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.  

Regent's resignation request hurts 'people's mandate': Minister Tjahjo

Mandailing Natal Regent Dahlan Hasan Nasution’s letter, in which he said he was asking to resign because he had not made incumbent presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo win in the regency despite successful developments in the region, went viral on social media on Sunday. Dahlan himself had confirmed the letter.  – The Jakarta Post

US don: It was too late for Malaysia to escape China’s web with ECRL

Malaysia could only renegotiate rather than cancel the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) as China’s influence was already too rooted when Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over, according to one US economist. – Malay Mail

PM2.5 levels surge in Chiang Rai 

The Pollution Control Department found Chiang Rai's Maung district had the highest level of PM2.5 with 105 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³), followed by 90 µg/m³ in Phayao, 86 µg/m³ in Lampang and 73 µg/m³ in Chiang Mai province. 

The amount has been surging in the past last two days due to a number of forest fires starting. Figures show there were 132 hotspots in the North, more than half in Chiang Rai province. – Bangkok Post

Authorities quell unrest at Sittwe prison in Rakhine

10 gunshots were heard from the prison at about 7pm on Saturday.

According to a Sittwe police official, who asked not to be named, officers had to help control the unrest at the prison. He said some prisoners had expressed dissatisfaction with the list of inmates granted amnesty by the president. – Myanmar Times

Can Singapore foster a coalition among opposition parties?

Previous attempts at getting the rivals together had proved to be wishful thinking because of contrasting political ideologies. However, in the wake of regional general election results, local opposition parties are trying to change that.

Singapore Management University (SMU) law academic Eugene Tan, a respected political commentator, says: “There is no reason why we can’t have a credible opposition coalition. With Dr Tan Cheng Bock now back in the political arena, he may well be the catalyst and galvanise a fractious opposition. But, the key question is whether the opposition see that as the top most priority for them." - The Independent