Special Southeast Asia correspondent/ Head of News, Malaysia
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Oct 21, 2013

Malaysia’s Najib seen levying consumption tax to curb budget deficit

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will trim the government’s hefty subsidy bill and likely announce a new consumption tax later this week as he delivers a budget seen as crucial to ward off a possible credit downgrade and reassure investors over the Southeast Asian country’s fast-growing debt burden.

After securing his power base in ruling party elections over the weekend, Najib should have a freer hand to tackle a high fiscal deficit with unpopular steps to wean Malaysians off cheap fuel and food.

Oct 20, 2013

Malaysia’s Najib entrenches power as reform drive fades

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling coalition at the weekend have proved Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.

In May, Najib seemed dead in the water to some observers after presiding over the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation’s (UMNO) worst election result.

Oct 14, 2013
Oct 10, 2013

U.S. gives tacit backing to Philippines in China sea dispute

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry gave tacit backing to the Philippines’ stance
in a tense maritime dispute with China on Thursday, saying that
all countries had a right to seek arbitration to resolve
competing territorial claims.

The Philippines, a U.S. ally, has angered China by launching
an arbitration case with the United Nations to challenge the
legal validity of Beijing’s sweeping claims over the
resource-rich South China Sea.

Oct 10, 2013
Oct 9, 2013
Oct 7, 2013
Oct 6, 2013

As Obama’s Asia “pivot” falters, China steps into the gap

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 (Reuters) – When then U.S. Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton declared two years ago “We are back to
stay” as a power in Asia, the most dramatic symbol of the policy
shift was the planned deployment of 2,500 U.S. Marines in
northern Australia, primed to respond to any regional conflict.

At this point in time, however, there is not a single U.S.
Marine in the tropical northern city of Darwin, according to the
Australian defence ministry. Two hundred Marines just finished
their six-month tour and will not be replaced until next year,
when 1,150 Marines are due to arrive.

Oct 4, 2013
Oct 2, 2013
    • 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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