Asia Briefs: Masagos in Medan, Batam for SG50 events

Masagos in Medan, Batam for SG50 events

Singapore's Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Masagos Zulkifli visited Medan and Batam to attend the receptions held by the Republic's consulates to commemorate Singapore's 50th National Day , said a press statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.

During his visit on Tuesday to Medan, Mr Masagos, who is also Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, met Vice-Governor Erry Nuradi and re-affirmed the warm relations between Singapore and North Sumatra. They also discussed ways to expand economic cooperation.

In Batam yesterday, Mr Masagos met Riau Islands (Kepri) leaders, including Speaker of the Kepri Regional Legislative Council Jumaga Nadeak, and also officiated the opening of the Batam Singapore Community Club, which has about 150 members.

It was founded in conjunction with the SG50 celebrations by Singaporeans living in Batam as a place for them to socialise.

Flak over Jakarta plan to gag president's critics

JAKARTA • Indonesian legislators and human rights activists yesterday criticised a government proposal to make insulting the president illegal, citing concern for freedom of speech.

The proposal aims to revive a law from the era of former ruler Suharto used to silence dissidents with jail sentences and fines. If passed, critics say the law will further erode the sliding popularity of President Joko Widodo.


Homicide suspected in left-behind kids' deaths

•BEIJING • Two children were killed in a suspected homicide, the authorities said, the latest incident in Guizhou to befall "left behind" children, whose parents seek employment far from home.

A 15-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother were found dead on Tuesday at their home in a village near Bijie, the same area of Guizhou province where four "left behind" children died in June after drinking pesticide, the county government said in a statement posted online on Tuesday.

In many rural parts of China, children are left in villages to be looked after by grandparents or other relatives while their parents seek work in the booming cities.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2015, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: Masagos in Medan, Batam for SG50 events'. Print Edition | Subscribe