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William Baldwin

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Junta faces first electoral test

How the Thai military would respond to a ‘no’ vote is unknown. Source: Wikimedia Thai voters will return to the ballot booths on Sunday for the first time since the military took power in May 2014 in a referendum on the general’s constitution.It is the...

Taxi apps vie for prized market

Another competitor Ojek UI vs Go-Jek. Motorbikes have helped to dodge Jakarta’s notorious queues. Source: FlickrIndonesia’s motorbike-hailing service Go-Jek has raised funding in excess of US$550 million from KKR, Warburg Pincus and other investors, boosting its bid to become the archipelago’s market leader.Go-Jek, Uber...

Thai mother charged for saying ‘yeah’

The Thai authorities take a zero-tolerance approach to dissent at the moment. Source: WikimediaThe mother of a prominent campaigner against the Thai junta has been charged with insulting the revered monarchy in a one-word Facebook post.Patnaree Chankij, 40, was brought to a military court...

Driverless taxis set for 2017 pilot

Singapore’s affluent, tech-savvy population is one factor making it suitable for the driverless pilot. Source: Pixabay The pioneering Delphi Automotive is planning to launch six self-driving cars in Singapore next year to move goods and passengers around a business park and roll out a full...

An unholy alliance

April 1975. The Khmer Rouge celebrate as they enter Phnom Penh. Source: FlickrCambodia's success in blocking a united Asean approach to the South China Sea dispute after the recent foreign ministers' meeting in Laos should come as no surprise.China and Cambodia have a murky...

Banks fear fuel-sector failures

Declining fuel profits have hit Singapore’s financial sector. Source: Wikimedia DBS Group Holdings, the biggest Singaporean lender, is confident it will recover about half of its S$700 million exposure to the collapse of the oilfield services firm, Swiber Holding, as the two other major banks...

Activists applaud jade shakeup

Giant Chinese machinery and unrestricted digging have created a wasteland in Hpakant, Kachin State. Source: YouTubeThe shakeup of the scandal-ridden Burmese jade business could reduce human rights abuses and corruption, campaigners say.In a bold challenge to the nation's vested interests, Nay Pyi Taw announced...

Rebel armies plan federation

Nay Pyi Taw’s grip on ethnically distinct Kachin State is loose. Source: YouTubeLeaders from 17 rebel armies in Myanmar are meeting in Kachin State to discuss a federal constitution and a joint strategy ahead of the peace conference scheduled for next month.The town of...

Buddhist bully cowers after NLD pressure

Buddhism is an intrinsic part of Burmese society. Source: Asean Economist  The Burmese nationalist Buddhist organisation, called the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion or Ma Ba Tha, is losing government and online support, creating an unexpected twist in Myanmar’s complex relationship between...

S’pore promise deeper 1MDB probe

Singapore is playing financial hardball. Source: Wikimedia The Singaporean regulatory authorities have promised stronger action to address damage to the city-state’s reputation caused by anti-money laundering lapses linked to Malaysia’s scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd investment fund.The Monetary Authority of Singapore conducted a 15-month probe into...

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EU and HRW slam Cambodia clampdown

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Cambodia should drop all charges against the opposition leader Kem Sokha (pictured) and allow exiled critics to return to...

Singapore bans PMDs from public sidewalks

Singapore’s recent ban on personal mobility devices from footpaths, while sudden and unexpected, has been generally well-received by the public and food delivery companies.Just...

Philippines gets $500M funding from World Bank

The World Bank has committed worth $500 million to support the Philippines’ Agriculture department. In a statement over the weekend, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said...