Matthew's Feed
Nov 30, 2012

ASEAN chief says China plan on disputed seas escalates tension

JAKARTA (Reuters) – China’s plan to board and search ships that illegally enter what Beijing considers its territory in the disputed South China Sea is a very serious turn of events, the head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said on Friday.

“My reaction is (this is) certainly an escalation of the tension that has already been building. And it is a very serious turn of events,” ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Oct 28, 2012

Indonesia militant arrests show shift to violence

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s arrest of 11 suspected Islamic militants it said planned to attack the U.S. embassy and a plaza near Australia’s embassy is evidence that legal extremist groups are turning to violence, analysts said on Sunday.

The arrests could also step up pressure on the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, criticized for doing too little to curb religious intolerance in the country which has the world’s largest Muslim population.

Oct 24, 2012

Insight: Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

QUETTA, Pakistan/PUNCAK,Indonesia (Reuters) – It was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed tantalizingly close.

Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm waters of the Java Sea.

Oct 24, 2012

Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

25 (Reuters) – It
was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an
Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into
the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed
tantalizingly close.

Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two
teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost
purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm
waters of the Java Sea.

Oct 12, 2012

Indonesia acts to over-ride patents on HIV drugs

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s government has taken steps to over-ride patents for HIV drugs, following the lead of other Asian states that have allowed the production of cheap generic drugs that cut into the sales of global pharmaceutical companies.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono quietly issued a decree last month authorizing the use of patents for seven HIV/AIDS and hepatitis medicines held by the likes of Merck & Co, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott and Gilead.

Oct 4, 2012

Strike-hit Indonesia to improve labor conditions

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia said on Thursday it would improve worker pay and restrict the use of temporary contracts in the face of a vow by union leaders, who staged a national strike this week, to press ahead with industrial action.

Chief Economics Minister Hatta Rajasa said the government would draft a regulation to increase worker pay and would quickly implement rules to improve conditions for workers not on fixed contracts. He gave no details of the pay increase.

Sep 20, 2012

Indonesia’s crowded capital votes for governor

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s capital voted for a new governor on Thursday, with exit polls showing the challenger was likely to take control of one of the world’s largest, and most congested, cities which could give him a chance at the presidency in two years’ time.

The campaign has been tainted by hints of religious bigotry and racism, both deeply sensitive issue in the ethnically diverse Southeast Asian country which is also home to the world’s largest Muslim community.

May 24, 2012

Child addicts at heart of Indonesia anti-smoking suit

KARAWANG GIRANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – Anti-tobacco advocates in Indonesia plan to file a class action lawsuit this month using cases of child addicts in the hope of forcing tougher regulations on a society where one in three people smokes.

It is a rare attempt of its kind to constrain a tobacco industry which looks to the world’s fourth most populous country and its growing appetite for cigarettes to replace dwindling sales elsewhere.

May 20, 2012

Insight: Indonesia tycoon Bakrie gears up for presidential bid

TANGERANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – There are many ways to describe Indonesia’s Aburizal Bakrie: multi-millionaire businessman, global mining tycoon, heavyweight contender for the presidency in 2014. One description that does not spring to mind is man of the common people.

So when Bakrie strode into a railway station in south Jakarta last week and slapped the equivalent of one U.S. dollar down on the counter for a ticket, it was a moment of political theatre.

May 20, 2012

Indonesia tycoon Bakrie gears up for presidential bid

TANGERANG, Indonesia, May 21 (Reuters) – There are many ways
to describe Indonesia’s Aburizal Bakrie: multi-millionaire
businessman, global mining tycoon, heavyweight contender for the
presidency in 2014. One description that does not spring to mind
is man of the common people.

So when Bakrie strode into a railway station in south
Jakarta last week and slapped the equivalent of one U.S. dollar
down on the counter for a ticket, it was a moment of political
theatre.