Politics

Straits Herald September 14, 2019

With fierce blazes raging in jungles from the Amazon to Indonesia, concerns are mounting about the impact as rainforests play a vital role in protecting the planet against global warming. The latest serious outbreak is in Indonesia, where smog-belching fires started to clear land for agriculture are burning out of control, blanketing the region in […]

Straits Herald September 13, 2019

Former Indonesian president B.J. Habibie, who ushered in an era of democratic reforms after the downfall of long-time dictator Suharto, died on Wednesday at the age of 83 in Jakarta, his family and officials said. Habibie died at a military hospital in the capital after suffering from heart failure. In a televised speech announcing Habibie’s […]

Straits Herald September 12, 2019

Malaysia has stepped up pressure on neighbouring Indonesia to tackle huge blazes tearing through its rainforests and smothering Southeast Asia in smog, as fires typically started to clear land for crops send diplomatic tensions soaring.  Burning forests to make way for farming is also thought to be behind the enormous fires currently ripping through the […]

Straits Herald September 8, 2019

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe spent his final days in Singapore at one of Asia’s best hospitals, more than 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) away from his homeland. He died Friday aged 95 at Gleneagles Hospital, breathing his last while surrounded by family members, according to a relative. Why would an African leader chose to seek […]

Straits Herald September 8, 2019

by Susan NJANJI / AFP Flags flew at half mast in Harare on Saturday, but a day after former president Robert Mugabe’s death many Zimbabweans preferred to work as usual than publicly mourn the independence hero turned despot. President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a period of national mourning on Friday following Mugabe’s death in Singapore at […]

Straits Herald September 4, 2019

by Jerome TAYLOR / Yan ZHAO – AFP Hong Kong’s leader on Wednesday bowed to a key demand of pro-democracy protesters following three months of unrest, announcing the withdrawal of a loathed extradition bill, but activists vowed to press on with their campaign. Millions of people have taken to Hong Kong’s streets since June in […]

Straits Herald September 4, 2019

by Patrick GALEY / AFP Carbon-heavy development in countries part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative could render the Paris climate goals unreachable, according to a new analysis on the gargantuan global infrastructure project released Monday. The massive network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe will […]

Straits Herald September 3, 2019

by Alice RITCHIE / AFP British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call an election for October 14 if MPs vote against his Brexit strategy, a top official said Monday on the eve of a parliamentary showdown. MPs from Johnson’s own Conservative Party are preparing to join opposition lawmakers in a vote on Tuesday to try […]

Straits Herald September 3, 2019

Saudi Arabia on Monday named the head of its sovereign wealth fund as chairman of oil giant Aramco, replacing Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih as the state-owned company prepares for a much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO). “I congratulate… Yasir al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund, on his appointment as chairman of the board of directors […]

Straits Herald September 2, 2019

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong threatened Sunday the editor of an online publication with libel for repeating “false” allegations related to a bitter feud in the city-state’s founding family. In a letter to Terry Xu, chief editor of The Online Citizen (TOC), Lee’s press secretary demanded that the article on its website and Facebook […]

Straits Herald September 1, 2019

by Martin Abbugao / AFP Space-starved Singapore has expanded outwards by building into the sea and upwards by constructing high-rises but planners are now looking underground as they seek new areas for growth. The nation has carefully managed its rapid growth in recent decades to avoid the problems faced by other fast developing Asian metropolises, […]

Straits Herald September 1, 2019

Papua has plunged into chaos with deadly riots and mass demonstrations breaking out across Indonesia’s easternmost territory, fanned by racial tensions and fresh calls for independence. Here are five things to know about the unrest: 1. What started the riots? The riots appear to have been sparked by the arrest this month of dozens of […]

Straits Herald September 1, 2019

by Hortencio Sanchez, with Peter Brieger in Jakarta / AFP East Timor on Friday celebrated 20 years since a UN-backed vote ended a bloody, decades-long occupation by Indonesian forces and paved the way for it to become an independent nation. Dotted with banners and flags, the capital Dili was in a festive mood as people […]

Straits Herald August 31, 2019

China’s manufacturing activity contracted for a fourth month in a row in August, official data showed Saturday, as the US stepped up tariff pressure and domestic demand slowed. On Sunday, the US is expected to hit billions of dollars worth of Chinese products with 15 percent duties, in a sharp escalation of a bruising trade […]

Straits Herald August 29, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will bring up territorial issues in his Beijing meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Philippines ambassador said on Thursday, as tensions rise over claims to the South China Sea. The Filipino leader faces growing pressure at home to confront China over its aggressive approach to upholding its contested territorial claims in […]

Straits Herald August 29, 2019

The United States must observe a landmark nuclear deal and halt “economic terrorism” against Iran if it wants to hold talks, the Islamic republic’s foreign minister said Thursday. Tehran and Washington have been locked in a bitter standoff since last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 deal that gave […]

Straits Herald August 28, 2019

Jalil Rasheed will be appointed as Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s (PNB) new President & Group Chief Executive with effect from 1 October 2019. Jalil is currently the CEO of the South Asian operations for Invesco, a leading global investment firm managing more than US$1.2 trillion across a multiple range of asset classes in over 25 countries. Previously […]

Straits Herald August 27, 2019

Malaysian prosecutors Tuesday wrapped up the first of several cases against toppled leader Najib Razak over the plundering of 1MDB, a day before the start of his main trial linked to the scandal-hit fund. With the prosecution now finished, a judge will hear arguments from both sides in October and rule on November 11 whether […]

Straits Herald August 27, 2019

After former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his son Mohd Nazifuddin were sued by Malaysia’s Inland Revenue Board (IRB), his daughter has now been ordered to pay unpaid RM10.3 million (US$2.6 million) in income tax from 2011 to 2017. The Malaysian government as the plaintiff filed a writ of summons and statement of […]

Straits Herald August 26, 2019

China’s yuan has sunk by around four percent in August to its lowest point in more than 11 years on Monday, a decline likely to further exacerbate trade tensions with Washington. Here are five things to know about the yuan’s slide: 1. Why has the yuan depreciated? Because China is allowing it to.  China limits […]

Straits Herald August 26, 2019

Indonesia will move its capital to the eastern edge of jungle-clad Borneo island, President Joko Widodo said Monday, as the country shifts its political heart away from congested and sinking megalopolis Jakarta. The proposed location — near the regional cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda — is an area at “minimal” risk of natural disasters, where the […]

Straits Herald August 25, 2019

The US and 10 Southeast Asian states will hold their first-ever joint maritime exercises in September, aimed at preventing “wrongdoing” as Washington and Beijing jostle for influence in the region. Washington has traditionally been the dominant naval power in Southeast Asia and its re-engagement with the area comes as a deteriorating trade war with China […]

Straits Herald August 25, 2019

Malaysian authorities seized over three tonnes of cocaine and ketamine worth $161 million (RM676 million), officials said Friday, the biggest drug seizure in the country’s history. Customs officials and police had found 467 kilograms (1,030 pounds) of ketamine and about 3,200 kg of cocaine in raids on Sunday. The ketamine was discovered first in a […]