Asia News

Singapore’s majority-Chinese population should do more to address racism: minister

Singapore’s majority-Chinese population should do more to address racism-related grievances aired by members of ethnic minority groups, a minister has said in the government’s first major response to the country’s ongoing debate on racism, adding that the authorities are ready to update policies to strengthen social harmony.The comments by finance minister Lawrence Wong, seen as a potential successor to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, follow weeks of debate – mostly online – over recent…

Tokyo Olympics: Japan’s Suga rejects claims Emperor Naruhito ‘concerned’ Games could spread Covid-19

Japan’s prime minister on Friday dismissed claims that the country’s emperor is “concerned” the Tokyo Olympics could spread the coronavirus, saying the comments were the opinions of an imperial household representative.On Thursday, Yasuhiko Nishimura, the head of the Imperial Household Agency that manages royal affairs, told reporters that Emperor Naruhito is “very worried about the current infection situation of Covid-19”, Japanese media reported.Nishimura said he believed the emperor “is…

Coronavirus: Sydney in lockdown as Delta variant spreads; record vaccinations may not stop India’s third wave

Downtown Sydney and the city’s eastern suburbs, which include Bondi Beach, will go into a one week lockdown from midnight Friday as authorities struggle to contain a spike in the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus in the city.People who live or have worked in the four local government council areas in Sydney in the last two weeks have been ordered to stay at home except for urgent reasons, New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.People are…

Why does the internet love Chinese-speaking foreigners? Yum cha kor may have the answer

There are some things the internet just can’t get enough of: grumpy cats, charity challenges, TikTok dances and – in China particularly – foreigners speaking Chinese.The latest sensation to have taken over people’s news feeds is Gurdip Singh, 54, a Singapore-based marine technician who has won a legion of fans for his fluent Cantonese.Known to his fans as yum cha kor, or “tea-drinking brother”, Singh gained almost 560,000 followers on video-sharing platform Bilibili this month for a clip in…

Benigno Aquino’s lost liberal ‘yellow’ legacy in the Philippines

The public response to the death of former Philippine president Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III on Thursday has so far been decidedly mixed. While some social media influencers continued bashing him, other supportive posts showed yellow ribbons hung in largely high-end neighbourhoods. This popular music-inspired symbol (“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”) refers to the welcome planned by supporters for his father, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jnr, the leading opponent of the dictatorship of…

Taiwan security directly linked to Japan, defence minister Kishi says

Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said the security of Taiwan was directly linked with that of Tokyo, as tensions around the island build up and its defences are increasingly overshadowed by China’s military might.The comments from a cabinet minister known for his close ties to Taipei came a week after China sent 28 warplanes near Taiwan, in the latest ratcheting up of military pressure around the democratically ruled island, 110km from Japan at its nearest point. Beijing claims Taiwan as…

Time for Hong Kong to make clear its plan for living with Covid-19

Hong Kong’s move to cut the hotel quarantine time for most vaccinated travellers to seven days has been met with relief, and praised as a long-awaited reward for those who dutifully signed up for jabs. It is also a step towards reopening, and comes as fellow financial hub Singapore draws up a road map for living “normally” with Covid-19 amid mass vaccinations.If Hong Kong’s plan goes ahead on June 30, despite naysayers worried about the threat of the Delta variant, the city – where only close…