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19.03.21 - 25.03.21 Sup SEAkers!


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An ultra large container ship operated by Evergreen ran aground on the Suez Canal on Tuesday, blocking traffic on one of the world’s most important waterways.




This Week's News Spotlight:

Indonesia calls for meeting of ASEAN leaders on Myanmar crisis | Myanmar’s neighbours try to keep out people fleeing junta rule | Suez block may disrupt supplies to Southeast Asian region: Singapore transport minister | Philippines reports record rise of Covid-19 cases |

Bytedance acquires maker of Southeast Asia’s biggest mobile game



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Indonesia calls for meeting of ASEAN leaders on Myanmar crisis - Nikkei Asia


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 149 people have been killed since the military coup on 1 February.



During a live speech broadcasted on Youtube, Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his sympathy and condolences for victims of Myanmar’s military crackdown and called on the leaders of other ASEAN countries to rally in order to respond to the increasing violence in Myanmar.


Widodo also urged for the violence to be stopped, adding that he was to speak with the Sultan of Brunei — this year’s ASEAN chair — to convene a high-level meeting.


Previously, Indonesia led an online meeting on 2 March, where ASEAN foreign ministers met to discuss the conference. However, Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, expressed his irritation and said that he would not attend another such meeting.



Myanmar’s neighbours try to keep out people fleeing junta rule - Nikkei Asia

Previously, large numbers of Burmese fled the country in the 1990s to escape the rule of the previous junta.



Myanmar’s neighbours have been ramping up efforts to keep out Burmese who are fleeing the military coup, which took place on 1 February. Countries like Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia fear that their public finances will be further strained and the Covid-19 pandemic in their respective countries worsened, but turning away asylum-seekers might put them under international criticism.


Thailand, for instance, has stepped up measures to tighten border control and security, citing concerns about Myanmar’s high infection rate and the possibility of asylum-seekers spreading Covid-19 locally.



Suez block may disrupt supplies to Southeast Asian region: Singapore transport minister - The Star

Every day, about 30% of the world’s shipping container volume passes through the Suez Canal, which is now blocked by a cargo ship.



Singapore transport minister Ong Ye Kung said that the blockage along the Suez Canal might disrupt supplies to the Southeast Asian region. The Port of Singapore Authority, the port operator for the world’s top transhipment hub, might see schedule disruptions as shipping lines reroute, he added.


A container ship almost as long as the Empire State Building is high is blocking routes in both directions along Egypt’s Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping channels linking Asia and Europe.


Philippines reports record rise of Covid-19 cases - The Jakarta Post

The Philippines rolled out its vaccination drive at the start of this month, receiving 1.125 million donated doses of the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.



On Monday, the Philippines reported an increase of 8,019 Covid-19 infections, as tighter curbs were implemented in the congested capital region of Manila. The total number of confirmed cases has reached 671,792, and deaths have quadrupled to 12,972. Intensive care units of hospitals in Manila were also nearing critical levels.


Skyrocketing case numbers have pushed authorities to ramp up efforts to contain the pandemic, with Monday marking the start of a two-week tightening of restrictions in the capital. Night curfews will be enforced, social gatherings limited to ten people, and indoor dining banned.



Bytedance acquires maker of Southeast Asia’s biggest mobile game - SCMP

TikTok’s parent company has acquired Mobile Legends’ parent company, Moonton Technology, which was created by former Tencent employee Xu Zhenhua.



Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, has acquired Moonton Technology via its Nuverse studio, in an attempt to rival Tencent Holdings in the Southeast Asian region. This is the first time Bytedance has acquired a video game of esports calibre.


Moonton is the creator of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, a mobile game which surpassed 1 billion downloads in November. User spending on the game has increased every year since it was first launched in 2016, with much of the success due to its popularity in Southeast Asia, where 44 percent of gamers played Mobile Legends in the first half of 2020.


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