Singaporean tycoon Oei Hong Leong wins long-running property case involving Vancouver’s Plaza of Nations

Singapore businessman Oei Hong Leong has won a long-running court battle involving one of Canada’s largest property developers and a commercial site in the heart of Vancouver.The case, which began in October 2015, pitted Oei against Concord Pacific Acquisitions, part of Concord Pacific Group. The firm, led by CEO and president Terry Hui, accused Oei and his associated company of breaching an agreement pertaining to the development of the site and acting in bad faith.But after years of legal…

Indonesia courts Hong Kong investors to build toll roads on Java as part of Widodo’s ambitious infrastructure plans

Indonesia’s state-owned construction firm is banking on two Hong Kong-based investors to help fund fee-charging motorways on the island on Java, amid a push by President Joko Widodo to woo foreign investment for his ambitious infrastructure plans.PT Waskita Toll Road, a unit of PT Waskita Karya that has been tasked with boosting connectivity across the archipelago, said the investors had expressed interest in buying its 40 per cent stake in two toll road segments in Java.Herwidiakto, chief…

Chinese forces could reportedly be stationed at Cambodian naval base under secret deal

China will be able to place armed forces at a Cambodian naval base under a secret agreement the two nations have reached, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.The agreement, reached this spring but not made public, gives China exclusive access to part of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand, the Journal reported, citing US and allied officials familiar with the matter.Such an arrangement would give China an enhanced ability to assert contested territorial claims and economic…

Will Singapore warm up to nuclear energy to combat climate change?

Eight years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered a global rethink on energy policy, signs have emerged that Singapore may be warming back up to the power source. Pro-nuclear chatter in the city state was spurred last month when Ho Ching – the chief executive of Singapore state investment fund Temasek Holdings, who is married to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – published a lengthy Facebook post expressing support for the power source. “Overall, for a greener earth and to reduce…

‘No compromise’: South Korea says drills with US still on, refuting North’s claim of Donald Trump ‘promise’ to Kim Jong-un

A top South Korean official on Saturday said a US-South Korean military exercise would go ahead as planned next month, denying Pyongyang’s charges that holding it would breach an agreement made between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.“The nature of the exercise is not offensive … and is for strengthening the alliance,” Choi Jong-kun, the secretary for peace planning to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told the Aspen Institute’s annual strategic forum.Later, Choi…

In Singapore, Temasek’s results spark discussion of Chinese investments and Ho Ching

When Temasek Holdings announced its results early last month, there was no hiding the stark fact that Singapore’s state investment firm was feeling the full effects of the ongoing US-China trade war.Shareholder returns plunged to 1.49 per cent, down from 12 per cent year on year, and its portfolio value in Singapore dollar terms rose to S$313 billion (US$230.1 billion) as it made divestments of S$28 billion, compared with new investments of S$24 billion.Beyond these top-line figures, however,…

Suspect behind arson attack on Japanese anime studio KyoAni had grudge, was a former convict: local media

Most of the victims of an arson attack on an animation studio in Kyoto, western Japan, were in their 20s and 30s, public broadcaster NHK said on Saturday, as the death toll climbed to 34.Thursday’s attack on Kyoto Animation, well known in Japan and overseas for its series and movies, was the worst mass killing in two decades in a country with some of the world’s lowest crime rates.The man suspected of setting ablaze the studio was raging about theft and witnesses, and local media reported he…

Will Donald Trump’s trade crusade ultimately benefit Southeast Asia?

Business is good, but Nguyen Van Khanh is nervous. The vice-chairman of Ho Chi Minh City’s shoes and leather association might be expected to count among the so-called winners of the United States’ trade war with China, especially as Vietnam’s trade with the US has intensified in the past year.Its exports to the US surged past US$25 billion in the first five months of this year, a 36 per cent jump from the same period last year – and footwear is Vietnam’s third-most-important export to the US,…

South Koreans want to avoid Muji, Daiso and Nintendo, but brand confusion could undermine any boycott of Japanese goods

South Korean social media has been awash with calls for a boycott of Japanese goods ever since Tokyo announced a curb on exports of hi-tech materials to its East Asian neighbour earlier this month.On Thursday, “boycott” remained the top tending keyword on Twitter in South Korea, with hashtags like #BoycottJapan calling on the nation’s consumers to stop buying Japanese-made products and engaging with Japanese brands.A survey of 501 people carried out by Korean research firm Realmeter on July 11…

Singapore unveils army of multilingual cleaning robots in bid to spruce up city

Hundreds of “friendly” robots that speak multiple languages and sing are being rolled out across hi-tech Singapore, to help clean the city state’s hotels, shopping malls and government buildings.They scrub, mop, vacuum and sweep autonomously, and can entertain by rapping in English.The robots speak all four of multi-ethnic Singapore’s official languages – English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil – plus Japanese and “Singlish”, a local patois that mixes English with words from the myriad local…