Leaked documents in Myanmar and a free-press battle in Malaysia

This week we’ve dug into a trove of information that has gone largely unregistered in the mainstream press, as hundreds of gigabytes of information, leaked from government websites in Myanmar, detail the length and breadth of the military’s influence in the country’s economy. We also look at the fight for press freedom in Malaysia, speaking with embattled outlet Malaysiakini about their recent 500,000 ringgit fine for five user comments on their website

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February 27, 2021
Leaked documents in Myanmar and a free-press battle in Malaysia

For Cambodian workers, obscure new border crossing makes for uncertain journey home

In Cambodia’s rural borderlands, migration for work is a fact of life. But while the life of migrant labourers has never been easy, the Covid-19 pandemic has only made it harder. Globe reporter Allegra Mendelson got exclusive access to a new and obscure military-run border station to see first-hand what migrant workers now experience when coming home to Cambodia. Really compelling on-the-ground reporting here, be sure to check this one out. 

My Lai Massacre: The implication of Captain Ernest Medina, 50 years on

A half-century after the brutal massacre at Mỹ Lai, the small hamlet in Vietnam where US military personnel killed as many as 504 men, women and children, historian and author William Thomas Allison delivers this clear picture of the legal proceedings that followed the bloody episode. Even if you’re familiar with Mỹ Lai, you’ve likely not read anything like this, a point-by-point depiction of the case against Captain Ernest Medina, the commanding officer accused of standing by while his men killed innocents. Well-worth your time.

Over 100,000 Myanmar company registrations leaked: here’s why it matters

A massive data leak that came out of Myanmar last week could hold the key to effective sanctions against military leaders who overthrew the civilian state. There’s only one catch — the leak is so big that nobody can really say what all is in it. Globe reporter Kiana Duncan dove in to talk with hacktivists and human rights campaigners to see what they’ve pulled out of the trove so far. 

Thailand’s rising tension between public and state relations with China

The latest here from Globe columnist and associate professor Mark Cogan, examining the increasingly wary eye of Thailand toward a growing Chinese influence in the Kingdom. As a politically activated public questions everything, how far might tensions go?

Indonesia’s Dayaks grapple with Covid-19, deforestation and development

The indigenous people of Indonesian Borneo are in a bind. Though most have been locked in decades-long battles to keep their ancestral homelands intact, they’re now facing looming threats on multiple fronts, struggling against encroachment both of Covid-19 and what some believe is codified land transfers within the country’s sweeping Omnibus Bill. Another multi-faceted report from investigative reporter Klas Lundström, hit the link for more.

What lessons can we learn from Thailand’s 1991 coup?

In a Kingdom of coups, it’s not always clear what an individual putsch can tell us. But in his analysis Duncan McCargo, professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen, lays in clear detail the role of the 1991 military overthrow Thai premier Chatichai Choonavan in what McCargo describes as a “domestic thirty years’ war” for control of Thailand. Really interesting look at at pivotal moment in modern Thai political history.

‘This is Malaysia, it’s not surprising’: Malaysiakini battles shrinking press space

Last week, Malaysian independent news outlet Malaysiakini was fined half-a-million ringgit over user comments left on an article of theirs. Zikri Kamarulzaman, a journalist at the outlet, spoke of the chilling effect the ruling could have on press freedom in the country.

A young Cambodian teacher’s view: How to improve our education system

Cambodia’s traditional education system based around rote learning is failing to prepare the Kingdom’s youth for the fast changing world of work. Phannaro Nhem, a maths teacher in Phnom Penh, believes preparing educators to impart soft skills like adaptability is the future of schooling.

The Vietnamese enterprise offering amputees customisable prosthetics

Prosthetics for amputees are traditionally one-size-fits-all models that allow little, if any, customisation. But Saigon-based social enterprise Vulcan Augmetics is utilising 3D printing technology to create artificial limbs that can be adapted to individual needs.

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