The Region Today: Red Bull heir warned, Singaporean bomb scandal sentence and Asean Summit rolls on

By: Colin Meyn - Posted on: April 28, 2017 | Featured

Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories

Sutthi Kittisupaporn, director-general of the prosecution office of the South Bangkok Criminal Court, speaks to reporters outside the court on Thursday. EPA/Narong Sangnak
Sutthi Kittisupaporn, director-general of the prosecution office of the South Bangkok Criminal Court, speaks to reporters outside the court on Thursday. EPA/Narong Sangnak

28 April 2017

Court threatens to arrest defiant Red Bull heir if no-shows continue

After failing to heed a court summons for the eighth time, an heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune nicknamed ‘The Boss’ has been threatened with arrest over a car crash in 2012 in which a police officer was killed.

Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the grandson of Chaleo Yoovidhya, who was estimated to be Thailand’s third-richest man when he died in 2012, once again failed to report to court on Thursday after prosecutors dismissed his request for a delay.

“The suspect must meet prosecutors as scheduled. If he does not, it  means he has the intention of delaying and evading the case and we will proceed with a request to the court for an arrest warrant,”’ Suthi Kittisuppaporn, director-general of the prosecution office of the South Bangkok Criminal Court, said at a press conference. [Bangkok Post]

Singaporean sentenced in US for sending bomb parts to Iran

A Singaporean man who pleaded guilty to illegally sending computer parts to Iran that were used to remotely detonate improvised explosive devices was sentenced to 40 months in prison, the US Justice Department announced.

Lim Yong Nam, 43, also known as Steven Lim, was extradited to the US in October and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US for making it appear that 6,000 modules were destined for Singapore and knowingly shipping them on to Iran.

The parts, which were tracked using serial numbers, were used against US forces in Iraq between 2008 and 2010. [AFP]

UN raises concern over Myanmar’s plan for Rohingya ‘model villages’

The UN has warned that the Myanmar government’s plan to resettle Rohingya refugees in “camp-like” villages could “create further tensions”, and called for a solution that would allow the group to return to their homes and normal lives.

After an attack on a border outpost in October, the military launched a brutal operation in Rakhine State that has involved burning down houses, mass rapes and what observers say amounts to ethnic cleansing of the predominantly Muslim Rohingya minority.

Responding to the plan by Aung San Suu Kyi’s government to relocate more than a thousand households in the area to “model villages”, the UN’s refugee agency said: “A forced relocation to the ‘model villages’ would not progress stabilisation in these areas.” [Reuters]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Forever lost: meet the Rohingya who sacrificed their identity for Myanmar citizenship

‘Prosperity for All’ the focus on second day of Asean Summit

Regional cooperation, digital commerce and the importance of boosting small businesses were on the agenda for the ‘Prosperity for All’ conference that began the second day of the Asean Summit in the Philippines.

Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia lauded growth across the region in a morning speech but warned against the sort of inequality that was threatening political establishments across Europe.

“One of the lessons of the rise of extremist populism in Europe too is that a neglected underclass or those who felt left behind by economic growth, prosperity and globalisation can overturn elections and political systems,” he said. [ABS CBN]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Opportunities abound in a digitally connected Asean