Malaysian Opposition Figure Calls Premier a Crook, Faces Suit

Malaysian Opposition Figure Calls Premier a Crook, Faces SuitMalaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who as “Malaysian Public Official 1” is the target of what was said to be the largest single action ever brought under the US’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, is suing Democratic Action Party National Spokesman Tony Pua for calling him a thief. The prime minister’ legal action against Pua has…

Usually Outclassed by China, India Scores a Few Points

Usually Outclassed by China, India Scores a Few PointsWhile international attention has been preoccupied with Donald Trump and his reactions to North Korea’s nuclear capability and the war in Syria, India and China have been provocatively needling each other over their long-running and potentially explosive border dispute in the Himalayan mountains. The world need not worry however because, instead of nuclear strikes or…

Xi Jinping’s Massive Urban Monument to Himself

Xi Jinping’s Massive Urban Monument to HimselfIn a bid to decongest the sprawling and polluted capital of Beijing, the government is developing a “subsidiary capital” covering 2,000 sq. km. about 160 km. south of the capital city that President Xi Jinping envisions as a “world-class, green, modern, elegant first-class city.” It is potentially the largest development project in modern Chinese history…

Thai Critic Faces Death Threat

Thai Critic Faces Death ThreatPavin Chachavalpongpun has become one of the most implacable critics of the country’s ruling king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, and the junta that took over the country in a coup in 2014. Now that may have put his life in danger from the country’s erratic and violence-prone king. Recently the military decreed that anybody who even read…

New Round of Repression in Malaysia

New Round of Repression in MalaysiaMalaysian authorities have increased the pace of their harassment of critics, according to human rights organizations in Kuala Lumpur, which political analysts view as a prelude to early elections. Ominously, five people have been kidnapped or disappeared and people are being arrested over Facebook postings and held for three or four days, critics say. Opposition…

Religious Politics Victorious in Indonesia

Religious Politics Victorious in IndonesiaJakarta’s seven million voters on April 19 decisively traded gubernatorial competence for ethnic and religious hegemony, turning down the sprawling city’s successful governor, ethnic Chinese-Christian Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja, in a landslide in favor of Anies Baswedan, a former education minister supported by conservative Muslims. A “quick count” showed Anies, backed by the powerful political machine…

Malaysia’s Rajah Bomoh: Throwback to an Earlier Age

Malaysia’s Rajah Bomoh: Throwback to an Earlier AgeOn March 8, 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from the radar screens of air traffic controllers at 1:19 am in what has become the biggest mystery in aviation history. The Boeing 777-200R, with 227 passengers and 12 crew, had departed from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:41 am. It was en route northeast…

An Urbanizing Asia Dares Earthquake Tragedy

An Urbanizing Asia Dares Earthquake TragedyMore than half a million people killed, 1.4 million injured, and 80 percent of buildings damaged in Bangladesh’s three largest cities: That’s the “worst-case scenario” outlined in an unpublished draft contingency plan for a large earthquake. The information may change by the time the plan is completed later this year, cautioned Henry Glorieux, an advisor at…

Taiwan’s Walking (or Lying) Dead

Taiwan’s Walking (or Lying) DeadIn 2016 an astonishing 1,701 terminally ill Taiwanese were kept alive by machines that took over their heart and lung functions –half the world’s total according to National Health Insurance data compiled by a local doctor, Chen Hsui-tan of National Yang-Ming University Hospital’s. In addition, the number of Taiwanese patients kept on ventilator machines to…

Thai Military Erases Important History

Thai Military Erases Important HistoryIn a small but highly symbolic gesture, the Thai military regime has arranged the removal of a plaque marking the start of the 1932 revolution which ended royal absolutism and led to the first of many versions of a constitutional monarchy. The brass plaque on the road surface in the Royal Plaza bore the inscription:…
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