Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories
11 May 2017
World Economic Forum in Full Swing in Phnom Penh
Over the next two days, thousands of delegates will descend on Phnom Penh for a series of talks, conferences and events on the region’s economic landscape, as Cambodia hosts the World Economic Forum on Asean for the first time.
The event coincides with a clampdown on the country’s opposition party and other dissenting voices in the lead up to crucial commune elections on 4 June, which rights group say should have precluded them from hosting the three-day event.
Prime Minister Hun Sen “has survived to a point where other leaders regionally and internationally are placing a much lower value on promoting rights and democracy as part of their foreign policies,” said Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. [The Financial Times]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: World Bank expert on whether Cambodia will maintain its impressive growth
Indonesian court hands down homosexuality punishment for first time
Two young gay men from Indonesia’s Aceh province are set to become the first people in Indonesia to be punished by the court specifically for homosexuality. Prosecutors demanded the couple be punished with 80 strokes of the cane.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia where authorities can legally adopt bylaws derived from Sharia. [ABC]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Jakarta is planning a ‘halal economic zone’, but would it succeed?
New Duterte appointees include general, senator and blogger
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed a new military chief, running mate and communications secretary as he looks to surround himself with loyalists.
Entertainer and blogger Margaux Justiniano Uson, who has a frosty relationship with the press, was appointed assistant presidential communications secretary in return for her unwielding support of Duterte’s election campaign.
General Eduardo Ano, who was an infantry division commander in Davao when Duterte was the city’s mayor, was named interior minister; and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a top donor to Duterte’s campaign, was appointed foreign secretary. [Reuters]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Duterte sacks interior minister as corruption crackdown continues
Vietnam’s armed forces deployed to boost pork prices
In response to China’s decision to block pork imported from Vietnam in November, the military, police and trade unions are increasing the amount of pork in meals served in their canteens.
Millions of farmers have been hit hard by the ban, highlighting the danger of overreliance on a single foreign market. [Associated Press]
Ed Sheeran adds Manila to tour stops in Southeast Asia
UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, one of the world’s best-selling music artists, will play a concert in Manila on 7 November, according to an announcement posted on his website Wednesday.
Sheeran will also play shows in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, as part of a mammoth world tour to promote his third studio album, titled ÷. [CNN Philippines]
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