Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in Indonesia

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in IndonesiaThe increase of Indonesia’s health budget allocation from 3.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the 1990s to 5 percent in 2017, totaling Rp104 trillion (US7.28 billion), is designed to alleviate some of the country’s healthcare delivery problems, with  75 percent of citizens still greatly depending on public health care. But one of the biggest…

Vestiges of a Friendship Between North Korea and Cambodia

Vestiges of a Friendship Between North Korea and CambodiaWith its white walls shimmering under the tropical sun and its yellow roof pointing towards the sky, the Angkor Panorama Museum could be an awkward shopping mall stranded on the outskirts of Siem Reap, the provincial city on Tonle Sap, 320 km from the capital Phnom Penh. Instead, it is a brick-and-mortar testament to the…

Disability Issues and the Lack of Data in Indonesia

Disability Issues and the Lack of Data in IndonesiaAid for the disabled has long been an intractable issue in Indonesia. Services and facilities are minimal, with the budget incapable of providing welfare pensions, according to a study by Inside Indonesia, formerly known as the Indonesian Resources and Information Program. Funds are inadequate to meet needs in health, education, employment and public access. There…

Tiger Emergency in Sumatra

Tiger Emergency in SumatraThe year-old Sumatran tiger male, nearly fully grown, wandered out of the old-growth forest in the Habaduan hills near Lake Toba near nightfall, leaving the family’s hidden den on his own for the first time. He glided downhill into the edge habitat of degraded forests and finally the plantations on the lower slopes –first bananas…

The Unaffordable City

The Unaffordable CityThousands of stunning skyscrapers, a glittering sea view of Victoria Harbor and enticing night life in Lan Kwai Fong are not the whole of Hong Kong. Behind the glamorous facade of this first-world city there exists third-world living quality with which almost 200,000 people contend daily. The 26-year-old Cartal Tsoi, for instance, lives with his…

Bitter Squabble Surfaces Among Singapore’s Lee Family

Bitter Squabble Surfaces Among Singapore’s Lee FamilyAn extraordinary row has broken out among the descendants of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore who died in April 2015, with two younger siblings accusing Lee Hsien Loong, the current prime minister, and his wife Ho Ching of being “driven by a desire for power and personal popularity.” The other two are…

The Woeful State of Education for the Disabled in Indonesia

The Woeful State of Education for the Disabled in IndonesiaSeven-year-old Puji, a child in Jakarta, was born with physical disabilities in both her hands and feet and is confined to a wheelchair. She is unable to write normally, leaving her unable to enjoy the dreams of many children of her age. She can’t play outside with her friend.  But all she can think about…

Depression in China: Cries for Help Go Unanswered

Depression in China: Cries for Help Go UnansweredThe bottom of Chen Aiming’s life fell out standing on a Fuzhou rooftop last July 24. Recalling his 28 years of misery, there was little he could think of other than how unfairly life had treated him. He was born with a lisp in a poor rural family, ostracized by his peers as a child…

Sleeping With the Fishes (or the Lawn) in Hong Kong

Sleeping With the Fishes (or the Lawn) in Hong KongA man in black burns offerings in the Garden of Remembrance in Cape Collinson, at the easternmost point of Hong Kong Island. Ashes float in the misty rain. On the edge of Hong Kong’s busy downtown, the garden, surrounded by stately walls and abuzz with insects, is always peaceful and serene. There are several walls…

The Challenge of Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines

The Challenge of Abu Sayyaf in the PhilippinesThe Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which has for over two decades terrorized a wide section of the island of Mindanao and beyond from its island bases in Sulu and Basilan, has once again been in the news.  Despite the claims of the government that it has only 300-400 men, nonstop military operations against the group…
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