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Young Voters Poised to Determine Malaysian Election Outcome

Nazri Hashim, 29, came armed with questions Monday night. He’s married with a 2-year-old son. He and his wife together earn about $750 dollars a month, making it a struggle to handle day-to-day living costs. “Food and just about everything has gotten much more expensive,” he told VOA, adding that gentrification is blocking his path to buying a home in Kampung Baru, the neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur where he grew up. “We can’t afford to buy a new house, because the pricing is unaffordable.” Nazr

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Crypto Scammers Are Often Victims Too

To Ali, it seemed like a great way to make more money. The 23-year-old earned $350 per month as a cleaner in a factory at home in Malaysia. But in April, he was purportedly offered a job in Cambodia making four times as much working in finance, despite having no prior experience in the field. Shortly after flying to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, Ali realized he had been duped. His passport was taken, and he was driven to a compound where he says he was trapped. Armed guards stood by the doorw

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Living in the eye of Myanmar's sectarian storm

Nineteen-year-old Hnin Ei Phyu is on her knees at home, whispering her prayers. It’s a small sign of normality in a community where things have been anything but normal in recent months. This young Muslim woman can’t go inside her family’s mosque because it was shut down after being vandalized. And for more than a month, she had to say her prayers from inside a shelter at a nearby sports stadium in Meiktila, a city in central Myanmar. Fearing for their lives, Hnin Ei Phyu’s family fled their h

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Malaysian Proposal to Phase Out Smoking Sparks Controversy, Concerns Over Corruption

Shortly after finishing her lunch at a Malaysian food court, Emily Lee, a 21-year-old university student, stepped outside, pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. “I usually smoke one pack per day,” she said. “I almost always smoke right after a meal.” Lee said she started smoking when she was 17, a year below the legal age to smoke in Malaysia. “I had a bunch of friends who were smoking, so I started and quickly got addicted to the nicotine.” Government statistics show that 1 in 5 Malaysians 15

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Myanmar Army Deserters Confess on Video to Mass Murders

They show little to no emotion. Their answers may have been rehearsed, but what they say is explosive. Two former foot soldiers, now deserters, from Myanmar’s army say in video-recorded confessions that they participated in atrocity crimes including mass murder and the destruction of entire villages under the orders of senior officers. “Shoot all you see and all you hear,” one former soldier, Private Myo Win Tun, says in a video about the order from a colonel before members of his battalion kil

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Malaysian Road Safety Institute Pushes For Better Training Of Food Delivery Riders

Almost every day 26-year-old Amirul Rashid is on his motorbike delivering food. He must deal with traffic, changing weather conditions and sometimes impatient customers who keep sending messages asking when their food will arrive. Rashid says it’s the same situation for most food delivery riders and unfortunately that prompts some of them to disobey traffic rules, whether it’s the speed limit or a stop light. “Pressure usually comes from the customers because usually the customers want their or

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Press Climate Shifting in Malaysia

In Malaysia, there’s eagerness and a bit of skepticism about what appears to be the beginning of a new dawn for press freedom. “It’s a long time coming,” Kevin Khor, a 50-year-old IT manager, said while skimming through the day’s top stories on his phone. The change is a direct result of the country’s May elections which marked the first win by the opposition since Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957. For decades, the country’s mainstream media were largely under the government’

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Malaysian Volunteers Produce PPE at Home for Front Lines

Dr. Kathreena Kadir pumps sanitizer onto her hands and rubs them thoroughly before proceeding to put on her personal protective equipment, or PPE, including shoe covers, a gown and face mask. It’s standard procedure this oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the University of Malaya Medical Center now follows before meeting patients so she doesn’t contract the coronavirus. “Every patient that comes through the doors is considered positive until proof otherwise,“ says Dr. Kadir. “So, we need to mak

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Malaysia’s Renewed Health Crisis Raises Economic Toll

Alex Chong, whose company, MBA Crew, owns nine restaurants in Malaysia was having trouble last Friday luring customers in for lunch, a sign of the economic pain facing the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was not a lot of foot traffic at the MyTown Shopping Centre, a destination mall in a commercial area, and Chong, MBA Crew’s managing director, was standing in front of one of the company’s restaurants, Leleh, specializing in Malaysian food. “Just a couple of weeks ago, we would

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