Ramadan dos and don’ts spark debate among Asia’s Muslim communities

As Ramadan enters its final days, a spate of incidents has led to renewed debate online about religious piety and whether behaviour during the Muslim fasting month should be policed. In Singapore, where about 15 per cent of the population are Muslim, a viral video has emerged showing a woman scolding an Indonesian worker for eating during daylight hours, threatening to report the worker to MUIS, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. Internet users rushed to the worker’s defence,…

Coronavirus: Britain unveils countries on travel green list, including Singapore, Australia and New Zealand

Britain will allow people in England to resume international travel from May 17 but is limiting the number of destinations open for quarantine-free holidays to just a handful of countries as it cautiously emerges from lockdown restrictions.Portugal, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore all made the green list for travel in a system that will be reviewed every three weeks, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. Popular destinations such as France, Spain and Greece did not.Airlines,…

Give Singapore’s 4G ministers space to pick new leader, says former PM Goh Chok Tong

Singapore’s former prime minister Goh Chok Tong has urged citizens to give space to the younger ministers of the ruling People’s Action Party as they pick a new leader among themselves following the “hiccup” of the country’s prime-minister-in-waiting stepping aside.Goh said the process, which will in effect determine who will succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was not just an “internal PAP problem” but a national issue. “This is an important decision for Singapore,” said Goh, who led the…

Vexed over coronavirus response, young Thais set up Facebook group to share tips on moving abroad

Hundreds of thousands of Thai students and young professionals dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the slow pace of vaccinations have formed an online group to discuss ways to quit the country for good.The Facebook group called “Migrate” has garnered more than 800,000 members in less than a week of being set up. It has become a platform for people to discuss pathways for emigration, with participants seeking advice and Thais already living abroad sharing…

Chinese ships join salvage efforts for doomed Indonesian submarine Nanggala-402

Three Chinese vessels, one with a manned submersible capable of descending to 10,000 metres (32,800ft), have arrived in Indonesian waters to help retrieve a submarine that sank and broke apart last month, killing 53 on board, an official said.Indonesian navy officials and experts have acknowledged how difficult the salvage operation will be to recover the Nanggala-402 submarine lying on the seabed off Bali.“What’s most important is lifting the biggest parts of the ship from the seabed,”…

Coronavirus: ‘vaccine tours’ to US, Russia offered to wealthy Thais fretting over slow roll-out

Travel agencies in Thailand are selling coronavirus “vaccine tours” to the United States, as some wealthy Thais grow impatient awaiting mass inoculations that are still a month away amid the country’s biggest outbreak so far.The tours reflect global differences in vaccinations, with the US and Britain making swift immunisation gains, but many lower income nations – and increasingly their well-off citizens – are still working to secure doses.Bangkok tour operator, Unithai Trip, has packages from…