Far East Hospitality is planning local and regional expansion

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 17 November 2020 –Far East Hospitality, one of the leading operators of hotels and serviced residences says it will forge ahead with its local and regional expansion plans with three properties — Oasia Resort Sentosa, Far East Village Hotel Yokohama, and Quincy Hotel Melbourne.

Oasia makes a splash into Sentosa Island

A rendering of Oasia Resort Sentosa

Slated for opening in the second quarter of 2021, Oasia Resort Sentosa will be the fourth property on Sentosa island managed by Far East Hospitality. The homegrown company has signed a Hotel Management Agreement (HMA) with Far East Organization.

Under the agreement, Far East Hospitality will be responsible for the hotel’s operations, and sales and marketing functions. This property also marks Far East Hospitality’s first foray into the resort and spa category. 

“The progression into the resort and spa field is both a natural and calculated move,” said Arthur Kiong, Chief Executive of Far East Hospitality. “Each of our properties on Sentosa cater to different demographics. Village Hotel Sentosa for urban explorers and families.

“The Outpost Hotel for young couples who prefer exclusivity, and The Barracks Hotel for those who enjoy old world charm of the building’s architecture and service offerings. With Oasia Resort Sentosa, which targets the wellness conscious, it completes our suite of offerings on the island.”

The 191-key property consists of Suites, Wellness Premier Rooms, and Deluxe Rooms. Guests will have the opportunity to experience a wellness lifestyle encompassing not just a spa treatment, but healthy eating, fitness routines, mind-body practices, as well as connecting with nature.

Wellness journals, self-care checklists, and access to a collection of guided meditation audio are amongst the many items that are made available for guests during their stay.

A second hotel in Japan 

Four months after opening Far East Village Hotel Ariake — Far East Hospitality’s first venture into Japan, the company is expanding further with a management contract for a second Village property in Yokohama.

Far East Village Hotel Yokohama is set to open in the second quarter of 2021. The 277-key property will be managed by Far East Hospitality under a HMA with Far East Organization.

Situated in the heart of downtown Yokohama, the property targets business travellers. It is a five-minute drive to the central business district and a three-minute walk to Sakuragicho and Kannai stations.

Guests will also be able to Eat, Play, and Explorelike a local at cultural enclaves such as Chinatown and the Red Brick Warehouse, and attractions such as the Cup Noodle Museum and Cosmoworld.

“Tourism in Japan has picked up gradually since the easing of travel curbs and the resumption of reciprocal ‘green lanes’ for business and official travel. We are also hopeful that launching the property will also give us the opportunity to capture the domestic market,” said Mr Kiong. 

Quincy debuts in Australia, Melbourne

Quincy Melbourne is set to open in Q1 2021

From thoughtful spatial design to playful interiors and wondrous experiences — these are some of the finer things that guests can expect when Quincy Hotel Melbourne opens in the first quarter of 2021.

The HMA is signed with InterGlobe through Far East Hospitality’s joint venture company, Toga Far East Hotels in Australia, marking the Quincy brand’s first expansion abroad.

Quincy’s quirky and anticipatory approach to service fits into Melbourne’s upbeat and experiential city lifestyle. Located at the top of Flinders Lane — a vibrant street in Melbourne’s central business district — the hotel targets at social urbanites with a penchant for experiential travel and the finer things in life.

Guests will be able to enjoy South East Asian cuisine at its signature restaurant as well as access to its club levels and lounge. The hotel also boasts a rooftop pool with views of Melbourne CBD and the nearby lifestyle precinct.

Additional quotes from HMA partners can be found in ANNEX A.
ANNEX A: Quote sheet Far East Hospitality is a 70-30 joint venture between Far East Orchard Limited and The Straits Trading Company Limited.

Commenting on the expansion plans, Far East Orchard’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Tang said, “Hospitality business has been the core contributor to Far East Orchard’s earnings, and it is a vital part of our strategy to build a lodging platform and grow recurring income.

“Most recently, we crossed a significant milestone with the opening of our 100th hotel — Adina Melbourne Southbank, managed by Toga Far East Hotels.

“Through Far East Hospitality, we intend to continue growing our recurring income base with HMAs in key cities across the Asia-Pacific region; cities with strong long term fundamentals for the tourism industry, domestic travel and other demand drivers.”

On bringing the Quincy brand to Melbourne, Toga Far East Hotels’ Chief Executive Officer, Antony Ritch said, “We are thrilled to introduce Far East Hospitality’s colourful Quincy brand into Australia early next year. With Quincy we are bringing the sights, sounds and most importantly flavours of South East Asia to Australia.

Australians have withdrawn RM98 billion from their retirement fund

There is confusion in Malaysia over the withdrawal from the EPF which the PN government is allowing but in small monthly amounts.

This has put the PN government in direct confrontation with many people who want a lump sum withdrawal.

The Ministry of Finance in Putrajaya on its Facebook page went against the demands of the public and posted a series of question and answers related to a viral post saying the following:

In blue are the answers from the MOF

The problem with the answers is point number two. MOF says the Australians will be able to return the A$10,000 to the retirement savings in half a month.

It also says the Malaysians will take 3 years to return the RM10,000 if they are allowed to take it in lump sum, we suppose.

But the truth is, once they take this money out, it is not coming back.

There is no way for the funds to ‘return’ to the EPF or in Australia, to the superfund.

Economists say this money is considered spent once it is taken out and used by the account holders.

It is a simple fact that MOF and Minister Tengku Zafrul should have realised when they were posting this on their FB page.


One of the first policies introduced by PM Scott Morrison as Covid in Australia spread was a rule allowing people to withdraw A$10,000 a year from their super fund.

They clearly stated this was to see those affected to have it easy through the tight patches during the pandemic.

About 2.5 million people, equivalent to about a fifth of the country’s workforce, applied to withdraw cash in the first two months.

A total of A$42 billion is forecast to be taken out over the program’s two-year term, says Bloomberg.

So far, the Aussies have taken out RM98 billion from their Super saving fund, which is their retirement fund.


On the other hand, MOF found it ‘shyok sendiri’ to compare the salaries in Australia to that of Malaysia.

In the reply to the viral posts about Australia allowing lump sum withdrawals, MOF says average Aussie salary is RM20k.

It says Malaysia is RM2k. Not only it can use such comparisons to remind Malaysians of their poor salary levels, it does not allow people to use Australia as a comparison for EPF withdrawal!

By the way, many Aussies have withdrawn almost all the money they had in their Super saving account. That is because they have A$10k or less.

This did not cause the Australian government to panic or to issue orders for a termination of withdrawals.

Perhaps Malaysia should learn more about the Australian situation before they counter the public views and public demands.

Help build the future of Islam in Australia this Jumuah

Since the launch of the Nawawi Centre campaign a few days ago, there isa lot of positive feedback and excitement regarding the grand vision behind this community-building initiative

On this occasion, Muslims are invited to find out more about the project and give generously towards building a masjid (and centre!) that will bring us together and provide much-needed facilities to benefit the community. 

The Al Nawawi Centre will be (Allah willing) a game-changing community institution in Sydney.

Headed by the Grand Mufti of Australia, Professor Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammad, the Al Nawawi Centre will take its inspiration from the intellectual tradition of Islam to offer rays of hope, renewal and unity for the Muslims of Sydney and Australia generally.

‘Whoever builds a masjid (mosque) in which the Name of Allah is mentioned, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise.’ [Ibn Majah]

Giving Sadaqah on Friday
Jumuah is a special deed, and the highlight of the week for many, but Friday has even MORE virtues than that:

The Prophet ﷺ said: “This is a day of ‘Eid that Allah has ordained for the Muslims…”

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday.”

On it, the ayah from Al-Quran: ‘This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion’ (al-Maa’idah 5:3) was revealed.

There is one more very special deed that Muslims should focus on – making du’a during the special hour which the Prophet ﷺ told us about (in the above hadith).

Muslims everywhere are suffering from a lack of unity rooted in a lack of incisive thought.

We are unable to confront the most challenging trends of our times and grapple with their implications. The renewal of Islamic thought and the strength brought about by unity have never been more important.

By giving to the Nawawi centre, you will be helping us reach our goal to create a new, multi-purpose centre that will be a game-changer for our community, says an email invite to donate.

Australia’s Younger Agricultural Workforce Step up with XAG Drone for the Soaring Winter Crops

BUNDABERG, Australia, Aug. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — XAG is on track to deploy drones to help farmers take the pressure off chemical use and preserve water. 

There is a growing demand for unmanned device applications during Australia’s winter cropping season.

Faced with the expanded size of sown areas in Australia, XAG works with millennial drone entrepreneurs from Queensland.

They provide autonomous spraying solutions for the difficult-to-access field areas of horticulture crops.

Also possible is the spreading of seeds to restore the overgrazed pasture in response to climate change.

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After three years of intense drought and months of bushfire devastation that badly battered the continent, Australia now speeds up its recovery gazing into a long-awaited bumper harvest.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has forecast the winter crop yield to be 44.5 million tonnes in 2020–21.

It is 11 per cent above the average annual level of the past ten years. This is owing to the favourable weather conditions such as rain beginning to fall steadily and the soil developing a good moisture profile.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that keeps presenting challenges amid a second wave, agriculture has shown strong resilience, becoming one of the few bright spots of Australia’s economic activities.

Sales of agricultural machinery are booming, as well as farmers’ demand for crop protection services.

The sustainable macadamia nuts

XAG Australia is closely working with Jamin Fleming from Oztech Drones in Bundaberg, south-east Queensland to provide aerial treatment for pests, weeds, and crop diseases. 

Since July, Fleming has been collaborating with local fruit growers, such as Redrock and Suncoast Gold Macadamias, on a series of trials to apply fungicides and fertilisers on macadamia trees with XAG’s agricultural drones.

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The Australian macadamia industry, with a farm-gate output value of AUD 267 million in 2019, has been leading the world in its adoption of sustainable farming practices and climate-resilient productivity.

Macadamia trees have the natural ability to optimise water consumption, adapt to dry condition, and absorb a substantially higher amount of carbon, suggesting in-built sustainability unmatched by many other crops.

According to the Australian Macadamia Society, each year 70% of its macadamia crops, as confectionary and healthy snacks, are exported to over 40 countries, while this constitutes 30% of the global production.

However, tractor-mounted spray cannons are still widely used as the spray tool for pest and disease management in macadamia orchards.

As the industry is committed to minimising its carbon output, the use of heavy diesel machinery should be further limited, and this creates an untapped area where drone-based solutions from XAG can reduce 30% chemical use and conserve up to 90% water.

Fleming shed light on how drones facilitate precision agriculture. “We first mapped an area of the farm out using the XMission survey drone and found the trees that were lacking in health.

Then, we sent the crop protection drone just to spray those specific trees rather than the entire crops as normal spray rigs would do.”

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With this fully autonomous drone, farmers can even target at individual plants and skip the spacing between trees.

“We found the spraying drone can spiral over larger trees with better coverage of the whole canopy. Also, you can pre-program the drone to conduct hover spray over the smaller trees, which is more efficient.”

Results from the trial phase also showed that droplets were broken down into tiny particles of different sizes that could reach the lower foliar of the macadamia trees.

The big picture here is trying to help macadamia growers prioritise the protection of water, minimise pesticide usage from traditional techniques, and eliminate possible chemical drifts.

Given that water shortage has been a persistent issue in Australia, such benefits of drone applications should be seen across the entire agriculture industry which accounts for three quarters of total water use.

Fly over the toughest places

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As a fledgling drone entrepreneur, Fleming’s business has really taken off to accumulate field experience on a wide variety of crops, including grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Fleming said drones can flex their muscles over complicated terrains, where large manned machinery such as tractors or helicopters find it difficult to handle the operation.

He has just contracted to one of the largest sweet potato growers in Australia, managing invasive weeds with XAG drones in all their channels, hard-to-reach areas and around the dams.

“We also help them with controlling weeds around water hydrants in the middle of fields.

In one field, there could be 50 hydrants which a tractor used to drive through damaging the crop to get to these hydrants.

Now using the XMission drone we can survey the entire field, find the hydrants, and send the spray drone out to only target the hydrant,” he said.

Thanks to this nimble, flexible technology, any crop damage is eliminated to help farmers close their yield gaps.

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With a good drop of rain and mild temperature, many farmers in Australia are very thrilled to have one of their best cropping seasons in lifetime.

Yet, a long-unseen wet winter also brings another big problem to disease management on waterlogged areas after rain. Eyes on the issue, Fleming has also started working with fruit growers on strawberries.

“Some of their fields have low area in them which after rain or excess watering are inaccessible by tractor. And therefore, pesticides and fungicides cannot be applied leaving the strawberry plants prone to diseases and pests. We come in and identify the low areas and then spray them all with applications recommended by the agronomist.”

While looking to create a pest suppressive landscape, drones can be of great use in Australia’s 332 million hectares of livestock farms which is 10 times the size of land used for crops.

As overgrazing, drought, and the warmer climate have been turning pastures into degraded land, demand for pasture seeding is growing, now added onto Fleming’s long list of pilot jobs.

The modular design of XAG spray drone allows it to switch into a “flying spreader” within minutes when embarked on a custom spreading attachment.

“Depending on application rate, we can seed up to 15 hectares an hour. Now hopefully we get some more rain at the end of the week to help it sprout,” he said.

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It is hoped that the more precise, safer method of distributing grass seeds would be scaled up to rehabilitate the fertile land of Australia.

Heed the call of countryside

Jamin Fleming is among the tech-savvy, keen millennial generation who passionately embrace a fulfilling career in agriculture. Growing up in a large cattle farm, he upholds the history and culture of Australia’s agriculture, but also breathes new life into the social, environmental side of its sustainability.

Unlike other parts of the world with an ageing farming population, Australia has seen a return of young talents into the countryside, either inheriting the land to be the next generation of farmers, working for farm businesses as farmhands, managers, and agronomists, or starting their own companies as service providers.

A recent insight snapshot from ABARES has highlighted that more people are now entering into the agricultural workforce, with the proportion of those under 35 years old is on the rise.

“Australia’s agricultural workforce is getting a lot younger now, because I think a lot of young people don’t want to be in an office or doing the same thing every day.

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Agriculture has a great range and the technology is getting better every day.”

said by Fleming.

Since Australia’s agriculture is a significantly volatile industry plagued by harsh, unpredictable weather conditions, innovations are desperately needed from these new faces to help manage the enormous risks of climate change.

New opportunity to boost Indonesia-Australia economic ties

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Australia earlier this week, culminating in a speech to Australian Parliament, bodes well for Australia-Indonesia relations.

Over the past ten years, they have expanded their cooperation despite occasional diplomatic rows. However, there is one area that has been left behind in an otherwise improved friendship: their economic relations.

For two neighboring countries of the Group of 20 with complementary economies, one would expect higher levels of trade and investment.

In fact, Indonesia and Australia have the lowest trade volumes of any two G20 neighbors. In 2018, less than 1 percent of Australia’s foreign investment went to Indonesia. Two-way trade with Indonesia has stagnated at around 2 percent for the entire decade.

To remedy this problem, they have signed a long-awaited free trade agreement, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

A decade in the making, the deal was approved by Indonesia’s House of Representatives last week, just in time for Jokowi’s arrival in Australia, and paving the way for its entry into force. Read More

Australia stunned virus did not hit Indonesia

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An article by Tita Smith for Daily Mail Australia could spark a row between Australia and Indonesia on the coronavirus.

The article says Australia believes Indonesia is a risk for widespread coronavirus outbreak.

The article did not give much detail whether it is an official stance from Australia, or a media bashing.

It bases its belief on a World Health Organisation is concern about Indonesia.

WHO says Indonesia lacks in preparedness to handle a coronavirus outbreak, urging it to improve its surveillance.

This has to be part of preparations to detect and be ready in case the deadly virus comes to Indonesia.


The country has so far seen no outbreak of the virus. Tests on 38 people in Indonesia is negative.

Indonesia has a population of 264 million people and has not reported a single case. This augurs well for the Indonesians but also for the region.

However, the Aussies are making a big fuss about perceived lacking in Indonesia’s health sector.

The Australians are saying some people may have gone undetected in the country.

But WHO Indonesia says the country has taken concrete measures and more can still be done.

On the other hand, The Jakarta Post reveals the local health ministry has a lab that can detect the virus.



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The Health Ministry said it has all the required resources to test patients.

The ministry says Indonesia has followed guidelines set by the WHO since late December.

it says it has a particular reagents – a substance or compound used in chemical analysis – which will react to coronavirus.

The laboratory is capable of testing up to 1,200 samples and accredited for emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Australia has however suggested there may be loopholes in the system in Indonesia. Whether it can stop a pandemic or not.

The question is whether Australia can really stop a pandemic itself? China has failed and is paying a big price for it.

Sidney Morning Herald based its article on first hand accounts of people who did not get proper treatment in Indonesia.


A tourist says he was not given treatment and was shifted from department to department at a hospital.

He says the nurses did not wear masks and used their bare hands to treat patients.

According to WHO guidelines, a sick person with infection has to wear masks.

Thus, non-infected nurses following WHO guidelines do not have to wear masks. Right?

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New lighting-fast access to Australia

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Queensland, Sept 27 (Bernama) — International business are readying themselves for the fastest data transmission speeds to Australia’s east coast in 2020, with yesterday’s [AEST] opening of the international submarine cable landing station on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson was joined by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick to mark the completion of this $7.2m facility.

Mayor Jamieson said the cable will significantly boost the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a sought-after investment location for global businesses.

“When completed, this network will provide direct international data and telecommunications from the Sunshine Coast – the only location in Australia outside of Sydney and Perth to provide this direct international connectivity. It will help to position the region as Australia’s first Digital Trade Hub,” Mayor Jamieson said.

The international broadband network will support the Internet of Things era and smart city developments, where reliable connectivity will be paramount to all aspects of our daily lives.


The international cable network is one of a number of region-shaping projects, including Australia’s newest international airport – with capability to accommodate direct flights from Asia – and a new city centre that is already attracting interest from a range of commercial companies and international hotel operators.

The cable provides another data path in and out of Australia for industry and will come into service by mid-2020.

For more information view the project webpage(
https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Council/Planning-and-Projects/Major-Regional-Projects/Undersea-Cable), download the E-Book( http://investcampaign.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/sunshine-coast-international-broadband-network-news-signup) and watch the event video( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH5V5Q2BiAs&feature=youtu.be) and time-lapse build video( https://youtu.be/3OSmqoHPugQ).

Join the conversation: #healthysmartcreative #SCmeansBusiness #SunshineCoast

Source: MacNeil & Co

Image Attachments Links: http://asianetnews.net/view-attachment?attach-id=346359

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Aussie bans Korean coal mine to protect future gen

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Australia banned a huge South Korean-owned coal mine on concerns over long-lasting “environmental impacts” that would hurt future generations.

Korean electricity giant KEPCO proposed the mine for New South Wales’ Bylong Valley with more than 2,000 jobs and an Aus$300 million (US$205 million) boost to the economy.

But the New South Wales’ Independent Planning Commission struck the project down.

The watchdog said, “It was unfair for current generations to reap the benefits of a project that would leave the environmental costs to be “borne by the future generations.”

On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world was “losing the race” to avert climate disaster.

However, he said greenhouse gas reduction targets were not out of reach yet.

He was speaking during an interview with the Covering Climate Now coalition of media days before a UN youth climate summit.

Several countries are in a landmark accord pledging to limit the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth to two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, and if possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK gaining momentum

Support for free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (CANZUK) is growing.

Called the ‘CANZUK freedom of movement’, the idea is to propose the creation of a political union between the quartet.

All four nations have the Queen as Head of State.

The proposal is to allow the free movement of goods and citizens between the countries.

A recent poll conducted showed that over half of respondents in each of the four countries were in favour of a CANZUK merger.

The most enthusiastic nation was New Zealand, with 82 percent of people showing support for the idea.

Canada, Australia and the UK also showed strong results, with 76 percent, 73 percent and 68 percent support respectively.


What is CANZUK International?

CANZUK International is a non-profit organization that has been an advocate of the freedom of movement concept over the past few years.

Inspired by the experiences of U.K. native James Skinner the movement intends to bring down immigration barriers.

Skinner formed the movement and became its CEO.

Skinner faced difficulties moving from the UK to Australia due to visa and permanent residency restrictions.

Since then, he’s been fighting to strengthen the already-established relationships and socio-economic bonds between the four countries.

He intends to make free movement between them a reality.

“We are virtually the same people,” Skinner told CBC.”The only thing that divides us is the cover of our passports.”


The establishment of a free trade agreement to remove customs barriers is on the cards.

Altogether the limitations to commerce.

It also promotes cooperation between the countries on issues concerning foreign policy, defence and intelligence.

These include Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance, NATO and the UN Security Council.

WFTV believes this is a trend that will gain momentum in other parts of the world.

People of the same origins in Asia – particularly in the Asean region – are barred from free movement.

In the African Union, the same situation arises, though it may not be as tough as in the Asean.

There is the high possibility the quartet of British nations would devise a new foreign policy as well as a new defence mechanism.

This may result – in the long run – in their pressing the former British colonies to clean up their acts.

WIth the United Nations turning into a white elephant at the mercy of superpowers, new ideas are needed.

The U.N is now more like a stage for stand-up comedians who presents a polished image of their nations while their people are not happy with them!

Could CANZUK be that organisation that could fight for the rights of the abused in the former British colonies?

The U.K. will gain – economically – if it gets the ‘Commonwealth of nations’ to kowtow to international norms.

Turnbull’s son says he is a victim of 1MDB

Alex Turnbull

Alex Turnbull (above picture), who says he is a victim of the 1MDB scandal, has threatened to sue a blogger.

The son of the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Turnbull has urged blogger to pull down articles from his blog.

The blogger has allegeded that he benefited in the 1MDB scandal.

Turnbull rejected the claims in emails sent to Sahathevan.

Turnbull said he called upon the insane pricing and bizarre structure (of the 1MDB deal) at Goldman Sachs, instead.

“I called out the insane pricing and bizarre structure at GS when the deal was done.

He also said he was ‘yelled at’ by compliance for casting doubt on the integrity of PFI.

“As a result I was “b tracked” and resigned.

“This will all come out in a book in September by Tom Wright at the Wall Street Journal,” he wrote.

When Sahathevan refused to pull down the articles, Turnbull suggested the blogger should talk to Wright.

“We could move to a formal discussion about defamation law in Australia. Let me know.

“I am not going to do this in public to drive traffic to your site and cause a media circus.”

He then said ultimately “I’m not the one making unfounded ridiculous accusations.”

“If you don’t want to do even the vaguest bit of research and then publish that’s your problem legally speaking.”

Alex Turnbull has been an executive director of Goldman Sachs Group’s special situations group.

His father Malcolm was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs’s Australian unit between 1997 and 2001.

In his blog yesterday, Sahathevan wrote that he will not take down the articles.

He even suggested to Mr Turnbull to proceed with the lawsuit.

Sahathevan also published a Bloomberg article that refers to Mr Turnbull’s previous link with Goldman Sachs.

And he says the threat of a lawsuit in Australia, while Mr Turnbull is in Singapore, should not be ignored.

He was refering to the fact that the Turnbulls are the most powerful family in Australia.