Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk
North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee, who lives in South Korea, poses as she presents her book 'The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story' in Beijing on March 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Anger as rights activists barred from ASEAN talks

Google/AFP, 28 February 2009

HUA HIN, Thailand (AFP) — Southeast Asian leaders were embroiled in a fresh row over human rights on Saturday after Myanmar's junta and Cambodia blocked activists from attending rare face-to-face talks.

Myanmar premier Thein Sein and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen had refused to join the meeting with civil society representatives if activists from their countries were present, delegates and rights groups said.

The angry spat at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Thai beach resort of Hua Hin threatened to overshadow the 10-member group's efforts to deal with the global financial crisis.

"I was disappointed but it was expected. The refusal by the Burmese regime clearly shows they are not committed to change," one of the two barred activists, Khin Omar from Myanmar, told AFP after the meeting.

Myanmar's military regime changed the country's name from Burma in 1989.

She said the move showed that a landmark ASEAN charter that came into force in December and calls for the establishment of a new regional human rights body "is just a cosmetic show".

The meeting went ahead without Khin Omar and the other activist, Pen Somony of Cambodia, who instead both held a brief meeting with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Singapore-based civil rights activist Sinapan Samydorai, who was at the meeting, said that when one delegate raised the issue of the barred campaigners "I saw the face of the Cambodian and Burmese leaders change".

There was also no representative from communist-ruled Laos because they feared possible repercussions at home, Samydorai said.

The meeting eventually covered topics including the rights body, migrant workers, Myanmar and gender, delegates said. There was no immediate comment by any of the ASEAN leaders who attended.

Human rights have been a perennial challenge for ASEAN in the 42 years since it was founded as a bulwark against the spread of communism. Its members now include a monarchy, a dictatorship and two communist states.

The bloc has repeatedly been pressed to use its influence to improve the rights situation in Myanmar but to little avail. Its soft approach contrasts with the sanctions imposed by Western nations.

A key problem has been the group's core policy of non-interference in domestic affairs, which has previously been used by nations like Myanmar to fend off criticism.

The policy has most recently been enshrined in a draft document seen by AFP on the proposed rights body, which in its current form has no powers to investigate or prosecute rights abusers.

The draft is also packed with provisions rejecting external interference and stressing cultural diversity.

Thailand's Abhisit defended the rights body, however, saying in a speech at the formal opening of the summit that it was a "big step" towards protecting the fundamental freedoms of the region's 570 million people.

He also sought to focus on economic issues, saying Southeast Asia must pull together to survive the "adverse impact of the global financial crisis".

ASEAN's export-driven economies have begun to feel the effects of the crunch, with Singapore facing its worst recession since independence and Thailand also facing difficulties.

The group signed a free trade deal with Australia and New Zealand on Friday and on Sunday leaders are expected to sign a declaration on becoming a European Union-style community by 2015 and a statement on tackling the economic crisis.

They will also sign an energy agreement to allow members to buy oil at a discount during times of economic difficulty.

The global financial crisis has overshadowed this year's summit and Abhisit warned that the region faces a struggle to survive the downturn.

"ASEAN is at the frontier of an economic battle and recovery. We will be severely tested from now on, both as a group and as a part of the broader Asian region," Abhisit told fellow leaders.

ASEAN members agree to improve transport to boost tourism

MCOT , 28 February 2009

PHETCHABURI, Feb 28 (TNA) - Government leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), agreed Saturday to boost their tourism industries despite the global economic recession, a Thai government spokesman said. 

Agreement was achieved during the 4th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) summit by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who chaired the meeting, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. 

The IMT-GT session was held to follow up progress of  the 2007-2011 roadmap, designed to strengthen food and energy security, reduce global warming and balance food production in the region for the long-term, which would also help the three countries to survive the prevailing economic crisis, he said. 

The agreement reached by the three leaders included improving marine and air transport to stimulate tourism in the region. 

The IMT-GT is the newest growth triangle in Asia. It includes the geographic areas of North Sumatra and Aceh in Indonesia; the northern states of Kedah, Perak, Penang and Perlis in peninsular Malaysia; and the southern provinces of Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani in Thailand. Collectively, these areas cover 200,000 sq. km. and have a population of 21 million. 

ASEAN  comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are now holding a three-day summit in Cha-Am, near the Thai resort of Hua Hin. The meeting ends Sunday. (TNA)

Malaysia & Indonesia To Lead Animal Feed Initiative

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia, which has been appointed alongside Indonesia as the prime mover for the Developing Eight's (D8) animal feed initiative on food security, is committed to convening the first workshop within six months to discuss implementation details. 

Malaysia's Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, said it was appropriate for Malaysia-Indonesia to cooperate in the animal feed field as both countries had agricultural pacts in related fields. 

"We will be hosting the first workshop as soon as possible," he told reporters after the release of the Kuala Lumpur Initiative To Address Food Security here today. 

Other initiatives outlined in the Kuala Lumpur Initiative were seed bank, fertilisers, standards & trade issues and marine and fisheries. 

The declaration was issued in conjunction with the three-day D8 Ministers' Meeting on Food Security, which ended today. 

The D8 countries are a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations which have formed an economic development alliance. 

It consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey and represent about one billion people or 14 per cent of the world population.

Related Article:

D8 - Pakistan Suggests Use The US$1.5 Billion IDB Allocation On Food Security

Giving briefs

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press  |  Sat, 02/28/2009 2:56 PM 


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, right, speaks with Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda during the ASEAN heads of state meet with youth representatives during the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cha-Am, near Hua Hin, southwest of Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday. AP/Barbara Walton

UN support sought for WOC

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Fri, 02/27/2009 9:33 AM  

Indonesia is suggesting the United Nations adopt the World Ocean Conference as its new international agenda for discussing ocean protection and climate change. 

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi is seeking support from Indonesian lawmakers to ‘lobby’ the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to become an ‘umbrella’ for future talks on marine conservation.

“We hope the WOC in Manado will be the first Conference of Parties (COP), a new agenda for regularly discussing ocean development that could be placed under the UNEP program,” Freddy told the House of Representatives’ Commission I for foreign affairs and security in Jakarta on Thursday.

Indonesia will host the first WOC in Manado, North Sulawesi, on May 11-15. Around 10,000 delegates from 121 countries and some UN bodies such as UNEP, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been invited.

The meeting, to be attended by ministers overseeing maritime and environmental affairs, will conclude with the signing of a non-binding Manado Ocean Declaration.

Senior officials from 43 countries began a two-day meeting in Jakarta on Thursday to drawn up a draft for the declaration.

Freddy said the declaration would detail the impacts of climate change on oceans, the role of oceans in regulating global climate change and opportunities for regional and international cooperation.

Maritime activities are currently regulated under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which came into effect in 1982.

Around 135 countries, including Indonesia, have ratified the UNCLOS, which outlines ground-rules on maritime activities.

The UNCLOS, however, does not address the method of managing maritime resources in circumstances of global climate change.

The oceans cover almost two thirds of the earth surface, with million of people living near and relying on the sea for food and income.

Experts predict the oceans are capable of storing about 50 times the carbon dioxide emissions currently released into the atmosphere.

Global warming could cause ocean acidification, temperature and sea level rise and flood entire small island states, such as the Maldives.

Indonesia has about 5.8 million hectares of ocean that could absorb up to 40 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

The maritime minister also unveiled an initiative for the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) to legislators, claiming it was the world’s first initiative to protect coral from the severe impact of climate change.

The heads of states of six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste – will officially launch the CTI at the sidelines of the WOC. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed his intention to witness the launch, while United States Secretary Hillary Clinton is also scheduled to attend.

Minister Freddy said preparations for the WOC were about 90 percent complete, though some obervers, including lawmaker Joko Susilo, have warned the government about ignoring pressing issues that require quick organization.

Related Article:

RI receives $250 million in grants for World Ocean Conference

CTI initiated by Indonesia: president

WOC Website

Vietnam to host first international kite festival

QDND.VN, 27 February 2009

Vung Tau, Vietnam, will host the first international kite festival, a 5-day event starting on March 26th. 

A number of well-known kite fliers from 15 countries around the world, such as the US, France, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Indonesia, will fly more than 300 different kites, including a record 275m-long kite, and other colourful kites of both traditional and modern styles. 

An artistic kite-flying performance in the evening will be accompanied by music and lights right on the beach. 

In addition, several specially-designed kites will be showcased in roofed rooms. 

The festival is aimed at introducing the local culture and tourism to both domestic and international tourists. 

This event will take place in two main areas, including a beach in Vung Tau and the Ho Tram Tourism Area.

Singapore Jan tourist arrivals fall 13 pct

Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:25pm EST  

SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Singapore suffered a 12.9 percent drop in visitor arrivals in January from a year ago as the global downturn and a sharp economic slowdown in Asia hurt tourism. 

The fall in visitors comes at a time when Singapore is trying to boost tourism, with two multi-billion-dollar casino-resorts containing thousands of hotel rooms scheduled to open by the middle of next year. 

The Singapore Tourism Board said in a statement dated Friday that the city-state received 771,000 visitors last month compared with 885,000 in January 2008 and down from 888,000 in December 2008. 

The largest number of visitors came from Indonesia, China and Australia. 

The tourism authority also said the average hotel room rate in Singapore fell 11.7 percent to S$209 ($135) in January from a year ago, while hotel occupancy plunged to 67 percent from 85 percent a year earlier. 

Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N) is scheduled to open its Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore before the end of this year, while Genting International's (GNTG.SI) Resorts World at Sentosa will open sometime next year.

 (Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Jan Dahinten)

Thai PM: Business sector to play key role in ASEAN integration ,  2009-02-27 22:55:49 

BANGKOK, Thailand, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday said ASEAN's business community will play a key role in the grouping's moves towards its goal of becoming economic integration by 2015. 

"The real drivers for trade and investment integration will be the private sector," Abhisit said. 

The prime minister made the remarks when he addressed business leaders from 10 member states and 11 other countries attending the 2008 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (BIS). 

The conference, which began on Wednesday and ends on Friday, took place at Bangkok's Plaza Athenee hotel. 

He said that the ASEAN Free Trade Area was a good beginning towards integration. "But we have to do much, much more." 

Abhisit also said "smaller business entities" should not be left behind in the process of integration. 

During the 14th ASEAN Summit, leaders of the ten ASEAN member countries will sign or adopt a total of 24 ASEAN related documents. 

Among other documents, Declaration on the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015) will be signed. 

He stressed on the importance of closer cooperation between the private sector and the public sector, as well as between the private sectors within ASEAN. 

He expressed optimism for ASEAN to achieve its shared dream of becoming one community. "During Thailand's chairmanship, let me ensure you that ASEAN will be closer towards realizing the dream of the founding fathers to build a strong and prosperous community for caring and sharing society," he said. 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on Aug. 8, 1967. The ASEAN member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

FAUZIAH ISMAIL: Abdullah proud of Asean's success

New Strait Times, 27 February 2009

 Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi being greeted by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in Hua Hin yesterday. — Bernama picture 

THIS may be his last outing at Asean summits and meetings but Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he was neither unhappy nor sad to leave it. He described it as part of his work. 

His affiliation with Asean dates back to when he was foreign minister under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's administration. 

Abdullah said he was proud that the 42-year-old Asean had progressed and evolved into a regional grouping that was recognised the world over. 

"This is because of good cooperation and understanding and the willingness among member countries to resolve common problems. 

"While there were concerns before on some developments such as Spratlys and the overlapping claims that may upset the security in the region, that didn't happen.

"What is happening today is the inclination among member countries to cooperate and share resources. 

"Asean members, more than ever before, have to cooperate with one another to tide over the current economic crisis. We are all affected by it and it is only best that we help each other," he said after meeting Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on the sidelines of the 14th Asean Summit here. 

He said the Asean heads attending the summit were expected to endorse its finance ministers' proposal for the total size of the Multilateralised Chiang Mai Initiative from the initially agreed level of US$80 billion (RM296 billion) to US$120 billion, the proportion of the amount of contribution from member countries. 

He said with a market of more than 500 million, Asean would continue to encourage member countries to trade within the region and develop other economic activities.

On his meeting with the new Thai prime minister, Abdullah said both had discussed, among others, the situation in southern Thailand and the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle. 

"We have had some problems but both countries enjoy good bilateral relations. There are no new requests from the Thai side and Abhisit said he is ready to continue with whatever is already undertaken by both countries." 

Both sides also agreed for the continuation of the joint consultative commission between the two countries. 

Abdullah also extended an invitation to Abhisit to visit Malaysia, which the Thai premier accepted.

Asean finally gets its own official anthem

Thai songwriters create winning score, lyrics 

Bangkok Post, KULTIDA SAMABUDDHI and THANIDA TANSUBHAPOL, 28/02/2009 at 12:00 AM 

It could take a long time before the Southeast Asian nations achieve all the ambitious goals they have laid out for themselves in the Asean Charter. 

 Captain Narong Sangboot, conductor of the Royal Thai Navy Symphony Orchestra, and its other members rehearse the Asean anthem which will be played at the opening ceremony of the 14th Asean summit today. CHANAT KATANYU

But at least one of their missions has already been completed. 

That mission, demanded under Article 40 of the charter, stipulates that "Asean shall have an anthem". 

It is the first official anthem in Asean's 42-year history. Composed by Thai songwriters, The Asean Way will be played by the Royal Thai Navy Symphony Orchestra and sung by a 52-member choir at the opening ceremony of the 14th Asean summit today. 

It will be played before the 10 Asean leaders. This summit is the first since the Asean Charter came into force last December. 

The Asean Way was co-composed by Payom Valaiphatchra (lyricist), Sampao Triudom and Kittikhun Sodprasert. 

It was adopted by a panel of judges at the Asean Composers Forum in Bangkok last November. The panel consisted of one prominent composer from each member country, plus three prominent musical experts from a neutral country. 

The Thai-composed anthem beat the other 99 entries in the contest from the 10 Asean countries and the composers received a US$20,000 (713,000 baht) cash prize. 

The 60-second song consists of a heart-rending melody and inspiring lyrics that fit the criteria of "reflecting Asean cooperation and solidarity and Asean's diverse culture and ethnicity." 

"I imagined that I am standing in a grand hall where all Asean leaders are convening, then the music comes to my head," explained music composer Sampao when asked how he had created the melody for the anthem. Mr Sampao, a former oboist at the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, is now a lecturer at Silpakorn University's faculty of music. 

The melody was forwarded to Mr Kittikhun, a veteran music composer and conductor, who arranged the music for the competition. 

Composing the Asean anthem was one of his most challenging tasks as the criteria states that the song must not be more than one minute long, said Mr Sampao. 

"We had to make sure the song would convey its core message to the audience in one minute," Mr Sampao said. "It's like you have to make a love confession right after the first knock on the door. You have no time to beat about the bush." 

Mrs Payom said she completed the lyrics in two days after receiving the music score. 

The 60-word lyrics were gleaned from her work experiences as a former journalist, having covered many international events and Asean activities. 

Mrs Payom is a former editor of the Bangkok Post's Outlook section. She is currently an executive of Syllable, a public relations company. 

The three composers will also attend today's inauguration of the Asean anthem in Phetchaburi. "I feel overwhelmed," she said. 

"I would like the Thai people, especially the generations to come, to be proud and confident that we too are capable of making history."

Singapore PM warns of lengthy global slump

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Cha-am, Thailand | Sat, 02/28/2009 11:04 AM  

Singapore's leader Prime has warned the global economic slump may last several more years if the U.S. doesn't fix its creaking banking system, a newspaper reported Saturday. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien also called on President Barack Obama to resist pressure from the American public for protectionist policies such as trade barriers to protect homegrown industries during the downturn. 

Lee, in Thailand for the 14th annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders, told the Bangkok Post in a pre-summit interview that the U.S. - the world's largest economy - will be in recession for at least the rest of the year and could continue to stumble after that. 

"So you could easily be in for several years of quite slow growth worldwide. And I think it's best that we prepare for that, and prepare our people," said Lee, son of Lee Kuan Yew, the city-state's leader from 1959 to 1990. 

Leaders and top officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - a region of more than 500 million people - are gathered in the Thai resort town of Cha-Am, 120 miles (200 kilometers) south of the capital Bangkok, for the grouping's 14th summit.

The meeting, usually dominated by human rights issues, is overshadowed this year by the global economic meltdown, which has already dragged the export-dependent region's most advanced economy - Singapore - into recession. 

Thailand's economy shrank in the fourth quarter and others like Malaysia and Indonesia are facing rapidly slowing growth as exports crumble. Singapore warns that its economy will contract as much as 5 percent this year. 

The region - which groups one of Asia's richest nations with some of its poorest - is at the mercy of global economic winds, particularly from the U.S., a major export market for Southeast Asian countries. 

U.S. banks are loaded with hundreds of billions of dollars of toxic assets after the overheated American housing market imploded last year, sending shock waves through the global financial system. 

Lee said fixing ailing banks in the U.S. and some major European nations will require politically difficult and costly decisions such as nationalization, massive injections of capital, or governments buying the banks' bad assets. All involve nationalizing the banks "one way or another," he said. 

"I think the choices are not easy but they have to be made. If you do not make a choice then the outcome will be like what happened in Japan in the 1990s and it went on for more than a decade because the problem just lingered," said Lee. 

On protectionism, Lee said the openness of the U.S. economy had for years driven the increase in global trade and rising prosperity, all of which was at stake if the U.S. turned inward. 

"If America turns inward, it is going to do the world a lot of harm and do themselves a lot of harm," he said.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Malaysia & Indonesia To Voice Out Rohingyas Issue

From M. Saraswathi, Bernama 

Myanmar's Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein, left, poses with Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva during their meeting Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, in Cha-am, Thailand, held ahead of the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, Pool)

HUA HIN, Feb 26 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Indonesia will raise the issue of stateless Rohingyas Myanmar at the Asean Summit, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim on Thursday. 

He said Myanmar must understand that the issue was not only their problem, but also that of the other Asean member countries who were at the receiving end. 

"I am myself will be very inclined to discuss this matter when we have the discussion on matters pertaining to Asean. Having said that, the difficulty is immense as no specific authority is in charge of this exodus," Rais told Malaysian reporters at a press conference here, Thursday. He is here for the 14th Asean Summit. 

Rais said there were not less than 14,000 registered Rohingyas in Malaysia and expected the actual number to be more. 

"We are made to understand that this people are encouraged to leave the shores within a situation that is questionable," he said. 

Hence, the issue needed to be raised, especially at the foreign ministers level discussion and "perhaps at a later date we will resume other forms of cooperation (on the matter)," said Rais. 

He said it would be better for Myanmar to be open about it, especially on how the matter could be dealt since these people were coming from Myanmar. 

Rais said some form of assistance also needed to be set up by the United Nations to handle the issue, especially if Myanmar did not own up to the community which would than become a worldwide problem. 

"So, it is pertinent for us to engage with the UN in this matter," he said. 

Rais also said Malaysia, which will be represented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Asean Summit, wanted the human rights issue to be discussed in the spirit of Asean. 

He said Malaysia felt that the human rights aspect in the Asean region should be slightly different from the universal aspect which was currently being structured according to the United Nations schedule. 

Malaysia was also endeavouring to raise the Palestinian issue at the Summit although it was not related to Asean, he said. 

Rais said the Prime Minister was expected to play an active role in discussions on the world economic and financial crisis, and the Asean leaders were also expected to sign several important documents at the Summit. 

The documents included the Blueprint On Asean Security Community, Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint, and the Asean Integrating Workplan.

Just landed

The Jakarta Post  |  Fri, 02/27/2009 9:30 PM 

 Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, front left, and his wife, second left, are greeted by Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, center, and his wife upon Yudhoyono's arrival for the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit at the Hua Hin airport, Thailand, on Friday. (AP/Nicolas Asfouri)

RI receives $250 million in grants for World Ocean Conference

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 02/27/2009 8:12 PM  

Indonesia has received US$250 million in grants from various countries for the implementation of the World Ocean Conference which will be held in Manado, North Sulawesi, on May 11-15, 2009. 

"Of the total, US$40 million is from the United States," Indroyono Soesilo, chairman of the WOC organizing committee, said in Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by state news agency Antara. 

Six heads of state from member countries of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) would participate in the CTI Summit to be organized on May 15, in parallel with WOC, he said. 

CTI has six member countries, namely the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Solomon Island. Australia and the United States are observers of CTI. 

He also said that US President Barack Obama had appreciated Indonesia's Coral Triangle Initiative. 

North Sulawesi Governor Sandurajang said his province was ready to receive around 1,500 participants from 121 countries during the WOC 2009

The province had constructed new eight star-rated hotels to accommodate the WOC participants, he said. 

Marine experts would discuss efforts to save the marine ecology from the impacts of the global warming during the conference.

WOC Website

Related Article:

Batam Seals Waste Carrier Ship

Friday, 27 February, 2009 | 12:22 WIB 

TEMPO Interactive, Batam:The Batam’s Regional Environmental Impact Management Agency (Bapedalda) has sealed the MT Xing Guang 7 ship. The Korean-flagged ship was carrying 3.800 tons of dangerous and poisonous substances. 

The iron rusted sand waste – also known as foresand – was also sealed to prevent it from being secretly carried by the owner. “We are investigating the case,” Batam’s Bapedalda chief Dendi Purnomo told Tempo yesterday. The laboratory test showed that the waste was positive, containing dangerous and poisonous substances. “We have reported it to the Environment Ministry for legal processing,” he said. 

Rumbadi Dalle

Practice makes perfect

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press | Fri, 02/27/2009 2:04 PM 

 Students protect their heads as they assemble outside their school building during a simultaneous earthquake drill Friday, in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines. The National Disaster Coordinating Council conducted the drill to prepare students for a disaster or calamities. AP/Pat Roque 

ASEAN unveils rights body but it still lacks punch

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Cha-am | Fri, 02/27/2009 5:05 PM  

Southeast Asian officials on Friday praised a proposal for the creation of a regional human rights body as a historic first step toward confronting abuses, but the body will lack the power to investigate or punish violators like military-ruled Myanmar. 

A confidential document obtained by The Associated Press says the rights body, which the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations hopes to form later this year, would "promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms" in the region but will abide by the bloc's bedrock policy of not interfering in members internal affairs. 

The document, which outlines the proposed powers of the future rights body, falls short of key demands voiced by international human rights groups, which say the body will have limited effectiveness unless it can impose sanctions or expel countries that violate the rights of their own citizens. 

ASEAN traditionally shies away from criticizing its members, although some leaders said that issues of democratic reform in Myanmar and human rights abuses were being discussed on the sidelines of the conference. 

The document was presented behind closed doors to ASEAN foreign ministers gathered at a coastal resort in Thailand ahead of an annual leaders summit this weekend. Delegates say the summit will focus on how the region can best cope with the global economic crisis, and the bloc planned to sign a free trade pact with Australia and New Zealand. 

The draft is the first one to outline the body's proposed powers; a final one is expected in July. 

"It is a historic first for Southeast Asia," said Rosario Manalo, a Philippine diplomat on the panel that drafted the human rights body's outline. 

Officials sought to temper criticism of the proposed human rights body, saying the powers of the body could evolve over time. 

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, the chairman of the drafting committee said that "investigative powers should not be ruled out." He added: "We have to go as far as we can but at the same time we have to be realistic." 

According to the document, the body would follow the principles of "noninterference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states" and any of the group's decisions "shall be based on consultation and consensus," giving Myanmar and other violators veto power to block decisions. 

International human rights groups have urged ASEAN leaders to press military-ruled Myanmar to end its rights abuses, including detaining thousands of political prisoners. 

The summit, hosted by current chair Thailand, is the first since the group signed a landmark charter in December to make ASEAN a legal entity and move it a step closer to its goal of establishing a single market by 2015 and becoming a European Union-like community. 

ASEAN's 10 members - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - range from very poor to moderately rich.

Jakarta to turn lights off Saturday

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 02/27/2009 5:33 PM  

Jakarta will take part in a global effort to promote climate change mitigation by turning off the city lights for an hour on Saturday starting 8.30 p.m. 

Director General for Electricity and Energy Consumption J. Purwono said the event was endorsed by the World Wide Foundation (WWF) and a total of 1,000 cities from all across the globe would participate in the event. 

“We support this program. In Jakarta, WWF will cooperate with the local government,” Purwono said as quoted by Antara state news agency. 

WWF Indonesia program director for climate and energy Fitrian Ardiansya claimed that the event would safe a total of Rp 200 million of spending on electricity. 

“The main targets of this activism are the government, business players, communities and individuals,” Fitrian said. 

The event, which is called Earth Hour, starts in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 with about 2.2 million people turning their house lights off for an hour. A total of 50 million participated in the city last year, and also followed by 18,231 companies and 370 cities in 35 countries. (and) 

Dutch minister queries Aceh governor on security

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 02/27/2009 7:35 PM  

Visiting Dutch Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin was curious of the security situation in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) ahead of the legislative election in April, Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf said in Banda Aceh on Friday. 

"The Dutch justice minister is visiting Aceh to obtain first-hand information about the security situation and law enforcement in the run-up to the legislative election in the province," Irwandi said as quoted by Antara news agency. 

Yusuf said the Dutch minister also asked about the realization of the Helsinki peace agreement and Law No.11/2006 on Aceh province's administration. 

Speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting with Hirsch Ballin, the governor said law enforcement in Aceh had improved significantly but the political atmosphere in the run-up to the elections was heating up. 

"I hope the situation will return to normal following President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit to Aceh last Monday," the governor said. 

When in Aceh to dedicate a number of infrastructure projects, President Yudhoyono said so-called Military Operation Area (DOM) and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) would no longer exist in Aceh. 

According to Irwandi Yusuf, the Dutch justice minister also asked about a plan to close the Europen Union representative's office in Aceh in conjunction with the end of the Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Board (BRR) program. 

In response to Hirsch Ballin's question, the governor said the Aceh provincial administration had never asked for the closing of the EU representative's office because the EU's presence in the province was to supervise the peace process after the Helsinki agreement and it had nothing to do with BRR. 

"We continue to expect the presence of foreign observers in Aceh during the election this year because according to point 127 in the Helsinki peace agreement, the 2009 election should be monitored by the EU," Yusuf said. 

He added the presence of foreign observers was much needed to ensure that the elections will run fairly, safely, and honestly.

Asean, Australia, New Zealand Sign Free-Trade Deal

By Gemma Daley and Shamim Adam 

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Southeast Asian nations signed a free trade pact with Australia and New Zealand, boosting the regional bloc’s efforts to increase commerce amid the global economic recession. 

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the three non-member nations will eliminate or lower tariffs on products such as coffee, dairy, minerals, cars and vegetables in the next 12 years. The pact, estimated to boost trade by $12 billion, was signed in Cha-am, Thailand today. 

“Such a move is even more essential in these times of economic difficulties, when interdependence, cooperation, and openness are increasingly crucial to our economies and when paving the way for businesses to reap tangible benefits is vital,” Singapore Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said. 

Southeast Asian nations in 2007 agreed to open up their markets further in a bid to create an economic zone modeled after the European Union, without a common currency, by 2015. The group has said it needs to improve its competitiveness as China and India, the world’s two fastest-growing major economies, attract an increasing chunk of global investment. 

Asean’s trade with Australia and New Zealand was about $50 billion last year, and foreign direct investment by the two countries into the regional bloc totaled more than $1 billion, according to Singapore’s trade ministry. 

The agreement is aimed at bringing down barriers to trade as part of efforts to develop what it calls an Asean Economic Community. The agreement covers an area with a combined population of 600 million and an estimated GDP of $2.7 trillion. 

Barriers ‘Coming Down’ 

Asean’s agreement with Australia and New Zealand covers trade in goods, investment and services which include financial services and telecommunications. It also comprises of electronic commerce, intellectual property, competition policy and economic cooperation. 

“Trade barriers are coming down in the region,” Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean said in a statement. “This is the first trade agreement Australia has signed since the onset of the global financial crisis.” 

Asean includes Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. It was formed in 1967. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Gemma Daley in Canberra at Shamim Adam in Bangkok at

Malaysian PM: Send Muslim boat people back

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Cha-am | Fri, 02/27/2009 6:49 PM  

Malaysia's prime minister has called for Myanmar's Muslim boat people to be pushed back if they attempt to land on any Southeast Asian shores in search of asylum, a newspaper said Friday. 

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also took swipes at Myanmar and Thailand on the Rohingya issue, which has escalated into a major problem for the region and one of concern internationally. 

Thousands of the stateless Rohingya have fled Myanmar as well as refugee camps in Bangladesh in recent years, but their plight was only highlighted recently when hundreds were believed to have drowned after being pushed out to sea by the Thai military. 

"But if we cannot be firm we cannot deal with this problem. We have to be firm at all borders. We have to turn them back," Abdullah said in an interview with the English-language Bangkok Post. 

The Malaysian leader arrived at this beach-side resort Friday for the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a 10-nation bloc that includes Myanmar. While the Rohingya issue is not part of the official agenda it appears to be taking up substantial time during sideline discussions at the three-day conference. 

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Myanmar has agreed to take some of the refugees back but gave few details and said the process would be "difficult." The Myanmar delegation has yet to make a public comment on the issue. 

The Rohingyas - not recognized as a distinct ethnicity by Myanmar's government and often denied citizenship - number about 800,000 in that country. Hundreds of thousands have fled to Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Middle East, and many rights groups have expressed concern that they will be abused if forced to return to Myanmar. 

Myanmar's consul general in Hong Kong, Ye Myint Aung, earlier this month described Rohingya people as "ugly as ogres" in a letter to media and diplomats. 

Human rights groups have also been highly critical of Thailand for allegedly abusing groups of Rohingya whose rickety boats reached its shores and then towing them out to sea without adequate provisions or fuel for their craft. Thailand has denied the allegations. 

Kasit, the Thai foreign minister, said ASEAN would work with Myanmar and Bangladesh to determine if the tens of thousands of Rohingya scattered around ASEAN countries come from Myanmar. Asked about a timeframe he said it would be "difficult" because of the large numbers involved. 

"Myanmar says they will take them back if it can be proven they are Myanmar people of Bengali origin," Kasit said. He said the Myanmar government recognizes the Bengali, an ethnic minority group found mainly in Bangladesh, as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups. 

But Abdullah expressed frustration in his interview with Myanmar's unwillingness to take the boat people back. 

"Of course, we know they come from Myanmar (Burma). When we ask Myanmar, they ask: 'Are you sure they are our people? What evidence have you got?"' he said. 

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said work would soon begin "to define the issue with the Myanmar authorities of who these people are, how to refer to them and how to categorize them and how many of them and how we can help them." 

Thailand earlier called for a special regional conference on the refugees, who often attempt to land in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.  

Myanmar PM leaves for ASEAN summit in Thailand , 2009-02-27 13:24:53     

YANGON, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein left Nay Pyi Taw Friday to attend the 14th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) commencing in Hua Hin, Thailand. 

At the invitation of his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thein Sein is making the trip. 

Myanmar has urged its people to strive together in building the ASEAN community, anticipating that the future emergence of the ASEAN community by 2015 will benefit Myanmar citizens along with other regional members in sharing the fruits of peace and stability, prosperity and socio-cultural development. 

ASEAN's three pillars are known as political security community, economic community and socio-culture community. 

Myanmar, which joined the ASEAN along with Laos in July 1997, ratified the ASEAN Charter in July last year. 

The last 13th ASEAN Summit was held in Singapore in November 2007. 

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Editor: Wang Guanqun

Malaysia to allow Christians to use 'Allah'

The Jakarta Post, Julia Zappei, The Associated Press, Kuala Lumpur | Thu, 02/26/2009 9:19 PM  

The Malaysian government has softened an earlier ban on the use of the word "Allah" by Christian publications to refer to God and is allowing them to use it as long as they specify the material is not for Muslims, a church official said Thursday. 

The government had earlier argued that the use of Allah in Christian texts might confuse Muslims who might think Allah refers to their God. 

The revised order was issued Feb. 16 by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, said the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, the Roman Catholic Church's main newspaper in Malaysia. He said the publication has already started printing "For Christianity" on is cover. 

The Herald publishes weekly in English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay with an estimated readership of 50,000. The ban on "Allah" concerns mainly the Malay edition, which is read mostly by indigenous Christian tribes in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak. The other three editions usually do not use the word "Allah." 

The dispute has become symbolic of increasing religious tensions in Malaysia, where 60 percent of the 27 million people are Muslim Malays. A third of the population is ethnic Chinese and Indian, and many of them practice Christianity. 

Malaysia's minorities have often complained that their constitutional right to practice their religions freely has come under threat from the Malay Muslim-dominated government. They cite destruction of Hindu temples and conversion disputes as examples. The government denies any discrimination. 

Andrew, the Herald's editor, said although the order "makes things easier" for the Herald, the newspaper will not drop a legal challenge against the ban. A court is due to hear arguments in the case Friday. 

The Herald is arguing that the Arabic word is a common reference for God that predates Islam and has been used for centuries as a translation in Malay. 

Andrew said the new order is still a violation of religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution because Christians will not be able to use any literature that does not carry the warning on the cover, including much imported material. 

He said most Malay-language Bibles in Malaysia are imported from Indonesia, which uses a variation of the same language. 

"If this (order) is enforced, it will be difficult to possess materials ... from Indonesia, and thus practicing our religion will not be easy. This goes against ... the constitution," he told The Associated Press. 

Andrew said the order also prohibits the use of three other Arabic words - "solat," or prayer, "Kaaba," a holy site in Saudi Arabia, and "baitullah," or house of God - without the warning. 

Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Home Minister Syed Hamid's aide said he would not be available for comment until Monday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ADMM agrees to strengthen ASEAN to deal with non-traditional security threats , 2009-02-26 23:02:49            

PATTAYA, Thailand, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The third ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) agreed on Thursday in Thailand to sign the joint declaration on strengthening ASEAN defence establishments to meet the challenges of non-traditional security threats. 

The third Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers' Meeting or ADMM is organized in resort town Pattaya of Thailand's eastern province of Chonburi from Feb. 25 to27. 

The signing of the joint declaration has reaffirmed the ADMM's earlier commitment to enhance the regional peace and stability, and to contribute to the establishment of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) by 2015, Thai Defence Minister and chair of the ADMM meeting General Prawit Wongsuwan said at a joint press conference. 

Three significant concept papers have been adopted in the joint declaration in a bid to strengthen the ASEAN defence establishments to meet non-traditional security challenges, said Gen. Prawit. 

The first concept paper is the use of the ASEAN Military Assets and Capacities in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) as this is aimed at accelerating the ASEAN militaries' operational effectiveness in the HADR, said the Thai Defence Minister. 

The second concept paper is about the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), which is the principles preparing for an additional membership process, said Gen. Prawit. 

The last one is the concept paper on the ASEAN Defence Establishments and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security, he said.    

This forum was a good beginning to move forward for the ASEAN defence ministers to cooperate with the ASEAN civil society to deal with non-traditional threats, ASEAN Secretariat Surin Pitsuwan said at the joint press conference.

Indonesian Open in Bali

The Jakarta Post  | Thu, 02/26/2009 4:39 PM  |  Sports

Indonesian Open: Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand watched the ball during the first day of the Indonesia Open golf tournament at the New Kuta Golf Course in Pecatu, Bali, Indonesia, on Thursday. AP/Firdia Lisnawati

Indonesia, Malaysia agree to cut supply of commodities

The Jakarta Post | Thu, 02/26/2009 4:03 PM  

Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to work together in strengthening the prices of global commodities, particularly crude palm oil and rubber, through production cut backs. 

Malaysia and Indonesia jointly account for 85 percent of global palm oil production and 40 percent of natural rubber production. 

State news agency Antara reported Thursday that the two countries had issued a joint statement saying that they were preparing measures to “ensure stable pirces in particular for palm oil”. 

"These measures include managing palm oil stocks and reducing supply through replanting programs," the statement said. 

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui and Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia Dr. Ir. Anton Apriyanto met in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday to discuss bilateral cooperation on the matter. 

The Indonesian Minister is in the city to attend the Developing-Eight (D-8) Ministers Meeting. 

For palm oil, the ministers have agreed to accelerate replanting of oil palm trees which are above 25-years old, implementation of biofuel program, increasing domestic demand for crude palm oil and jointly engage major importing countries of palm based methyl ester in addressing non-tariff barriers for the exports of biofuel. 

Malaysia has implemented the blending of five percent palm based methyl ester with fossil diesel. 

Indonesia implemented a minimum of one percent blending program in the public transportation sector and a minimum of 2.5 percent blending in the industry and commercial sector. These minimum percentages will be increased to 2.5 percent in the public transportation sector and five percent in the industrial and commercial sectors. 

Both ministers also want to exchange production and stock level data on a regular basis to facilitate stock management and promote palm oil through engaging the related legislators of importing countries. 

As for rubber, both countries will accelerate replanting of rubber trees aimed at managing the supply of natural rubber. 

"Malaysia has revised upwards the original target of replanting rubber areas to 50,000 hectares in 2009 from 32,000 hectares. Indonesia is replanting 55,000 hectares with rubber in 2009," the statement was quoted by Bernama as saying. 

Meanwhile, both countries also agreed to control the expansion of new planted area for rubber, encouraging the reduction of tapping frequency. 

The ministers hope that these measures will reduce price volatility and contribute towards stability of both palm oil and natural rubber prices in the longer term.

Developing Muslim nations hatch food security plan

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Kuala Lumpur | Thu, 02/26/2009 4:52 PM  

Developing Muslim countries sought ways Thursday to help their farmers boost production and prevent the global economic downturn from choking the steady supply of affordable food. 

Agriculture ministers and business officials from eight nations began a two-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss cooperation on food, including possibly setting up special funds to tackle potential problems in supply and prices. 

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said food security was "not only a prerequisite for social and economic development but also a necessary condition for domestic stability." 

"The shortfall in food production and high food prices are being compounded by the global financial crisis," Abdullah said in a speech presented by his deputy at the meeting. 

The meeting's focus was to help resource-poor farmers increase production by making high-quality seeds, fertilizer and animal feed more easily available. 

The other countries participating in the talks were Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Nigeria. 

Officials from Bangladesh and Iran have said they will propose creating food banks or emergency funds to help stabilize prices and supply, including in the wake of natural disasters.