Special Southeast Asia correspondent/ Head of News, Malaysia
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Jul 13, 2012

SE Asia meeting in disarray over sea dispute with China

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – A Southeast Asian regional summit ended in acrimony on Friday over China’s assertive role in the strategic South China Sea, failing to agree on a concluding joint statement for the first time in its 45-year history.

Divisions between the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) follow a rise in incidents of naval brinkmanship involving Chinese vessels in the oil-rich waters that has sparked fears of a military clash.

Jul 12, 2012

Southeast is Asia’s safe haven as China and India stumble

By Nishant Kumar and Stuart Grudgings

(Reuters) – Little more than a dozen years after the region’s crippling financial crisis, Southeast Asia is looking more a safe haven than a risky bet, with foreign investors souring on China and India and pouring money into markets proving resilient to the global gloom.

Short-term investors in Southeast Asian stocks and bonds are being overtaken by those with a longer-term horizon, signalling growing confidence in a region of 600 million people that boasts a rapidly growing middle-class.

Jul 11, 2012

Analysis: Southeast is Asia’s safe haven as China, India stumble

By Nishant Kumar and Stuart Grudgings

(Reuters) – Little more than a dozen years after the region’s crippling financial crisis, Southeast Asia is looking more a safe haven than a risky bet, with foreign investors souring on China and India and pouring money into markets proving resilient to the global gloom.

Short-term investors in Southeast Asian stocks and bonds are being overtaken by those with a longer-term horizon, signaling growing confidence in a region of 600 million people that boasts a rapidly growing middle-class.

Jul 3, 2012

For Philippines leader, it’s war on graft, tax evasion

MANILA (Reuters) – A middle-class woman is headed to jail for tax evasion.

That wouldn’t make headlines in many countries, but it’s big news in the Philippines. It was enough to send President Benigno Aquino reaching excitedly for his phone during an interview this week to retrieve a message about the case from his tax chief.

Businesswoman Gloria Kintanar had just exhausted her appeals and would become the first tax evader in Philippine history to be jailed – once authorities deal with her claim of illness at the hospital where she is under arrest.

Jul 2, 2012

Philippines may ask for U.S. spy planes over S.China Sea

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines may ask the United States to deploy spy planes over the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, President Benigno Aquino told Reuters on Monday, a move that could worsen tensions with its giant neighbor China.

The two countries only recently stepped back from a months-long standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, a horseshoe shaped reef near the Philippines in waters they both claim – the latest round of naval brinkmanship over the resource-rich sea.

Jul 2, 2012

Exclusive: Philippines may ask for U.S. spy planes over South China Sea

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines may ask the United States to deploy spy planes over the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, President Benigno Aquino told Reuters on Monday, a move that could worsen tensions with its giant neighbor China.

The two countries only recently stepped back from a months-long standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, a horseshoe shaped reef near the Philippines in waters they both claim – the latest round of naval brinkmanship over the resource-rich sea.

Jul 2, 2012

Philippines wants U.S. spy plane help in China dispute

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Monday he may ask the United States to deploy spy planes over the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, a move that could worsen tensions with its giant neighbour China.

The two countries only recently stepped back from a months-long standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, a horseshoe shaped reef near the Philippines in waters they both claim. The United States has said it is neutral in the long-running maritime dispute and China has warned that “external forces” should not get involved in the dispute.

Jul 2, 2012

Exclusive: Philippines wants U.S. spy plane help in China dispute

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Monday he may ask the United States to deploy spy planes over the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, a move that could worsen tensions with its giant neighbor China.

The two countries only recently stepped back from a months-long standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, a horseshoe shaped reef near the Philippines in waters they both claim. The United States has said it is neutral in the long-running maritime dispute and China has warned that “external forces” should not get involved in the dispute.

Jun 26, 2012

Submarine scandal surfaces to trouble Malaysia PM ahead of polls

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s government will
address allegations on Tuesday over its purchase of two French
submarines, responding to a scandal that threatens to tarnish
Prime Minister Najib Razak ahead of elections he is expected to
call later this year.

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is due to speak in
parliament on allegations that Malaysian navy documents were
sold to French shipbuilding giant DCNS to help its bid for the 1
billion euro ($1.25 billion) contract it won in 2002.

Jun 4, 2012

Insight: Malaysia government losing ethnic Chinese support

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Ethnic Chinese voters, upset over policies that favor majority Malays, have become increasingly alienated from Malaysia’s ruling coalition, raising the risk of racial polarization and a slowdown in the pace of reforms.

Support for Prime Minister Najib Razak among Chinese voters plunged to 37 percent in May from 56 percent in February, a survey by the independent Merdeka Center showed on Friday. It found 56 percent of Chinese were dissatisfied with the government, compared to 30 percent of Indians and 23 percent of Malays.

    • 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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