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.  

Malaysia saw MH370 as murder-suicide, claims ex-Aussie PM Tony Abbott

Malaysia's top leadership considered from the outset the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014 a mass murder-suicide by the pilot, according to Tony Abbott, who was Australia's Prime Minister at the time.

"My very clear understanding from the very top levels of the Malaysian government is that from very, very early on here they thought it was a murder-suicide by the pilot," Abbott said in a clip from a documentary airing Wednesday (19 Feb) on Sky News.

Abbott declined to name any individuals to support his claim. Najib Razak was Malaysia's Prime Minister when the plane went missing. – The Star

WHO urges calm as virus death toll in China reaches 2,000

The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak surged to 2,000 on Wednesday, as Chinese and international health officials warned against excessive measures to contain the epidemic.

More than 74,000 people have now been infected by the virus in China, with hundreds more cases in some 25 countries. – The Borneo Post

Anti-malaria drug may be the answer for rapid treatment of COVID-19

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has congratulated the Chinese Government on its discovery that the effective drug for treating the deadly coronavirus could be the anti-malaria drug.

“We received information that China announced the cure to coronavirus through the use of anti-malaria drugs. If this information is true, I think the outbreak will end soon, and we are delighted to hear this news,” said Prime Minister Hun Sen. – Khmer Times

Civilian casualties in Rakhine surge after internet ban: UN

The killing and displacement of civilians has worsened during fighting between the military and the Arakan Army amid an information blackout in parts of Rakhine and Chin states, according to UN experts.

“Civilians, including children, continue to bear the brunt of this escalating conflict,” said the four special rapporteurs appointed by the Human Rights Council. – Myanmar Times

Wuhan airport reminds rescue crew of a zombie apocalypse

As an Air India flight landed at the airport in Wuhan last month to rescue Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit city, Captain Kamal Mohan couldn’t help but think that he had entered a post-apocalyptic film set.

“It was frightening,” Mohan said in an interview on Monday. “It’s a massive airport, so just imagine not seeing a soul. You’d think a zombie might pop up from somewhere.” – The Jakarta Post