Asia Briefs: Chinese official concerned about missing HK man

This screen grab shows rare footage of an elephant herd roaming through Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia's biggest forest sanctuary.
This screen grab shows rare footage of an elephant herd roaming through Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia's biggest forest sanctuary.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Chinese official concerned about missing HK man

HONG KONG • A Hong Kong-based Chinese official expressed concern yesterday at the disappearance of one of five missing people linked to a local publisher of books critical of Beijing's leadership, but warned that the investigations were "complicated".

Mr Wang Zhenmin, the new legal affairs chief of Beijing's office in Hong Kong, said Chinese law enforcers could not take action in the city under the "one country, two systems" formula that governs Hong Kong's relations with Beijing.

The five men are thought to have been taken by agents working for China.

"We are very concerned about the legal case... like you," Mr Wang told a university conference, acknowledging Hong Kong government investigations and its formal requests for explanations from Chinese authorities.

"To investigate cases like this is very complicated," he said.


Rare Cambodian elephant clip raises survival hopes

PHNOM PENH • Rare footage of an elephant herd roaming through Cambodia's biggest forest sanctuary signals the success of a 14-year conservation programme and raises hopes for the endangered species' survival, an environment group said yesterday.

The camera footage, taken in the spectacular Cardamom Mountains, shows 12 elephants, including young, grazing and lumbering through the forest.

Only about 250 elephants are believed to be in the Cardamoms, with another population of similar size in eastern Cambodia.

Conservation International (CI) released the clip yesterday. Mr David Emmett, CI senior vice-president for the Asia-Pacific, said the footage, taken a few months ago, was the first time so many elephants had been captured on film in the Cardamoms, which is home to about one-third of Cambodia's endangered and rare species.


Altantuya killer to seek royal pardon

KUALA LUMPUR • Former special action force officer Azilah Hadri is seeking a royal pardon over his conviction for the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Azilah filed his petition for the consideration of the Selangor Sultan, his lawyer Hazman Ahmad confirmed to The Star.

Mr Hazman said a copy of the petition had been handed to the ruler's secretary yesterday morning.

He said a copy would also be handed to the Attorney-General and Selangor Mentri Besar.

"It will be heard by the Selangor pardon's board chaired by the Selangor Sultan," he added.

Ms Altantuya was murdered on Oct 18, 2006, and her remains were found in a forest near Puncak Alam, Shah Alam. Azilah and another police commando, Sirul Azhar Umar, were found guilty of the crime and handed the death sentence.


Two-day-old baby's kidneys used in transplant in China

CHANGSHA (China) • The kidneys of a two-day-old baby have been successfully transplanted into a girl dying of chronic renal failure, making the infant the youngest organ donor in China.

The baby had died from anoxic encephalopathy (when brain tissue is deprived of oxygen), neonatal asphyxia (a condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen to a newborn) and a lung infection. Her parents had decided to donate her kidneys to "let her stay in the world in another way".

Doctors from the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University were able to transplant the kidneys, less than 4cm-long, into a girl in Hunan province. She has had kidney disease since she was a toddler, which affected her development.

"I am very happy and want to go to school," the nine-year-old said after the operation. The kidneys will continue to grow over the next three months, said the doctor who led the operation.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2016, with the headline 'AsiaBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe