Malaysia unveils first defence White Paper amid rising threats, SE Asia News & Top Stories

Malaysia tabled its first defence White Paper in Parliament yesterday, but critics said the 10-year policy plan that was meant to address terror threats and military tension in the South China Sea was short on detailed strategy. Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu explained that although Malaysia is not involved in armed conflict with other countries, it faces territorial disputes and non-traditional threats across its borders, thus requiring the country to take pre-emptive measures. “The main role of the Malaysian Armed Forces is to maintain the peace we have and always be…

Expect more rain, 22 deg C temperature in the first 2 weeks of December, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – More wet weather can be expected in the first two weeks of December with  temperatures falling to as low as 22 deg C, the weatherman said on Friday (Nov 29). This comes as the north-east monsoon conditions over the island since early this month are expected to continue till March next year, said the National Environment Agency’s Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS). In the first week of December, Singapore can expect a monsoon surge lasting from two to four days, bringing cloudy and occasionally windy conditions with periods of moderate to…

Vietnam, China agree to keep talking in South China Sea dispute, SE Asia News & Top Stories

HANOI (DPA) – Vietnam and China agreed on Friday (Nov 29) to keep talking and take steps towards peacefully resolving the conflict over the South China Sea, which has seen tensions rising in the region in recent months. The announcement came after a three-day diplomatic visit to China by Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Le Hoai Trung, who held talks with Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng in Beijing. While the ministers stopped short of saying they expected tensions to cease, they agreed to “resolve conflicts in an appropriate and peaceful…

China makes representation to US over ships in South China Sea, East Asia News & Top Stories

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China lodged stern representations with the United States after US navy ships sailed in the South China Sea near islands claimed by Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily briefing on Friday (Nov 22). In a statement, the Chinese military’s southern theatre command said its forces tracked the US warships sailing near the disputed islands. Source link

Maritime cooperation indispensable to Asean: Inquirer columnist, Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – For ordinary fishermen and other Filipinos whose livelihoods are dependent on the peace and stability in the areas covering Scarborough Shoal and other parts within our exclusive economic zone, the long-overdue Code of Conduct (COC) being hammered out at the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) is a crucial and indispensable component. The discussion of the COC was inevitable during the recent 35th Asean summit in Thailand. The COC is intended to manage conflicts, preserve peace and stability in the South China Sea, and…

PM Lee urges closer Asean cooperation, South Asia News & Top Stories

With the global economy facing strengthening headwinds, and as support for multilateralism weakens, it has become ever more important for Asean nations to work closely together to meet these challenges, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday. “Each Asean member state has our own domestic preoccupations,” he said. “But this global backdrop has made it more urgent than ever for Asean to come together, to deepen cooperation among ourselves, in order to counter these unfavourable external trends, and to speak on the issues that concern us with one voice.” Addressing…

Beijing, KL set up South China Sea dialogue mechanism, East Asia News & Top Stories

BEIJING • China and Malaysia have agreed to set up a joint dialogue mechanism for the disputed South China Sea, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said yesterday after meeting Malaysia’s Foreign Minister. Recent Chinese naval deployments in the strategic waterway, through which over US$3.4 trillion (S$4.7 trillion) worth of goods are transported annually, have reignited tension with Vietnam and the Philippines. Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have competing claims in the South China Sea. Malaysia had been critical of China’s South China Sea position, but has not been excessively outspoken…

1% of US Pacific Fleet-China naval encounters are near-mishaps, and a worry: US commander, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – While 99 per cent of the United States Pacific Fleet’s interactions with the Chinese navy are safe and professional, the remaining 1 per cent worries the fleet’s commander, Admiral John Aquilino. Responding to a question on whether incidents in the South China Sea he was worried about are on the rise, he said the No. 1 priority for the fleet is force protection, adherence to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), as well as operating safely on the sea. “We do use Cues, which was…

Mahathir notes Asean’s success in keeping region stable, Asia News & Top Stories

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said Asean has done a good job in maintaining the region’s stability despite coming up against “big powers”. “Asean is one of the few regional organisations that are still functioning today,” Tun Dr Mahathir said. “Asean has stayed together, and by and large, we have the same approach to resolving our problems.” He also said other regional groups such as the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) bloc are “not doing very well”. Dr Mahathir was replying to questions from…

PM Mahathir notes Asean’s success as a group while EU, Nafta struggle, SE Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) has done a good job in maintaining the region’s stability despite facing up against “big powers”. “Asean is one of the few regional organisations that are still functioning today,” Tun Dr Mahathir said. He added that other regional groups such as the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) trilateral bloc are “not doing very well”. “Asean has stayed together, and by and large we have the same approach to…