1. Proton says X70 most popular SUV in Q1
  2. Singapore introduces anti-fake news law to counter falsehoods
  3. More durians heading for China with four new deals
  4. Salahuddin Ayub confirms arrest of his pol-sec
  5. South Korean President to hold special summit with ASEAN leaders
  6. Treat coffee like the French treats wine

Proton says X70 most popular SUV in Q1
Nearly 2800 units of the Proton X70 were registered in March 2019, making it the best-selling sport utility vehicle (SUV) for the month and also the most popular SUV overall for the first three months of the year. Proton said overall, it has received over 25,000 bookings for the X70 thus far, making it the most popular Proton model in the line-up for 2019. Proton said while total industry volume (TIV) grew by 11.8 per cent year on year in March, the company outpaced the market with a 46.1 per cent increase in registrations, equivalent to a growth rate nearly four times higher than the industry as a whole.

Singapore introduces anti-fake news law to counter falsehoods
Singapore today tabled an anti-fake news bill in parliament to deal with online misinformation despite misgivings from free-speech supporters. Among the measures tabled are penalties of up to 10 years’ jail time and S$1 million (US$738,500) in fines for the most severe cases of fake news propagation. The Law Ministry said legal action would be taken when the “deliberate online falsehood” meets two criteria: when there is dissemination of a false statement of fact, and when such action is deemed in the public interest. The introduction of the Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill followed rare public hearings last year on the fake news threat. The proposed new law steps up existing powers the government has to compel news outlets to display corrections or disclaimers about falsehoods in published content. The law, meanwhile, also allows the government to squeeze portals financially if they are found to be repeat offenders. Digital advertisement operators can be asked to shut off advertisements to these portals.

More durians heading for China with four new deals
PLS Plantation Bhd’s joint venture with Shanghai-based Greenland Group has signed deals with four Chinese fruit distributors to sell its durian products and expand its export business. The four Chinese fruits distributors are Shanghai Yuandi International Trading Co Ltd, Shanghai Supply Chain Management Co Ltd, Shanghai Haoyuan Food Co Ltd, and Shanghai IVC Sun Supply Chain Management Co Ltd. PLS Plantations executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo is confident that with the deals, Malaysia’s durians would be swiftly distributed to China. PLS and Greenland established the joint venture early this year. Since then, it has imported many popular durian species from Malaysia, including D197 Musang King, D24 Sultan King in the form of frozen products, taking a real action to push ahead the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Salahuddin Ayub confirms arrest of his pol-sec
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub has confirmed that his political secretary has been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). In a statement, Salahuddin said he had been informed that his political secretary had been detained by MACC to be investigated. It was earlier reported that a political secretary to a Cabinet minister has been arrested under the suspicion of receiving bribery in the form of a luxury watch, said to be worth RM28,000. “I hold firm to the principle of the rule of law, and I am confident and believe that the MACC will investigate this case fairly and independently,” said Salahuddin. MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki confirmed the arrest. He added that the political secretary would be brought to the Putrajaya magistrate’s court to be remanded tomorrow.

South Korean President to hold special summit with ASEAN leaders
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will hold a summit with the leaders of 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries in November, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also possibly in attendance. According to the Yonhap news agency, the special South Korea-ASEAN summit will be held in South Korea’s port city of Busan on November 25-16. It will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the dialogue relationship between South Korea and ASEAN. “As the largest international conference to be held in our country since the launch of the incumbent administration, the summit is expected to review the development of South Korea-ASEAN relations over the past 30 years and suggest a new vision for development in the next 30 years,” Yoon Do-han, the senior secretary to the president for public relations, told reporters in Seoul.

Malongo French coffee exports its way of life to Asia
The French leader in the marketing of fair-trade organic coffee, Malongo is now exporting its French way of life. Following success in the Philippines with the opening of two coffee shops in 2018, Malongo’s management is developing the brand’s reputation internationally through the creation of franchised outlets in Asia. Bolstered by the obvious interest of its eclectic international clientele, particularly in the Philippines, the manufacturer is seeking to replicate its concept in other Southeast Asian countries, based on its values of French tradition and gastronomy. Like the current outlets in Manilla, Malongo cafés are organised around three spaces where customers can buy, have roasted and enjoy delicious hand-harvested, high-altitude beans. The new clientele is invited to treat coffee as the French treat wine, as part of their lifestyle. New projects are currently being considered, particularly in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. The manufacturer is seeking new partners; future foreign investors who are committed to developing the Malongo concept in their local market, while still respecting the overall image of the brand and its original outlets in Nice and Paris.