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Vanished, shot, murdered: Laos activists spooked by spate of incidents
Laotian activists are facing alarming incidents including murder, attempted killing, and disappearances, fueling fears of a governmental crackdown. This wave of incidents has heightened concern within the country's repressed dissident community. Laos, already recognized as one of the world's most repressive states, is set to chair ASEAN next year. Critics suggest these incidents could be an effort to stifle dissent ahead of the international spotlight, demonstrating the limits of dissent in this tightly controlled state.
Myanmar lawyers face harassment, intimidation in junta courts: HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that lawyers representing political detainees in Myanmar's junta-run courts face harassment, intimidation, and even imprisonment. The junta has arrested tens of thousands in a widespread crackdown on dissent since seizing power over two years ago. The military is also accused of manipulating the legal system against opponents, including democracy icons Aung San Suu Kyi and Win Myint. The harassment is forcing many lawyers to cease accepting cases, exacerbating the crisis in the country's justice system.
Singapore High Commissioner apologises to Malaysia, distancing Jocelyn Chia as “no longer Singaporean”
Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon, has apologized for remarks made by comedian Jocelyn Chia about the MH370 tragedy. Chia, a former Singaporean, sparked outrage with her insensitively humorous reference to the tragedy during a performance in New York. Menon condemned the remarks, stressing they did not reflect Singapore's views and were detrimental to the close relationship between Singapore and Malaysia.
Sengkang MP Louis Chua’s “self-invitation” to HDB event, while unelected PAP candidates turn up...
Elected Workers' Party MP for Sengkang GRC, Louis Chua, attended an HDB event in his constituency without a formal invite, raising questions about the exclusion of non-PAP MPs from local initiatives. In contrast, unelected People's Action Party (PAP) figures, including Dr Lam Pin Min and Mr Ling Weihong, actively participated in the event. On 4 June, Mr Chua expressed his surprise on Facebook at not being invited to the event. He stated, "As neither a PA-appointed grassroots adviser nor a grassroots leader, I don’t think I received an invitation from the HDB." Despite this oversight, Mr Chua attended the event as a community member and noted that he had the "great pleasure of connecting informally with many excited residents." Elected WP MPs have not been appointed as advisers to the PA GROs in the same way that PAP MPs— even those who are unelected— have in other constituencies. As a result, they are not permitted to attend events like the Edusave Awards ceremony.
Former VP Pence announces US presidential run
Mike Pence announces his candidacy for the 2024 US presidential election, joining an already crowded field that includes Donald Trump. Pence, known for his loyalty to Trump, faces competition from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump remains the early front runner in polls, despite facing legal challenges.
Australia’s security pacts with Pacific Nations face sovereignty concerns amid China’s growing influence
Australia's bid for security pacts with Pacific neighbors faces obstacles as leaders in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu express concerns over sovereignty. The agreements, aimed at countering China's influence, are being questioned due to perceived imbalances of power and encroachments on sovereign rights. Australia seeks to strengthen ties amidst competition in the region.
HKMO hails landmark ruling for press freedom, calls for greater transparency in China
The Hong Kong Overseas Media (HKMO) celebrates a pivotal legal victory for press freedom, while raising concerns over increasing challenges to information access in Mainland China. HKMO's Chairman underscores the crucial role of free information flow in society.