In this issue: An Eventful Month, The Other Singapore, Indonesia Landmark Bill, Doctors of Myanmar, Lotus New Product and Summer Promos, So Many Good Reasons to Work with Us, Flying Taxi Services, Recap of entry Rules
An Eventful Month
The past month has been an eventful one not only for Southeast Asia, but for the whole world as well. A mix bag of good, bad and very bad news that keep us breathless. We feel though that more than ever we all need to stay optimistic and responsible by keeping up to our moral and social commitments while working towards a speedy economic recovery.
On a very bright side, after over two years of severe lockdowns, Singapore Indonesia and Malaysia ended most of their covid-19 restrictions. With large part of the population fully vaccinated, gathering bans have been dropped and face masks are now only required indoors, in public settings and transportation. Testing requirements have also been scrapped for all inbound passengers, and this is all good news for the tourism industry. Please see details in our highlights section.
Good news also come from Indonesia where the parliament has passed a landmark bill to address sexual violence. The legislation provides a framework for victims to secure justice both within and outside of marriage. It includes jail terms for forced marriages and for sexual exploitation.
On the other hand, we feel compelled to remind the world of the tragic events of Myanmar. One year has passed since the formation of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, an opposition shadow administration centred around ousted pro-democracy lawmakers. The NUG called for the formation of the PDF (People Defence Force) last year, leading to groups emerging under that banner all over the country. We would like to highlight the level of brutality perpetuated by the military junta which has revoked the licenses of prominent physicians and searched hospitals for wounded resistance fighters As a result, Myanmar is now one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a medical worker. At least 140 doctors have been arrested since the coup; 89 of them remain behind bars, a rights group said. At least 30 doctors have been killed, another rights group said.
In the meantime, the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been handed an additional five-year jail term after court finds her guilty of corruption, allegedly accepting gold and cash payments.
The Other Singapore
There is another Singapore we would like to bring your attention to. It is the one with less glittering marbles, glass and steel and of a more down to heart humanity. A Singapore yet truly connected to its Asian core.
The ride through the streets and shophouses of Geylang is one not much promoted by a Singapore which prefers to show its sanitised side. This is an exotic cluster of narrow streets on the eastern fringes of central Singapore. Strolling through Geylang one may sample traditional Chinese sweets and bowls of durian. But more relevantly, one may glimpse and feel an older Singapore, a port city of migrant labourers and sailors in search of casual sex and the thrill of a card game.
Take a tour by foot or bicycle among shophouses decorated with images of peasant women in typical Vietnamese dress or with red lanterns hanging outside to indicate the nationality of the women working inside. Breath the air ripe with the aroma of tropical fruits and cooking smells from the roadside stalls while down the narrow passageways between shops, men gather around tables of card games.
Sit at one of the stalls, enjoy the local delicacies in the humble settings of everyday laymen life.
Immerse yourself in a dimension and atmosphere of old times, and true Singapore roots.
LAT New Products
Look at the endless innovative touring products developed by LAT. From slow tourism to tours aways from crowds, from an agile system of modular scheduled departures in different languages to arts, architecture, food and education packages, just to name a few!
All our offers are now all strictly carbon neutral, all emissions being calculated and offset by projects in cooperation with Climate Partners.
LAT Super Summer Promos
Review our stream of offers for the summer. Just click here or contact us for enquires.
Malaysia initiates flying taxis services
Capital A, the parent of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia, has taken the first step toward bringing flying taxis to Southeast Asia. The AirAsia Aviation Group signed a memorandum of understanding in February to lease a minimum of 100 VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft from Avolon, a leasing company based in Ireland. Avolon ordered the VX4s from British developer Vertical Aerospace.
To launch the business, the air taxis will need type certificates, along with specialised aviation rules and infrastructure for landing, take-off, and parking. Vertical Aerospace is in the process of obtaining type certification in Europe. The company plans to initiate test flights as soon as this month.
Under AirAsia's model, the operation will start as a link between Kuala Lumpur's city centre and the international airport, which will reduce the hourlong trip by car to a mere 17 minutes.
The fare is expected to cost less than USD 50 per person if four people share the same air taxi.
Summary of Entry Rules
Certificate of full Vaccination
Downloading of tracing local application/forms at the following links:
A fee of IDR 500,000 (USD 25 approx.) per person is charged upon arrival In Indonesia.
No medical/travel insurances required for Malaysia and Singapore.
Travel medical coverage for a minimum of USD 25.000 is required to enter Indonesia.
Malindo Air rebranded Batik Air
Malaysian-based regional airline, Malindo Air, has been rebranded as Batik Air and will commence business under the new identity on April 28.