ASEAN Perspectives

Cambodia PM defends ship docking despite virus diagnosis

  SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (AFP) — Cambodia’s strongman premier defended on Tuesday his decision to allow a US cruise ship to dock despite at least one passenger later being diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus, while authorities scrambled to track down hundreds that came in contact with her. The Westerdam was turned away by several Asian ports before Cambodia agreed last week to allow its more than 2,000 passengers and crew to disembark. But jubilation dimmed over […]

Implications on PHL tourism industry of novel coronavirus crisis

(Eagle News) — In this interview on ASEAN in Focus weekend edition on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, Joyce Alumno, president of Health Core, talks about the implications on the tourism industry in the Philippines of the current novel coronavirus problem that has affected business not only in Asia, but all over the world. Alumno, a medical tourism advocate, noted that the COVID-2019 scare, would have an impact on the country’s economy, considering that about 12.7 […]

Indonesia criticizes US study that questioned why it has no coronavirus cases

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia has criticized a US study questioning why the world’s fourth most populous nation had not yet recorded a case of coronavirus, calling the findings an insult and insisting it was on high alert. The virus has killed more than 1,100 people in China and spread to dozens of countries around the world — but the Southeast Asian nation of more than 260 million has not reported a confirmed case […]

Panic buying hits Singapore after virus alert raised

  SINGAPORE (AFP) — Anxious Singapore shoppers formed long lines at grocery stores Saturday and cleared the shelves of essential items, after the city-state raised its alert level over China’s coronavirus outbreak. Since emerging late last year, the virus has killed over 700 people and infected more than 34,000 in China, and spread to many other countries. Singapore, which has reported 33 cases, raised its alert level Friday to “orange” — the same as during […]

Asia ramps up defenses against deadly outbreak; more countries clamp down on Chinese visitors

Asian nations have sealed borders and clamped down on Chinese visitors as they try to protect themselves from a deadly virus epidemic. The outbreak has killed 170 people in China, infected over 7,700 more and sparked progressively more urgent precautions around the region. Here are some key measures taken outside mainland China: – Hong Kong – Six of the territory’s 14 mainland crossings were sealed from Thursday as the city took steps to cut the […]

Singapore misinformation law challenged in court for first time

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore’s controversial law against online misinformation was challenged in court for the first time on Thursday as concerns mount it is being used to stifle criticism ahead of elections. The legislation gives authorities the power to order corrections placed next to posts they deem false. Since the law came into force in October, several opposition figures and activists have been ordered to place a banner next to online posts stating that they […]

94-year old Malaysian PM Mahathir again hints he could stay on beyond 2020

  DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — Malaysia’s 94-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad again raised the prospect on Saturday that he could stay in office beyond 2020, declining to give a definitive pledge to step down. Mahathir returned to power last year after dealing a historic election defeat to the corruption-plagued coalition that he once led and which had been in power for six decades. Mahathir led Malaysia for more than two decades before his retirement in […]

British couple vlogging about PHL tourist spots rooting for Filipino athletes in SEA Games

(Eagle News) – A British couple who have been visiting the Philippines since April this year to vlog about the country’s best travel spots, have expressed their support and admiration for Filipino athletes competing in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Matt and Molly of the Youtube Channel “Dabble and Travel” have also watched some of the SEA Games events, including a gymnastics event of Filipino teenager, Carlos Yulo. They were also there to watch the […]

Watch: Various citizens of ASEAN countries commend “magnificent” SEAGames opener at PHL Arena

(Eagle News) — Several citizens of Southeast Asian countries express their positive views about the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, including the opening ceremonies at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena.  They also showed their support for their athletes competing in the various SEA Games sporting events. “The opening ceremony was totally magnificent,” said Zumalia Norzailan, a Malaysian national. Among those interviewed were Filipinos who are working in some of the ASEAN countries. They […]

Ex-Presidential spokesman Roque says SEAGames opening, a proud moment for Filipinos; hits Duterte critics

  (Eagle News) — “Proud to be Filipino!” This was one of the tweets of former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque when he attended the 30th Southeast Asian Games opening at the 55,000 seater Philippine Arena. Proud to be Filipino! During the opening of the SEA games — Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) November 30, 2019 Go Philippines! — Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) November 30, 2019 “Go Philippines!” he said in another tweet in support of the […]

Singapore tells Facebook to correct post under disinformation law

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore authorities Friday ordered Facebook to correct an article on a fringe news site containing “scurrilous accusations” of election rigging, ramping up their use of a controversial law against misinformation. The social media giant, which has previously expressed concerns about the legislation, did not respond to requests for comment and the article was still on the site without any changes. The order is a test of the new law, which gives ministers […]

Indonesians quitting ‘rice addiction’ over diabetes fears

by Haeril HALIM Agence France Presse JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesian Mirnawati once ate rice with every meal, but its link to diabetes convinced her to join a growing movement to quit a staple food in the third biggest rice-consuming nation on Earth. As World Diabetes Day is held Thursday, the Southeast Asian nation is struggling to tackle a disease that affects as many as 20 million of its 260 million people, and has emerged […]