Obama to raise South China Sea dispute

US President Barack Obama (pictured) and Asean leaders plan to raise the South China Sea dispute at this weekend’s summit in Kuala Lumpur, according to Obama’s Asia policy adviser Daniel Kritenbrink.

Kritenbrink made the remarks at a press briefing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, where the Filipino hosts did not raise the dispute to avoid embarrassing China at a meeting that was primarily aimed at discussing trade.

Beijing has competing claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which US$5 trillion in trade passes every year.

All those nations, as well as China and the United States, will attend the East Asia summit, which is part of the Asean gathering, this weekend.

In Malaysia, reports of terror threats were still unconfirmed but the authorities boosted security ahead of the Asean summit in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.

He said the police and military were working together to ensure maximum security.

“There have been reports of imminent terrorist threats in Malaysia. At this point, I would like to underline that they have yet to be confirmed.

“However, security forces are taking all possible precautions and there is no room for complacency.

“There is no greater priority than the safety of the Malaysian people and all our guests,” Khalid said.

He earlier confirmed the authenticity of a leaked police memo on the presence of suicide bombers in Sabah and Kuala Lumpur.

The memo reportedly contained details of a meeting on November 15 between representatives of militant groups Abu Sayyaf, Isis and the Moro National Liberation Front.

The meeting, held in Sulu in the southern Philippines, mentioned eight Abu Sayyaf and Isis suicide bombers in Sabah, and another 10 in Kuala Lumpur.