Explained

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
Fruit vendors wait for customers at the wholesale market in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo: EPA-EFE
Explainer | ‘Hell on earth’: can the world spend its way out of the global food crisis?

UN said Russia’s war on Ukraine could lead to ‘hurricane of hunger’ as 30 per cent of the world’s grain exports come from the warring countries.

7 Jun 2022 - 8:40AM
Beginning June 10, Japan will allow in people on tours with fixed schedules. Photo: Shutterstock
Explainer | Japan opens up to some foreign tourists from June 10: what you need to know

Masks must still be worn, and only five airports are accepting international flights, but the yen’s weakening makes Japan a good holiday option.

4 Jun 2022 - 4:05AM
A worker prepares chickens at wet market in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: EPA-EFE
Explainer | When will Malaysia’s chicken export ban end and does Singapore have a stockpile?

Malaysia announced the ban on May 23 to stem local supply shortages, cutting off one-third of Singapore’s poultry supply indefinitely.

4 Jun 2022 - 6:29PM
Tourists jump for pictures around the Sensoji temple in Tokyo. Photo: EPA-EFE
Explainer | As tourism restarts, what are the dos and don’ts of post-pandemic travel?

The fully vaccinated can now pack their bags and head off overseas as many Covid-19 restrictions have eased but there are still some dos and don’ts to bear in mind.

3 Jun 2022 - 5:38PM
Voting is compulsory for all Australians. Photo: Shutterstock
Explainer | Morrison v Albanese: who’s leading Australia’s race, and who’s tougher on China?

Opinion polls suggest Anthony Albanese’s Labor party is ahead of incumbent PM Scott Morrison’s ruling conservative coalition, but surveys have not been a good predictor of election outcomes.

15 May 2022 - 1:53PM
Volunteers campaign for presidential aspirant Leni Robredo in Quezon city, Philippines, on May 5. Photo: AP
Explainer | The race to replace Duterte: What you need to know about Philippine election

Millions of voters will head to the polls on May 9 to decide the fate of front runner Ferdinand Marcos Jnr, his closet rival Leni Robredo and eight others vying to succeed Duterte.

7 May 2022 - 11:30AM
A Chinese Type 039A  Yuan class submarine, of which the S26T is variant. Photo: Twitter
Explainer | Why is Thailand’s Chinese submarine deal stalled – and will it go ahead?

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government has struggled to defend the US$1.05 billion deal for three Chinese submarines at a time of economic hardship.

5 May 2022 - 10:51AM
Customers at a restaurant in Robertson Quay in Singapore. Photo: Bloomberg
Singapore returns to ‘almost normal’ life with no group limits, less scanning

All residents can now gather in large groups and stop using the TraceTogether app at most places in the city state, which also axed pre-departure Covid tests.

26 Apr 2022 - 11:08AM
Pakistan’s PM Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: AFP/Getty Images/TNS
Explainer | Why is Pakistan’s new PM so keen to accelerate the CPEC with Beijing?

Sharif played a key role in setting up some infrastructure projects in the CPEC’s initial stages, and resuming work on the scheme will be like a ‘homecoming’, an analyst says.

20 Apr 2022 - 9:58PM
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison faces another election campaign. Photo: EPA
Explainer | Australian election: how will China feature and what issues will shape the fight?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for the election on May 21 against a backdrop of missteps and controversies; China is portrayed as a threat to Australia, with allegations of foreign interference and spying.

11 Apr 2022 - 8:24AM
A container ship is seen at the port of St. Petersburg in Russia. Photo: Igor Russak/dpa
Explainer | What is Asia buying from Russia, and can it be resold to avoid sanctions?

As analysts warn sanctions have turned global trade ‘bipolar’, India, Indonesia and China are among those finding opportunity in the crisis.

29 Mar 2022 - 11:02PM
People pass the control tower of Singapore’s Changi Airport. Photo: Reuters
Explainer | Singapore’s ‘decisive’ living with Covid-19 plan: all you need to know

From masks off outdoors to no on-arrival testing for vaccinated travellers, Singapore from next week will ease or ditch a slew of pandemic-era curbs.

29 Mar 2022 - 6:19PM
Wheat being loaded in Australia. Prices have soared amid mounting fears of a global shortage as the Ukraine war shuts off big chunks of the world’s exports of the staple, used in everything from bread to biscuits and noodles. Photo: Bloomberg
Explainer | What are the biggest risks faced by Asia-Pacific economies amid Ukraine war?

Most countries will face headwinds in two ways: higher commodity prices and therefore sustained inflation, and slower demand for manufactured goods from troubled economies like Europe.

21 Mar 2022 - 11:49AM
The sun sets behind an idle pump jack near Karnes City, USA in April 2020. Photo: AP
Explainer | Why Russia’s threat to torpedo Iran nuclear deal sent oil prices surging

For Asian consumers, the high cost of fuel will exacerbate rising consumer price inflation that has been a problem since the pandemic started.

7 Mar 2022 - 5:30PM