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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   27 November 2013  

Singapore high commissioner meets M'sian official amid spying allegations

SINGAPORE: Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia Ong Keng Yong on Tuesday met Othman Hashim, the secretary-general of Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Ministry, to clarify allegations that Singapore spied on Malaysia.

Mr Ong was summoned by Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs after fresh media reports surfaced, alleging that Singapore had aided an intelligence group in spying on Malaysia.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Mr Ong said he was unable to comment on the allegations because he does not have any specific information.

He said he has referred the media reports to the relevant agencies in Singapore.

Mr Ong also took the opportunity to reaffirm that Singapore values good relations with Malaysia and that both countries have an excellent bilateral relationship and cooperate closely on many matters of common interest.

He added that Singapore has no interest in doing anything that might harm its partners or the friendship between the two countries.

Malaysia had called in the high commissioner from Singapore over a media report that said the city-state helped facilitate US-Australian surveillance in the region.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had already summoned the heads of the US and Australian missions earlier in November in protest over reports that a vast US-led surveillance network included a listening post in America's Malaysian embassy.

Malaysia is "extremely concerned" about the Singapore report, Anifah said in a statement.

Monday's report in the Sydney Morning Herald said Singapore and South Korea were playing key roles in a "Five Eyes" intelligence network involving the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

It quoted a top-secret US National Security Agency (NSA) map that it said was published by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

As a major hub for regional telecommunications traffic, Singapore was an important link in the surveillance network, it said.

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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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