Month: October 2019

Straits Herald October 31, 2019

The Malaysian financier at the heart of the massive 1MDB graft scandal has struck a settlement to forfeit assets worth $700 million including a Beverly Hills hotel and a private jet, the US Justice Department said Wednesday. Jho Low will relinquish the assets under the largest ever US civil forfeiture, intended to recover cash allegedly […]

Straits Herald October 30, 2019

by Paulina ABRAMOVICH Chile pulled out of hosting two major international summits on Wednesday as it struggled to restore order after more than ten days of civil unrest that left at least 23 dead. President Sebastian Pinera said “common sense” dictated the decision to withdraw from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the Cop […]

Straits Herald October 29, 2019

by Javier TOVAR With two young daughters, Mery Montenegro is preparing to add Disney+ to her list of streaming subscriptions, which already includes Netflix, Hulu and Amazon — and, when combined with her cable TV bill, costs her almost $1,500 per year. Her eldest Victoria, 6, asks every day when the new platform will launch, […]

Straits Herald October 28, 2019

by Jerome TAYLOR HSBC’s interim chief executive on Monday said the banking giant was underperforming in parts of Europe and the United States, as third-quarter profits slipped and the lender warned of further headwinds. The Asia-focused behemoth has been trying to lower costs as it faces the double uncertainties caused by the grinding US-China trade […]

Straits Herald October 27, 2019

by Patrick Lee Malaysia’s mammoth palm oil sector faces a new threat after Indian traders were asked to halt purchases amid a diplomatic row over Kashmir, piling further pressure on the industry as Europe also plans cutbacks. The Southeast Asian nation is the second-biggest producer after Indonesia of the oil, used in everything from food […]

Straits Herald October 26, 2019

by Peter BRIEGER A design flaw, inadequate pilot training and poor flight crew performance contributed to a Boeing jet crashing in Indonesia last year, killing all 189 people on board, investigators said Friday, in what one aviation analyst called a “damning” report. The Lion Air disaster was followed months later by a second crash — […]

Straits Herald October 25, 2019

by Juliette MICHEL WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann, whose unconventional approach to business and governance pushed boundaries on Wall Street and Silicon Valley, has been pushed off the struggling firm’s board — with a $1.5 billion payout. Neumann had already been forced to step down as chief executive last week as pressure mounted on the cash-hemorrhaging […]

Straits Herald October 25, 2019

A Singapore restaurant Thursday suspended a bizarre promotional stunt where customers use an arcade-style machine with a mechanical claw to catch live crabs after it sparked uproar online. A video of the pink machine, containing the creatures and emblazoned with a picture of a smiling red crab under the phrase “Come and catch me”, went […]

Straits Herald October 24, 2019

Tens of thousands of pieces of plastic littering the planet come from just a handful of multinational corporations, an environmental pressure group said Wednesday. Coca-Cola, Nestle and PepsiCo were named by Break Free from Plastics, a global coalition of individuals and environmental organisations, who warned the companies largely avoid cleanup responsibility. The coalition’s volunteers collected […]

Straits Herald October 23, 2019

by Martin Abbugao A drone-like flying taxi whirred over Singapore’s waterfront Tuesday, with the firm behind the test hoping the aircraft will revolutionise travel in traffic-choked Asian cities. The 18 propeller vehicle, developed by German firm Volocopter and with a pilot onboard during the test flight, took off from a promontory and flew for about […]

Straits Herald October 21, 2019

Animated film “Abominable” will not be shown in Malaysia after its distributor Sunday said it could not comply with censors’ demands to cut a controversial scene showing Beijing’s disputed claims in the South China Sea. The decision comes after Vietnam pulled the Universal Pictures movie from theatres days ago and the Philippines’ foreign secretary called […]

Straits Herald October 21, 2019

by Holly ROBERTSON A plane and its passengers are set to test the mental and physical limits of long-haul aviation when Qantas operates the first direct flight by a commercial airline from New York to Sydney this weekend. In the first of three “ultra long-haul” test flights planned by Australia’s national flag carrier this year, […]

Straits Herald October 20, 2019

by Sophie DEVILLER Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island have been forced to slash prices with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as tourist chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Located on the Andaman Sea and known for its beaches and nightlife, […]

Straits Herald October 20, 2019

by Dene-Hern Chen The charismatic frontman of Thailand’s anti-military parliamentary bloc appeared in court Friday accused of breaching election rules by holding media shares, a case which could see him barred from politics and jailed for up to 10 years.  Billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, 40, has rattled the kingdom’s arch-royalist establishment since seizing the political limelight […]

Straits Herald October 19, 2019

by Patrick Lee A scene in the film “Abominable” featuring a map with Beijing’s disputed South China Sea claims sparked a growing regional backlash Friday, with Malaysia cutting the segment just days after Vietnam pulled the movie entirely. The animated film about a Chinese teenager helping a yeti return to his home shows a chart […]

Straits Herald October 18, 2019

by Poornima WEERASEKARA China’s economy expanded at its slowest rate in nearly three decades in the third quarter, hit by cooling domestic demand and a protracted US trade war, official data showed Friday. The Chinese economy grew 6.0 percent in July-September, compared with 6.2 percent in the second quarter, according to the National Bureau of […]

Straits Herald October 17, 2019

Malaysia held talks with Goldman Sachs about dropping charges against three units of the Wall Street bank that prosecutors brought over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal, a report said Thursday. Huge sums were stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB in a fraud allegedly involving former leader Najib Razak and his cronies, and spent on everything from […]

Straits Herald October 16, 2019

Chinese tech giant Huawei said on Wednesday that its revenue for the first nine months of the year grew by almost a quarter despite a US campaign to isolate the company globally. Huawei’s revenues jumped 24.4 percent on-year to 610.8 billion yuan ($86.2 billion) and its profit margin increased 8.7 percent, it announced. Huawei, based […]

Straits Herald October 15, 2019

by Cecil MORELLA A diet heavy on cheap, modern food like instant noodles that fills bellies but lacks key nutrients has left millions of children unhealthily thin or overweight in southeast Asia, experts say. The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have booming economies and rising standards of living, yet many working parents do not have the […]

Straits Herald October 14, 2019

Singapore eased monetary policy for the first time in more than three years on Monday as the US-China trade war bites, while the export-reliant economy narrowly avoided recession in the third quarter. The financial hub’s central bank joins others around the world, from Europe to the US, in loosening policy as fears mount of a […]

Straits Herald October 13, 2019

by Sam Reeves, with Catherine Lai in Singapore From luxury Singapore apartments to Malaysian seafront condos, Hong Kong investors are shifting cash into Southeast Asian property, demoralised by increasingly violent protests as well as the China-US trade war. Millions have taken to the streets during four months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the southern Chinese city, […]

Straits Herald October 12, 2019

Malaysia’s government offered incentives to attract investment and wide-ranging financial goodies for ethnic Malays and the poor but hiked taxes for the rich in a smaller national budget for 2020 seen as appeasing critics in its second year of power. The budget, unveiled in Parliament on Friday, forecast economic growth will inch up to 4.8% […]

Straits Herald October 11, 2019

Malaysian authorities have imposed fines of around $100 million on 80 entities, intensifying their pursuit of people allegedly linked to the massive 1MDB corruption scandal, the anti-graft chief said Monday. The fines are linked to a wide-ranging probe into billions of dollars that were looted from state investment fund 1MDB between 2009 and 2014, and […]