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. 

Kuala Selangor cops seize drugs worth RM676 million, nab 13 suspects

Ketamine and cocaine worth a total of RM676 million (US$162 million) was seized in a joint operation involving the Customs Department’s narcotics branch and Bukit Aman’s Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department on Sunday.

Four local and nine foreign men were arrested. – New Straits Times

Employers, older workers to chip in for CPF rate hike from 2021

The move to bolster retirement savings of Singaporeans will see both employers and employees paying for the hikes in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for older workers from Jan 1, 2021. The additional money will go into the Special Account, which accrues the highest possible interest among the CPF accounts. – The Straits Times

Govt pledges strict study of port plan

A controversial project to build a new port and petrochemical factories in Chon Buri's Laem Chabang area on reclaimed land will undergo a strict Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the permanent secretary for natural resources and environment, Wijarn Simachaya, insisted on Monday. – Bangkok Post

Jambi closes schools, asks residents to wear masks over smog

The Jambi city administration has dismissed school time for all elementary school and preschool students in the city because of thick smog and the local air pollution standard index (ISPU) level reaching a dangerous level. 

Jambi Environment Agency secretary Taufik said that Jambi ISPU readings for PM25 pollutants had reached 318 or dangerous for health at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday and increased to 418 at 9 a.m. Sunday. – The Jakarta Post

PH losing US$1 billion a year to illegal wildlife trade

Wildlife crime is considered the fourth most lucrative illegal business on the planet, after narcotics, human trafficking and firearms, according to the World Bank’s Global Wildlife Program. In the Philippines, the trade is no small venture.

“We are losing US$1 billion – or P50 billion – every year due to the illegal wildlife trade,” said Theresa Mundita Lim, executive director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. Data from the DENR-BMB show that from 2013 to 2018, the value of confiscated wildlife reached P184.9 million (US$3.53 million) – a figure based on the selling price in the market. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Walk to raise awareness on bullying

The Health Promotion Centre (HPC) through its Mental Health Strategy Group with the support of the Student Affairs Section, Department of Schools, Ministry of Education and Information Department will organise the ‘Brunei Bebas Buli Walk’ or ‘Bully-Free Brunei Walk’ event on September 1 to raise awareness on the issue among children and teenagers in the country. – Borneo Bulletin