Asia Briefs: Top trade negotiator named to S. Korea cabinet

Top trade negotiator named to S. Korea cabinet

SEOUL • South Korean President Moon Jae In appointed yesterday a former top envoy who had negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States as his new minister for trade, at a time when Washington is seeking to amend the deal.

Mr Kim Hyun Chong, a US-trained lawyer and an advocate of open trade policy and free trade deals, was instrumental in framing Seoul's negotiating position in the deal for then-president Roh Moo Hyun.


Win in Yokohama offers balm for Abe's LDP

TOKYO • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) avoided an embarrassing defeat yesterday when an ally was re-elected as mayor of Yokohama city.

Mr Abe is planning to reshuffle his Cabinet this week in an effort to boost his sagging support ratings.

Mayor Fumiko Hayashi soundly defeated two opposition candidates, according to local media exit polls.


Zahid takes a dig at Mahathir's 'Indian roots'

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday referred to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Indian ancestry, saying the former premier fought for Malays only to exploit them.

According to news site Malaysiakini, Datuk Seri Zahid said Dr Mahathir was listed in national registration records as "Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty" - a naming convention used by Malaysians of Indian ethnicity.

Claiming that his was not a personal attack, Dr Zahid said he came across the information coincidentally as Home Minister.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe