Can Singapore tame its property market with new rules?

It is 11 on a Thursday night, and a private condominium show suite in Singapore’s Hougang district – a populous area in the northeastern side of the island – is unusually packed.
Snaking queues stretch beyond the Riverfront Residences showroom, while cars are double-parked. Inside, bright lights and shouting flood the space.
Wild-eyed property agents scramble frantically looking for clients lost in the crowd, while sweaty bankers with rolled-up sleeves hand out stacks of forms…

At least 132 killed in Pakistan bombing as former prime minister returns home to begin jail sentence

At least 132 people were killed and dozens more critically injured on Friday, in a bombing at an election campaign rally in a remote region of Pakistan, an attack that hurled the country deep into political chaos.
Officials blamed a suicide bomber for the killings and said the death toll could rise further.
The bombing happened on the day former prime minister Nawaz Sharif made a dramatic return to Pakistan aboard a commercial plane and was immediately taken into custody along with his daughter…

In Mahathir’s Malaysia, no gay rights and no free speech

As Malaysia’s new government prepares for Monday’s parliament sitting – the first since the historic May 9 election – Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his reform-oriented allies are facing sharp questions about whether they will renege on vows to improve the country’s dismal human rights record.
Even before the start of the first legislative session, rights activists say the Pakatan Harapan bloc Mahathir leads is showing signs it won’t honour pledges to…

Gaming tax appeal gives guidance on UK VAT grouping rules

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has successfully appealed a decision by the Scottish Inner House that a representative member of a VAT group can rely on a timely claim made by a departed VAT group member when the representative member itself did not make a timely claim.

IMF and other global banks are ready to work with North Korea, if it works with them

As North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un develops relationships with other nations through summit diplomacy, global financial institutions have shown a willingness to help him grow North Korea’s economy.
The International Monetary Fund, with a lending capacity of nearly US$700 billion for its current 189 member countries, would “seek to be helpful” should North Korea want to join the institution, an IMF official told the South China Morning Post this week.
“We hope that…

Many Thais say stateless soccer team coach and three boys should be given citizenship

The discovery that the soccer coach who was trapped in a Thailand cave for two weeks, and three of the boys he teaches, are stateless has surprised many in the country – who are now calling for them to be given citizenship following their ordeal.
“They are not Thai citizens,” said Weenat Seesuk, an interior ministry official in Bangkok, adding that officials were checking to see if they qualified for citizenship.
Coach Ekkapol Chantawong, or Ek as he is known, is a member of…

Ex-Malaysia PM Najib Razak says freezing of bank account violates his freedom

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia said on Wednesday that authorities had infringed on his personal freedoms by freezing his bank account.
Najib was arrested and charged in Malaysia last week with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust related to an alleged transfer of 42 million ringgit (US$10.4 million) into his personal bank account from SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1MDB.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released after posting bail. Najib has…