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.  

Novel Coronavirus threat to tourism industry

With the first case of novel coronavirus reported in the country as of yesterday, tourism officials have voiced their concern that the current outbreak of the infectious disease that started in China and has already spread widely could have a serious impact on the industry.

In a bid to halt the spread of the potentially fatal virus, the Chinese government has prohibited any outbound travel. So far, it has claimed at least 80 victims in the city of Wuhan – where it is believed to have originated – and infected 2,801 others in China and other countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Vietnam, Malaysia, France, Canada and Australia. 

While Chinese scientists are facing a race against the clock to develop a vaccine to tackle the new strain of coronavirus, Chuk Chumnor, spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism, told Khmer Times that there is also a global concern about the impact it could have on the tourism industry. – Khmer Times

Taal Volcano emits steam 800 meters high

In its 8am bulletin, PHIVOLCS added that the emission of sulfur dioxide emission was described as “below instrumental detection.”

Since 5am Monday until 5am Tuesday, PHIVOLCS added that the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) recorded three volcanic earthquakes that registered at magnitudes 1.5 to 2.2. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

138 killed on Malaysian roads in just 9 days

A staggering 138 people were killed in road accidents nationwide since the start of the Chinese New Year travel rush – as well as the ‘Op Selamat’ traffic safety operation – nine days ago.

Of the dead, 94 are motorcyclists and pillion riders, Bernama reported. – New Straits Times

Asia stocks plunge on Wuhan virus fears

Asian stocks sank again on Tuesday (28 Jan) as concern over the economic and human impact of China's deadly coronavirus rattled global markets. Treasury yields and the yuan steadied after Monday's declines.

Japanese shares slid, with deeper losses in South Korea and Australia as those markets reopened after holidays. Chinese and Hong Kong markets remain closed. – The Straits Times

Anwar drops defamation suit

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be filing a defamation suit against his former research assistant Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, who claimed the PKR president had outraged his modesty.

Anwar’s lawyer Ramkarpal Singh confirmed that his client would not be suing Muhammed Yusoff over various allegations contained in a Statutory Declaration (SD). – The Star