Trump set to talk Indo-Pacific and 5G, a day after Modi’s grand welcome

After a day of pomp and grandeur, which saw US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanging an embrace and praising each other at a stadium with some 125,000 fans, issues of geopolitics are expected to be high on the agenda when both meet on Tuesday morning.Ajit Pai, the US Federal Communications commission chief who is accompanying Trump, has made it clear he will be discussing the issue of 5G infrastructure and, potentially, the role of the Chinese telecom giant…

Mahathir Mohamad has resigned. Malaysia’s next leader is … Mahathir?

Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad’s appointment as interim prime minister just hours after he sent his resignation to the nation’s monarch will see him carry on his duties as per the status quo – and potentially ease him back into power, observers say.The purpose of an interim prime minister is to allow the king to gauge the mood of parliament to see who “truly commands the confidence of members of the house”, said the nation’s foremost constitutional law expert, Shad Saleem Faruqi. The…

Protests erupt in New Delhi over India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and…

Malaysia’s ruling coalition in danger as Anwar Ibrahim says colleagues are trying to bring down government

Malaysia’s two-year-old ruling coalition is in grave danger of collapsing after senior party members from the government and opposition gathered at a hotel on Sunday in an attempt to form a new government. Prime Minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said colleagues from the ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) were trying to bring down the current government and form a new one in a bid to deny him the premiership. “Right now, we’re waiting for information but we know there are attempts to bring…

As Namaste Trump meets Howdy Modi in India, common threat China looms large

If there is one foreign leader who has the inside track for organising the kind of over-the-top, boisterous public reception Donald Trump revels in, it has to be Narendra Modi – the Indian prime minister who in many ways is a kindred spirit to the showman US president.Modi’s government is pulling out all the stops, at an expense of some US$14 million, ahead of the maiden two-day trip by the US president and First Lady Melania Trump that begins in Ahmedabad on Monday. The first day of Trump’s…

Coronavirus: church cluster among three new cases in Singapore

Singapore on Saturday confirmed three new cases of the deadly new coronavirus, taking the city state’s total number of infections to 89.The Health Ministry also said two more patients had been discharged. There have now be 49 people who have recovered and left hospital.One of the new cases is a 30-year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to China. She was linked to the republic’s largest cluster, now affecting 23 people, around the Grace Assembly of God church.The other new case…

Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad says ‘up to him’ when to let go of power, citing unanimous endorsement from Pakatan Harapan

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday that it was up to him when – and whether – to let go of power, after he received a unanimous endorsement from his ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. The veteran politician had previously pledged to hand over the reins to former Umno member and deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim under an agreement ahead of the country’s 2018 elections. No time frame was specified, but it was understood that the move would take place two to three…

Cambodia questions Malaysia’s coronavirus diagnosis after Westerdam cruise ship passenger cleared

The Cambodian government on Friday raised “doubt over the accuracy” of Malaysia’s health testing for its coronavirus diagnosis in the case of a US woman who flew to Kuala Lumpur after being allowed to disembark from a cruise ship in Cambodia.In the statement, Cambodia’s Health Ministry said “the irregularity of the testing results by Malaysian authorities made all passengers on the Westerdam cruise ship scared and confused”, referring to the Holland America vessel whose disembarking process in…

Xi Jinping and Moon Jae-in discuss coronavirus and Chinese leader’s planned visit to South Korea

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in on Thursday spoke over the phone to discuss China’s efforts fighting the deadly coronavirus outbreak and the state of bilateral ties.Chinese state media quoted Xi expressing his “deep gratitude” to the South Korean government and people for their help and support, noting both countries were important neighbours and partners for each other.Bilateral ties were doing well, Xi said, adding that he and Moon had met in Beijing…

Philippine immigration scam for Chinese travellers involved 9 in 10 staff, says whistle-blower

A whistle-blower who exposed a Philippine Bureau of Immigration syndicate that earned billions of pesos selling entry to Chinese nationals has identified himself – and claimed that 90 per cent of the department’s staff were involved in the racket. Immigration officer Allison Chiong told a senate hearing on Thursday the scam even enabled foreigners who were blacklisted or had criminal records to enter and leave the Philippines without being scrutinised or stopped at the airport. “I had to…