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.  

We are coming for you next, IGP warns loan sharks

Police will launch a major crackdown on loan shark syndicates soon as part of an effort to curb loan-related scams.

In a Bernama report today, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador warned that those involved in such activities will be arrested and prosecuted.

The move came following numerous reports of aggresive methods applied by loan sharks to secure payment from loan defaulters. – New Straits Times

Future Forward Party to probe 2nd rebel MP

Srinual Boonlue is facing a disciplinary probe by the Future Forward Party (FFP), becoming its second MP to be quizzed in two days for defying the party line in a vote in parliament.

The party has appointed a team to probe the Chiang Mai MP for abstaining in a vote on the government-sponsored executive decree to transfer army units to the royal command. The party had decided to vote against the decree. – Bangkok Post

Myanmar slumps 31 spots to 150th on women, peace, security index

Myanmar plunged 31 places and remained the worst performer in the region on an index that measures women’s wellbeing and empowerment in homes, communities, and societies, according to a study released today. 

The Women, Peace and Security Index by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Safety slashed Myanmar’s rank from 119th in 2017 to 150th this year, marking the largest drop ever in the index. – Myanmar Times

Why the west should not give up on Cambodia

The US and EU are considering withdrawing economic privileges from Cambodia for the way elections were held last year. The ruling party won all parliamentary seats because the opposition had been crippled. Opposition leaders were disqualified and their party dissolved.

By western standards, Cambodia’s election fell far short of democratic norms and the result was unfair at best, illegitimate at worst. Strangely, however, there was no widespread protest. Instead, there was a palpable sense of relief among ordinary Cambodians when the elections were over. – Khmer Times

Thai royal consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi led volunteer group just before her dismissal

The Thai royal consort who was stripped of her titles this week was put in charge of the King's volunteer corps and an upcoming festival shortly before her dismissal.

Ms Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, 34, was stripped of her titles by King Maha Vajiralongkorn for being disloyal to the monarch and attempting to sabotage the appointment of Queen Suthida in May. – Straits Times