Mahathir’s Malaysia supports Huawei, but should be more worried about network control than spying: expert

Malaysia’s support of Huawei overlooks security concerns even larger than the international worries over spying risks related to the embattled Chinese telecommunications giant’s roll-out of its 5G network, observers say.“It’s not about data, it’s about control,” said European Centre for International Political Economy director Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, providing the example of a business.“If you run a factory and are bidding against a competitor who knows your prices, they can underbid you. That is…

Singapore is ‘actively studying’ virtual banking licences, says country’s prime minister

Singapore is actively studying whether to allow companies with no banking parentage to set up virtual banks, paving the way for start-ups like on-demand services operator Grab to potentially enter the formal financial services industry.“Some other countries have created frameworks to license new players with no banking parentage to set up digital banks, i.e. banks without branches or ATMs,” Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech at the Smart Nation Summit in the city on…

Duterte wants a joint Manila-Beijing probe into the South China Sea sinking. Could it be a good idea?

In the early hours of June 9, a Chinese-registered ship struck the Philippine vessel F/B Gimver 1, sending all 22 Filipino fishermen aboard tumbling into the sea. The boat, from China’s southeastern Guangdong province, fled the scene – leaving a passing Vietnamese ship to rescue the men.Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on June 24 said he was open to China’s suggestion to conduct a joint probe into the affair, even as he dismissed it as a “little maritime incident” where “there was damage…

An act of mischief, or something more sophisticated? Singapore investigates drones that disrupted 63 flights at Changi airport

Drones buzzing around Singapore’s busy Changi Airport have caused 63 flights to be delayed or diverted in the past week, triggering an investigation and raising questions about the motives of the offenders.The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on Tuesday said 18 flights at the airport were delayed and seven were diverted the night before, “due to bad weather and unauthorised drone activities”.It had earlier confirmed drones were seen flying near the airport last Tuesday and Wednesday. Those…

Canberra working to bring Australian children of dead Islamic State fighters back home from Syria

Australia has gathered up eight children and grandchildren of two dead Australian Islamic State fighters from a Syrian refugee camp and will bring them home, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday.In the first such repatriation by Australia, Morrison confirmed media reports that the children were fetched from a camp in northern Syria on Sunday, and the government was working on bringing them back.“The opportunity now is for these young children who are coming back to Australia,” Morrison…

Ex-officials criticise Duterte administration’s soft approach towards China, as Philippine foreign ministry cancels diplomatic passports

The Philippine foreign ministry’s decision to cancel all courtesy diplomatic passports after a former top diplomat using the document was turned away from Hong Kong has sparked incredulity and anger, with several ex-officials blaming President Rodrigo Duterte for his soft approach towards China. Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, who was unable to enter Hong Kong for a business meeting last Friday, said he could not “think of one good reason why this is happening”. “Instead of fully…

Lone slug held responsible for power outage that Japan caused disruptions for 12,000 rail passengers

A power outage that halted dozens of Japanese trains and delayed 12,000 passengers in a nation reputed for its efficient rail service has been blamed on a lone slug, according to the railway.The power failed on a couple of lines serving southern Japan operated by Kyushu Railway, known as JR Kyushu, on May 30.The company was forced to cancel 26 train journeys and delay other services, causing chaos in a country known for the punctuality of its transport systems.‘Snake on a train’ halts Japan…

Indonesian police arrest three suspects after deadly fire in illegal factory kills 30 people, including children

Police in Indonesia have arrested the owner and two managers of an unregulated factory in North Sumatra that was engulfed by a fire that killed 30 people, a spokesman said on Sunday.The three suspects could each face five years in prison if found guilty of negligence leading to deaths, said North Sumatra province police spokesman Tatan Dirsan Atmaja.The business was operating from a house in the North Sumatra district of Langkat and reportedly made match sticks and lighters.Its female employees…

Malaysia calls for justice over Rohingya refugee crisis

Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Saifuddin Abdullah called for justice to be brought to the perpetrators of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar as Southeast Asian leaders gathered for a twice-yearly summit.The region’s leaders have faced pressure this week to take a tougher stance on Myanmar ahead of the gathering in Bangkok. The nation has been criticised for failing to ensure the safe repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims forced into Bangladesh.Malaysian Foreign Minister…

Philippines agrees to joint investigation with China into fishing boat’s sinking

China and the Philippines agreed to conduct a joint inquiry into the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel in disputed waters, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said on Saturday.The incident on June 9, when the two boats collided in the South China Sea, has sparked public outrage.Manila has accused the Chinese trawler of abandoning the vessel’s 22 Filipino crew members – later rescued by Vietnamese fishermen – but Beijing has rejected this.China states the trawler merely …