Asean news headlines as at 9pm on Friday (March 31)

Members of Indonesian U-20 national soccer team Arkhan Kaka (right) and Aditya Nugraha hold posters during a rally against the cancellation of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 31, 2023. Indonesian soccer players and fans reacted with tears and outrage after the country was stripped of hosting rights for the Under-20 World Cup only eight weeks before the start of the tournament amid political turmoil over Israel's participation, leaving Indonesian soccer at risk of further sanctions. Writings on the posters read "We lost against our own nation" and "We can only watch soccer". - AP


* Najib loses bid to review Federal Court decision

* Malaysia will not allow big powers to dictate its future, says Anwar

* PM Anwar pays courtesy call on President Xi

* Bank Negara, MAS launch cross-border QR code payments connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore

* Ab Rauf sworn in as new Melaka CM

* Melaka most politically stable state in Malaysia, says new CM

* Sabah Immigration busts syndicate producing, selling fake entry permits

* Panda cubs Yi Yi and Sheng Yi will be sent back to China in May, says Zoo Negara

* Sam's charge defective, reckless driving conviction cannot stand, Appeals Court told

* Najib ‘clearly disadvantaged’ without effective legal representation, says dissenting judge

* Supporters chant 'Bebas Bossku' as Najib makes way back to Kajang Prison

* World Bank: Malaysia better off having trade agreements with both US, China

* Man admits to setting dog on fire, asks for forgiveness

* Mass resignations may not take place on April 1 but later in the month, says Mogok Doktor Kontrak


* Disruption in Singapore immigration system causes delays at some checkpoints

* Singapore PM in Beijing on last leg of China visit; meets Beijing party chief

* Lee and Anwar reaffirm close ties on sidelines of Boao forum in China

* Employers must provide medical insurance of at least S$60,000 for maids, migrant workers from July

* Xi: Singapore-China ties a model for countries in the region

* Immigration clearance at Singapore checkpoints back to normal after system disruption

* Sex predator who used Instagram to lure four girls to his home gets 12½ years’ jail, caning

* Singapore welcomes Britain joining trans-Pacific free trade pact CPTPP

* Sending sexually explicit videos of children lands WhatsApp group admin in jail


* Thaksin’s daughter looks to take down Thai generals

* Thai firefighters step up battle against forest blaze

* Major political parties urge EC to ensure ease of voting for Thais overseas

* Move Forward open to including MP candidates from indigenous groups: Thanathorn

* Rescue drone spots missing Frenchwoman on Koh Adang near Lipe


* Indonesia on alert amid Marburg virus outbreak in Africa

* Quake-prone Indonesia explores sites for nuclear power plants

* Southeast Asian finance leaders discuss containing global risks

* Soccer-FIFA considering sanctions against Indonesia after U-20 host removal -official

* Indonesia’s sports hosting prospects at risk over U-20 bust


* Philippine NBI said to have captured major player in slaying of governor Degamo

* Imee Marcos: Picking on Philippines but not probing Western nations? ICC a ‘caricature of international justice’

* Typhoon-prone Philippines plans cover on infrastructure losses

* Immigration agents to clean up Philippine airport act amid much flak


* Work starts on Vietnam’s first green hydrogen plant

* Hanoi the most expensive city in Vietnam last year

* Vietnam's central bank signals more rate cuts to bolster economic growth

* Danang strives to revive FDI flow


* Agriculture minister orders digitalisation of licences, permits

* Unicef sees progress in Cambodia for improvement of child rights

* Cambodian PM says SEA Games and Asean Para Games free for public


* Cabinet intensifies action to stabilise Lao economy

* Lao PM seeks more investment from China


* HRW urges Bangladesh to halt Rohingya repatriation plan

* Myanmar to resume floating water festival at tourist site

* Myanmar economy to remain "severely diminished" amid conflict -World Bank


* Chef gets jail, whipping for setting fire to employer's cafe

* Belait hospital hit by flash floods


* UK to join Indo-Pacific trade bloc in major post-Brexit pact

* Fugitive Chinese tycoon's 'unvaxxed sperm' auction taps into conspiracies

* Japan and China connect military hotline to reduce tensions

* Former S. Korea president’s grandson apologises to victims of Gwangju massacre

* Hong Kong police seek HK$5.2bil for new 5G system to handle ‘massive’ data gathered by frontline officers

* Slip, sliding away: Video of two men jumping into river to save runaway car in China delights mainland social media

* Japan unveils fresh childcare plan but funding unclear

* Hyundai offers free steering locks to combat TikTok thefts

* China manufacturing activity expands at slower pace in March

* Japan FM to visit China, first time in over three years

* Markets build on gains as bank, rate concerns ease

* Former S. Korean dictator’s grandson to apologise to families of Gwangju Uprising victims

* World Bank raises 2023 growth outlook in developing East Asia as China reopens

* HK star Jacky Cheung set for new world tour, Malaysia will be one of the stops

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Asean , news headlines , March 31


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