Singapore preparing to live with endemic Covid-19 as residents grow ‘battle weary’ of pandemic, ministers say

Singapore is drawing up a blueprint for Covid-19 becoming endemic in a plan that may include “multi-year” vaccine booster shots such as those given for the flu virus, a shift away from monitoring daily cases and a return of mass gatherings like the country’s annual National Day Parade, officials said on Thursday.In an op-ed for the The Straits Times, the three ministers who co-head the government’s coronavirus task force said they were sketching out the plan as residents increasingly became …

Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino dies aged 61

Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino, the son of two of the Southeast Asian country’s democracy icons, died on Thursday.The 61-year-old was president of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016, overseeing the fastest period of growth since the 1970s and challenging China’s expansive territorial claims before a United Nations-backed tribunalHe was rushed to a hospital in Quezon City where he died of heart failure, The Manila Bulletin reported, citing his family.“It is with profound sadness that…

Subcontracting

This guide outlines what subcontracting in construction contracts involves, and the main issues to consider.

Eight in 10 young Indonesians risk being radicalised online. One man is leading the battle for their hearts and minds

Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Indonesia’s Minister of Religious Affairs, has a tough job on his hands.It’s not just, as analysts point out, that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated extremism online and offline. Yaqut is six months into his position at the helm of the ministry at a time conservative and hardline ideologies have permeated government schools and institutions of higher learning, the civil service, as well as political and social life.Conservatism has also crept into the judiciary, with…

Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing thanks Russia for boosting its military

Myanmar’s junta chief on Tuesday thanked Russia, a major weapons supplier to the troubled Southeast Asian country, for strengthening the army which seized power in a coup earlier this year.Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February.Russia has backed its ally and warned the West against sanctioning the junta.“Thanks to Russia, our army has become one of the strongest in the region,”…

Coronavirus: surge of Delta variant in Indonesia threatens Bali tourism reopening

Indonesia announced on Monday it would tighten movement restrictions amid a surge of coronavirus infections, fuelled by the Delta variant, that has brought the health system to the brink of collapse and put a question mark over plans to reopen parts of Riau and Bali to tourists from overseas.The country on Monday recorded 14,536 new cases, its highest daily figure yet, bringing its total number of cases to more than two million. That figure, like its death toll of nearly 55,000, is the highest…

‘Coronavirus vaccine or jail’: Philippines’ Duterte resorts to threats in bid to boost sluggish vaccination drive

President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to jail people who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as the Philippines battles one of Asia’s worst outbreaks, with more than 1.3 million cases and more than 23,000 deaths.“You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday following reports of low turnouts at several vaccination sites in the capital, Manila.Duterte’s remarks contradict those of his health officials who have said that while people…

Uncertainties remain over UK’s IR35 rules

Widespread changes to the UK’s IR35 off-payroll working rules came into force on 6 April 2021, and despite a 12-month delay to implementation, detailed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) guidance and subsequent amendments to the legislation, areas of uncertainty remain.

Indonesia targets its crazy rich Asians with 35 per cent income tax in bid to heal coronavirus-hit economy

In a bid to boost government coffers decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, Indonesia is considering a sweeping tax overhaul that would add VAT to foodstuffs, education and health care, hike rates for high-net-worth individuals and put major carbon emitters in the firing line.Indonesian President Joko Widodo asked parliament recently to discuss proposals to amend the 1983 law on general tax provisions and procedures. A leaked draft of the government’s proposals showed it was seeking a new tax…