Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong meets Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing on May 16. Photo: Xinhua

Singapore’s Lawrence Wong eyes stronger China partnership with Beijing trip

Singapore’s incoming PM is set to co-chair meetings concerning areas for cooperation and major bilateral projects, a sign of his ‘increased responsibility in international affairs’.

45 minutes ago
Malaysian Primer Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: AFP

Censorship rises in Malaysia under Anwar despite his pro-reform pledge: report

The People Power Under Attack 2023 report cited an increase in censorship under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration despite his pro-reform pledge.

2 hours ago
Professor Wang Gungwu. Photo: SCMP

Singapore must weigh Asean interests amid US-China rivalry: historian Wang Gungwu

A published lecture by the prominent Sinologist explores how Singapore’s US-China balancing act is critical to regional peace.

46 minutes ago
Indonesian workers fog a residential area in Ubud, Bali, with insecticides to kill the Aedes mosquito. Photo: Shutterstock

‘Have you seen Jurassic Park?’: Indonesia shelves mosquito trial amid backlash

The plan, which involves releasing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes injected with the Wolbachia bacteria in Bali, has now been put on hold indefinitely.

6 hours ago
A man watches the cityscape of Tokyo from an observation deck located on the top floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. Japan was the first country to establish dialogue relations with Asean in 1973. Photo: AP

Upgrade of Japan-Asean ties a ‘natural’ move amid growing Chinese influence

Japan’s bid to elevate ties with the Southeast Asian bloc will show what a ‘rules-based order’ can do to bring peace and stability in the region, analysts say.

5 Dec 2023 - 6:30PM
Cats at a corridor of an HDB flat building in Singapore. Photo: Shutterstock

After 34-year ban, Singapore legalises pet cats for public housing residents

A ‘cat management framework’ comprising a licensing and microchipping scheme for domestic and stray cats could balance needs of HDB residents and animal lovers.

5 Dec 2023 - 5:21PM
The High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada. India has around 850 officers across 193 diplomatic posts worldwide. Photo: AFP

Indian diplomacy is getting a boost – but it’s still ‘no match’ for US, China

India plans to add some 200 employees to its “short-staffed” diplomatic corps over the next five years in a mark of its expanding global ambitions.

4 Dec 2023 - 8:43PM
Supporters of India’s ruling BJP celebrate early leads for the party in Rajasthan state elections in Jaipur. Photo: AP

Can state wins buoy India’s ruling BJP to victory in national polls next year?

BJP’s win in the north and central states means the party has consolidated its stronghold and has an edge in national polls next year, observers said.

4 Dec 2023 - 7:30PM
Tourists walk past a mural featuring the Malaysian flag in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: EPA-EFE

Can Malaysia attract ‘picky’ tourists as TikTok changes Chinese travel habits?

Chinese tourists can enter the country for 30 days visa-free, but Malaysian tour operators remain sceptical of how much this will help local tourism.

5 Dec 2023 - 12:12AM
The Colombo West International Terminal project, backed by more than US$500 million in funding from a US government agency, is seen under construction on November 8. Photo: Bloomberg

A China rivalry twist emerges in Sri Lanka’s new US-funded, Indian-built port

Analysts say the container port terminal being built in Colombo by India’s Adani Group hints at a new type of public-private partnership under the Quad grouping’s infrastructure push.

4 Dec 2023 - 8:30AM
Fighters of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Philippine Communist Party, in formation in the Sierra Madre mountains of Luzon region on July 20, 2017. Photo: EPA

Will Philippine peace talks end rebel conflict for good or ‘aid the enemy’?

While military officers hope the move will bring ‘lasting peace’, Duterte supporters describe Marcos Jnr’s surprise bid to resume talks as ‘stupid’ and ‘unpatriotic’.

3 Dec 2023 - 2:00PM
Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan at a stadium for a campaign rally in Jakarta on November 28. He has argued the Nusantara project could exacerbate Indonesia’s already deep inequalities. Photo: AP

Indonesia’s Anies Baswedan targets Jokowi’s Nusantara plan in election strategy

Analysts say Nusantara is a ‘huge drain on the public purse’ and likely to be an increasingly controversial issue in the run-up to the February polls.

3 Dec 2023 - 9:44AM
A light display created using drones is performed after Riyadh won the right to host the 2030 World Expo at King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, on November 28. Photo: AFP

Saudi Arabia’s MBS under pressure to deliver World Expo 2030 success

The event will coincide with the completion of Vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s US$1.25 trillion programme to ‘transform’ Saudi Arabia into a modern powerhouse.

2 Dec 2023 - 10:16PM
High tide floods a “borrow pit” dug by US forces during World War II in order to build the airstrip in Funafuti Atoll. File photo: AFP

Australia-Tuvalu treaty sparks fears of population drain, threat to sovereignty

Australia’s agreement with Tuvalu may provide younger locals with a migration pathway but is seen by older islanders as an encroachment of sovereignty.

2 Dec 2023 - 5:31PM
A Philippine boat on a resupply mission to the disputed Second Thomas Shoal moves past a Chinese coastguard ship in the South China Sea on November 10. Photo: Bloomberg

Manila risks Beijing’s wrath with ‘non-starter’ South China Sea mini pact plan

A mini code of conduct with Vietnam, Malaysia and other claimant states would accomplish little, analysts say – aside from likely scuppering decades-long talks on a broader agreement if Beijing feels it’s being ‘ganged up’ on.

2 Dec 2023 - 12:58PM
Police officers speak to some of the Malaysian job scam victims after they arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Photo: Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Reuters

Malaysia scam victims back from ‘treacherous hell’ after being stuck in Myanmar

The group, most of Chinese descent, arrived in Kuala Lumpur on a special flight from China’s Kunming.

1 Dec 2023 - 3:09PM
Henry Kissinger speaks during an interview in Singapore on November 6, 2018. Photo: AFP

Kissinger’s mixed legacy: from ‘war criminal’ in Vietnam to ‘friend’ of Singapore

Many Vietnamese think Henry Kissinger ‘crippled the country’, while in Singapore he is respected as a pivotal anti-Communist ally who was a confidante of Lee Kuan Yew.

1 Dec 2023 - 4:22PM
The allegations come as Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is already facing a raft of challenges. Photo: AFP

For Kishida, new scandal over Tokyo Olympics comes when ‘he can ill afford it’

The accusations, which centre on unlimited funds to win over members of the IOC who chose the host city for the 2020 Games, will weigh on PM Fumio Kishida ‘politically at a time when he can ill afford it’.

30 Nov 2023 - 6:26PM
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana at an event in Bandung, West Java, on August 26, 2017. Photo: Shutterstock

‘Political misogyny’: why is Jokowi’s wife cast as villain over son’s VP run?

Indonesia has a history of first ladies facing ‘political misogyny’ in which they often bore the brunt of their husbands’ missteps, ‘failings’.

30 Nov 2023 - 10:07AM
The Generation Endgame Bill would have made Malaysia only the second in the Asia-Pacific to drive through a law aimed at preventing future generations from smoking. Photo: Shutterstock

Malaysia’s move to stub out smoking ban slammed as win for ‘Big Tobacco’

The Generation Endgame bill initially sought to create a smoke-free Malaysia by banning those born on or after January 1, 2007, from buying tobacco or vapes.

29 Nov 2023 - 5:26PM