Sunday, April 20, 2014

The 1965 MacDonald Bombing KRI Usman Harun followup: TNI chief apology and clarification

[The Flip.]

Indonesian Armed Forces chief expresses regret over naming of warship

By Sujadi Siswo
15 Apr 2014

JAKARTA: The Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces has expressed regret over the naming of an Indonesian warship after two marines who carried out the bombing of MacDonald House in Singapore in 1965.

General Moeldoko told Channel NewsAsia that the Indonesian military had meant no ill will, and had not intended to stir up emotions in Singapore.

He said the episode has been a learning process, and he is confident that future ties between the two militaries would grow even stronger.

General Moeldoko said: "Once again I apologise. We have no ill intent whatsoever to stir emotions. Not at all. Second, relations between the two countries are on the mend. There have been communications among leaders. Singapore's Chief of Defence and I have spoken."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rising inequality a blemish on Asia’s growth story


David Pilling

APRIL 15 2014

Deng Xiaoping said: “Let some people get rich first.” He was referring to China, but it turns out he could have been talking about Asia as a whole.

In the past two decades, rapid growth across much of Asia has widened the wealth gap. That has caused “a great convergence” with Latin America, said a development official. While inequality has narrowed in much of South and Central America, in Asia it has been going the other way, said Mr Vinod Thomas, Director-General of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Asian inequality as measured by the Gini index rose about 1 per cent each year throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kishore's Big Ideas

 Apr 04, 2014

This year, our regular columnist Kishore Mahbubani has devoted his monthly columns in The Straits Times to new Big Ideas which will help Singapore succeed in the next 50 years.

His first Big Idea is for the country to have fewer cars. The second Big Idea is to make our public transportation No.1 in the world. Read The Straits Times this Saturday to find out his third Big Idea.

Professor Mahbubani, who heads the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, has been hailed by British current affairs magazine Prospect as one of this year’s top 50 world thinkers.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Healthy Path to Chinese Consumption Growth

MAR 31, 2014

Martin Feldman

CAMBRIDGE – China’s economic policymakers want to shift the country’s production away from exports and heavy industry, and to increase the share of consumption in GDP. A relatively simple institutional change to encourage health-care insurance could do much to promote the latter goal.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Settle maritime claims through jaw-jaw

Apr 10, 2014


THE Philippines' decision to contest China's vast claims over the South China Sea was advanced when it recently submitted a formal plea before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Itlos). A 4,000-page, 10-volume memorial contains Manila's arguments, evidence and maps to support its case against China's nine-dash line, which encloses 90 per cent of the South China Sea. Those expansive claims have put Beijing at loggerheads with Manila and others who are determined to defend what they too believe to be legitimately theirs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Rise of an Insecure Giant

DEC 3, 2013

"...unwilling to accept American leadership in Asia... reluctant to assume a more prominent role..."


SEOUL – By the time China overtakes the United States as the world’s largest economy sometime in the next few years, it will have cemented its status as a major military power – one whose drive to assert itself strategically already is inspiring serious anxiety among its neighbors. But the truth is that China is a solitary, vulnerable rising power – one that faces potentially crippling domestic challenges.

China is currently encircled by US military installations and allies. While Asian countries are largely willing to maintain and even expand their economic ties with China, none (except North Korea, which depends on Chinese aid) is prepared to accept it as the region’s primary power. In fact, US allies like Indonesia and India have emerged as global players largely in response to China’s rise.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Food trends - Clear thinking on Organic and GMO

[Two Articles from Project Syndicate by Henry Miller on Organic Agriculture and GMO food. One is unsustainable (and actually bad for the environment), the other unsupported hysteria.]