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.
themalaysianinsider.com Thirty Malaysian civil societies of different faiths have called on Putrajaya to voice its opposition and concern to the Brunei government for criminalising public Christmas celebrations. The societies, which include Christian as well as Muslim groups, said Brunei's ban on public celebrations of Christmas violated Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
themalaysianinsider.com I began my Christmas Day journey to the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption at the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei. The place was packed. A woman told me the ban was only for Muslims and in public spaces, but in churches and in private properties, they could celebrate as usual.
channelnewsasia.com Indonesian police said they have arrested two men, including a member of China's Uighur minority, allegedly involved in a planned New Year suicide attack in Jakarta.
thefinancialexpress.bd.com By March, the Indian government is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar and Thailand to formalise a three-nation highway that is being envisioned as the country's access to Southeast Asia - for both tourism and trade.
japantoday.com A former school headteacher, who reportedly paid for sex with 12,000 women in the Philippines, has been convicted in Japan for taking photos of naked Filipino girls. Yuhei Takashima, 65, sentenced to two years in prison with the term suspended for four years, meticulously catalogued nearly 150,000 photographs of his sexual encounters over a 27-year period in around 400 separate albums.
mirror.co.uk Hong Kong flagship airline Cathay Pacific has launched an exclusive seat sale on winter breaks - with flights from around the UK to Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Japan, Australia and beyond from 469 pounds in economy.
wsj.com Singha Group, the Thai conglomerate that produces the namesake beer, is making what could be one of the largest investments in Vietnam, buying stakes valued at $1.1 billion in certain subsidiaries of Masan Group.
cambodiadaily.com A group of seven Vietnamese and Cambodian girls were freed during a raid on a brothel in Battambang province on Wednesday night in which three suspected brokers were arrested, according to anti-human trafficking police. The Vietnamese girls were likely to stay in Cambodia as their families were usually responsible for selling them into the sex trade in the first place.
vietnamnet.vn A Vietnamese high-ranking delegation led by Minister of Defence General Phung Quang Thanh is on a friendship visit to Laos from December 25-26 at the invitation of Lao Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Sengnouane Xayalath.