Malaysia’s king rebukes Muhyiddin government for misleading parliament

Malaysia’s king on Thursday said he was “very disappointed” that the government had misled parliament by incorrectly stating that a state of emergency he assented to in January had been terminated.Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who serves as the country’s constitutional head of state, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government had not sought his assent before Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan declared on Monday that various emergency ordinances – set to expire on August 1 – had been…

Indonesia’s indigenous shamans confront Covid-19 with rituals, traditional medicines

As the Delta variant sweeps through Indonesia, causing a record 2,069 deaths on Tuesday, regions outside the worst-hit areas of Jakarta, surrounding Java island and tourist hotspot Bali are now reporting worrying coronavirus spikes. The province of East Kalimantan alone had reported more than 111,000 infections and over 3,000 deaths as of Wednesday, with surges reported elsewhere in Indonesian Borneo – the island the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei – as well as other regions such as…

Remote hearings could trigger due process arguments in arbitration

The final conclusion of a recent survey – that no jurisdiction that is a party to the New York Arbitration Convention grants an express right to a physical hearing but that such a right can often be inferred through interpretation – will be of interest to arbitration practitioners around the world.

Sydney extends coronavirus lockdown by four weeks, Phuket sandbox at risk

The Australian city of Sydney extended its lockdown by four weeks on Wednesday after an already protracted stay-at-home order failed to douse a Covid-19 outbreak, with the authorities warning of tougher policing to stamp out non-compliance.Far from a planned exit from lockdown in three days, the city of 5 million people and neighbouring regional centres spanning 200km (120 miles) of coastline were told to stay home until August 28 following persistently high case numbers since a flare-up of the…

Hidilyn Diaz is the Philippines’ Olympic hero, two years after being accused of plotting against Duterte

Two years before winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, Philippine weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was mocked and threatened online after her name was included on a list of dozens of people alleged to be plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. But with the 30-year-old ending her country’s near century-long wait for an Olympic Gold in the women’s 55kg class event and receiving accolades all round, senior Duterte aides have sought to distance themselves from that episode without…

Coronavirus: Australia’s New South Wales sees biggest spike in 16 months

New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, on Tuesday reported its biggest daily rise of locally acquired cases of Covid-19 for 16 months as total infections in the latest outbreak from the highly infectious Delta variant neared 2,400.A total of 172 new local cases were detected in New South Wales, up from 145 a day earlier.Of the new cases, at least 60 spent time while infectious in the community while the isolation status of 32 cases remained under investigation, state Premier Gladys…

Cambodia struggles with Alpha variant as Delta sweeps across Southeast Asia

When fully vaccinated Cambodian boxing star Eh Phouthong came down with Covid-19 two weeks ago, he needed a continuous supply of oxygen and used a new tank almost every hour for the first 24 hours, according to his wife, Taing Somaly.But the 46-year-old former boxer-turned-coach, who also has heart disease, got better after about a week of treatment. “He’s not feeling sick any more,” Somaly said. “Doctors told me without a vaccine, his condition could be even worse.”Since Cambodia launched its…

Malaysia’s parliament in chaos as PM Muhyiddin Yassin refuses to allow debate on Covid-19 policies

Malaysia’s parliament, sitting for the first time in eight months, descended into chaos on Monday as opposition lawmakers accused Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of royal insult for disallowing a debate during the special five-day session.The sitting is being held after the king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, urged the government to convene the legislature urgently to debate Covid-19 policies, against Muhyiddin’s wishes for it to sit only after September.The 222-seat lower house, the Dewan…

Coronavirus: Malaysia’s lockdown dooms 150,000 SMEs, fuelling fears of exodus by multinationals

Half of Malaysia’s 900,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which employ about 50 per cent of the country’s 15.9 million workers, could fold if the current Covid-19 national lockdown is extended beyond September, an industry group has warned.Since the pandemic broke out last year, at least 150,000 SMEs have shut, resulting in 1.2 million job losses, the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) said.Malaysia’s parliament sitting in chaos as PM refuses to allow…