What links a ‘hidden’ sex and sleaze on Singapore’s Orchard Road to Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal, copycat retailers and a discuss over a ethnicity of a Filipino Miss Universe? Answer: they’re all among a many renouned stories that featured in This Week in Asia in 2018.
With a holiday duration on us, a This Week in Asia editors suspicion it was high time to simulate on a stories that you, a reader, found many engaging during what has been an action-packed year. And what we found was a surprisingly heterogeneous mix, travelling Malaysian politics to dating habits in Singapore. So if you’re feeling contemplative as 2019 comes rolling in, lay back, squeeze a break and take a browse. Happy reading – and a Happy New Year!
MALAYSIA GOES TO THE POLLS …
One story dominated 2018 like no other: a Malaysian election. The story of a nonagenarian former primary apportion Mahathir Mohamad returning to energy and finale a Barisan Nasional’s decades-long hold on energy clearly transfixed readers, accounting for about half of a stories in a tip 20 list.
Whether it was a run-up to a vote, a purpose played by former South China Morning Post owners Robert Kuok, live coverage of a eventuality itself, or a research of a aftermath, this was one story that unequivocally had legs.
… AND NAJIB GOES TO COURT
Speaking of a issue … Malaysia’s degraded primary minister, Najib Razak, mislaid some-more than usually his hold on power. In a fantastic tumble from grace, he was arrested by a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and charged with offences associated to a 1MDB state account that he had helped set up. As one of a stories warned, if found guilty, he faces 20 years in jail.
Meanwhile, there was a certain volume of schadenfreude as a liaison shortly widespread to embody Najib’s family members, such as mother Rosmah Mansor, whose immeasurable collection of oppulance handbags came to a courtesy of anti-corruption investigators.
From Malaysia’s ‘first lady’ to ‘bag lady’: since Rosmah Mansor’s immeasurable collection of Hermes Birkins caused a amicable media storm
SEX IN THE LION CITY
Across a limit in Singapore, a Orchard Road offered breakwater was a environment for one of a biggest non-political stories of a year. But it wasn’t a high-end sell opportunities that held readers’ eyes – rather, it was a growth sex trade that goes on in such places as ‘Lucky Plaza’ and a ‘Four Floors of Whores’ that sent pulses, and readership levels, racing.
It seems that when it comes to Singapore, sex sells: another of a tip stories concerned a discuss over “sugar dating”, in that older, wealthier benefactors spend generously on younger “sugar babies” in lapse for a relationship. The rewards might seem enticing, with some sugarine babies cashing in on engineer handbags, tellurian transport and hosting US$100,000 birthday parties, though amicable workers advise it’s a track to depression, piece abuse and even self-murder when a relations sour.
Hong Kong sugarine babies, Singapore sugarine daddies – though it’s NOT about offered sex, these dating websites insist
THE DARK SIDE OF BEAUTY
Issues per secular influence mostly struck a chord, though dual stories in sold ordered attention. The feat of Filipino Catriona Gray in Miss Universe was distinguished by some though also sparked a exhilarated discuss on beauty standards, competition and colonialism. Gray’s churned birthright – she is of Scottish and Filipino skirmish – and her comparatively light skin stirred claims in some buliding that her crowning was as many a win for Eurocentric beauty standards as it was for a Philippines.
Meanwhile, extremist landlords in Malaysia and Chinese payoff in Singapore suggested a mania with fairer skin goes distant over a Philippines.
KIM’S SWISS ROLE
While a limit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un dominated news agendas opposite a world, another limit featuring Kim – this one with his South Korean reflection Moon Jae-in – drew in readers interjection to a story on a North Korean leader’s “Swiss-influenced” accent. After all, he is a personality of a world’s many removed nation – one that has historically stressed racial and informative purity, so a unfamiliar lilt seemed a small out of place.
However, a accent is apparently due to Kim spending his infirm years during a German denunciation boarding propagandize nearby Bern, Switzerland, where he lived underneath a pseudonym “Pak-un” from a age of 15.
North Korean news done another coming in a tip 20 list, and again, not since of a argumentative chief programme. Instead, it was a story doubt either a Winter Olympics could assistance a dual Koreas determine – or either it had been hijacked in a soothing energy pull by Pyongyang.
Customers can’t get adequate of bonus retailers like Miniso and copycats like Yubiso and Mumuso – and neither, it seems, could a readers. While many of a shops ape Japanese or Korean culture, it turns out many of a products – and their operations – are formed in China.
SHE’LL BLOW YOUR MIND – AND YOUR BOAT
With her tattoos and gusto for floating adult boats held fishing illegally in her country’s waters, Susi Pudjiastuti is not your normal supervision minister. But a Indonesian Fisheries deputy unequivocally lifted eyebrows when she indicted Chinese fishermen of committing “transnational organized crime”.
FOLLOW MY LEADER
The Malaysian choosing wasn’t a usually care transition removing tongues wagging. Across a causeway in Singapore, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was a speak of a city after it emerged he was in line to attain a stream primary apportion Lee Hsien Loong.