Thursday, 12 February 2015 15:44

A safer Internet needs better governance

BEIJING, Feb 10 - As the world marked Safer Internet Day 2015 on Tuesday, which aims to promote safer and more responsible use of digital technology for children and young people, China was concerned about Internet safety in a broader sense.

China had 648 million Internet users by the end of 2014 and more than 70 percent were worried by Internet security.

Besides the safety of computers, servers and online content, cyber security includes the safety of national interests.

China has been the target of cyber attacks, over 10,000 Chinese websites are maliciously tampered every month and 80 percent of the government's websites have been hacked, according to Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

IT development globally is uneven, which means some less-digitally developed countries are at risk of being controlled by more sophisticated nations.

Mass surveillance by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) on governments and individuals disclosed since June 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that cyberspace also has boundaries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also heads the central Internet security and informatization leading group, told a meeting in February 2014 that "no Internet safety means no national security".

Countries should respect for each other's sovereignty in cyberspace; all countries have the right and power to exercise jurisdiction over information facilities and activities within their own territories, and to enforce their own policies.

When governments regulate the Internet within their boundaries, they should act in line with laws and regulations, which is what China has been doing.

As the flow of information is border-free and cyber security is a common challenge faced across the globe, shared governance should also be advocated globally, just like this year's slogan for the Safer Internet Day -- "Let's create a better Internet together." (Xinhua)

Thursday, 12 February 2015 15:44

S. Korea to discuss safety of citizens overseas

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to hold a meeting of government bodies this week to discuss ways to better protect its citizens overseas after a number of South Koreans were killed abroad, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul will preside over the meeting of officials from the national safety, justice and national defense ministries as well as the police and food safety agencies on Wednesday, ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said in a briefing.

The officials plan to discuss how to better facilitate collaboration among the government bodies to step up efforts to protect South Koreans staying in foreign countries, the official said.

In the Wednesday meeting, they will touch upon last December's deadly sinking of a South Korean fishing vessel, the murder of a South Korean woman in the Philippines as well as the safety of South Korean citizens in unstable regions in the Middle East, the spokesman added.

The pollack-fishing Oryong 501 carrying 60 crew sank in the western Bering Sea on Dec. 1, leaving more than 50 crewmen killed or missing.

One South Korean woman was murdered by a robber in Manila, the Philippines, earlier this week, further sparking safety concerns on South Koreans in the Southeast Asian country.

A total of four South Koreans have been killed in the Philippines so far in 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's conviction and five years' jail sentence for sodomy means that he can be disqualified as a member of parliament (MP).

The Federal Court today upheld the Court of Appeal's decision to convict and condemn Anwar to jail for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

This is the second time that Anwar can be disqualified as MP after he was found guilty sentenced to six years' jail for corruption on April 14, 1999.

Article 48 (1) (e) of the Federal Constitution states that an MP can be disqualified if he is jailed for more than one year and fined more than RM2,000.

The Federal Court today rejected Anway's appeal to set aside the Court of Appeal's conviction and five years' jail sentence passed on March 7, 2014.

He was charged with sodomising Mohd Saiful,29, at Unit 11-5-1 Kondominium Desa Damansara in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.10 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26 2008.

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria lead a five-member panel comprising the Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali.

Anwar,66, of Cherok Tok Kun, Bukit Mertajam, Penang first contested the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in the 1982 general election.

Representing the Barisan Nasional (BN), Anwar easily beat Zabidi Ali of PAS with a 14,352 majority vote.

He retained the seat in the following general elections until he was jailed six years' on April 14, 1999 for corruption and was disqualified.

The Permatang seat was then contested and won by his wife, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the general election on Nov 10, 1999.

Wan Azizah continued to defend the seat until her resignation on July 31, 2008 to make way for Anwar to contest the seat in a by-election in Aug 2008.

Anwar won the seat by beating Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah (BN) with a majority of 15,671 votes. (BERNAMA)

BANGKOK, Feb 10 - Thailand’s government and its National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has not infringed on the rights of any individual summoned for attitudinal discussions, said Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda.

He also said that the martial law was enforced only to the necessary extent as the new constitution was being drafted to pave the way for the next general election.

Gen Anupong responded to the statement of Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, who said he was concerned by soldiers’ efforts to expand their detention authority.

The minister said that depended on different perspectives but that and the NCPO did not violate people’s rights. It took action only to ensure national peace and order.

“I assert that soldiers are not increasing their own power,' he said. "They have not issued any additional regulation and martial law is exercised only when it is necessary,” the interior minister said.

“The demonstration against the prime minister in Japan showed different opinions that we must listen to, but the overall situation in the country must be considered too,”  he added.

Gen Anupong said that all Thai people hoped for true democracy and said that it was not different from the demand of the United States. He said that the democracy would have to be sustainable and have legal foundations.

The new constitution would lead to an election and true democracy, he said.

The interior minister said that the NCPO and the government were determined to follow their national reform roadmap to introduce true democracy in Thailand.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:23

UNIDO praises Thailand on industrial investment

Li Yong, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), last week met with Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula and praised the Thai government on its attempts to improve the industrial sector and promotional privileges offered by the government’s Board of Investment (BoI).

Pridiyathorn told journalists later that talks with Li, a former deputy finance minister in China, focused on how to further develop Thailand’s industrial sector, and the BoI’s promotional privileges given to industrial factories which help in conservation of environment and energy.

He said Li told him that the UN felt comfortable that Thailand was going in the right direction, especially on the country’s assistance to neighboring countries to also grow by investing in those nations.

Assuring Li that Thailand’s economy would grow, Pridiyathorn said he had also told him that about 1,800 new factories would be established in Thailand in the next 4-5 months while some 2,400 had already been opened.

Besides creating new jobs, combined investment of new factories would total about Bt450 billion.

But problems remain in Thailand’s exports as key importers, including the US and European countries, are confronted with a sluggish economy, he told Li.

He also briefed Li on a proposal by the Chinese government to the Thai administration to jointly seek loans from the Export-Import Bank of China to fund the dual rail track for 873 kilometers in the kingdom, in which the interest rate is reportedly higher than that offered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in the past.

Pridiyathorn said loans which would be funded on the project are “not a problem” because the government could borrow from local financial institutions.

The important point lies in verifying the actual cost, he added.

BANGKOK, Feb 9 - Thai authorities have arrested drug trafficking suspects in the South with methamphetamine pills and heroin worth more than Bt40 million. 

BANGKOK, Feb 9 - The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has projected that only some Bt3.5 billion would change hands during the upcoming Valentine's Day, up by only 4.52 per cent from the previous year, the slowest growth rate in 9 years.

BANGKOK, Feb 10 - South Korea has decided to lift its 11-year ban on importing frozen chicken from Thailand, a move which is expected to push chicken exports of the country to grow by 6-7 per cent this year.

BANGKOK, Feb 9 - National flag carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) confirms that it has cancelled some flights to European destinations in line with its two-year strategic corporate restructuring programme.

BANGKOK, Feb 9 - Thailand is expected to export more chicken this year following outbreaks of bird flu in several countries since late last year, according to a report issued by Kasikorn Research Centre.

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