News: Asia

Asean human-rights body — taking the next step

07 April 2008

Kavi Chongkittavorn
The Nation

In the months, if not years, to come, human rights will become a do-or-die topic that could split Asean, if it hasn't done so already.

While civil society organisations in Asean are unhappy with the charter, they think the drafting of the terms of reference (TOR) to set up the Asean human-rights body will enable them to have their voices heard this time. They have also become more realistic working with ... Read more »

Malaysia ushers in democracy

21 March 2008

Marwaan Macan-Markar

Following last weekend's general elections, Malaysia finds itself firmly among South-east Asia's promising democracies that afford space for strong opposition voices to rein in their governments.

The impressive showing of the opposition parties at Saturday's poll saw the ruling National Front (NF) coalition (or Barisan Nasional), lose its dominant grip on power after 40 years. Opposition lawmake ... Read more »

Malaysia's political landscape shifts

09 March 2008

9 Mar 08

Malaysians awoke on Sunday to the biggest sea-change in politics in almost 40 years, with opposition Islamists and reformists winning control of five states and giving the government a humiliating wake-up call.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's multi-racial National Front coalition won just a simple majority in parliament, and his future as leader is in doubt after he watched a record majority collapse to the weakest level ever.

His predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, urged him to quit.

"He should accept resp ... Read more »

AI: An open letter to ASEAN Foreign Ministers

19 February 2008

Amnesty International
20 Feb 08

Your Excellencies,

Amnesty International would like to take the opportunity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Retreat, being held in Singapore on 19-20 February, to call for the timely establishment of an effective and independent human rights body in the ASEAN region.

Amnesty International has welcomed the inclusion of a commitment to the realization of human rights in the ASEAN Charter, which was signed at the 13th ASEAN summit in November 2007. The organisation ... Read more »

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