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Zi Liang Wee

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Hailing from the island of Penang, Zi Liang studied political economy at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a BA in 2014. He went on to earn the Master of Economic Management from Universiti Sains Malaysia. As a proud disciple of Daisaku Ikeda, Zi Liang firmly believes in the critical role of ASEAN and other multilateral organizations in advancing world peace and prosperity.

Philippine central bank pauses rate cuts on benign inflation

The Philippine central bank on Thursday held interest rates steady at its last monetary policy meeting for the year due to a positive domestic growth outlook and within-target inflation. The Monetary Board of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) maintained the interest rate on the BSP's...

Goldman 1MDB fine could be below US$2 billion

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. could pay under US$2 billion to settle US probes over its role in raising money for scandal-plagued Malaysian investment fund 1MDB, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing three people familiar with the negotiations. The US Justice Department and other federal agencies are...

Thailand’s fragrant rice falls behind peers’

Failure to win the World’s Best Rice award for two consecutive years has jolted Thailand – the home of the Hom Mali (jasmine) rice – to overhaul its research and development to catch up with the changing global demand for fragrant rice. Having previously won...

Last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia dies, species now extinct in the country

The Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia, after the last of the species in the country succumbed to cancer on Saturday (Nov. 23). The Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo Island announced that the 25-year-old female rhino, named Iman, died of natural...

Mekong nations face severe drought made worse by dams

The four lower Mekong River basin countries of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam should expect severe to extreme drought – compounded by dams – to persist until January, threatening agricultural production and causing water shortages, experts warned Tuesday (Nov. 19). According to the Mekong River...

Malaysian government to bail out pilgrimage fund for RM10.3 billion

The government of Malaysia will bear an RM10.3 billion ($2.48 billion) premium to restore the financial health of Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) as part of the pilgrimage fund’s rescue and restructuring plan, Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd (UJSB) announced Thursday (Nov. 14). UJSB – a wholly-owned...

Thailand cuts interest rate to record low

Thailand’s central bank on Wednesday (Nov. 6) cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 1.25% as it tries to bolster sluggish growth and curb a surging currency. The current policy interest rate is equivalent to the rate adopted during the 2009 global...

Malaysia, Singapore flag carriers sign wide-ranging partnership agreement

National carriers Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have on Wednesday (October 30) sealed a wide-ranging commercial agreement to share revenue on flights between Singapore and Malaysia, expand codeshare routes, and participate in joint marketing activities to develop tourism. In a joint statement, the carriers...

Indonesia’s Jokowi sworn in for 2nd term amid heightened security

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was sworn in on Sunday for a second five-year term at a heavily guarded ceremony in the capital Jakarta – days after Islamist militants tried to assassinate his top security minister. Foreign heads of state, lawmakers, and political rivals witnessed...

Singapore eases monetary policy for first time in 3.5 years

Singapore’s central bank loosened monetary policy for the first time in three-and-a-half years on Monday, while the trade-reliant economy narrowly dodged recession in the third quarter. Singapore, like other trade-dependent Asian economies, has been hit hard by the US-China trade war and a broader global...

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Philippines receives $2.5B loan from ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lent some $2.5 billion support to the Philippines, the highest ever extended in a single year. On Friday, the...

Philippine central bank pauses rate cuts on benign inflation

The Philippine central bank on Thursday held interest rates steady at its last monetary policy meeting for the year due to a positive domestic...

Asean’s plastic shame 

Asean’s beaches, seas and waterways continue to choke on plastic waste, with much of it imported from the developed world. Idyllic spots throughout the biodiverse...