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

  • Experts in Singapore wary of rise in mutant coronavirus strains amid plans to relaunch Hong Kong travel bubble
    by Dewey Sim on April 19, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Singapore is facing an uptick in Covid-19 cases amid reports of a rising number of mutant strains circulating overseas, with health care experts saying this trend should be closely watched as the city state seeks to launch a quarantine-free travel bubble with Hong Kong.Health authorities on Monday afternoon reported 20 new infections, 19 of which were imported. Of the island nation’s 170 imported cases in the past week, 63 came from India, which is battling a deadly new wave of cases stemming…

  • Is Southeast Asia waking up to the need for unity in South China Sea?
    by Norman Goh on April 19, 2021 at 1:00 am

    For years, the Southeast Asian countries that are party to the South China Sea dispute have faced criticism over their approach to advance their respective cases.Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei each contest China’s sweeping nine-dash line claim over the resource-rich waterway. Indonesia, while not a claimant, has also challenged Beijing’s efforts to fish in its waters, particularly in its economic exclusive zone off the coast of the Natuna Islands.The five countries are part of…

  • Myanmar coup: new unity government says Asean must not recognise military junta
    by Reuters on April 18, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Myanmar’s neighbours have to negotiate with a newly formed government of national unity if they want to help resolve the turmoil triggered by a February 1 military coup, a representative said on Sunday. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has been trying to find a way out of the bloody crisis that has racked member Myanmar since the military ousted an elected government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi.The military has shown little willingness to engage with…

  • Bleak Ramadan for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, in danger of further abuses by the military, analysts warn
    by Maria Siow on April 18, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are observing the start of the Ramadan fasting month this week while in danger of further abuses by the military, according to analysts and activists, while their counterparts living in refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh live in fear of fires and are facing an uncertain future.Nasir Zakaria, executive director of the Chicago-based Rohingya Culture Center, warned that the community in Myanmar was “in great danger”. “They have no way to protect themselves. The…

  • In Vietnam, ‘Robin Hood’ borrowers are taking aim at digital loan sharks
    by Nicolas Lainez,Bui Thi Thu Doai,Tô Thu Phuong on April 18, 2021 at 5:30 am

    Vietnam is at the cusp of a significant financial transformation. New lending systems and a culture of borrowing are taking over.Digital lending is thriving, with hundreds of smartphone apps available for download. They come from banks and consumer lending firms, peer-to-peer (p2p) platforms, dubious loan companies, and moneylending gangs providing a “fast and easy” credit experience and unsecured loans within minutes. Although the apps boost financial inclusion and align with the bid by the…