From the category archives:


ASEAN Collaboration- Capturing Mas Selamat bin Kastari

Have a nice day Mas
Photo by micamonkey
Do you still remember the greatest escape happened in Singapore some time back? Escaping from Singapore high security detention centre is indeed shocking to many but he is caught. According to government, the alleged leader of an Islamic militant group accused of plotting to crash an airliner in Singapore has been arrested in Malaysia after more than a year on the run (AFP).

Talking about collaboration in ASEAN, Malaysia and Singapore did a great job.

To read more:

- Lina

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ASEAN is H1N1 free

by lina on May 7, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

ASEAN is H1N1 free

Luck is on our side. As of today, Asean is still free from the influenza A virus. With pass experiences, we have taken stringent surveillance at airports and borders, stopping any possible H1N1 carrier from spreading to their nations.

CCTV Opinion: How Safe Do You Feel?
Photo by Dr John2005
Taking Singapore for example, 29 suspected cases were found and were all tested negative.

The other regions are not as luckily, Mexico has reported 942 infected cases, including 29 deaths, while USA has 642 cases and two deaths.

I hope our region can stay clear as long as possible.


History of the Human Flu

by jason on May 2, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

Human Flu Pandemics are common after all and it all started in 1918. Asia seems to be the cause of flu pandemics. swine flu
Photo by mugley

Let us review this:


Major pandemic icon Pandemic
“Spanish flu” H1N1
The most devastating flu pandemic in recent history, killing more than 500,000 people in the United States, and 20 million to 50 million people worldwide.


Major pandemic icon Pandemic
“Asian flu” H2N2
First identified in China, this virus caused roughly 70,000 deaths in the United States during the 1957-58 season. Because this strain has not circulated in humans since 1968, no one under 30 years old has immunity to this strain.


Major pandemic icon Pandemic
“Hong Kong flu” H3N2
First detected in Hong Kong, this virus caused roughly 34,000 deaths in the United States during the 1968-69 season. H3N2 viruses still circulate today.


Four soldiers in a US army base in New Jersey are infected with swine influenza, resulting in one death.


New influenza strain icon Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
“Russian flu” H1N1
Isolated in northern China, this virus was similar to the virus that spread before 1957. For this reason, individuals born before 1957 were generally protected; however children and young adults born after that year were not because they had no prior immunity.


New influenza strain icon Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
The first time an influenza virus was found to be transmitted directly from birds to people, with infections linked to exposure to poultry markets. Eighteen people in Hong Kong were hospitalized, six of whom died.


New influenza strain icon Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Appeared for the first time in humans. It caused illness in two children in Hong Kong, with poultry being the probable source.


New influenza strain icon Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Evidence of infection is found in one person in Virginia following a poultry outbreak.


New influenza strain icon Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Caused two Hong Kong family members to be hospitalized after a visit to China, killing one of them, a 33-year-old man. (A third family member died while in China of an undiagnosed respiratory illness.)

In the first reported cases of this strain in humans, 89 people in the Netherlands, most of whom were poultry workers, became ill with eye infections or flu-like symptoms. A veterinarian who visited one of the affected poultry farms died.

Caused a person to be hospitalized in New York.

Caused illness in one child in Hong Kong.


New influenza strain icon Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Caused illness in 47 people in Thailand and Vietnam, 34 of whom died. Researchers are especially concerned because this flu strain, which is quite deadly, is becoming endemic in Asia.

Is reported for the first time in humans. The strain caused illness in two poultry workers in Canada.

Is reported for the first time in humans. It caused illness in two infants in Egypt. One child’s father is a poultry merchant.

The first case of human infection with H5N1 arises in Cambodia in February. By May, WHO reports 4 Cambodian cases, all fatal. Indonesia reports its first case, which is fatal, in July. Over the next three months, 7 cases of laboratory-confirmed H5N1 infection in Indonesia, and 4 deaths, occur.

On December 30, WHO reports a cumulative total of 142 laboratory-confirmed cases of H5N1 infection worldwide, all in Asia, with 74 deaths. Asian countries in which human infection with H5N1 has been detected: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and China.

In early January, two human cases of H5N1 infection, both fatal, are reported in rural areas of Eastern Turkey, while cases in China continues to spread. As of January 25, China reports a total of 10 cases, with 7 deaths. On January 30, Iraq reports its first case of human H5N1 infection, which was fatal, to the WHO.

In March, the WHO confirmed seven cases of human H5N1 infection, and five deaths, in Azerbaijan. In April, WHO confirmed four cases of human H5N1 infection, and two fatalities, in Egypt.

In May, the WHO confirmed a case of human H5N1 infection in the African nation of Djibouti. This was the first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout 2006, 115 human cases of H5N1 infection occur, with 79 deaths.

In early January, two human cases of H5N1 are confirmed in Indonesia. By the end of 2007, 88 confirmed cases occur in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam, with 59 deaths.

In May, four cases of H7N7 avian influenza were confirmed in the United Kingdom among individuals exposed to infected poultry.


On May 28, Bangladesh reports its first case of human H5N1 infection to the WHO. By the end of the year, 40 cases are confirmed in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam.

On January 7, Indonesia confirmed a new case of human infection with H5N1 influenza. Since that time, new cases have been identified in Egypt, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
New influenza strain iconAppearance of a new influenza strain in humans

In April, human infection with a new strain of H1N1 influenza is confirmed in Mexico. Within weeks, human infections spread to the United States and cases begin occurring in other regions around the world.

I hope the doctors can find a cure soon.

Swine Flu Prevention tips from ASEAN

by lina on May 1, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

Being an ASEAN citizen, we have gone through SARS and Bird Flu, we should share our knowledge with the rest of the world.

[snag from Stern] Masked policeman
Photo by Quiplash!
The ASEAN Secretariat Working Group for One Health came up with ten precautionary measures to prevent any type of influenza or any respiratory illness now capable of spreading from person-to-person from hitting

1. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water many times of the day and then drying your hands after washing should do the trick. However, when water is not available, the use of alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers will be enough.

2. Touching eyes, nose or mouth may be bad practice. Influenza viruses are often spread when a person touches surfaces that are contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

3. People must avoid close contact, especially with people who are sick. This should mean temporarily refraining from shaking hands with or kissing other persons while there are reported outbreaks of influenza.

4. It is always good to stay at home when you are sick. If possible, avoid crowded places when sick. This helps prevent others from catching the illness.

5. When sneezing or coughing, covering of mouth and nose with a tissue or a handkerchief is recommended. This helps prevent the spread a tissue. If one doesn’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into upper sleeve, not in the hands. Then, discard used tissue into the waste basket immediately. A surgical mask may be polite and keeps you from contaminating others, the group added.

6. Keep your distance when you are sick, this protects others from getting sick too.

7. Practicing good health habits, stopping from smoking, getting enough rest, having regular exercises and being physically active. Managing stress also helps, while drinking plenty of fluids and juice or taking in nutritious food also keeps one insulated from infection.

8. When one feels he/she is sick, he/she must consult a doctor. Seeking medical attention can help arrest the illness, and when one feels the symptoms: difficulty of breathing, confusion, severe vomiting, seeking medical attention is the best.

9. If one feels sick, he/she must defer travel. Refraining from getting on an airplane or other forms of public transport to travel helps contain the viral spread. If one must travel by plane to a country reported to have swine influenza outbreaks and feeling ill after returning from it, doctors must immediately be consulted.

10. Listen to local health authorities and keep updated of the situation on the influenza outbreak.

I hope this is useful.


ASEAN is well prepared for Swine Flu

by admin on April 30, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

Just as the world economy is stabilizing, a flu virus came. The Swine flue has send jitters through the global markets. Australisa shares shank into red, Hang seng falling 3 per cent in an afternoon, The Dow Jones falling 0.6 per cent, Dow futures fell 1 per cent and S&P 500 futures lost 1.4 percent. This reminds me of what happened during the SARS and H5N1 outbreak years ago, where the economy fell apart. I bet this will cause us more problems than before. [snag from Dallas News] Op-Ed by Laurie Garrett: Prepare For Disaster
Photo by Quiplash!

In ASEAN, the government officials are sending out signals that they are well stock with antiviral and very much well prepared for the flu virus as they have experiences in the past with SARS and bird flu. Will that be enough? I hope they are not over confident.

This virus is not as simple as it seems. It is contagious between swine, birds and people as opposes to just people. H5N1 was only between bird and bird or bird and human. This strain is between swine, bird and human and vice versa, making it more capable of being spread across the globe and it’s almost unstoppable not unless they can find a cure now. The containment of the virus is very important. If this is spread all over, adding on more stress to the economy, this will surely create a global economy slump.

Not to think that far. Among the ASEAN countries, they have already scheduled to meet in Thailand next week in Thailand to discuss how to tackle the outbreak of swine flu. This meet up will provide an opportunity for the health ministers to unite to address the problem.

Looks like they are really well prepared.

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2nd ASEAN and Asia Forum- Are you going?

by lina on April 11, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

Photo by bernardoh
I was searching the net for ASEAN news online and saw this forum, 2nd ASEAN and Asia Forum organized by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and co-organized by IFAC and ERIA on 17 April 2009, Friday. The content and line up for speakers is interesting and in fact better than some of the other conferences that are floating around. The price is reasonable too.

This is their line up:

H.E. Brigadier General George Yeo
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Singapore

YB Tan Sri Dato’ Hj. Muhyiddin Hj. Mohd Yassin Deputy Prime Minister, Malaysia

Dr. Noeleen Heyzer
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations;
Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Royal Government of Cambodia; President, University of Cambodia

H.E. Amb. Michael Tay
Executive Director, APEC Secretariat

H.E. Amb. Ong Keng Yong
Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore;
Director, Institute of Policy Studies

Dr. Muh. Chatib Basri
Director, Institute for Economic and Social Research

Mr. Choo Chiau Beng
Chief Executive Officer, Keppel Corporation;
Chairman Singapore Petroleum Company

Dr. Dawn Dekle
Dean, Leadership Center, SP Jain Center of Management;
Assoc Council Member, Singapore Institute of International Affairs

Mr. Han Kok Juan
Director, APEC Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)

Mr. Hidetoshi Nishimura
Executive Director, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)

Ms. Irene Ng Phek Hoong
Member of Parliament (Tampines), Parliament of Singapore

Mr. Jimmy Tay
Chief Executive, Southeast Asia, Hill & Knowlton

Mr. Joseph Tan
Asian Chief Economist, Credit Suisse;
Council Member and Treasurer, Singapore Institute of International Affairs

Rt. Hon. Lim Guan Eng
Chief Minister, State of Penang, Malaysia

Mr. Linus Koh
President & COO, Singapore Mercantile Exchange;
Council Member and Secretary, Singapore Institute of International Affairs

Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia

Prof. Neo Boon Siong
Director, Asia Competitiveness Institute

Ms. Olivia Lum
Founder, Group CEO and President, Hyflux Group

Assoc. Prof. Simon Tay
Schwartz Fellow, The Asia Society, USA;
Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs

Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak
Director, Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS Thailand)

YM. Dato Paduka Timothy Ong
Chairman, Brunei Economic Development Board

Mr. Warren Fernandez
Regional Director, Communications Strategy, Asia Pacific, Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd

I have not been to any of their events before but basing on the line up and content, this is going to be a good discussion. You can visit them at

BTW can the institute give me a complimentary pass? I would love to report on the forum. (I hope they are reading this.)


Related Blogs

Related Blogs

“HUNDREDS of protesters trapped Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva inside a beach hotel for several hours today, raising tensions ahead of a key Asian summit being held here later this week. About 400 red-clad supporters of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra surrounded the hotel in the resort town of Pattaya where Mr Abhisit was holding a Cabinet meeting amid tight security, an AFP reporter said.”

Not to worry, this is just a catchy title. PM Abhisit is still alive. But the ‘yellow’ should take serious precaution on this in future.Abhisit Vejjajiva - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009
Photo by World Economic Forum

From this incident, the security for the prime minister is really in bad shape, from the reports, I think he could be assassinated easily if anyone seriously wants to do so. The police should also be taking this seriously and be more alert on things like this, there could have possibly spotted the red group from far and stop this from happening. To make things worst, the protester who was interrogated at police station was allowed to go for cigarette and eventually ran away. Correct me if I am wrong. But this should never be happening. Then again, Singapore had their own version of run away too- Mas Selamat (Have we forgotten about it?)

Will this threaten ASEAN and Asian summits? Another rounds of RED VS YELLOW? I hope not.

God bless.


Crisis of relevance. Can ASEAN make it?

by lina on March 31, 2009

in ASEAN, Blog

ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 and its celebrating its 42nd birthday this year. ASEAN started off back then with a lot of promises, but its seems like a talk shop for leaders now. Alot of ASEAN citizens are oberving and have been pondering hard if the organisation is relevant to the community. I guess there are at least 500 ASEAN related events and nothing substantial is being accomplished. These events seems to be catered to the leaders and politcal people only. They failed to create interest among the normal beings like me and you. [57/365] Time Travel (forwards at least)
Photo by Ben Dodson

The ASEAN countries have failed to agree on regional and international issues. For example: The ASEAN Charter is a watered down document as a result of having to compromise on fundamental issues and to accommodate the different interests of Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar and others. Indonesia remains lukewarm about the concept of ASEAN, while Malaysia is still not in tune with ASEAN during Badawi’s leadership.

Is this really a platform for aspiring politicians and bureaucrats seeking to spread their wings to the regional arena? A group of politicians dreaming of a vision they couldn’t even agree to begin with?

Someone got to be the bus driver. Someone got to take the lead to make this successful.

For all issues there are two sides to it. For decades, the people in this region are able to live in peace and relatively more stable as compared to other parts of the world. Without the formation of ASEAN, we could just be in war with Malaysia, vice versa for Thailand and Cambodia. With ASEAN, we create a bargaining power, we gathered and that’s why the bigger boys like US, EU, UN and China are willing to sit down and listen to us. Taking Singapore for example, we are just a small red dot, but with ASEAN, we have gathered allies, becoming a powerful group.

They are many people questioning the relevancy of ASEAN, criticizing and pin-pointing issues and time after time, people will question and have doubts about ASEAN. But I hope the ASEAN leader will not give up the concept. They should do better and prove everyone wrong. Dr Surin and the other leaders from the countries will continue to do their best and as citizen of ASEAN, they need to support the idea. We need to believe in them. ASEAN must become leaner in its operations and strengthen co-operation if it is to respond effectively to challenges such as East Timor and the region’s recent economic crisis.

Can ASEAN Make it? We will see.


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