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Singapore: Chinese people from four countries believe Singapore’s society is the most progressive.

A survey directed towards Chinese living in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore shows that the Chinese in these four locations consider Singapore’s society to be the most progressed.

Singaporean Chinese also believe that Singapore has performed best. After experiencing the General Election in 2015, the satisfaction rate of the government has improved a lot compared to two years ago, from being relatively dissatisfied to very satisfied.

Global Views Monthly in Taiwan, Horizon Research Consultancy Group in Beijing, Public Opinion Program in Hong Kong University and in Singapore conducted this interregional survey between September to October in 2015 through Internet surveys and phone interviews, which collected 807 to 1077 samples in each region.

Taiwanese respondents tend to like Singapore more with up to 67.8% recommending Singapore. In Hong Kong and Mainland China, respectively 59.2% and 54.8% of the respondents think Singapore is the most progressed country.

In contrast, 47.8% of the respondents in Singapore (including citizens and permanent residents) consider Singapore as the most progressed, which is lower than the ratio of the other three regions.

In this survey, China is ranked second following Singapore. 43.5% Singaporeans, 15.3% Taiwanese and 12.1% Hong Kongense believe Mainland China to be most progressed. Although residents in China like Singapore and Hong Kong more, 13.5% of them also consider Mainland China as the most progressed.

Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

Malaysia: Anti-corruption commission to record prime minister’s statement in graft scandal

On December 3, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) met with officials at Prime Minister Najib Razak’s office, investigating Najib who is involved in a graft scandal with 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s subsidiary, SRC International for about MYR$ 2.6 billion (approximately US$ 611.6 million).

MACC claimed that the meeting with the prime minister was to fix an appointment to record Najib’s statement for the graft scandal.

On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi answered in parliament on behalf of Najib. He stressed that the MACC has already confirmed that the money was a political donation from a Middle Eastern benefactor who they had identified.

He pointed out, taking political contributions is normal under the democratic system; any party, including opposition parties, can take contributions.

He also stressed that there is no law regulating political contributions. The deputy prime minister says since the donation matter has become such a big issue, the government has decided to monitor political donations by forming a national consultative council that will take everyone’s opinion into consideration.

Zahid said, the government had intended to draft a law to supervise political contributions, but the opposition parties were against this proposal.

Photo Credit: reuters/達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

Indonesia: Indonesia and Japan will meet to balance China’s forces in the South China Sea

On December 17, the Japanese government will hold a two-plus-two meeting in Tokyo and Indonesia to discuss the South China Sea dispute. The ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs of the two countries will meet, hoping to strengthen their cooperation to balance China’s forces.

Kyodo news service reports, regarding the South China Sea dispute, Indonesia has always respected China. However, Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and China’s Nine-dash line overlap, so Indonesia has gradually gained awareness in China’s maritime activities.

It is understood that Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Gen Nakatani will meet Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi and Defense Minister Ryamirzard Ryacudu on December 17. Both of them will confirm the importance of the international law, and expect to exchange opinions on self-defense forces and military operation.

Kyodo news service reports, Indonesia and Japan will discuss relevant agreements on defense equipment and transfer of skills. It is expected that the highlight will be Japanese US-2 amphibious aircraft, which the Japanese Self-Defense Force uses for maritime search.

Spokesperson of Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry says both countries will discuss regional, global and bilateral issues.

Indonesia and Japan will discuss Japan’s new military policy, which increases Japan’s military participation internationally. Both countries are active contributors to United Nations’ peacekeeping forces.

Indonesia's President Widodo links hands with Japan's PM Abe during the 27th ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur

Translated and compiled by Wen-yee Lee and Eric Wong
Edited by Olivia Yang