Some Tuesday ASEAN links:
With the eyes of the world trained on Malaysia Airlines as the search for missing flight MH370 enters its third week, the beleaguered flag-carrier was forced to divert a flight to Hong Kong after experiencing an electrical malfunction.
Flight MH066, originally bound for Seoul after taking off at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early Monday morning, landed without incident. The Airbus A330-300 had to change course “due to an inoperative aircraft generator which supplies normal electrical power,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement. “However, electrical power continued to be supplied by the Auxiliary Power Unit.”
All 271 passengers were transferred to other carriers.
Flight MH370, which was carrying 239 people, has been missing since March 8 despite multiple sightings of debris in both the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. Both the carrier and the Malaysian government have been criticized for their response to the ongoing calamity.
Over in the Philippines, a special all-female police unit has been tasked with protecting Tacloban’s largest refugee camp.
The Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) is a hand-picked squad from the country’s national police. In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan, they have been stationed at refugee camps across the region, including one at the Astrodome – a convention center that now houses 1,876 displaced local residents.
“The unit was created in 2004 to separate crimes against women and children from other violations. WCPD officers and investigators are specially trained to handle cases that require particular sensitivity, such as domestic violence, sexual assaults, child abuse, and juvenile delinquency,” wrote NBC, “After [Haiyan], which left an estimated 4 million people homeless, the United Nations Population Fund estimated that 65,000 Filipino women and children would become victims of sexual violence as a direct result of the storm.”
The group of 38 women, armed with handguns, maintain a visible presence at each of the nine evacuation centers in Tacloban.
WCPD officers do more than guard the camps – the also host educational seminars that inform women and children about the dangers that refugees face. The program has been touted as a rare success, and one that is difficult to replicate in other countries where women are discouraged from seeking out positions of authority.
Police in Thailand were also in the news this week, following an attack by the hacktivist collective Anonymous. The group gained access to the Royal Thai Police’s homepage, replacing the usual text and images with a robed, Guy Fawkes mask-wearing figure and profanity.
The site was taken offline around 8:00 am on Monday and restored just after 9:00.
A member of the hacking group named “Anon_Ox03” claimed responsibility for the breach, though the motive was unclear.