Today Around Southeast Asia
PHUKETWAN recognises the importance of Asean with the Economic Community approaching and marks what's happening around the region with a column, Asean Today, that will cease when Phuketwan closes on December 31.
aljazeera.com Death sentences imposed on corrupt Vietnamese officials will now be commuted to life in prison if they pay back at least 75 percent of the illegal money they made. The change is part of a revised Penal Code that an overwhelming majority passed in the National Assembly, online newspaper VnExpress reported.
wsj.com The Philippines has lacked fighter jets for 10 years, but that situation - which has long embarrassed the military - is set to end Saturday when two Korean-built FA-50 fighters touch down at Clark Air Base north of Manila.The Philippines' neighbors have similar territorial concerns and are also investing heavily in new weaponry.
enca.com The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said fighting between the government and ethnic rebels in Kachin state had displaced 1200 people, including 500 children.
channelnewsasia.com Thailand is ''highly likely'' to seek membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but would first need to weigh up the impact of the free-trade accord on its export-led economy, a deputy prime minister said.
washingtonpost.com Australian officials destroyed a boat carrying asylum seekers and then pushed them back to sea in another vessel, Indonesia said. Foreign Office chief of multilateral affairs Hasan Kleib expressed concern that Australia took the action on its own.
bbc.com A growing controversy over a Singapore concert starring openly gay US singer Adam Lambert has highlighted a widening cultural divide in the strait-laced city-state. Lambert will be the headline act of a lavish New Year's Eve show organised and televised live nationally by state-owned broadcaster MediaCorp.
reuters Rival petitions in Singapore have gathered thousands of online votes in a lively debate over whether he is too sexy to be allowed to perform at the city-state's largest New Year's eve concert.
worldhighways.com Plans are in hand in South East Asia for an improved road link connecting Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. A loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) worth US$100 million will help fund the work for the 66.4km section running between Kawkareik and Eindu in Myanmar.
the star/ANN The lack of a proper system to govern refugees has allowed human rights abuses against refugees to take place, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam). The non-recognition of refugees by Malaysia has made the community more marginalised, added Suhakam vice-chair Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee.
cnn.com Malaysia is fast becoming the theme park capital of Southeast Asia, with 16 theme parks and water parks spread around the country, and 10 more reported to be opening in the next few years. Tourism's on the rise here and international and local corporations have been working together on a host of ambitious new projects with an emphasis on family-friendly attractions rather than white-knuckle roller coaster rides.
mmtimes.com Infrastructure in Cambodia is not as well developed as in neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, and floods and poor roads make travel challenging during the monsoon season, from May to October, but cheap frequent bus services, a good domestic airline and easygoing locals make travelling here an adventure - and easier than you might think.
channelnewsasia.com The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) concluded their bilateral flagship naval exercise, Exercise Pelican, on Friday (Nov 27), said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.