SINGAPORE — Thailand and Vietnam have become the top crypto trading hubs among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, beating even financial center Singapore, which has been grappling with new legislation to control the nascent sector.
The two ASEAN members recorded over $100 billion each in crypto buying and selling values from July 2021 to June 2022, according to numbers published on Wednesday by blockchain data platform Chainalysis.
While countries in Asia Pacific have made great strides in controlling bribery for public services, an average score of 45 out of 100 on the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows much more needs to be done to solve the region’s corruption problems.
Some higher-scoring countries are even experiencing a decline as governments fail to address grand corruption, uphold rights and consult citizens.
The top performers in Asia Pacific are New Zealand (CPI score: 88), Singapore (85) and Hong Kong (76). However, most countries sit firmly below the global average of 43. This includes three countries with some of the lowest scores in the world: Cambodia (23), Afghanistan (16) and North Korea (16).
Among those with weak scores are some of the world’s most populous countries, such as China (45) and India (40), and other large economies such as Indonesia (38), Pakistan (28) and Bangladesh (26). A concerning trend across some of these nations is a weakening of anti-corruption institutions or, in some cases, absence of an agency to coordinate action against corruption.
TTCT – Án tuyên giữ nguyên với ông Najib Razak không chỉ là việc bắt một cựu thủ tướng phải đối mặt với những hậu quả do hành động của ông, mà còn là lời khẳng định về sự bình đẳng trước pháp luật của tất cả mọi người.
Ảnh: Foreign Policy
Trong khoản tiền ước tính 4,5 tỉ USD thất thoát từ quỹ 1MDB khiến cựu thủ tướng Malaysia Najib Razak vừa bị tuyên án 12 năm tù, có cả phần tiền được để làm bộ phim Hollywood The Wolf of Wall Street (với sự góp mặt của tài tử Leonardo DiCaprio) về… lừa đảo trong thế giới tài chính.
Phần lớn khoản tiền đó, vốn nhiều hơn toàn bộ ngân quỹ hằng năm của một nửa các chính quyền trên thế giới, được giới lãnh đạo quỹ này, cá nhân và gia đình ông Najib, vung vào du thuyền, bài bạc, và cả một chiếc vòng đeo cổ kim cương giá 23 triệu USD.
In 2023, the United States and Vietnam will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their comprehensive partnership. The occasion will provide a window of opportunity to elevate the relationship to a strategic partnership. However, there are signs that Washington and Hanoi are losing momentum in bilateral security cooperation and passing opportunities to make necessary preparations for the upgrade to happen.
During his nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Ambassador Marc Knapper stated that, if confirmed, he would prioritize deepening the United States’ strategic relationship with Vietnam. He would take steps to raise the current comprehensive partnership to a strategic partnership by “strengthening even further our security relationship,” “deepening our economic partnership,” and “deepening our people-to-people ties.”
YOHEI MURAMATSU and TOMOYA ONISHI, Nikkei staff writers
September 6, 2022 04:22 JST
BANGKOK/HANOI — From wooing more Russian tourists to boosting trade, Southeast Asian nations are bolstering economic ties with Russia in hopes of curbing inflation and spurring their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. and European countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. But these efforts could be hindered by emerging nations as they prioritize addressing their own economic headwinds.
The lost tribe: The CIA’s secret army in Laos | REWIND
Al Jazeera English – 24-8-2019
We trace a forgotten Hmong community in the jungles of northern Laos who helped the US during the Vietnam War.
Half a century ago, as war raged in Vietnam, an isolated community in the jungles of northern Laos was recruited by the CIA to help fight the Pathet Lao – the Laotian equivalent of Vietnam’s Viet Cong.
Over 50,000 of the Hmong tribe became part of the United States’s secret army, helping disrupt Communist supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail.
After crushing free media, Cambodia’s Hun Sen claims to ‘place high value’ on journalism
Voice of America – 8-5-2021
Marking the 28th annual World Press Freedom Day, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen published a letter on May 3 calling on news media to be guided by ethics and professionalism.
“I sincerely appreciate and place high value on our journalists who have made great efforts to overcome obstacles and dangers in fulfilling their duties to actively broadcast and publish news on what is really happening in the country,” the Phnom Penh Post cites him as saying.
Hun Sen called on local and international media to follow the law and refrain from “spreading fake news” that damages reputations and fosters “social chaos.”
“It’s the way to fight against criminals who seek to gain personal interests by using media as a cover to commit offenses that affect people’s dignity and the prestige of the media and professional journalists. This cannot be tolerated,” Hun Sen said.
Hun Sen’s claim to place a high value on journalism is false. The evidence suggests that those in Cambodia who actively report on “what is really happening in the country” face intimidation, assault and imprisonment.
Challenging the regime’s legitimacy at home and abroad, Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG) foreign minister Daw Zin Mar Aung, 45, has engaged with foreign governments and parliaments, international aid agencies and Myanmar’s many armed groups.
However, the elected lawmaker from the ousted National League for Democracy and winner of the 2012 International Women of Courage Award said international assistance is largely limited to moral support.
She exclusively tells The Irrawaddy about the importance of international support, including funding and arms, Myanmar’s friends and foes and how it receives different treatment from Ukraine.
In Tokyo on May 23, President Biden announced the formation of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The framework will bring together the United States and a dozen other Indo-Pacific countries. The agreement will cover both traditional and digital trade standards, decarbonization and infrastructure, supply chain resiliency, taxation, and anti-corruption.