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. 

'2020 still special, despite us not becoming developed nation'

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad believes 2020 remains a special year for Malaysians despite the country not achieving its vision of becoming a developed nation.

“It’s not going to be the culmination of our aim to become a developed country, but at least Tourism Malaysia is showing that we are going to celebrate 2020 anyway,” he said after launching the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY2020) logo at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here yesterday. – New Straits Times

Motorised PMDs far riskier than manual ones: Study

Motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs) trebled the risk of severe injury compared with non-motorised devices, a study by a trauma specialist here has shown. Dr Wong Ting Hway, who is also a general surgeon at the Singapore General Hospital, said these powered PMDs also doubled the risk of users getting hospitalised. – The Straits Times

Relief urged for looming water crisis

Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha will be asked to approve seven urgent measures to deal with the looming water scarcity in 20 northern and north-eastern provinces.

The solutions, part of the national anti-drought scheme prepared by the Office of the National Water Resources, include supplying water to at-risk areas, making artificial rain, dredging ponds and canals to increase their storage capacity, building and repairing artesian wells, compensating afflicted farmers and teaching people how to save water better. – Bangkok Post

Giant seawall may cause bigger problems: Activists

The government’s newest proposal for phase two of Jakarta's outer sea dike project — previously referred to as a giant seawall or the Great Garuda — has raised questions and concerns from activists and scholars who warn of the potential environmental and social costs of the mega project. – The Jakarta Post

Duterte’s biggest challenge: pluck 6M Filipinos from poverty, says Recto

For Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, getting six million Filipinos out of poverty was the “hardest” and “most demanding” challenge President Rodrigo Duterte had laid out in his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

It was also the “most demanding” because it means that two million Filipinos “must graduate from dehumanising existence every year if the objective is to uplift them within the next three years.” – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Cambodian authorities did not approve importing of banned plastic waste, official says

Over a thousand tonnes of plastic waste found recently imported into Cambodia’s port city of Sihanoukville were brought into the country without the knowledge of Cambodian authorities, a senior customs official said on Monday.

Kun Nhim – Director General of Cambodia’s Customs and Excise General Directorate – said that no one under his command had approved the movement of the banned waste material into Cambodia. – The Cambodia Daily