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Asean Affairs  20 March 2011


By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     20 March 2011

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These were the most important news stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of March 12-18.

Lynas must meet Malaysian standards
Australia's Lynas Corp has to meet strict standards set by the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) to secure a licence to operate its rare earth ore processing plant that is under construction in Gebeng in Kuantan.

Huawei to construct Indo-Malaysia sea cables
Networks will lead the construction of an underwater cable system between Melaka in Malaysia and Dumai and Batam in Indonesia in order to improve the bandwidth in the two countries.

Clean water shortage threatens Vietnam
As many as 8.4 million Vietnamese people could suffer from clean water shortages by 2050 because of climate change, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Philippines may raise $4.6 billion for infrastructure
The Philippines government plans to raise as much as 200 billion pesos (US$4.6 billion) from state-run financial institutions to help fund roads, railways and ports, Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga said.

Indonesia buys Indian corn
Indonesian feed millers are snapping up corn cargoes from India as Jakarta secures food supplies amid shrinking global grain stocks.

Malaysia now faces tough decision on nuclear
Malaysia will have to make a tough call now on whether to proceed with its plans to build nuclear plants locally, or look at other renewable energy sources, considering the explosion and radioactive leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

Indonesia ready to supply Japan with fuel
In addition to sending rescue teams, Indonesia stands poised to help Japan with offers of liquefied natural gas and oil.

Leading rubber growers to stabilize prices
The world's top rubber producing countries, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, will hold an urgent meeting this week to find ways to support prices that have collapsed this month, a senior industry official said on Tuesday.

Commodity exchanges urged for Vietnam
Vietnamese exporters, producers and investors would benefit greatly from the establishment and effective management of commodity exchanges in the country, experts said yesterday. READ MORE:

Oil addition to Cambodian port
Cambodia plans to construct an US$88 million addition to Sihanoukville Autonomous Port partly to facilitate oil exploration, according to company officials.

Malaysian hydroelectric dam starts soon
The Bakun hydroelectric dam is expected to commercially produce 300 megawatts of electricity in July this year, said Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd managing director Zulkifle Osman.
Read MORE:

Activists call for end to Thailand's nuclear plans
Thailand must cancel its plan to build nuclear power plants to avoid facing a radiation crisis similar to that in Japan, activists say.

Nuclear safety-key Singapore issue
Safety is one of the key considerations in a current pre-feasibility study on nuclear energy, and it will be "a long time" before any decision is made, said Singapore's Trade and Industry Ministry.

Catastrophe clouds Indonesia nuclear plans
If a nation as technologically advanced as Japan is struggling to contain a nuclear catastrophe, what chance does Indonesia have of safely operating a nuclear plant?

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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