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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.

In today’s edition, we’re unpacking the controversy on price hikes for the Hajj pilgrimage for Indonesians. When millions of people travel to one place around the same time, that’s a big business opportunity. But right now, there’s a lot of mistrust.

Our next topic takes us to the Philippines. Which is–together with Myanmar–the last Southeast Asian nation that hasn’t reaffirmed its participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. Why is that? In a Q&A with Raul Montemayor, the national manager of the Federation of Free Farmers, we explore why farmers in the Philippines are still fighting tooth and nail against the implementation of the free trade deal.

Let’s go!

Lead image credit: Adli Wahid/Unsplash

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