Going regional

This week we went regional, looking at how the newly-established Internet Crimes Against Children department in Cambodia is tackling online child abuse, how an eco-friendly Thai festival is bringing people from all walks of life together, the story behind a Vietnamese artist who operated as a propaganda artist during the war, Singapore’s retail business woes, and more.

Julija Veljkovic
February 7, 2020
Going regional

As crimes committed using technology increase, law enforcement and NGOs are finding innovative ways to protect the vulnerable and tackle online abuse.

“The CPU today, it’s been a bit of a journey to get here,” said Child Protection Unit executive director James McCabe. “But we constantly assess where we’re going, what are the new crime trends, how things are changing in Cambodia, as they do.” 

In this special report, we look into how the newly-established unit, in cooperation with the Cambodian Children’s Fund, is working with the Cambodian police force to protect vulnerable children from online abuse

In Thailand, we had the opportunity to attend Jai Thep, a socially-conscious and eco-friendly festival in Chiang Mai. It’s not your typical festival; its main aim is to help connect festival-goers from all walks of life, striving to offer them a guilt-free party experience.

We spoke to Thai musician Notep, learning about how she integrates meditation into her creative music. She acknowledges that “Everybody sucks at breathing because we’re human and our minds go crazy all the time.” For Notep, it’s about combining spirituality and meditation into everything she does, including her work.

Last month, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen entered his 35th year in power. Guest columnist David Hutt explores how he has managed to maintain his iron grip on power for over three decades through the strategic art of giving. 

For our Life pillar, we delved into the past, remembering the Vietnamese artist and former Colonel Phạm Thanh Tâm, who used to produce propaganda art during the Vietnamese war. Despite decades passing, in the years before his death he could still recall the details of each piece in mesmerising detail. 

“Even in wartime,” recalled Tâm, “colours were very intense … We always remembered and we always recorded.

In addition, we returned to a Top Read from 2017, looking at how many shop owners are playing catch up to a volatile retail sector in Singapore. “You work so hard, and it all goes to rent,” said shop owner San. “You don’t think about making money … just [about] break[ing] even.”

With vacancy rates for Singapore’s swanky shopping malls then at an all-time high, what is happening to its reputation as a regional shopping destination?

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