Asean Morning News For May 3

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For May 3

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday


Is Facebook putting profit before freedom in Southeast Asia?
These are profitable yet testing times for Facebook in Southeast Asia, the US-based social media giant’s fastest growing business advertising market worldwide.
– Asia Times

ASEAN Ministers Convene at Sunway University to Drive Regional SDG Agenda
In late April 2017, thought-leaders including Ministers, Former Ministers and representatives from government bodies and prominent economists specializing in sustainable development from the ASEAN region and Australia gathered at Sunway University in Sunway City, Malaysia.
– PRNewswire

ASEAN and North Korea: Strange Bedfellows?
Tensions have been thick in the Korean peninsula over the last couple of months, ever since the initiation of the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea. There have been hostile statements from both North Korea and the United States, even threatening military action.
— The Diplomat

Asean must push for Six Party Talks
THE Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) is deeply concerned that escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States could lead to war. This view was expressed at the end of the 30th Asean Leaders’ Summit in Manila on April 29.
— The Star Online

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Asean business council eyes more inclusive growth
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Advisory Council is finding ways to improve the region’s economy, making it more inclusive for everyone.
— The Philippine Star

Palace urged: Account for P15.5-B Asean fund
Opposition congressmen yesterday urged Malacañang to account for the P15.5-billion budget for last week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) events and activities, including last Saturday’s leaders’ summit.
— The Philippine Star

Regional Conference Highlights Border Security Issues in Asean
The government of Thailand and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, or UNODC, hosted a regional conference for Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday (02/05), addressing challenges in regional integration and crime, as well as efforts to improve border security.
— The Jakarta Globe

China welcomes ASEAN summit declaration on South China Sea
China on Tuesday welcomed a softer stand taken by Southeast Asian countries on the disputed South China Sea at a weekend summit, saying it showed efforts to ease tension were working.
— Reuters

Fast-track removal of Asean trade barriers
During the recently concluded 30th Asean Summit, leaders from the member-nations of the Asean stressed the need to promote transparency of nontariff measures (NTMs) and to resolve technical barriers to trade that have served as obstacles to expanding intra-Asean trade.
— Business Mirror

Asean can boast bright skies amid gloomy global outlook
Those who follow Asean affairs know that the 10-nation grouping is prone to issuing protracted communiques at the end of its summits. This year’s 30th annual summit meeting was in character with Manila, the chair, proclaiming a 124-paragraph statement.
— The Nation

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in ASEAN sought
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced a proposal to have a Regional Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in the ASEAN Human Rights Council.

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Asean Foreign Ministers Urge North Korea to Denuclearize
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, expressed its support on Friday (28/04) for the denuclearization of North Korea and has called for an international dialogue on the Korean Peninsula to defuse growing tensions in the region.
— Jakarta Globe

Sea connectivity seen boosting ASEAN tourism
Linking the seaports of Mindanao and Palawan with those of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei will boost the tourism exchange and cruise ship industry, as well as trade and maritime relations between the Southeast Asian nations, said the Department of Tourism.
— Manila Bulletin


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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Illicit trade costs millions
Illicit financial flows in and out of Cambodia starved the Kingdom of at least $360 million in lost taxes annually between 2005 and 2014, according to a new report.
The Phnom Penh Post

Rice millers balk at export fees
Numerous members of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), the body tasked with lobbying on the sectors behalf, have stopped paying membership dues and export fees, claiming that they cannot afford to as the industry continues to struggle with high production costs and regional export competition.
The Phnom Penh Post

Thai Company Weighs Building Cambodia’s First Steel Mill
A Thai company is looking into building Cambodia’s first steel mill, aiming to cash in on the country’s construction boom and send exports from a dedicated seaport in Sihanoukville or Kampot province, according to the Industry Ministry.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Runaway RFA Journalist
On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for a Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalist after he skipped a court summons related to a prison visit he made with opposition politicians.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

N. Korean Ambassador Says Cambodia Could Play Productive Role in Mediating Dispute: Report
North Korea’s ambassador to Cambodia has suggested that Cambodia could play a role in finding a diplomatic solution to escalating conflict on the Korean peninsula.

Boosted By Hydropower, Coal, Cambodia Expects to Become Regional Electricity Supplier
Cambodia has said it expects to be able to move from importing nearly all of its electricity from neighboring countries to a net electricity exporter by 2030.

NEC calls for neutrality on FB
An election official warned Facebook users not to make any politically charged posts the day before the election yesterday during a three-day training session on campaign monitoring, with observers accusing him of overstepping the bounds of a rule forbidding parties from campaigning on that day.
The Phnom Penh Post

MFI loans used for illegal logging
A conservation NGO official yesterday said he planned to ask microfinance lenders to better scrutinise their loans after a spate of cases over the last month showed that such loans had been used by illegal loggers to purchase chainsaws and tractors for transporting timber.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Independent Observer Ranks for Commune Elections Swell
More than 20,000 people have registered as independent observers for the upcoming commune elections—far more than five years ago—with three weeks still to go until the enrollment deadline.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

South African Man Receives Life Sentence for Cocaine Trafficking
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday handed down a life sentence to a South African man who entered the country with half a kilogram of cocaine valued at $90,000 in his stomach.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Dismissal of Khmer Rouge Atrocity Charges Sparks Calls for End of Prosecutions
Since the Khmer Rouge tribunal decided to drop all charges against former regime official Im Chaem in February, numerous ex-cadres have come forward to call on the court to dismiss charges they face in upcoming cases.

Interview: ‘We Didn’t Want the Ministry to Collude with the Companies to Destroy the Evidence’
Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, director of the NGO Mother Nature Cambodia, was expelled from Cambodia in February 2015 and placed on a black list that prevents his return to the country.

S. African jailed for life in Cambodia for trafficking cocaine
A Cambodian court on Tuesday convicted a South African man of cross-border drug trafficking and sentenced him to life in prison, according to a verdict.

Poker King Club partners with Donaco to liven up Star Vegas Casino
Donaco International Ltd has reached out to the Poker King Club so they can breathe new poker life into the Star Vegas Casino based in Poipet, Cambodia.

The Artists Fighting Displacement in Phnom Penh
Generations have lived and worked in the White Building in Cambodia’s capital. Now, they’re looking for a way to stem the tide of redevelopment that would push them out.

Cambodia’s minor parties hope to find strength in numbers
Ahead of the Kingdom’s local elections in June, former military commander Nhek Bun Chhay, head of the newly minted Khmer National United Party, has called for a coalition against both major parties
Southeast Asia Globe


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Exclusive: Kresna-backed M Cash Integrasi eyes $93.5m valuation with year-end IPO
M Cash Integrasi (MCI), a digital kiosk firm backed by Kresna Graha Investama, plans to seek a valuation of up to $93.5 million with an year-end IPO.
— Deal Street Asia

RAM: Q1 global sukuk issuance at US$22.2bil
Global sukuk issuance reached US$22.2 billion (US$1=RM4.33), as at end-March, a marginal decrease from US$24.1bil recorded in the same period last year, with Malaysia maintaining its leadership by accounting for 38.5% of the total issuance, says RAM Ratings.
— The Star Online

Land acquisition for Patimban port to start this year
Land acquisition for the Indonesian-Japanese deep-sea port project in Patimban, West Java, is expected to start before the end of the year, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan has said.
— The Jakarta Post

Consumer Price Index in Indonesia: Inflation at 0.09% in April 2017
Indonesia’s Statistics Agency (BPS) announced the nation’s April 2017 inflation figure was recorded at 0.09 percent month-on-month (m/m), a relatively high inflation figure for Southeast Asia’s largest economy considering the month of April usually brings deflation to Indonesia due to the peak of the harvest season (which causes sliding food prices).
— Indonesia Investments

Jokowi Promotes ‘Ten New Balis’ to Investors in Hong Kong
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo informed investors about several large business opportunities in Indonesia, especially in the tourism sector, during a business meeting in Hong Kong on Monday (01/05).
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia’s Antam investors upbeat as nickel ore exports resume
State-owned Indonesian mining company Aneka Tambang is looking to improve sales with the resumption of nickel ore exports this month after a three-year ban.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Gov’t Calls on Indonesian Media to Fight Hoaxes
The government has called on Indonesia’s mainstream media to join the battle against hoaxes and fake news, a move announced by Communications and Informatics Minister Rudiantara during a discussion on World Press Freedom Day at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) on Tuesday (02/05).
— Jakarta Globe

Government to Prepare IMF, World Bank Meeting in Bali
Jakarta and Bali will be busy preparing the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in 2018.

Group Highlights Methods Radicals Use to Indoctrinate School Kids
Several methods are commonly used to indoctrinate the youth with radical ideologies, and greater awareness of this is crucial for both teachers and students, said Irfan Amalee, director of Peace Generation, a nonprofit organization that promotes peace and tolerance.
— Jakarta Globe

Manufacturers See Strongest Production Rise Since Mid-2016
Indonesia’s manufacturing industry started the second quarter of 2017 on a strong footing as companies scaled up production for the second straight month in April to match growing demand, the Nikkei Indonesia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index survey showed.
— Jakarta Globe

Exclusive: Indonesia media startup Boombastis raises pre-series A from Unistellar
Indonesian online media startup Boombastis has raised an undisclosed sum in a pre-series A investment from Unistellar, a Jakarta-based venture development and advisory firm, which pulled funds from “Southeast Asian high net-worth individuals and institutions”.
— Deal Street Asia

National Geographic: Borobudur 3rd among Adventure Tourism Sites
National Geographic, the official magazine of the National Geographic Society that has been published continuously since 1888, ranked Indonesia’s Borobudur temple third in its global iconic adventure tourism sites, hence acknowledging the temple’s uniqueness as well as cultural and historic value. The Borobudur, a ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist temple, is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (since 1991).
— Indonesia Investments

Greater push for biodiesel in Indonesia, Malaysia
The rapid depletion of fossil fuel heightens the need for governments to start implementing measures to reduce its dependency on natural oil and gas.
— The Borneo Post

PH, Indonesian companies seal 11 business deals
A total of 11 business deals have been signed between Philippine companies and top-level Indonesian businesses during the recent Philippines-Indonesia Business Networking session held in Davao City.
— Manila Bulletin

Nickel Falls From Grace as Bull Narrative Unravels: Andy Home
Nickel has gone from bull hero to zero in the space of just a couple of months.
— Jakarta Globe


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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Singapore hopes to be part of Laos’ transformation: PM Lee
Laos’ leaders have ambitious plans to transform the landlocked country into one that’s connected to the rest of the world, and Singapore hopes to be part of that development, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (May 2).
Channel NewsAsia

Possible Solar Power Project to be Explored in Pak Kading
Bolikhamxay province allowed the Convert Energy Company to conduct possible study on the feasibility of constructing of a solar power project on 150 ha in Namdeua village, Pak Kading district.
Lao News Agency

Additional Budget Needed for Tourism Development
The government needs to allocate additional funds toward the development of potential tourism sectors so as to generate more state revenue.
Lao News Agency

What Did Laos Leader’s Singapore Visit Achieve?
On May 2, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith visited Singapore at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The Diplomat

Interview: Belt and Road Initiative bringing tangible benefits to Laos: official
Laos strongly supports China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the initiative has been producing tangible benefits for the country, a high-ranking Lao official has said.

Internet cooperation benefits countries along the Belt and Road
“The Belt and Road brings us together, and we address challenges hand in hand” — composed by Vilayphone Vongphachanh from Laos, the song “The Belt and Road” went viral online recently.

Amendments Made to Law on the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Councils
Lawmakers at their ongoing 3rd Ordinary Session on Tuesday approved amendments to the Law on the National Assembly (NA) and Provincial People’s Councils.
Lao News Agency

Laos, Japan Discus 2025 World Expo Plans
Laos and Japan have discussed plans for the 2025 World Expo, which will be held in Osaka district, Japan from May 3 – Nov 3, 2025.
Lao News Agency

Lao actress promotes screen performance at Asean Film Festival
A Lao actress has been promoting her film, “Dearest Sister”, to audiences at the 2017 Bangkok Asean Film Festival held in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday.
Eleven Myanmar

Lao U-15 girls to challenge group of death in AFC tournament
Laos’ young female footballers will face the so-called group of death in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-15 Girls Championship to be held in Vientiane from May 8-20.
Eleven Myanmar

Rassbach hosts ‘Hmong in America’ exhibit
The Rassbach Heritage Museum in Menomonie’s Wakanda Park is hosting a traveling exhibit that tells the story of the Hmong people traveling to America. It gives a unique look into the lives and community of the Hmong in Wisconsin.
— Chippewa Herald


Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Malaysian economy stays resilient, says IMF
The Malaysian economy has performed well over the past few years and remained resilient despite the challenging global economic environment, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its annual consultation report on Malaysia, which concluded on March 15.
The Star Online

Malaysia’s PMI up on improved overseas demand for M’sian products
A marginal improvement in Malaysia’s manufacturing operating conditions was recorded for the first time in two years during April, as seen in the Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
The Star Online

BNM governor Muhammad upholds his own central banker brand
TRANSPARENCY in financial stability policies is the way to go for Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim and he eagerly looks forward to feedback from the public.
New Straits Times

Analysts see termination as positive
THE land lease agreement (LLA) issue has dragged down Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) return on equity and caused confusion among industry experts due to the complicated accounting entries, said analysts.
New Straits Times

Report: Up to US$431b in illicit outflows from Malaysia over past decade
Malaysia lost up to about US$431 billion (RM1.8 trillion) in illegal flow of money between 2005 and 2014, a Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report estimated.
Malay Mail Online

Govt allocates RM1.025m for Oath Stone relocation
The government approved an allocation of RM1.025 million to finance the relocation project of the Oath Stone that is currently placed in front of the Keningau District Office.
Malay Mail Online

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

Ringgit and Philippine peso lead Asian currency rally
Better late than never. The Philippine peso and ringgit have clambered aboard the Asian currency rally, advancing against the dollar and spurring flows into equity markets.
The Star Online

Greater push for biodiesel in Indonesia, Malaysia
The rapid depletion of fossil fuel heightens the need for governments to start implementing measures to reduce its dependency on natural oil and gas.
BorneoPost Online

Bahrain-Malaysia oil, gas cooperation discussed
Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa met with Malaysian Minister of Economic Planning Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Bahrain News Agency

Agriculture Minister calls on consumer to support local chillies
Local consumers need to cut down on their dependency on imported chillies that are of inferior quality and support locally produced premium chillies.
New Straits Times

Malaysia, Indonesia to lead defence against EU restrictions
Malaysia and Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producers, will lead Asean’s defence against the European Union’s (EU) move to restrict imports of the commodity over claims that the industry is causing deforestation.
New Straits Times

Malaysian scientist proves existence of ‘supermassive’ black hole
A young scientist has succeeded in proving the existence of a supermassive black hole hidden cosmic circle.
Malay Mail Online

Johor govt to present report card for people to evaluate its performance
The Johor state government will present report card to enable the people to review and evaluate the performance capabilities of the current administration in delivering its promises.
Malay Mail Online

Mahathir: Malaysians ashamed to reveal their nationality abroad
In yet another jab in the flanks of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Tun Mahathir Mohamad former PM said: “In fact Malaysians abroad often hide their Malaysian identity for fear of being told about the corruption and the allegations of wrongdoings by their Prime Minister.”
The Independent

It is a spot on earth blessed with everything: water, oil, natural gas, palm oil, rubber, best diving spots in the world, postcard-perfect beaches, universal education, affordable healthcare, a sprinkling of different cultures and food most people can only dream about and last but not least, unbelievable hospitality.
Malaysia Chronicle

Malaysia arrests 6 Islamic State suspects
Malaysian counter-terrorism officials arrested six suspects between Mar 24 and Apr 25, 2017 for alleged involvement in activities linked to the Islamic State militant group, authorities said on Wednesday (May 3).
Channel NewsAsia

Strong educational links between Malaysia, Pakistan: envoy
There are strong educational links between Malaysia and Pakistan with over 5,000 students currently studying in Malaysia, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan Dr Hasrul Sani Mujtabar said on Tuesday.
Daily Times


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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


World Bank US$200m loan to develop macroeconomic stability and fiscal resilience
The World Bank said that at the end of May, Myanmar reforms and the country’s poverty reduction efforts and efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability will be given financial assistance.
— Myanmar Times

Yoma Strategic, Norfund to invest $2m in Myanmar rural power JV
Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings announced today that it has teamed up with the Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund), a state-owned investment fund, for a $2 million initial investment in micropower plants and mini grids in Myanmar.
— Deal Street Asia

Govt expects to earn US$29 billion from foreign trade in 2018
The government is expected to earn US$29 billion from foreign trade in the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to Permanent Secretary Toe Aung Myint from the Ministry of Commerce.
— Eleven

Japanese firm opens $12.2m concrete products factory in ministry joint venture
Tokyo-based heavy industry company IHI Corp has opened a multi-million dollar pre-stressed concrete factory near Yangon in a joint venture with the Ministry of Construction, Kyodo newsagency reported.
— Frontier Myanmar

IFC launches its sustainability guidelines in Myanmar language
The International Finance Corporation, a privatesector arm of the World Bank Group, last week released a Burmeselanguage verฌsion of its Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.
— Consult-Myanmar

Myanmar sees gains in rice, corn production
Rice and corn production in Myanmar is expected to increase in the 2016-17 marketing year, while production of wheat is forecast to fall, according to an April 20 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
— Consult-Myanmar

YBPC to acquire new buses with K70 billion
Yangon Bus Public Company (YBPC) will spend K70 billion, which is entrusted at the Ayeyarwady Bank, for acquiring new buses, according to the regional minister for finance and planning U Myint Thaung.
— Myanmar Times

About Ks 880 million worth WY-stimulants seized in Maungtaw
About 440,000 WY-stimulant tablets worth Ks 880 million were seized at 3-mile inspection gate in Maungtaw Township, Rakhine State on the morning of 1st May.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Low property tax revenue despite higher sales
There is a shortfall in revenue collection in the real estate sector despite the fact that all sales in the Mandalay Region are subject to a 10 percent tax on the profit gained from the initial price.
— Myanmar Times

Gov’t takes steps to protect people from ravages of climate change
The Union Ministries have teamed up to manage all the water resources of Myanmar to fight flood and drought induced by climate change.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

BreadTalk Myanmar eyes 300,000 customers a year
AFTER the grand opening of its first outlet in Myanmar on Saturday, BreadTalk, an Asian boutique bakery chain, expects soon to be serving nearly 300,000 customers in this country every year.
— Eleven

Prospectors Sued After Finding Massive Jade Boulder on Company Land
Five prospectors who found a jade boulder weighing 8.7 tons have been charged with theft in Kachin State’s Lone Kin jade mining region.
— The Irrawaddy

Myanmar, EU at Odds Over Rohingya Rights Mission
The European Union clashed on Tuesday with the visiting leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, by publicly supporting an international mission to look into alleged human rights abuses by the country’s security forces against Rohingya Muslims.
— Voice of America

Myanmar Authorities Continue Probe of Funds Skimmed From Magwe Region’s Coffers
Authorities in Myanmar are continuing to investigate the alleged embezzlement of regional development funds in the Magwe region and review a claim of 4 billion kyats (U.S. $2.9 million) supposedly used for regional development in the central part of the country.
— Radio Free Asia


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


More than 5,600 unsolved killings in 9 months, police admit
More than 5,600 homicide cases remain unsolved in nine months after President Rodrigo Duterte rose to power and ordered a campaign against illegal drugs, police officials admitted on Tuesday.

Semirara allocates P5 billion to add coal production capacity
SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) has earmarked a total of P5 billion for the next two years to expand its existing mining infrastructure as the Consunji-led coal miner aims to maximize its allowed production capacity to 16 million metric tons (MT) by 2018.
— BusinessWorld Online

Philippines sees 15-20% rise in Qatari tourists
The Philippines is expecting a 15 to 20 percent increase in the number of Qatari visitors this year while setting a target of seven to eight million international visitors for 2017, an official from the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has said.
— The Peninsula Qatar

PH 10-year T-bond rate reaches 4.75%
Average rate of the Philippines’ 10-year Treasury bond (T-bond) rose to 4.75 percent during the auction by the Bureau of Treasury on Tuesday (May 2), from 3.46 percent fetched on September 6 last year.
— Manila Bulletin

PSEi closes above 7,700 ahead of Fed, US data
LOCAL SHARES started the month in the green yesterday ahead of key data to be released this week and the US Federal Reserve’s policy review, and amid positive feedback from the country’s hosting of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
— BusinessWorld Online

Poorest regions take in P157-B infrastructure projects
Thousands of infrastructure projects collectively valued at P157.44 billion will be rolled out in the country’s poorest region under the reinstated Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Plan (TRIP) for 2018 to 2020, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said yesterday.
— The Philippine Star

‘Secret jail’ existed for more than 5 years: PNP-IAS probe
Initial investigation conducted by the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) revealed that the so-called “Secret Detention Cell” in the Manila Police District Station (MPD) 1 Tondo, Manila has been there for more than five years.

Philippines: Century Pacific acquires Hunt’s brand from URC, ConAgra JV
Century Pacific Food Inc (CNPF), the Philippines’ leading canned food company, has acquired the local license for pork & beans brand Hunt’s from Hunt-Universal Robina Corp (HURC), a 50-50 joint venture between Universal Robina Corp (URC) and ConAgra Foods.
— Deal Street Asia

Department of Information and Communications Technology Philippines releases National Cybersecurity Plan 2022
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in Philippines released the National Cybersecurity Plan 2022 (NCSP) on May 2. As Philippines embarks on an ambitious digital transformation programme, cybersecurity will play a critically important role.
— Open Gov

Record high: Over 59% pass 2016 bar examinations
The 2016 bar exams registered a record-high passing rate of 59.06%, surpassing by a wide margin the passing rates in the last 16 years, Rappler has learned.
— Rappler

Duterte gov’t to defend drug war, human rights record before UN
Representatives of the Duterte administration are set to defend the government’s drug war and human rights record before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on May 8.
— Rappler

Ringgit and Philippine peso lead Asian currency rally
Better late than never. The Philippine peso and ringgit have clambered aboard the Asian currency rally, advancing against the dollar and spurring flows into equity markets.
— The Star Online

Fewer hungry Filipino families in Q1 of 2017—SWS
Fewer Filipino families experienced hunger in the first quarter of 2017, according to a recent survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

La Mesa dam water allocation approved
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has approved a standby allocation of one cubic meter per second for La Mesa dam following the recent drop of its water level to below normal.
— The Philippine Star

Ageing ‘jeepneys’ to be taken off Philippine roads
Long-delayed plans to improve public transport in the country were given a boost today after the signing of an agreement to replace the ageing jeepney with modern units that are safer and more efficient.
— Gulf News

Baltimore man gets 35 years for paying women in the Philippines to make child porn
A 66-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to 35 years in jail for paying women in the Philippines to produce child pornography for him, according to a press release.
— Fox Baltimore


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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Singapore’s 2017 economic growth to dip to just 1.9%
Singapore is poised to end the year with a 1.9% economic growth, slightly lower than 2016’s 2% expansion.
— Singapore Business Review

Singapore: Clean energy firm Sunseap’s valuation climbs to $143m in latest funding
Singapore-based renewable energy firm Sunseap Group Pte Ltd has raised S$6.7 million ($4.8 million) in its Series C round of investment led by ISOTeam Ltd, a building maintenance and estate upgrading firm.
— Deal Street Asia

Singdollar at lowest this year against ringgit
The Singapore dollar traded at S$1 to RM3.0948 on Wednesday morning (May 3), the lowest the exchange rate has been since the start of the year, showed Bloomberg data.
— Today Online

Singapore Airlines launches biofuel-powered flights
Flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its first flight powered by sustainable biofuels, the airline said in a joint press release with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday (May 3).
– Channel NewsAsia

CCT sells One George St. for $1.18b
CapitaLand Commercial Trust announced that its trustee HSBC Institutional Trust Services has sold One George Street for $1.18b, turning it into a limited liability partnership, which it will own 50% of.
— Singapore Business Review

Singapore aims to be LNG bunker-ready by 2020
Singapore is gearing up to refuel the growing number of ships powered by cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of dirty fuel oil.
— The Straits Times

Singapore: Advancer Global raises $3.5m from MES Group
Singapore-based workforce solutions and services provider Advancer Global plans to raise S$5 million ($3.5 million) via a private placement by MES Group Holdings. Proceeds from the transaction will be used for expansion and working capital needs, the company said in a statement.
— Deal Street Asia

UOB to end the year with a 4.5% loan growth
UOB can expect its net interest income to expand in the coming quarters as it records higher loan growth.
— Singapore Business Review

Singapore April factory activity expands at slower pace
Factory activity in Singapore grew at a slightly slower pace in April than the previous month due to a decline in new orders, exports, inventory and employment, a survey showed on Tuesday.
— The Edge Markets MY

NUS MBA ranked 22nd globally for finance careers
The National University of Singapore’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme has been ranked 22nd in the world for careers in the finance industry by the Financial Times.
— The Newpaper

Grab and Uber employ ‘ambassadors’ to woo rival drivers
Armed with just his mobile phone, Sam (not his real name) takes Uber rides from 10am to 7pm from Monday to Friday and earns $8.50 an hour for doing so.
— The Newpaper

Singapore and US reaffirm strong bilateral economic ties
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran and United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross reaffirmed the robust and long-standing economic ties between Singapore and the US at a bilateral meeting yesterday. The meeting took place at the sidelines of Mr Iswaran’s visit to Los Angeles to attend the Milken Institute Global Conference.
— Today Online

IE Singapore paves way for SMEs to break into India market
WHEN local food manufacturer Tong Garden wanted to build a manufacturing plant in the Indian state of Gujarat, the company turned to SKP Business Consulting, an Indian professional services firm, for guidance to register the land there.
— The Business Times

Shortage of skills, not jobs, a key threat to Singapore
Should Singapore be hit by higher unemployment, it will be because of a shortage of skills — as a result of the widening jobs-skills mismatch — and not a lack of jobs.
— Today Online

Singapore shares open 0.4% higher on Wednesday
SINGAPORE stocks opened 0.4 per cent higher on Wednesday, with the Straits Times Index moving up 12.86 points to 3,223.97 as at 9.02am. The blue-chip index was buoyed after Wall Street edged higher overnight as traders digested a slew of corporate earnings.
— The Business Times

Factory activity expands in April for 8th straight month
Manufacturing activity expanded for the eighth consecutive month in April, although at a slower rate. Economists expect the expansion to continue, but likely to ease from the earlier months’ pace of growth.
— Today Online

Singapore woman jailed for filming gym-goers in changing room
A woman in Singapore has been jailed for 30 weeks for secretly filming other women in a gym changing room, according to local media.
— BBC News

Singapore hopes to be part of Laos’ growth story, says PM Lee
Laos’ leaders have ambitious plans for their country, and Singapore hopes to be part of Laos’ growth story, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.
— The Straits Times

Singapore wants innovators to solve ‘real life problems’
The wealthy Southeast Asian island of Singapore wants entrepreneurs to help it become the world’s first smart nation.

Singaporean in coma medically evacuated from Tokyo dies
A Singaporean man who was medically evacuated from Tokyo thanks to a crowdfunding campaign died on Tuesday (May 2), shortly after arriving in Singapore.
— Channel NewsAsia


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


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.
– Asian Correspondent

FCCT ‘ordered by NCPO’ to cancel panel discussion on missing plaque
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) has cancelled its panel discussion titled “Memories of 1932: The Mystery of Thailand’s Missing Plaque”, scheduled for Wednesday night, “on the orders of the National Council for Peace and Order”.
– The Nation

Journalists criticising military should be executed: NRC member
The junta’s National Reform Council (NRC) has given the green light to a controversial bill that would subject the Thai media to a licensing system. During the debate over the bill, one council member argued that journalists reporting criticism of the military should be executed by firing squad.
– Prachatai English

Prayut promises forum on media bill
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has promised to arrange a forum to hear the views of members of the media on the controversial media bill that aims to regulate the industry.
– Bangkok Post

Property Watch: Thailand at a crossroads in property investment
Thailand is and will remain an attractive property market to invest in. The geography lends itself well to a good quality of life, especially if income to support that lifestyle isn’t an issue.
– Phuket Gazette

B6bn budget approved for bus and train services
A budget of almost 6-billion-baht has been approved by the cabinet to subsidise public train and bus services, according to government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
– Bangkok Post

Welcome to the Club: Beijing to Make Sure Thailand Gets Three Chinese-Made Subs
Thailand’s military is determined to go through with its controversial plan to reintroduce submarines into the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) by purchasing three modified Type 041 subsurface ships from China. Political analyst Yang Mian told Sputnik China that the West has been partially responsible for domestic opposition to the arms deal.
– Sputnik

Report identifies Thailand MICE power
Research and Markets has released its latest report “Thailand MICE Industry & Forecast to 2022” that forecasts the country will host more than 1.3 million MICE travellers by 2022.
– TTR Weekly

Competition set to hit mobile profit
Thailand’s mobile service revenue is expected to maintain single-digit growth in 2017 on the back of strong data communications and video streaming usage.
– Bangkok Post

Thailand’s unemployment rate to go below 1%
Thailand’s unemployment rate is decreasing gradually with expectation that it will drop to below one percentage point from 1.3% in the past five years.
– Thai PBS

PromptPay on track for 30m users this year
THIRTY MILLION people are expected to sign up for the PromptPay money-transfer service by the end of this year. The projection coincides with findings that the number of users of mobile-banking services reached 21 million last year.
– The Nation

EDC terminal installation race heats up
Competition among banks to install electronic data capture (EDC) devices is intensifying, with some offering lower merchant fees than the ceiling 0.55% set under the government’s EDC pool, as well as cashback to attract business operators to use their card-swiping terminals.
– Bangkok Post

Thai’s top industry grouping raises 2017 export forecast
A grouping of Thailand’s top industry bodies on Tuesday raised its 2017 export forecast to 2-3.5 percent from 1-3 percent on stronger-than-expected first-quarter and improved global demand.
– Nasdaq/ Reuters

Chartered van operators call for exclusive law
Operators of chartered van services are calling on the government to enact a new law that would allow them to exclusively govern their operations.
– Bangkok Post

Private sector sees export growth rising by up to 3.5 per cent
A PEAK grouping of private-sector financial organisations has raised its forecast for this year’s export growth to 2-3.5 per cent amid a pick-up in the global economy. But the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) warns that uncertainties over the trade policies of the United States remain a major risk.
– The Nation

Isuzu to double heavy truck production in Thailand, boost exports
Isuzu Motors Ltd. is preparing to double its heavy-duty truck production capacity in Thailand this year in hopes of increasing exports to Southeast Asian markets.
– The Japan Times

Bullish on South Africa, Taiwan & Thailand? This ETF is Delivering a 4.5% Dividend Yield
A favorite among investors seeking dividends, the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF (EDIV) provides a 4.46% dividend yield to its investors. The fund tracks the performance of the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Select Dividend Index and offers exposure to dividend-paying stocks in emerging markets.
– Frontera

The Tourism Council of Thailand has forecast as much as Bt1.8 trillion in tourism revenue this year.
– The Nation

Thailand, UN set meet on transnational crime
Enforcement, justice, economic and diplomatic leaders from Southeast Asia have gathered at the United Nations in Bangkok to discuss regional integration and crime challenges, as well as improvements to border management to help secure the region.
– The Manila Times

Bangkok malls ratchet up the tempo
WHAT CAN YOU SELL Thailand’s eight million online shoppers that they cannot already get from a myriad of e-commerce sites? At least one property developer in Bangkok thinks it may have found the answer – sell them a good time, all under one roof.
– The Nation

Vietnam state investment arm SCIC partners Thai Kasikornbank
Vietnam’s government investment arm SCIC, the state investor in the country’s biggest firm Vinamilk, has inked a deal with Thai Kasikorn Bank to unlock more investment opportunities in Vietnam.
– Deal Street Asia

Thailand B2C E-Commerce Market 2017 – Research and Markets
Key findings from this publication suggest that, following Indonesia, Thailand contains the second biggest economy in the Southeast Asia region, and also ranks second in E-Commerce sales. The expansion of E-Commerce in Thailand is furthered due to improved Internet penetration, with nearly half of the population having Internet access in 2016.

Tesco Lotus Pushes Food Exports From Thailand To UK
TESCO LOTUS, in collaboration with the Department of Inter-national Trade Promotion, has been hosting a “Taste of Thailand” festival at the Tesco Kensington store in the heart of London to promote a variety of quality Thai products bearing the Thailand Trust Mark, as well as exotic fruits from Thailand.
– Buriram Times

Grab expands services in partnership with Bangkok’s motorbike taxi riders
RIDE-HAILING service Grab yesterday began a two-wheeled service in partnership with Bangkok’s army of motorbike taxi riders – known collectively as Win.
– The Nation

WTTC Summit raises profile of events sector in Thailand
The recently concluded World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit from 26-27 April in Bangkok impressed world leaders in the tourism industry. This is the first time that the WTTC Global Summit has been held in Southeast Asia
– Travel Trends Today

Taxi cooperatives to face stricter rules
The Cooperative Promotions Department has urged taxi entrepreneurs to make sure that taxi cooperatives operate in line with the law after it found that some taxis had been rented out to drivers without licenses to serve the public.
– Pattaya Mail

CP private jets’ arm secures permit for Phuket Airport base
Siam Land Flying Co (SLF), the private jet charter subsidiary of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, recently secured a final permit from Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) to develop fixed-base operator (FBO) facilities.
– Phuket News

Thailand to host world’s biggest wedding planners congress
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is set to welcome the world’s largest gathering of professionals involved in the luxury wedding industry at the fourth annual Destination Wedding Planners Congress (DWP).
– Emirates 24/7

ATTA outlines its policy direction
Association of Thai Travel Agents says the association will play a key role to help the country’s tourism industry grow as well as boost its members’ business.
– TTR Weekly

Thailand: Rights Lawyer Feared ‘Disappeared’
The Thai government should immediately disclose the whereabouts of Prawet Prapanukul, a prominent human rights lawyer and critic of the monarchy, who has been missing since security forces raided his Bangkok home on April 29, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities have not acknowledged his arrest and detention, raising grave concerns that he is the victim of an enforced disappearance.
– Human Rights Watch

Thailand: Shareholders approve Dusit Bangkok Hotel’s $1.06b redevelopment
Dusit Thani Pcl has secured approval from its shareholders to co-invest with Thailand’s largest retail developer Central Pattana Pcl in a mixed-use development project worth 36.7-billion-baht ($1.06 billion).
– Deal Street Asia

The Board of Investment of Thailand: EEC Jumpstart Brings Thailand Closer to Become Key ASEAN Investment and Technology Hub
The Thai government emphasized on its readiness to jumpstart the new regional’s economic hub, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), as infrastructure development under the EEC Scheme, including the capacity expansion of U-Tapao International Airport, is progressing as planned.
– PRNewswire

A middle-aged couple appealing harsh punishment for picking mushrooms from a protected forest had their sentences reduced by 10 years by the Supreme Court on Tuesday
– Khaosod English

Travelling on the house
The welcome mat for extreme budget travellers is wearing thin in Thailand, according to a VoiceTV report based on social media comments.
– TTR Weekly

Thailand king takes control of five palace agencies
Thailand’s new king was granted control on Tuesday over five state agencies that oversee royal affairs and security, the latest move by an increasingly assertive monarch to consolidate power.
– Z News


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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Vietnam state investment arm SCIC partners Thai Kasikornbank
Vietnam’s government investment arm SCIC, the state investor in the country’s biggest firm Vinamilk, has inked a deal with Thai Kasikorn Bank to unlock more investment opportunities in Vietnam.
Deal Street Asia

Stocks poised to rise further this week
Vietnamese stock indices may rise further and test their resistance levels this week on higher investor confidence, bolstered by positive developments in global political conditions and good earnings reports.
Viet Nam News

Vĩnh Long expo on industry, trade kicks off
The 2017 Vĩnh Long expo on industry and trade opened on Sunday and will last until May 5 in the southern province of Vĩnh Long, attracting 92 enterprises from inside and outside the province.
Viet Nam News

U.S. opens probe into tool chest imports from China, Vietnam
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it plans to open investigations into possible dumping and subsidization of imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam.
Tuoi Tre News

Vietnam’s cement, clinker exports to Peru, Sri Lanka remarkably grow in Q1
According to the Vietnam National Cement Association (VNCA), apart from the traditional markets of Bangladesh and the Philippines, Vietnam’s cement and clinker manufacturers have been exporting more products to Peru and Sri Lanka.
Tuoi Tre News

Drug smugglers nabbed in joint Vietnam-Cambodia bust
Vietnamese police arrested two men on Sunday as they were trying to smuggle over 7,000 ecstasy pills and 17 kilograms of metaphetamine over the border from Cambodia.

Vietnam manufacturers see rise in overseas orders
Vietnam’s manufacturing sector started the second quarter on a healthy footing as new export orders rose at a record pace.
Financial Times

Loss-making SoEs could go bankrupt
Loss-making enterprises that are not eligible for privatisation must strictly implement restructure, merger or bankruptcy.
Viet Nam News

Beaches, eco-tourism spots packed with holiday revellers
Tourist spots, hotels and amusement venues, and buses and ferries across the country were packed with holiday makers during the four-day holiday that ended yesterday (May 2).
— Viet Nam News

Hanoi squeezes in smart car-parking app
The app is hoped to solve Hanoi’s crowded streets but some drivers have found it inconvenient.

24 Vietnamese killed in traffic accidents on Labor Day
Over 7,800 traffic violations were recorded during the four-day Reunification Day and Labour Day holidays.

Vietnam to fine businesses for illegally displaying ads in public
With a new set of rules taking effect this month, people who put advertisements in public places against Vietnamese regulations will be subject to a certain fine.
— Tuoi Tre News

Land prices surge amidst unconfirmed rumors in suburban Ho Chi Minh City
Land prices in Ho Chi Minh City’s suburban areas have recently skyrocketed over rumors of upgrading and merging outlying districts or the implementation of major projects.
Tuoi Tre News

Vietnam Embraces Russian ‘Immortal Regiment’ Rally to Celebrate Victory Day
As millions of people across Russia are planning to carry the photographs of their loved ones who perished in WWII during the “Immortal Regiment” march annually held on May 9 since 2012, the first such event will be held this year also in Vietnam, Russian ambassador in Hanoi, Konstantin Vnukov told Sputnik.
Sputnik News

The Great Vietnam War Novel Was Not Written by an American
In 1967, Le Ly Hayslip, then known as Phung Thi Le Ly, was a teenager living and working in Da Nang. A peasant girl who had survived war and rape in her rural village, she had migrated to Da Nang to escape persecution from both Vietnamese Communists and anti-Communists.
The New York Times

Returned Montagnards Facing Intimidation, Spying in Vietnam
A group of 25 Montagnard refugees who were returned to Vietnam last week are being subjected to surveillance and intimidation, while others have been forced to read “confessions” to be broadcast on television, according to Montagnard rights groups.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


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See full details, including our AEC News Today Mobile App Privacy Statement here: Stay up to Date With The AEC News Today Mobile App

Download the AEC News Today mobile app from Google play or the App stores by clicking the icons below.

Download the AEC News Today mobile app for iOS hereDownload the AEC News Today mobile app for Android here





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. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.




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