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LINES OF THOUGHT ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA

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Editorial

Vietnam’s receding hairline and Myanmar 2020

This week we peak under Vietnam's toupet and examine the causes behind the country's fast receding hairline. Among the fastest-ageing populations in the world, how will Vietnam handle its growing cohort of elders? We also look ahead to the recently announced Myanmar elections. Five years since her landmark 2015 victory, Aung San Suu Kyi has firmly fallen from grace in the eyes of the international community – will her domestic downfall be next?

July 23, 2020
Vietnam’s receding hairline and Myanmar 2020

Vietnam’s greying elders: Managing one of the world’s fastest ageing societies

In the rare moments I find time to write, I aim to delve in to those lesser-reported topics impacting the region I believe readers should be aware of. This week, it’s ageing in Vietnam. Though Vietnam is rapidly changing by virtually every metric, it’s the country’s ongoing demographic shift that could prove most pivotal. With birth rates dropping and life expectancy rising, Vietnam is among the world’s most rapidly ageing societies, with that moniker bringing with it opportunities and challenges aplenty. 

Students’ ‘haircut revolt’ opens democratic space discussion in Thailand

“It’s not a big deal, it’ll grow back.” These are words we’ve all encountered at least once in our lives after a trigger happy hairdresser has gone to town on our locks. But in Thailand, Globe reporter Wanpen Pajai showed us just what a big deal a haircut can be. In the spirit of Thailand’s ongoing youthful rebellion, high-school students are pushing back against decades-old military inspired haircut restrictions, in the process challenging hierarchy and opening discussions about democratic space. 

As Uighur abuses condemned, Southeast Asia’s silence is deafening

Last weekend, distressing new footage emerged showing bound and blindfolded men being led to what commentators believe was a Uighur detention centre – euphemistically named ‘re-education camps’ by the Chinese government – in Xinjiang province. With countries condemning events in China’s far-west, Globe reporter Alexi Demetriadi notes that, true to form, Southeast Asian governments have once-again remained tight-lipped on the issue. 

Dear Singapore, here are five things I never knew about You till GE2020

With the 2020 General Election passing with a resounding – if a little less resounding than in previous years – victory for the ruling People’s Action Party, Singaporean student Ashley Tan reflects on what these polls have taught her about the city-state.

Shutting the door on North Korea’s cyber army in Southeast Asia

With North Korea’s cyber army of hackers a vital source of income for the country’s repressive regime, US policy adviser Brian Moore argues that Southeast Asia’s adoption of nuclear power over the next two decades will leave states vulnerable to attack.

A look ahead to Myanmar GE 2020: Ethnic parties and storms of discontent

With the Myanmar General Election slated for November, five years of stalled peace negotiations, broken promises and stunted economic prosperity for ethnic minority groups may prove the undoing of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party.

Thai youth prepare for hot summer of protests

Thai youth protesters resumed their pro-democracy movement with a bang in last weekend’s protest. As disparate youth groups jostle to raise their voices, this summer could be a busy one in Thailand.

Community involvement: The solution for Southeast Asia’s plastic pollution

With ASEAN countries among the worst plastic polluters in the world, should we be looking to implement schemes among local communities that allow them to manage their own waste?



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