This week we shine the spotlight on Malaysia:
CURRENCY AND CARS
While other emerging-market currencies in Asia are halting their slide, the Malaysian ringgit is continuing its precipitous fall, Malaysian financial newspaper the Edge reports.
The Malaysian currency has experienced a steady depreciation for months against the U.S. dollar. Despite a minor rally recently, it's now trading at 4.18 ringgit for $1, up from 3.5 in February of this year.
The Edge writes that this fall is particularly damaging for the country's automobile industry, as domestic car producers must compete with foreign brands. Several other currencies in emerging markets have fallen in value this year, including those of Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Vietnam, but have mostly recovered.
FIGHTING THE HAZE
As thick haze continues to blanket Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Indonesia, the governments in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur have struck a deal to combat the environmental disaster, Singaporean daily The Straits Times reports.
Illegal land and forest fires in the Indonesian island of Sumatra result in clouds of haze polluting the region every year, forcing disruption and closures in Malaysia and Singapore.
But under the agreement, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia will implement new standards for environmentally sustainable palm oil production and increase cooperation to curb fires in the region. Many of the fires occur in palm oil plantations, and a joint aircraft operation by the three countries is currently underway to tackle the haze. The agreement was recently signed at a meeting between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his Malaysian counterpart Prime Minister Najib Razak, at the Indonesian presidential palace in Bogor.