Category: Opinion

The latest opinion from those committed to making our region fair, just and democratic.


Interview: Paul Chambers on Democracy in Thailand

As Thailand commemorates the 10th anniversary of the deadly crackdowns against a red-shirted pro-democracy group, Chambers discusses problems with Thai democracy, the Thai army, social and political movements, and finally Thailand with King Vajiralongkorn at the helm.

/ May 23, 2020

The Trouble of the Palm Oil Business in Southeast Asia

With name-calling and scapegoating over the polluted haze, governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore engage in a rhetorical exercise. In reality, all parties are skating around the real issues.

/ May 21, 2020
Forest burning indonesia

Indonesia: The Fires Next Time

It’s surprising that while demand hits have caused factory closures, falling coal consumption and less auto traffic, leading to blue skies the world over, the palm oil industry continues its environmentally damaging practices unabatedly.

/ May 14, 2020

The Royalists Marketplace: The Supply and Demand for Dissent in Thailand

The Royalists Marketplace elevates political criticism, bringing it from underground to a screen, from gossip and rumour to open debate.

/ May 4, 2020
Philippines home quarantine FORSEA

The Pasaway and Duterte’s Pandemic Blame Game

The Duterte government will never be able to correctly deal with the pandemic unless it recognizes what, not who, the real enemy is. The enemy is not the pasaway, the poor or the rebels.

Dams Development & Disaster on the Mekong

Given the Mekong’s critical state arising from 11 Chinese dams and the recent Xayaburi dam in Lao, a moratorium on all hydropower construction on the Mekong as part of a “New Deal to Save our Mekong” is needed now before...

/ April 23, 2020
Thailand Supreme Court Bangkok FORSEA

Coups, Courts, and John Austin’s Theory of Law

If one day Thai society decides to prosecute a junta for their crime against the state, the set of people to stand trial, as partners to that crime, will need to include more individuals than the coup-makers.

/ April 19, 2020

Myanmar’s Double Contagion: the Covid-19 and the Viral Discourse of Islamophobia

Over the last 8 years, another type of virus, namely Islamophobia, has effectively spread across all segments of Burmese society, with devastating impact on Muslim communities and, more acutely, the community of Rohingyas, numbering 2 millions in total.

/ April 15, 2020

Parasite VS Parasite OR Parasite VS Host?

A close-reading of Basement and Stairs.

/ April 13, 2020

Taking on the Virus, Talking with his Fists: Duterte’s Unique Approach to the COVID-19 Crisis

Duterte is floundering and clueless as a head of state. His arrogant claim to be the supreme arbiter of life and death over his countrymen has been rudely taken away from him by a virus that has put him in...

/ April 8, 2020