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Indonesia: Constitutional Court Opens Way to Recognition of Native Faiths

(Nov. 17, 2017) On November 7, 2017, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia) issued a decision that will allow Indonesians who follow native faiths to list their religions on official forms.  According to Justice Arief Hidayat, several articles in the Law on Population Administration are discriminatory and “contradict the 1945 Constitution and these articles […]

Singapore: Bans on Two Clerics and Certain Books

(Nov. 9, 2017) It was reported on October 30, 2017, that Singapore has banned two foreign Islamic religious leaders from preaching during cruises and has prohibited the circulation of four foreign books in the country. The Islamic clerics have been denied permission to enter Singapore for the purpose of joining religiously themed sea cruises scheduled […]

United Nations: Rights Office Concerned About Arrests of LGBT Individuals

(Oct. 31, 2017) On October 13, 2017, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) held a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, expressing concern about the arrests of more than 180 people, thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), in three countries: Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Indonesia. There were 80 […]

Sri Lanka: Decision to Ratify Amendment to Montreal Protocol

(Oct. 25, 2017) It was reported on October 11, 2017, that the Government of Sri Lanka intends to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.  (Sri Lanka to Ratify Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Hydrofluorocarbons (HGC) Phase-down, COLOMBO PAGE (Oct. 11, 2017).)  The Montreal Protocol […]

Indonesia: President Signs Decree on Character Education

(Oct. 19, 2017) On September 6, 2017, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo signed a presidential decree issuing a regulation on education designed to strengthen character. Widodo stated that the regulation had been prepared following input from a variety of interested parties across the country and that it would be followed up with the provision of technical […]

Vietnam: New Rules on Media for Children

(Oct. 13, 2017) On October 1, 2017, a new Ministry of Information and Communications circular, issued by Minister Truong Minh Tuan on June 23, 2017, came into force in Vietnam. It has provisions on media designed for children and requires warnings for viewer or reader discretion related to material not suitable for them.  The rules […]

Thailand: Revised Excise Tax Law

(Oct. 12, 2017) On September 16, 2017, a revised excise tax came into force in Thailand that increases taxes on seven products, including alcoholic beverages, playing cards, sugary drinks, and tobacco. Speculation in advance was that prices would go up substantially. For that reason, the commerce and finance ministries moved to limit hoarding of the […]

Indonesia: Anti-Money Laundering and Terror Funding Rules Tightened

(Oct. 3, 2017) On September 13, 2017, Bank Indonesia, known in Indonesian as Bank Sentral Republik Indonesia, issued a new regulation designed to further limit money laundering and financing of terrorism. (Indonesia Tightens Rules to Curb Money Laundering, Terror Funding, REUTERS (Sept. 13, 2017).)  The regulation applies to non-bank financial service providers, including institutions that […]

Indonesia: Rules for Foreign Cruise Ships Liberalized

(Sept. 27, 2017) Regulations have come into effect this year in Indonesia that make it simpler for cruise ships and yachts to dock in the country’s ports; the changes include allowing them to register online. The purpose is to help the tourism industry and reach the Ministry of Tourism’s goal of 400 foreign cruise ships […]

Kyrgyzstan: Court Denies Ballot Petition of Opposition Leader

(Sept. 12, 2017) On August 31, 2017, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan upheld a lower court’s rejection of a petition to list opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev on the presidential election ballot this October. (Elizabeth Lowman, Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court Rejects Petition to Put Imprisoned Opposition Leader on Ballot, PAPER CHASE (Aug. 31, 2017).)  Although a petition […]