• Malaysia’s ex-DPM expected to be charged with CBT

    Malaysia’s ex-DPM expected to be charged with CBT

    Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is expected to be charged tomorrow with criminal breach of trust (CBT) for misappropriating funds from his family-owned welfare foundation Yayasan Akalbudi, sources say. A source told The Straits Times that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, 65, will be charged with CBT under Section 409 of the Penal […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Straits Times | 6:00 AM
  • Thailand army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable

    Thailand army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable

    Thailand’s new army chief on Wednesday did not rule out another military intervention if there was political conflict after the return of civilian rule in a general election next year. General Apirat Kongsompong, who took up his post this month, said the army was being closely watched and would strive to remain neutral. “We have […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Asahi | 6:00 AM
  • South China Sea is Beijing’s top foreign policy priority with developing nations, US think tank says

    South China Sea is Beijing’s top foreign policy priority with developing nations, US think tank says

    Southeast Asia is the top priority in Beijing’s foreign policy with the developing world despite its unresolved territorial disputes over the South China Sea, a US-based think tank said. While the United States and China are competitors on the world stage and appear to be working separately, the two powers that are currently locked in […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM
  • Duterte signs admin’s first oil exploration service contract with Israeli firm

    Duterte signs admin’s first oil exploration service contract with Israeli firm

    President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Wednesday (October 17) an oil and petroleum exploration deal with an Israel firm in line with the government’s “effort to attain energy security and sustainability at the soonest time possible.” The Department of Energy (DOE) initiated the ceremonial signing of the Petroleum Service Contract (PSC) covering Area 4 or the […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | UNTV | 6:00 AM
  • Asia-Pacific finance ministers fret over US-China spat

    Asia-Pacific finance ministers fret over US-China spat

    The trade spat between the world’s two largest economies’China and the United States’is imperilling the entire Asia-Pacific, regional finance ministers have warned. In a statement, finance ministers meeting in Port Moresby said risks to the global economy had increased thanks to “heightened trade and geopolitical tensions”, a veiled reference to the tit-for-tat trade dispute between […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Mattis to seek more resilient US ties with China’s military

    Mattis to seek more resilient US ties with China’s military

    US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will seek more resilient military ties during talks with his Chinese counterpart in Singapore slated for Thursday, a US official said, as both militaries attempt to navigate mounting tensions. Mattis saw first hand last month how growing Sino-US friction could undermine military contacts when Beijing up-ended plans for an October […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Korean President Moon Jae-in Speaks of Peace During Vatican Visit

    Korean President Moon Jae-in Speaks of Peace During Vatican Visit

    South Korea’s president said he was certain peace could be achieved on the Korean Peninsula as he prepared for an audience Thursday with Pope Francis where he’s expected to extend an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for Francis to visit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered remarks at a Wednesday evening “Mass […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Time | 6:00 AM
  • Hundreds of Asylum-Seekers From Yemen Granted One-Year Reprieve in Korea

    Hundreds of Asylum-Seekers From Yemen Granted One-Year Reprieve in Korea

    South Korea Wednesday granted a temporary reprieve to a group of Yemeni asylum seekers, allowing them to remain in the country for another year, Yonhap News reports. While the one-year humanitarian stay permits will relieve the 339 asylum-seekers of the immediate threat of deportation back to war-torn Yemen, the move was criticised for stopping short […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Time | 6:00 AM
  • China may ‘ease up’ on sanctions against N Korea as the trade war drags on

    China may ‘ease up’ on sanctions against N Korea as the trade war drags on

    As President Donald Trump continues to ramp up trade pressure on China, Beijing may be “less motivated to cooperate” with the US over sanctions against North Korea, an expert told CNBC Wednesday. “China has been taking steps to relax its enforcement of sanctions even before the trade tensions with the United States flared up,” according […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | CNBC | 6:00 AM
  • Mattis to meet Chinese counterpart amid tensions

    Mattis to meet Chinese counterpart amid tensions

    US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is set to meet his Chinese counterpart Thursday after earlier talks were scrapped amid soaring tensions between the nuclear powers over trade tariffs and sanctions. The much-anticipated meeting between the Pentagon chief and general Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of a regional security summit in Singapore is expected to see […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Korea’s taxi drivers protest against plans for carpool service

    Korea’s taxi drivers protest against plans for carpool service

    Tens of thousands of South Korean taxi-drivers held a rally on Thursday in Seoul, the capital, saying a carpooling service planned by the operator of the country’s top chat app would threaten their livelihoods and jobs. It was the latest challenge to ride-sharing services in South Korea, which has one of the world’s highest smartphone […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • US opposed to Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border: sources

    US opposed to Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border: sources

    The United States opposes a plan by South and North Korea to set up a no-fly zone over their heavily fortified border, the latest sign of a rift between Seoul and its top ally, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Washington and Seoul both publicly insist they are on the same page about […]

    19-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM

Society

Freed Vietnam blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’ arrives in US

A dissident Vietnamese blogger known by her pen name ‘Mother Mushroom’ has arrived in the United States after her surprise release from prison, telling a large crowd of supporters she will “never keep silent” in her fight for democracy in the one-party state. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 39, was quietly freed from a jail on […]

Vietnam frees popular blogger on condition she leave for US

Vietnam has freed a well-known blogger after two years in prison on the condition that she leave for the United States. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Mother Mushroom,” was arrested in October 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of defaming the Communist government. The conviction of the popular blogger, who […]

Vietnam police bust massive meth haul

Vietnam police discovered a massive haul of suspected methamphetamine worth an estimated $3 million after pulling over a speeding truck, authorities said Tuesday, the latest major bust in a country where synthetic drug use is on the rise. Two men managed to escape the scene but one of them who was arrested later, a Laotian, […]

Health

After eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, Malaysia sets sights on Hepatitis B

The health ministry said today it will focus on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of Hepatitis B, after Malaysia became the first country in the Western Pacific to eradicate such transmissions in HIV and syphilis. Health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said a few states will begin pilot programmes of targeted screening for Hepatitis B among pregnant mothers, after […]

China confirms first human case of H7N4 bird flu

China confirms first human case of H7N4 bird flu

China has confirmed the first human case of H7N4 bird flu, prompting Hong Kong to issue a health warning for those travelling to the mainland during the busy Lunar New Year holiday. The strain was identified in a 68-year-old woman from the eastern province of Jiangsu who was admitted to hospital after falling ill on […]

First Zika case in Singapore since September 2017: MOH

First Zika case in Singapore since September 2017: MOH

The Zika virus is back in Singapore, almost four months after the last reported case. The latest case was reported last Thursday (18 January), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an update on its website published on Tuesday (23 January). The website does not list any Zika cluster. It is the first Zika infection […]

FinanceAsia

Hitachi: Demonstration Operation of ICT System to Improve Efficiency of Energy Use and Medical Care Operations Starts at Indian Hospital

- Aim to demonstrate reduction of power consumption by 30% through optimization of energy management – TOKYO, Oct 18, 2018 – (JCN Newswire) – Under a demonstration project initiated in 2016, NEDO with its associate companies, Hitachi, Ltd., and Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd. have introduced energy-saving solar power generation equipment and an information and communications […]

WARC uncovers content strategy trends for effective marketing

Lessons from the WARC Awards 2018 LONDON, Oct 18, 2018 – (ACN Newswire) – WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has today released its Effective Content Strategy Report 2018, outlining key content marketing themes from the world’s most effective campaigns. Drawn from the winners of the Effective Content Strategy category of this […]

Eisai to Present Latest Data on Alzheimer’s Disease / Dementia Pipeline at 11th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease Conference

Additional Data From BAN2401 Phase II Results to Be Presented in Symposium Session TOKYO, Oct 18, 2018 – (JCN Newswire) – Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that five oral presentations including a symposium, and two poster presentations, highlighting the latest data on its Alzheimer’s disease / dementia pipeline including anti-amyloid beta (Abeta) protofibril antibody BAN2401, […]

Regional

Burma Buddhist temple now a nirvana for snakes

Crossing a bridge to the middle of a lake in Myanmar’s Yangon region, pilgrims arrive at a temple to pin their hopes on the pythons slinking across the temple’s floors and draped across windows. “People come here because they believe that their prayers will be fulfilled when they ask for something,” said Sandar Thiri, a […]

US defense secretary sees the enduring costs of Vietnam War

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is getting a firsthand look at the enduring costs of fighting the Vietnam War. Mattis visited an air base north of HCM City that was heavily contaminated in the late 1960s and early 1970s by American forces through storage and spillage of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. Four years ago […]

Nine UN Security Council members ask to discuss Burma inquiry

Nine UN Security Council members ask to discuss Burma inquiry

The chair of a United Nations inquiry that accused Myanmar’s military of genocide is likely to brief the Security Council this month after Britain, France, the United States and six other members requested the meeting, diplomats said on Tuesday. The move comes as global pressure mounts on Myanmar to act on accountability after a Myanmar […]

China

US official describes China as ‘problem’

A top US official on Wednesday described China as a “problem” and said Beijing has not responded to America’s queries on trade and intellectual property. “China is a problem. They have not responded to our asks. It’s not just the trade deficit per say. It’s theft of IP (intellectual property), it’s the force transfer of […]

Exxon Mobil bets big on China LNG, sidesteps trade war

In the middle of a Sino-US trade war, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company is turning toward Beijing for business at a time when most of Corporate America is looking elsewhere to avoid the threat of tariffs. Exxon Mobil Corp is placing big bets on China’s soaring liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand, […]

Beautify like Beckham: Chinese men splash the cash to keep up appearances

Looking good used to be the exclusive privilege of women. But in China, a boom in the country’s nearly $2 billion male grooming market shows that striving for the perfect image is no longer refined to the fairer sex. According to a white paper last month on the male-beauty sector from Tmall Innovation centre (TMIC) […]

Malaysia

Carpet dealer sues Najib, Rosmah and two others over tort of conspiracy

Carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan has filed a suit against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and two others over tort of conpiracy. In the suit filed on October 12, Deepak named Najib, Rosmah, Boustead Holdings Bhd and Bakti Wira Development Sdn Bhd as defendants. Deepak, who is the […]

Now, Najib and Rosmah face two civil suits exceeding RM700m

Amid ongoing legal battles, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor now find themselves at the centre of two more lawsuits, this time involving carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan. Malaysiakini reported that Deepak has filed an RM676 million suit against the couple and two companies for purportedly conspiring and exerting […]

Zahid still Umno chief even if charged, sec-gen says

Umno seretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today the party will make no move to remove Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as its president at this point, despite the pall cast by corruption investigations into a charity he founded. Annuar said it would be premature to discuss the matter as no legal action had been […]

Indonesia

Australians question how aid money is being spent in Indonesia after shift to ‘aid investment’

Australia pledged $5.5 million in relief aid to Indonesia earlier this month in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people and displaced millions more, but the pledge has sparked an online backlash over how Australian aid money to Indonesia is being spent. Some Australians criticised Indonesian military spending on […]

Indonesia targets closure of Freeport deal in December ‘official

Indonesia’s state-owned miner Inalum is looking to finalise a $3.85 deal for majority control of the local unit of global mining giant Freeport McMoRan Inc in December, a company official said on Wednesday. The deal, in which Inalum will control a 51.23 percent stake in PT Freeport Indonesia, is expected to end more than nine […]

Indonesia ICDX halts trading of tin, ore with origin verified by Surveyor Indonesia ‘circular

* Indonesia Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) has suspended trading of tin ingots and tin ore with origin verified by PT. Surveyor Indonesia, the exchange said in a circular reviewed by Reuters * ICDX declined to comment on the suspension * A spokeswoman for state-owned PT Surveyor Indonesia said she could not immediately comment on […]

Singapore

Singapore travellers may soon be able to use NETS for mobile payments in China

A potential deal, in conjunction with WeChat, would allow merchants to accept a NETSPay QR-code system People residing in Singapore who use the payments service NETS ‘which is practically everybody ‘could shortly be able to take the system abroad and use it for mobile payments in China, according to the South China Morning Post. Citing […]

Singapore revises rules to counter ‘shoebox apartment’ problem

Singapore has announced stricter guidelines on the maximum number of units in new blocks of private flats and condominiums in a move to tackle what authorities have called “excessive development of shoebox units” in the island-state. Shares of some real estate firms, including City Developments, UOL Group and Oxley Holdings, fell in Thursday morning trade, […]

Singapore police charge 2 men and 3 firms who supplied luxury goods to N Korea

The Singapore police have charged two men ‘one Singaporean, one North Korean ‘for supplying prohibited luxury items to North Korea, in contravention of United Nations sanctions. Additionally, three companies linked to the Singaporean man, who is 58 years old, were also charged in court on Thursday (18 October), for the same offence, the police said […]

Thailand

Thailand army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable

Thailand army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable

Thailand’s new army chief on Wednesday did not rule out another military intervention if there was political conflict after the return of civilian rule in a general election next year. General Apirat Kongsompong, who took up his post this month, said the army was being closely watched and would strive to remain neutral. “We have […]

Thailand’s infamous ‘jet-set monk’ convicted of raping a minor

Thailand’s infamous “jet-set monk” was convicted of raping an underage girl Wednesday, a court official said, in a case that has rocked an already scandal-mired Buddhist clergy. Wiraphon Sukphon, 39, earned his evocative moniker after footage emerged of him wearing designer sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton bag on a private jet. He was extradited back […]

EXIM Thailand inks agreements to enhance Thai and HK exporters’ competitiveness

Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand) has signed memoranda of understanding with Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKEC), to strengthen cooperation to enhance Thai and Hong Kong exporters’ competitiveness during this week’s Regional Cooperation Group Meeting of the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers (Berne Union) in Paris. Witnessed by delegates from eight […]

Philippines

Locsin, Bautista take oath as new Cabinet members

President Rodrigo Duterte presided over the oath taking of two new members of his Cabinet at Malacanan Palace on Wednesday (October 17). Philippine Ambassador to the UN Teddy Boy Locsin will now lead the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) while Retired Army Chief general Rolando Bautista will now head the Department of Social Welfare and […]

Fintech innovations to push financial inclusion across the Philippines

E-wallets, blockchain and other innovations in finance technology (fintech) will continue to grow in significance and become key drivers in pushing forward financial inclusion in the Philippines, according to various presenters at Seamless Philippines 2018. The event gathered over 3,800 entrepreneurs, business executives and professionals for a discussion on digital payments, e-commerce, retail and identity […]

Philippines’ total fertility rate is highest in Asean: UN

The Philippines, the second biggest country among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has the highest total fertility rate (TFR) in the region, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Iori Kato, UNFPA country representative in the Philippines, said the country’s population is fast growing. “If you ask me if it’s good […]

Japan

Japan exports drop for 1st time in nearly 2 years

Japan’s exports fell for the first time in nearly two years, as an ongoing US-China trade war, coupled with signs of economic slowdown worldwide, weighed on demand for Japanese cars, telecom equipment, and excavators. Japan’s exports in September edged down 1.2 percent from a year ago, Japan’s finance ministry said Thursday. The slip hit Japan’s […]

Blooming early! Japan’s famed cherry blossoms make unexpected appearance

The delicate blossoms of the cherry tree might be synonymous with the onset of spring in Japan’except this year they’re also blooming in autumn, a weather forecasting company said Wednesday. Experts told local media that the rare late blooms could be the result of this year’s unusual weather, including a particularly active typhoon season. Weathernews, […]

BOJ offers bleaker view on regional Japan, firms fret about trade war impact

The Bank of Japan cut its economic assessment for two of the country’s nine regions hit by natural disasters, and pointed to complaints by some firms over the potential fallout from escalating global trade frictions. Several companies surveyed by the BOJ said they were worried that higher US tariffs imposed on China could trigger an […]

Korea

Korea’s taxi drivers protest against plans for carpool service

Korea’s taxi drivers protest against plans for carpool service

Tens of thousands of South Korean taxi-drivers held a rally on Thursday in Seoul, the capital, saying a carpooling service planned by the operator of the country’s top chat app would threaten their livelihoods and jobs. It was the latest challenge to ride-sharing services in South Korea, which has one of the world’s highest smartphone […]

US opposed to Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border: sources

US opposed to Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border: sources

The United States opposes a plan by South and North Korea to set up a no-fly zone over their heavily fortified border, the latest sign of a rift between Seoul and its top ally, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Washington and Seoul both publicly insist they are on the same page about […]

S Korea September exports of most petrochemicals slump year-on-year

South Korea’s export volumes of most petrochemicals in September posted double-digit declines, industry data showed. Its exports of ethylene fell by 27.8 percent year-on-year to 70,299 tonnes, while those of propylene declined by 27.0 percent year-on-year to 128,298 tonnes, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). September shipments of paraxylene (PX) fell […]

Hong Kong

HK mega bridge launch announcement sparks backlash

China has finally announced the opening ceremony for the world’s longest sea bridge, which will connect Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland, but critics hit back Thursday over the secrecy surrounding the project. Construction started in 2009 on the 55-kilometre (34-mile) crossing, which includes a snaking road bridge and underwater tunnel, linking Hong Kong’s Lantau […]

S. Korea’s last polar bear dies ahead of British retirement

The last polar bear kept in South Korea has died of old age only weeks before his planned departure to better living conditions in Britain, zoo officials said Thursday. Tongki’a 23-year-old male named after a Japanese cartoon character of the 1980s’lived in a 330-square-metre (3,500-square-foot) concrete enclosure at the Everland theme park outside Seoul. The […]

Software glitch may have disrupted HK train services: MTR

It was not the testing of a new signalling system that brought down four key arteries of Hong Kong’s mass transit network on Tuesday, the rail operator said yesterday in an effort to clear the air. Tony Lee, chief of MTR Corporation’s operations engineering, told public broadcaster RTHK in a radio interview yesterday morning that […]

Taiwan

Taiwan is set to become the first Asian government to recognise same-sex marriage. Now voters could halt that

More than a year after a landmark legal ruling cleared the way for Taiwan to become the first place in Asia to recognise same-sex marriage, Taiwanese voters could reverse that distinction if they approve a ballot initiative declaring that marriage should be limited only to people of opposite sexes. The initiative, one of three LGBTQ-related […]

Taiwan in talks with Paraguay on $150 million investment: FM

Foreign minister Joseph Wu confirmed Wednesday that Taiwan and Paraguay are discussing the details of $150 million in investment by Taiwan and that the matter was addressed during Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez’s state visit to the country last week. However, Wu said no details have been agreed by the two sides and the exact […]

TSMC third-quarter profit slips 0.9pct amid trade war uncertainty

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) , the world’s largest contract chipmaker, reported a 0.9 percent fall in third-quarter net profit, amid worries over trade tensions that could undermine global technology demand. TSMC, whose clients include iPhone maker Apple Inc, said July-September profit was T$89.07 billion ($2.9 billion). That compared with the T$89.0 billion average […]

Vietnam

Business Briefs 19 Oct 2018

* Licogi 16 Company (LCG) and Nikko Indonesia have signed a cooperation agreement in Bali to implement three projects worth US$300 million in Indonesia and Vietnam, of which LCG and Nikko will build a US$200-million highway and a US$50-million financial center in Jakarta. Meanwhile, Nikko will invest US$50 million in implementing LCG’s solar power project […]

Reference exchange rate goes up on October 18

The State Bank of Vietnam adjusted the daily reference exchange rate up on October 18, setting the rate at 22,717 VND per USD, an increase of 2 VND from the previous day. With the current trading band of/- 3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,398 VND/USD and the […]

Drawing investors’ money and intellectual capital

Experts said that drawing investment from private investors in the period is not only drawing their money, but also their intellectual capital and knowledge management. Join us to explore the issue. This Foreign Direct Investment enterprise has invested in agriculture and food processing in Vietnam for years. Initially, it set to use domestic materials for […]