- South Korea starts construction of space centre [Channel News Asia]
Asia’s space race is heating up with China’s latest launch of its first lunar orbiter. And neighbouring South Korea is working hard to catch up.
- Malaysian police officer denies illegally amassing US$8m in assets [Channel News Asia]
The head of Malaysia’s Commercial Crimes Investigation Division has denied allegations that he illegally amassed more than US$8 million in assets.
- India rediscovers East Asia [Asia Times]
The visit of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to India in August; India’s multi-nation military exercise with the navies of Australia, Japan, Singapore and the United States in September following the trilateral naval exercises with Japan and the United States in April; and the planned visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China following China’s and India’s first joint counter-terrorism training in November were all events confirming that India’s “Look East” policy is in full swing.
- Thailand heads for straitjacket elections [Asia Times]
The first parliamentary election to be held in Thailand since last year’s military coup is generating excitement for all the wrong reasons. Political parties, the media and analysts are up in arms over a raft of restrictions imposed last week on candidates in the run-up to the December 23 poll.
- Indonesian President Releases Music Album [Asian Offbeat]
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has released his first music album, a collection of love ballads and religious songs he wrote, state media said. The album, entitled “My Longing for You”, contains 10 songs written by Yudhoyono after he became president in 2004 and features some of the country’s popular singers, Antara news agency said.
- Tajikistan – Expect the unexpected from the President [Eurasianet.org]
Locals cynically call him “papa,” or praise him as their “king.” Some expats, meanwhile, call him “big head.” Whatever the moniker applied to him these days, Tajik President Imomali Rahmon is showing himself to be a man full of surprises.
Photo of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono from Asian Offbeat