AEC : Sebuah klub bisnis yang menghindari pekerja?

Pekerja terampil di Kamboja misalnya tidak akan mendapat manfaat dari upah yang lebih tinggi dengan kemudahan kemasukan community bisnes di negara2 Asean – gambar oleh WFTV

Oleh  Kazi Mahmood

Apakah Asean Economic Community (AEC) adalah sebuah klub bisnis, memenuhi kebutuhan mereka dan memenuhi tuntutan mereka sementara dengan sengaja mengabaikan penderitaan pekerja regional?

Mengamati langkah AEC menunjukkan impian menciptakan komunitas yang bersatu di mana semua orang akan berada di tempat yang baik.

Tapi kenyataannya ternyata menjadi mimpi buruk, dengan janji untuk mempercepat ke alam mimpi yang ternyata menjadi klub eksklusif, dapat diakses oleh mereka di ‘kelas’ lain

Ini mengingatkan pada film-film Hollywood di mana pendukung diberikan kredit untuk dipilih, tetapi hanya untuk dikirim ke pulau insinerator.

Tidak. Komentar-komentar ini tidak terlalu sulit. Mereka kasar, tapi tidak berarti. Mereka dimaksudkan untuk menemukan jawaban dari tokoh-tokoh luhur yang mengandung gagasan tentang AEC, dan angka-angka ini adalah anggota Kelompok Eminent Persons Group atau EPG yang terkenal.

Apapun niat ‘baik’ mereka, mereka tampaknya telah ditorpedo ‘dalam proses implementasi

Membaca komentar dari para pemimpin, pemangku kepentingan bisnis dan lihat kemajuan pesat yang dibuat dalam AEC untuk komunitas bisnis – mengarahkan orang untuk bertanya satu pertanyaan Bagaimana dengan kerja regional?

Satu-satunya jawaban yang saya miliki adalah bahwa mereka tampaknya disisihkan sebagai banyak hal yang tidak menyenangkan

Baik, dengan AEC yang senang membujuk komunitas bisnis, apakah pekerja di komunitas Asean kehilangan kereta gravy?

Ketakutan (bukan di antara para pengambil keputusan) adalah bahwa publik yang tidak curiga dapat menjadi korban ketidakjelasan mereka sendiri tentang hak-hak mereka dalam kerangka AEC.

Mari kita lihat kemajuan yang dibuat oleh AEC dalam hal memperlancar kemudahan melakukan bisnis ‘di Asean

Untuk mulai dengan, komunitas bisnis dilayani dengan baik di bawah Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Tetapi tenaga kerja tunduk pada kondisi dan menghadapi oposisi dari negara-negara anggota Asean pada gerakan mereka di AEC

Berikut ini akan memberikan contoh yang lebih jelas tentang bagaimana komunitas bisnis diberikan akses yang lebih besar ke pasar Asean.

Pengumuman CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI) di Kuala Lumpur menunjukkan bagaimana AEC telah berevolusi sejak awal.

Tujuan akhir dari AEC termasuk menghapus hambatan tarif, mengurangi biaya dan meningkatkan daya saing di antara negara-negara anggota Asean, menambahkan bahwa telah mencapai target substansial hingga saat ini. Tidak ada yang disebutkan tentang nasib para pekerja!

Asean telah dipuji karena penghapusan tarif yang sejalan melalui AFTA, fasilitasi perdagangan menjadi lebih fleksibel, dan rezim investasi jauh lebih terbuka.

Perhatian penuh yang diberikan kepada lingkaran bisnis di wilayah mereka dijamin semua fasilitas yang mereka butuhkan untuk memperluas operasi mereka di Asean kebenaran yang menyedihkan adalah bahwa semua ini akan sia-sia jika tidak termasuk pergerakan tenaga kerja bebas di wilayah tersebut.

Ini adalah hal yang tabu di kalangan politisi dari semua kelas di negara-negara Asean. Di beberapa negara Asean, kelas politik tidak menyadari apa-apa. Mereka bahkan tidak memiliki pendapat apakah para pekerja di AEC harus menjadi bagian dari masyarakat.

Asean ingin melihat peningkatan pesat dalam produk domestik bruto dan percaya dengan benar sehingga pengusaha akan membawa investasi langsung asing dan akan menambah nilai bagi negara-negara di mana mereka membangun bisnis mereka.

Meski begitu, mereka setengah jalan, karena, tanpa tenaga kerja yang lebih bebas yang dapat bergerak di sekitar area tanpa hambatan, hanya jenis pekerja yang akan mendapat manfaat.

Ini akan mengabadikan sistem kelas pekerja yang kita miliki sekarang. Mereka yang berpendidikan tinggi akan mendapat manfaat dan mereka yang tidak memiliki keahlian, orang-orang yang tidak dicurigai hidup di negara-negara AEC akan terkecoh. Dan ini mungkin berdampak pada target pertumbuhan GDP.

Kesenjangan yang jelas dalam kebebasan bergerak dari bisnis dan pekerja adalah situasi yang unik karena jika Anda adalah orang bisnis, Anda dapat bergerak di sekitar ASEAN, dan membangun bisnis Anda dengan mudah.

Tetapi jika Anda seorang pekerja, apakah Anda seorang pekerja kerah biru atau pekerja kerah putih, ada peraturan dan ketentuan yang membuat hampir tidak mungkin bagi Anda untuk bergerak dengan mudah.

AEC disebut komunitas untuk alasan yang baik, tetapi dengan kelancaran pengembangan protokol bisnis dan pengabaian yang disengaja atas hak buruh regional, sekali lagi ada sesuatu yang tidak benar.

Gerakan Asean sendiri tampaknya kalah dalam masalah ini.

AEC dibuat sampai batas tertentu pada model Komunitas Eropa, mungkin dalam posisi yang lebih kuat untuk mencegah elemen negatif yang muncul dari zona euro pada pergantian abad.

Mungkin Asean harus mulai mengadopsi apa yang telah dilakukan Uni Eropa, melibatkan anggota parlemen dalam proses pengembangan masyarakat?

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Singapore wants China-backed trade deal done

China-backed trade deal Jeansnowlee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Picture credit enclosed – The Singapore Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang

RCEP, the China-backed trade deal talks has to see its conclusion by end of 2018.This is what Singapore and negotiating parties want to see happening.
Singapore’s Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang said the strong political will among negotiators is apparent.

He said the discussion is ongoing firstly among Asean ministers.

Talks on the China-backed trade treaty started in 2012.

The ten-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) is participating in the RCEP talks.

Among them are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The RCEP will create a free trade area of several billion people.

However, the negotiations were slow.

There were indications the deal might be going south due to the changes in the U.S. political landscape.

The arrival of President Donald Trump and his kill button against the TPP could revive the RCEP.

The RCEP took the back seat at the time when the TPP negotiations were on the verge of conclusion.

In other words, the CPTPP is the final version of a revised TPP.

The TPP’s aim is to cut trade barriers in some of the fastest-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region.

It was released in February which signals the deal was a step closer to reality.

The 11 remaining nations, led by Japan, finalized a revised trade pact in January.

Record results consolidate Maybank’s Asean position

Maybank today said it achieved record results for the financial year ended 31 December 2017 (FY17).

Stronger revenue from all its business segments contributed to the results.

Its key overseas markets also did well.

Significantly lower impairment losses and better management of its assets, liabalities also contributed to the results.

Maybank is the fourth largest bank in South East Asia’s by assets.

The bank said its profit before tax (PBT) breached the RM10 billion mark for the first time.

It reached 14.2% higher at RM10.10 billion, compared with the RM8.84 billion a year earlier. 

Net profit also surpassed the RM7 billion level for the first time, rising to a new high of RM7.52 billion.

This was 11.5% more than the RM6.74 billion recorded a year earlier.

For the 4QFY17, PBT came in 1.8% higher at RM2.93 billion from RM2.87 billion in the corresponding year.

Net profit stood at RM2.13 billion compared with the normalised net profit of RM1.74 billion in 4QFY16.

The figures were achieved by eliminating exceptional one-off proceeds from the sale of securities in 2016.

Compared with the preceding 3QFY17, PBT and net profit for 4QFY17 was 9.3% and 5.2% higher respectively.

According to Maybank Chairman, Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin, the record performance was achieved in spite of volatility in the external operating environment in 2017.

She credited the bank’s overall strategy for the success.

She said the bank managed risks well, maintained a diversified portfolio, improved efficiency as well as leveraged on digital capabilities.

“This achievement not only underscores our resilience but has also given us a sound platform to sustain the Group’s performance in today’s disruptive environment,” she said.

The Board of Directors has proposed to reward shareholders with a final single-tier dividend of 32 sen per share.

To be made under the Dividend Reinvestment Plan, the proposed dividend will comprise 18 sen per share to be paid in cash.

Together with the 23 sen interim dividend declared earlier, this makes the full year pay-out at RM5.90 billion or 78.5% of net profit and translates into a dividend yield of 5.6%.

The dividend distribution maintains Maybank’s status among banks offering the highest yields in the region.

On the other hand, Group President & CEO, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said discipline in pricing and a focused execution of business plan helped achieve the record performance.

“This year looks to be equally challenging as 2017 given the volatile markets we saw at the start of the year.

“We remain cautious of sudden shocks to the environment.

“The bank will maintain a prudent approach in pursuing growth by focusing on profitability as well as effective management of costs and liquidity,” he said.

That instead of just pursuing loans growth per se.

He said the bank will continue to see growth opportunities in the different markets it serves.

He said wealth management, digital payments, Islamic banking and insurance are examples.

“We intend to tap into and further strengthen our market share in these segments,” he said.

He added the bank also be relentless in pursuing its digital transformation agenda across its network.

“Especially preparing our employees to keep abreast of the changes that the Industry 4.0 revolution brings.”

Japan can fill the vacuum left by the US

Picture Credit: Sputniknews

When Donald Trump on January 2017, announced that he was withdrawing from the global mega-deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it gave room for others to fill where the US had left.

His pulling out of the Paris climate subsequently also meant that it is time for somebody else to take a lead role in economic and global leadership.
 
The void left by the US provides a timely opportunity for a country like Japan to play that important role in thrusting its economic and global leadership, particularly in the Asean region.
 
Japan is already one of Asean’s oldest and most important dialogue partner with the organisation being Tokyo’s second largest trading partner.
 
The total bilateral trade between Asean and Japan amounted to US$$220 billion in 2014 according to Japanese Finance ministry data. (Latest data’s not available at time of writing).
 
Japan is also Asean’s largest source of foreign direct investment, with an FDI stock of US$180 billion. Japan’s is the Asean’s second largest trading partner after China.
 
Asean countries collectively constitute the most important FDI destination in Asia, ahead of China.
 
Considering Asean is the key production base for Japanese MNCs that have developed extensive production networks and supply chains throughout Asean, it is already an important and attractive market for Japanese firms providing goods and services.
 
For example, Japanese automakers have established production bases for parts and components and final assembly in several Asean countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
 
In doing so, they have taken into account the specific conditions of individual countries, such as the availability of trained workers, technological capabilities, the agglomeration of suppliers, infrastructure availability, market characteristics, and policy and tax incentives.
 
By investing in Asean and creating supply chains that connect Japan and several member countries, these and other Japanese MNCs, including several small and medium-sized enterprises, have greatly contributed to the region’s economic development, technology transfer and the de-facto integration of Asean economies.
 
Although Asean’s trade relationship with China has expanded rapidly in recent years, China’s presence as a source of FDI in Asean is still limited.
 
Unlike China, Japan and the Asean member countries have nurtured friendly relationships and have no major historical issues or territorial disputes.
Holistic packages similar to HSR bid
Considering Asean’s prosperity and stability are essential to the Japanese economy, Japan can play a significant role in Asean’s economic development and regional integration.
 
In order to further enhance the relationship, Japan can infuse holistic packages in all its assistance to Asean member countries in the likes what they offered to Malaysia in its bid for the high-speed railway (HSR).
 
In its HSR bid, Japan offered technology which was first invented through the world-renowned high-speed railway system, the Shinkansen, plus total transfer of technology and local vendor development.
 
It is also offering full-fledged training for the officials, operators, and engineers of both countries so that they can start the operations by themselves from Day One.
 
Japan is also offering a comprehensive financial package that will help the two nations reduce their financial burden in introducing the system.
  
Many Asean countries have been trying very hard to move up the value-chain and move out of the middle-income trap but their falling behind thus far is on account of their inability to grapple with new technologies.
 
Japan could play a vital role in spurring the economies of the asean countries by offering technology and training and ensuring that these economies are able to move the value chain in the likes what they have offered to Malaysia in its HSR bid.
 
A prosperous Asean would definitely mean a huge market for Japanese goods in the future and this is important for Japan as the number of young people in Japan gets less and it has to depend on overseas markets for its goods.
 
Sathish was previously the Senior Analyst at the Institute of strategic and International Studies and most recently as the Assistant Business Editor in a local newspaper.

DAVOS: Businesses looking towards sustainable political systems in Asean

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, Chief Executive Officer, Plan International, United Kingdom.Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Group, Norway, Nazir Razak, Chairman, CIMB Group Holdings, Malaysia.Vuong Dinh Hue, Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies of Singapore, Mari Elka Pangestu, Professor of International Economics, University of Indonesia, Indonesia during the Session “Strategic Outlook: ASEAN ” at the Annual Meeting 2018 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 24, 2018.Copyright by World Economic Forum / Manuel Lopez

With a combined population of 640 million and a nominal GDP of more than $3 trillion, the 10 member countries of Asean are a key source of global growth. What is good for Asean is good for the world.

Priorities for the Asean group include inclusive growth, sustainable development, gender equality and economic integration.

This year is a big one politically, with elections in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand (most likely). Business is looking for continued peace and security but also progress towards more sustainable political systems and more reliable legal systems.

In particular, individual Asean governments are called upon to address key issues:
1. Reassess national policies towards entrepreneurs: vested interests and incumbents often prove insurmountable, preventing Asean unicorns from arising
2. Get the balance right between private enterprise and state-owned enterprises
3. Strengthen legal systems to bring certainty to long-term contracts
4. Tackle entrenched gender norms to help release the potential for women and girls
5. Continue the push towards elimination of corruption and misuse of public funds
At the Asean level, business and government leaders call for a more aggressive pace of integration.

The “Asean Way” – emphasizing consultation and consensus building – has maintained intra-
Asean harmony since the grouping’s formation in 1967. This approach, however, has fallen short when it comes to integration. Without regional harmonization and economies of scale, the danger is that global platform companies could crowd out regional innovators. This risks Asean falling behind in the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Finally, the next phase of economic progress in Asean will need to be driven by women and youth.

Regional GDP would be 10-20% larger if women were fully integrated into the workforce. Improving digital literacy alone would bring over 20 million women into the digital economy. In terms of prospects, the main concern is unemployment, with youth unemployment up to five times that of national averages in some cases – an unsustainable situation.

Asean can lead the world in demonstrating the advantages of integration and harmonization. To do this, women and youth need to be in the driver’s seat.

Gareth Shepherd, Official Writer at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018

Why India should thread carefully in Southeast Asia and South China Sea

India is playing to the America card of ‘quadrilateral’ power in the Southeast Asian region and in the South China Sea (SCS), which is a departure from the previous U.S. administration under President Barack Obama, but New Delhi will have to thread carefully in these troubled waters.

The South China Sea is basically under the occupation of China, which has successfully pushed away any opposition to its rule in those seas with its heavy presence through the illegal occupation of territories and sea lanes.

The South China Sea is the most militarised waters on earth, with all the super powers hacking through in order to watch what Beijing is doing, and this has not prevented the Chinese from conquering the seas amid wide criticism from some Asean nations and a faint opposition from the USA, Japan and Australia.

In order to strengthen their voice against China, the USA has roped in India’s Narendra Modi in the fanfare.

The Indians are saying that the ongoing activities of ship visits, of coordinated patrols, of exercises that are take place bilaterally, are going very well.

However, they are not disrupting China’s grip on the seas, while they are seen by Beijing as cosmetics compared to its powerful presence in the SCS.

India also believe there is great satisfaction between India and the Asean on issues of defence talks, or navy to navy talks, indicating that several Southeast Asian countries locked in territorial disputes with China have sought even greater Indian engagement in the region.

They also say China’s moves in the SCS has forced the Asean members to look towards India as a partner for equilibrium.

But India, is way behind China having lesser influence in most of the Asean nations and is only a new, smaller player in the Asean. It is trying to build its strategy within the Asean but it appears that China has leap-frogged ahead of New Delhi in this respect.

It is also clear that a great military involvement from New Delhi in the Asean region could provoke a backlash from China, especially if the Indias were to follow the USA in poking their nose in the South China Sea conflict.

And as long as they keep their navy within the Malacca Straits, they will not risk offending China and get their face red on the frontier issues they already have with Beijing.

 

India fading in covert resistance against China

Indian PM Modi with Malaysian PM Najib Razak: India’s influence is too small in Malaysia and within the Asean to unbuckle China. Is the US pushing New Delhi in a deadly gameplay versus Beijing?

India is trying to play big, gathering the Southeast Asian leaders in talks on how to promote maritime security in the region’s seas which is dominated by China.

But India’s resistance to China’s rise in the Southeast Asian region looks much more like an undercover strategy to undermine Beijing.

By undercover, we mean it is not ready to tackle China in the region but it is listening to some quarters – definitely the United States of America – and is putting itself at risk of a major backlash in this strategy.

The report published by Business Insider said India has been slow in its “Act East” policy of developing political and economic ties with Southeast Asia.

China, whose trade with the Asean was more than six times India’s in 2016-17 at $470 million, has greater influence in the region.

China is pushing for the One Belt One Road (OBOR) which has roped in several countries in the massive infrastructure construction project that is destined to project Beijing as the economic and political super power in the region.

India pales in comparison against China’s influence since China already has its grip on new ports and power plants as well as rail projects in the Asean member countries.

China is also very strong in countries around India’s periphery, such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and spurring New Delhi to seek new allies.

Nevertheless, Business Times said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited the leaders of all ten Asean nations to join him in the Republic Day celebrations on Friday (today) in the biggest ever gathering of foreign leaders at the parade that showcases military might and cultural diversity.

The leaders, who include Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, will hold talks on maritime cooperation and security, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.

One wonders how did the other Asean leaders accept the presence of Aung San Suu Kyi in this maritime security talk since Malaysia, Indonesia were highly critical of the latter’s role in the Rohingya diaspora.

Both India and the Southeast Asia nations have stressed the need for freedom of navigation and open seas but India’s apparent strong naval ties with countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, is perhaps a bit too little, too late to counter China.

A sunset industry struggling to cope with reality – Part 1

THE media industry has seen a steady fall in revenue with advertisers shying away from both printed and online newspapers, whether they are traditional or newly minted ones.

This is resulting in many losing their jobs and this is not just impacting only the print media.

 

Picture credit: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1844330 Is there still hope for the print media industry?

 

The online media is struggling to find the right revenue model, leading to a long list of failed ventures in Malaysia while others are surviving on startup money or from some political backing.

One thing is certain though. As long as the media industry (the news media industry in particular) does not strike the right chord with their business model, there will be continued instability from this massive haemorrhage.

This issue is not unique to Malaysia. Singapore and Indonesia are also hit by the same phenomenon. The question that is being asked by industry players is where did the advertising expenditure (Adex) go?

Well, for one thing, Adex players do not like the old format of journalism in countries like Malaysia and Singapore. They want a more transparent media.

The Singaporean media is also feeling the pinch with editorial teams asking whether they will remain relevant in the wake of the rapid progress made by mobile internet services in the region.

In most cases, whether it is Malaysia or Singapore, Indonesia and the rest of Asean, former newspaper buyers are now accessing news at a faster rate on their mobile devices.

The new media — online media agencies not associated with traditional newspapers — have seen a sharp rise in readership.

But why has the Adex been running away from both the print media’s online portals and the new media’s sites?.

The death of the print media was foretold many years ago but the decline has been slower in Southeast Asia, mainly due to the slow internet speeds, but this has drastically changed in the last few years.

And with the coming of 5G networks soon, the Malaysian internet scene will see a shift that could hurt the print media, even more, sending it down a faster slope to its doom.

This will impact the workforce, the media players and will cause a massive shift in loyalty from the readers and consumers.

The new media players, though more transparent, will win the readership battle but they will not be the ones attracting the Adex, which is going into a different channel altogether as they streamline towards Google Adsense and Google Adwords, and the many other players in this category.

However, I think it is more about a lack of transparent policies and a total lack of understanding of what is really happening to the print-traditional newspapers, with the arrival of the fast internet, that is the real cause for this chaotic situation.

The solution to saving the traditional media that wants to be saved, and that wants to survive in this highly disruptive environment, will be a complete liberalisation of the content of the newspaper industry.

This will be good for business as it helps the newspapers regain their lost fame and it will also shift the Adex game back towards the traditional media.

Part two will appear next week.

Kazi is the business editor of Malay Mail. kazi@mmail.com.my

Tourism: Three Asean countries in future no-go list

Five countries are depicted as danger zones in the making, and places where tourists have to go now to see the beautiful places before political turmoil runs them down.

The Asean has two countries in the list of bad dreams bound to come true:
1. Philippines
2. Indonesia
3. Thailand

Another country from Asia forms the list of negatives: Maldives, the beautiful tourism Island which may be rocked by political activism pretty much in the near future, says experts.

Africa is not forgotten. Madagascar is the only African nation in the list of 5 top shaky nations where political instability may disrupt the tourism trade, and other businesses in the process.

This is according to an article that appeared today written by Lauren McMah for news.com.au

It starts with the fright that Egypt has given the tourism world lately, then a rethink of Turkey as a destination.

While it is clear, no one is going to Syria for tourism, unless one wants to get into the cross-hairs of the ISIS and other rebel groups.

So, do not go to Egypt, keep Turkey for later and forget Syria, Yemen, and parts of Iraq while the same breath you might also say bye-bye to Libya (or what is left of the great country built by Muammar Gaddafi).

While the article does not talk on Libya and Yemen, it warns that Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Maldives and Madagascar are in the next nations that could see trouble soon.

INDONESIA
Indonesians held a massive rally in which police clash with hard-line Muslims protesting against Jakarta’s governor.

One person was killed as Indonesian police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse tens of thousands of protesters who rallied.

They were demanding the resignation of the Christian governor of Jakarta for allegedly insulting the Quran.

At least seven people were injured in clashes between demonstrators and police, Jakarta police spokesman Awi Setiyono said on Friday (Nov 4), said Al-Jazeera.

The protest was triggered by accusations that Purnama, better known by his nickname Ahok, insulted Islam by criticising opponents who used Quranic references to attack him ahead of an election in February.

Purnama apologised for the remarks, but his opponents have built a groundswell of support calling for his arrest and incarceration under Indonesia’s tough blasphemy laws – Al Jazeera said.

Purnama has apologised for his remarks, insisting he was not criticising the Quranic verse but those who used it to attack him.

MADAGASCAR
1.5m face hunger because of drought, UN says.
Tensions erupted in June when two people were killed and at least 50 others were injured in a grenade explosion during Independence Day celebrations in the capital Antananarivo.
More violence is expected.

MALDIVES
The political situation is growing increasingly fragile in the Maldives.
The archipelago is facing more civil unrest as support for democratically-elected President Abdulla Yameen continued to plummet, and as more locals leave the Muslim country to fight in the Middle East with Islamic State and other militant groups.
Some 200 Maldivians are believed to have done this, making the Maldives the largest foreign contributor of fighters per-capital.

PHILIPPINES
On the one hand, the Philippine destination of Boracay was named the best island in the world in October, confirming the country’s popularity among tourists.
In many other parts of the country, including the ever-popular hub of Manila, the threat of terror attack and crime remains high — and the Philippines government has responded by declaring a state of lawlessness.
Simmering tension in the Philippines erupted in chaos in September when 14 people were killed and more than 70 were injured in a terror attack at a night market in Davao City.
The Philippines is breaking away from its traditional partner, the USA, to join forces with China. A paradigm shift that may change the balance of power in the Asean-Southeast Asian region.
May become source of a military conflict against China?

THAILAND
Thailand’s military junta — which seized power in a 2014 coup — is expected to strengthen its strong grip on the country until King Bhumibol’s son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is confirmed as the new king in December.
According to sources, Thailand will be organising elections as soon as next year, and there are hopes that it will work out this time.
But Aussies are being asked to take into considerations travel advisories issued by their government.

Read full article here:
http://www.news.com.au/…/n…/59903201cfbb23a26471c1a7ea790a07

IACSP ASEAN security symposium needed to fight terror

KUALA LUMPUR —  The IACSP ASEAN Security Symposium & Awards: Trends; Forecasts – Non-Traditional Security Threats Conference organized by IACSP and co-organized by Fleming was helpful in creating a network of agencies to combat terrorism.
  Public-private partnerships between government, military and the private sector really have to happen through organizations like this one,” said The Intelligence Community CEO Graham Plaster.
The aim of the conference was to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack and establish effective collaboration in trans-border security issues.
The Plaster said it takes people coming together and creating these venues where we can network with each other and build relationships.
“So you can bring innovation and the government, and in doing, so even build capacity for the government.”
Industry professionals were set to participate at the conference held at the InterContinental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
With more than 22 distinguished counter-terrorism experts from all over the globe, this two-day conference featured a special address by Datuk Ayob Khan. Principal Assistant Director-Counter Terrorism Division, a special unit of the Royal Malaysian Police.
Furthermore, the conference included exclusive keynote presentations, four focused panel discussions, advanced workshops and the first ever IACSP Security Awards.
This IACSP Security Awards and Gala Dinner for the ASEAN Region marked the first launching of the Certified Anti-Terrorism Practitioner (CATP). Together, the event also presented the very first launch of the ASEAN Counter Terrorism Network, spearheaded by the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals -Centre for Security Studies, Counter-Terrorism Security and Research Foundation.
There were also esteemed speakers: Christopher Ankersen from the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, Irina Koulatchenko from Interpols General Secretariat and more.
Last but not least, the conference brought four nominations from deserving security agencies in ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos.
This event also paid tribute to and presented special awards in honor of Superintendent Ibrahim
Lebar of the Royal Malaysian Police and Private Ahmad Hurairah Bin Ismail of the Malaysian Army, who sacrificed their lives for Malaysia during the Sabah insurgency of the terrorist attacks in 2013.