Bangladesh planning sterilisation programme in effort to curb booming Rohingya population

The Bangladesh government says it is planning to introduce voluntary sterilisation in its overcrowded Rohingya camps, where nearly a million refugees are said to be fighting for space, after efforts to encourage birth control failed.
More than 600,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in Myanmar in August triggered an exodus. The latest arrivals have joined hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled in earlier waves from Myanmar’s Rakhine state,…

Everyday Indonesians need change, not more identity politics

When Cindy was 15, she saw a killing in front of her school in broad daylight. A group of gangsters got into a fight and the victim, a young man only slightly older than her, was stabbed to death. No one lifted a finger to help.
“It was gangster business, you didn’t interfere if you knew what was good for you”, she explains.
“By the time the police arrived, there was only a corpse.
“Moments like that make me remember what my mother told me: ‘Trust in Allah….

Who’s really selling Malaysia off to China? Najib turns the tables on his critics

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s budget speech on Friday was supposed to be his chance to underscore the country’s resurgent economy and tout multibillion dollar pre-election goodies, but instead the show stealer was his snarky rejoinder to critics’ claims that he was “selling” the country off to China.
The premier – expected to dissolve parliament within months – started the widely anticipated speech in the legislature by light heartedly…

Indonesia fireworks factory blaze leaves 47 dead, dozens injured

At least 47 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a blaze that tore through a fireworks factory outside Jakarta, police said on Thursday, triggering explosions and sending plumes of black smoke into the air.
The fire broke out at an industrial complex in Tangerang, a satellite city of Jakarta.
“In total 47 people died. We don’t know for sure the number of people who are still unaccounted for,” Harry Kurniawan, Tangerang Kota police chief, told Kompas TV.
Many of…

‘No evidence’ carbon tax drives companies away

By Siau Ming En Despite concerns repeatedly voiced that a carbon tax could dent competitiveness, there is no evidence it has led any company to move out of a country, said a panellist at a Singapore International Energy Week discussion. Forty-seven countries and states today have some form of carbon pricing, such as a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme. Prices range from US$1 to US$140 per tonne of emissions, noted World Bank senior carbon finance specialist Wang Xueman. Asked…

Pakistan vows cooperation in fight against terror groups

Pakistan’s prime minister pledged his country’s cooperation in fighting Islamist militants during talks on Tuesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who insisted Pakistan do more to curb support for terrorist groups or face US reprisals.
“The US can rest assured that we are strategic partners in the war against terror and that today, Pakistan is fighting the largest war in the world against terror,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told Tillerson just before…