Some Tuesday ASEAN links:
Jakarta is not only the capital of Indonesia – it has also been named the “world’s tweet capital.”
With 64 percent of iPhone users across the country logging into their Twitter accounts at least once a month – compared to only 36 percent of Americans – Indonesians are exposed to a lot of tweets.
The social network’s popularity has led to some lucrative opportunities for Indonesia’s most followed users.
“Anyone with more than 2,000 followers can get paid at least $21 to tweet during rush hour, when most Indonesians are stuck in traffic and (apparently) glued to their mobiles,” said Quartz. “Comedian Ernest Prakasa is open about the fact that he charges brands $670 for a package of 10 promotional tweets.”
In Indonesia, Twitter users aren’t required to disclose whether or not they have been paid for a promotional plug – making it hard for followers to tell the difference between an advertisement and honest praise for a product or service.
Over in the Philippines, rice farmers have banded together to offer a roughly $1,200 reward for witnesses who will testify against agricultural smugglers. The donation, which was given by members of the Confederation of Irrigators Association, is made up entirely of coins.
“Farmers decided to use coin donations as a symbol [of] their battle against smuggling because a certain David Tan, who has been implicated in billion-peso worth of rice smuggling in the country, was previously an alleged smuggler of coins to China,” said The Inquirer.
Many farmers in the Philippines have expressed concern that smuggled rice would flood the market as Tan’s court date approaches.
Senator Cynthia Villar, the head of the senate committee on agriculture, has been investigating Tan since last year.
Finally, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has expressed outrage after being banned from traveling to Japan. Members of his party, the People’s Justice Party, believe that the majority coalition may have been involved.
Anwar was turned away from Narita International Airport on Sunday, with Japanese immigration officers citing his 1999 conviction for sodomy and corruption.
“I am puzzled and shocked by the incident,” Anwar told AFP. “It is not the way for a democratic country to treat an opposition political leader and a veteran politician.”
Anwar claims to have traveled to Japan on three separate occasions since 2006 without raising any red flags. He was headed to the country to deliver a speech on religious harmony.
Many Malaysians believe that Anwar’s 1999 conviction was orchestrated by enemies in the ruling party. He was also charged with “illicit sex” in 2008 after a historically strong opposition showing.
Anwar has asked for an explanation from both Tokyo and the Malaysian Foreign Ministry.