BANGKOK: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin arrived on a three-day visit yesterday that is expected to boost synergy between Malaysia and Thailand in the halal industry. The visit aims to enhance cooperation to push halal goods as major global products. Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Nazirah Hussain said while Thailand had a better capacity to produce halal products, it was Malaysia’s Religious Development Department’s halal brand that was recognised worldwide.
Teens arrested over ‘funny air’
BANGKOK: Two Thai teenagers have discovered laughter isn’t always the best medicine after they were arrested for selling balloons containing “funny air” -- or laughing gas -- to tourists. The pair, aged 17 and 19, were charged yesterday with trafficking in controlled substances, punishable by a maximum five-year jail term, after allegedly selling balloons containing nitrous oxide in the tourist resort of Pattaya. The gas induces euphoria and laughter when inhaled. It is used to numb pain during medical procedures such as dentistry.
Oppn seeks poll probe
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s election remains mired in controversy, with the ruling party and opposition declaring victory in the July 28 ballot. The leader of Cambodia’s opposition, Sam Rainsy, said yesterday a committee to investigate alleged irregularities remains the only acceptable solution to the stalemate. Rainsy said a working group established by parliamentarians from the ruling party and the opposition to discuss forming an investigating committee appears to have fallen short of an agreement. But he said the process had proved useful. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party and Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party claim they won the election. The opposition says nationwide vote rigging swayed the outcome.
Free trade zone for Shanghai
BEIJING: China has approved an “experimental” free trade zone in its commercial hub Shanghai as it tries to promote reforms, the government said yesterday. The State Council, or cabinet, approved the zone after giving the preliminary go-ahead in July. The Commerce Ministry said the government would give details of what would be allowed in the zone, which will combine four existing development zones in Shanghai. Reforms include greater liberalisation of the services sector and wider opening of the financial industry.
Talks on family reunions today
SEOUL: Red Cross officials from the two Koreas will hold talks today on resuming cross-border family reunions after the North agreed to the South’s choice of venue. In a message, Pyongyang dropped its request for the meeting to be held at its Mount Kumgang resort and agreed to the South’s choice of the border truce village of Panmunjom, where the ceasefire ending hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War was signed. The North wants to re-start South Korean tours to Mount Kumgang and its suggestion of holding reunion talks there was seen as a bid to link both issues. Agencies