Special Southeast Asia correspondent/ Head of News, Malaysia
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Jan 17, 2013

Run up to tense election puts Malaysia, investors on edge

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian economist Azrul Azwar gave a presentation in Singapore last week that cost him his job.

His analysis, outlining risks for investors from a narrow election victory for Malaysia’s opposition, was reported by a Malaysian online news site as a prediction the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government would fall this year.

Jan 9, 2013

Axiata eyeing deals as Asia cellphone market booms

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s Axiata Group Bhd
, Asia’s third-largest mobile services group outside
Japan and China by subscribers, is eyeing deals in Bangladesh,
Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but reckons getting into Myanmar will
be “very tough”, CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim said in an interview.

Axiata, valued at close to $19 billion and with a cash pile
of $2.8 billion, is expanding in the fast-growing Asian telecoms
sector as Jamaludin nips at the heels of Southeast Asian market
leader Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and India’s
Bharti Airtel Ltd.

Dec 19, 2012

Insight: The booming Philippines’ missing link – foreigner investors

MANILA (Reuters) – The gathering had the air of a post-mortem. About 100 executives and government officials listened quietly as Guillermo Luz poked holes in the Philippines’ fairytale economic revival.

Luz, head of the Philippines’ National Competitiveness Council, projected a deck of slides onto two pull-down screens that showed the fast-growing Philippine economy slipping in the World’s Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” index to 138 out of 185 countries, near Tajikistan and Sudan.

Dec 18, 2012

The booming Philippines’ missing link – foreigner investors

MANILA, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The gathering had the air of a
post-mortem. About 100 executives and government officials
listened quietly as Guillermo Luz poked holes in the
Philippines’ fairytale economic revival.

Luz, head of the Philippines’ National Competitiveness
Council, projected a deck of slides onto two pull-down screens
that showed the fast-growing Philippine economy slipping in the
World’s Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” index to 138 out of 185
countries, near Tajikistan and Sudan.

Dec 2, 2012

Malaysia PM uses Romney defeat to warn divided party

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – When Malaysia’s ruling party gathered for a tub-thumping pre-election rally last week, Prime Minister Najib Razak delivered a stern behind-the-scenes warning: don’t repeat the mistake of Mitt Romney.

Just as the U.S. Republican presidential candidate’s over-reliance on older, white voters lost him last month’s election, so could the dependence of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) on rural, ethnic Malay voters, Najib told delegates at the assembly, according to a senior party insider.

Nov 21, 2012

Analysis: China courts friends in region; for others a show of strength

PHNOM PENH/BEIJING (Reuters) – When U.S. President Barack Obama and more than a dozen leaders arrived in Cambodia for a regional summit meeting this week, only one of them was feted with banners strung from the venue gates.

“Welcome Prime Minister Wen Jiabao!” one proclaimed. “Long live the People’s Republic of China!” read another.

Nov 19, 2012

Tensions flare over South China Sea at Asian summit

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Japan warned on Monday that a row over the South China Sea could damage “peace and stability” in Asia as China stalled on a plan to ease tensions and disagreements flared between the Philippines and Cambodia over the contentious territorial issue.

The acrimony provided an uneasy backdrop to U.S. President Barack Obama’s arrival in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh for a regional summit. He is expected to urge China and Southeast Asian nations to resolve the row over the South China Sea, one of Asia’s biggest security issues.

Nov 18, 2012

Southeast Asia calls for talks with China on sea dispute

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Southeast Asian nations displayed a rare show of unity on Sunday against China’s sweeping maritime claims, calling for the first formal talks with Beijing over a sea dispute that has raised tensions and exposed deep divisions in the region.

As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Cambodia for meetings with Southeast Asian leaders, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appeared determined to avoid a repeat of an embarrassing breakdown of talks in July over competing claims in the mineral-rich South China Sea, its biggest security challenge.

Nov 17, 2012

SE Asia to adopt human rights platform; condemned by activists

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Southeast Asian nations have agreed to sign their first joint declaration on human rights, but the document was condemned by rights groups as failing to meet international standards and as leaving the door open for countries to crack down on freedoms.

The commitment by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to be signed on Sunday in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, comes as several of its 10 member countries come under growing scrutiny over an apparent deterioration in human rights.

Nov 17, 2012

Southeast Asia to adopt human rights platform; condemned by activists

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Southeast Asian nations have agreed to sign their first joint declaration on human rights, but the document was condemned by rights groups as failing to meet international standards and as leaving the door open for countries to crack down on freedoms.

The commitment by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to be signed on Sunday in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, comes as several of its 10 member countries come under growing scrutiny over an apparent deterioration in human rights.

    • About Stuart

      "I cover the politics, economics and people of Southeast Asia from Kuala Lumpur, where I also act as head of editorial for Malaysia and Brunei. I joined Reuters on the Singapore editing desk back in 1997 and have been on the move ever since, from Japan to the Philippines to the U.S.A and then Brazil."
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