Two suspected militants killed as Indonesian police probe Medan suicide bombing

Indonesia’s counterterrorism forces on Saturday shot and killed two suspected militants who may have had links to a suicide attack at a police station in the country’s third-largest city, police said.Three suspected militants refused to surrender and resisted arrest by shooting at police during the raid in North Sumatra province’s Hamparan Perak village, said North Sumatra police chief Agus Andrianto.He said two of the suspects were fatally shot, while an officer was taken to the hospital with…

Taiwan or communism? The Chinese who fled Indonesia and had to choose

Inside the premises of the Indonesia Overseas Chinese Association in New Taipei City, the Republic of China (ROC) flag and a portrait of its founding president Sun Yat-sen are hung against the wall.They are a reminder of the Chinese civil war, which ended in 1949 with the creation of the People’s Republic of China. The seat of government of the ROC, Taiwan’s official name, was relocated to Taipei after the nationalists lost to the communists.Around this time, anti-Chinese sentiment began…

Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional opposition tipped for comeback in racially charged Johor by-election

An opposition win may be on the cards for a closely watched by-election in Malaysia’s southernmost state, with analysts predicting a return to form for the recently ousted Barisan Nasional coalition as ethno-religious dog-whistling goes into overdrive a day before polling.The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), which was decimated in national polls last year when it managed to hold on to only one of 222 parliamentary seats, is tipped to clinch Tanjung Piai in Johor when voters head to the…

Beijing’s South China Sea stance and US ‘truancy’ set to headline Asean defence meeting

Fears about China’s increasingly bellicose actions in the South China Sea and the “truancy” of senior US leaders from recent Southeast Asian diplomatic events will be among the key talking points at this weekend’s meeting of regional defence chiefs, analysts said, despite host nation Thailand’s hopes participants will steer clear of controversial issues.The Asean Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus in Bangkok will feature the defence chiefs from the 10-nation bloc and eight global partners,…

Investigators release call records linking MH17 suspects to top Russian officials

A Dutch-led investigation into the shooting down of flight Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014 released new intercepted phone calls on Thursday between high-ranking Russian officials and suspects facing trial over the crash.Investigators said they were making a “new witness appeal” based on “recorded telephone calls between the leaders of the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist group) and high-ranking Russian officials”.“Ties between Russian officials and DPR leaders…

Singapore massage chair tycoon in consortium talks for digital banking licence

Ron Sim, founder of one of Asia’s largest massage chair makers, is in talks to partner with a unit of Temasek Holdings and other firms to bid for one of Singapore’s new virtual banking licenses, according to people familiar with the matter.V3 Group, Sim’s Singapore-based firm, is in talks to partner with Temasek’s Heliconia Capital Management, as well as stored-value card company EZ-Link and property giant Far East Organisation in the new consortium, said the people, who asked not to be…

Stay or go? Hong Kong’s international students pack their bags amid protest chaos

Maya Boehm, an American exchange student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has her bags packed to fly home at a moment’s notice. On Tuesday, Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, told the 20-year-old that she and her classmates had been summoned home to “ensure the continued safety and security of our students” after chaotic clashes the previous night between anti-government protesters and police on the CUHK campus.The religious studies major has not been given an exact…

Singapore’s anti-gay law 377A: was male prostitute habit of British civil service the real target?

Why did Singapore’s former British rulers decide in 1938 to outlaw consensual sex between men? Were the colonial administrators really trying to stamp out homosexuality – or were they more concerned about British civil servants’ predilection for male prostitutes?That is one of the key questions Singapore’s High Court will have to grapple with as fresh challenges to the controversial law – Section 377A – get under way in closed door hearings. In doing so, Justice See Kee Oon is expected to…

Three dead in Thai court shooting, including ex-PM Yingluck’s old lawyer

Three people were killed in a shoot-out at a Thai courtroom on Tuesday during a hearing into an inheritance dispute, according to police, who said two of the victims were lawyers.The gunman opened fire on the opposing side in the dispute in Chanthaburi provincial court, before a guard shot back and fatally wounded him.National police office spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen said three people including the assailant were confirmed dead, while others were injured in the melee.“Two are lawyers…

Cambodia ‘playing with fire’ by cosying up to China, says opposition figure Sam Rainsy

Embattled Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Tuesday warned that the government’s growing ties with China threatened the rights of citizens and undermined the Southeast Asian country’s fight for democracy.Speaking in Kuala Lumpur after a private visit to the Malaysian Houses of Parliament, he said Prime Minister Hun Sen’s administration was “playing with fire” by allowing the China-Cambodia relationship to become too cosy.“Cambodia must be neutral and not allow China to build facilities…