Foul-Mouthed Duterte: Goodbye POTUS, Hello Huangyan Island

Foul-Mouthed Duterte: Goodbye POTUS, Hello Huangyan Island

An anti-American tirade by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is putting at risk the special relationship the Philippines has with one of its oldest and closest allies at a time when the Philippines needs all of the powerful friends it can get. United States (US) President Barack Obama cancelled a scheduled bilateral meeting on the sidelines of […]

Demise of Abu Sayyaf Could Trigger Another Mindanao “Gold Rush”

Demise of Abu Sayyaf Could Trigger Another Mindanao “Gold Rush”

Following Philippine independence in 1946 thousands of people from other parts of the country flocked to Mindanao in search of a better life giving rise to its reputation as a ‘land of promise’. While the promise was there, the gold rush-like ‘stampede’ led Mindanao down a path of sectarian fighting between the island’s original majority […]

Barking At Your Benefactor: Duterte Vs UN

Barking At Your Benefactor: Duterte Vs UN

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte recently became embroiled in a tiff with the United Nations (UN) over its criticisms of his administration’s anti-drugs war. The Philippine leader accused the world body of meddling in “internal affairs” after two UN human rights experts expressed concern over rampant drug-related killings. More than 1,900 drug suspects have been killed […]

Total Indonesia Alcohol Ban Not an Impossibility

Total Indonesia Alcohol Ban Not an Impossibility

Indonesia could soon become the second nation in Asean to impose a nationwide alcohol ban with a proposal to that effect now before the country’s national legislature. Two Indonesia Islamist parties – the United Development Party (PPP) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) – have introduced the Alcohol Prohibition Bill to parliament. If passed it […]

2017 Philippine Budget Focuses on Education, Social Services, & Infrastructure

2017 Philippine Budget Focuses on Education, Social Services, & Infrastructure

Philippine Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno presented the 2017 Philippine budget to the leadership of the House of Representatives on Monday and, true to the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte, it focuses additional funding in key the areas of education, agriculture, social services, and infrastructure. “I can characterise it as saying we’re putting our money […]