One year with Covid-19

It may be too early to hope, but a wave of promising new vaccines could have us all breathing easier before long

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December 12, 2020
One year with Covid-19

Burning dilemma: Sugarcane farmers struggle in Thailand’s green vision

Sugarcane is a major cash crop in Thailand. But thanks to field burning, a common harvest strategy necessitated by market forces pushing down on smallholder farmers, each sweet bundle comes with smoggy skies. Globe reporter Wanpen Pajai journeyed north to meet Thai sugarcane growers trying to adapt to a cane industry transforming itself into a super-efficient bioeconomy — all the while threatening to leave behind the family farm model that made it all possible. 

‘Britain’s My Lai’: Remembering the Batang Kali massacre

In December 1948, at the height of communist insurgency the Malayan Emergency, British troops massacred 24 unarmed civilians in the village of Batang Kali. Many regard it as Britain’s My Lai, with the search for the truth about what happened continuing on to this day.

Singapore’s sex workers under lockdown

Singapore is famed for its clean streets and soaring buildings. It’s less well-known for its bustling sex industry, which employs about 10,000 people each year. Contributor Ashley Tan spoke with Singaporean filmmaker Jessica Lee about her upcoming documentary, The Shades of Love, which brings unheard stories from the people who make a living on intimacy in the city-state. 

Among LA’s Thais, a movement for democracy in the homeland is brewing

Sunny skies and Hollywood vibes — that’s Los Angeles for you! Globe reporter Tara Abhasakun brought us this report from the Thai-American communities of California who are answering the call of pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok. 

In Malaysia, why has solidarity turned to hostility for Rohingya refugees?

As promised, we’ve got the first Globe byline for Huei Ting! A flurry of fake news in April sparked a flood of hate speech against Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. Now, months after an attempt to use existing speech laws to discourage online harassment of minorities an opposition lawmaker is renewing the call for stronger protections.

Cambodia scrapping Human Rights Day is a worrying sign of the times

Human Rights Day was marked on 10 December by people around the world. So what does it mean for Cambodia to drop it as a national holiday? For Chak Sopheap, the head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, it’s cause to speak out louder than ever against abuses.

Recover better: Stand up for human rights

Pauline Tamesis, resident coordinator of the United Nations in Cambodia, also wrote in with this call to unite for a better society. A point well-taken, especially as we look hopefully to a post-pandemic recovery.


One year on from the first identified case of Covid-19 in Wuhan, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. In a series of photos, the Globe revisits the impact the pandemic has had across Southeast Asia.

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