South East Asia

Developments as they unfold in the Asean region.

Masked, gloved Singaporeans go to the polls amid pandemic

During the campaign, several media outlets were hit with a controversial law against misinformation.

India confronts its dark-skin bias, obsession with fair complexions

In Indonesia, the sale of toxic, unregulated skin-whitening products has prompted a government crackdown.

Politician under fire for ordering face veils for Covid-19 prevention

It's slammed as an attempt to impose conservative dress codes on Indonesian women.

In show of commitment, US signs ‘strategic vision’ pact with Thailand

Bangkok is Washington's oldest Asian ally but relations were soured by a 2014 army coup.

French retiree faces death for sex acts with hundreds of Indonesian...

Police say children who had sex with him were paid US$17-US$70, those who refused were beaten.

Indonesia posts worst rise in virus cases after outbreak at military...

Over 1,000 cadets and trainers have tested positive for the disease.

Indonesian found in freezer on Chinese fishing vessel

In June, two Indonesian crew members jumped off a Chinese boat to escape abuse and horrific conditions.

US ‘deeply concerned’ by Vietnamese Facebook activist’s jail sentence

Washington calls on Hanoi to allow freedom of expression following recent detentions.

Cambodian tourist hotspot Siem Reap bans dog meat trade

The maximum penalty is five years' prison, while fines range from US$1,700 to US$12,200.

Singapore’s PM-in-waiting tests electability in unsafe seat

Deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat must win to show people he has what it takes to be a future leader.

Covid-19 outbreak in Rohingya camps ‘contained’, says Bangladesh

Bangladesh refugee commissioner says only five Rohingya have died from the virus so far.

Vietnam jails Facebook user 8 years for pro-democracy broadcasts

The arrest follows the detention of a number of high-profile journalists and activists in recent months.

Singaporeans question foreign hires for top-tier jobs ahead of polls

Reports about foreigners breaking lockdown rules, having their work passes revoked, has fuelled resentment.

Myanmar army sacks officers over 174 deaths at jade mine

Landslide was the worst tragedy to hit the multi-billion dollar industry dominated by firms linked to the military.

Singapore ship attacked, 5 China sailors kidnapped off Nigeria

Cargo vessel was boarded by heavily armed men in the waters of Benin.

Bali eyes September re-opening even as cases mount

As of Monday, the holiday island reported 1,900 confirmed infections, with 23 deaths.

US Navy carriers conduct South China Sea drills as Chinese ships...

China has built island bases atop atolls in the region but says its intentions are peaceful.

Singapore’s fake news law trips up opposition as election looms

One opposition party says it disputes the 'correction' but was bound to comply and would appeal.

Duterte’s much contested anti-terrorism law challenged in Supreme Court

Critics argue bill threatens human rights and freedom of speech.

People turn to looting Myanmar’s temples to make ends meet amid...

Security forces are patrolling day and night to keep looters away.

Myanmar pushes ahead with capital-market projects despite virus

Southeast Asian nation started allowing foreigners to invest in equities in March.

Myanmar to bury more bodies in mass grave after mining landslide

Many other remains, battered by the force that hit them, still have not been identified.

China’s military drills will ‘further destabilise’ South China Sea, says US

Beijing retorts that countries 'outside this region' regularly stage large-scale military exercises in the disputed zone.

Bangkok airport offers rapid Covid-19 tests for foreign arrivals

Swab test is a requirement for fast-track entry without spending 14 days in quarantine.