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Bike-riding monkey attacks, drags Indonesian toddler – VIDEO

Jack Burton



Bike-riding monkey attacks, drags Indonesian toddler – VIDEO | The Thaiger
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A video showing a monkey grabbing and dragging a toddler along a street in Indonesia has gone viral, leaving netizens around the world arguing over what actually happened. Was it a simian kidnap, a monkey mucking around, or a hungry monkey with evil intentions? Asiaone reports that the incident occurred in Surabaya, Indonesia last week.

The clip shows the monkey zooming down the street on a miniature motorbike and crashing into a group of children sitting on a bench. It jumps off the bike and starts dragging a baby girl away by the arm.

Seconds later, the monkey releases the girl who gets up and stumbles back to safety. Although she escaped with only minor abrasions on the forehead, the young girl was traumatised by the incident.

Since the clip went viral, there has been an avalanche of speculation as to what actually happened. Some Twitter users say it was an attempt to abduct the child for human trafficking.

But some sharp-eyed viewers noticed what appears to be a rope around the monkey’s neck and pointed out that it was clearly being dragged, shifting the attention to the issue of animal cruelty.

Bike-riding monkey attacks, drags Indonesian toddler - VIDEO | News by The ThaigerBike-riding monkey attacks, drags Indonesian toddler - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

It turns out that the monkey was part of a traditional street performance known as topeng monyet (masked monkey). Performances typically involve a long-tailed monkey performing tricks for money while wearing a doll mask. The monkey’s motivations, and those of its owner, remain unclear.

Animal rights groups, including the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, have campaigned for years to have such shows banned due to the abuse that the monkeys suffer under their handlers. But their efforts have seen limited success: the shows were banned in some places like Jakarta in 2013 but not in others like Surabaya.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | asiaone

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and his works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world.

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Former Garuda Indonesia CEO jailed over aircraft engine rort

The Thaiger



Former Garuda Indonesia CEO jailed over aircraft engine rort | The Thaiger
PHOTO: An Airbus A330 carrying the Trent 700 engines - Pinterest

A former CEO for Indonesian national carrier Garuda Indonesia has been jailed for bribery and money laundering. The sentence was related to the procurement of planes and engines from Airbus and Rolls-Royce for the airline. Emirsyah Satar has been handed down an 8 year sentence and fined US$1.4 million by the country’s corruption court.

Mr. Satar served as CEO of Garuda Indonesia from 2005 to 2014. He was indicted over payments from a businessman via a 3rd party for the procurement of Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and Airbus A320 and A330 planes.

The current list price for a Rolls Royce manufactured Trent 700 engine is US$23.25 million. They were mostly used on the Airbus A330 series of planes at the time.

Mr. Satar, who had previously denied the allegations, will decide next week whether to appeal against his sentence, according to his lawyer.

In 2017 Rolls-Royce agreed to pay authorities more than US$800 million to settle charges after an investigation by the US Justice Department and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office into alleged bribery of officials in six countries in schemes that lasted over than a decade.

Those countries included Thailand, where some $18.8 million paid by Rolls-Royce to “regional intermediaries” ended up in the pockets of “agents of the State of Thailand and employees of Thai Airways”, according to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office at the time.

Airbus, back in February, agreed to pay a record US$4 billion in fines after reaching a plea bargain with prosecutors in Britain, France and the US over alleged bribery and corruption stretching back at least 15 years.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Broke Russian family deported from Indonesia for busking – VIDEO

May Taylor



Broke Russian family deported from Indonesia for busking – VIDEO | The Thaiger

A Russian couple and their young child have been deported from Indonesia, after a video of them busking illegally at a market on Lombok island went viral.

Coconuts reports that officials did not charge them with violating the conditions of their visa, with the Head of the Mataram Immigration Office saying he understood the family had been caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic that has paralysed the world.

“We’re giving them leeway because we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. If there’s no Covid-19 we would surely act more strictly.”

The couple, named in a report by Indonesia Expat as 29 year old Mikhail Bondarek and his 28 year old girlfriend Ekaterina, were deported from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport with their 2 year old daughter on Sunday, on a flight reportedly arranged by the Russian Consulate.

They had been detained after a video of them playing music and singing at a market in Lombok went viral.

Kemarin ketemu bule lagi ngamen di Pasar Kebon Roek bawa istri dan bayinya… kayaknya kehabisan uang untuk bertahan hidup

Posted by Burhanudin Surya on Sunday, April 26, 2020

Burhanudin Surya/Facebook

It’s understood this is not the couple’s first brush with the law in Asia. They were previously detained by police in Malaysia after they were seen violently swinging their baby during a busking session in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The couple have told Indonesian officials they are musicians travelling the world who now find themselves running out money.

SOURCE: Coconuts and Indonesia Expat

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Coronavirus Asia

Vietnam flings open the doors, Thailand and Malaysia peek through the curtains

The Thaiger



Vietnam flings open the doors, Thailand and Malaysia peek through the curtains | The Thaiger

Peeking through the curtains and testing the water, or flinging wide the door and going for it. Or somewhere in between.

Some South east Asian countries are starting to make cautious preparations to lift lockdown and travel restrictions. But this isn’t a competition – each country is having to look at the myriad of local issues as they factor in steps to re-open their economies. And every South east Asian country has different priorities.

Vietnam has already ended the government’s “social distancing measures” this week, except in some districts of the northern capital Hanoi. The Vietnamese health authorities reported no new cases for seven days in a row, giving them the confidence of being the first of the ten nations to reboot their economy.

But compared to the rest of the world the numbers in South east Asia have been tiny. In fact, all added up, South east Asia’s reported cases make up a minuscule 1.3% of the world’s cases (despite widespread belief that the numbers in Indonesia are actually a lot higher than reported). In comparison, the case numbers in the US have burst through the 1 million mark in the past 24 hours, with more than 56,000 deaths. Spain, Italy, France and the UK are also still struggling to contain the coronavirus, all with more than 20,000 deaths.

Singapore, an island state of only 5.6 million people, leads the way in the region with nearly *15,000 cases (mostly migrant workers). Meanwhile the most populous of the South east Asian nations, Indonesia, with a population of 264 million, is in second place with *9,511 reported cases. But Reuters today published a report that there have already been 2,200 deaths in the archipelago, three times the officially of *773 deaths.

The stark difference in the tallies, relative to their populations, has been put down to the quality of the testing regimes in the two countries – none of the region’s epidemiologists believe Indonesia is correctly reporting case numbers. The city-state has struggled to control the epidemic, mainly among migrant workers. Singapore has discovered over 7,000 new cases in the past seven days alone.

* Figures as of 1930 Tuesday, Thai time

Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines imposed levels of restrictions after infections started to climb. In Thailand there was a national nighty curfew, closure of all non-essential shops, rules about the wearing of masks and travel restrictions, keeping Thai’s within the borders of their provinces (and some cases within the boundaries of their suburbs).

Today Thailand has extended it emergency decree, a state of emergency giving their prime minister sweeping powers to make instant decisions. The state of emergency now runs to the end of May despite the number of ne cases slowing to a trickle over the past week.

But preparations for easing restrictions around Thailand are now apparent. The cabinet is considering decreasing the level of intensity and scope of restrictions that affect the normal operation of Thai businesses. Thais look forward to a gradual easing of the draconian restrictions in coming weeks.

But the nation’s most pressing problem will be to figure out how to salvage it’s valuable tourism industry, said to contribute from 15-18% of the country’s total GDP. The tourist magnets, like Phuket and Pattaya, have been devoid of tourists for nearly two months and the shops and bars remain shuttered. Although restrictions may soon be lifted, allowing some semblance of trade, there is unlikely to be any resurgence in Thai tourism until sometime in 2021.

A lot will depend on other countries re-opening their borders, the aviation industry finding a way to sustain scheduled flights and a willingness of international travellers to get back on planes. And will they have the money anyway? And will insurance companies provide insurance for travellers until a viable vaccine is on the market?

Bangkok and Phuket remain the areas in Thailand with the most infections and they will be among the last to have restrictions lifted.

Malaysia and the Philippines have both report fewer cases over the past seven days than in the previous seven days. But Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin has now extended the government’s restrictions on internal travel until at least May 12, the third such extension. Like its northern neighbour, Malaysia is, too, being cautious about opening back up too quickly and risking a second wave of infections.

Last week the Philippines’ President Duterte extended the lockdown in Manila, and other high-risk areas until the middle of May 15.

But as South east Asia’s economies peak through the curtains, glimpsing at creating a new-normal, the world’s fastest growing economies now face their biggest test yet – have they opened up again too early?

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