19th Shangri-La Dialogue, scheduled for June, called off due to coronavirus outbreak, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue – a top-level regional security forum hosted by Singapore – will no longer be held from June 5 to 7 as scheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which organises the annual forum, said it has decided in close consultation with the Singapore Government not to convene this year’s edition. The Straits Times had first reported on the forum’s cancellation, based on sources familiar with the matter. In a statement on Friday (March 27), the London-based IISS noted…

Sea levels in Singapore 14cm above pre-1970 levels: Meteorological Service Singapore, Environment News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – As the world warms and ice caps melt, global sea levels are rising including around Singapore. The island’s average sea level today is 14cm above pre-1970 levels, said the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) on Monday (March 23) in its annual climate assessment report. Global warming has led to several consequences, noted the weatherman, with rising sea levels being one of them. “Warming oceans cause sea level to rise,” said the MSS report. Water expands when heated, and this contributes to sea-level rise. “Similarly, melting of glaciers, Greenland and…

World Briefs: Thai opposition figure faces criminal charges, World News & Top Stories

Thai opposition figure faces criminal charges BANGKOK • Thailand’s Election Commission yesterday said it would file criminal charges of breaching electoral law against Mr Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the now-defunct Future Forward Party, in its latest salvo against the former anti-junta politician. REUTERS China slams US over warship sail-by BEIJING • Beijing yesterday accused the United States of a “provocative” act by sending a warship into disputed territorial waters in the South China Sea. The USS McCampbell missile destroyer sailed near the Paracel Islands on Tuesday without authorisation, according to…

World briefs: ‘Serious divergence’ between Britain, EU, World News & Top Stories

‘Serious divergence’ between Britain, EU BRUSSELS • There is “serious divergence” between Britain and the European Union on their future relationship, the bloc’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday, after the first round of talks between the two sides on a new deal after Brexit. The differences include robust provisions on the so-called “level playing field” which guarantees fair competition between the EU and British companies after Brexit, he said. He added that London was seeking a series of separate deals, while the bloc wanted one overarching agreement. Mr Barnier,…

Asian Insider, March 5: Coronavirus slows in China, Super Tuesday, durians the batteries of the future?, Asia News & Top Stories

Hi, In today’s bulletin: Coronavirus slows in China, Malaysia’s Malay party grassroots eye cabinet posts, the US strikes the Taleban, Durians the battery of the future?, Philippines’ police chief survives helicopter crash, data breaches and more. Reading this on the web or know someone who might enjoy receiving Asian Insider? Our sign-up page is here. CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS SLOW IN CHINA, BUT ARE WE SEEING THE FULL PICTURE? As the coronavirus epidemic accelerates across the world, there are signs of the virus slowing down in China – the centre of the…

Parliament: SAF to restructure to deal with cyber, terrorism, maritime threats, Politics News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – A high-level committee will be formed to build an integrated cyber force to defend Singapore against cyber threats, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Monday (March 2). This committee – led by the permanent secretary for defence development and the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) – will be examining ways to “recruit soldiers of the right aptitude, their training and deployments”, he added. Said Dr Ng: “In the SAF’s history, this is as important as raising another service, just like the army, navy and air force, namely…

Move on from Covid-19 like the Indonesians: The Star columnist, Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – During my two-week trip to Indonesia, I observed there was a serious discussion about ekonomi koronavirus (coronavirus economy). The debate was on the impact of the outbreak, particularly to Indonesia. Ironically, as of last Thursday (Feb 13), there was no case of the disease among its populace or reports of foreigners contacting the disease. Bear in mind, Indonesians living in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, were brought home beginning Feb 1. Even Harvard University public health researchers were baffled. According to them,…

S’pore, Germany eye new areas of defence collaboration, Singapore News & Top Stories

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen met German Federal Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday to explore new areas of defence collaboration, including in cyber security and the tackling of disinformation. The two ministers’ first meeting took place on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. The annual three-day, high-level security conference brings together more than 500 heads of government, defence and foreign ministers, parliamentarians, military leaders and security experts from around the world. During the meeting, Dr Ng thanked Germany for supporting the Singapore…

Singapore and Germany discuss defence collaboration to tackle disinformation, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen met German Federal Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday (Feb 16) to explore new areas of defence collaboration, including in cybersecurity and the tackling of disinformation. The two ministers’ first meeting took place on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. The annual three-day high-level security conference brings together more than 500 heads of government, defence and foreign ministers, parliamentarians, military leaders, and security experts from around the world. During the meeting, Dr Ng thanked Germany for…

Build trust to resolve South China Sea row: Ng Eng Hen, Singapore News & Top Stories

Countries should build trust and confidence and support diplomatic efforts to find solutions to the conflicting and overlapping claims in the South China Sea, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Friday at a security conference in Munich, Germany. Speaking at the Maritime Security Roundtable, Dr Ng also stressed the importance of upholding the principles of freedom of navigation despite these claims, and proposed resource-sharing mechanisms to reduce the risk of conflict. He said: “I think as leaders, we have to deal with the situation at hand and agree on…