This week, the monarchs in ASEAN countries were prominently featured in news articles across the region. On Thursday, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is 71 years old this year, celebrated his 50-year reign in style. The sultan was pulled on a grand golden chariot through the capital city. Prominent figures and head of states also attended a banquet in Brunei on Friday as part of the monarch's grandiose celebration.
On the other hand, Thailand is currently preparing for the four-day cremation ceremony of its late king, Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thai authorities urged its citizens to wear black-and-white outfits as a form of respect. The late Thai King will be cremated on the October 26, 2017 after the nation observed a year of mourning.
Violence and democracy
The Cambodia government has seriously challenged the nation's status as a democratic country with the recent political crackdown on opposing voices. Opposition leaders were reported to have fled the country. They fear that Hun Sen's government would put them in jail for opposing his 32-year rule.
Separately, Rohingya militants announced an end to the current ceasefire as Myanmar's military continue to drive Muslim minorities out of the country and into neighbouring Bangladesh. Due to the swelling number of incoming refugees, Bangladeshi authorities also announced that the Rohingyas will be relocated to a large camp in order to accommodate the influx.
In Malaysia, suspected murderers in the Kim Jong Nam's assassination case were brought to the Malaysian court earlier this week where both women denied pleaded not guilty. Subsequently, a Malaysian chemist revealed that he discovered traces of the deadly VX nerve agent on the suspects' clothes.
Mount Agung has been threatening to erupt since early September. The last time the volcano erupted, lava travelled for 7.5km from Mount Agung while volcanic ashes reached Jakarta, which is about 1,000 kilometres away from Bali. The eruption destroyed villages along its path. Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources reported that a total of 11,663 earthquakes had already been recorded between September 19 and October 3 (6am local time).
The ASEAN Post also covered topics such as the discrimination towards the LGBT community, education systems within ASEAN, the potential of cultural tourism, the annual Batik Day in Indonesia and the growth of content delivery networks in Southeast Asia.