Tech in Asia: Our Picks for News of the Week [Sept 7, 2012]

  • Search for MH370 likely to take years, says US official
    Search for MH370 likely to take years, says US official

    The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior US defence official told Reuters today, as an underwater search for any trace of the plane's wreckage off west Australia appeared to have failed. The official, speaking under condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on the... …

  • Widow sues after insurance declines cancer cover after husband gets cancer
    Widow sues after insurance declines cancer cover after husband gets cancer

    GEORGE TOWN, April 25 ― A widow is suing an insurance firm here for RM2 million after it declined to pay out on her husband’s policy against cancer when he was diagnosed with the disease six months... …

  • In Malaysia visit, Obama revisits the ‘Asia pivot’
    In Malaysia visit, Obama revisits the ‘Asia pivot’

    As the excitement swells ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Malaysia this weekend – if not on the closed-off streets of Kuala Lumpur then at least in the media – there’s also a burgeoning anxiety here inside the Washington beltway that the hope’n’change promised by the so-called “Asia pivot” may need some tempering during this... …

  • Slippery slope, lawyers say of Pahang ban on holy books in hotels
    Slippery slope, lawyers say of Pahang ban on holy books in hotels

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 ― A Pahang Islamic body's recent decision to ban hotels from carrying books on non-Islamic religions signals another step on the path towards further erosion of Malaysia... …

  • Families take their doubts on MH370 investigation to Boeing shareholders
    Families take their doubts on MH370 investigation to Boeing shareholders

    Families of passengers on board flight MH370 are now turning to shareholders of aircraft manufacturer Boeing after failing to get any direct answers from Putrajaya and Malaysia Airlines to lingering questions over the investigation into the missing flight. Spearheading the effort is Sarah Bajc, partner of Philip Wood, who was on board the... …

  • PR would have suffered serious losses in 2013 polls if hudud was major issue, says DAP
    PR would have suffered serious losses in 2013 polls if hudud was major issue, says DAP

    Pakatan Rakyat would have suffered devastating setbacks in Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Melacca if it had made hudud a major issue in last year’s general election, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said. The Gelang Patah MP (pic), who had earlier said hudud was never a vote-winner for PAS in previous elections, gave an illustration of how PR... …

In homage to the 100th birthday - if he were here - of the iconic American composer John Cage, let’s sit in silence for four minutes and 33 seconds before starting to read this week’s list.

[…]

OK, let’s begin…

Charlie’s pick: Forced student labor at Foxconn to build iPhone 5

On the eve (sort of) of the iPhone 5’s unveiling, we learn once again that Apple supplier Foxconn is violating labor ethics, and this time, local schools and the government are also involved. As WTF-worthy a story as we’ve come across recently.


Willis’ pick: The feature phone market in Indonesia

If you wanna know more about the feature phone market, you can get a ton of information from this article. People, including myself, doubted for a long time that the feature phone market in Indonesia couldn’t make money. But I guess we’re proven wrong. If TMG (the startup that’s the featured example within the article) can do it, then I guess there should be a way to get things done in Indonesia’s feature phone market.


Steven’s pick: Shit gets real, and personal, as Chinese business leaders slam short sellers Citron

The war of words between local tech luminary Kai-Fu Lee and financial blogger Andrew Left carried on into this week - but escalated significantly as the whole thing get very personal. It’s turning into a battle between local business leaders defending US-listed Chinese tech stocks and US-based short sellers who sometimes attack Chinese companies they see as over-valued or even dangerously off-the-rails. But there are some deep ethical concerns about the short sellers. To get the other side of the story, we also talked to Citron’s Andrew Left to hear about his background in analyzing - and trading - Chinese stocks.


Rick’s pick: Student ‘interns’ forced to build Apple iPhone 5 at Foxconn; now returning to schools

I have to agree with Charlie this week. Here’s yet another disturbing Chinese manufacturing story, which should (assuming that it’s true) give us some pause for thought as we approach the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5. Local media reports cite some students’ online postings that local authorities ordered schools to provide students as ‘interns’ to offset a worker shortage. While Apple has been trying to ensure good labor conditions in China, I think the reality is that most western companies just don’t extend their reach down to this level.


You might also like:

Disruption of Travel: Why Indian Startups are Creating Global Waves - read here

China’s Baidu, Tencent Rank High on Forbes ’100 Most Innovative Companies’ List - read here

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  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …