The Philippines and the Politics of Failure

The Philippines and the Politics of FailurePresident Rodrigo Duterte. If this is the next leader of the Philippines, as early results from Monday's election portend, one has to wonder how it came to this. The country seems condemned to dwell on the past in the form of both leaders and issues while its political elite – in this case the blah…

Opinion: Epidemic of Top Thai Cop ‘Suicides’ Continues

Opinion: Epidemic of Top Thai Cop ‘Suicides’ ContinuesOn Feb. 12, a Thai police spokesman announced that a high-ranking official, Lt. Col. Chan Chaisawatra, had committed suicide. We believe he didn’t commit suicide. We believe he was murdered, the latest in a long series of “suicides” that began last year in what amounts to a reign of terror within the Royal Thai Police.…

Opinion: The Lies of Malaysia’s Attorney General

Opinion: The Lies of Malaysia’s Attorney GeneralWhen a Malaysian deputy prosecutor named Kevin Morais disappeared on Sept. 4 last year after leaving his condominium in Kuala Lumpur on his way to work, the rumor spread that the 55-year-old Morais, who was gay, probably had tired of his job with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and had left with his lover, probably for…

Opinion: Malaysia Must Not Create ‘Christianophobia’

Opinion: Malaysia Must Not Create ‘Christianophobia’Many Malaysians are angry and deeply bothered by Universiti  Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam organizing what was reported as an “anti-Christianization” conference, held on Dec. 12. It was the second such seminar held on the campus in 2015. There is nothing new about the practice of such institutions in…

America’s Spy System: Why didn’t it work?

America’s Spy System: Why didn’t it work?If the US National Security Agency’s massive electronic spy system didn’t catch the murderous jihadist lovers, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook, what is it for? Tashfeen entered the United States in July of 2014 on a K-1 visa for fiancées on a Pakistani passport, according to authorities, who began excavating for details of her arrival…

Opinion: Civil Liberties in Vietnam: Half-Full Glass

Opinion: Civil Liberties in Vietnam: Half-Full GlassHuman Rights Watch is upset that Hanoi is revising "its already draconian criminal code."  Parsing a recent report to Vietnam's National Assembly by the Minister of Public Security, the New York-based advocacy group discerned that "Vietnam will return to its policy of stamping out dissent now that the (Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact) is in place."…

Opinion: Chinese Filipino Tycoon Kowtows to Beijing

Opinion: Chinese Filipino Tycoon Kowtows to BeijingPhilippine presidential contender Grace Poe is facing possible disqualification both due to her uncertain origins as a foundling and because her loyalty to the nation has been questioned over her former US citizenship, which she only renounced in 2010 after she was offered an official position by President Benigno Aquino III. So what then are…

Opinion: Don’t Expect KL’s Press to Deliver a Malaysiagate

Opinion: Don’t Expect KL’s Press to Deliver a MalaysiagateA writer named Azrul Mohd Khalib, writing on the Malay Mail website, has written a long review of All the President’s Men, the iconic 1976 movie relating the roles of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post in bringing down the disgraced President Richard Nixon in 1974. I do not know…

Opinion: No Indonesian Welcome Mat for the IMF

Opinion: No Indonesian Welcome Mat for the IMFOn Sept.1 and 2, Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the IMF are scheduled to visit ndonesia. While President Joko Widodo and some of his ministers have already rolled out the welcome mat for them, it should be put back in the closet. This is an organization that in part was behind the Indonesian economic crisis…

Opinion: A Call for Democratic Reform in Malaysia

Opinion: A Call for Democratic Reform in MalaysiaThis weekend, Malaysia will have a mammoth 34-hour “Bersih 4” rally in the national capital Kuala Lumpur and regional capitals Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia. Hundreds of thousands are expected to color the cities yellow, echoed by the Malaysian diaspora in 56 cities worldwide. “Bersih” means “clean” in Malaysia’s national language. It is…