Some Wednesday ASEAN links:
Gerrard Lin, a 32-year-old Singaporean running enthusiast, managed to complete 31 marathons in 31 days. Lin, nicknamed Ah Siao (“crazy man” in Hokkien dialect), logged an astounding 1,300 kilometers in one month’s time – and for a good cause. The martial arts instructor hopes that his athletic feat will draw attention to the country’s Bone Marrow Donor Program, setting a goal of recruiting one volunteer per kilometer ran.
Lin, speaking from a donor’s perspective, told Channel NewsAsia: “Since he’s running, he’s doing so much, maybe I could just spare two minutes of my time just swabbing my cheek and putting my name into the database. If there is a [bone marrow] match, it’s just two or three days of my life gone, that’s all.”
His ambitious plan seeks to register 1,300 donors over the next 10 weeks.
Singapore’s Bone Marrow Donor Program is also working to raise approximately $160,000 to purchase laboratory equipment and testing supplies.
Lin’s feat has also been entered into the Singaporean Book of Records, as it likely represents a new national record for distance run in a single month.
Over in the Philippines, an angry mob of Chinese tourists attacked two Filipino pilots after their flight was rerouted due to inclement weather.
Captain Johnny Tinto and copilot Richard Avila or Cebu Pacific Airlines were surrounded at Kalibo airport after landing at midnight on Sunday. The flight, which was bound for Shanghai, first landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. It was then sent back to its point of origin per Civil Aviation Authority regulations.
The pilots were pinned against a wall in Kalibo’s arrivals area from 3:00 until 3:40, according to The Inquirer.
“They were demanding food and hotel accommodations,” said Cynthia Aspera, Kalibo airport’s manager. “The pilots tried to explain to the passengers that airlines do not provide free accommodations if the flight cancellation or suspension was due to bad weather, but the passengers were insistent. It was also difficult to communicate with them because of language problems.”
There were 179 passengers onboard the flight, but it is unclear how many were involved in the altercation. The pilots opted not to press charges and a tour operator provided accommodation for those unable to secure a different return flight.
Finally, in Cambodia, more than half a million people are claiming to have been affected by government land grabs since 2000.
Prime Minister Hun Sen ended the process in 2012 after “years of condemnation” from rights groups. However, Phnom Penh NGO Licadho claims that the new measures have been ignored. A recent report claims that 2,246 families have been removed from their properties so far in 2014.
“Without land, they no longer have the means to provide themselves with the basic requirements for a decent life,” said Licadho director Naly Pilorge. “The government must act now to end this epidemic of land-grabbing.”
Many Cambodians are violently evicted from their homes in order for the government to provide concessions to private companies.