Hot off the press

These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today. 

Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.  

US-China row not just about trade, says Heng Swee Keat

Tensions between the US and China may linger even as both countries show signs they are edging closer to an end to their trade war, according to Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

"Many of the leaders and analysts I've spoken to have held the view that this is not just a trade dispute, this is a more complex competition in technology and strategic influence," Mr Heng said in an interview on Wednesday in San Francisco, on the last leg of his US trip. "That means this is not something that will be resolved overnight." – The Straits Times

Bali to copyright heritage objects

The Bali administration is drafting a regulation to identify and protect the province's cultural assets from piracy.

The planned regulation obliges the Bali administration to facilitate copyrighting all Balinese heritage objects, as well as provide funding for local artists and craftsmen that produce such objects. – The Jakarta Post

Court may decide on poll result deadline

The Election Commission (EC) may not be able to endorse the results of last month's general election by May 9 as it is still awaiting a court ruling on its method for calculating party-list seats, political pundits say. – Bangkok Post

5G to help us punch above our weight

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident that Malaysia can leverage 5G technology within three years.

He said this could be done if the country made preparations for the transformational technology.

“By doing so, it will enable the country to punch above its own weight and catapult the economy towards strong and sustainable growth.

“We have come a long way and yet there’s still a distance to go,” said Dr Mahathir at the launch of “5G Malaysia: Progressing Humanity Programme”. – New Straits Times

Thingyan amnesty releases more than 9,000 prisoners

President U Win Myint announced a New Year amnesty on Wednesday as Myanmar began freeing more than 9,000 prisoners from jails. April 17 marks the first day of the traditional New Year in the country.

The president said in a Facebook post that 9,353 prisoners, including 16 foreigners, had been pardoned “as commemoration of the Myanmar New Year, for peace and joy of the citizens, and taking into consideration humanitarian concerns”. – The Myanmar Times

Brunei, Bangladesh to ink several MoUs

Brunei Darussalam and Bangladesh hope to further boost bilateral trade and commerce through the signing of different Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in different areas of potential growth and collaboration, as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives here for a three-day official visit on Sunday. – Borneo Bulletin