Asia Briefs: Hun Sen targets workers with charm offensive

Mr Hun Sen taking a wefie with workers at a factory compound on the outskirts of Phnom Penh yesterday.
Mr Hun Sen taking a wefie with workers at a factory compound on the outskirts of Phnom Penh yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Hun Sen targets workers with charm offensive

PHNOM PENH • Cambodia's strongman premier handed out cash to hundreds of pregnant garment factory workers yesterday, launching a policy charm offensive on an industry that has often clashed with his government over working conditions and pay.

Mr Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than three decades, faces a key test at national elections next year with the main opposition party gaining in popularity amid mounting anger over corruption and inequality. During a speech to more than 10,000 garment workers, he announced a raft of new benefits for employees, including a commitment to annual pay rises.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 


S.Korea's fertility rate falls to seven-year low

SEOUL • South Korea's fertility rate plunged to a seven-year low last year, official statistics showed yesterday, with more women delaying marriage in the highly competitive, workaholic country.

The average number of babies a South Korean woman is expected to have in her lifetime dropped to 1.17 last year, down 5.4 per cent from 2015 and the lowest in the OECD group of advanced countries, Statistics Korea said.

The figures come as Asia's fourth-largest economy faces a worrying demographic shift with young, working-age South Koreans decreasing in numbers and the elderly population burgeoning.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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