CNRP to contest Cambodia election
PHNOM PENH• • Cambodia's main opposition party said yesterday that it would stand in next year's election despite the treason charges against its leader and a threat by Prime Minister Hun Sen that it could be dissolved.
Mr Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has ruled for more than 30 years, said on Monday that the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) would be dissolved if it continues to back its detained leader Kem Sokha.
Kem Sokha was arrested on Sept 3, and has been charged with treason over an alleged plot to gain power with support from the United States. He is the only serious election rival to Mr Hun Sen, who is one of China's closest allies in South-east Asia.
$27 budget for rights body in Philippines
MANILA • Philippine lawmakers allied with President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday voted to allocate an annual budget of just 1,000 pesos (S$27) to the Commission on Human Rights, a public body investigating Mr Duterte's bloody war on drugs.
About 119 of the 151 Lower House members present supported the move to dramatically cut the budget, in what critics of the anti-drugs campaign call retaliation for the agency's criticism of Mr Duterte, and its efforts to investigate thousands of killings over the past 15 months.
Japanese couple murdered in Bali
DENPASAR• • Indonesian police have launched a murder investigation into the deaths of an elderly Japanese couple whose bodies were found burned beyond recognition on the holiday island of Bali.
The scorched corpses of Mr Nurio Matsuba, 76, and his 73-year-old wife Hiroko were discovered on Sept 4 by their Indonesian foster son in Jimbaran, a fishing village and resort area in southern Bali.
The couple had lived in Bali for seven years and the husband was a broker in a tuna export company.
Investigators are looking for more than one suspect and have interviewed 42 witnesses so far, ranging from family to business associates, police said.
They have yet to establish a motive for the murders.