Karenni Nationalities Defence Force fighters on patrol after attacking a junta base in Shadaw town, Karreni State. Photo: Khu Sam

Fight or flight: Myanmar youth look to flee junta’s draft – or join armed rebels

A conscription order by Myanmar’s weakened junta has seeded dread among the nation’s youth, with many making plans to flee or join pro-democracy fighters to avoid being drafted.

5 hours ago
Malaysia’s king Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (right) saluting as Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim (left) looks on during the opening of the third session of the 15th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur on February 26. Photo: EPA-EFE

Malaysia’s new king Sultan Ibrahim signals strong backing for Anwar

His comment is an allusion to Malaysia’s recent period of political instability when three prime ministers had to leave office prematurely.

5 hours ago
A correctional officer at Fuchu Prison during a media tour on February 22. Photo: AFP

After Japan’s new rule for prisons, inmates are asking if it’s a joke

The justice ministry is shifting the focus of the prison system from punishment to preparing inmates to become law-abiding citizens when they are released.

26 Feb 2024 - 3:51PM
Illustration: SCMP

The new man steering Mamee noodles, hunting in rural Japan: 6 weekend reads

From the next generation of crazy rich Asians to Sarah Morris’ new film about Hong Kong, here are stories you may have missed over the weekend.

26 Feb 2024 - 2:57PM
The Selamat Datang marchers at the 2023 Mardi Gras and World Pride event. Photo: Handout

Indonesians in Australia rue diminishing LGBTQ rights back home

Indonesian LGBTQ folk in Australia say they are grateful to be living in a place which acknowledges their rights as part of a sexual minority.

25 Feb 2024 - 10:29PM
A Bike Scouts deployment in the Philippines’ Eastern Samar province. Photo: Bike Scout Project/Handout

Philippines cycling community puts the pedal to the metal on disaster response

Grass-roots organisations such as the Bike Scouts can help further strengthen the Philippines’ bottom-up approach to natural disasters, analysts say.

25 Feb 2024 - 11:30AM
Pierre Pang became group chief executive officer of Mamee in 2022. Photo: Handout

Pierre Pang on Mamee Monster parties, brand building and the 3-generation trap

The third-generation heir to Malaysia’s famous snack brand talks about family legacy, making Instagrammable products – and why Mamee isn’t a ‘family business’.

25 Feb 2024 - 9:39AM
Filipino sex therapist Rica Cruz (left) interviews a guest on her television show that was banned over its sexually explicit themes. Photo: Handout

Let’s talk about sex: Philippine sexologist faces uphill task after TV show ban

The ban against Rica Cruz’s show comes after authorities objected to a scene in a separate TV programme involving an LGBTQ couple.

26 Feb 2024 - 4:09PM
Belinda Tanoto chairs the China division of her family’s sprawling business empire, the Singapore-headquartered Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group. Photo: Handout

Royal Golden Eagle’s Belinda Tanoto on China, net zero goods and philanthropy

The youngest daughter of Indonesian tycoon Sukanto Tanoto talks about the family business, the rise of climate-friendly industries – and explains why China remains crucial to the world economy.

26 Feb 2024 - 10:25AM
This Week in Asia cover graphic. Crazy rich Asians wealth transfer. Image: SCMP

Crazy rich Asians: the next generation – and the struggle with succession

As Asia’s richest families prepare to hand down US$2.5 trillion in wealth by 2030, an intergenerational divide emerges over how and where the money should be spent.

26 Feb 2024 - 12:23PM
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr during an event in Manila on February 20. Photo: EPA-EFE

Philippines’ Marcos Jnr ‘rebrands’ family name as he charts ‘progressive’ path

President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr has been trying to put a positive spin on his father’s dark legacy since assuming office in 2022.

26 Feb 2024 - 2:59PM
Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud (centre) arriving at the Sarawak state legislative assembly in Kuching on May 21, 2013. Photo: AFP

Malaysia urged by Swiss NGO to freeze late Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud’s assets

Bruno Manser Funds calls for a probe into Taib’s bank accounts and other assets before his family members can appropriate them.

22 Feb 2024 - 7:59PM
Singer Taylor Swift performs at her concert for the international “The Eras Tour” in Tokyo on February 7. Photo: Reuters

‘Smart’ move: Singapore’s grant for Taylor Swift earns praise and brickbats

The grant is not enough for Singapore to clinch its exclusive deal with Taylor Swift as stability and infrastructure also matter, analysts say.

22 Feb 2024 - 4:12PM
Former Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud with his wife Raghad Kurdi. The rancour between his younger Syrian wife and his two sons will only likely deepen as they continue a court dispute over his vast wealth. Photo: Instagram/raghadtaib

Money squabbles loom over death of Malaysia’s Sarawak ex-governor Taib Mahmud

Rancour between Taib’s wife Raghad – accused of moving the ailing Taib – and his two sons will only likely deepen as they continue a court dispute over his vast wealth.

21 Feb 2024 - 6:57PM
Taib Mahmud had led Malaysia’s Sarawak state for over three decades as chief minister. Photo: Reuters

Sarawak ex-governor Taib Mahmud dies as family tussles over his wealth

Taib’s death follows a final episode of high drama involving his alleged abduction from a hospital by his wife Raghad Kurdi.

21 Feb 2024 - 10:59AM
A lion rests at a zoo in the Czech Republic. Hindu hardliners have slammed a zoo in India’s West Bengal state for putting a lioness named after a Hindu deity in the same enclosure as a lion that shares its name with a Muslim emperor. Photo: Slavek Ruta/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Uproar in India as Hindu group goes to court over lion named after Muslim ruler

Critics say the case is yet another example of hardline Hindu groups’ rising intolerance – and the fear that their actions and words inspire.

20 Feb 2024 - 10:57AM
Fishermen in Karnataka, India, on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Photo: Shutterstock

How fishermen who ply the Arabian Sea are ensnared by India-Pakistan rivalry

Every year, poor fishermen in coastal India and Pakistan are arrested for venturing into the other nation’s maritime boundary lines while looking for better catch.

19 Feb 2024 - 7:30PM
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (right), his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra (left), and Pinthongta Shinawatra (centre) inside a van as they depart Police General Hospital in Bangkok on February 18. Photo: EPA-EFE

Thaksin’s parole stirs anger at ‘double standards’ across political spectrum

Critics are concerned that conflict could ensue if Thaksin remains ‘above the law’ amid mounting speculation of his return to politics.

19 Feb 2024 - 6:00PM
The entrance arch to the Pandamaran New Village in Malaysia’s main port of Klang, Selangor state. Photo: Yusof Mohamad

Dark history of Malaysia’s Chinese villages underscores fury over Unesco bid

The New Villages were built by the British colonial authorities when what was then called Malaya was besieged by a communist insurgency.

19 Feb 2024 - 11:41AM
People cross a street in Tokyo’s Ueno district. Photo: AP

‘Inconvenient law’: can Japan’s married women finally keep their maiden names?

The Keidanren says the current law prohibiting Japanese women from keeping their maiden names is harming the nation’s business.

18 Feb 2024 - 1:00PM