Malaysia’s Anwar Faces Sodomy Verdict Next Week

Malaysia’s Anwar Faces Sodomy Verdict Next WeekMalaysia’s highest court is expected next week to finally deliver a long-delayed verdict on whether opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was guilty of sodomy in a 2008 case brought by a former aide. The appeal of the appellate court’s guilty verdict was heard at the end of October in the Federal Court after nine days of…

China’s Asphalt Footprint Threatens Amazon Biodiversity

China’s Asphalt Footprint Threatens Amazon BiodiversityLast November, China’s President Xi Jinping and his Peruvian counterpart, President Ollanta Humala, signed a pact to build a new Twin Ocean Railroad Connection designed to transport goods 5,300 km from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast and propel trade within the region. However, the extensive rail project is raising concerns over accelerated environmental harm…

Thai Junta Guts Toothless Human Rights Commission

Thai Junta Guts Toothless Human Rights CommissionThe New York-based Human Rights Watch is accusing Thailand’s junta of gutting an already weak National Human Rights Commission by combining it with the country’s ombudsman’s office. In truth, the Commission has never been very effective.  It has been filled with members selected by non-democratic institutions and cowed by a long succession of military governments…

China, Russia Seek Only Common Economic Interests

China, Russia Seek Only Common Economic InterestsMany observers ponder Russia’s international isolation following its annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine and the increasing dependence on China – and are puzzled over not only Russia’s behavior but also about how close Russia and China could become. Will China continue to assist Russia? Could China follow Russia’s path in Crimea to handle…

Is India’s International Art Fair Really International?

Is India’s International Art Fair Really International?Delhi’s annual International Art Fair last weekend provided a classic example of how India produces order out of chaos, but doesn’t quite meet its potential. Some 80,000 people arrived at the fair in the south of the city by car on chaotically crowded and sometimes gridlocked highways, or squashed into unbelievably crowded metro trains and…

Malaysia Investment Fund Misses Payment Again

Malaysia Investment Fund Misses Payment Again1MDB, the troubled state owned investment company that threatens to become a millstone around the neck of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, has once again failed to meet a debt repayment to a consortium of Malaysian banks led by Maybank and Rashid Hussain Bank, both of which are owned by government-linked companies. The massive losses…

Who Ordered the ‘Hit’ on Altantuya?

Who Ordered the ‘Hit’ on Altantuya?Abdul Razak Baginda must think that we are all dumb. In an interview with The Malaysian Insider, he said that Altantuya Shaariibuu's death was just a straightforward murder case, committed by rogue cops acting on their own. "The truth to this murder is simply extremely too boring," Razak said. "It was a straightforward murder, but…

Sunset for Hong Kong’s Oligarchs?

Sunset for Hong Kong’s Oligarchs?Last year, just prior to the beginning of the Occupy protests, a large group of Hong Kong’s elite, headed by the richest of them, Li Ka-shing, and former Chief Executive and second generation shipping tycoon C H Tung, were invited to Beijing for a face to face meeting with new President Xi Jinping. The meeting…

Singapore Growth Falls But Still Doing Well

Singapore Growth Falls But Still Doing WellThis year is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Singapore, the island republic that is considered the richest country in Asia by per-capita GDP.  But according to a new analysis by Asianomics, The Hong Kong-based financial analysis firm, “there is undoubtedly a mood of frustration that the glory growth years are over.” Although Asianomics…

Apple Lets Down Its Asia Users

Apple Lets Down Its Asia UsersIf you are a die-hard fan of Apple products and if you, your company or business have anything to do with mainland China, recent developments involving the US tech giant can be construed as bad news, with deeper implications than what was generally thought and reported. First, about Apple. I have always liked the beauty…