Society

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Malaysia’s Ethnic Reality Under Scrutiny

Malaysia is suddenly confronting the unsettling possibility that at least a thin crust of its ethnic majority population might be a lot better off than everybody thinks.  A report published by a presti...
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The Spy Who Loved Us

Pham Xuan An, a character right out of a Graham Greene novel, died in Saigon. An indispensable member of the Time Magazine bureau during the war, Pham was also a spy for the North Vietnamese. Then-Time bure...
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Spokesperson for Ghosts

When the Khmer Rouge Tribunal begins its formal hearings sometime next year, its Cambodian spokesman Reach Sambath hopes to put to rest his own memories. A respected journalist with a master’s d...
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Rough Landing

I know it takes awhile for any major new airport to work out the kinks and make life better for passengers but Bangkok’s gleaming new Suvarnabhumi International Airport was still a major disappointmen...
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Why?

Again and again, in hurried and sometimes passionate voices, villagers rose to ask two prosecutors from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal the same questions: Why did Khmers kill Khmers? Why were they supported by th...
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Unplug Your Halogen Lamps!

I recently viewed Al Gore’s admirable and persuasive documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and I’ve started worrying about global warning—occurring in my cramped flat in Hong Kong. Li...
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A Second Chance in Thailand

In post-coup Thailand, where the military on Sunday appointed a former army chief, 63-year old General Surayud Chulanont, as prime minister, the major issues are how civil liberties will fare, how the polit...
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Malaysia’s political money trail

In Malaysia’s squabble for primacy between Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, money politics is playing an increasingly crucial role. The extent to which one wel...
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The East Is Praying

It’s 11 am on a Sunday morning and the church is rocking. Built in 2003, the 8,400-square-meter, ark-shaped, four-story house of worship can hold up to 2,000 believers and while about half as many ar...
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1975: The Day I Left Saigon

I started looking for something familiar from the time we touched down at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tansonhut Airport on an evening flight from Danang. It had been nearly 31 years since I left on April 29, 1...