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Asia Today

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From prisoner to PM, Malaysia’s Anwar had long ride to top

Becoming prime minister caps Anwar’s roller-coaster political journey, from a former deputy prime minister whose sacking and imprisonment in the 1990s led to massive street protests and a reform movement that rose into a major political force. It is a second victory for his reformist bloc, which won 2018 polls but lost power after 22 months due to a power struggle that has led to continuous political turmoil.

Indonesia launches its first home-grown COVID-19 vaccines

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Authority greenlighted emergency use authorization of IndoVac in September, with an efficacy above 80% after two shots. The vaccine passed an audit by the country’s highest Islamic body that the shot is fit for consumption by Muslims — a particularly important factor in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Indian workers rescued from job scams in Southeast Asia

A UN envoy has said the scam networks, which often have links to transnational organized crime, are set up in countries with weak law enforcement, attracting educated young workers with promises of high earnings. The workers are then subject to isolation and the threat of violence unless they succeed in cheating victims reached by phone into transferring payments into overseas bank accounts.

Rohingya seek reparations from Facebook for role in massacre

Despite years of warnings, Amnesty found, the company not only failed to remove violent hate speech and disinformation against the Rohingya, it actively spread and amplified it until it culminated in the 2017 massacre. The timing coincided with the rising popularity of Facebook in Myanmar, where for many people it served as their only connection to the online world. That effectively made Facebook the internet for a vast number of Myanmar's population.

Malaysian dad pleads help for online scam victims after son died

Following a tip-off by another Malaysian victim who had returned to the country, Goi said he believed Zhen Feng was taken to KK Garden in Myanmar's Myawaddy township near the Thai border to work for companies engaged in online scams. Malaysian officials said KK Garden is a casino and entertainment complex in the Myawaddy village of Shwe Kokko that involves Chinese investment and is suspected of being a hub for organized crimes.
East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta, left, talks to Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

East Timor hopes to join ASEAN when Indonesia chairs in 2023

East Timor’s President Jose Ramos-Horta in a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart on Tuesday said he hoped Asia’s youngest country could join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations next year. Ramos-Horta, former independence fighter and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was sworn in as president of East Timor on May 20 as the country marked its 20th anniversary of independence from Indonesia, which invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975.
Protesters hold placards march on a street as they take part in a rally against the proposed amendments to extradition law in Hong Kong

Hong Kong in limbo 25 years after British handover to China

When the British handed its colony Hong Kong to Beijing in 1997, it was promised 50 years of self-government and freedoms of assembly, speech and press that are not allowed Chinese on the Communist-ruled mainland. As the city of 7.4 million people marks 25 years under Beijing's rule on Friday, those promises are wearing thin. Hong Kong's honeymoon period, when it carried on much as it always had, has passed, and its future remains uncertain, determined by forces beyond its control.
Virus Outbreak Singapore

Despite variants, Singapore’s Covid-19 strategy on track

If there was a mistake made, it was to start allowing home-based isolation at the end of August for mild or asymptomatic patients, instead of in hospitals or dedicated facilities, just as cases were starting to rapidly climb. The intention was to alleviate pressure on the health care system, but it instead led to the rapid spread of the virus in communities.

Thousands of foreigners leave Indonesia amid Covid-19 crisis

Indonesia now has the most confirmed daily cases in Asia, as infections and deaths have surged over the past month and India’s massive outbreak has waned. Infections peaked in mid-July, with the highest daily average reported at more than 50,000 new cases each day. Until mid-June, daily cases had been running at about 8,000.
This aerial shot shows workers bury a COVID-19 victim in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Indonesia caught between surge and slow vaccine rollout

After a slow vaccination rollout, Indonesia is now racing to inoculate as many people as possible as it battles an explosion of COVID-19 cases that have strained its health care. But inadequate global supply, the complicated geography of the world's largest archipelago nation, and hesitancy among some Indonesians stand as major roadblocks.
Bangladesh on map

Bangladesh at 50: A nation created in violence and still bearing scars of a troubled birth

In the 50 years since its independence, Bangladesh has made some significant strides. It has aggressively tackled infant mortality, gender inequity and economic development. Today, with a booming economy, it is on track to graduate from the United Nation’s least developed country category. Nevertheless, Bangladesh still faces enormous challenges. Violence against women and girls, corruption and lack of press freedoms remain serious concerns.