Monday, June 22, 2020

We are not power crazy, say Pakatan Harapan leaders as they seek a common ground for PM candidate

22 Jun 2020


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s opposition parties have denied that they are power crazy for their attempt to wrest back control in parliament, adding that Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its allies must work towards a common ground to reclaim electoral mandate.

The statement, jointly issued by Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu and Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general Lim Guan Eng on Monday (Jun 22), came amid a difference of opinion within PH over the candidates for the prime minister post.

“We have been criticised for not quickly regaining our rightful government and yet when we find the only realistic route left for success we are criticised as power crazy. This is unfair because while we are not afraid to be in opposition, the rakyat (people) voted for us in 2018 to be in government,” the statement read.

PH was voted into Putrajaya in the 2018 general election with Dr Mahathir at the helm, but the administration collapsed in February after Mr Muhyiddin Yassin led Bersatu out of the coalition. Mr Muhyiddin, who is backed by Barisan Nasional and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, was sworn in as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister leading the Perikatan Nasional (PN) pact.

PH, which finds itself as the opposition coalition again, was strategising its moves to return to federal power but reached a stalemate when component parties and their allies could not agree over the candidacy for premiership.

Uncertain future as Covid-19 infection rate sets global records

22 June, 2020


HONG KONG — Six months into the Covid-19 pandemic and the good news is a number of countries are easing lockdown measures, allowing a semblance of what was normal life to return. The bad news is global infection numbers are surging.

The number of newly infected people set records on multiple days in June, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US. The World Health Organisation issued a telling statistic of its own, noting that 85,000 cases were reported in the first two months of the outbreak; in the past two months, it was 6 million. The WHO's grim figures coincided with a new flare-up of the disease in Beijing.

China, where the coronavirus was first identified at the end of last year, had earlier locked down a region of 60 million people and shut its borders to foreigners to control the disease. Even after those stringent measures, the virus surfaced again in the capital.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

China's young spenders say #ditchyourstuff as economy sputters

04 May, 2020

BEIJING - Tang Yue, a 27-year-old teacher from the city of Guilin in southwest China, steam-presses a blue dress and takes dozens of photographs before picking one to clinch her 200th online sale.

For a growing number of Chinese like Tang, hit by job losses, furloughs and salary cuts, the consumer economy has begun to spin in reverse. They are no longer buying - they are selling.

Instead of emerging from the coronavirus epidemic and returning to the shopping habits that helped drive the world's second-largest economy, many young people are offloading possessions and embracing a new-found ethic for hard times: less is more.

Break the China habit? Lobsters, lights and toilets show how hard it is

20 June, 2020

NEW YORK — As the coronavirus pandemic amplifies long-standing concerns over the world’s economic dependence on China, many countries are trying to reduce their exposure to Beijing’s brand of business.

Japan has set aside US$2.2 billion (S$3.06 billion) to help companies shift production out of China. European trade ministers have emphasised the need to diversify supply chains. Several countries, including Australia and Germany, have moved to keep China, among others, from buying businesses weakened by lockdowns. Hawks in the Trump administration also continue to press for an economic “decoupling” from Beijing.

But outside government circles, in the companies where the decisions about manufacturing and sales are actually made, the calculations are more complex.

China is a hard habit to break.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Commentary: Is this the end of China’s peaceful rise?

China’s latest military stand-off with India suggests that it wants to demonstrate its power to the world, says Shashi Tharoor.

By Shashi Tharoor

15 Jun 2020 

A Chinese soldier (left) and an Indian soldier stand guard on the remote Nathu La border
crossing between India and China in July 2008. (AFP/DIPTENDU DUTTA)


A Chinese soldier (left) and an Indian soldier
NEW DELHI: COVID-19 isn’t the only threat that has crossed India’s borders this year.

According to alarming reports from India’s defence ministry, China has deployed a “significant number” of troops across the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) along the countries’ Himalayan frontier.

So far, these transgressions have occurred at four points on the world’s longest and most highly disputed border, with thousands of Chinese troops showing up in Sikkim and in parts of the Ladakh region, northeast of the Kashmir Valley.

Neither government disputes the fact that Chinese soldiers have occupied territory that India considers its own.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Covid-19: Less air pollution means thousands fewer die

30 April, 2020

PARIS — There will be 11,000 fewer deaths in European countries under coronavirus lockdown due to a sharp drop in fossil fuel pollution during April, according to research released Friday (April 30).

Measures to halt the spread of coronavirus have slowed the region's economies to a crawl, with coal-generated power falling by nearly 40 per cent, and oil consumption by a third.

"This will result in 11,000 avoided deaths from air pollution," said lead author Lauri Myllyvirta, senior analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Commentary: China’s removal of GDP targets reveals its new economic strategy

China can now focus on critical economic issues and accommodate the realities of a post-coronavirus world, says Principal Global Investors’ Binay Chandgothia.

By Binay Chandgothia

04 Jun 2020 


SINGAPORE: The removal of a GDP growth target for China is sensible, given the current circumstances, as setting a lower, more feasible target may have sent negative signals to global markets.

Released from its GDP target, China can now focus on critical issues facing the economy – such as employment, social stability and national security – and begin to accommodate the realities of a world that has only just started limping back to normality following COVID-19 related disruptions.