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ASEAN NOW Content Team

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  1. After receiving Sinopharm vaccines from China a few days ago, Brunei commenced the COVID-19 first-dose vaccination on Thursday. The Brunei government had to temporarily postpone the first-dose immunisation on September 1 due to a scarcity of COVID-19 vaccinations following thousands of locally transmitted illnesses reported since August. On Sept. 12, the Chinese government delivered 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine and 102,400 syringes to Brunei. Haji Erywan, Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Haji Mohd Isham, the Sultanate's Minister of Hea
  2. With Afghanistan dominating the news, it's easy to overlook another long-running crisis: Burma's repression of Rohingya Muslims. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is currently in session, and the high-level session presents an important chance for the United States and the United Kingdom to reintroduce the issue to the global agenda by referring to the country's military (the Tatmadaw) actions as "genocide." The issue has been debated by several American and British administrations. Meanwhile, Burma's military dictatorship has continued to attack Rohingyas and other et
  3. Concerns are growing in Malaysia as the number of children infected with Covid-19 rises, with parents concerned that schools will return in only two weeks. As of the end of August, there were 310,074 Covid-19 cases affecting minors, which is 25 times greater than the entire previous year. Last year, the figure was merely 12,620. According to the health ministry, 41 children have died so far this year, compared to only six in 2020. Online reports of children experiencing strange symptoms have also surfaced. On September 8, a Penang-based doctor claimed on I
  4. Malaysia, as one of the founding members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is looking forward to integrating China, the world's most powerful economy, into the fold as soon as next year. "The Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) is particularly delighted by China's recent decision to formally seek for accession to the CPTPP," the Ministry told Bernama in response to a question about China's decision. The United Kingdom became the first country outside of the Asia Pacific belt to formally propose me
  5. Last year, before the coronavirus pandemic, Ni Kadek Suriani was looking forward to starting her second year of junior high school. Then her parents lost their jobs, and she was forced to work to make ends meet on Bali, Indonesia's popular tourist destination. "I used to sell tissues at traffic signals," the 13-year-old remembered at the headquarters of local organisation Bali Street Mums, which now finances her studies. Experts say the economic shock caused by the pandemic, as well as the closure of schools for more than a year, has been a terrible blow for many of I
  6. During a broad counterterrorism campaign in remote areas of the archipelago, Indonesian security officials believe they killed a hardline leader with ties to the ISIL (ISIS) group in a shoot-out on Saturday. According to Central Sulawesi's regional military chief Brigadier General Farid Makruf, Ali Kalora of the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) was slain in a village on eastern Sulawesi island late Saturday in a joint operation including military and police troops. Makruf stated, "Ali Kalora was the most wanted terrorist and the leader of MIT." According to authoriti
  7. COVID-19-related deaths were not reported in Brunei Darussalam yesterday. After 28 days with no new cases, two clusters were declared closed. StarLodge Cluster and Cluster 635 were the closed clusters. However, 109 new cases and four new clusters were discovered yesterday. This raises the country's total COVID-19 instances to 4,675. There are now 84 clusters in use. Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar stated this at yesterday's daily press conference. Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of
  8. Those that have remained open are eking out a living by lodging long-term visitors or providing Covid-19 quarantine services. According to estimates released by the junta's tourism ministry, nearly half of Yangon's hotels have closed due to a near-total collapse of Myanmar's tourism business. The combined impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and the military's February 1 coup has wreaked havoc on the sector. According to Nyo Aye, the director of the ministry's Yangon office, 225 of the 483 hotels registered in the former capital have now closed their doors. M
  9. Malaysia handed over medical equipment and supplies to Indonesia on Wednesday (September 15) to aid the country's fight against the Covid-19 outbreak. At the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Subang Air Base in Selangor, Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah presented the supplies to Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono. According to Saifuddin, the action demonstrates the two nations' strong and great connections, and Malaysia and Indonesia will continue to work closely in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. "Although Malaysia is still deal
  10. Due to Covid-19 limitations, many Malaysians celebrated Malaysia Day discreetly, but a group of 14 people were detained here for celebrating the national holiday with a drug and drink party. The partygoers, aged 20 to 41, were apprehended at 2.30 a.m. following a surprise police raid at a residence in Taman Perling. The raiding team also discovered numerous alcoholic beverages, as well as marijuana, ketamine, and ecstasy, according to Johor Baru North district police commander Assistant Commissioner Rupiah Abd Wahid. Initial investigations found that the party began
  11. Although daily cases and deaths have declined dramatically in Jakarta and Java, experts fear the virus has spread throughout the archipelago due to a lack of testing and contact tracing. Official data from Indonesia indicates that a Delta-driven second wave of COVID-19, which saw the Southeast Asian nation become the pandemic's global epicentre in July and August, has passed. However, some of the country's leading epidemiologists believe that due to a lack of testing and tracking capability, inaccurate death toll estimates, and willful data falsification, there is still
  12. President Joko Widodo and other top officials in Indonesia have been found guilty of negligence in the fight against air pollution in Jakarta, according to an Indonesian court. The court, in a landmark decision, ordered monitoring stations and other measures to enhance the air quality in the city. Residents filed the complaint in 2019, and the verdict has been postponed multiple times since then. According to US experts, air pollution is shortening the life expectancy of Jakarta inhabitants by 5.5 years. Heavy traffic and coal-fired power plants without filt
  13. Since the second wave began on August 6, a total of 3,835 cases have been documented, with 3,791 (98.9%) being local transmissions and 44 being imported cases. Meanwhile, children and adolescents aged 19 and under made up 27.9% of the cases. Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Mohd Isham Jaafar gave crucial analyses and conclusions on the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country as of September 12 during the daily news briefing in the capital. Maswadi Mohsin, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health (MoH), was also there. “This is a gra
  14. During the weekend, junta forces killed at least a dozen civilians in the Magwe, Sagaing, and Yangon regions. Two brothers were slain by junta soldiers in Taungdwingyi Township, Magwe Region, on Sunday when a telecom mast belonging to the military-owned Mytel, one of Myanmar's four telecom companies, was dismantled. In a statement, resistance fighters said that forces tortured villagers while interrogating them about the incident, and that two of them were slain. It was also revealed that four additional villagers had been imprisoned. Following the shadow National
  15. Businesses in Malaysia's most popular vacation spot are preparing to welcome tourists back this week, as the country begins to recover from a disastrous coronavirus outbreak. As part of a local tourism bubble, Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands in the Straits of Malacca, will reopen on September 16 to fully vaccinated guests, with tight regulations in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Esther Lee, the owner of a restaurant, expressed her delight at the introduction of the bubble. "Finally, we can welcome customers, and this is our primary source
  16. According to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, more economic sectors would be permitted to reopen as the Covid-19 lockdown is no longer viable due to concerns that shutdowns will have more negative consequences, especially on Malaysians' mental health. He claimed that reopening the sectors would not only help the economy recover faster, but would also allow people to improve their living conditions. "The reopening of 11 economic sectors in states under phase one of the National Recovery Plan was appropriate due to the high vaccination rates in the states," he said on Tues
  17. According to a Health Ministry official, Indonesia's handling of COVID-19 has been lauded as one of the best in the world, as the country has successfully decreased the number of cases to minus 58 percent in two weeks. "According to one of the publications on the ourworld.org website, data from John Hopkins University, the last updated data on September 12 (2021), the handling of COVID-19 in Indonesia is praised as one of the best in the world," Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the ministry's spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccinations, said while delivering the PPKM Press Release on Wednesday.
  18. According to Indonesia police, an al-Qaida-linked gang that has been responsible for a spate of previous bombs in the country has been captured by the country's elite counterterrorism squad. Abu Rusdan was apprehended late Friday in Bekasi, outside Jakarta, along with three other alleged Jemaah Islamiyah members, said to police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan. Ramadhan informed the Associated Press, "He is currently known to be engaged within the unlawful Jemaah Islamiyah network's leadership." Rusdan is regarded by Indonesian police as a prominent player in the Jemaah Isl
  19. The ASEAN-Japan Centre is an international institution that was founded in 1981 by member governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan, and has served as a bridge between the two parties for the past 40 years. Through seminars, webinars, workshops, capacity-building programmes, research and policy analysis, cross-cultural events, and publication and information services, it has been promoting exports from ASEAN member states to Japan, as well as investment and tourism, as well as people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN members and Japan. The presidency of
  20. Brunei Shell Petroleum has implemented precautions to prevent oil and gas production disruptions in the country after a large number of Covid-19 infections were discovered at offshore platforms in the Champion field, the country's largest source of hydrocarbons. The recent increase in Covid-19 infections is especially worrying because it is the first big epidemic in Brunei since the first active case was reported in March 2020. Furthermore, “the number of instances recorded from the Champion field cluster is particularly bad for Brunei, given the field accounts for practically al
  21. The Mizoram administration has registered children of Myanmar refugees who have sought safety in the northeastern state after fleeing the nation following a military takeover into local schools throughout the state. Since Myanmar's military coup in February, tens of thousands of Myanmar nationals have fled the country to seek asylum in India's bordering states, fleeing the government's brutal crackdown. Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial, and Saitual are six Mizoram districts that share a 510-kilometer international border with Myanmar. Around 400 Myanmar you
  22. Deposed Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's leader, was unable to attend a court hearing on Monday due to health issues, according to a member of her legal team, who described her condition as dizziness induced by motion sickness. Suu Kyi, who has been held on numerous charges since her removal in a military coup on Feb. 1, did not have the coronavirus but felt poorly after not travelling in a car for a long time, according to her counsel Min Min Soe. The Nobel Peace Prize recipient has spent nearly half of the last three decades in various types of incarceration as a result of her
  23. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will sign a cooperation pact with the country's opposition, aimed at bolstering his support and putting an end to months of political unrest as the government grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variety. Representatives from the government and opposition stated in a statement on Sunday evening that the deal would be signed at 5 p.m. (13:00 GMT) on Monday. Malaysia's parliament convened for the first time on Monday after Ismail Sabri, a senior member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), gained contr
  24. Malaysia's government will seek parliamentary approval to lift the country's statutory debt ceiling and enhance cash for Covid-19 assistance measures, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz told CNBC on Tuesday. According to Zafrul, the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob plans to increase the Covid fund to 45 billion Malaysian ringgit ($10.8 billion) to benefit businesses and households. He noted that this will bring the fund's total size to 110 billion ringgit. In addition to the projected rise, the administration will seek parliament's consent to lift th
  25. Indonesia looks to be preparing to reopen the country to foreign tourism (again), but it appears that not everyone will be welcomed after one top minister suggested that backpackers pursue their wanderlust elsewhere. During his visit to the province on Friday, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan hinted at the possibility of a clean slate in the province, with foreign tourists always tightly linked to the country's most popular destination, Bali. “Everything has been planned. When are we going to open? It is dependent on the [origin] co
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