Press freedom, protests and political pressures

The Globe welcomes a new reporter while Southeast Asia juggles between new political changes and environmental challenges

January 21, 2023
Press freedom, protests and political pressures

Hello Globe readers!

This week Southeast Asia Globe welcomes a new reporter. Leila Goldstein is an experienced business and radio reporter. Her work has been published by NPR, Marketplace and The World. Before becoming a journalist, Leila taught courses for two years at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, Indonesia as a Shansi Fellow.

Our team is expanding thanks to you and the other readers. We would love to see you join our growing community and continue to support the Globe’s reporting by signing up for our limited New Year 50% discount on annual Southeast Asia Globe memberships available until the end of the month.

Before diving into the features, let’s get to know Leila.

What makes you excited about joining the Globe?

I love the Globe’s commitment to taking a deeper look at stories and I’m looking forward to stepping back from the daily news grind to focus on the larger trends affecting people in the region. Also, I hope to learn some Khmer and improve my Indonesian!

What kinds of stories are you interested in writing?

I’m excited to dive into stories about the digital economy. Super apps, digital payments, unequal internet access, gamers. There’s so much development and change happening in Southeast Asia. I’m interested in how technology ends up being used, adapted and reimagined in unexpected ways by communities.

What is something readers wouldn’t know about you from your professional bio?

I love public libraries. The Stuttgart City Library in Germany is probably the most beautiful one I’ve visited. I’m looking forward to checking out the libraries and archives here in Phnom Penh and other parts of Southeast Asia while travelling.

Today closes the second week of Leila as a Globe reporter with features covering environmental protection and politics across the region.

As Malaysia’s Islamic Party has become the largest party in parliament, Kevin Zhang analysed the aftermath of the November 2022 elections, which resulted in the first hung parliament in Malaysia’s history. 

Meanwhile, around 5,000 endangered fish were released at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Globe’s Anton L. Delgado and SoPhanna Lay reported the event from the ground.

As endangered fish began repopulating Cambodian rivers, in Indonesia, “survivor” families of human rights abuse victims have no intention of giving up their Thursday peaceful demonstrations – Kamisan. Globe’s Nisya Kunto was on the ground reporting the latest of 760 protests over the last decade.

As politics runs its course, the region continues struggling with climate change and sustainable energy production. WWF‘s Lan Mercado dives into the outdated concept of hydropower as a source of renewable energy, calling it “unsustainable development,” arguing that it will do more damage than improvement in the long-term. 

In the meantime, Vietnam’s president Nguyen Xuan Phuc resigned following critics over a mass anti-corruption crackdown, AFP’s Alice Philipson reported.

A few hours later, news from the Philippines spread worldwide. A court acquitted Nobel Prize winner and prominent Filipino journalist Maria Ressa of tax evasion, the allegedly politically motivated charges from the former Duterte’s regime. AFP’s Mikhail Flores reported her victory. 

Enjoy the articles and have a good weekend.

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