Singapore Media Watch

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Regional news roundup - 1 Nov 2006

Asean hails the benefits of friendship with China

HONG KONG: From the announcements of a $25 billion contract to import liquefied natural gas from Malaysia to a $1 billion investment in a Philippines nickel mine, China this week has been flaunting its growing economic and political might with its near neighbors in Asia.

And Southeast Asian leaders, who gathered in China on Monday and Tuesday to mark 15 years of close relations between their region and its economic giant, have been scrambling to secure investment and trade deals, and to praise Beijing's largesse.

The rhetoric of the 10 leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations is that China's rise presents a historic economic opportunity rather than a security threat. Chinese and Southeast Asian leaders at the China- Asean Business and Investment Summit spoke effusively of a relationship based on "mutual trust in politics and economic integration." (Read more...)

Outrage sparked by "Wedding of the Year" video

Burma's wedding of the year took place in July, but it's again the talk of the town—following the release of video footage showing the marriage of Senior Gen Than Shwe's daughter with an army major in a ceremony that has angered many because of its over-the-top opulence, according to the Chiangmai-based Irawaddy magazine.

"People were shocked to see the extravagance of the wedding," said a reporter with a Rangoon local journal. "They're asking themselves where the money came from in a country that ranks as one of the world's poorest."

"People are just outraged," said the editor of a business weekly. Viewers were offended not only by the extravagance of the event, where Thandar Shwe and her bridegroom, Maj Zaw Phyo Win, a deputy director at the Ministry of Commerce, were showered with expensive gifts, including luxury cars, houses and jewellery, but also by its crass lack of good taste.

The total value of the wedding gifts was said to be a staggering US$50 million (Bt1.8 billion). Read more...


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