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.  

Please field Umno candidate so we can win Tanjung Piai, Dr M tells BN

Pakatan Harapan (PH) will have a better chance of winning the Tanjung Piai by-election if the opposition decides to field an Umno candidate.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this today while urging Barisan Nasional to actually field a candidate from the Malay-based party.

Asked how an Umno candidate could help PH win the upcoming by-election, Dr Mahathir declined to elaborate. – New Straits Times

Panel votes for chemical ban

A four-party committee has unanimously voted for a ban on the use of three toxic farming chemicals, heaping pressure on the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC), which has resisted an outright ban, to follow suit.

Chaired by Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset, the panel members spent two hours on Monday reviewing a report on the chemicals and voted 9-0 in favour of the ban. – Bangkok Post

Groups want foreigner worker ban reinstated

Representatives of more than 50 groups yesterday urged the government to reconsider its decision to rescind the ban on foreigners working in the informal sector.

In a joint statement, the groups expressed concern that the foreigners will deprive Cambodians of the means to earn a living. – Khmer Times

Teachers in Shan conflict zones beg for protection

Teachers in conflict zones, especially women teachers in villages in northern Shan State, have called on the government to give them better protection so that they can focus on teaching their students.

The teachers said there is no one they can turn to for security in the area, where sporadic clashes occur.

Daw May Thu Zaw, who is headmistress of a school in Manli village of Namtu township, said even the police are afraid to come to the village. – Myanmar Times

Palace: Duterte OK despite new illness

President Rodrigo Duterte is “OK and well,” Malacañang said on Monday, despite the 74-year-old leader’s admission that he suffers from an autoimmune disease that can potentially have serious complications.

He’s the oldest politician to be elected President of the Philippines, and questions about his health have swirled since he took office in 2016. – Philippine Daily Inquirer