Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories – 19 June 2017
The Region Today – 19 June 2017
Philippines halts fighting with communists, Indonesia mobilizes in response to militants
While the Philippine military continues to battle combatants linked to the Islamic State (IS) who have occupied parts of Marawi City, the government has announced a temporary suspension of fighting with communist insurgents to focus on the more pressing fight.
Little has been revealed about the agreement, but the government over the past year has agreed to ceasefires of varying length and effectiveness with the communist rebels.
In another sign of the deep concern caused by the IS-linked combatants in Marawi, Indonesia has stationed Sukhoi fighter jets in Borneo to repel radicalised combatants from fleeing into Muslim-majority Indonesia. [Reuters / Al Jazeera]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Philippines deploys tanks and helicopters in attempt to reclaim southern city
Leaked survey offers rare glimpse into Cambodia ruling party anxiety
Documents leaked over the weekend of internal CPP surveys offered some intriguing takeaways. Crimes and drugs were the top concern for voters, a finding that may have prompted a six-month crackdown on drugs ahead of the commune election in June.
Two-thirds of respondents said last year’s murder of popular political analyst Kem Ley had dented their trust in the ruling party’s ability to ensure security.
The survey, apparently conducted at the CPP’s behest by Israel-based political consultancy Shaviv Strategy and Campaigns, show fairly high favorability ratings for both the prime minister and opposition leaders. Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy had the highest ratings of the three, and suppression of his involvement in elections was found to likely be a driver of discontent.
“The data offers us strong indications that the more aggressively CPP handles Rainsy and CNRP, the better CNRP and Sam Rainsy will perform electorally,” the CEO of Shaviv Strategy wrote in a leaked memo. [Cambodia Daily]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: The price of loyalty: is Cambodia’s ruling party losing its traditional strongholds?
Malaysia’s opposition alliance rocked by Anwar announcement
Jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, the most prominent figures in the opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH), shocked officials of his own movement by declaring he will not run for prime minister in next year’s elections.
PH leadership already faces internal strife with Mahathir Mohamad of the ethnic Malay-based Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) lobbying leaders to support a plan that would instill him and his party as the leading force of the alliance.
Malaysian politics is seen as being driven by race-based parties and alliances. Many believe Mahathir’s pursuit of power is an attempt to divide support for current Prime Minister Najib Razaak’s ethnic Malay-based Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government. [Straits Times]
Cambodian taxis to feature new remote ‘off’ switch
A new technology that can remotely stop and shut down a car, developed by Japanese start-up Global Mobility Service, is set to be introduced in leased cars in Cambodia by the end of June.
The new technology will significantly mitigate the risk of lending vehicles, expanding access to consumers with less than impeccable credit ratings, and further enabling those with poor or no credit to consider a career as a taxi driver.
The technology relies on a Mobility-Cloud Connecting System, which is installed in the vehicle and can remotely shut it down and track its location through GPS for repossession. [Nikkei Asian Review]
Online push for halal-certified beauty care products
Offering a wide selection of halal-certified beauty products from Malaysia as well as other parts of the world, Malaysia-based Prettysuci.com seeks not only to appeal to Muslims, but also anyone looking for an all-natural lifestyle.
“Halal” translates to permissible in Arabic and indicates aspects of a permissible lifestyle as well as products that are free of animal by-products, harmful ingredients and are cruelty-free, thus falling in line with Muslim tradition.
“Through Prettysuci.com we also want to show a relevant and modern side to halal beauty that embraces all types of women and aesthetics,” co-founder Natasha Ozeir said. [Star 2]