Southeast Asia

Straits Herald March 3, 2020

Malaysia’s new prime minister insisted Monday he was no “traitor” after taking power without an election and with support from a scandal-tainted party, following political heavyweight Mahathir Mohamad’s shock resignation. “I know there are those who are angry with me — I am not a traitor,” Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address — his […]

Straits Herald March 2, 2020

Muhyiddin Yassin, who is set to become Malaysia’s next prime minister, is a low-profile political insider and former stalwart of the establishment Muslim party that led the country for decades. As Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim engaged in a power struggle following the collapse of their two-year-old coalition, the unassuming 72-year-old emerged as an unexpected […]

Straits Herald March 2, 2020

by Sam Reeves / Patrick Lee A staunch Muslim nationalist backed by a scandal-mired party was sworn in as Malaysia’s premier Sunday after a reformist government’s collapse, but ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 94, slammed the move as illegal. The Southeast Asian nation was plunged into turmoil after Mahathir’s “Pact of Hope” alliance, which stormed to a […]

Straits Herald February 26, 2020

by Sam Reeves / M. Jegathesan Malaysia’s government has collapsed after the resignation of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, which followed a failed bid by rivals to form a new coalition aimed at stopping leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim from succeeding him. Mahathir, 94, the world’s oldest leader, has been appointed interim leader while intense political jockeying is […]

Straits Herald February 9, 2020

by Thanaporn Promyamyai / Dene Chen A Thai soldier who killed at least 26 people before being shot dead in a mall by commandos went on the rampage because of a debt dispute, the kingdom’s premier said Sunday, offering the first official motive for the “unprecedented” shooting spree. Sharp-shooters brought an end to a 17-hour-ordeal […]

Straits Herald January 28, 2020

Malaysia banned visitors from the Chinese city of Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province on Monday, in a bid to contain the spread of a deadly virus. A statement by the prime minister’s office said the authorities will temporarily halt all issuance of visas for Chinese citizens from the area with immediate effect. “The government has […]

Straits Herald January 15, 2020

Malaysia’s leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim will not face charges over claims he sexually assaulted a male former aide, prosecutors said Tuesday, the latest such scandal to tarnish the veteran politician’s career. Muhammed Yusoff Rawther last month accused Anwar of trying to force him to have sex and filed a police complaint, but officials said there was […]

Straits Herald January 7, 2020

An Indonesian student described as Britain’s most prolific rapist was jailed for life on Monday for a catalogue of sex offences on unsuspecting men he drugged and assaulted. Manchester Crown Court in northwest England was told Reynhard Sinaga may have attacked as many as 195 men, luring them into his flat with the offer of […]

Straits Herald December 20, 2019

Malaysian ex-leader Najib Razak swore in a packed mosque Friday he did not order the killing of a Mongolian woman linked to a major defence deal, rejecting an allegation from his ex-bodyguard. Altantuya Shaariibuu was shot dead and her body blown up with military-grade plastic explosives in 2006. Her death was linked to a scandal […]

Straits Herald December 10, 2019

The Ministry of Health of Malaysia yesterday announced a case of polio in Tuaran District in Sabah state, Malaysia. Testing has confirmed that the virus is genetically linked to poliovirus currently circulating in the southern Philippines. The patient, a 3-month-old male child, developed fever and paralysis on 26 October. On 6 December, testing conducted by […]

Straits Herald December 8, 2019

Malaysia has reported its first polio case in 27 years, health authorities said Sunday, announcing a three-month-old baby had been diagnosed on Borneo island. The Malaysian health ministry’s director-general, Noor Hisham Abdullah, said the baby from Tuaran in eastern Sabah state had been admitted into intensive care after experiencing fever and muscle weakness. “The patient […]

Straits Herald December 6, 2019

Google has banned political ads in Singapore ahead of elections, an opposition party said Wednesday, sparking accusations the tech giant was “kowtowing” to the tightly-controlled city’s government. The ban was imposed under controversial new rules aimed at fighting disinformation in the city-state, which critics fear could be used to stifle dissent. General elections are widely […]

Straits Herald November 25, 2019

Britain has agreed to take back 42 containers of plastic waste illegally exported to Malaysia, officials said Monday, as several Asian nations push back against becoming the world’s trash dump. Southeast Asia has been flooded with plastic from more developed nations such as the US and Australia since last year when China — which boasted […]

Straits Herald November 24, 2019

Jakarta’s ex-governor, who was jailed for nearly two years on controversial blasphemy charges, was tapped Friday to oversee executives at Indonesian energy firm Pertamina, media reports said, after it was hit by graft scandals. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, will reportedly serve as head of state-owned Pertamina’s six-member board of commissioners. The appointment […]

Straits Herald November 14, 2019

by Danny Kemp Investigators looking into the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine released intercepted phone calls on Thursday showing close links between “high-ranking” Russian officials and rebel suspects facing trial over the crash. The international probe said the communications raised questions about the possible involvement of top officials in Moscow in the deployment of […]

Straits Herald November 11, 2019

by M. Jegathesan Malaysian ex-leader Najib Razak’s first trial linked to the 1MDB scandal will proceed after a judge ruled Monday prosecutors had made a sufficient case, boosting efforts to bring him to justice over the mammoth fraud. The former prime minister will take the stand next month when his defence begins, in the case […]

Straits Herald November 8, 2019

An offer by the United States to host a Pacific rim summit in America in 2020 after Chile abruptly cancelled this year’s event was “not a good idea”, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Thursday. The sharp retort comes days after most southeast Asian leaders snubbed a meeting with US officials in Thailand when President Donald Trump […]

Straits Herald November 7, 2019

by Guillaume Bonnet with Patrick Lee in Kuala Lumpur Exiled Cambodian opposition party leader Sam Rainsy was blocked in Paris on Thursday and his deputy detained in Malaysia as they tried to fly home despite arrest threats from Cambodia’s  leader Hun Sen. Both Rainsy and Mu Sochua had planned to meet up with other opposition […]

Straits Herald November 6, 2019

by Jenny VAUGHAN / Joe Freeman India said Monday it would not join a sprawling Asian trade pact, dealing a blow to the China-backed deal at the end of a Bangkok summit held against a backdrop of global growth fears. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was meant to account for 30 percent of global […]

Straits Herald November 4, 2019

by Thanaporn Promyamyai / Dene-Hern Chen Southeast Asian leaders meet for a second day in Thailand on Sunday, hoping for a breakthrough in talks over the world’s largest trade deal to help throw off the torpor which has gripped the global economy since the US-China tariff war began. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations […]

Straits Herald October 24, 2019

Tens of thousands of pieces of plastic littering the planet come from just a handful of multinational corporations, an environmental pressure group said Wednesday. Coca-Cola, Nestle and PepsiCo were named by Break Free from Plastics, a global coalition of individuals and environmental organisations, who warned the companies largely avoid cleanup responsibility. The coalition’s volunteers collected […]