ASEAN Roundup: October 09 - 15, 2017

In this picture taken on October 22, 2017 shows a Myanmar refugee woman being treated at the operation theatre at the Red Cross clinic in Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia. (AFP Photo/Tauseef Mustafa)


Military forces were being mobilised across the region due to the rise of conflicts and insurgents. In Myanmar, the army continued to deny the severity of its actions which drove over half a million of Rohingya Muslims out of their home in northern Rakhine state and into refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Up north, USA's navy force will be conducting a military drill with its South Korean counterpart as a show of force against North Korea's nuclear threats. Not to be outdone, the communist state is believed to be preparing to launch its ballistic missile ahead of the joint navy drill. However, experts believe that the Southeast Asian region is not imminently threatened by the conflict in North Korea.

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – three of the six largest economies in Southeast Asia – will also begin coordinated air patrols off the strife-torn southern Philippines next month to combat the growing threat posed by Islamist militants. Similarly, the Philippine army targets to end the ongoing battle with Islamist militants in Marawi soon. The archipelagic nation renewed its push against the militants today through its air and land units.

In this photograph taken on September 25, 2017, Rohingya Muslim refugees wait to be treated at the Sadar Hospital in the Bangladeshi town of Cox's Bazar. (AFP Photo/Dominique Faget)


This week, Mother Nature turned her wrath towards Vietnam where heavy rains caused severe floods and landslides in north and central Vietnam. Already been hit by severe rain and storms this year, Vietnam continued to be pounded by the deluge, which destroyed thousands of properties and wiped out swathes of farmland. Outside of Hanoi, part of a river dyke collapsed and flooded its nearby communities.

Separately, Malaysia is currently dealing with an environmental crisis of its own. The nation's capital city – Kuala Lumpur – is at risk of losing one of its most important green lungs in the city. The Taman Rimba Kiara is expected to make way for a mixed development project.

Kindergarten students gather in a group at the Taman Rimba Kiara on October 12, 2017 in Taman Tun Dr Ismail on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (The ASEAN Post/Shenntyara Mirtha)


The issue of taxation has risen multiple time this week, particularly in the Philippines where President Rodrigo Duterte is cracking down on tax evaders. At the same time, Duterte aims to stimulate the nation's retail sector through his tax reform plan. Duterte is under pressure to sustain growth above six percent to maintain investor confidence amid a weakening currency. The Philippines also needs billions of pesos to rebuild Marawi City in the south


The ASEAN Post also covered topics such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, mental health issues, AirAsia's expansion plans amid growing competition, the 15th anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombings, the freedom of religion, child protection, the ongoing destruction of Cambodia's democracy, South Korean President's visit to Southeast Asia, the monarchs in ASEAN nations as well as the comparison between ASEAN and the EU.