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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Monday, January 31, 2011

Next Myanmar president to be elected parliamentarian (2nd Roundup)

M&C, Jan 31, 2011, 13:48 GMT

Naypyitaw, Myanmar - Myanmar's next president will be an elected member of parliament, ruling out the country's current military supremo as a candidate, state media announced Monday.

The announcement was made on Myanmar television by General Shwe Mann - the third most powerful person in the country's ruling junta - who was voted speaker of the lower house earlier in the day at the first session of parliament since the November 7 polls.

'The president, vice president and all cabinet members in the coming government will be elected members of parliament,' Shwe Mann said.

Earlier Monday, Shwe Mann was elected lower house speaker while Khin Aung Myint, another general and the current culture minister, was voted upper house speaker.

Voting by the two chambers was dominated by the military through the pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which won 77 per cent of the contested seats, and 166 military-appointed legislators, who account for 25 per cent of the votes.

Civilians were elected as vice speakers.

'On Tuesday, we will nominate three presidential candidates,' one legislator said. It is unclear when the parliament will vote on the president.

It was previously widely speculated that Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar's junta chief since 1992, aspired to the presidency.

But Shwe Mann's announcement excluded him as a candidate, since Than Shwe, who turns 78 on Wednesday, did not contest the general election.

It is still believed that Than Shwe will attempt to control the next government by staying on as army commander-in-chief, analysts said.

Monday's parliamentary session was indicative of the 'discipline-flourishing democracy' Than Shwe has promised to bring about in past speeches.

The session was held amid tight security. Barricades were in place on roads leading to the massive 100-million-dollar parliament compound in Naypyitaw, 350 kilometres north of Yangon.

Legislators were escorted to the site by plainclothes policemen.

Military appointees make up 25 per cent of lawmakers in the three chambers, giving the military bloc veto power over any future legislation.

The stage-managed November general elections, part of Than Shwe's seven-step road to democracy, were condemned by Western democracies for being neither free nor fair.

Only the upper and lower houses meet in Naypyitaw this week. The regional and state parliaments will meet separately in their own capitals.

The likeliest candidate for president is now believed to Thein Sein, the current prime minister, since Shwe Mann has been named lower house speaker. Both Thein Shwe and Shwe Mann ran under the USDP banner.

'I think Than Shwe may feel that Thein Sein is more malleable than Shwe Mann,' said Win Min, a US-based Myanmar researcher.'He may also feel that Thein Sein may be more credible as president since Thein Sein's family is much less corrupt than Shwe Mann's family.'

The new president will select the next cabinet, which is expected to be packed with USDP members, and sit on the National Defence and Security Council, which will control the military.

The commander-in-chief will also sit on the council, a new entity in Myanmar's political scene.

'This council is more powerful than the president on security issues and the commander-in-chief is more powerful in this council than the president, having more active military votes,' Win Min said. 'The council can declare state of emergency, suspend cabinet/parliament and appoint a new commander-in-chief.'

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New Maid Abuse Case in Arab State Prompts Fresh Calls for Protection

Jakarta Globe, January 31, 2011

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Rights advocates said on Sunday that the government needed to step up its efforts to protect Indonesian migrant workers after yet another story of abuse emerged over the weekend.

Armayeh Binti Sanuri, 20, a maid working in Saudi Arabia, was reportedly rushed to a hospital in Medina, in the Arab state’s west, after sustaining injuries allegedly inflicted by her employers.

“Her employers poured hot water on her,” said Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, a member of House of Representatives Commission IX, which deals with population and labor issues.

“But thank God she will not have to endure that anymore because she managed to escape,” Rieke told news portal

The lawmaker, from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said Armayeh had been transferred to King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah because of the seriousness of her injuries.

She said Armayeh, who is originally from Pontianak, West Kalimantan, had been working in Saudi Arabia for three months.

The woman, Rieke added, was able to escape when her employers went out and left the house unlocked.

Anis Hidayah, the executive director of Migrant Care, urged the government “not to respond to the case in an ad hoc manner.” She said a team was needed to push for more severe punishments for abusive employers.

“This is the result of the lack of a system in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia to protect migrant workers,” she said on Sunday.

“They have to learn from Sumiati’s case in which her former employer was only sentenced to three years in prison,” she said, referring to another abused migrant worker in Saudi Arabia.

Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, made headlines when pictures of her battered face surfaced in November. She was said to have suffered internal bleeding and broken bones after her employer’s wife burned her with an iron and attacked her with scissors.

The woman was found guilty of assaulting Sumiati and was sentenced to three years in prison under the Arab state’s newly enacted royal decree against human trafficking. Lawyers for the Indonesian government said they would appeal the verdict.

In December, an Indonesian maid jumped from the second floor of her employer’s house in Medina to escape from alleged abuse.

Two weeks before that, an Indonesian maid in Jeddah died after falling from a third-floor apartment in a similar attempt.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Myanmar opposition group launches website

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Bangkok | Sun, 01/30/2011

The Myanmar opposition group led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has launched its first official website.

Suu Kyi says she believes the National League for Democracy's site will help achieve the group's goal of democracy for Myanmar at a faster pace.

The website, in English and Burmese, was launched Sunday, a day before the opening of Myanmar's first parliament in 22 years. The NLD boycotted last year's general elections, saying they were held under unfair conditions to perpetuate military rule.

It was not immediately clear if the government, which exercises tight control over the Internet and other media, would try to block the site, which is meant for party members at home as well as supporters abroad.

Bill Gates, Abu Dhabi prince pledge vaccine funds

Yahoo/AP, Thu Jan 27, 2011

FILE - This is a Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 file photo provided by Microsoft, of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, left, Bono, and Michael Dell founder and Chairman of Dell Inc., introduce a series of Dell RED personal computers powered by Windows Vista Ultimate, in Davos, Switzerland. When consumers buy one of these PCs, Dell and Microsoft will contribute a total of $50 to $80, depending on the model, to The Global Fund to help in the fight against AIDS in Africa. A nearly $22 billion development fund backed by celebrities and hailed as an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations sees as much as one-third to two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption, The Associated Press has learned.« Read less (AP Photo/Microsoft, Remy Steinegger)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Bill Gates' foundation and Abu Dhabi's crown prince are donating $50 million each to vaccinate children in Afghanistan and Pakistan against polio and other diseases.

Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation say two-thirds of the funds will go toward a pair of vaccines against pneumonia, diphtheria, whooping cough and other ailments afflicting young children in Afghanistan. The rest will be given to the World Health Organization and UNICEF to provide polio vaccines in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Gates recently told The Associated Press eradicating polio is his top priority, and that he's planning to announce a major donation to the effort in Davos, Switzerland on Friday.

Dutch freeze contacts with Iran over hanging

BBC News, 29 January 2011

The Dutch government has frozen all contacts with Iran in protest over the hanging of a Dutch-Iranian woman.

Sahra Bahrami was born in Iran
but later gained Dutch citizenship
The Dutch foreign ministry said it was "shocked, shattered by this act by a barbaric regime".

Sahra Bahrami, aged 46, was hanged for drug smuggling early on Saturday, Iranian officials said.

Her family accuses Tehran of fabricating the case against her after she was detained for taking part in anti-government protests in 2009.

Travel advice

The Dutch foreign ministry announced the freeze in all contacts with Iran on Saturday.

"This concerns all official contacts between diplomats and civil servants," spokesman Bengt van Loosdrecht told the AFP news agency.

Related stories

Any meetings or contacts with the Iranians now must have prior written approval.

The ministry also advised all dual Dutch-Iranian nationals against travelling to Iran, saying that Dutch consular officials would now have no access to them if they needed any assistance.

Sahra Bahrami's execution brings the total number hanged in Iran so far this year to 66, according to media reports.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Davos 2011: Aung San Suu Kyi calls for investment

BBC News, 28 January 2011

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called for investment in her country, which she says has been "left behind".

Aung San Suu Kyi said she had followed the global
response to the economic downturn over the radio
In an audio address to the World Economic Forum, Ms Suu Kyi said the 55 million people in Burma yearned to be a part of the global community.

Burma had "already missed so many opportunities because of political conflicts", she said.

But she said potential investors should "put a premium on respect for the law".

Ms Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest for seven years until November, said that despite her isolation, she had followed the global response to the economic crisis by listening to radio broadcasts.

She said the response had been "strong and swift" but that "much still remains to be done".

"Economic policies linked to human development and capacity building are the best path to the achievement of stability in a democratic transition," the Nobel laureate said.

World Economic Forum 2011

"I would like to appeal to all those present... to promote national reconciliation, genuine democratisation, human development and economic growth in Burma."

Earlier on Friday, Burma's highest court rejected a move by My Suu Kyi, whose 1990 election victory was ignored by the military junta, to have her NLD party reinstated after it was dissolved for boycotting last year's election.

The Supreme Court ruled that the NLD's case had no legal basis.

Ms Suu Kyi's lawyer, Nyan Win, told the BBC that only the chief justice could now change the ruling and that there was nothing else the NLD could do.

But he said: "Our existence and our legality does not change because of this court decision. Our party still exists. As Aung San Suu Kyi said, what really matters is the support of the people."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Microcredit in Bangladesh 'helped 10 million'

BBC News, 27 January 2011

Microcredit lifted 10 million Bangladeshis out of poverty between 1990 and 2008, according to a report.

Microcredit is predominantly offered to women to
 enable them to better control family finances
The work of Grameen Bank and others helped many families to raise their income above $1.25 a day, said the US-based Microcredit Summit Campaign.

The study follows recent criticism of microfinance, which works by providing small loans to people to invest in generating their own incomes.

Some experts argue the report may have missed the bigger picture.

They say the success stories are comparatively few compared to the overall number of borrowers.


The report drew on a survey of more than 4,000 households by the Economic Research Group in Dhaka.

Alex Counts of Grameen Bank said: "This survey reminds us that even in difficult circumstances, major progress can be made."

Floods in 1998 and the food crisis of 2008 caused millions of families to fall below the $1.25 threshold.

Related stories 

However, even with these setbacks, nearly 10 million people rose above the poverty level.

But Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the chairman of PKSF which loans money to microcredit agencies in Bangladesh, says that his studies in 2006-2007 showed that only 7% of micro-borrowers were able to rise above the poverty line. 

"Many borrowers remained where they were, while others suffered setbacks," he told BBC World Service's World Business News.

"In this latest study, only 10% of people have moved up, leaving the other 90% where they are. We cannot conclude that a whole lot has been achieved," he added.

Conflicting data

This news comes at a time when microfinance has come under close scrutiny over recent months.

Serious charges emerged about microfinance borrowers taking on multiple loans and too much debt, coercive collection practices by microfinance staff, and even suicides among borrowers who were unable to meet their payments.

India's multi-billion dollar industry was on the brink of a mass default until all the major banks in the country agreed to continue lending to microfinance firms. 

There is no social network to help women who lose
 their husbands, so many are forced to beg
The evidence for microcredit lifting people out of poverty remains highly contested.

"Bangladesh is the capital of microcredit being used to tackle poverty," said Alun Doran at Oxfam, "but the numerous studies about its effectiveness are conflicting."

He said there was a distinction between poverty alleviation and poverty reduction.

Poverty alleviation involves mechanisms which can help people get out of poverty - and stay out.

"Secure savings are the preferred financial instrument rather than credit," Mr Doran maintained.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

US says ASEAN has role to play in Myanmar and Koreas

Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 01/26/2011

Myanmar should dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, release its political prisoners and recognize Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) before the US will consider lifting sanctions, a US diplomat says.

The US also welcomes ASEAN and Indonesia taking an active role in helping to resolve the problems on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

The US secretary of state’s deputy assistant Joseph Y. Yun told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that ASEAN’s foreign ministers had voiced all the same requests during their meeting in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, last week.

“These are excellent demands from the ASEAN ministers, and I think the Myanmar authorities should really take them to heart and make them a reality,” Yun said.

Yun, who oversees affairs in East Asia and the Pacific, said if Myanmar’s government had complied with all the requests from the international community, then there would be a positive response.

“And clearly, as the reconciliation process makes progress, I think the international community can ensure a response,” he said.

During their meeting in Lombok last week, ASEAN’s foreign ministers spoke about the need for the US, the European Union and Canada — all ASEAN dialogue partners — to consider lifting their sanctions against Myanmar because the country had successfully conducted general elections and released Suu Kyi from house arrest late last year

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said after the meeting that ASEAN believed in the early lifting or easing of sanctions against Myanmar by several countries, but said that the lifting of sanctions and reconciliation should go hand in hand.

ASEAN member states reinforced the importance of inclusive dialogue to ensure that all concerned parties could contribute to Myanmar’s future development, Marty said.

On North Korea, Yun welcomed ASEAN’s intention to help on the Korean Peninsula. He said stability on the peninsula would be connected to the denuclearization of North Korea.

“I think the international community, including ASEAN, should be quite clear in requesting that North Korea be denuclearized and come join the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] again. And if ASEAN wants to help in that process, that’s a very good thing.”

At the Lombok meeting, ASEAN ministers agreed to be more active in finding a solution to the conflict between South Korea and North Korea, affirming that ASEAN will play its part to support the efforts of the six-party talks, which include the US, China, Japan and the two Koreas.

“We have real concerns about the ramifications throughout the region. We consider it a fault line. If we neglect this fault line, it can easily be imposed throughout East Asia — like an us versus them scenario. For us, inaction is not an option,” Marty said.

He said that under Indonesian chairmanship, ASEAN will try to make a greater contribution to help solve the problem, adding that there was an ambitious plan to coordinate with the six-party talks countries.

“Through communication with the six-party talks countries, ASEAN will explore how it can contribute to creating conditions to help resume the six-party talks.”.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peru recognises Palestinian state

Nation is seventh South American country to do so, bolstering Palestinian hopes of momentum towards global recognition, Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent, Tuesday 25 January 2011 09.17 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has thanked South American
countries for recognising Palestine as a state Photograph: Khaled El Fiqi/EPA

Peru last night announced it recognises Palestine as a state, becoming the seventh South American country to do so in a rapid diplomatic domino effect which has alarmed Israel.

The declaration came on the eve of a Latin American-Arab summit to be hosted in the Peruvian capital, Lima, reflecting growing political and economic ties between the two regions.

"Palestine is recognised as a free and sovereign state," Peru's foreign minister, José Antonio García Belaúnde, told RPP radio. "There was no pressure from any side. We have acted with freedom and independence." He expressed Peru's continued support for peace talks.

The announcement followed similar decisions by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Guyana in recent weeks, bolstering Palestinian hopes of momentum towards global recognition.

It came as a chink of good news for Palestinians amid controversy and despair over leaked peace talks documents showing negotiators' apparent weakness in dealings with Israel and the US.

"Peru's decision is very good news," said Mauricio Abu-Ghosh, president of Chile's Palestine Federation. "It recognises the existence and sovereignty of the Palestinian state."

Israel warned that South America's rush to recognition was "highly damaging interference" by countries that were never part of the Middle East peace process.

The US has lobbied the region to say recognition is premature. That argument has fallen flat with conservative and left-wing governments but Washington will be pleased that Peru, like Chile, hedged its position on Palestinian claims for borders that existed before 1967, encompassing the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Waves of emigration from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine to South America over the past century has dotted the region with small but influential Arab minorities, with some boasting politically connected tycoons.

Increasing trade – which will be trumpeted at next month's Lima summit – has given an economic edge to cultural ties. Brazil, which has tripled its trade with Arab nations in the past decade, was thanked last month by President Mahmoud Abbas for allowing Palestine to open its first embassy in the Americas.

Argentina's support for the Palestinian state's pre-1967 borders is tinged with its own territorial claim over the Falkland Islands, which it calls the Malvinas. It lost a brief 1982 war against Britain for the archipelago and has complained that Britain violates UN agreements by refusing to discuss sovereignty.

Venezuela previously recognised the Palestinan state in 2005. Analysts say Uruguay and Paraguay may be next.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew Urges Muslims to 'Be Less Strict'

Jakarta Globe, January 23, 2011

Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew has urged local Muslims to "be less strict on Islamic observances" to aid integration and the city-state's nation-building process.

Lee Kuan Yew, minister mentor of Singapore, speaks
during the book launch of "Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to
Keep Singapore Going" in Singapore on Jan. 21.
Reuters Photo/Tim Chong
Singapore has a predominantly Chinese population, with minority races including Muslim Malays and Indians, and Lee has always stressed the importance of racial harmony.

"I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam," he said in "Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going," a new book containing his typically frank views on the city-state and its future.

"I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration — friends, intermarriages and so on..." he stated.

"I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate," Lee added, calling on the community to "be less strict on Islamic observances."

During the book's launch on Friday, the self-described "pragmatist" warned Singaporeans against complacency, saying the largely ethnic Chinese republic was still a nation in the making.

Describing Singapore in the book as an "80-storey building on marshy land," Lee said it must contend with hostility from larger Muslim neighbors.

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"We've got friendly neighbors? Grow up... There is this drive to put us down because we are interlopers," he said, citing alleged Malaysian and Indonesian efforts to undermine Singapore's crucial port business.

Singapore was ejected from the Malaysian federation in 1965 in large part due to Kuala Lumpur's preferential policies for ethnic Malays, and has since built up Southeast Asia's most modern military to deter foreign aggression.

Turning to local politics, Lee said the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), which has been in power since 1959 when Singapore gained political autonomy from colonial ruler Britain, will someday lose its grip on power.

"There will come a time when eventually the public will say, look, let's try the other side, either because the PAP has declined in quality or the opposition has put up a team which is equal to the PAP... That day will come."

"In the next 10 years to 20 years, I don't think it'll happen. Beyond that, I cannot tell."

Lee said that despite a survey showing the contrary, he believed Singaporeans were not yet ready for a non-ethnic-Chinese prime minister.

"A poll says 90 percent of Chinese Singaporeans say they will elect a non-Chinese as PM. Yes, this is the ideal. You believe these polls? Utter rubbish. They say what is politically correct," he stated.

He also defended the policy of promoting marriage between highly-educated Singaporeans, a policy seen by critics as a form of social engineering, and dismissed the notion of love at first sight.

"People get educated, the bright ones rise, they marry equally well-educated spouses. The result is their children are likely to be smarter than the children of those who are gardeners," he said.

"It's a fact of life. You get a good mare, you don't want a dud stallion to breed with your good mare. You get a poor foal."

People who are "attracted by physical characteristics" may regret it, he said.

Lee also revealed that he had donated to charity all his earnings of 13 million Singapore dollars ($10 million) since stepping down as prime minister in 1990 after 31 years in power.

Singapore's cabinet ministers are the highest paid in the world as part of a strategy to prevent corruption and attract talent from the private sector.

Lee, who holds the special title minister mentor, now serves as an adviser to his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who came to power in 2004.

Amid all the hard-edged talk, Lee showed his tender side when asked about his late wife Kwa Geok Choo, who died aged 89 in October last year.

"It means more solitude. No one to talk to when the day's work is done," Lee said in the book, the result of exclusive interviews with journalists from the country's leading daily, the Straits Times.

Agence France-Presse

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"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

Singapore Agencies Hike Maid Wages

Jakarta Globe, Straits Times Indonesia | January 22, 2011

Singapore. Seventeen employment agencies here are reportedly raising the monthly salaries of Indonesian domestic helpers from S$380 ($296) to S$450, some immediately.

Nation Employment, Best Home Employment Agency and Java Maids are among the agencies planning the wage increase.

Desmond Chin, group director of Nation Employment, told The Straits Times that the companies believe doing so will help them secure better and more dedicated applicants.

"For a while now, the companies have been finding it difficult to attract quality workers. Many prefer to go to Hong Kong or Taiwan, where they are said to receive salaries of S$650 and S$800, respectively," China said.

While acknowledging that his company will “definitely suffer a loss for one or two months,” Chin was confident that it would prove to be a worthwhile investment.

“The increase will provide employers with longer-term benefits, because they will get quality [in return],” said Chin.

He plans to implement the fee rise within three to four months, once the new batch of helpers come in.

Best Home Employment Agency director, Tan Khoon Beng, and Java Maids manager, Peter Chua, have also confirmed that their companies are planning a wage increase.

Java Maids is planning to increase their fees with the next batch of maids, while Best Home Employment has already increased wages.

Agencies that deal more with domestic workers who have already spent time in Singapore, rather than new helpers from Indonesia, are welcoming the wage increase.

Happy Maids Happy Homes managing consultant, Martin Silva, said that the move will not affect them much as they deal more with expat and wealthy clients who are already paying more for their domestic helpers.

The wage increase would effectively make his rates more competitive, explained Silva.

The salary increase comes on the back of news that fertility rates in Singapore have dipped to a record low. It also looks set to fuel further debates about parenting styles, sparked off by recent reports of Singaporean parents queuing overnight for the elite Nanyang Kindergarten and Yale Professor Amy Chua’s controversial book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”

This article is brought to you by Straits Times Indonesia and the Jakarta Globe. For daily subscription to the Straits Times Indonesia print edition and the Jakarta Globe, call 021 2553 5055

A worker lies ill under Jeddah bridge (ANTARA/SAPTONO)

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sidoarjo Police arrest 46 illegal immigrants from Iran and Afghanistan

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 01/22/2011

The Sidoarjo Police detained 46 illegal immigrants from Iran and Afganistan on Friday night, allegedly on their way to Australia.

According to police, those immigrants were arrested at Tambakoso village, Waru, Sidoarjo, East Java, based on information from local villagers.

“We were observing the location from Friday afternoon,” Sidoarjo Police chief Sr. Comr M. Iqbal said on Saturday as quoted by news portal.

The Sidoarjo Police had received intelligence on people smuggling in the area from the Jakarta Police.

“Based on the data, the immigrants are from Afghanistan and Iran,” Iqbal said, adding that the illegal immigrants would be taken to Pasuruan Immigration Detention.

Indonesia’s soft power vibrates through others

Abdul Khalik and Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Lombok | Mon, 01/17/2011 

Ministers’ talk: Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (from left) chats with Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win on the sidelines of ASEAN foreign ministers’ retreat meeting on Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara, on Sunday. Courtesy of the Foreign Ministry

Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo nodded his head in agreement while writing in his notebook, as Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa talked about Indonesia’s priorities for ASEAN.

The ASEAN ministers listened carefully during the retreat meeting at the Oberoi Hotel in Lombok on Sunday. ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, who sat at Marty’s left, smiled throughout the meeting and praised Marty’s statements.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and Malaysia Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman raised occasional questions and offered comments, which Marty took in stride.

Marty interspersed his talk with bits of humor, receiving outbursts of laughter from the other ministers.

Philippine Foreign Minister Alberto Romulo, the most senior and outspoken of the ASEAN ministers, was not in attendance.

A number of ministers said after the meeting that they welcomed Indonesia’s ideas of creating a orum in the three ASEAN pillars — economics, politics and security, and socio-culture — involving all stakeholders, from civil society groups to academics and media, to achieve an ASEAN community by 2015.

“Indonesia’s ideas are always welcomed by other countries,” Surin said.

For example, Indonesia’s position that Myanmar must be rewarded for holding elections and freeing Nobel winner Aung San Suu Kyi was agreed upon by other ASEAN countries.

ASEAN urged the lifting of international sanctions against Myanmar.

In efforts to create and manage regional architecture — including solving disputed claims on areas in the South China Sea — ASEAN continued to look to Indonesia for a breakthrough after years of deadlock in settling the problems.

Four countries have disputes with China over areas in the sea. Those disputes create tension between the navies of the claimant countries; Indonesia is not a claimant country in the disputes.

“Thanks to Indonesian leadership, we’ve re-energized our efforts to find solutions to the disputes,”
Surin said.

Indonesia has also proposed visions for what ASEAN should do after forming its 2015 community to ensure that the group has a common platform to tackle global issues when the time comes.

“Indonesia has always been ahead of the curve in proposing ideas for ASEAN. We very much welcome them,” Surin said.

He said that Thailand has also proposed an agenda for ASEAN after 2015.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit said that ASEAN expected a lot from Indonesia because Indonesia is a big democratic country with the world’s biggest Muslim population.

“Indonesia has been playing a leading role on the world stage for a long, long time — since its very independence. Indonesia is the one who co-founded the Non-Aligned Movement and one of the co-founders of ASEAN. Indonesia is a country that demonstrates tolerance in every sense of the word.

“I think the international community should learn from Indonesia. The principle of Pancasila is still applicable today, applicable for everyone. Instead of just listening to the West, let’s export the Pancasila principles.”

The foreign ministers also got to enjoy their time on Sunday. Marty escorted them to a Lombok beach where, despite the rain, they released turtles and planted trees.

Yeo, for one, particularly enjoyed playing on the beach and releasing almost countless turtles.              

Friday, January 21, 2011

At Head of Asean, Indonesia Takes Lead in Fostering Reconciliation in Burma

Jakarta Globe, Nivell Rayda | January 18, 2011

North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Indonesia wants a more active role in trying to nudge Burma towards democracy, especially in the reconciliation between its military rulers and opposition parties.

Indonesia’s push for a more democratic Burma will begin
by meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. (EPA Photo)
Marty Natalegawa, the minister of foreign affairs, said Indonesia, which took over the Asean’s rotating chairmanship this year, was planning to hold several meetings with the junta and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi throughout the year.

“Indonesia will lead talks to ensure [Burma] maintains its path toward a more democratic nation,” Natalegawa said on Monday, the final day of the AseanForeign Ministers’ Retreat in Lombok.

Indonesia had joined a chorus of nations urging the release of Suu Kyi, who spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest.

She was finally released in November, a week after the country held its first election in two decades — an event critics said was a sham with the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party clinching an overwhelming victory.

Another issue high on the ministers’ agenda was the immediate lifting of political and economic sanctions against Burma. The United States and other Western states have longstanding trade restrictions on the country over its poor human rights record.

But Asean said Burma had made “significant developments,” pointing to a more democratic state.

Burmese political parties also called for lifts to trade embargoes, saying these caused “difficulties in the important areas of trade, investment and modern technology for ethnic regions.”

Hariyadi Wirawan, a foreign affairs expert from University of Indonesia, said Asean was trying to speed up Burma’s roadmap to democracy so it could join the Asean Economic Community to be launched in 2015.

“Asean is trying to transform Burma from a liability into an asset,” the expert said.

Burmese issues, he added, are likely be discussed again during the East Asia Summit in October, in which the United States and Russia will be participating for the first time.

“Indonesia must be able to convince Burma that the transformation process toward democracy will be beneficial,” Hariyadi said.

“Asean’s pledge to lobby the international community to lift sanctions against Burma is a sure sign that it will be benificial for Asean and Burma,” he added.

Surin Pitsuwan, Asean secretary general, said world leaders would like to have more access to Burma, particularly to its opposition parties, like Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

“We are encouraging the evolution of the political reconciliation inside,” he said on Sunday.

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