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Indonesia resumes multiple entry visa

With this visa, business people and foreign tourists are allowed to travel to Indonesia many times a year without re-applying for a visa…reports Asian Lite News

Indonesia has relaunched the multiple entry visa which was deactivated amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a top official said on Monday.

“With this visa, business people and foreign tourists are allowed to travel to Indonesia many times a year without re-applying for a visa,” Xinhua news agency quoted Acting Director General of Immigration Widodo Ekatjahjana as saying.

Every time they visit Indonesia, they can stay for a maximum of 60 days, he added.

Holders of this visa are allowed to enter and leave Indonesia in Riau Islands province and they are free to visit other areas in this Southeast Asian country during the stay.

ALSO READ: Indian, Indonesian troops engage in joint military exercise

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Cost of living: Malaysian PM eyes targeted subsidies

Anwar said while he is not against the use of subsidies, they had to be implemented effectively to assist those who are most in need of them…reports Asian Lite News

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced on Sunday that his government will review its use of subsidies to better help those most in need.

The previous approach of broad subsidies has not been able to effectively address the cost of living problems, especially among low-income and poor Malaysians, he told a press conference after chairing a special meeting by the national action council on the cost of living with government departments and agencies.

“I will give two weeks (to the relevant bodies) to evaluate all the implications of targeted subsidies and discuss with the private sector as well as investors, so that all involved will understand that the purpose of subsidies is to ease the burden of the poor,” he said.

Anwar said while he is not against the use of subsidies, they had to be implemented effectively to assist those who are most in need of them, Xinhua News Agency reported.

On a separate matter, Anwar said he will not continue the past practice of using ministerial appointments to reward political supporters but will instead ensure a smaller cabinet made up of well-qualified people who will be able to effectively implement his policies.

“I want ministers who will support me based on my policies and are also committed to good governance, anti-corruption, and economic recovery,” he said.

Anwar was sworn in on November 24 and has yet to form his cabinet, with discussions going on between his Pakatan Harapan coalition and various other political blocs that make up his unity government.

ALSO READ: New Malaysian PM sets priorities, cost of living tops list

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New Malaysian PM sets priorities, cost of living tops list

In his first press conference, Anwar urged government agencies to conduct detailed discussions and take immediate action to ease the burden of rising prices…reports Asian Lite News

Newly-elected Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on Friday that his government will prioritise dealing with the cost of living to ease the burden on the people.

In his first press conference after clocking in for the job, Anwar said he has asked the relevant government agencies to conduct detailed discussions and take immediate action to ease the burden of rising prices on the people, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I have asked for more detailed discussions and immediate action to reduce the impact of the cost of living. I have asked the relevant agencies to meet as soon as this weekend or the coming Monday (November 28),” he said.

On the stability of the government, Anwar said the group of parties from the northern Borneo state of Sabah have officially joined with his unity government and this has pushed the total number of members of parliament in his government to two-thirds.

He also said he would reduce the size of his government’s cabinet to improve efficiency and as a sign of solidarity with the people, he has asked that they will accept lower pay.

“This is still under discussion and I hope to resolve it as soon as possible,” Ibrahim said, adding that he would also hold discussions with the various components of his coalition on deciding the candidates to be appointed ministers.

ALSO READ: Anwar Ibrahim named new Malaysian PM

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Anwar Ibrahim named new Malaysian PM

The announcement regarding Malaysia’s Prime Minister comes after the majority of parties agreed to King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah’s proposal for a unity government….reports Asian Lite News

Malaysia’s King has named Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s new Prime Minister. The Palace in a statement announced that the decision was taken after King held discussions with other rulers in a special meeting of the nation’s nine state monarchs, The Straits Times reported.

Anwar Ibrahim will be sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister on Thursday at 5 pm (local time). Royal Comptroller Fadli Shamsuddin in a statement said, “After going through the views of the Malay rulers, His Majesty has consented to appoint Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister,” according to The Straits Times report.

Ibrahim’s rise to the post of Malaysia’s Prime Minister comes after he was sacked as deputy premier in 1998 amid allegations of sodomy and abuse of power. The new government in Malaysia is set to be formed in Malaysia, five days after a general election.

Anwar Ibrahim

The announcement regarding Malaysia’s Prime Minister comes after the majority of parties agreed to King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah’s proposal for a unity government. The development comes as Parti Keadilan Rakyat President Anwar Ibrahim and his rival Perikatan Nasional (PN) chief Muhyiddin Yassin were not on the same page and were unable to gather the support of 112 MPs required for a majority in the legislature, according to the news report.

On Thursday, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party expressed readiness to become part of a unity government, taking a different stance from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s previous position of remaining in opposition. Other political parties in Malaysia also took the stance taken by UMNO. On Thursday, PN also announced that it would consider unity government discussions with like-minded political parties. (ANI)

ALSO READ: No clear winner in Malaysia elections

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ASEAN parliament chiefs gather in Cambodia

Addressing the opening event, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the world continues confronting with many challenges, including geo-political rivalries…reports Asian Lite News

Parliament leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met here on Monday to discuss ways to help promote a sustainable, inclusive and resilient region.

In a message to the opening ceremony of the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (43rd AIPA), Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni said inter-parliamentary diplomacy, partnership and cooperation are crucial to contribute to promoting long-lasting peace and prosperity in the region, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The gathering of the 43rd General Assembly of AIPA this week reflects a true spirit of solidarity, unity and commitment to overcoming the current challenges to achieve a more peaceful and prosperous future for our region,” the monarch said.

“To attain that future, we must ensure that national and regional development efforts are well aligned with the concepts of sustainability, inclusiveness and resilience,” he added.

Addressing the opening event, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the world continues confronting with many challenges, including geo-political rivalries, war, trade and economic polarization, climate change and natural disasters.

Hun Sen said the 43rd AIPA provides an opportunity for participating delegates to join discussions on a wide range of topics with the common objective of strengthening cooperation into a unity and identifying policy recommendations for the interests of people in the region.

Cambodian National Assembly President Heng Samrin said the gathering reflected a strong spirit of solidarity, friendship and close cooperation among the ASEAN parliaments amid obstacles and challenges faced by the region.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

ALSO READ: Rajnath to attend ASEAN defence ministers meet

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Rajnath to attend ASEAN defence ministers meet

During the talks, Rajnath Singh will discuss defence cooperation matters and ways to further strengthen the mutually beneficial engagements…reports Asian Lite News

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be on a two-day visit to Cambodia, beginning November 23, to attend the ninth ASEAN Defence Ministers Plus (ADMM Plus) meeting and hold bilateral talks.

Singh will be visiting Cambodia at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Cambodia Samdech Pichey Sena TEA Banh, the Defence Ministry said.

Singh is scheduled to address the forum on November 23 and also call on the Cambodian Prime Minister, said a defence ministry official.

According to the defence ministry, apart from the ADMM-Plus meeting and India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, Singh is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with Defence Ministers of the participating countries.

During the talks, Rajnath Singh will discuss defence cooperation matters and ways to further strengthen the mutually beneficial engagements.

To commemorate 30 years of India-ASEAN relations, India and Cambodia will co-chair the maiden India-ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting on November 22, presided over by Singh.

Various initiatives to boost India-ASEAN partnership are planned to be announced during the meeting, the official added.

India became the dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992 and the inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 12, 2010. Since 2017, ADMM-Plus Ministers have been meeting annually to further the dialogue and cooperation amongst ASEAN and the Plus countries. India and ASEAN have elevated their relationship to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in November 2022.

On the other hand, to strengthen the defence ties, the US Secretary of Navy, Carlos Del is on a five day visit to India till November 21 to meet Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar and other senior officials.

The Navy said that he is interacting with the Chief of the Naval Staff and high ranking government of India officials in New Delhi.

Carlos Del Toro is scheduled to visit Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command at Kochi, wherein he would interact with the Commander-in-Chief and visit India’s first indigenous Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard.

ALSO READ-ASEAN summits conclude, stress on post-pandemic recovery

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No clear winner in Malaysia elections

Of the major political coalitions contesting the 220 seats in the lower house of the parliament, Pakatan Harapan won 82…reports Asian Lite News

No single party or political coalition gained simple majority in Malaysia’s 15th general election, according to the results released early Sunday on the website of the country’s election commission (EC).

Of the major political coalitions contesting the 220 seats in the lower house of the parliament, Pakatan Harapan won 82, Perikatan Nasional won 73, Barisan Nasional won 30, and GPS, the group of parties from the northern Borneo state of Sarawak, won 22, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the EC.

As of 4:30 a.m. local time, one seat in the northern Borneo state of Sabah has yet to be tallied.

The rest of the 220 seats were won by smaller groups and independent candidates.

The lower house of the parliament has 222 seats and the voting for the remaining two seats have been postponed, one due to the sudden death of a candidate and another over flooding which disrupted the voting.

ALSO READ: ‘Malaysia pays special attention to Indian community’

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UAE & Indonesia partner on climate action, infra development

The agreements included an MoU between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Kilang Pertamina Internasional on cooperating in the petrochemical sector…reports Asian Lite News

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia have witnessed the announcement of numerous Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements that aim to strengthen economic, environmental and technological cooperation between the two countries.

The agreements – announced at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre in Bali – included an MoU on the partnership between the two countries on climate action to prepare for COP28, as well as several MoUs on their cooperation in the areas of the environment and climate change, infrastructure development and artificial intelligence (AI).

They also included an MoU in the area of cybersecurity, an agreement on the mutual recognition of economic accreditations, as well as a grant agreement on financing a tuberculosis control programme in Indonesia.

The agreements included an MoU between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Kilang Pertamina Internasional on cooperating in the petrochemical sector; an MoU between Borouge and Chandra Asri Petrochemical on the circular economy and the development of new applications; a joint development agreement between Inalum and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA); and an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Pertamina Power Indonesia on developing a solar power plant in the Rokan Block.

They also included an MoU between Masdar, the Indonesian Investment Authority and Pertamina Power Indonesia on renewable energy and storage; a collaboration agreement on healthcare performance analytics between ASAREN Indonesia and G42 in the area of AI; and an MoU on national genome initiatives between ASAREN Indonesia and G42 Healthcare.

Meeting with biz leaders, officials

President Sheikh Mohamed also met a number of Emirati and Indonesian officials and business leaders taking part in the B20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. He was accompanied by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia.

The Business 20 (B20) forum takes place around the G20 Summit and is tasked with formulating policy recommendations that are then delivered to the G20 Presidency.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and the attendees discussed the strong bilateral relations that exist between the UAE and Indonesia, and the various incentives for attracting further investment and facilitating collaboration.

ALSO READ: US says UAE is a committed partner for climate actions

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ASEAN summits conclude, stress on post-pandemic recovery

On Friday, the ASEAN leaders agreed in principle to admit Timor-Leste as the 11th ASEAN member…reports Asian Lite News

The 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in Cambodia concluded on Sunday, achieving fruitful results for greater regional cooperation towards post Covid pandemic socio-economic recovery.

“Within these four days, we have had a comprehensive and productive discussion on the way forward to strengthen ASEAN centrality and our value in relation with our external partners, particularly at a time when the world is facing the fast evolving complex regional and international issue,” Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said at the closing ceremony of the four-day summits.

A total of 70 outcome documents and declarations covering the three pillars of ASEAN communities were adopted and noted at the summits, with various cooperation frameworks with dialogue partners endorsed, said Hun Sen, Xinhua News Agency reported.

For the ASEAN community building, the summits adopted the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the 55th Anniversary of ASEAN, the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together, and the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda, he said.

On Friday, the ASEAN leaders agreed in principle to admit Timor-Leste as the 11th ASEAN member, according to an ASEAN leaders’ statement.

“I would like to stress that ASEAN centrality is the primarily driving force for substantive dialogue and collaboration with our external partners through various ASEAN-led mechanisms,” Hun Sen said.

At the closing ceremony, Hun Sen handed over the gavel of the ASEAN Chair to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

ALSO READ: ASEAN, India elevate ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

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ASEAN, India elevate ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year…reports Asian Lite News

Announcing their decision to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Indian and ASEAN on Saturday resolved to enhance their cooperation against terrorism.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar represented India and addressed the 19th ASEAN-India Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Summit saw discussions on further strengthening of the India-ASEAN Partnership and Vice President Dhankhar “underlined the potential of our partnership in new and emerging areas. Reiterated India’s support to ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

During the Summit, ASEAN and India also announced elevation of the existing Strategic Partnership to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year.

The Joint Statement issued after the Summit highlighted their resolve to “Enhance cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs and human trafficking, and arms smuggling; and in military medicine while reaffirming that it plays an important role and offers to ensure health security in the region”.

India, ASEAN nations to strengthen relations over post-covid recovery, commerce and connectivity.(photo:IN)

At the Summit, the ASEAN member states and India so sought to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity by establishing new dialogue platforms between India and the 10-member bloc.

The Joint Statement noted that both the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) share relevant fundamental principles in promoting peace and cooperation as outlined in the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP for Peace, Stability and Prosperity in the Region adopted at the 18th ASEAN-India Summit in 2021.

On November 13, Vice President Dhankhar will participate in the 17th East Asia Summit which comprises the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and its eight dialogue partners — India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.

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