Asian Insider Oct 16: Carrie Lam’s aborted speech, child abuse in Japan, Huawei’s revenue


In today’s bulletin: Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam was forced to deliver a key speech by video after pandemonium breaks out in LegCo; a child abuse case in Japan is forcing some soul-searching; speculation is rife about a colaition between Jokowi and his main political rival in Indonesia; and more…

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There were concerns yesterday that protesters might block Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s way into the Legislative Council as she tried to continue with her annual policy address. Those fears ultimately proved unfounded though Mrs Lam was still forced to speak via video. She tried twice to speak in the chamber but both times, pandemonium broke out as opposition members heckled and shouted down the chief executive. She retreated and later a video was released with her message. The thrust of the speech, when eventually delivered, was about easing Hong Kong’s housing crunch – something seen as an animating issue for the protesters. She did not, however, directly address any of the protesters stated demands, meaning this speech has likely done little to break the current impasse in Hong Kong.

What you need to know about Hong Kong today: 

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam delivers annual policy address via video after disruption by opposition heckling

What was in the speech: Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

US House passes Bill aimed at supporting Hong Kong protests; China says US lawmakers should stop interfering

Watch: The Big Story: Carrie Lam heckled while giving policy address


Extreme weather aside, this has been a year when Japan has had to do some soul-searching about some key social issues. At the same time, a national debate is going on about paternity leave, it is also having to deal with some tough questions about how it treats children. On Tuesday, Yudai Funato, 34, was jailed for 13 years for his role in the death of his five-year-old stepdaughter Yua. Yua’s mother was earlier sentenced to eight years behind bars. Yua was malnourished and had as many as 170 wounds on her body when she died. The number of child abuse cases reported to authorities has jumped 20 per cent in the year ending March 2019 with officials attributing the spike to increased awareness.

Further reading: Steps the govt has taken – Japan seeks to ban corporal punishment to curb rising trend of child abuse


Prabowo Subianto, the presidential hopeful twice defeated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, voiced support for the president – further igniting speculation that the bitter rivals might become part of the same ruling coalition. While it is not unusual for a defeated candidate to put differences aside and back the winner, the contests between Jokowi and Prabowo have been particularly fierce. After both elections, Prabowo challenged the validity of the results in court. If Prabowo joins Jokowi’s coalition, it would herald perhaps the most stable government Indonesia has had for years.

What about Prabowo’s running mate Sandiaga Uno? 

Sandiaga announces return to Gerindra Party with Superman-style video


In the past two weeks, we are seeing more and more ordinarily apolitical fields getting hopelessly entangled in international disputes. A single tweet by an NBA general manager had earlier caused all manner of havoc for the league both in the market it is trying to court (China) and its home base (US). Then there is now a growing furore over a map in the animated movie Abominable that depicts China’s disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea. First Vietnam banned the movie, now the Philippines foreign affairs chief said he wants the scene removed. It is unclear why the not all that commonly used map made it into the movie in the first place.

Abominable’s map

Philippines official wants animated film Abominable’s South China Sea scene cut

Vietnam pulls DreamWorks animation film Abominable over South China Sea map

NBA vs China fallout

LeBron James faces backlash over comments on NBA-China row

The NBA poser – what price to play in China’s court?


Chinese tech company Huawei is keen to show that its ongoing battle with the US – one of the proxy battles in the ongoing trade war – is not it’s ability to make money. It said today that its revenue for the first nine months of the year grew nearly 25 per cent despite being blacklisted by the US. It attributed the rise to its focus on infrastructure and smart devices – tellingly leaving out smartphones, which appears to have been one of the sectors most affected.

In case you missed it

Future Huawei’s phones in limbo

I thought I could survive without Google apps on the Huawei Mate 30 Pro but I was wrong


Kim Jong Un’s photo op: Aides to Mr Kim Jong Un are convinced the North Korean leader plans “a great operation”, state media said on Wednesday (Oct 16) in a report that included lavish descriptions and images of the leader riding a white horse up North Korea’s most sacred mountain.

End of days: Five siblings and a man believed to be their father were receiving medical treatment after Dutch police acting on a tip-off discovered them locked away in a secret room at an isolated farm, officials in the Netherlands said on Tuesday (Oct 15). Officials did not confirm local TV reports that the family may have held “end of days” apocalyptic beliefs.

US Democratic debate: Democratic presidential contenders defended the congressional impeachment inquiry of United States President Donald Trump during a debate on Tuesday (Oct 15), saying Mr Trump needed to be held accountable for his actions and for stonewalling Congress on its probe.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.


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