Siamese crocodiles, Malaysian food sellers, Cambodia’s oral histories

Globe and The Third Pole explore crocodile conservation, struggling mamak outlets get a boost, NGO creates a story database of Khmer Rouge survivors

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April 2, 2022
Siamese crocodiles, Malaysian food sellers, Cambodia’s oral histories

Hello Globe readers,

This week’s stories take you from the far reaches of the Cardamom Mountains into the back of beloved Malaysian food stalls.

Southeast Asia Globe reporter Anton L. Delgado worked in collaboration with The Third Pole for a deep dive into the effort to save Cambodia’s last wild populations of Siamese crocodiles. The crocs were believed to be extinct in the country until their rediscovery in 2000. In an unusual twist, conservationists have turned to commercial farms for crocodile donations to breed, raise and release the animals into the wild.

In Malaysia, reporter Ashley Yeong wrote about the 24-hour mamak stalls where hungry night owls and sports fanatics have long gathered for comfort food. Often operated by Indian migrants, the restaurants were hit hard by pandemic restrictions but recently got a boost with permission to restart operations at all hours of the day. As one customer said, “Finally, I can watch football again.”

Reporter Stew Post spent time with the Documentation Center of Cambodia, an organisation building a database of the demographics, health status and oral histories of Khmer Rouge survivors across Cambodia. Stew’s story explores DC-Cam’s effort to preserve survivors’ histories while connecting them with healthcare.

Finally, columnist Mark S. Cogan details the increasing harm of Thailand’s lèse majesté law, which prohibits defamation of the Thai royal family and is frequently used to silence dissent. Recent targeting of children shows the bar for activists and politicians is “dangerously low” and should prompt action from social media platforms.

Stay safe and enjoy this week’s stories.

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