China has unveiled its self-developed maglev train capable of travelling up to 600 kph (373 mph). Photo: VCG
This Week's News Spotlight:
How anti-lockdown elites swayed Jokowi, fueling Indonesia crisis - Bloomberg| Nanjing to test nearly 2 million residents after COVID-19 outbreak at airport - Caixin| Sunseap inks deal to build world’s largest floating solar farm and energy storage system in Batam - Straits Times| Malaysia’s ex-minister Syed Saddiq charged with criminal breach of trust - Straits Times| ‘Now is not the time to risk it all’: Singapore returns to lockdown - Sydney Morning Herald
How anti-lockdown elites swayed Jokowi, fueling Indonesia crisis - Bloomberg
Indonesia’s healthcare system is overwhelmed, with patients being turned away and only 6 percent of its 270 million people fully vaccinated.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, spoke with influential businessmen on June 30 to discuss the possibility of a full-scale lockdown in order to curb rising COVID-19 cases. However, he was met with widespread resistance from the business groups, who warned that the lockdown would bring the economy, which was already experiencing contractions, to a complete standstill.
Against the advice of Indonesia’s top health officials, who urged the President to impose a full lockdown, Jokowi’s administration on July 1 announced restrictions that avoided a complete lockdown. However, after the announcement, Indonesia became Asia’s new virus epicenter, with daily infections more than doubling. Currently, Indonesia reports more deaths per day than any other country in the world.
Nanjing to test nearly 2 million residents after COVID-19 outbreak at airport - Caixin
The nine workers who tested positive at Nanjing Lukou International Airport were discovered as part of a routine nucleic acid testing for the airport’s workers.
After nine workers at its airport tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing has started testing all 1.9 million residents of its Jiangning district. Testing began on Wednesday morning. So far, four communities have been indicated as medium-risk areas and one neighbourhood has been locked down. The nine workers who tested positive were cleaners at the airport and all but two cases were asymptomatic.
Sunseap inks deal to build world’s largest floating solar farm and energy storage system in Batam - Straits Times
Energy firm Sunseap closed the deal to develop this project with local investment and development authority BP Batam.
Singapore energy firm Sunseap Group will build the world’s largest floating solar farm and power storage system on Indonesia’s Batam island, the firm announced on Wednesday. With a cost of US$2 billion, construction of the complex on Batam island’s Duriangkang Reservoir will start next year and be completed by 2024.
The floating solar farm is expected to have a capacity of 2.2 gigawatt-peak and a land area of approximately 1,600ha. The energy storage system capacity will exceed 4,000 megawatt-hours, while the farm itself will generate more than 2,600 gigawatt-hours of electricity every year, which could offset more than 1.8 million metric tons of carbon annually.
Malaysia’s ex-minister Syed Saddiq charged with criminal breach of trust - Straits Times
Syed Saddiq currently helms his own party called Muda, Malaysia’s first youth-based political party which sits on the opposition bloc.
Malaysia’s youngest Cabinet member and ex-minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman was charged on Thursday with two counts of criminal breach of trust for misappropriating approximately US$236,700 of funds from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The offence was allegedly committed while he served as youth chief of Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s party.
Syed Saddiq pleaded not guilty and claimed trial for both charges. He has said that the charges were politically motivated and an attempt to garner support for Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional administration in lieu of Parliament reconvening next week. He could face up to 10 years in prison, caning, and a fine if found guilty.
‘Now is not the time to risk it all’: Singapore returns to lockdown - Sydney Morning Herald
Singapore recorded 182 infections on Tuesday, with 46 percent of its 5.5 million population fully inoculated and 73 percent have received at least one shot.
Singapore is resuming a partial lockdown for one month until August 18 following a new surge in COVID-19 cases, with growing clusters around nightlife venues, such as KTVs, and the country’s largest fishery port. Dining in will no longer be allowed, indoor venues such as gyms are to be closed, and social gatherings are limited to two people. Singapore’s plans for reopening are tightly linked with its vaccination drive, with the government emphasising the need to continue raising the vaccination rate.