Indonesia: As an update to the growing backlash in SE Asia over the China-ASEAN FTA, the Berita Jakarta is already blaming the FTA on a decline in exports from Jakarta:
It can be seen from the decline in the city’s export value by 4.80 percent or US$ 2.828 billion in January this year, from that of December last year reaching US$ 2.968. But, it is higher than the export value in the same period of last year by 20.50 percent.
Although the methodology used to formulate this conclusion is not clear, the Jakarta Central Statistic Agency is pointing all fingers at China.
The agency’s chairman Agus Suherman said the drops were most likely caused by the newly implemented China ASEAN Free Trade Agreement starting January this year. Since the agreement came into effect, the import of Chinese goods through Jakarta capital city has been the highest among other countries, reaching 60.32 percent. The imported goods comprise machineries and electrical devices worth US$ 2.2 billion; machineries and mechanical devices amounting to US$ 1.7 billion; and the rest are organic chemical products, cotton, goods made of iron and steel, fruit, inorganic chemical materials, and plastic goods.
Philippines: Filipino Islamic separatist group, Abu Sayyaf (Bearers of the Sword), are making revenge killings on the island of Basilan. On February 27th, the terrorist group killed 11 people, including children in a village on the island. It is believed that this attack, which also resulted in houses being torched, is retribution for the recent arrests of several of their members and the death of one of their leaders, Albader Parad. Since last August, the Filipino government has continued to crack down on the group at its epicenter, Basilan.
Cambodia: Besides helping to destabilizing Thailand, selling away national sovereignty to China and Vietnam, and fighting over ownership of ancient temples; in his spare time, Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, adores applying the political, tool perfected by the “Lee Mafia” in Singaporean for defeating opposition, suing them into bankruptcy. This time, chief opposition figure, Sam Rainsy is being sued for “forging documents” and “lying” about a border dispute between Cambodia and Vietnam. Rainsy is currently living in self-imposed exile in France, after being sentenced to two years in prison in absentia. That sentence was also related to the same border issue. If (read: when) convicted of this latest charge, Rainsy could received an additional 18 months to his current sentence.