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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

OCTOBER 8, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 40

Newsmakers
Lost in Las Vegas
What's in A Name?
One More on Jiang's Side
Passage

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Donald Tsang, a first-time visitor to Las Vegas, America's "gaming" (not "gambling," he insists) capital, stressed to his trailing press pack that the SAR must consider not only the financial implications but also the enormous political and social ramifications of indulging in such iniquity. He waffled on confirming reports that the territory is contemplating the possibility of allowing casinos in Hong Kong, on top of its two race tracks and myriad lottery centers. After Tsang finally admitted that the plan is under consideration, his admission set off a round of criticism back home - not least from Stanley Ho Hung-sun - the Hong Kong entrepreneur who controls most of the gambling in neighboring Macau. As for our Tsang? Surrounded by Vegas's half-scale versions of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, he admitted he found the city "colorful, but overwhelming." Critics are concerned about his omission of "tacky."  

What's in A Name?
It's called cyber-squatting, a sort of "whoever gets there first gets it" game played with addresses on the Internet. But Gerardo Kaimo - the squatter in this case - seems set to be quashed by the squattee, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). Kaimo runs a web site with the address www.pldt.com, home of the Philippine League for Democratic Telecommunications Inc. - PLDTI. Get it? So did PLDT, which, less amused than the thousand or so contributors to the site's vibrant message board, slapped Kaimo with a $33,000 law suit and a temporary restraining order. "This is quite ludicrous, as anyone can see we're not selling telephones," Kaimo explains on his homepage. As you might expect, PLDT.com is firmly anti-establishment. Typical targets: "Erap [President Joseph Estrada] and his friends in Congress." The final, July 23 edition of The Manila Times, the newspaper that anti-Estrada people say was driven under by the government, is also available on the site. "If you want to help the cause of free speech on the Internet and beyond, copy and e-mail this page to everyone you know, especially to the media. As you know, the Philippine media may not cover this because PLDT is one of the country's biggest advertisers and therefore a huge source of income for them. It's up to you then," Kaimo pleads to the site's visitors.  

One More on Jiang's Side
It's not difficult to see why choosing a new man to play the role of "bad cop" in policing China's vast nomenclatura is not a snap decision. Head of the Communist Party's propaganda operations, Ding Guangen has been set to leave for quite a while because of ill health and his falling out with President Jiang Zemin over economic reform policy. No surprise, then, that Ding will be replaced by Shanghai party chief Huang Ju, an announcement that will come around the close of the fourth plenary session of the 15th Central Committee on Sept. 22. Huang is just another of the Shanghai mafia that Jiang has put in place. Hu Jintao, mooted to be Jiang's successor, has finally been made vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission. Another Jiang man, Premier Zhu Rongji, is plagued by the troubled economy and may be having his own career problems. For Jiang, that means having to take the lead on financial matters, but it all stays within the Shanghai family.  

Passage
 • Died Sir Philip Haddon-Cave, 74, former chief secretary and financial secretary of Hong Kong from 1962 to 1985, of a heart attack while in a taxi near his retirement home in Oxford, England on Sept. 27. Haddon-Cave was the colonial financial guru whose policy of "positive non-intervention" became the ideological foundation for the territory's laissez-faire economic attitude. At first despised and then revered for letting the Hong Kong dollar float after the 1974 stock market crash, Sir Philip was ultimately dubbed "Choy Sun," the god of fortune.

 • Hospitalized Morita Akio, 78, the co-founder of Sony, remains in grave condition at a Tokyo hospital. Morita suffered a stroke in 1993 and moved to Hawaii to recover, but returned recently to Tokyo for treatment after his illness - which is not being disclosed - worsened. Morita left Sony in 1994, having founded the firm shortly after World War II with Ibuka Masaru. The company soared in profitability when, in 1955, it introduced one of the world's first transistor radios.

 • Jailed Azizan Abu Bakar, 39, and Norhayati Saad, 22, for attempting to have illicit sex, by the shariah court in Alor Gajah, Malacca state, on Sept. 28. Azizan, who accused Malaysia's jailed former deputy prime minster Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy and is a key witness in his trial, and Norhayati, a college student, were arrested on Sept. 16 while "in close proximity," with Azizan clad in a sarong and Norhayati in her night garments with no underclothes. They quickly married. But, "what is haram [forbidden by Muslim law] cannot be made halal [legitimate] by getting married," said judge Mohammad Adib, who jailed them for three months and fined them $3,500.

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ASIAWEEK Newsmap: Get the week's leading news stories, by region, from Newsmap

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TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

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SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


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