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14.05.21 - 20.05.21 Sup SEAkers!

Updated: May 22






The dialogue was slated to be a fully in-person event held within a bubble at Shangri-La Hotel.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


This Week's News Spotlight:

At Miss Universe pageant, Myanmar’s contestant pleads “our people are dying” | As Israel pounds Gaza, Malaysia and Indonesia fill Arab void to back Palestinians’ cause | Malaysia reports record single-day spike in cases | Gojek, Tokopedia complete merger to form GoTo | World Economic Forum cancels special annual meeting in Singapore


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At Miss Universe pageant, Myanmar’s contestant pleads “our people are dying” - Reuters




Thuzar Wint Lwin held up a placard saying “Pray for Myanmar”, dressed in the ethnic costume of her Chin people from northwestern Myanmar.


Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, Thuzar Wint Lwin, used the pageant to urge people to speak out against the military junta, which seized power during a coup on Feb 1. The finals for the pageant were held in Hollywood, Florida. Though she did not progress to the last round of the competition, she won the award for Best National Costume.


Many other Myanmar celebrities, actors, social media influencers, and athletes have voiced their opposition to the coup. Protests are still ongoing across the country, with at least 790 civilians killed by security forces since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.





As Israel pounds Gaza, Malaysia and Indonesia fill Arab void to back Palestinians’ cause - SCMP




Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s attacks on Gaza.


The ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict has worsened in recent weeks, but with the likes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates softening their support for Palestine, loud condemnation of Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza by Southeast Asian Muslim-majority nations could “keep the matter on top of the global agenda”, said experts.


Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei have established hardline stances on the issue. On Sunday, the three countries released a joint statement which described Israel’s policies towards Palestinians in occupied Palestinian land as “inhumane, colonial, and apartheid’ and called for an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly.





Malaysia reports record single-day spike in cases - SCMP




Less than 3 percent of Malaysia’s population has been vaccinated.


Amidst a new wave of COVID-19 infections in the region brought about by more virulent variants, Malaysia reported its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. On Wednesday, the country saw 6,075 new cases. Daily COVID-19 deaths in the past two weeks have also spiked.





Gojek, Tokopedia complete merger to form GoTo - Business Times




The total past valuation of Gojek and Tokopedia was US$18 billion, and the combined group has a gross transaction value of over US$22 billion.



Indonesia’s two largest tech startups Gojek and Tokopedia have completed their merger, forming GoTo Group, which specializes in e-commerce, on-demand services, and financial services. After negotiations for a Grab-Gojek merger fell through, talks of a Gojek-Tokopedia merger surfaced earlier this year. This deal is the largest business combination in Indonesia and the largest between two Asia-based Internet media and services companies to date.


The new company will be headed by Gojek’s co-chief executive Andre Soelistyo, with Gojek’s other co-chief executive Kevin Aluwi as chief executive of the ride-hailing service. Tokopedia president Patrick Cao will take on the role of GoTo’s president, while William Tanuwijaya continues to serve as chief executive of Tokopedia.





World Economic Forum cancels special annual meeting in Singapore - CNA




The next annual meeting will take place in the first half of next year, but the location and date has not yet been finalised.


The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Special Annual Meeting, which was slated to take place in Singapore in August, has been cancelled, with the WEF citing global uncertainties caused by COVID-19. Singapore was previously scheduled to host the meeting in May, but the forum was postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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