Jailed Viet Dissident is Latest in Rising Crackdown

Jailed Viet Dissident is Latest in Rising CrackdownIn the latest sign of the increasing crackdown against dissidents by Vietnam’s government, Nguyen Van Oai, a citizen journalist and human rights defender, was sentenced earlier this week to five years in prison and four additional years of house arrest for “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties” and failing to execute judgments”…

China Fakes Inundate UK, OECD Says

China Fakes Inundate UK, OECD SaysCounterfeit goods, primarily pouring in from China and Hong Kong, are “not only becoming a significant threat to the engine of economic growth, but also undermining good governance, the rule of law and citizens’ trust” in the government of the United Kingdom, according to a new 152-page report issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation…

Malaysia’s Kleptocrat-in-chief Visits The Donald

Malaysia’s Kleptocrat-in-chief Visits The DonaldWhen Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia meets US President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 12, as nearly as it can be determined, it will be the first time America’s chief executive has ever met with a foreign leader being pursued by the US Justice Department for corruption. Najib is infamously known…

Uber-Style Attack on the US$60-trillion Global Securities Industry

Uber-Style Attack on the US$60-trillion Global Securities IndustryA few years ago, Arifa Khan, a former investment banker with Credit Suisse and UBS, realized that she had found the power to do to investment banking what Uber has done to the private taxi industry. The current investment banking model, the London-based Khan believes, with a good deal of justification, is inherently rigged against…

Who Benefits from Yingluck’s Exile from Thailand?

Who Benefits from Yingluck’s Exile from Thailand?Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has apparently fled the country in advance of a court verdict on charges brought by the current military regime that could have seen her face a long prison term. She is assumed to have joined her brother, the billionaire populist Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been in exile, mostly in…

Southeast Asia Generates a Sea of Plastic Garbage

Southeast Asia Generates a Sea of Plastic GarbageWith gigantic plastic garbage patches growing in the Pacific Ocean, environmental groups are urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on its 50th anniversary this month, to act on plastic pollution. “ASEAN member countries can stop plastic pollution and protect our oceans by instituting policies that will reduce the use of single-use disposable plastics,…

The Singaporization of Hong Kong’s Judiciary

The Singaporization of Hong Kong’s JudiciaryHow independent of its government is the judicial system of Hong Kong? The question has been brought into stark relief by two decisions last week by its Court of Appeal handing out serious jail terms to young activists and student leaders who had earlier been sentenced to (and served) community service for those roles in…

The Mystery Behind Singapore’s Expulsion of a Chinese-American Academic

The Mystery Behind Singapore’s Expulsion of a Chinese-American AcademicThe Singapore government’s decision to expel a high-ranking Chinese-American academic on the grounds of working for an unnamed foreign power has raised questions for which answers might not be obvious. It also raised an issue so sensitive that it is seldom openly discussed. The individual was Huang Jin, a former Brookings Institution Fellow and head…

Singapore Family Feud Exposes Farce of Country’s Judicial Independence

Singapore Family Feud Exposes Farce of Country’s Judicial IndependenceThe rift within the Lee family over what to do with the grand colonial-style home of Lee Kuan Yew, the patriarch who died in March 2015 at 92, has further exposed the contradictions inherent in Singapore’s system between the appearance of rule of law via an independent judiciary and the perceptions of so many onlookers…

China to Take Charge of Kowloon Immigration Facility

China to Take Charge of Kowloon Immigration FacilityThe Hong Kong government is railroading through a plan to give up legal rights to a piece of its own territory in favor of Beijing. A chunk of the high-speed rail terminus being constructed in the middle of Kowloon, where immigration and customs formalities will be performed, is to come under the formal jurisdiction of…
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