Singapore skyline. Photo: Shutterstock/File

Explainer | What you need to know about Singapore’s looming ‘holiday season’ Covid wave

Singapore has embraced a post-pandemic transition, thanks to a high vaccination rate and an imminent mass roll-out of ‘bivalent’ booster shots, and will continue with its plans to open up.

8 Dec 2022 - 10:30AM
A pillion waves a PAS flag in Penang, Malaysia, on November 18, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Explainer | Who is PAS, the single biggest party in Malaysia’s new parliament?

PAS, one of the parties in ex-premier Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional coalition, has long unnerved Malaysia’s minority groups with its hardline Islamist stance.

29 Nov 2022 - 6:40PM
Malaysia’s new leader Anwar Ibrahim during a press conference on his first day at the prime minister’s office in Putrajaya on Friday. Photo: Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia via AP

Explainer | As Malaysia’s PM Anwar builds cabinet, a look at key challenges ahead

Anwar has his work cut out as he aims to keep the peace within his ‘Unity Government’ and steer Malaysia forward after years of political turmoil.

30 Nov 2022 - 2:22PM
Malaysian’s former prime minister and Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin after the general election on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Explainer | Muhyiddin on pole: what you need to know after Malaysia’s deadlocked election

Muhyiddin’s strategy of pitching Perikatan Nasional as conservative alternative to major parties could have worked in rural constituencies.

20 Nov 2022 - 7:54PM
Umno’s last two years in power have been anything but stable – with the rise and fall of three prime ministers, an economy only just recovering from the pandemic and top party leaders mired in corruption charges and scandals. Photo: AP

Explainer | Party coup, angry king, jailed Najib: Malaysia’s tortuous journey to snap vote

Umno is seeking a return to power in Malaysia this week, four years after a crushing defeat in the historic 2018 election and since returning to power in 2020.

18 Nov 2022 - 12:23PM
A general view of the Bukit Bintang shopping district in Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysia gears up for its 15th general election, which is likely to be the most hotly contested so far. Photo: Reuters

Explainer | Malaysia election 2022: A quick guide to what you need to know

Malaysia’s tumultuous political scene, coloured by corruption and politicking, is further complicated by racial policies, the rising cost of living, economic uncertainty and an election held during monsoon season.

16 Nov 2022 - 10:46PM
Malaysian politician Yeo Bee Yin (left) and Nurul Izzah, daughter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: SCMP

Explainer | Man’s world no longer? Meet the women shaking up Malaysia’s politics

Women make up more than half of Malaysia’s registered voters, but in the last general election less than 11 per cent of state assembly candidates were female, meaning women’s issues are often neglected.

14 Nov 2022 - 11:36PM
Blocks of public housing in Singapore. Photo: Bloomberg

Explainer | A look at Singapore and Hong Kong’s property cooling measures

Recent measures in Singapore aim to slow pace of price increase for resale HDB flats, while Hong Kong has stuck to its policies despite home prices being in the midst of a five-year low.

16 Oct 2022 - 2:00PM
Voters queue up to cast their votes in Malaysia’s Sabah state on September 26, 2020. File photo: AP

Explainer | Malaysia’s Umno faces fierce fight for Malay and youth vote as polls near

Analysts say it might be a ‘tall order’ for any group to win a supermajority this time, given the larger number of parties and coalitions in the fight.

12 Oct 2022 - 1:45PM
Arema supporters running on the pitch towards Indonesian army personnel after a football match in Malang. Photo: AFP

Explainer | Can crowd disasters like Indonesia’s football tragedy be prevented?

Fight-or-flight response triggered by radical change in environment, crowd density among key factors for disasters, experts say.

4 Oct 2022 - 4:07PM
Pedestrians pass a pound store in Liverpool. Photo: Bloomberg

Explainer | What does a weaker UK pound mean for Asian tourists, students and businesses?

Asian consumers are snapping up the pound in anticipation of lower-cost holidays but it is a less rosy picture for UK-based workers and for Asian firms dependent on exports to Britain.

30 Sep 2022 - 8:49PM
People visit Sensoji Temple, a popular tourist location, in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Explainer | What Covid travel curbs remain in Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong?

A number of destinations across Asia are looking to welcome tourists after a lengthy period of border restrictions.

29 Sep 2022 - 9:18AM
Participants of Pink Dot, an annual pride rally in Singapore. File photo: Reuters

Explainer | Singapore’s Section 377A: how attitudes towards gay sex law have shifted

Despite growing indications that the Singapore government could soon strike down a colonial-era anti-gay law, marriage equality is unlikely to be next.

19 Aug 2022 - 5:50PM
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Photo: dpa

Explainer | Will missing ships scandal sink Malaysian PM’s team, Umno leadership?

Non-delivery of six littoral combat ships adds to crisis facing Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration, could implicate top Umno leadership and affect voter sentiment.

16 Aug 2022 - 5:30PM
Modern and luxury homes in Singapore. Photo: Getty Images

Explainer | Is Singapore still a ‘tenant’s haven’ as rents rise, Hong Kong expats arrive?

Rents in Singapore’s private residential market rose by double-digits in the first half of this year, a rate not seen since 2007.

7 Aug 2022 - 11:00AM
Sultan Jamalul Kiram III came to the throne at age 10 in 1894. He was the last formally recognised sultan of Sulu. Photo: KITLV/Creative Commons

Explainer | Why are the Philippine heirs of a sultan clashing with Malaysia over Sabah?

The heirs are the descendants of the Sultan of Sulu, who entered into a deal in 1878 with a colonial British trading company to exploit resources in his territory.

25 Jul 2022 - 12:01PM
Sri Lankans gather inside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence in Colombo. Photo: AP

Explainer | Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees to Maldives. What happens next?

Amid the economic crisis, with food, fuel and medicine shortages, the president and prime minister have both said they’ll resign; protesters are refusing to leave government buildings until the men have formally gone.

13 Jul 2022 - 8:56AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on June 30, 2022. Photo: Sputnik via Reuters

Explainer | What is Indonesia’s Jokowi hoping to achieve when he meets Putin in Moscow?

Indonesia’s ‘historical nostalgia’, Cold War neutrality means Russia isn’t all that cut off from the world.

30 Jun 2022 - 11:59PM
Pakistani protesters burn a poster of BJP’s Nupur Sharma in Karachi on June 7. Photo: AFP

Explainer | Can India’s BJP quell Gulf anger after Nupur Sharma’s Prophet Mohammed comments?

Outrage over now-suspended ruling party spokeswoman’s inflammatory remarks on Islam’s founder has forced the Modi government to douse a diplomatic backlash from the Arab world.

10 Jun 2022 - 7:39PM
China’s Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the Shangri-la Dialogue summit in Singapore in 2019. Photo: AP

Explainer | US-China fireworks, Kishida speech: key facts on the Shangri-La Dialogue

The defence meeting, which began in 2002, is up and running again, in person, for the 19th time after a two-year pandemic-related pause; China’s Defence Minister is among those expected to give a talk to participants this year.

9 Jun 2022 - 10:25AM