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, November 28, 2009

A tale of Indonesian migrant workers

The Jakarta Post, Indraswari , Kuala Lumpur | Sat, 11/28/2009 1:06 PM , Opinion

On Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, The Jakarta Post published an article written by Silvester *Syl'Asa, titled "Migrant workers: Have we done our part?"

The article reminds me of the stories told by some migrant workers whom I encountered when I traveled back and forth between Malaysia and Indonesia, which I have done quite frequently in the last few months.

Their stories support Silvester's views on the importance of tackling our domestic problems such as poverty and unemployment with regard to the high flow of Indonesian workers going abroad - legally and illegally - in search of a better life.

At one time I chatted with a female migrant worker who was on leave to visit her family in West Java. We were about to board in the same plane from Malaysia to Indonesia. This woman was in her early thirties, married, and had two children aged 10 and five years old.

She had been working as a maid for some years in Malaysia. Prior to working in Malaysia she worked in Saudi Arabia, also as a maid. Her husband remains in Indonesia and works as a pedicab (becak) driver whose income is hardly enough to be relied on for living.

She left her two children when they were months old, leaving them under the care of their grandmother. Her prolonged absence leads to the children regard their grandmother as their mother and call their mother teteh, which means older sister in Sundanese.

She recalls economic reasons for working overseas and leaving her family behind. She wishes for her children to pursue proper education as she said "I wish my children would become clever persons *orang pandai* so they can have a better life *than their parents*".

On another occasion I met a woman in her mid-forties who happened to sit beside me on the plane on our way back to Malaysia.

She had just visited her family in Indonesia, the first time after working as a maid in Malaysia for three years.

She is a widower with five children. The eldest child is married while the other four children who are still studying range from primary to high school.

Her husband died one-and-half years ago and worked as a security guard (satpam) in West Java. Since then she has been the sole breadwinner of her family and leaves the care of her four children in the hands of the eldest married child.

She was thinking of shortening her appointment in Malaysia in order to be able to stay with her children but wondered, "How can I pay their school's fees if I stop working?"

There are other stories from other migrant workers I encountered at the airports and on the planes. Also in these places I often met those who needed help to deal with simple tasks such as how to fill in arrival/departure cards and customs declaration forms.

Others asked me to translate what was written on their boarding passes. In fact these matters may not be that simple for them, which is why they asked for help.

Traveling frequently between Malaysia and Indonesia gives me this unique experience, which is less likely happen when I travel to other places such as Europe.

There are millions of Indonesian migrant workers overseas and most of them are blue-collar. Many of them come from poor families, unskilled and with low education.

Nonetheless if we look at them through a different lens, despite their limitations, these workers are brave people who make a huge personal sacrifice and dare to take the risks to fight poverty.

Just like everyone else, they wish for a better life for themselves and their families.

I agree with Silvester who writes that many of migrant workers working overseas were lured by the dream of improving their lives and those of their loved ones.

Migrant workers that I encountered at the airports and in the planes are all legal workers with employers who treat them well. But there are workers who are unfortunate, being mistreated and even dead at the hands of abusive employers.

Yes, the protection of our migrant workers overseas needs to be improved. Nonetheless at home it is a high time for the government to tackle the roots of the problem, namely poverty and unemployment.

We can do our part too. If we are one of those employing maids at home, at the very least we must treat them fairly.

When possible we can do more such as helping them improving their skills, supporting their children's education or doing other things to help them fulfill their dreams of having a better life for themselves and their families.

The writer is an Indonesian visiting senior lecturer at the Gender Studies Program, School of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. The opinions expressed are her own.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Indonesians face 20-year sentence for alleged smuggling

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 11/27/2009 5:49 PM

Three Indonesians are facing 20-year prison sentences for their alleged roles in smuggling more than 50 people to Australia last month.

They also face fines of up to A$220,000 (Rp. 18 billion), news portal reported.

One of the defendants, a 19-year old man, heard the charges during a trial session at the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday. His trial will resume Monday.

The defendants were arrested by the Australian Federal Police in October as they sailed close to Ashmore islands. (ewd)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

UN officials call for intensified efforts to eliminate violence against women 2009-11-26 05:49:06

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday led a chorus of United Nations officials in calling on the international community to make greater efforts to tackle the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.

"In every country, women and girls continue to be plagued by violence, causing tremendous suffering," Ban said in a message marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, observed annually on Nov. 25.

He noted that such violence undermines development, generates instability and makes peace harder to achieve, stressing that the international community must demand accountability for the violations and take concrete steps to end impunity.

"Our goal is clear: to end these inexcusable crimes -- whether it is the use of rape as a weapon of war, domestic violence, sex trafficking, so-called 'honor' crimes or female genital mutilation," said Ban.

It is crucial to address the root causes of violence by eradicating discrimination and changing the mindset that reinforces prejudice, he said, highlighting his "UNite to End Violence Against Women" campaign that calls for nations to put in place strong laws, action plans, preventative measures, data collection and systematic measures to address sexual violence in conflict situations.

"Women around the world are the very linchpin keeping families, communities and nations together," he said. "On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to women's human rights and let us do all it takes to end these horrific assaults once and for all."

On Tuesday the secretary-general marked the 10th anniversary of the International Day by launching a Network of Men Leaders, which brings together current and former politicians, activists, religious and community figures to combat the global pandemic.

"These men will add their voices to the growing global chorus for action," he said, noting that 70 percent of women experience in their lifetime some form of physical or sexual violence from men, the majority from husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.

The head of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) praised women's rights activists around the world for harnessing broader support to combat the scourge, saying that it is now an issue of human rights and peace and security as well as a matter of urgent concern to both men and women.

"There are now more national plans, policies and laws in place than ever before, and momentum is also growing in the intergovernmental arena," said UNIFEM Executive Director Ines Alberdi.

She said that despite these achievements, it is "shocking" that up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. "It happens everywhere -- at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during peacetime and in conflict."

Alberdi said that the solution to ending violence against women and girls lies within each individual by raising "a generation that will not resort to violence, by volunteering to provide services, by raising funds and by raising our voices to say no to violence against women."

An independent UN human rights expert said that the reality on the ground around the world demonstrates that many forms of violence against women remain endemic, cutting across national boundaries, race, class, culture, tradition and religion.

"The consequences include the violation of dignity and also of the right to equality, non-discrimination, physical integrity and freedom from violence," said Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences Rashida Manjoo in her message for the Day.

States have a responsibility to eliminate violence against women through legal and policy measures, a robust criminal justice system, the provision of social services and economic policies that empower women, said Manjoo.

"The due diligence standard requires States to promote the right to be free from all forms of violence, both private and public; and also to develop and implement legislation, policies and programs that specifically address prevention, protection, prosecution and compensation," she said.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ancol to perform in Thailand and Vietnam

Nani Afrida , The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 11/24/2009 4:35 PM

Jakarta-owned developer and recreation operator PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol will expand its business to overseas markets by performing dolphin shows in three countries—Vietnam, China and Thailand, starting next year.

The company president director, Budi Karya Sumadi, said that Vietnam would be the first country to be visited, which would cost Rp 10 billion (US$ 950,000) in investment.

“We will work together with Soui Tien Park in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. So, the budget would be smaller,” Budi Karya told reporters and investors during the company public expose in Jakarta on Tuesday.

According to Budi Karya, Ancol would spend about Rp 20 billion to perform dolphin shows in those countries.

“The shows overseas are part of our plans to boost our revenue next year. We also have several other programs in the city amusement park,” he said.

Related Article:

Ancol gains more revenue on amusement parks

Monday, November 23, 2009

RI, EU hold seminar on maritime security in Brussels

Antara News, Monday, November 23, 2009 14:34 WIB

London (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and the European Union organized a seminar themed "Measures to Enhance Maritime Security: Legal and Practical Aspects" at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Brussels on Monday.

The seminar was initiated jointly by Indonesia, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) SOM Leaders and EU President Karl-Olof Anderson of Sweden, according to Priatna, a diplomat of the Indonesian embassy in Brussels, Monday.

Priatna said the seminar was a follow up of a decision taken during the last meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) senior officials held in Phuket last July.

The Second ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Senior Official Meeting on Maritime Security will be held in New Zealand in March 2010. The results of the meeting will be put forward as recommendations to an ARF ministerial level meeting to be held in Vietnam in mid 2010.

The Brussels seminar was jointly chaired by the Indonesian foreign ministry`s Director General for Asia, Pacific and Africa (Aspasaf) Hamzah Thayeb, who was also the head of the Indonesian delegation, and Head of the European Commission Adviser on ARF SOM Tomasz Kozlowski.

Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium Nadjib Riphat Kesoema at an informal gathering with the seminar`s participants at the Indonesian embassy in Brussels, hailed the cooperation between the European Union and Indonesia within the ARF forum.

It demonstrated that bilateral relations between Indonesia and the European Union were at a very conducive level, he said.

"There are a lot of things that can be implemented jointly by Indonesia and the European Union such as cooperation in the political and security fields," he said.

The Indonesian ambassador hoped that the bilateral relatitions between Indonesia and the European Union could be intensified through activities to mutual benefit.

Related Article:

RI considering request for extended participation in maritime task force

Thailand economy boosted by manufacturing

Thailand's economy has grown for a second straight quarter, boosted by a strong recovery in the country's manufacturing sector.

South-east Asia's second largest economy grew by 1.3% between July and September from the previous quarter, official figures showed.

Political instability still threatens economic recovery, analysts say

However, the rate of growth was less than economists had predicted.

Thailand's economy was hit hard by the global downturn as well as by political unrest at the end of 2008.

Manufacturing grew by 2.6% in the quarter, the figures from the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) showed.

The board said it expected the recovery to continue. "The economy in the fourth quarter should be positive, boosted by improved exports, tourism, consumption and government spending," it said.

Analysts confirmed the more positive outlook, but warned that the political situation could still derail the recovery.

"The economic recovery in Thailand is taking shape, given the fiscal stimulus and easing of monetary policy," said Usara Wilaipich at Standard Chartered.

"Looking forward, the outlook remains uncertain, given concerns about the ongoing political instability."

How Wealthy Are The People Who Speak Malay?, by Mabola, Sunday, 22 November 2009 09:28

In response to the poster 'Good Grief' on 'Malay Is Decomposing And English Gaining', if you notice, the Brunei government has done a lot trying to promote Malay, either language or culture, such examples are like in the school textbooks, in its travel website & tourism, or in sending representatives to international events or expedition, Brunei is careful to choose Malay representatives in contrast with Malaysia and Singapore who promote using different races of people. So why Malay is still 'decomposing' as you stated?

First, as claimed by many, is economy. Overall the total Malay economy is $746 billion. This take into account Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia together total 250+ million people. However, we need to be reminded that Indonesia is not really Malay. I spoke to my Indonesian friends and they said they are Javanese not Malay. Many people mixed them up. Malay constitutes only 3.4% in Indonesia while the Javanese 42% and the Sundanese 15%, though they are language and cultural cousin.

Despite that though, only slightly more than half of the Indonesians speak Malay. They have over 300 ethnic groups and the rural ones have their own languages. Now, we also need to stress that a $746 billion economy is not actually big, for instance, the Netherlands, a country with 16.5 million people, has an economy of $877 billion. Internationally, the Dutch economy is $885 billion. In other word, with everything being equal, people will find it more economically favorable to learn Dutch than Malay. Someone last mentioned that Japanese and German are spoken in so small parts in the world yet people queuing to learn them. Indeed, because the total Japanese economy is $4,910 billion and the total German economy is $3,673 billion. These figures are huge. The global Chinese economy is $5,142 billion, while the Hispanic (Spanish world) economy is $4,300 billion not taking into account 10% of people in US speak Spanish, and the Francophone (French world) economy is $3,094 billion, the Arabic economy is $1,798 billion. And the English global economy? $21,264 billion.

The next factor we have to consider is the wealth. How wealthy are the people who speak Malay? Switzerland and UAE, though small, attract people to learn about their languages and way of life. Why is that? Because there are a lot of rich people there. These people invested around the world and certainly there are a lot of other people and businesses wanting their money. To have more chance of getting their investment, these people would tend to adapt to their culture and languages.

According to the German news website and the report from British bank Barclays Financial, Singapore is no.1 in millionaires per capita - with 8.5% of Singaporeans are millionaires. This is followed by Switzerland 6.6%. Hong Kong is 5.3%, Kuwait 5.1% and the United Arab Emirates 4.5%, while US millionaires per capita is only 3.5%, they invest around the world and certainly a number of people would like to adapt to their culture and language for their money.

In the Malay world, even Bruneians aren't that rich, maybe the VIPs but not the ordinary people like you and me. Moreover, the rich here aren't that rich like over $100mln, $500mln or $1bln like others stated above. For Malaysia and Indonesia, a huge bunch are low income people. By that, can you really expect people to look up to the language or culture?

If we want to prop up something like language, we must show achievements. Otherwise I don't think we are capable to challenge the social and economic forces, especially the youth.

Related Article:

Malay Is Decomposing And English Gaining

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sell to Asia to Revive Economy, Obama Tells US

US President Barack Obama (center) alongside South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in Seoul. (Photo: AFP)

Back from an Asia tour, President Barack Obama called Saturday for the United States to produce more goods to sell across the Pacific, touting trade as a way to revive the troubled US economy.

Facing rising unemployment and slipping poll numbers, Obama assured the public that creating new jobs back home was his top priority on the weeklong tour that took him to Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea.

"I traveled to Asia to open a new era of American engagement," Obama said in his weekly radio address, recorded while he was in Seoul.

"Above all, I spoke with leaders in every nation I visited about what we can do to sustain this economic recovery and bring back jobs and prosperity for our people -- a task I will continue to focus on relentlessly in the weeks and months ahead."

Obama, who was elected in the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades, said the lesson of the turmoil was that the world's largest economy should not fuel its growth on going into debt."

In order to keep growing, we need to spend less, save more and get our federal deficit under control," he said.

"We also need to place a greater emphasis on exports that we can build, produce and sell to other nations -- exports that can help create new jobs at home and raise living standards throughout the world."

If the United States grew exports to Asia-Pacific nations by five percent, "we can increase the number of American jobs supported by these exports by hundreds of thousands," the president said.

He cited a Massachusetts-based American Superconductor Corporation, noting it has added more than 100 jobs by providing wind power and smart grid systems to Asia's emerging economies.

But Obama acknowledged he could not bring back all the jobs lost in the crisis.

"Even though it will take time, I can promise you this: we are moving in the right direction," he said.

Pro-trade business groups have had mixed feelings about Obama, whose Democratic Party enjoys strong support from labor unions.

On his trip, Obama said the United States would engage in the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a hitherto obscure pact involving Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore -- in hopes of building a vast regional free trade zone.

But a free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea struck under predecessor George W. Bush remains in limbo, with Obama pressing Seoul to make more concessions for the beleaguered US auto industry.

The president has also taken heat from the US press for his trip, with commentators accusing him of swapping Bush's cowboy swagger with a "diplomacy of deference," behaving like the leader of a "weakened giant" and portraying him as going cap-in-hand to America's biggest creditor, China.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Indonesia Confiscates Explosives at Sea

Indonesian special forces soldiers demonstrate anti-terror skills last month in Denpasar, Bali. Seventeen crewmen from a seized boat carrying explosive materials are being questioned for possible links to terrorism, authorities said. (Photo: Made Nagi, EPA)

Officials say they have confiscated 75 tons of an explosive material being shipped from Malaysia to Indonesia and are investigating possible links to terrorism.

Customs official Nasar Salim says the ammonium nitrate was found on a ship captured in the South China Sea. Ammonium nitrate can also be used as fertilizer, but Salim says 95 percent of the material imported into Indonesia is used in explosive devices.

He says possible links to terrorists are being investigated.

Salim said Friday that 17 crewmen are being questioned while police search for the shipment's owner.

Indonesia has been ravaged by terrorist attacks in recent years that killed more than 250 people. Bombings at two Jakarta hotels in July killed seven people and wounded more than 50.


Related Article:

Malaysian and Indonesian forces committed to wipe out fight terrorism

People power crucial in Indonesia anti-graft fight

The Malaysian Insider

JAKARTA, Nov 21 — Even as three scandals rage across Indonesia and tarnish the government’s efforts to root out graft, there is one positive takeaway from the mess: Indonesia’s civil society and media are free, open and thriving.

In the months since the scandals erupted, the print media — in front-page articles and editorials — had taken a strong stance against the alleged unsavoury actions of the police and courts.

The media had also admonished President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration for being slow to take action against them.

Anti-corruption activists have insisted on an overhaul of the law enforcement system, while ordinary Indonesians have taken to the streets to protest against the claimed victimisation of the state’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in all these.

More than 1.3 million people joined a pro-KPK group on social networking site Facebook, according to Agence France-Presse.

What is taking place today is a far cry from the repressive and graft-ridden reign of former president Suharto, who gave up power 11 years ago. During his rule, the media was shackled, civil society was weak and outspoken activists were often silenced by his military regime.

Indonesia’s transition to democracy has changed mindsets. Gone are the days of grudging acceptance of government institutions as the gatekeepers of ethical behaviour.

The people who put Yudhoyono in power — re-electing him soundly for the second time in July — are now demanding that he deliver on his promises of clean government.

Their total distrust of the police and court system is understandable.

In the first scandal, the former chief of the KPK is on trial for masterminding a murder, even as new evidence emerges to suggest that he was set up by the police.

In the separate second case, the police chief investigator is claiming to have played no role in a bank scandal despite evidence produced by the KPK.

In the third case, the police and courts are using patchy evidence to claim that two deputies of the KPK accepted bribes. Anti-graft activists insist the duo are being punished by law enforcement officials rebelling against the KPK’s wide reach.

A team of eight legal professionals tasked by Yudhoyono to look into possible collusion by the police and courts in the third case has put forth its recommendations. Among other things, the team suggested that charges against the two men be dropped and sanctions levelled against top police officers and prosecutors.

The KPK staff did make administrative errors from time to time, the team conceded, but the police case against the two men was weak.

The President responded by saying he will not be pressured into reacting, and will announce his decision next Monday. He has asked top police officers and prosecutors to respond to the team’s findings.

Analysts caution that the longer Yudhoyono takes to make a decision, the more foreign investors and Indonesians will start to perceive that he has motives for dithering.

Said senior magazine editor Bambang Harymurti to foreign journalists earlier this week: “The President should understand that democratic leaders do not fall because of scandals, but because of attempts to cover them up.”

Yudhoyono faces a difficult choice. He is committed to his election promises, but cannot alienate top law enforcement officials and embarrass other Jakarta elite linked to the cases.

Analysts have offered multiple theories of what the President might do on Monday. These include ways in which he can reduce the public shaming of top law enforcement officials while using the opportunity to clean up the system, and clearing the reputation of the KPK and its embattled officials at the same time.

Whatever he does next week, Indonesia is at a crossroads. The President’s decision will determine how Indonesians remember him. As a business development manager remarked to me recently: ‘These events have shown how closely Yudhoyono’s popularity is tied to his promised reforms, and perceptions of him back-pedalling have already affected goodwill towards him.”

It will also determine the pace of Indonesia’s development, either kick-starting other wide-ranging changes to the bloated bureaucracy, or signalling to the world that the country will need a bit more time to get to where it wants. — ST

Related Article:

Malaysia opposition aide Teoh Beng Hock's body exhumed


2009 - Transparency International uses estimates of the size and frequency of bribes as well as survey evidence and expert assessments.

Friday, November 20, 2009

ASEAN chief pleas for bloc's 'centrality'

JAKARTA — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must remain at the core of regional affairs despite competing visions for a new Asia-Pacific diplomatic framework, the bloc's chief said Friday.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said the "plethora of regional architectures that has been proposed in recent times" suggested that the 10-nation bloc no longer had a central role in the "evolving regional make-up".

But in a statement defending ASEAN's relevance, the former Thai foreign minister said US President Barack Obama's decision to re-engage with the 42-year-old grouping had "debunked that theory".

"The pace and manner that the US, under the Obama administration, is re-engaging the region is certainly re-affirming that centrality," his office said in a statement.

"ASEAN centrality has received a crucial boost at a time when recent developments seemed to question it."

Leaders at a summit of 16 Asia-Pacific nations in Thailand in October heard the prime ministers of Australia and Japan map out different paths for a new regional bloc that would boost Asia's global clout.

There is a general recognition that the changing face of the region, particularly the growing economic and military clout of China, requires more robust diplomatic structures than existing groupings like ASEAN.

But Surin said it was the "responsibility of the region to ensure ASEAN centrality, as it is the cornerstone of the region?s architecture".

ASEAN is hobbled by its sensitivity about members' sovereignty, which limits the extent to which it can implement region-wide reforms to promote economic growth and stability.

Its recently adopted charter setting benchmarks for human rights has no power to enforce change in countries like military-ruled Myanmar, a serial rights abuser and perennial embarrassment to democratic members of the club.

ASEAN also has no mechanisms for conflict resolution and none of Asia's military powers, such as China, Japan and South Korea, are full members.

Belgian PM named as EU president

Belgium's Herman van Rompuy is widely tipped for the presidency

EU leaders have chosen the Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, to be the first permanent European Council President.

The other top job created by the Lisbon Treaty - foreign affairs supremo - has gone to the EU Trade Commissioner, Baroness Catherine Ashton from the UK.

Both are seen as consensual politicians with little foreign policy experience.

Both had unanimous backing from the 27 EU leaders at the summit in Brussels, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

Earlier, the UK government said it was no longer pushing for former PM Tony Blair to get the presidency post.

Mr Van Rompuy had crucial French and German support. He has a reputation as a coalition builder, having taken charge of the linguistically divided Belgian government and steered it out of a crisis.

UK shifts stance

A UK government spokesman revealed the dramatic twist in the British position.

The UK persuaded the other six leaders in the socialist group to back the Baroness Ashton, having dropped Tony Blair.

EU leaders met in Brussels to select their first full-time president and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs - new posts created by the Lisbon Treaty, which will come into force on 1 December.

Mr Brown praised Mr Van Rompuy as "a consensus builder" who had "brought a period of political stability to his country after months of uncertainty".

"I am particularly pleased that a Briton secured the other position. It gives Britain a powerful voice within the Council and the [EU] Commission. It will ensure that Britain's voice is very loud and clear. It will ensure that Britain remains at the heart of Europe," he said.

Baroness Ashton "is the first woman to hold such a high position in the EU," he added.

Going into the meeting the heads of the 27 EU member nations had various candidates to choose from and after-dinner negotiations were expected to continue late into the night.

Mr Blair had been an early favourite for president and was the highest-profile candidate.

Another contender, Dutch PM Jan-Peter Balkenende, ruled himself out of the contest as the meeting got under way.

Seeking balance

The EU leaders had a working dinner together to negotiate the appointments.

They were reported to be striving for a balance in the two posts, with one filled by a candidate from one of the bigger EU states, the other from a smaller country.

Similarly, the presidency was expected to go to a centre-right politician and the post of foreign affairs chief to the centre-left.

The combination of Mr Van Rompuy and Lady Ashton achieves that balance, the BBC's Jonny Dymond says.

Mr Blair was an early frontrunner for the presidency, but some leaders feared he would overshadow them and so the mood shifted in favour of a lower-profile name instead, the BBC's Europe editor Gavin Hewitt says.

The EU president will chair regular meetings of the European Council at which decisions are taken about the political position of the bloc.

However, correspondents say the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as the post is officially known, could have an even more powerful role.

The foreign policy chief will have a seat as vice-president of the European Commission, as well as a budget worth billions of euros and a new diplomatic service of up to 5,000 people.

Mr Van Rompuy has been described as a pragmatic rather than a charismatic figure.

During his time as budget minister in Belgium's Christian Democrat-led government, he took a tough stance on balancing the economic books, drastically reducing the country's public debt.

Mr Blair had not put himself forward for the role, but had not ruled himself out either.

Currently working as Middle East envoy for the US, UN, EU and Russia, he was earlier described by Mr Brown as an "excellent candidate".

The UK's Foreign Secretary David Miliband had been tipped as a possible contender for the job of EU foreign affairs chief, but said he was not available.

Baroness Ashton appointed as EU's foreign policy chief

BBC News

Labour peer Baroness Ashton has been selected as the EU's high representative of foreign affairs and security.

Baroness Ashton, currently EU Trade Commissioner, was chosen for the new post by the leaders of the EU's 27 member states at a meeting in Brussels.

Gordon Brown backed her for the role after accepting Tony Blair could not become European Council president.

Before going to Brussels last year, she was leader of the House of Lords.

'Little-known figure'

Baroness Ashton, 53, emerged as a surprise candidate for the new role - dubbed Europe's first foreign minister - on Thursday.

EU leaders are also set to announce that Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy is to become the president of the EU Council - the job for which Mr Blair was a prime candidate.

The BBC's Dominic Hughes said there had been unanimous backing for Baroness Ashton once her name was put forward for the role by the UK.

Earlier, No 10 said it did not expect any "obstacles" to her appointment.

With Mr Van Rompuy representing the centre-right Christian Democrat bloc, EU leaders are thought to have wanted to give the foreign affairs portfolio to a centre-left politician as a counter-balance.

Baroness Ashton was a government minister for eight years before being chosen to replace Lord Mandelson as EU Trade Commissioner in 2008.

She is not a well-known figure in British politics but has been commended for the job she has done in her current role.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was heavily linked to the role of foreign affairs chief, created under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.

However, he said he wanted to stay in British politics

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dozens of RI and Philipines patrol boats hold joint exercise

Antara News, Thursday, November 19, 2009 09:15 WIB

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - A total of 13 patrol boats took part in the Indonesian-Philippines marine police joint exercise in dealing with transnational crimes, in Bitung waters for three days.

"The patrol boats include one type B unit from the Police Headquarters, one type C, four type C2 and five type C3 from the North Sulawsi police," North Sulawesi marine police director, Senior commissioner Tubuh Masyareh said on the sidelines of a rehearsal of a Law Enforcement Maritime Exercise (Marlex) between Indonesian and Philippines police in Bitung waters here Wednesday.

The joint exercise was aimed to protect the territorial border waters between Indonesia and the Philippines combatting transnational crime, he said, adding that the exercise would last from November 17 to 19.

Meanwhile, head of public relations division of the North Sulawesi police Adjunct Senior Commissioner Beny Bella said the joint exercise involved 80 police personnel, including 27 Philippine police officers.

Bella did not mention whether or not it was the first-ever joint exercise between matrine police patrols of the two countries.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Obama asks RP to draft US-Asean partnership accord

By Christian V. Esguerra, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 22:06:00 11/15/2009

SINGAPORE —US President Barack Obama and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) tapped the Philippines, on Sunday, to draft a fresh five-year plan covering his country’s groundbreaking engagement with the region on a variety of areas, such as trade, security, climate change and human rights.

Already the coordinator for the first-ever Asean-US leaders’ meeting, Manila was designated to “lead the drafting” of the existing five-year enhanced partnership agreement between the two parties.

“We welcome the role of the Philippines as the country coordinator … and requested the Philippines to lead the drafting of the next five-year plan of action,” Obama and the Southeast Asian leaders said in a five-page joint statement.

Obama sat down, on Sunday, with all 10 Asean leaders—a first for the United States—in what could be considered a concrete follow-up to his promise on Saturday to “strengthen and sustain our leadership in this vitally important part of the world.”

In the joint statement released after the private meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel here, Obama and his counterparts tackled a number of pressing issues, such as human rights, regional security and economic integration, nuclear arms, food security and climate change.

The group expressed hope that the “high level dialogue and the policy of the US to engage with the government of Myanmar … would contribute to broad political and economic reforms.”

“We also underscored the importance of achieving national reconciliation and that the general elections to be held in Myanmar in 2010 must be conducted in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent manner in order to be credible to the international community,” the leaders declared.

They called on Burma (Myanmar) to “help create the conditions for credible elections by initiating a dialogue with all stakeholders to ensure that the process is fully inclusive.

Obama invited the newly formed Asean human rights commission to the United States next year “to consult with international experts in the field.”

Besides being country coordinator until 2012, the Philippines’ upcoming role as next year’s chair of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York figured in the meeting.

Obama and the Asean urged North Korea to return to the six-party talks and “fully implement its commitments … to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”

In the wake of recent calamities that hit the region, both parties “agreed to further strengthen cooperation on disaster management.”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

APEC leaders call for new growth strategies

Google/AP, By JEAN H. LEE (AP)

APEC leaders attend a breakfast meeting in Singapore, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, Japan Pool)

SINGAPORE — Stimulus spending and other strong actions have set the stage for global economic recovery, but nations must push ahead with free trade and investment to ensure growth, President Barack Obama and fellow Asia-Pacific leaders said Sunday.

Obama and 20 other leaders, meeting in Singapore for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, rejected all forms of protectionism and agreed on the need for a long-term growth strategy that takes into account the diverse needs of economies in a region stretching from Chile to China.

Recovery is not yet on solid footing and the region cannot go back to "growth as usual," Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, reading from a joint statement by the APEC leaders.

"We need a fresh growth paradigm. We need a fresh model of economic integration," they said.

To that end, APEC members pledged to maintain their economic stimulus policies until a durable economic recovery has clearly taken hold. "We will pursue growth which is balanced, inclusive and sustainable to ensure a durable recovery that will create jobs and benefit our people," they said.

Nations must work toward "strong, sustainable and balanced global economic growth" in the post-crisis period with policies that expand opportunities for all sectors of society, including women and small business owners; take better care of the environment; and promote development while reducing poverty and ensuring security, they said.

There was no mention of currency rates in the final statement, despite finance ministers' calls for maintaining "market-oriented exchange rates." That was a reference to the Chinese currency, the yuan, which is kept artificially undervalued, making other currencies less competitive.

An earlier push for concrete goals for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions was cut out of the statement. A previous draft had pledged a 50 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050, but the final statement committed only to working toward "an ambitious outcome" at climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month.

APEC, which accounts for 40 percent of the world's population and 54 percent of global output, was created 20 years ago to promote greater trade and integration among Pacific Rim nations. Pledges are nonbinding, and the forum's scope has expanded to encompass issues such as climate change, energy and food security, and politics.

One key APEC goal is the creation of a free-trade area covering all 21 APEC economies — an ambitious undertaking that many acknowledge is years down the road.

There have been concerns that the U.S., the world's biggest economy, and other nations might turn inward as they grapple with the worst global financial crisis in decades.

But Obama and others reinforced calls for expansion of free trade rather than resorting to protectionist measures, and pushed hard for progress on talks to liberalize world trade.

They supported studies on the benefits of a future Asia-Pacific free trade area and pathways to realizing the broad pact.

It could take 10 or 15 years for a region as wide as APEC, with countries at such different stages of development, Taiwan's finance minister, Shih Yen-shiang, said this past week. Still, Shih said Taiwan endorses the free trade area as a long-term goal.

APEC must move "very, very incrementally and carefully," said Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Leaders also stressed the need to invest in education, health care and employment training to ensure stability in the long term.

Following the APEC meetings, Obama was to hold a summit with all 10 ASEAN leaders, including military-ruled Myanmar. The leaders are expected to call on Myanmar's junta to hold credible elections, but a joint statement obtained by AP stops short of demanding the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Jae-soon Chang contributed to this report.

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U.S. President Barack Obama, third right, poses with fellow APEC leaders for a group photo at the Gala Dinner at the APEC Summit in Singapore, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. Pictured with Obama from left, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono , Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and China's President Hu Jintao. (AP Photo/Takashi Ozaki, Pool)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

US leader welcomes China's rise

President Obama welcomed a bigger role for China

President Barack Obama says the US "does not seek to contain" China's rise as a big player on the world stage.

"The rise of a strong, prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations," Mr Obama said in a speech in Japan's capital, Tokyo.

Better US ties with Beijing do not mean a weakening of relations with US allies in the region, he said.

Describing himself as the first "Pacific" US president, he said the US was committed to the area's security.

Mr Obama is now in Singapore, where he is to attend an Asia-Pacific economic summit.

His trade representative Ron Kirk, who is already at the Apec meeting, says the US wants barriers to trade and investment removed to promote an open global trade system.

Mr Obama will round off his week-long Asian tour with stops in China and South Korea.

North Korea talks

Mr Obama told the gathering in Tokyo that Washington's commitment to the region's security was "unshakeable", despite its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said the US would pursue "pragmatic co-operation" with Beijing on issues of mutual concern.

He also warned that he would not waver from raising human rights concerns with Beijing, but did not mention specific concerns, such as Tibet.

The US president called for more assistance from China to thwart the ambitions of North Korea, and warned there would be tough, unified action by the US and its Asian partners if Pyongyang failed to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

Mr Obama again called on North Korea to return to six-party talks on the issue, adding the US would not be "cowed" by Pyongyang's nuclear threats.

He also called on Asian leaders to pursue balanced economic growth.

'Sustained growth'

On the issue of economic co-operation, Mr Obama challenged Asian countries to break their dependence on exports to the US and to pursue "balanced" and sustainable economic growth.

"We must strengthen our economic recovery, and pursue growth that is both balanced and sustained," he said. "We simply cannot return to the same cycles of boom and bust that led us into a global recession."

He said the US would pursue a new economic strategy that would mean "saving more and spending less".

He urged Asian leaders to break their dependence on exports to the US market and to open up their markets to speed up a global economic recovery.

Mr Obama arrived in Tokyo on Friday and met Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The two leaders agreed on the need to renew their countries' strained alliance and pledged to work quickly to resolve a dispute over the US military base in Okinawa.

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U.S. President Barack Obama left, laughs as he talks with China's President Hu Jintao during the Gala Dinner at the APEC Summit in Singapore, Saturday, Nov.14, 2009. (AP Photo)