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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?