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Cambodian diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

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Cambodian diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled | The Thaiger

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Cambodia is moving to annul diplomatic passports issued to people not born in Cambodia. This from the The Phnom Penh Post today.

The report says that analysts believe the move may be in response to Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra using a Cambodian passport to register as a company director in Hong Kong.

The government last week released a letter of instruction on the provision of diplomatic passports to foreigners appointed as advisers and assistants to the political elite and government institutions.

The two-page instruction released last week by PM Hun Sen, which The Post received over the weekend, says some foreigners appointed as advisers and assistants to high-ranking officials and institutions had become naturalised Cambodians and applied for diplomatic passports.

The letter of instruction says in order to prevent such passports being used incorrectly, as stated in a 2008 sub-decree, the government instructs that Cambodian diplomatic passports must not be issued to those who are not Cambodia-born unless it is a “most necessary case”.

“All ministries and institutions have the duty to collect the diplomatic passports that they applied for their advisers and assistants who are not Cambodian by birth, and hand the passports over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation no later than a month from the date of this instruction,” said the letter, which was signed by Cambodian PMHun Sen.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the duty to check and annul diplomatic passports already issued for individuals who are not Cambodian by birth,” the letter states.

It also orders the Ministry of Interior to prevent the use of such passports to enter and depart Cambodia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ket Sophann told The Post on Sunday that his ministry had requested PM Hun Sen to issue the instruction.

He also declined to comment on what action will be taken should foreigners still use such passports.

The government’s instruction came as Hong Kong-based English language daily South China Morning Post last week reported that Yingluck, the fugitive former Thai PM, had used a Cambodian passport to register a company in Hong Kong last August.

The government denied last week that a Cambodian passport had ever been issued to her.

SOURCE: The Nation, via The Phnom Penh Post – Asian News Network

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Southeast Asia

Top 10 countries in Asia – DataLeads report

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Top 10 countries in Asia – DataLeads report | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Travelience

“Japan is ranked the best country in Asia and fifth globally. Thailand ranks 27th globally”

DataLeads reports that a survey conducted in 80 countries shows that Japan and Australia are the only Asia-Pacific countries that features in the top 10 best countries of the world.

The ranking of countries is measured through factors like entrepreneurship, openness to business, adventure, citizenship and overall quality of life.

The survey evaluated 80 countries across 24 rankings drawn from a survey of more than 21,000 global citizens measuring 75 dimensions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment.

Japan is ranked the best country in Asia and fifth globally. Australia also features in the top ten list of best countries of the world. It is ranked seventh globally and second in Asia. It has scored well on indicators like entrepreneurship, being open for business and cultural influence.

Top 10 countries in Asia - DataLeads report | News by The Thaiger

Singapore, the bustling city-island, is ranked 16 globally and third in Asia. The country has high GDP along with a low unemployment rate. However the increasing population has given rise to concerns of income equality and rising cost of living.With world’s second largest economy after the US, China is ranked 20 globally and is the fourth best country to live in Asia. Although the country has a booming economy there are concerns like the substantial level of rising pollution in the country that affects the quality of life.

South Korea is ranked 22 globally and is the fifth best country in Asia. The country has witnessed a steady growth and has reduced poverty significantly. It is the world’s seventh-largest exporter and 11th-largest economy overall.India is ranked 25 globally and is the sixth best country in Asia.

It is followed by Thailand that is ranked 27 globally and seventh in Asia.Malaysia is ranked 34 globally and is eighth best country in Asia. The country has “gone a long way toward reducing poverty, moving the share of households living below the poverty line from more than 50 per cent in the 1960s to less than 1 percent in 2015”.

Malaysia is followed by Indonesia (41), Vietnam (44) and Philippines (49).Sri Lanka is ranked 51 globally and is the 12th best country in the region. Health standards and literacy are high in the country although poverty remains a concern. It is followed by Myanmar (63) and Pakistan (74).

SOURCES: DataLEADS, Asia News Network

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Malaysia mulls curfew for Under 18 year olds

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Malaysia mulls curfew for Under 18 year olds | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Malaysian Deputy PM Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – Proplegacy

The Malaysian Government, in another backwards step as it caves in to conservative religious factions, is considering a new curfew on Under 18 year olds.

Authorities are mulling the possibility of setting a curfew for young Malaysians to be out of the house without adult supervision. They claim it is “to shield them from negative activities and influences”, according to the article from Bernama News.

This was among matters raised and agreed upon at the Cabinet Committee on Eradicating Drugs meeting chaired by Malaysian Deputy PM Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She says authorities are seriously considering a curfew for children under 18 as records show that glue sniffing is serious among the young.

Malaysia would not be the first country to introduce a curfew on teenagers and children, with Iceland having something similar. Under Iceland’s Child Protection Act, children under 12 may not be outdoors after 8pm unless accompanied by an adult.

“It may not be easy to implement but we feel this is necessary and can definitely help prevent young people from being involved in negative activities,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Eradicating Drugs also discussed drawing up a law to prevent, treat and monitor abusers of psychotropic substances, including inhalants such as glue.

“This is still at the proposal stage. We have yet to figure out the punitive actions as well as educational elements that we want to have as part of the law.

“But what is for sure is that we need to ensure that our future generation is not addicted to psychotropic products and glue sniffing,” she said, adding that while the habit might not look as dangerous as injecting oneself with drugs, the effect of glue sniffing is equally, if not more, dangerous.

Dr Wan Azizah said to encourage drug addicts to seek treatment, the committee proposed those who “check-in” into rehabilitation centres voluntarily be left out from the offenders’ registry.

Read more about this proposal in Malaysia HERE.

Malaysia mulls curfew for Under 18 year olds | News by The Thaiger

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Australian police arrest flight crew over drug smuggling

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Australian police arrest flight crew over drug smuggling | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Part of the drug haul seized by the AFP – Australia’s ABC News

Malaysia’s Malindo Air have been caught up un an international drug smuggling case as some of their air crew are now accused of helping to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine worth millions of dollars from Asia to Australian cities.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have now arrested two flight team members along with six other people. The arrests are the result of a six month investigation codenamed Operation Sunrise.

According to the AFP, flight attendants from Malaysia’s Malindo Air, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air, have been smuggling in drugs on their persons on behalf of a Melbourne-based Vietnaese crime syndicate.

One of the investigation’s “key players” say they had made at least 20 such trips.

In a statement, the airline says… “Malindo Air stands ready to co-operate with all the relevant authorities be it in Australia or in Malaysia in this regard, The cabin crew member has also been suspended with immediate effect pending termination.”

The AFP investigation has targeted a highly organised Vietnamese crime syndicate based in Melbourne and operating out of Australia’s second biggest city for up to five years. They say the syndicate is responsible for the importation of high-grade heroin and methamphetamine from Malaysia.

“8 kilograms of heroin was seized in the operation and has a street value of AUD$14.5 million. This equates to 42,000 street deals, in real terms,” say the AFP.

“A further 6 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of AUD$6.5 million was also seized during seven raids on properties in Melbourne and its suburbs, along with half a kilogram of cocaine, a Porsche sports car and a “significant quantity” of cash.”

Investigators say that the quantity of illegal drugs seized in the operation is significant but “not the total amount of drugs”.

Malindo Air started operations in 2013 and operates out of the Kuala Lumpur serving several Australian destinations. It currently operates 800 flights weekly to over 40 regional and international destinations.

SOURCE: CNN | Australian Federal Police

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