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03.09.21 - 09.09.21 Sup SEAkers!





Total coronavirus infections in the Philippines breached two million this month.PHOTO: REUTERS



This Week's News Spotlight:

Ismail elevates Muhyiddin to top post as A-G waves away doubts over new PM's legitimacy - ST| Singapore Won’t Rule Out Tighter Curbs as Covid Cases Rise - Bloomberg | Panic buying grips Yangon after shadow government in Myanmar declares 'people's defensive war' - ST | Indonesia records its lowest rate of positive Covid-19 tests- ST | Philippines' Duterte accepts 2022 vice-presidential nomination - ST | China vaccinates two-thirds of population in Covid-19 herd immunity race - SCMP


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Ismail elevates Muhyiddin to top post as A-G waves away doubts over new PM's legitimacy - ST





Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (left) and former premier Muhyiddin Yassin. Mr Muhyiddin was National Recovery Council chairman before quitting as prime minister on Aug 16. PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, REUTERS


Former premier Muhyiddin Yassin has been handed the chair of the National Recovery Council (NRC) less than three weeks after he was forced from office, reflecting his influence in Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's government of uneasy partners.


Barely an hour after the appointment was announced on Saturday (Sept 4), the Attorney-General said "there is no need to legitimise the Prime Minister's appointment and the government that has been formed legally". Last month, the King had decreed that Tan Sri Muhyiddin's successor should affirm his position in a parliamentary confidence vote.


Mr Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition supplies nearly half the MPs in the 114-strong government bench, a slim majority in the 222-seat Parliament where two are vacant.





Singapore Won’t Rule Out Tighter Curbs as Covid Cases Rise - Bloomberg





Pedestrians in the central business district in Singapore, on Sept. 6. Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg


Singapore, one of the world’s most vaccinated countries, is ramping up Covid testing and hasn’t ruled out re-imposing restrictions as infections grow, reflecting the difficulty of reopening for places that have largely minimized Covid-19’s threat through isolationist measures.


“We have to slow down the transmission rate,” Finance Minister and co-chair of the government’s virus taskforce Lawrence Wong said Monday, adding authorities will attempt to do so without imposing lockdown measures. “These are last-resort measures and we will try our best to refrain from using them. But we should not rule them out entirely.”


Singapore had earlier signaled it would be able to ease further when 80% of the population is fully vaccinated, as part of a reopening strategy geared toward treating th





Panic buying grips Yangon after shadow government in Myanmar declares 'people's defensive war' - ST





The announcement of a state of emergency by Duwa Lashi triggered panic buying in Yangon. PHOTO: EPA-EFE


Long queues formed at supermarkets and petrol stations in Yangon on Tuesday (Sept 7) shortly after Myanmar's shadow government declared a "people's defensive war" against the junta.


In a video message broadcast online in the morning, the National Unity Government's (NUG) acting president, Mr Duwa Lashi La, warned civil servants against going to the office, and urged people to avoid unnecessary travel and stock up on their medications and daily necessities.


He called on anti-junta armed resistance groups to quell junta forces in their respective areas, and also for Myanmar's ethnic armed organisations to "immediately attack" the junta through various methods.




Indonesia records its lowest rate of positive Covid-19 tests- ST




The positivity rate peaked at 33.4 per cent in July when Indonesia became Asia's coronavirus epicentre.PHOTO: EPA-EFE


Indonesia's daily coronavirus positivity rate dropped below the World Health Organisation's (WHO) benchmark standard of 5 per cent this week for the first time, an indicator that the country's devastating second wave could be easing.


The positivity rate, or the proportion of people tested who are positive, peaked at 33.4 per cent in July when Indonesia became Asia's coronavirus epicentre, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.


On Monday (Sept 6), that rate fell to 4.57 per cent, the lowest since March 2020, when Indonesia's first cases were reported, according to independent data initiative Kawal Covid-19. A rate above 5 per cent indicates coronvirus is out of control, the WHO says.




Philippines' Duterte accepts 2022 vice-presidential nomination - ST





Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is barred by the Constitution from seeking a second term as president.PHOTO: REUTERS


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (Sept 8) accepted his party’s nomination to run for vice-president in next year’s election, pushing ahead with a plan criticised by rivals as an attempt to maintain his grip on power.

Mr Duterte, 76, is barred by the Constitution from running for a second term and his interest in being vice-president, traditionally a ceremonial role, has prompted accusations he wants to stay in power to avert possible legal action against him at home or abroad.


But Mr Duterte, who has always portrayed himself as a reluctant leader, said his decision was driven by the love of his country.


“It is really because I want to see the continuity of my efforts even though I may not be the one giving direction, I might be able to help,” he said in addressing the party.





China vaccinates two-thirds of population in Covid-19 herd immunity race - SCMP






Overall vaccination of 12-17 year-olds is progressing well, according to a senior public health official. Photo: Zuma


China has fully inoculated two-thirds of its population with coronavirus vaccines as the country races to build an immunity barrier.


The National Health Commission’s disease control bureau said that by Monday, 960 million people, or 67 per cent of the population, had completed their doses.


In all, 2.11 billion doses had been administered, meaning 1.09 billion people, or 77.6 per cent of the population, had been given at least one shot, according to Wu Liangyou, the bureau’s deputy head.


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