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27.08.21 - 02.09.21 Sup SEAkers!






Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has been widely praised for his efforts to resolve Malaysia’s political crisis. Photo: EPA



This Week's News Spotlight:

China special envoy wraps up unannounced Myanmar visit - ST| Malaysia celebrates 64th anniversary of independence - ST | Duterte's top aide Bong Go declines Philippine presidential nomination - ST | Singapore to provide 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses in swop deal with Australia - ST | China’s Biggest AI Firm SenseTime Files for Hong Kong IPO - Caixin

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China special envoy wraps up unannounced Myanmar visit - ST







Protesters gather to demonstrate against the Feb 1 military coup in Myanmar, in downtown Yangon on Feb 9, 2021.PHOTO: AFP


China's special envoy for Asian affairs has wrapped up an unannounced, week-long visit to Myanmar that included discussions with its junta leader on the country's political future, Beijing said on Tuesday (Aug 31).


Special envoy Sun Guoxiang met junta leader Min Aung Hlaing and "exchanged views... on the political landscape in Myanmar", according to a statement released by Beijing's embassy in Myanmar.


China supports "Myanmar's efforts to restore social stability and resume democratic transformation at an early date", it said.




Malaysia celebrates 64th anniversary of independence - ST





Malaysia's Independence Day celebrations included various programmes and a small-scale parade of the armed forces and civil service branches.PHOTO: AFP


Vietnamese soldiers on Monday (Aug 23) were deployed on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City to help enforce a lockdown in the country’s business hub, which has become the epicentre of its worst coronavirus outbreak so far during the pandemic.


Panic-buying broke out at supermarkets in the city of nine million people over the weekend ahead of the tighter lockdown, which started on Monday and prohibits residents from leaving their homes.


Soldiers on Monday were checking permits of residents on the streets and delivering food, according to witnesses and photographs on state media.


The city began movement restrictions early last month, but infections have continued to surge after authorities said there had not been strict enough enforcement of the curbs.





Duterte's top aide Bong Go declines Philippine presidential nomination - ST






Senator Christopher "Bong" Go said he wanted to devote his attention to helping fight the pandemic. PHOTO: AFP


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's long-time aide has rejected the endorsement of the ruling party to run as its candidate in the 2022 elections, a development that some analysts said may open the way for Mr Duterte's daughter to stand.


Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, in a letter to the PDP-Laban party, said he wanted to devote his attention to helping fight the pandemic, asking his allies to support candidates who will continue Duterte's policies and programmes.


"As much as I wish to respond to the clamour of many of our party mates, I most respectfully decline the said endorsement," he wrote in the letter, which was made public on Monday (Aug 30).





Singapore to provide 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses in swop deal with Australia - ST







The vaccine swop deal will allow Australia to accelerate its vaccination programme. PHOTO: AFP


Singapore is swopping 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine with Australia, which is grappling with a surge in Covid-19 cases in its two most populous states.


The deal, announced by the two nations on Tuesday (Aug 31), involves Australia receiving 500,000 doses of the vaccine this week and then delivering a similar number to Singapore in December.


Singapore’s Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, said the deal reflected the “warm and long-standing friendship” between the two countries.




China’s Biggest AI Firm SenseTime Files for Hong Kong IPO - Caixin






SenseTime CEO Xu Li gets identified by the company's facial recognition system while posing for a photo at the company's showroom in Beijing in June 2018. Photo: Bloomberg


SenseTime Group Inc. filed plans for an IPO that would list China’s largest artificial intelligence (AI) company in Hong Kong.


China International Capital Corp., Haitong Securities Co. Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc are joint sponsors on the proposed offering, the company said in documents filed with the exchange on Friday. The IPO could raise at least $2 billion, depending on the valuation the company is seeking, people familiar with the matter have said.


The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed company, which makes AI technology for interpreting images, has thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic. The need to enforce lockdown measures increased demand for its facial-recognition software in China. SenseTime’s cameras have been used by the government to tell whether people are wearing masks, to read their temperatures and to determine their identities when their faces are covered.


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