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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 look at how Southeast Asia could have an interconnected cross-border payments system as early as next year, with five of the region’s central banks deciding to join forces. Malaysia, meanwhile, is gearing towards general elections which may be a crucial crossroads for its politically-sensitive rubber industry. And in the Philippines, Grab is finally ready to bend its rules after mounting pressure from politicians, labour unions, drivers, and delivery riders.

We’re also running a special survey at the end of this week’s edition. Your feedback and suggestions on what we could be doing differently will go a long way towards helping us deliver better stories to you. So don’t skip it!

Right. Now that’s done, here are this week’s stories.

Let’s dive in!

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