Youth engagement with news, deadly commutes, political disinformation

Digital-native ASEAN youth say social media makes them more politically active about the war in Ukraine. Cambodia's garment workers face risky commutes leading to numerous deaths. Filipinos prepare to vote in an upcoming presidential election as online disinformation abounds

Written By:
April 9, 2022
Youth engagement with news, deadly commutes, political disinformation

Hello Globe readers,

This week Southeast Asia Globe has another great lineup of features and analysis extending across the region, from Cambodian highways to Filipino social media and horse therapy in Singapore.

Globe editor Amanda Oon spoke with a range of ASEAN youth to understand their perspectives on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the role of social media in shaping their political awareness. Digital-native Gen Zers in Southeast Asia are getting more information about global events through digital communication platforms, leading to greater political engagement even as misinformation increases.

In Cambodia, reporter Ashley Hui Yin Tan documented the dangerous commutes faced by garment workers who cram into overstuffed, ageing vehicles that have been involved in an alarmingly high number of crashes. An average of 183 workers died in transportation accidents in 2020 as the government and NGOs search for ways to make transportation safer for employees. 

In the 9 May presidential election in the Philippines, voters will choose between consolidating the power of the Duterte and Marcos families or bringing in new, progressive leadership. Across social media platforms, electoral disinformation proliferates and companies like TikTok should implement rigorous policies to avoid further voter manipulation, contributor Kian Vesteinsson argued.

The world can be stressful and some Singaporeans are turning to horses to cope. Globe contributor Ee Ming Toh covered the surprising growth of equine-assisted therapy in urban Singapore, describing how patting, riding and feeding horses can improve mental health, build confidence and provide an outdoor alternative to traditional therapy practices.

Singaporeans should also play a more active role in building up Southeast Asia’s biosecurity and prepare the region to handle public health crisis, contributor Yutong Niu argued. Instead of retreating to isolationism or relying on East Asian nations for support, Singapore could lead the way to make ASEAN self-reliant and able to absorb shocks in the future.

Enjoy this week’s articles and, if you want to help Southeast Asia Globe continue to provide quality news and analysis from the region, please recommend a subscription to your family and friends.

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