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South China Morning Post Southeast Asia's latest news, current affairs, politics and regional issues.

  • Indonesian Muslim group calls for calm amid Islamic world’s fury at France’s Macron
    by Amy Chew on October 28, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Indonesian group Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organisation, on Wednesday called for calm while criticising France’s “extreme secularism”, even as Muslims across the world reacted furiously to French President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of free speech and description of Islam as “a religion in crisis”.“Humiliating the honour of the Prophet Muhammad is considered an insult to Islam,” said Yahya Staquf, secretary general of NU, which has an estimated 90 million members.“However,…

  • Bilahari dismisses claims he is an ‘agent’, after hinting Asean should expel Cambodia, Laos over Chinese influence
    by Dewey Sim on October 28, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    A Singaporean former diplomat who sparked a diplomatic storm by suggesting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expel Cambodia and Laos – following criticisms of their pro-Beijing stances on the South China Sea and Chinese dams on the Mekong – has mocked accusations he is working as an “agent” of a foreign power.Bilahari Kausikan, a former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore, caused controversy when he said last week the two Mekong nations were “teetering…

  • Coronavirus latest: Singapore to ease some curbs on migrant workers; Hawaii to let Japan travellers enter quarantine-free
    by Bloomberg on October 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Singapore will allow some migrant workers – who have largely been confined to dormitories – to visit recreation centres as the city state gradually relaxes measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease.The more than 300,000 overseas workers have been confined to their living quarters since April, and have only been allowed out in recent months to go to work and for essential errands, after the coronavirus ripped through the tightly-packed dormitories.That’s even as life has been slowly…

  • Typhoon Molave smashes through central Vietnam, leaving floods and despair in its wake
    by Sen Nguyen on October 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Le Thi Lai stands motionless in front of her roofless house while her sons play inside. The 51-year-old and her husband had just built a new home, but could only watch last week as powerful winds completely stripped away the corrugated iron sheets that had kept seemingly relentless storms at bay, leaving the family exposed to the angry sky. “We just cleaned up our home. Now another storm is coming. Storm after storm, flood after flood. I already lost a tonne of rice and 70 chickens,” she said,…

  • Thai protests: in Bangkok, motorcycle taxi drivers serve as quiet allies
    by Agence France-Presse,Bloomberg on October 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Orange-vested drivers of motorbike taxis have become allies to Thailand’s pro-democracy protesters gathering across traffic-snarled Bangkok, offering lifts and keeping an eye out for trouble.When authorities shut down train lines this month in an effort to curb daily rallies, drivers of the capital’s motor taxis came to the rescue, ferrying stranded protesters to demonstration sites.But they have long waited on the sidelines of the youth-led movement, cheering student leaders on as they…