Asean Morning News Roundup February 14

Asean Morning News Roundup February 14

The Asean Morning News Roundup presents a selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC).



Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday


South China Sea coastguards crucial: academic
WHILE the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) has hardly been implemented and an Asean code of conduct has not been realised, countries in the contentious South China Sea should build up their coastguard capabilities, a Japanese expert said Monday.
– The Nation

Top APEC meet next week in Nha Trang
The Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum will hold its first event of 2017 with the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) to be held from February 18 to March 3 in the central coastal city of Nha Trang.
– Viet Nam News

Southeast Asia Will See Upsurge In Terrorism Violence This Year, UN Reps Warn
WITHOUT effective collaboration among ASEAN partners, terrorism in Southeast Asia will continue to thrive this year as foreign fighters now in the Middle East return to home soil to continue their campaign.
– Asian Correspondent


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Education Ministry Creates High School Exam Prep Website
The Education Ministry on Monday launched a free website that allows high school students to prepare for their 12th grade national exams via a computer, tablet or smartphone.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Truce to end deep-discounted mobile pricing
The majority of the Kingdom’s six mobile operators have agreed to stop running deep-discounted mobile voice and data deals after admitting they had deliberately engaged in predatory pricing, the telecom industry regulator said yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Government Records Expose Widespread Violations of Wood Export Ban
Cambodian timber continues to make its way into Vietnam despite a blanket ban on exports there, government records from both countries show.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Ministry pushing mango exports
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is pushing mango farmers to increase their knowledge of growing the fruit before exporting to South Korea in an effort to boost production.
Khmer Times 

More Nauru Refugees Opt for Cambodia as Paths to US Narrow
Two more refugees being held on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru have volunteered to move to Cambodia and are now awaiting the go-ahead from the Interior Ministry, according to an immigration official.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

PPWSA profits in 2016 continue to decrease
The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) posted a 10 percent decrease in net profit last year, recording earnings of US$12.5 million, compared to US$14 million in 2015, according to its annual report released yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Tourism study for Preah Sihanouk
The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are collaborating on a study into the development of tourism in Preah Sihanouk province.
Khmer Times

Thais to sign education pact
Thailand’s newly appointed education minister, Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, is to visit Cambodia where he will sign an agreement on education cooperation.
Khmer Times 

Cambodia, EEC put free trade on agenda
Officials from Cambodia and the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECC) meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday issued a statement affirming commitments to increasing bilateral trade made last year, and agreed to work toward a possible free trade agreement.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia seeks demining aid
Cambodia has asked Belgium to help it get rid of wartime mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), still a cause of injuries and deaths.
Khmer Times 

First salt export deal crystallises
Local specialty food producer Confirel Co Ltd has secured the first-ever export contract for Cambodian salt, finalising an order for 20 tonnes to French consumers and offering a ray of hope as the local salt industry teeters on insolvency.
The Phnom Penh Post


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Boom in digital economy to draw Indonesians home
Indonesians who have overseas experience will be in great demand this year as high-growth industries including the e-commerce and digital sectors are facing a talent shortage, according to recruitment consultancy firm Michael Page.
— Digital News Asia

Telkom’s $250m satellite to better connect Indonesia’s islands
Close to the equator, French Guiana, a scarcely populated country with only 158,000 inhabitants, is regarded as an ideal place to launch satellites. Mostly covered by equatorial forest, the South American country provides a
stable climate, as well as invulnerability to earthquakes and hurricanes.
The Jakarta Post

Indosat invests in startups to boost service to customers
Telecommunications operator Indosat Ooredoo continues to cooperate with company builders — Mountain Partners and Kejora — by investing around US $150,000 in three startups in Indonesia in the hope of boosting services.
The Jakarta Post

State-owned lender BTN books soaring net profit in 2016
State-owned lender Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) saw its net profit skyrocket by more than 41 percent last year to Rp 2.61 trillion (US$195.9 million) compared to Rp 1.85 trillion booked in the same period the previous year.
The Jakarta Post

Business watchdog sees unhealthy competition in pharmacy industry
Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) chairman Syarkawi Rauf has seen a trend of unhealthy competition in the pharmacy industry. He said that 70 percent of the medicine market, worth around Rp 56 trillion (US$4.2 billion), was controlled by only a few companies.
— The Jakarta Post

Garuda to buy nine new planes in 2017
Garuda Indonesia will buy nine new planes through an operating lease scheme this year, Garuda president director Arief Wibowo has said. Of the nine, five Airbus 320 planes will be added to the fleet of Citilink, a subsidiary company that operates budget planes, he added.
The Jakarta Post

Indonesia a future land of milk and honey
Milk is becoming increasingly popular in Indonesia. With a growing middle- class and shifts in local diets toward Westernized food and tastes, the country is witnessing rapid growth in the consumption of milk and dairy
— The Jakarta Post

Uber rival Grab to buy Indonesia payment startup Kudo for over $100m
Grab is likely to announce a deal to buy Indonesian online payment startup Kudo for over $100 million, a source close to the matter said, in a move that will help the Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm roll out its services to more
— Dealstreetasia

InMobi sees gold in Indonesian ad market
InMobi, an India-based mobile advertising platform provider, will invest up to US$50 million within the next five years to expand its business in Indonesia.
The Jakarta Post

Tycoon eyes StanChart’s Indonesia bank stake in March to top
Indonesian business tycoon Tahir is keen to gain control of PT Bank Permata, a larger rival to his PT Bank Mayapada International, as he seeks to put his lender in the ranks of the nation’s biggest banks.
The Business Times

Indonesia to open dialogue with Korea, Japan to form venture council
Indonesia is considering to start talks with Korea and Japan to form a council for venture capital firms, the Indonesian VC and startup association (AMVESINDO) chairman Jefri Sirait told this portal recently.
— Dealstreetasia


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

 Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Laos, Thailand, China, Vietnam pave way for tourism integration
Eleven provinces across four countries in the upper Mekong basin have agreed
to join in a development cooperation agreement that will seek sustainable
tourism integration across the sub-region and its borders.
—Vientiane Times

Laos, Vietnam to further educational development
Laos and Vietnam have signed an agreement to further cooperation on education and human resource development between the two neighbouring countries.
—Vientiane Times

Rail construction yet to begin
Actual work on the Laos-China railway project has yet to start in Luang Prabang and other provinces following the official construction launch in December last year. The railway will run from the Chinese border to Vientiane
through the provinces of Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane.
—Vientiane Times

Belarus, Laos ready to strengthen economic ties
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and concurrently to Laos Vladimir Goshin met with senior officials of the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Planning and Investment on 13 February, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
—Belarus News

Sompo Japan makes foray into Laos
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance has entered into a comprehensive partnership with Lao-Viet Insurance, Laos’ second-largest nonlife insurer.
—Nikkei Asian Review


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Singapore, Malaysia police crack down on ‘Africa scam’ with more than 100 victims
Malaysia and Singapore authorities have thwarted four syndicates behind an “Africa scam”, where more than 100 victims suffered total losses exceeding S$6.4 million in fake online relationships.
— Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia: Co-working space WORQ closes $786k in funding
WORQ,an upcoming coworking space in Kuala Lumpur, has secured RM3.5 million ($786,782) in funding from multiple investors.
— Deal Street Asia

MY loss making property developer Tanco gets take-over offer
Malaysian loss making property developer Tanco Holdings Bhd has received a take-over offer from its major shareholders at 8.12 sen a share and MYR1.62 per redeemable convertible note.
— Deal Street Asia

A greater commitment to boost Malaysia-Cambodia trade
Malaysia is one of Cambodia’s important trading partners and a cornerstone investor in its financial sector. The Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) works closely with the governments of Malaysia and Cambodia, together with the private sector, to get more businessmen from Malaysia to come to Cambodia to look for trade and investment opportunities. Faizal Izany Mastor, MATRADE trade commissioner for Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos recently spoke to Khmer Times’ Chea Vannak about the future prospects of Malaysia’s trade with Cambodia, within the context of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
— Khmer Times

Malaysia arrests airport security guard for Isis links
A Malaysian airport security guard who had full access to passenger aircraft was arrested last month for alleged links to the Islamic terror outfit Isis in what authorities have called a ‘classic case of insider threat.’ Malaysia’s counter-terrorism establishment has said the incident has once again highlighted the risk of someone with inside access to entire airport and aircraft turning radical, Channel News Asia reported.
— International Business Times, Singapore Edition

Malaysia’s shooting-star bauxite industry faces burn up
Already under fire for widespread environmental damage, Malaysia’s once lucrative bauxite mining industry is facing a likely death knell from neighbouring Indonesia’s move to allow a resumption of exports.
— Malay Mail Online

27 nabbed as Malaysia, Singapore act against love scam syndicates
Twenty-seven suspects were arrested in various Malaysian states in a cross-border operation against syndicates running love scams on the Internet, the police said in a press release yesterday.
— Malay Mail Online

PR1MA aims to complete 15,000 homes nationwide in 2017
The 1Malaysia Peoples’ Housing (PR1MA) Corporation has targeted to complete 15,000 units of PR1MA homes nationwide this year.
— Malay Mail Online

Former municipal council president detained by MACC
A former president of a municipal council in Negri Sembilan has been detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for suspected corruption and power abuse.
— Malay Mail Online

Residents advised to go for health checks after radioactive canisters found at apartment
Residents at the Seri Era Apartment, Jalan Naga Sari, Shah Alam near here, have been advised to go for health checks following the discovery of two radioactive canisters at the premises last Saturday. South Klang district police chief ACP Alzafny Ahmad said the reason being that the canisters, which were part of the components from a radioactive scanning device, were found with the seal open.
— Malay Mail Online

Muslim women shouldn’t use emoticons, group says in anti-Valentine’s Day campaign
The National Muslim Youth Association (Pembina) advised Muslim women against using emoticons in text messages or wearing fragrance, ahead of Valentine’s Day tomorrow.
— Malay Mail Online

Eight policemen injured in boat explosion near Manjung
Eight policemen were injured when a marine police boat exploded at the Marine Jetty in Kampung Acheh near Manjung, about 100 kilometres from here today.
— Malay Mail Online

Dego says will ride on despite minister’s order to cease ops
Motorcycle ride-hailing service Dego Ride will continue with its operations, in defiance of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s order to stop its “illegal” service immediately.
— Malay Mail Online

‘No pork’ restaurants can be penalised for trying to confuse Muslims, says ministry officer
The Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operatives Ministry can act against restaurants with “no pork” sign, purportedly for attempting to deceive Muslim consumers into dining there, Malay daily Berita Harian (BH) reported today.
— Malay Mail Online

Selangor Umno rejects Jamal’s resignation letter
Selangor Umno today unanimously rejected Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Md Yunos’ resignation letter.
— Malaysiakini

Cut down civil service before it’s too late, says former Treasury sec-gen
Former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim today suggested the government to cut down the “oversized” civil service when it can still afford it.
— Malaysiakini

ECRL To Change Bentong’s Economic Landscape – PM
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is confident the construction of the East Coast Railway (ECRL) will change the landscape of Bentong, with the opening up of the region’s economy through the access.
— Bernama


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Myanmar Authorities Sentence Rakhine Border Guard Attacker to Death
Authorities in Myanmar have sentenced a Rohingya man to death for leading and participating in terrorist attacks on border police stations that left nine officers dead in Rakhine state’s Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships four months ago, police officials said Monday.
— Radio Free Asia

Thais head to Malaysia on anti-drug mission
Thai officials plan to travel to Malaysia to join in the questioning of a suspected major drug dealer with alleged links to a Lao drug kingpin, the chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) says.
— Bangkok Post

State Counsellor urges non-signatories to sign ceasefire agreement
Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged the ethnic armed groups who have yet to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) to do so with courage and conviction.
— The Myanmar Times

Panglong peace summit will lead to a democratic Federal Union: President
The essence of the 21st Century Panglong Conference is the emergence of a democratic Federal Union, said President U Htin Kyaw.
— The Myanmar Times

Yangon’s Union Day celebration goes on smoothly amid heightened security
In the very early morning of Sunday while the moon was still visible in the sky, Yangon’s Mahabandoola Park was already guarded by a number of armed security policemen.
— The Myanmar Times

Suu Kyi strengthens ties with ASEAN and China
Myanmar’s democractic government has laid down a people-centered foreign policy which it will play pro-actively role in the region and international affairs.
— The Myanmar Times

No drastic increase for Ministry of Construction budget
In the current fiscal year which ends on March 31, there have been more businesses planned under the Ministry of Construction than previous years, ranging from nationwide residential projects, urban development schemes and low-cost apartment ventures.
— The Myanmar Times

No more coal mining licences due to harmful health effects, says Union Minister
The government will stop issuing new coal mining licences due to the substance’s harmful effects on health, said U Ohn Win, Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
— The Myanmar Times

Nine killed in Kachin jade mine landslide
A landslide in northern Myanmar’s jade mining region has killed 9 people, a local official said on February 11, the latest fatal incident to strike the shadowy billion-dollar industry.
— The Myanmar Times

Myanmar to promote private investment in coming fiscal year
Myanmar will promote private investment in the coming 2017-2018 fiscal year (FY) by reducing state investment in commercial sectors and focusing on infrastructure, according to the national planning figures for the next year.
— Eleven

Ministry to electrify more than 5000 villages in 2018-2019 FY
Ministry of Electricity and Energy said it will electrify more than 5,000 villages within a two-mile radius of national power grid, at the end of 2018-2019 fiscal year (FY).
— Eleven

Sagaing minister accuses land owners of logging
Sagaing Region minister for agriculture, livestock and irrigation accused individuals and companies of acquiring vacant farmland for the sole purpose of logging.
— Eleven


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Philippines’ crime rate falls 13 percent in 2016
The number of crimes committed in the Philippines dropped by 13 percent in 2016, according to records from the national police, showing a continuation of the downtrend in the last four years, and amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs which was launched last year.

‘Prepare for the Big One’
Residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces should prepare for the “Big One,” a magnitude 7.2 earthquake to be generated by the West Valley Fault, which is ripe for movement.
Philippine Star

Mining firms block Lopez appointment
The mining industry has filed an opposition to the confirmation of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez due to her alleged bias against large-scale players.
Philippine Star

Few takers for drug rehab, says DOH
The Mega Treatment and Rehabilitation Center at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija has downsized admission of in-patient drug dependents from 10,000 to 500 as a majority of drug surrenderees do not need in-patient rehabilitation, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.
Philippine Star

NEA rolls out P36-B electrification for 2017
State-run agency National Electrification Administration (NEA) has firmed up the rollout of P35.57 billion energization venture for this year that shall cover 23,713 sitios, mostly in far-flung jurisdictions
Manila Bulletin

Mactan int’l airport eyes links to Australia, Europe
The country’s second-busiest air gateway, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, wants a bigger slice of the international market, eyeing links to Australia and Europe in the next two years.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

PLDT opens Mindanao’s 1st data center
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) yesterday launched the first data center in Mindanao and the telco’s eighth in the country. It will soon operate two more facilities in Clark and expand its Cebu data center, bringing the PLDT Group’s data center count to ten, with over 9,000 rack capacity – the largest nationwide.
Manila Bulletin

Philippines Supreme Court upholds forfeiture of Marcos jewels
The Philippine Supreme Court has upheld a 2014 lower court order to the family of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to forfeit jewelry, describing the family’s petition to win back the gems as “utterly baseless”.


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Singapore remains a top FDI destination globally
THE Economic Development Board reported just over a week ago that foreign investment commitments in Singapore slipped in 2016 to their lowest level in recent years.
The Business Times

Singapore, Malaysia police crack down on ‘Africa scam’ with more than 100 victims
Malaysia and Singapore authorities have thwarted four syndicates behind an “Africa scam”, where more than 100 victims – mostly women – suffered total losses exceeding S$6.4 million in fake online relationships.
Channel NewsAsia

Budget 2017: Support for families, job security among Singaporeans’ top concerns
Support for families, job security and employment prospects were among the main concerns for Singaporeans who gave their feedback to Government outreach portal REACH ahead of Budget 2017.
Channel NewsAsia

OCBC Q4 net profit down 18%, bad debt charges rise
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC), Singapore’s second-biggest lender, on Tuesday (Feb 14) reported a bigger-than-expected 18 per cent drop in quarterly net profit, dragged down by a 57 per cent jump in bad debt charges.
Channel NewsAsia

Uber begins mapping Singapore roads in bid to improve services
Utilising cameras attached to some of its cars, ride-hailing app Uber on Monday (Feb 13) began collecting data on Singapore’s roads, in the hopes of improving services for both customers and drivers.

Dyson’s Singapore research center to develop smart tech
Luxury vacuum and small appliance manufacturer Dyson today opened a $410 million (£330/AU$540 million converted) research and development Technology Centre in Singapore.
— Cnet

Free-roaming chickens culled due to health and safety concerns, not noise: AVA
Following the debate over the recent culling of free-roaming chickens at Sin Ming, the director-general of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Dr Yap Him Hoo, said the birds were put down due to concerns over public health and safety and not because of complaints over noise.
Channel NewsAsia


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Questions raised over Diageo
Former national anti-graft commissioner Medhi Krongkaew raised questions Monday over the slow progress of the investigation into alleged bribery payments made by a British alcoholic beverage giant to Thai officials in 2011.
– Bangkok Post

Thai start-up sector tipped to double in value as support grows
The size of the Thai start-up sector is expected to double this year, with especially high growth potential seen in the areas of fintech (financial technology) and tech for the healthcare, logistics and retail industries.
– The Nation

New Bangkok hotel aims to be Muslim-friendly
THAILAND could become a major halal-tourism destination after the opening of Al Meroz Halal Hotel, Thailand’s first halal-friendly property, on Ramkhamhaeng Road in Bangkok.
– The Nation

South Korea sounds out Thai medical hub project
South Korea has expressed interest in joining the Thailand Medical Hub Project and proposed Thailand grants long-stay visas to its citizens aged over 50.
– Bangkok Post

Co-ops seek lucky draw for solar power grid plan
Agriculture cooperatives nationwide will submit a petition to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Tuesday asking the government to use a lucky draw to select solar farm projects which will supply electricity to the national power grid, instead of bidding as proposed.
– Bangkok Post

Low-cost state housing boon for migrants
An accommodation zone for migrant workers, a government project piloted in Samut Sakhon and Ranong, has received positive feedback from workers who now find themselves in better and more affordable living conditions.
– Bangkok Post

Cobra Gold tests Thai-US relations
As Cobra Gold, the biggest annual multilateral military exercise in the Asia-Pacific kicks off Tuesday, what the US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry B Harris Jr has to say during his visit to Thailand will be interesting.
– Bangkok Post

Babies abandoned by migrants in Phuket due to cost, insurance row
A MIGRANT workers support group in Phuket has revealed major concerns about nationality status, with workers from Myanmar abandoning babies at public hospitals. There have also been reports of migrant workers unable to obtain birth certificates for children.
– The Nation

Siam City Cement Profit Fell 14.5 %
Siam City Cement revealed that its Net Profit for 2016 fell by 14.5 per cent to Bt3.9 billion due to a difficult trading conditions in Thailand.
– The Nation

Sansiri to launch eight condo projects this year
LISTED PROPERTY firm Sansiri will launch eight condominium projects worth Bt22 billion this year, of which 80 per cent will be in the medium- and high-end segments and the rest in the affordable segment, said Uthai Uthaisangsuk, Sansiri senior executive vice president for business development and project development (high-rise).
– The Nation


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


116 warehouses for Laos, Cambodia gates
Việt Nam will have some 116 warehouses at the border gates with Laos and Cambodia by 2035, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
 – Viet Nam News

Vietnam vows to develop national rice brand
Vietnam’s rice exports do not bear a Vietnam brand, but they are put in bags with import countries’ labels. In the domestic market, Vietnam’s rice is less favored than imports from Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan and Japan.
– Vietnam Net

Vietnam posts $1.15 billion trade surplus in January
Vietnam posted a trade surplus of $1.15 billion (921.03 million pounds) in January, the government said on Sunday, down from a $881 million surplus in the same month a year earlier.
– Reuters

Province home to 3 Samsung plants must be Asia’s electronics hub: Vietnam PM
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has tasked authorities in a northern province home to three major production plants of South Korean tech giant Samsung with becoming Asia’s hub of electronics production.
– Tuoi Tre News

New software village opens
The paucity of skilled IT (information technology) workers in the country was highlighted yesterday as the FPT Corporation opened its second software village, F-Ville 2, in Hà Nội.
 – Viet Nam News

No need to wait for ODA, Đà Nẵng firm says
The main water supply company in Đà Nẵng City, Dawaco, has proposed that it raises funds on its own to build the Hòa Liên Water Plant instead of using non-refundable Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds from Japan.
 – Viet Nam News

Ho Chi Minh City spills 30 percent of clean water through leaking pipes
Ho Chi Minh City lost nearly 30 percent of its clean water in 2016 through leaking and broken pipes, according to a new report from the city’s utility company.
– VnExpress

Australia urged to import shrimp
Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh has called on the Australian Government to allow the import of prawns and uncooked shrimps again soon.
 – Viet Nam News



The Asean Morning News Roundup is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today.





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