Personalities

Find out what Asia’s movers and shakers are up to ­– and how they spend their private time 
  1. Chinese-Australians have banded together to help police hunt down two white men who hit an Asian delivery rider in Adelaide’s Chinatown on Saturday, as vigilantism among the Asian-Australian community grows in the face of rising racist attacks.A video of the attack, published on social media and by various Asian media groups such as Jackfroot, shows the two white men – one carrying a dog – approach an Asian food delivery rider on a stationary electric bike.One of the men walks past the rider…
  2. Attracted by the low cost of living and good telecommunications, digital nomads, or people who earn a living by working remotely, have been flocking to Southeast Asia for years.Many who have chosen this lifestyle say the advantages such as the change of scenery and freedom far outweigh any inconveniences like attending online meetings in different time zones.But when borders started closing after the coronavirus outbreak, many travellers headed to the safety of their home countries. The five…
  3. It was wheat harvest season in India, when Adhikar Sakhi Pushpa first heard of the new coronavirus. She started alerting the people in her village, sewing masks and laying down plans to enforce social distancing.More than 4,600km away, in the Philippines, Lilet Tupas decided that after the government declared a state of calamity in March, she would wear a mask to visit every family living in about 200 houses, and continue to monitor the challenges faced by the children in her community.Neither…
  4. An ale that rewards drinkers with a healthy gut may sound like an idea devised during a night of heavy boozing. Combine that beer with durian – the spiky, smelly, sometimes polarising fruit popular throughout Southeast Asia – and it’s a concept bordering on the absurd.This sheer novelty value – and a love of beer – inspired Kriza Calumba, a food and science technology instructor from Davao in the Philippines, to create her unusual but healthy concoction.“We already know how good probiotics are…
  5. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is expected to prevail in Sunday’s election after earning plaudits for her handling of the city’s coronavirus crisis even as new infections in the capital have increased in recent days. Polls suggest Koike, 67, has the support of about 60 per cent of voters, enough to deliver a landslide victory against 21 other candidates who have failed to slow her march towards securing a second term. Even if Koike is overwhelmingly re-elected, though, major challenges await,…
  6. For six months now, Naresh Subnani’s textile company in Shaoxing city, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, has not received any orders. Few people have also been dining at his award-winning Indian-Chinese restaurant in the same city since the coronavirus outbreak began.The 38-year-old businessman is among thousands of Indian nationals in China dealing with economic woes amid the pandemic – and with ties between New Delhi and Beijing at a new low following a deadly border clash last…
  7. Chompoo, 24, has dreamed of working at an airline for years. With this goal in mind, the aspiring flight attendant majored in English and Mandarin at university to help give her an edge over other applicants.But one year after graduation, the Thai woman’s dream has yet to take flight. She failed an interview with a local airline in February, and with global aviation and tourism now battered by the coronavirus pandemic, there are no jobs to apply for.Nevertheless, Chompoo is not lying idle. She…
  8. Recently, Anjana Hareesh came out as a queer person to her family. The admission prompted her parents to forcibly place her in a “de-addiction centre”, where she was given a heavy course of medication, she said in a Facebook Live video on March 13. When she tried to resist, the workers there slapped her. Then exactly two months after posting the video, Hareesh was found hanging from a tree at a resort in Goa, India. She was 21. Hareesh’s friend, Gargi Harithakam, said she did not have any…
  9. A 28-year-old Malaysian home chef has hurtled to YouTube fame, winning more than 740,000 subscribers and the praise of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan.S. Pavithra and her husband M. Sugu, 29, manage the Sugu Pavithra YouTube channel, where she showcases wholesome dishes such as steamed fish, mutton curry, and sweet and sour chicken, using basic cooking implements and speaking in fluent Bahasa Malaysia, the country’s national language…
  10. James Au used to tell his parents he would never work in the catering industry. But now the 31-year-old son of first-generation Hong Kong emigrants to the US operates an American-style Chinese restaurant in Bangkok.His journey to the Thai capital began in Minneapolis, where his family had worked its way up to owning a chain of seven Chinese-American restaurants.How Western tastes for Chinese food were shaped by Hong Kong restaurantsAu, however, got his start in software. Before turning 20, he…