Asian Insider: Malaysia’s next PM | The Afghan crisis

asian_insider_malaysiars_next_pm_the_afghan_crisis.jpg / Dear ST reader, 

We bring you the latest news out of Malaysia, with Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob looking almost set now to become the country’s next Prime Minister. Our correspondents analyse what the Taleban victory in Afghanistan means for Asia, and why the Islamist militants’ takeover is proving a concern to countries across the region.

The Taleban returns

Our latest Asian Insider Special examines what the Taleban’s victory in Afghanistan means for the terrorism threat in South-east Asia and India. One message of the Islamist group’s success is bound to resonate with Muslim militants around the world: In a war of attrition, the Americans always walk away. The Taleban’s return has now forced India back to the drawing board on its Afghan policy after two decades of investment and diplomacy. 

The West’s nation-building project in Afghanistan has always rested on shaky foundations — and a deeply flawed delusion . The crisis brings with it echoes of the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh in the 1970s. And now, it raises old questions about the United States’ global role and credibility; its withdrawal from Afghanistan will come at a cost . 

In our Washington Report podcast this week, we analyse the potential terror threats following the developments in Afghanistan, while our China Perspective podcast considers why the Taleban’s takeover is also proving a concern for Beijing . Delve deeper with Associate editor Ravi Velloor in his Speaking of Asia column on Beware the Afghan traps , and keep up with the very latest on what’s happening in Afghanistan, here .

Malaysia awaits its next PM

Malaysia’s Caretaker Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has confirmed that his Perikatan Nasional coalition supports Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the country’s next leader — but with one condition . Meanwhile, the King met with 114 members of Parliament to verify their backing of Mr Ismail as the new prime minister, Malaysia correspondent Hazlin Hassan reports. The King’s efforts to end Malaysia’s long-running political instability could reshape the monarchy that has for long been revered for being above politics, analysts say. 

Listen as Regional correspondent Leslie Lopez gives you a round-up in his podcast on the situation as Malaysia awaits its next Prime Minister , and follow the latest developments as they happen, here .

Scratching your head over Malaysia’s shape-shifting politics? Join ST’s Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh to get a lowdown in our Clubhouse app live chat on Aug 20 from 12.45pm-1.30pm.

Hong Kong’s security clampdown

Four Hong Kong university students have been charged with advocating terrorism — the first time the offence is being applied under a security law imposed in the city last year. With authorities cracking down on organisations seen to endanger national security, more Hong Kong groups are calling it quits , although the city’s security chief warns that the groups will not be absolved of their offences even if they have disbanded. 

In her Inside Hong Kong podcast, Hong Kong correspondent Claire Huang gives you the lowdown on what the disbanding of the city’s largest teachers’ union means for other organisations, as well as the implications of China’s anti-sanctions law on Hong Kong.

The Myanmar dilemma

The US and China are treading warily as Myanmar burns, Indochina bureau chief Tan Hui Yee writes in this week’s Power Play column. The two big powers cannot afford to let Myanmar become a failed state, each for their own reasons — but both rivals can do only so much to prevent a collapse that will hurt their broader interests.

Inside a Tibetan ICU

China bureau chief Tan Dawn Wei recently had an opportunity to see a part of Tibet that most foreigners will probably never get to see — the inside of an intensive care unit in a local public hospital. In our weekly Letter from the Bureau, she shares observations from her hospital bed, hooked up to a ventilator and tubes pumping her with steroids and antibiotics. 

In case you missed it, Dawn Wei had been covering this story on Beijing’s sinicisation of Tibet before she landed herself in hospital.

More on this topic   Related Story Asian Insider: Malaysia’s political pickle | Olympic politics   Related Story Asian Insider: What’s next for Muhyiddin | The South China Sea conundrum Want more insights into fast-changing Asia from our network of correspondents? Get this article in your inbox by signing up here .

LINK ORIGINAL: TheStraitsTimes

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