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.

Selection of national laureate based on merit

The selection of the 14th National Laureate was based on merit and was acknowledged by stakeholders in the literary field. Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said 69-year-old Prof Dr Siti Zainon Ismail was selected not only because of her achievements locally but also internationally. – New Straits Times

Bus, train fares could rise by up to 7% next year

Bus and train fares could go up by as much as 7 per cent next year, driven largely by steeply rising energy prices. This means fares could increase by as much as 10 cents for those who pay for their journeys by card – more than 90 per cent of commuters here.

This is the maximum increase allowed under the current fare formula, which took effect last year and will be in place until 2022. – The Straits Times

Terminal 2 at Suvarnabhumi airport 'must proceed'

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insists that construction of Terminal 2 at Suvarnabhumi airport must go ahead despite an ongoing dispute over its location. Gen Prayut said it was necessary to increase capacity to handle passengers at the country's main gateway airport to keep up with the rapid surge in traffic. – Bangkok Post

Jokowi's grand vision for new capital: Smart metropolis similar to Silicon Valley

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has set a grand vision for the new capital city: that it will be a “smart metropolis” and designed to be a melting pot of technological innovations that can sustain the country for the next century and beyond. 

The new capital is set to boast cutting-edge technology, a more efficient urban system and online applications to improve the delivery of public services, Jokowi said. – The Jakarta Post

Parole board chief: Panelo ‘referred’ Sanchez pardon bid to me

Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel and spokesperson, “referred” to the Board of Pardons and Parole the application for executive clemency of former Calauan, Laguna, Mayor Antonio Sanchez, the board’s top official told the Senate on Tuesday.

Reynaldo Bayang, executive director of the parole board, disclosed Panelo’s action at the resumption on Tuesday of the Senate inquiry into the aborted release of Sanchez, who is serving seven 40-year terms for the rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez in 1993. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Agriculture experts take stock of development policies

A meeting of the Sector Working Group on Agriculture and Rural Development to discuss agricultural issues took place at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Vientiane on Tuesday. 

The meeting took stock of the significant implementation of sector related actions under the working group, as well as issues such as the outbreak of fall army worm caterpillars and African swine fever in Laos, which affected sweetcorn crops and pig herds. – Vientiane Times