Photos of the week

In pictures: the anniversaries of two monarchs’ deaths, Zahid on trial and Boracay Island’s revival

Posted on: October 19, 2018 | Current Affairs

This week, people came out to mourn the anniversary of the death of the popular late Thai King Bhumibol, while in Cambodia ceremonies commemorated the death of the late King Norodom Sihanouk. The leader of the Malaysian party UMNO stands trial for corruption offenses, and the Philippines’ Boracay Island is reopening for tourists

A Thai woman holds a portrait of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and candles as people gather to mark the second anniversary of the king’s death Photo: Narong Sangnak / EPA-EFE

Ninety-nine Thai Buddhist monks took part in a ceremony in which they received alms as they walked around Siriraj hospital before praying for the late king inside the hospital. King Bhumibol died at the age of 88 in Siriraj Hospital on 13 October 2016 after 70 years on the throne. He was adored almost as a demigod in Thailand, but his son, the current king Vajiralongkorn, does not command quite the same level of devotion.

A boy frolics on the beach in Boracay Island on 17 October Photo: Mark R Cristino / EPA-EFE

The clear waters and white sand of Boracay Island were reopened to a small group of tourists this week, with a “soft opening” scheduled for later this month. Known as the ‘Ibiza of Asia’ for its endless parties, the island was closed for six months and underwent sanitation and development work after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had called it a ‘cesspool’ back in April.

Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi (r) arrives at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya on 18 October Photo: Ahmad Yusni / EPA-EFE

Zahid has been given the notice to surrender to Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission and will be charged in court on 19 October. He is being charged for 45 offences, including eight counts of corruption involving RM42 million ($10.1m), and ten counts of criminal breach of trust around funds from Yayasan Akal Budi, a welfare foundation he chairs. Zahid leads the opposition United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which was defeated during elections in May of this year.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis (l) meets Ho Chi Minh City’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Thien Nhan (r) in Ho Chi Minh City Photo: Stringer / EPA-EFE

Mattis is on a two-day visit to Vietnam, the second trip he has made to the country this year. Mattis’ first trip had been to Hanoi in January. Tensions are rising between the US and China, and some see a second trip in one year as an attempt to build closer relations between the US and Vietnam.

Cambodian officials attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of the late former King Norodom Sihanouk in Phnom Penh Photo: Kith Serey / EPA-EFE

Cambodia marked the sixth anniversary of the death of the late former King Norodom Sihanouk on 15 October.  He died at the age of 89 in Beijing, China, in 2012. Sihanouk became king in 1941, when Cambodia was a French Protectorate, and his reign spans the Cold War and several bouts in exile or abdication, such as during the Khmer Rouge period and after Vietnamese troops overthrew the regime. Since 2004 the current king has been his son, Norodom Sihamoni.