Southeast Asia

Dateline Southeast Asia – November 3 to 9, 2020

Dateline Southeast Asia – November 3 to 9, 2020


A firebrand monk once dubbed as the “Buddhist Bin Laden” turned himself in to Myanmar authorities after 18 months of hiding and on the eve of the country’s election.

Follow the controversial polls in Myanmar, as well as, other developments unfolding in this part of the world, on Dateline Southeast Asia, our dynamic wrap of the latest in the region each week.

Bookmark and refresh this page for updates and analyses of the latest news in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.


SINGAPORE: Pre-schoolers raise over SGD100,000 for charities

Marguerite de Leon

Around 3,000 pre-school students from Maple Bear managed to raise SGD107,777 in October for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children’s Wishing Well, according to the Straits Times.

The students participated in bake sales and other fundraising events, including mini walking marathons, where parents donated SGD1 for every minute their child remains walking around a field.

MYANMAR: Suu Kyi forecast to triumph in virus-hit election

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse

Polls opened in Myanmar on Sunday morning, November 8, for a vote expected to return to power the government of Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains a hero at home in spite of a reputation abroad shattered by the Rohingya crisis.

Voters across the country joined long lines before the sun had even risen on Sunday as they waited for polling stations to open, largely maintaining physical distance and wearing compulsory face masks in the coronavirus-disturbed vote.

Cases have spiraled upwards in recent months, sending swathes of the country into lockdown and largely forcing election campaigns online, where hate speech between rival factions has flourished. But Suu Kyi, who has placed herself front and center in the fight against the epidemic, refused to postpone the polls.

Read more in this story.

MALAYSIA: Healthcare system can deal with any COVID-19 spike

Malaysia was confident it’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world and has the ability to deal with any COVID-19 spike.

The Sun Daily reported that this was assurance of Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions), as Malaysia faced a third wave of COVID-19 infections which was sweeping across Sabah and other states in the country with an average of over 700 patients since last month.

“Data has shown that our country has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, and is able to handle any spike and reduce the rate of transmission. But the public must play their part by adhering to the new norm to break the chain,” Mohd Redzuan said.

LAOS: Typhoon Goni may hit this week

The Laos weather bureau warned Monday, November 2, that severe tropical storm Goni, which was moving away from the Phillippines, may hit Vietnam and this country this week.

At least 20 people died when Typhoon Goni slammed the Philippines where it was code named Rolly. The weather disturbance was in the super typhoon category when it entered the Philippines Sunday, November 1. It was the strongest typhoon recorded this year so far.

The Laotian Times reported that Vietnam and Laos are bracing for Goni between November 3 or 4.

Southern Laos was hit by typhoon Molave last week, causing strong winds and rainfall for many hours, damaging trees, houses, and farmland, according to a report by the Information, Culture and Tourism Office of Sanasomeboun District, Champasak province.

VIETNAM: No new COVID-19 cases

In a very terse story, with only a headline and no body text, the Vietnam News reported there were still no new cases of the coronavirus disease in the country.

Fugitive Myanmar monk gives himself up after 18 months on run

Fugitive Myanmar monk gives himself up after 18 months on run