Asean news headlines at 9 p.m. Monday (April 18, 2022)

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Malaysia:

* Covid-19 Watch: 6,623 new cases on Sunday (April 17), 11,233 recoveries

* Covid-19: Cases in Sabah continue to decline but community spread remains a concern

* Government has pledged to implement minimum wage on May 1, says Saravanan

* Airline ticket prices down 30%, says Department of Transport

* Return of several international events will boost state tourism, says Sarawak minister

* Good move for Sarawak to be consulted on anti-hopping law, says Minister of State

* Umno did not pressure government to allow special ETH withdrawal, says Ahmad Zahid

* Malaysia’s total trade hits a new high of RM236.6 billion in March

* Dr. Wee: A solution to high airfares has been found, PM to make an announcement

* Malaysia Airlines mounts 20 more flights during Hari Raya

* Suhakam and police launch human rights module for M’sian cops

* PLUS to explore new technologies from 2023 as transition to RFID adoption

Travelers stand at Changi Airport in Singapore. -Reuter

Singapore:

*Singapore has not yet detected any cases of Covid-19 due to recombinant strain XE, according to the Ministry of Health

* Singapore air passenger traffic hits 31% of pre-Covid-19 levels

* Singapore: A muted start expected for some nightclubs even as nightlife businesses reopen on Tuesday (April 19)

* The Malay Kusu Island Fire Shrines were built for a pious family

* Second World Summit on Covid-19 scheduled for May 12

* Shorter wait for vehicle entry permit applications to enter Singapore

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on three-day visit to Singapore

* Only 13% of Singapore’s household waste was recycled in 2021

* Otters spark coexistence debate

* US to host ASEAN leaders

* Oil prices stabilize on fears of slowing Chinese demand

* Asian markets fall due to inflation; rising oil prices weigh on indian rupee

People stand on physical distancing markers as they queue for the free iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset, distributed to the needy in Jakarta, Indonesia , Monday, April 18, 2022. – APPeople stand on physical distancing markers as they queue for the free iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset, distributed to the needy in Jakarta, Indonesia , Monday, April 18, 2022. – AP

Indonesia

* Indonesia asks nationals not to travel abroad during Islamic holidays and avoid a possible spike in Covid-19 cases

* People return to church for Easter as pandemic recedes in Indonesia

* Study shows 99% on Indonesia’s most populous island have Covid antibodies

* War in Ukraine sends Indonesia’s exports and imports to new records in March

* Indonesia cancels search for body of missing Dutch teenager

* Indonesia’s virus cases drop despite easing restrictions

* Jokowi slammed for naming pop star for G-20 role in youth bid

* Two jumbos found dead near national park

Thailand:

* Thailand’s central bank eases FX rules amid volatility

* Asian stocks fall as China reports 4.8% first-quarter growth

* Thailand lowers its GDP target slightly to 3-4%

* Thailand to tighten controls to contain Covid surge after Songkran

* Thai rapper Milli’s Coachella performance pushes mango sticky rice to Unesco list

* Thailand records 16,994 Covid-19 cases and 124 deaths

* ‘Bombing won’t stop peace talks’

Children dressed as angels watch the traditional procession where the images of Christ and Mary meet, on Easter Sunday, in front of the Sanctuary of St. Peter's Parish Leaders, in Quezon City, Metro Manila.  -ReuterChildren dressed as angels watch the traditional procession where the images of Christ and Mary meet, on Easter Sunday, in front of the Sanctuary of St. Peter’s Parish Leaders, in Quezon City, Metro Manila. -Reuter

Philippines:

* Boracay beach in the Philippines exceeds the tourist limit during the Easter holiday

* Philippines and Japan sign RM1.14 billion loan to support Covid-19 response

* Rate of young Filipino workers changing jobs is rising, Microsoft survey finds

* Robredo to supporters: stay cool and focus on the heart-to-heart campaign

* Beware of credit costs when spending: Inquirer

* A Chinese ship follows two prospecting vessels leased by a Philippine company

* Seven relatives missing after the storm

Vietnam:

* Cases continue to fall as Vietnam reports 12,012 new Covid-19 infections Monday April 18

* Vietnam arrests former coastguard chief over ’embezzlement’ case

* Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) aims to develop regional container fleet

* Faulty undersea cable again slows internet speed in Vietnam

*Vietnam SEA Games spectators are not required to take Covid tests

* Outdoor concert in tribute to Bob Dylan of Vietnam

* Close contacts of virus-infected patients no longer need to self-quarantine

Visitors swimming in the sea are silhouetted at sunset in Phu Quoc.  The Vietnamese government expects economic growth of up to 6.5 percent this year, the fastest in Southeast Asia, as industries like manufacturing and tourism extend the recovery.  -BloombergVisitors swimming in the sea are silhouetted at sunset in Phu Quoc. The Vietnamese government expects economic growth of up to 6.5 percent this year, the fastest in Southeast Asia, as industries like manufacturing and tourism extend the recovery. -Bloomberg

Burma:

* Myanmar political prisoners not among 1,600 freed in New Year’s amnesty over weekend

* Myanmar Buddhists visit Shwedagon Pagoda for New Year

* 1,600 released to mark the New Year

Cambodia:

* Cambodia’s traditional New Year holiday ends with 4.59 million tourists traveling across the kingdom

* Sharp increase in drunk driving accidents during New Year celebrations in Laos

* Infrastructure Asia chief outlines Cambodia’s smart city ambitions

Laos:

* The number of rail passengers hit a record high during the New Year holiday period in Laos

* Sharp increase in drunk driving accidents during New Year celebrations in Laos

* Laotians celebrate New Year with muted celebrations amid pandemic

Brunei:

* We serve as an auxiliary in time of Covid-19 pandemic, says Brunei Red Crescent; cases of infections in the country exceed 140,000

* Brunei records 176 new Covid cases

Visitors walk past diners eating at food stalls at Gwangjang Market in Seoul on Monday, April 18, 2022. - AFPVisitors walk past diners eating at food stalls at Gwangjang Market in Seoul on Monday, April 18, 2022. – AFP

AseanPlus:

* Shanghai reports first Covid deaths since lockdown began

* South Korea lifts most Covid-19 precautions as new cases drop to two-month low

* China’s economy grows 4.8% in first quarter as virus bites

* Asian markets slide, Chinese growth falls short of target

* US envoy to Seoul for talks on N.Korea missile and nuclear tensions

* How to boost the labor market in the shadow of the pandemic: China Daily contributor

* India’s Covid-19 infections hit their highest level in a month, one state reports rising death toll

* Counting age can be tricky business in South Korea

* Boeing planes are flying again after crash

* Three Chinese vaccines targeting Omicron in trial

* Tesla and others prepare Shanghai factory restart as city aims to ease lockdown

* Covid-shaming pits neighbor against neighbor in locked Shanghai

* Capital A calls on Asian governments to further ease travel restrictions

* In Japan, more than 3,000 students launched the new school year in the metaverse

* Australian PM promises no cuts to universal healthcare if re-elected

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