Japan’s hi-tech condoms likely to be in demand at Tokyo Olympics as manufacturers sense marketing coup

Japanese condom makers are ramping up preparations ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, seeing a golden opportunity to showcase their world-record ultra-thin products.
For years, hundreds of thousands of condoms have been distributed for free to competitors at Olympic Games in a bid to encourage safe sex among the world’s fittest athletes.
The tradition provides prophylactic producers with a potentially unrivalled marketing opportunity.
In Japan, condom makers are hoping the Olympics…

Singapore passes media blackout law that blocks electronic communication after terror attack, raising concerns about crackdown on press

Singapore’s parliament on Wednesday passed a controversial law giving authorities the power to block all electronic communications at the scene of a terror attack, despite protests it will erode media freedom.
The law allows police to stop anyone within the vicinity of what they deem to be a “serious incident”, including a terror attack, from taking photos and video or communicating about police operations through text and audio messages.
The government claims the affluent…

Malaysia’s Najib denies using Cambridge Analytica, accuses Mahathir’s son

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday denied claims his government had ever engaged the tainted data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, and instead accused his rival Mahathir Mohamad’s son as the person who had used the company’s controversial services before he crossed aisles to join the opposition.
Speculation about Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Malaysia has been swirling since one of the company’s senior executives was secretly recorded by Britain…

Drug abuser in Singapore gets five years in jail and six strokes of the cane for drug offences and holding toddler hostage

By Faris Mokhtar
A drug abuser who kidnapped and held his girlfriend’s two-year-old son hostage for 17 hours in 2016 was sentenced to five years’ jail and six strokes of the cane on Tuesday (March 20).
Muhammad Iskandah Suhaimi, 40, was convicted of four charges last year for kidnapping the toddler, possessing and consuming methamphetamine, as well as for illegally possessing a knuckleduster.
The court heard that at about 4pm on September 27, 2016, just seconds after his girlfriend…

South Korean prosecutors seek arrest of former president Lee Myung-bak

South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant for ex-president Lee Myung-bak over allegations of bribery, embezzlement and other charges, officials said on Monday.
Lee, a conservative who governed from 2008 to 2013, is the latest South Korean leader to be entangled in scandals or other problems after leaving office.
Lee’s conservative successor, Park Geun-hye, was removed from office and jailed last year in a separate corruption scandal. Prosecutors last month demanded a 30-…

Why Malaysia wants to help Chinese couples have babies

By Khairie Hisyam Aliman
The Malaysian medical tourism industry’s revenue broke through the RM1 billion (US$255.4) mark for the first time in 2016. By 2020, the national target is to double that.
It may seem ambitious, but the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is confident of achieving that figure. The market in its sights? China.
After China scrapped its one-child policy in October 2015, the council estimates there are around 90 million couples in China looking to conceive a…

Support for Abe’s cabinet slips below 40 per cent amid cronyism scandal

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has plunged below 40 per cent and fallen behind the disapproval rate, amid a deepening scandal linked to cronyism allegations levelled against Abe over a state-owned land sale, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday.
The support rate stood at 38.7 per cent, down 9.4 percentage points from the previous survey conducted before the Finance Ministry admitted to document tampering linked to the cronyism allegations. A total of 66.1 per cent…

Asean leaders address Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, but refuse to point finger at Aung San Suu Kyi

Australia and its Asean neighbours vowed to boost defence ties while stressing the importance of non-militarisation in the disputed South China Sea on Sunday at a summit where the “complex” Rohingya crisis took centre-stage.
Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the three-day meeting in Sydney, also agreed to work more closely to tackle the growing menace of violent extremism and radicalisation. But while a final communique noted a resolve to “protect…