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President Joko Widodo, dressed in a Baduy tribe traditional costume, delivering his 2022 state budget address on Aug 16, 2021.PHOTO: AFP
This Week's News Spotlight:
Malaysia's Muhyiddin to stay on as caretaker PM until successor is appointed - ST| Short on Covid-19 vaccines, Thailand seeks to borrow from Bhutan - ST | Singapore to Test Modest Business Travel as Opening Inches Ahead - Bloomberg | Philippines' Duterte proposes record $135 billion national budget for 2022 - ST |Chinese tech entrepreneurs grow wary of foreign funding - FT
Malaysia's Muhyiddin to stay on as caretaker PM until successor is appointed - ST
Televisions screens at a mall in Kuala Lumpur are seen showing Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during his live address on Aug 16, 2021. PHOTO: AFP
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down on Monday (Aug 16) after losing his parliamentary majority, but the political uncertainty in Malaysia deepened, with no clear successor in sight.
He tendered his resignation during a 30-minute audience with Malaysia’s King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah.
The palace later issued a statement saying that Tan Sri Muhyiddin, president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, will remain as caretaker premier until a new prime minister who commands a majority can be appointed.
Short on Covid-19 vaccines, Thailand seeks to borrow from Bhutan - ST
Thailand has been racing to boost its stocks after being hit by its worst wave of coronavirus infections. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Thailand, a regional manufacturer of AstraZeneca's coronavirus shots, is seeking to borrow 150,000 doses of the same vaccine from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, an official said on Monday (Aug 16), amid a Thai supply shortage.
Thailand has been racing to boost its stocks after being hit by its worst wave of coronavirus infections, just two months before it started its mass immunisation drive in June.
The request to tap vaccines from Bhutan, a country of less than 1 million people, reflects efforts to plug gaps in Thailand's chaotic vaccine rollout, after AstraZeneca said it could supply the country with about five to six million monthly doses, about half of what the government had targeted.
Singapore to Test Modest Business Travel as Opening Inches Ahead - Bloomberg
Singapore’s Vaccination Plan Ahead of Schedule: Trade Minister
Singapore is considering pilot programs to allow groups of vaccinated travelers to enter the country on carefully controlled itineraries as it moves toward reopening its border, according to the trade minister.
“We continue to look at countries including the U.S., U.K., Australia and so on to explore possibilities of opening up,” Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s trade and industry minister, told Haslinda Amin in a Bloomberg Television interview Tuesday. The country may start with pilot arrangements for travelers “bubble wrapped to prevent transmission of the disease,” particularly for vaccinated visitors.
As Singapore’s rate of full vaccination rises further from the current 76%, which is among the world’s best according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, the government has given some signs about what a cautious reopening could look like through year-end. At the same time, the city-state has worked to control recent case clusters and keep serious hospitalizations at a manageable level.
Philippines' Duterte proposes record $135 billion national budget for 2022 - ST
The social services sector, which includes Covid-19 vaccine procurement and universal healthcare, will receive the highest allocation at 1.92 trillion pesos. PHOTO: REUTERS
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is seeking a record 5.024 trillion pesos (S$135 billion) budget for 2022 to help the country recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential spokesperson said on Tuesday (Aug 17).
The social services sector, which includes Covid-19 vaccine procurement and universal healthcare, will receive the highest allocation at 1.92 trillion pesos, followed by 1.47 trillion pesos for the economic service sector that involves key infrastructure projects, Mr Roque said.
It is the final budget for Mr Duterte, who will end his single six-year term in June, 2022.
The South-east Asian nation, which was among the fastest growing economies in Asia before the pandemic, exited recession in the second quarter after five consecutive quarters of contraction.
Chinese tech entrepreneurs grow wary of foreign funding - FT
Chinese start-ups are increasingly looking to raise renminbi rather than dollars and to list in Shanghai or other local exchanges rather than in New York © FT montage
For Chinese entrepreneurs in an increasing number of sectors, the currency they choose to raise from venture capitalists is a growing point of consideration. There are early signs that the preference for renminbi, long dominant in politically sensitive sectors, such as defence, is now expanding.
While a seemingly trivial decision, raising renminbi or US dollars, the dominant two currencies funding the country’s mass of start-ups, sets entrepreneurs on a path to two very different outcomes.
For renminbi-financed start-ups, it is simple. Entrepreneurs establish Chinese entities that investors can directly buy into and they generally aim for public listings on the country’s domestic exchanges, or occasionally in Hong Kong.
Raising dollars, in contrast, forces internet start-ups to create an offshore structure called a “variable interest entity” (VIE) to bypass China’s foreign investment restrictions in the sector, and if all goes well, sets them up for an initial public offering in the US or Hong Kong.
But China’s sweeping crackdown on tech companies is changing the calculus for some founders and investors.