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. 

Govt urged to use social media to reach out to people

Changes need to be made on how the government disseminates information to the public so that official communications may be more efficient. While disseminating news through the mainstream media was still important, information must be channelled through a medium that the people preferred the most, which is social media. – New Straits Times

Govt mulls QR code to improve taxi rides

The Department of Land Transport announced a plan to roll out a QR-code-based complaint filing system for taxis to improve passenger service standards, one day after it approved the proposal to raise taxi fares.

"When the digital licencing system is completely rolled out, taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers will be required to carry a QR code that passengers could scan on their phones," said DLT director-general, Peraphon Thawornsupacharoen. – Bangkok Post

PLN faces lawsuits, complaints following major blackout

The massive blackout that hit the western part of Java on Sunday has taken its toll on millions of affected customers, many of whom complained over how the hours-long power outage had disrupted their lives. While many citizens decided to let their frustrations go after the power returned to normal, some members of the public have taken their anger to another level as they decided to sue state electricity firm PLN. – The Jakarta Post

Drug cases in Cambodia increase by 9 percent

In the first six months of this year, Cambodia’s anti-drug police cracked down on 4,175 drugs cases – an increase of nine percent on the same period last year. It also detained 8,911 people which is up 17 percent, and seized 341 kg of illegal drugs – a 135 percent increase – said a National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) report released on Wednesday.

It said there were 337 more cases than the 3,838 in the first six months of 2018. And of the 4,175 drug cases, 2,531 involved trafficking, 1,624 were for consumption, 19 for growing drugs and one of illegal production. – Cambodia Daily

Palace: Still no confirmation of Chinese ships in PH waters

The government was still waiting for the military’s verification of the reported presence of Chinese sea vessels in Philippine waters, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday, adding that “it is always a concern of this government if the security of the state is threatened.”

But, “first, we have to validate whether that’s true or not,” Panelo said of the report that the Zhanjian, a Chinese oceanographic survey ship, was operating 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines. – Philippine Daily Inquirer