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Good morning,

Welcome back to Strait Up, our weekly newsletter that makes sense of what’s going on in Southeast Asia.

This week, we have three stories about companies and countries that need to pivot—and quickly—if they want to avoid the dead ends they’re barreling towards. In Malaysia, Pharmaniaga has recorded its worst-ever loss and the pharma company now has to figure out how to stay afloat. At the centre of its troubles are millions of unused and nearly-expired Covid shots weighing down its warehouses and balance sheets.

In the Philippines, a national “rightsizing” program could see numerous government agencies and organisations shut down, inevitably leading to layoffs. And while meant to streamline government operations, it could result in long-term damage to one crucial state entity. Finally, over in Indonesia, we take a look at the evolving convenience store landscape.

Let’s dive in.

Lede image credit: Chado Nihi/Pixabay

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