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Asean Affairs   17 July  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     17 July 2011

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These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of July 9- 15.

Indo police find weapons at Islamic school
Police confiscated explosives, dozens of sharp weapons and bomb-making materials when they were finally able to enter an Islamic boarding school in Bima, Sumbawa Island on Wednesday, two days after a bomb blast killed a man.

Pheu Thai backs down on wage increase ploy
When the "rubber meets the road" things change and that is what is happening to the Pheu Thai party in Thailand even before it takes office. The bump in the road is the promised 300 baht (US$10) nationwide wage increase. This move has been criticized by businesses and economists.

Malaysian auto output drops
Frost & Sullivan is revising its 2011 total industry volume (TIV) forecast to 615,900 units from 623,000 units estimated previously as a result of supply chain disruptions from the impact of the March 11 Japan earthquake.

Thai analysts give mixed report on Pheu Thai policies
The Thai Securities Analysts Association disagrees with the wage increase policy of the Pheu Thai Party, saying the plans to lift minimum wages and starting salaries for new graduates will stoke inflation and lead to an economic bubble.

Bank prioritizes Cambodian development
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) emphasized five priority sectors in its three-year, US$500 million Country Partnership Strategy on Friday.

JCI moves into new territory
Indonesia’s benchmark index broke new ground with its latest record close, climbing above the 4,000 level amid positive news from home.

Laos moves towards WTO membership
The Lao government has moved closer to gaining membership status with the World Trade Organisation, after successfully implementing reforms to give better market access to foreign companies and facilitate more trade.

Trial for alleged Thai arsonists begins
Prosecutors are scheduled to present closed-circuit video footage today in the criminal trial of two men charged with participating in the arson that burned down CentralWorld and Zen department store last year.

Activists call for electoral probe
Malaysian activists who staged a mass rally for poll reforms called on Tuesday for a royal probe into the electoral system after the clampdown on their weekend protest.

Singapore tackles trafficking
Singapore is currently drafting a National Plan of Action for the country to tackle both sex and labour trafficking.

Malaysia is aged by 2030
The United Nations (UN) is projecting that Malaysia will become an aged nation by the year 2030 when 15 percent of its population will be above 60 years old.

South China Sea dispute churns emotions
Many in the Chinese Military Academy wish to teach China’s neighbors “a lesson” for intruding into the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), which they consider part of their national territory, a Chinese Southeast Asian expert said.

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ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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