Asean Morning News Roundup February 9

Asean Morning News Roundup February 9

The Asean Morning News Roundup presents a selection of reports  on what has been happening overnight and this morning around the Asean Economic Community (AEC).


Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday


Task group finalizing Asean security plans
Task Group Bacolod was finalizing security plans for the Asean Summit meetings in this city. Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban, task group head, presided the contingency meeting yesterday at Social Hall of the Negros Occidental provincial capitol. ìThe plans were being refined,î Gumban said at the sidelines of the meeting attended by members of the 2017 Asean National Organizing Committee (NOC).
– Panay News

ASEAN united in solving regional issues
ASEAN is united in solving problems that state members face and working on plans to change the lives of the people for the better. ìWe have round tables and regional work plans to improve the lives of our people and we need them to know that we are constantly working for them,î The Philippinesí Permanent Representative to ASEAN Elizabeth Buensuceso told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
– The Jakarta Post


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Cambodian exports to US down
Cambodia’s total exports to the United States declined last year compared with 2015, due to uncertainties in the US presidential race and rising exports from Vietnam and new market player Myanmar.
— Khmer Times 

Thai bank launches Cambodia operations
Kasikornbank, Thailand’s fourth-largest bank by assets, officially opened a branch in Phnom Penh yesterday targeted at Thai investors looking to access loans in the Kingdom and process cross-border transactions, according to a press release.
—The Phnom Penh Post 

Regulator gears up for mobile pricing showdown
Cambodia’s telecommunications regulator yesterday stepped up efforts to avert a brewing price war between the country’s six mobile network operators, ordering the companies to submit profitability statements within the next 10 days and summoning all operators to a meeting at the end of the month where it will determine whether any laws have been breached and discuss possible punitive action.
— The Phnom Penh Post 

RCAF gets Korean gear
Cambodia is expecting a shipment of military vehicles donated by South Korea, according to a sub-decree.
— The Phnom Penh Post 

Australian Blogger Convicted of Defaming Anti-Pedophile NGO
An Australian blogger was found guilty of defaming an anti-pedophile group over accusations that it had manipulated witnesses, paid bribes to influence the courts and knowingly put innocent men behind bars, the organization said in a statement on Wednesday.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

No Removal of US Bombs Without US$300,000
After grabbing international headlines last month by warning of an imminent mass evacuation to remove a pair of tear gas bombs dropped on Cambodia by the U.S. decades ago, the government now says the drums will stay put until donors come up with an extra US$300,000.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Water taxis for Phnom Penh
A waterway passenger transport service via the Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac rivers will be launched next year, bringing hopes of eased traffic congestion in Phnom Penh and providing a new option for tourists.
— Khmer Times


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Indonesia’s proposed ‘Halal Economic Zone’ picks up momentum

The economic zone would likely include Islamic banks and financial institutions, as well as halal restaurants, hotels, malls, fashion boutiques and entertainment venues.
— AhlulBayt News Agency

HGC and Centrin Online launch cloud service in Indonesia

Hutchison Global Communications Limited (HGC), the fixed- line operating arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Limited, and PT Centrin Online Prima (Centrin Online), an Indonesian Internet service provider (ISP), have launched ibizCloud in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Networks Asia

RI, Mozambique to bolster trade ties

Indonesia returned to Mozambique after a lengthy absence and came away with a long list of items to pursue in an effort to reinvigorate a sluggish bilateral partnership across various sectors.
— The Jakarta Post

Ending fake news, journalism’s nemesis

Media leaders gathering in Ambon on Thursday may spend more time talking about fake stories than the fishing business. The capital of marine resource-rich Maluku is hosting Indonesia’s 2017 National Press Day on Feb. 9. The event is themed “The Press and the People of Maluku Rise from the Sea”.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Bank Dinar shareholders give approval to sell 77% stake to APRO Financial

Shareholders of publicly listed Bank Dinar have given their approval to sell 77 per cent of the bank’s shares to APRO Financial Co Ltd, a South Korean consumer finance firm. The sale is pegged at Rp 691 billion ($52.35 million).
— Dealstreetasia


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


State urged to shift $1 billion from county education offices to school districts
The independent, nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office is recommending that the state shift nearly all of $1 billion in unrestricted funding that currently goes to county offices of education to school districts instead. That would allow districts to choose how to provide many services they now get from county offices, whose operations could be scaled way back as a result.
— EdSource

Vietnam-Laos bolster ties
The 39th meeting of the Vietnam�Laos Intergovernmental Committee was held yesterday in Hanoi and reaffirmed the two countries’ foreign policy priorities in developing friendship and cooperation.
— Vientiane Times

WHO extends support for health sector reform
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is providing US$2.1 million (17.5 billion kip) in initial assistance for the strengthening of healthcare services in Laos.
— Vientiane Times

Laos calls for Visit Year events
Laos’ Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has called on all tourism agencies to urgently prepare activities for inclusion in Visit Laos Year 2018 calendar.
— TTR Weekly

Govt to query fuel tariff exemptions
The government will set up a committee to investigate and calculate the actual amount of petrol required by 16 major concession projects that continue to benefit from fuel tariff exemptions.
— Vientiane Times

Steel bridges in Champassak to be replaced
Steel bridges located along National Road No. 20 in Champassak province, which is an important transport link to other southern provinces, will soon be replaced by concrete bridges.
— Vientiane Times

Russian govt awards Lao ambassador
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has awarded former Lao Ambassador to Russia, Mr Thieng Boupha with a breastplate for his significant personal contribution to strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
— Vientiane Times


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Malaysian ringgit falls to 2-week low as trade surplus narrows, oil prices slide
The Malaysian currency fell to a 2-week low against the US dollar on Wednesday (Feb 8) with the country’s trade surplus dwindling and oil prices slide.
— International Business Times, Singapore Edition

Should Malaysians Be Concerned Over Growing China Investments?
China’s growing investments in Malaysia have, not surprisingly, become the opposition’s favourite fodder for criticism but analysts and local business leaders are convinced of the economic gains awaiting the nation.
— Bernama

Govt agency director and wife held for suspected graft
The Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today detained a government agency director under a ministry for suspected abuse of power and corruption.
— malaysiakini

Bank Negara refines export proceeds conversion rules to facilitate businesses
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has refined operational arrangement relating to export proceeds conversion rules to facilitate businesses’ banking needs, effective Feb 6, 20.
— malaysiakini

Iraqi Businesses Scout Investment Opportunities In Malaysia
Iraqi businesses are scouting for investment opportunities in Malaysia with the key focus on the construction, transportation and island tourism sectors.
— Bernama

Malaysia’s Palm Oil Export To India Set To Grow 5-10 Per Cent In 2017
Malaysia’s total export of palm oil and palm oil products to India is set to grow five to 10 per cent this year from three million tonnes worth US$1.97 billion (US$1=RM4.43) in 2016, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities said.
— Bernama

Experience From Economic Hardships Enables Malaysia To Enhance Fundamentals, Says Johari
Malaysia’s experience from previous economic hardships have brought upon reforms and institutional developments that were designed to enhance its economic fundamentals, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said.
— Bernama

1.5m visitors expected at Malaysia’s Batu Caves for Thaipusam
About 1.5 million people are expected to visit Malaysia’s sacred Batu Caves on Thursday (Feb 9) for one of the biggest Thaipusam celebrations outside India.

Malaysian authorities have seized thousands of paint brushes suspected of containing pig bristles after consumers in this Muslim-majority nation demanded a crackdown, officials said Wednesday.
— Khaosod English

Report: After crackdown, hardware traders label all paint brushes as non-halal
Some hardware traders in Johor Baru have taken to tagging all their paint brushes as non-halal for fear of reprisal from authorities after a recent clamp down on those made of pig bristles.
— Malay Mail Online

Gazebo at Bangi school collapses, five students injured
Five students of SK Jalan Empat, Section 4, Bandar Baru Bangi here were injured today when the gazebo they were resting collapsed on them.
— Malay Mail Online

13 feared dead after boat capsizes off Malaysia
Thirteen people are feared dead after the speedboat they were travelling in capsized in rough seas off Malaysia, the coast guard said on Wednesday (Feb 8), in the latest maritime accident in the area.

Ezam: Resurrecting BMF, forex won’t resolve trust deficit
Former Umno member Ezam Md Nor has lambasted Umno Youth for flogging the dead horse of the BMF and Bank Negara Foreign exhange (Forex) saga, which he said won’t do anything to restore confidence in Malaysia’s present government.
— malaysiakini


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


MoUs inked to step up Thailand-Myanmar cross-border trade

Business communities and the governments of Thailand and Myanmar have agreed on bolstering cross-border trade by improving existing channels and developing new routes, and with an emphasis on the exchange of data and a new cross-border SEZ.
— Myanmar Times

Singapore Myanmar Investco to distribute Shiseido products

SINGAPORE Myanmar Investco (SMI) on Wednesday said its unit has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with cosmetic firm Shiseido Asia Pacific.
— The Business Times

Pope Francis Rebukes Myanmar Over Treatment of Rohingya

Pope Francis on Wednesday issued a fresh rebuke against Myanmar over its repression of the Rohingya minority group, just days after a United Nations report concluded that security forces had slaughtered and raped hundreds of men, women and children in a “campaign of terror.”
— The New York Times

Suu Kyi fails to break silence after adviser shot dead

The assassination of Ko Ni, a prominent Muslim lawyer and a key member of Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy party (NLD) Party, has dealt abig blow to the country’s democratisation.
— Bangkok Post

Exclusive: More than 1,000 feared killed in Myanmar army crackdown on Rohingya – U.N. officials

More than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims may have been killed in a Myanmar army crackdown, according to two senior United Nations officials dealing with refugees fleeing the violence, suggesting the death toll has been a far
greater than previously reported.
— Reuters


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Duterte repeating Colombia mistakes’
He may have been the nemesis of the world’s most notorious drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, but former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria said his deadly campaign against drugs was a mistake President Duterte should avoid.
— Philippine Star

Alvarez sacks Arroyo, Andaya for opposing death penalty bill
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday kicked out deputy speakers who are opposed to the death penalty bill, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
— Manila Times

Bangko Sentral to strictly monitor virtual currency exchanges
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has stepped up its campaign against money laundering and terrorist financing through the strict monitoring of virtual currency exchanges as well as similar entities operating in the country.
—Philippine Star

Philippines’ Duterte Pays Price as Central Bank Policy Kicks In
The Philippine central bank’s new monetary policy tool is proving effective — at the government’s expense
— Bloomberg


The local stock barometer weakened for the second straight day Wednesday as investors digested fresh leads from the fourth-quarter local corporate earnings reporting season.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Megaworld sets P60-billion capital outlay plan for 2017
Tycoon Andrew Tan-led property developer Megaworld Corp. has earmarked P60 billion for group-wide capital outlay this year, mostly to fast-track township developments across the country.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Motorcycle sales zoom in 2016
The Philippine motorcycle industry continued to race past other markets in Southeast Asia, posting the fastest growth last year
— Philippine Star


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter

Private school closures in Singapore hit record high last year
A record number of private schools shut down last year, continuing the shakedown in a sector that once headlined Singapore’s ambition to be an education hub.
— Strait Times (paywall)

Boeing the Front-Runner for $13.8 Billion Singapore Air Order: Sources
Boeing Co. is the front-runner as Singapore Airlines Ltd. closes in on an order for at least 35 wide-body aircraft amid a battle with Chinese and Middle Eastern carriers, people familiar with the matter said.
— Bloomberg

Home-sharing platforms take a hit as Singapore government bans short-term rentals
Singapore has moved to ban short-term home rentals in the city, directly impacting popular ‘alternative accommodation’ companies like Airbnb and HomeAway Asia.

Govt will ensure ‘higher water prices do not hurt Singapore’s competitiveness’
Water prices have been too low, but in raising them, the Government will be mindful of the need to not make it uncompetitive for businesses to operate here, the authorities said yesterday at a pre-Budget consultation session on water demand management.


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Government pushes to document all migrants
The government has vowed to continue its push for the remaining 1.34 million undocumented migrant workers to have their nationalities verified by 2020, Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit says
— Bangkok Post

Reform proposals nearly ready
The Royal Thai Police are preparing to submit a self-reform proposal, focusing on adopting technology to ensure greater transparency, to the government by the end of the month.
— Bangkok Post

Samsung Pay service launched in Thailand
South Korean phone maker Samsung yesterday introduced its full mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, in the Thai market with the goal of attracting at least 1 million users in 2017.
— Bangkok Post

Hundreds of bullet-proof cars offered to graft busters
The National Anti-Corruption Commission has issued a regulation permitting its officials at the provincial level to request the use of bullet-proof vehicles for safety during work.
— Bangkok Post

Free Tourist Visa To Thailand Extended
On Tuesday the government approved to extending free tourist visas by a further six months in a bid to boost tourism.
— Buriram Times

Thailand promoted as the “World’s Jewelry Hub”
Mr. Apisak Tantivorawong, Minister of Finance, revealed that the gems and jewelry industry is one industry with strong potential in Thailand as it is still an emerging sector but commands a high market.
— The Nation

British paedophile jailed for raping, abusing Thai boys
A retired English teacher was jailed for at least 16 years on Wednesday (Feb 8) for what his judge called an “appalling catalogue” of sex offences against children in Thailand and Britain.
– Channel News Asia


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Mekong set for tougher drought
Mekong Delta provinces have taken measures to counteract drought and salinisation as weather forecasts say that the region could face shortages of water due to a serious drought early in 2017.
– Vietnam News

Viet Nam’s pepper faces stern quality challenge
Vietnamese pepper will face stricter scrutiny this year on excessive use of agricultural pesticides, especially in the EU and US markets, experts say.
– Vietnam News biz hub

Ease of doing business: Vietnam plans big push to catch up with Singapore, Thailand
Vietnam aims to improve its business environment to reach the average level of the regional top four economies Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, together known as Asean 4.

Hanoi to sell off state-owned properties to balance budget
Hanoi has announced a plan to auction off 68 state-owned properties around the city in an attempt to improve funding.

Local fetiliser industry growing
Viet Nam uses 11 million tonnes of fertiliser annually, 90 per cent of it inorganic, and its consumption of local products is rising, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.
– Viet Nam News

VN, Laos sign key documents
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (left) and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith co-chaired the 39th meeting of the Việt Nam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
Viet Nam News

HN to tighten festival food inspections
Tourists walk along a street selling food near Hà Nội’s Hương Pagoda. The city health sector plans to deploy mobile food testing labs to deter unsafe food sold at restaurants and street vendors where spring festivals take place.— VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
Viet Nam News

The Asean Morning News Roundup is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today and published at midday M-F.




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