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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.

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 Commission (MRC), the drought...

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 the bailout on Thursday (Nov 14). UJSB—a wholly-owned unit of...

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 (Oct 30) sealed a wide-ranging commercial agreement to share revenue on flights between Singapore and Malaysia, expand codeshare routes, and take part in joint marketing activities to develop tourism. In a joint statement, the...

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 the inauguration...

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 struck by the US-China trade war and a broader global slowdown. The...

Singapore dethrones the US as the world’s most competitive economy

Singapore is now the world’s most competitive economy after overtaking the United States, which was last year’s number one in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The annual GCI ranks 141 economies through 103 indicators organized into 12 pillars: institutions, infrastructure, information...

Endangered elephant shot 70 times, tusks removed

Malaysian officials on Monday said an endangered Borneo pygmy elephant was found dead in the state of Sabah last week with about 70 gunshot wounds and tusks hacked off. Last Thursday, a group of anglers found the adult male elephant’s mutilated carcass floating half-submerged in...

Malaysia’s Armed Forces Fund Board declares lowest-ever dividend of 2%

The Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) of Malaysia has yesterday announced its lowest-ever dividend of 2%, compared with a minimum of 6% paid over the past four and a half decades. LTAT announced alleged irregularities within the board, including overpayments under the previous Barisan...

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