Tens of thousands take to the streets in Jakarta and Seoul
MORE than 40,000 protestors took to the streets in Seoul, South Korea, calling for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye, who allowed a personal friend with no government experience and who held no official position to interfere with state affairs. This close, personal friend – Choi Soon-Sil – has been described as a Rasputin-esque who had an unhealthy influence over the president, and has also been arrested for fraud. Ms Park apologised and accepted full responsibility for the scandal, but protestors were not appeased. Her approval rating, as a result, stands at just five per cent.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, more than 100,000 Muslim protestors took to the streets against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – or Governor Ahok – accusing him of breaking blasphemy laws for insulting Islam and the Quran. The governor is the first Christian to lead the city in 50 years, in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. These protests come a few months before elections in the capital city in February next year, in which Governor Ahok is seeking re-election. Despite these protests, he has been praised for investing in infrastructure projects and for his anti-corruption efforts, and opinion polls show him to be ahead of his two other opponents.
Millions in the United States will vote on November 8 for either Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump to be the next president of the country. National polls have Mrs Clinton ahead, yet state polls show a competitive race in the swing states, where both candidates will campaign this weekend.
Closer to home, about 10,000 Singaporeans gathered at Suntec City for the annual Purple Parade, which shows support for people with special needs. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam – the guest-of-honour said: “The ‘we’ [in the National Pledge] is very important. Every year and every decade, we make the ‘we’ more meaningful… It is a ‘we’ of every ability, of all our people.” Beyond awareness of those with special needs, these calls for greater inclusiveness and more job opportunities to be made available.
And finally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has once again urged Singaporeans to reduce the amount of water they use, even though some progress has been made within households in the past decade. The target now is to reduce the per-person amount from 151 litres a day in 2015 (compared to about 158 litres a day in 2006), to 140 litres a day by 2030. “Droughts and water shortages are becoming more common,” the prime minister said. “Linggiu Reservoir in Johor, which supplies water to Singapore is very dry. Right now, (it is) less than one-quarter full, only 22 per cent. And that slightly improved because it rained last week.”
Featured image from TMG file.
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