North Korea and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) focused on “culture, arts and heritage,” North Korean state media said on Thursday, renewing and building upon a previous agreement from 2002.

The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency is continuing to send shockwaves in the corridors of power across East Asia. Yet even before the results of the 2016 US elections became known, the tremors of political change in the region were already evident. Arguably, the U.S. president-elect has only added fuel to the fire of America’s relations with East Asia.

The Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Mercy Malaysia) today entered Gaza, Palestine, through the Rafah border crossing in Egypt to deliver humanitarian aid to the people there. According to the volunteer association, the mission this time is the first humanitarian mission allowed to enter through the Rafah border since Mercy Malaysia’s last working visit in 2014.

More and more, a country’s diplomacy focus has shifted to promoting its cultural aspects — food, fashion, songs and dances — abroad. These are offered as an important part of its cultural diplomacy, which is not only internally generated, but is more impactful.


The 22nd edition in the series of bilateral exercises between armed forces from Singapore (SAF) and Malaysia (MAF), demonstrated “unity in spirit”, said the Chief of Staff-General Staff of the Singapore Army, Brigadier-General (BG) Desmond Tan Kok Ming at the closing ceremony of Exercise Semangat Bersatu today. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (Mindef), this year’s exercise was a 10-day affair conducted in Kluang, and involved around 980 personnel from both the 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, and the 5th Royal Malay Regiment.

That Mr. Duterte’s contribution to international statecraft, the annals of which already include Ping-Pong diplomacy, would include karaoke might come as little surprise to those he leads. [...] Karaoke bars are an essential part of social life in the Philippines, and virtually every home in the country has a karaoke machine. A passion for public singing has led to competitive television shows, a multimillion-dollar business of migrant worker entertainers and several murders.

The German ambassador to Bahrain wanted to do something special for the German National Unity reception. [...] He came back, jazz guitar in hand, to join the “Jazzabilly band” in a few songs. The audience was thrilled. Simms-Protz has always professed his belief that music and art are instrumental tools for bringing people together — especially the youth.

UCSI University Sarawak Campus (UCSI) will be hosting ‘Food Diversity Voyage Kuching 2016’ in collaboration with Global Incubation x Fostering Talents (GiFT) for a group of 19 students from Toyo University Japan starting today. Initiated by GiFT, the one-week programme aims to provide a platform for Japanese youths to explore the land of Borneo and exchange culture with Malaysian youths.