• Thousands line Singapore’s streets to pay respect to Lee Kuan Yew

    Thousands line Singapore’s streets to pay respect to Lee Kuan Yew

    Thousands of people lined Singapore’s streets on Wednesday as a gun carriage took the casket of Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, to Parliament House for public viewing. Lee died on Monday, aged 91. Chants of “Lee Kuan Yew” rang out from the crowd as the carriage entered the colonnaded Parliament House [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • White House: US to slow troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

    White House: US to slow troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

    President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the US will slow its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, maintaining 9,800 troops in the country through the end of 2015 instead of cutting the number by about half as originally planned. “Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place,” Obama said in explaining his decision at a press conference after Afghan [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • US drone strike kills 13 Pakistani militants in Afghanistan

    US drone strike kills 13 Pakistani militants in Afghanistan

    A US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan has killed 13 militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban in an area close to the countries’ rugged border, officials said Tuesday. The strike came in the Nasyan area of the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, close to the border with the Pakistani tribal district of Khyber. Pakistani security [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Japan, Indonesia to launch high-level forum on maritime security

    Japan, Indonesia to launch high-level forum on maritime security

    Japan and Indonesia agreed Monday to launch a high-level bilateral “maritime forum” to expand their cooperation in ensuring security at sea and to increase Japan’s assistance in building Indonesia’s port infrastructure and coast guard capabilities. In a summit in Tokyo, prime minister Shinzo Abe and Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo welcomed the signing of a [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | Mainichi | 6:00 AM
  • India, China agree to foster peace on disputed border

    India, China agree to foster peace on disputed border

    India and China agreed Tuesday to foster peace along their Himalayan border after wrapping up two days of talks designed to resolve a long-festering boundary dispute. In comments issued after the round of talks in the Indian capital, the governments of both countries stressed their common desire to maintain calm and to press ahead with [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • The $6.8 Billion Great Wall of Japan: Fukushima Cleanup Takes on Epic Proportion

    The $6.8 Billion Great Wall of Japan: Fukushima Cleanup Takes on Epic Proportion

    ‘The Great Wall of Japan’ may be able to prevent future disasters, but the cleanup could take another forty years before it’s complete The tsunami knocked off power at the nuclear plant, which led to the meltdown of three of the six reactors, with a fourth severely damaged. The ongoing release of radioactive material has [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | Time | 6:00 AM
  • MH370 crashed in Indian Ocean theory a ‘fabrication of evidence’, says expert

    MH370 crashed in Indian Ocean theory a ‘fabrication of evidence’, says expert

    More than a year after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing, a military aviation technology expert has challenged the Australian government’s theory that the aircraft crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, calling it a “criminal act of fabrication of evidence”. In a letter exclusively obtained by International Business Times UK, Andre Milne decried what he [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 6:00 AM
  • Grieving Singaporeans pay respects to Lee Kuan Yew

    Grieving Singaporeans pay respects to Lee Kuan Yew

    Singaporeans wept on the streets and gathered in their thousands on Wednesday to pay their respects to founding leader Lee Kuan Yew as his flag-draped coffin was transported on a gun carriage to parliament for public viewing. After a two-day private wake for the family, the coffin was taken from the Istana government complex, Lee’s [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Modi Will Travel to Singapore for Lee Kuan Yew’s Funeral

    Modi Will Travel to Singapore for Lee Kuan Yew’s Funeral

    Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will attend the funeral of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday, the Indian foreign ministry said. Lee, widely credited with transforming the island nation’s economy, died Monday, age 91. A post on Modi’s official Twitter paid tribute to Lee, calling him “a far-sighted statesman,” a “lion among leaders.” [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | WSJ | 6:00 AM
  • HK ready for fresh ‘Occupy’ protests says city leader

    HK ready for fresh ‘Occupy’ protests says city leader

    Hong Kong’s leader said on Wednesday the city was prepared for a fresh flareup of pro-democracy street protests, while issuing a call to arms against opposition democratic lawmakers who have disrupted government policy-making in the legislature. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s comments to a high-profile investment conference just days before the internationally renowned Hong Kong Rugby [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Thousands protest woman’s mob killing in Afghan capital

    Thousands protest woman’s mob killing in Afghan capital

    Thousands marched through the Afghan capital Tuesday, demanding justice for a woman who was beaten to death by a mob after being falsely accused of burning a Quran. Men and women of all ages carried banners bearing the bloodied face of Farkhunda, a 27-year-old religious scholar killed last week by the mob. Farkhunda, who went [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China confirms, in roundabout way, Japan invite for war memorial

    China confirms, in roundabout way, Japan invite for war memorial

    China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed, in a roundabout way, on Tuesday that it had issued an invitation to wartime enemy Japan to attend events in China to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two later this year. Sino-Japan relations have long been poisoned by what China sees as Japan’s failure to atone [...]

    26-Mar-2015 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM

Society

Policewoman joins Miss Earth Philippines

Philippine National Police Inspector Sophia Loren Deliu will join the Miss Earth Philippines 2015 beauty pageant. She’s the second police officer who entered the world of beauty pageants after PO2 Niel Perez, who represented Philippines at the Mister International competition in Seoul, Korea. “I guess this will create a big impact, especially to the world [...]

Bollywood’s Hamlet, Queen win big at India’s national film awards

A modern-day Bollywood adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in restive Kashmir won five prizes at India’s National Film Awards on Tuesday, but was snubbed in the most prestigious categories. “Haider”, the third in filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy of films based on Shakespearean tragedies, picked up honors for dialogue, costume design, music, choreography and male playback [...]

Britain Exposed To Diseases Mostly Found In Asia And North America

Britain may soon become susceptible to diseases known only in Asia, North America, and South America. This is due to the immigration of the mosquito that is a known carrier of dreaded diseases like the West Nile Virus and chikungunya. A species of Culex mosquito, the main carrier of the West Nile Virus, has been [...]

Health

Britain Exposed To Diseases Mostly Found In Asia And North America

Britain may soon become susceptible to diseases known only in Asia, North America, and South America. This is due to the immigration of the mosquito that is a known carrier of dreaded diseases like the West Nile Virus and chikungunya. A species of Culex mosquito, the main carrier of the West Nile Virus, has been [...]

Vietnam’s major regional thrust for a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030

Vietnam signals greater regional leadership in malaria elimination by hosting health officials and experts to discuss challenges to achieving a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030. This week, Vietnam will host Ministry of Health officials from the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN); a group of 17 countries in Asia Pacific who each share the ultimate [...]

Indian doctors find success in tackling the ‘invisible burden’ of tuberculosis

When Indian street-food seller Kumar Pal first began treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis two years ago, he quickly spiralled into depression and gave up hope of living. Weighing just 35 kilogram (77 lbs), shunned by his relatives and friends and in extreme pain due to the side effects of a cocktail of medicines, 40-year-old Pal [...]

FinanceAsia

FinancialForce.com Raises $110 Million to Capitalize on Cloud ERP Growth

Highlights   The investment is led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a provider of capital to growth-stage private and public technology companies Tim McAdam, General Partner at TCV, to join the company’s Board Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce’s global corporate investment group and an existing investor in FinancialForce.com, has also invested in this round of funding This [...]

Payvision Enters into Collaboration with Dah Sing Bank

After years of strong growth and intense activity in Asia-Pacific, Payvision, one of the fastest-growing global acquiring networks in the world, is proud to announce a new partnership with a leading bank in Hong Kong, Dah Sing Bank (DSB). Through this collaboration, Payvision showcases the ability to deliver value to both merchants and acquiring banks, [...]

SE Asia Stocks – Mostly steady-to-weaker; Indonesia underperforms

Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat-to-weaker on Wednesday March 25 for a second day on global economic worries after Chinese factory activity came in weaker than expected with Indonesia underperforming the region on a fall in the rupiah. Jakarta’s composite index was down 0.7 percent at 0736 GMT due to a weaker local currency. [...]

Regional

Accel Announces New $305 Million Investment Fund For India

India’s startup and funding scene is positively booming right now, and Accel is bringing yet more money to the party after it announced a new $305 million fund dedicated to the country. The VC firm has backed some of India’s most prominent tech companies – including e-commerce firms Flipkart and Myntra, property startup CommonFloor and [...]

Australia ready to join China-led bank, seeks clarity on governance

Australia is “well and truly” disposed to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), prime minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday, but wants to know how much power Beijing would hold in the institution before a formal decision. Fairfax Media citing government sources, reported the federal cabinet has approved Australia signing a “memorandum of [...]

Vietnam Wants Full Lifting of US Arms Embargo

Vietnam wants the US to lift fully an embargo on arms sales that was eased last year, but Washington is calling for more progress by the communist-governed nation on improving human rights, their respective ambassadors said Tuesday. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the former enemies. Vietnam says [...]

China

IOC panel visits bid sites; China fires back on human rights

IOC evaluators began a five-day inspection tour of Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Tuesday as Chinese organisers fired back at critics of the government’s human rights record. The International Olympic Committee inspection is a key test of Beijing’s status as a front-runner in the bid race against Almaty, Kazakhstan. Beijing is seeking [...]

With Development Bank, China Challenges Japan’s Role in Asia

China’s plans for a new development bank to fund infrastructure in Asia pose a challenge to Japan, which has been a major donor in the region and controls a decades-old institution with a similar remit. Beijing’s efforts to muster international support for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are gathering pace, with a handful of European [...]

Ai Weiwei, Joan Baez honored by Amnesty International

Amnesty International awarded its top honor Tuesday to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who has spent years shining light on his country’s restrictive political atmosphere, and to US folk singer Joan Baez for her civil rights activism. Both were named recipients of Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, which recognises lifetime human rights leadership. Ai told [...]

Malaysia

Ringgit Sees Biggest Two-Day Gain Since 2013 on Fed Rate Stance

The ringgit posted its biggest two-day gain since September 2013 on further signs the US central bank will refrain from tightening policy until the second half, easing concern that cash will flow out from Malaysian assets. Federal Reserve vice Chair Stanley Fischer said Monday in New York there won’t be a “smooth upward path” for [...]

East Malaysians on hunger strike against making secession talk a crime

Five East Malaysians kicked off a hunger strike today to protest Putrajaya’s plan to amend the Sedition Act 1948 to criminalise any talk of secession by Sabah or Sarawak from Malaysia. The group, calling themselves Concerned Sarawakians, said they were against such a move as the people of Sarawak had not been consulted about and [...]

Auditors have no clue where Putrajaya’s SRC invested RM3.8 billion, says PKR

Putrajaya-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd has invested some RM3.81 billion of the RM4 billion borrowed from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) in “open-ended” funds that cannot be identified nor classified, PKR said today. In noting the similarities with the investments made by debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said out of that [...]

Indonesia

HK maid missing after hinting at plans to ‘join IS in Syria’

A 25-year-old pregnant Indonesian woman working as a maid in Hong Kong has ‘gone missing’ after allegedly telling a friend she planned on travelling to Syria with her husband to join the ranks of Islamic State (IS). Romlah Rosedah, chairwoman of the Indonesian Migrant Muslim Alliance, was quoted in an SCMP report as saying that [...]

Indonesia flags April start for much-delayed power plant project

Indonesia’s president said on Tuesday the long-delayed construction of a $4 billion coal-fired power plant would finally start next month, but an activist group said land disputes had not been settled despite his personal intervention. The mega-project, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, is seen by investors as a test case for whether [...]

Jokowi Sells Political Stability at Home to Japanese Businesses

President Joko Widodo has made a guarantee to thousands of Japanese business leaders that Indonesian politics will remain stable for foreign investors who are interested in entering the country’s market. “A lot of Japanese investors have asked me regarding the political situation at home. I ensure you that Indonesia’s political state remains safe and stable,” [...]

Singapore

Singapore’s central bank in touch with Malaysia on 1MDB probe

Singapore’s central bank said on Tuesday it was in touch with Malaysia’s regulators over its investigation into state fund 1MDB. “We are committed to assist within the full ambit of our laws,” said the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a statement to Reuters, adding it could not provide more details as investigations in Malaysia were [...]

Former British soldier remembers Lee Kuan Yew as an ‘austere’, ‘intense’ man

Marc Lourdes reporting from London “I met him a couple of times. I found him austere, clearly a man of immense intellect.” 82-year-old Peter West – he says his friends in Malaysia call him Batu (as in Peter, the rock) Barat – is telling me about his memories of late Lee Kuan Yew in the [...]

Lee Kuan Yew’s Punjab link

Among the unknown stories about the founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, is his intimate connection with Punjabis, and particularly with the family of Shiromani Akali Dal stalwart and Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura. Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, died on March 23 at the age of 91. He is recognised as [...]

Thailand

THAILAND PRESS-Intel to support govt’s digital economy plan – The Nation

Intel has announced its support for the government’s “digital economy” strategy through its technologies and knowledge, the Nation reported, citing Intel Southeast Asia’s director of public policy, Worapat Patram. Initially, Intel could immediately support the government through ICT (information and communications technology) training for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/thailand-press-intel-support-govts-004645680.html

Could Thailand Become the Transport Hub of Indochina?

Thailand has signed bilateral agreements with China and Japan to build two railway trunk lines across the country. One line, to be built with Chinese loans and technology, will link Bangkok and Map Ta Phut in the south through Laos to Kunming, Yunnan, in the north. The second line, to be built with Japanese capital [...]

Train Hits Truck During Heavy Rain in Thailand; 7 Killed

A passenger train collided with a pickup truck in heavy rain in northern Thailand on Tuesday, killing seven construction workers in the truck and seriously injuring another, police said. The train, bound for Bangkok, crashed into the truck at an unguarded crossing in Saraphi district shortly after departing from Chiang Mai, police Lt. Col. Kumkaew [...]

Philippines

Philippine economy to withstand crisis

Eeconomic managers have built up enough buffers to ensure the country stays on its current growth path, or at the very least avoid major crises, amid several risks from overseas. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said low inflation and strong growth put the Philippines in a comfortable position despite dark [...]

Lee Kuan Yew fondly remembered in Philippines

Singaporeans and Filipinos have been paying tribute to Lee Kuan Yew at the Singaporean Embassy in Manila, where Singapore’s founding father was remembered for his wisdom, perspective and profound insight. Following the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the Singaporean Embassy in the Philippines capital of Manila has opened its doors to people who wish to [...]

PNoy to investors: Philippines poised for even more success

“You ain’t seen nothing yet.” This was President Benigno Aquino III’s message to investors on Tuesday as he boasted the country’s economic growth under his watch, claiming that the best is yet to come. Speaking at the Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum in Makati, Aquino cited the economic achievements during his term including the country’s new [...]

Japan

Japanese investors’ mega buying spree overseas keeps yen under pressure

Purchases of foreign stocks and bonds by Japan’s giant pension funds and other big investors in 2015 could be their highest for at least a decade, if they keep pace with the $42 billion splurged during the first two months. At that rate their annual net sales of yen would be over 30 trillion, the [...]

Japan and Indonesia: A New Maritime Forum?

On March 23, visiting Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed to set up a new high-level bilateral maritime forum. The initiative is part of their ongoing efforts to strengthen their overall strategic partnership as well as to deepen the defense side of that relationship, as I have noted previously. [...]

JGB yield curve flattens as super long maturities outperform

Japanese government bond prices were little changed to slightly firmer on Tuesday, with the super long maturities outperforming on bargain hunting by investors. The benchmark 10-year yield stood unchanged at 0.305 percent, drawing support from steady US Treasuries. It briefly rose to 0.320 percent when the finance ministry said it will delay the release of [...]

Korea

The Interview: 10000 copies being dropped into N Korea

South Korean activists are sending 10,000 copies of Seth Rogen’s The Interview into North Korea later this week… Oh lordy. Just when you thought the world had come back from the brink of thermonuclear war over a Seth Rogen movie, the situation may just be about to become enflamed again. You probably know the story [...]

Korea to make AIIB membership decision soon

China’s neighbour South Korea has yet to decide whether to join the AIIB. But a decision could be coming sometime soon. South Korea’s decision on whether to join the AIIB as a founding member could come as early as sometime this week. China has set a deadline of the end of March. Finance minister Choi [...]

Fewer Japanese head for Korea

The number of Japanese tourists has been substantially falling amid chilled relations between Japan and South Korea. Last year, the number of Japanese tourists to South Korea dropped to two-thirds of its 2012 peak. The number of visitors to the Shin-Okubo district in Tokyo, where tourists once flocked from around Japan to enjoy the neighbourhood’s [...]

Hong Kong

HK FilMart: HK government Expands Youth Support Funds

The Hong Kong government has renewed and relaunched two funds to support local filmmaking. The First Feature Film Initiative, which had been run as a pilot programme, is now to be made permanent. Grants available to higher education students and to young professionals have been expanded to HK$3.25 million (US$420,000) and HK$5.5 million (US$710,000), respectively. [...]

HK regulator feels heat over decision on dual-class shares

Securities and Futures Commission will not be able to keep an open mind for very long What have Jack Ma, Li Ka-shing and a Dodge automobile got in common? Skip the jokes about the unlikeliness of Asia’s richest men travelling in an American muscle car and Hong Kong’s bankers, investors and lawyers could find out [...]

Number of HK multi millionaires up 14 pct (and one in 10 wants to leave)

The number of Hongkongers with liquid assets of HK$10 million or more was up 14 per cent last year, a survey has found. But the study also showed that about one in 10 of them wanted to emigrate. The survey of 3,419 people, aged 21 to 79, was commissioned by Citibank and conducted by the [...]

Taiwan

ADB forecasts Taiwan economic growth of 3.7pct in 2015

Thanks to strong external demand for electronics and rising tourism services, Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 3.7 percent in 2015 and 3.6 percent in 2016, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast in an economic report released Tuesday. The predicted economic growth for Taiwan in 2015, the strongest rise in three years, [...]

Japanese food from area affected by nuclear disaster found in Taiwan

Health officials ordered the removal from shelves of Japanese food from areas contaminated by radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster after confirming that they had been found in local supermakets. Chiang Yu-mei (???), chief of the Food and Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said the food products, from the Japanese [...]

Taiwan lobbyist wrote republican party resolution calling for more weapons for Taiwan

When the Republican National Committee convened in Chicago last August for its annual summer meeting, it unanimously approved a resolution urging the White House to supply a host of weapons, ranging from submarines to advanced warplanes, to the island nation of Taiwan. However, Justice Department records show the resolution was not written by any of [...]

Vietnam

Business Brief March 26

* Rang Dong Light Source and Vacuum Flask Company (RAL) has announced April 2 as the ex-ividend date to pay a 2014 second round cash dividend for shareholders at 15 percent. * FLC Group Company (FLC), one of the biggest real estate firms in Vietnam, targets pre-tax profit of VND1.26 trillion (US$53.86 million) and revenue [...]

Insiders explain why Vietnam is losing its tourism appeal

Vietnam wastes its chances at international tourism fairs while hindering vacationers with complicated visa rules, as industry insiders name more reasons to explain why the country has seemingly become less attractive to tourists worldwide. Attending such high-profile international tourism exhibition as the ITB Berlin Convention is a precious opportunity for any country to give its [...]

ADB forecasts Vietnam’s economy to grow 6.1pct in 2015

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has held a press conference on the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2015 on March 24th. Accordingly, Vietnam’s economy is likely to grow strongly in the next two years with a growth rate of 6.1 percent and 6.2 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. However, according to Dominic Mellor, country economist for [...]