Dissenting opinions between two camps dominated Malaysia's Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre’s recent general assembly. The verbal conflict finds its roots in the matter of the country’s laws on public procurement. On one hand, one party believes that the Malaysian government should continue to support division leaders in granting contracts as they are vital to sustain grassroots support (for the current ruling party). On the other hand, the other camp heavily disagrees – labeling this practice as “politics of patronage”. The latter argues that government contracts should always go through open tenders.
Last week Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made an official visit to Fiji. As the two largest Pacific Island countries (depending on how you categorize New Zealand), the cooperation and leadership of both PNG and Fiji is vital to advancing the interests and concerns of the South Pacific as a whole.
While acknowledging the improvements that could be made to bilateral arrangements between the two states, including proposing a bilateral free trade agreement, O’Neill sought to stress that wider regional cooperation was essential in light of economic change and “increased tension and geopolitical competition.”
The 22-man Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to craft a new charter unanimously approved the draft constitution of the proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines.
The ConCom chairman, retired chief justice Reynato Puno, said the panel would present the draft charter shifting to a federal form of government to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 9 in Malacañang, ahead of the State of the Nation Address.
Under the proposed new charter, the President’s term will end in 2022. “That’s it. It’s not open-ended,” Puno said.
The Digital Government Blueprint outlines how the Government will re-organize and transform itself to deliver public services better through technology.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, developments in the digital domain offers Singapore new ways to interact, collaborate and form new partnerships, as well as embrace exciting opportunities to grow future economy and improve the lives of all citizens.
As one of the most networked economies in the world, Singapore has invested in physical infrastructure and connectivity as the foundation for its Smart Nation vision. Currently, fiber broadband connectivity is available in Singapore to support affordable high-speed broadband mobile internet connectivity to both companies and citizens all across Singapore.
How much do you trust each institution to do what is right?
This is the question tackled by the annual trust survey conducted by Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm. The barometer has been done since 2001. This year, it has observed the following as major points to ponder in the worldwide scale.
1. Battle for trust: Trust in all institutions slightly changed from 2017 as more countries harbor distrust.
2. Polarization of trust: Gainers trust government more, while losers trust non-government organizations more.
3. Real versus fake news: Media remains the least trusted institution, but trust in journalism experienced a significant increase.
4. Uncertainty and apathy: Half the population seldom take note of news, and 63 percent do not know how to distinguish true from false reports.
5. Business initiative: More CEOs believe they should take charge in executing change rather than waiting for government to enact it.
6. High Technology: Sectors of technology and education are the most trusted in the industry, while financial services and consumer packaged goods (CPG) are the least trusted.
7. Cooperation between institutions: Protection of privacy and poverty alleviation among the top concerns among institutions to build trust.
Despite sluggish recovery in global trust (plus 1 point in a scale of 100), Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East (West Asia), and Africa seem to be exceptions. For instance, Asian nations like China (+2), Indonesia (+2), and India (-4) lead the world in terms of institutional trust index. Other gainers moving up the index include Malaysia (+5), United Arab Emirates (+6), Turkey (+3), South Korea (+6), and Japan (+2). However, a number of Asia, the Pacific, West Asia, and Africa countries, which included Australia (-2), Singapore (-2), and South Africa (-4) still followed the global trend of decreasing trust.
On May 9, Malaysia shocked the world via a stunning electoral outcome that saw a nonagenarian return to power. Similar to the Brexit vote and the 2016 US presidential elections, most observers falsely predicted a narrow victory for the losing side.
Yet, only hours after election booths closed down, it became clear to everyone that the impossible had happened. At the age of 92, a remarkably robust and fiery Mahathir Mohamad, the former strongman of Malaysia, led an energized opposition against the formidable machinery of outgoing Prime Minister Najib Razak.
With legendary conviction and swagger, Mahathir braved the sweltering summer heat, a battering campaign schedule, and endless mudslinging by his critics, who mockingly claimed he was just "too old" to run for office.
Myanmar's peace process with ethnic minority groups appears to be floundering because of a deteriorating relationship between the government and its military - or, perhaps, as some would say, the military and its government.
No date has been set for a third round of peace talks between the administration of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and rebel groups. Originally scheduled for January, there have been several postponements and some representatives of ethnic groups are skeptical it can happen any time soon.
The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) was launched in 1999 by the Division for Public Administration, which was under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and became operational in 2001. The long-term objective of UNPAN is to build the capacity of regional and national institutions in order to access, process, and distribute relevant information for the promotion of better public administration and governance by means of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The EROPA has been designated as one of the Online Regional Centers (ORCs) of the UNPAN in the same year. Since then, the organization has been an active collaborator in the said network.
From 2012 to 2016, the average annual contribution of EROPA to the UNPAN database amounted to around 300. As of April 2018, this was already exceeded, preparing the way for yet another record year between EROPA and UNPAN. The projected contribution by year's end is around 600, which would be significantly larger than last year's 500 contributions. The most featured countries among EROPA's contributions are the following: Philippines (19%), People's Republic of China (10.6%), India (10.6%), Japan (6.5%), Indonesia (4.8%), and Korea (3.6%). Nevertheless, the organization continually makes efforts to diversify source nations as much as possible, considering the growing coverage of EROPA's networks and linkages.
Other countries featured among EROPA's contributions include Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, some contributions dealt with regional and international news and trends. More popular EROPA contributions in the UNPAN were featured in this website to operate similar to the styles of news aggregators or media aggregators. This helps direct more traffic to both the EROPA and the UNPAN.
EROPA also received excellent coverage from the UNPAN in 2017 as it was featured in all four editions of the UNPAN Newsletter for the entire year. The organization was only featured twice in the said publication in 2012, and once in 2013. With these encouraging developments, it is expected to continue throughout 2018. To provide the organization feedback on its online services, one can answer the survey embedded in the main page. As of 2018, EROPA's online services achieved 94% satisfaction rate, which is slightly higher than last year's 90% satisfaction rate.
The whole of South Korea stood still for the moment the leaders shook hands on both sides of the border in the demilitarized zone that divides the countries. It was an apparently unscripted moment during a highly choreographed sequence of events.
Few would have predicted a development like this as North Korea had escalated its nuclear provocations through 2017. The rapprochement began in January when Chairman Kim suggested he was "open to dialogue" with South Korea. The following month the two countries marched under one flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.