Past and Future

From Cambodia's crumbling political opposition, to the housing crisis engulfing animals in Singapore, don't miss this week's stories.

Julija Veljkovic
March 6, 2020
Past and Future

This week we looked at how the conflict in Thailand’s southern provinces is impacting communities living through the turmoil, the precarious state of Cambodian political opposition, as well as one man’s mission to save Southeast Asia’s iconic independent cinemas. We also look at how some coral reefs in Indonesia are withstanding mass bleaching, before rounding the week off by examining animal welfare in Singapore, a city-state with shrinking space to house its sizeable displaced animal population.

“In short, it’s not looking very good,” said Sebastian Strangio, a journalist and author, when asked about Cambodia’s political opposition. “It’s unclear where exactly a credible opposition will emerge from unless the CPP loosens the shackles and allows CNRP to reemerge in some form.”

Amid a boom in supposed opposition parties filling the Cambodia National Rescue Party void, Cambodian democracy seems even farther out of grasp than before. We spoke to several opposition figures, including Sam Rainsy, to get an idea of where opposition currently stands in the Kingdom.  

Yah, widowed in the conflict in Thailand’s Deep South, now only cares about surviving. “Independence? I never think about this,” she says. “I want a peaceful and better life.”

As the Thai government and Malay Muslims engage in peace talks this week, we spoke to people from the southern provinces about what an end to decades of violence would mean for them.

“Animals don’t vote and they can’t contribute to the economy, so they get sidelined,” independent animal rescuer, Nur Samad said. “I’ve heard so many ridiculous complaints to the town council. One woman complained about seeing a cat on top of her husband’s car. Another said, “My family is afraid of the cat, please remove it.” And the town council actually placated them and wanted the cat gone,” she said in disbelief.

How can Singapore keep a human touch amid mass development?

Marine scientists are proving popular beliefs wrong through their research into the resilience of coral reefs in Indonesia. Despite mass bleaching, many reefs are showing signs of life. 

The region’s ageing cinemas are fighting a losing battle against corporate forces, but a determined American is fighting to save these fading silver screens. [Top Print Read]

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