Society

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Singapore: Inside the Lion City, Part 3

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its... Read More...
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The King Never Smiles: Book Excerpt

Handley reported from Bangkok for many years for the Far Eastern Economic Review. The chapter below describes the bloody 1992 attempts to suppress dissent and the king’s largely unwritten role, which ... Read More...
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Royal Maneuvers

  Related Links:  The King Never Smiles: Book Excerpt  Revival, Renewal and Reinvention: The Complex Life of Thailand’s Monarch ... Read More...
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Indonesia’s growing drug problem

Two years ago, Indonesian authorities tied a 32-year-old Thai woman named Namsong Sirilak and a 62-year-old Indian named Saelow Prasert to palm trees at dawn in northern Sumatra and shot them for traffickin... Read More...
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Taxis – China’s Deep Throats

It is a miserable winter evening in Beijing, wet and freezing, and the taxi matches the mood – a rickety Charade, the floor covered in dust and the seatcover reeking of a hundred bottoms. We are ... Read More...
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Hong Kong Heart Break

My five geriatric heart-attack ward buddies in Hong Kong's ageing, somewhat dingy United Christian Hospital are stoic. Though we can only communicate through smiles, grimaces and occasional farts and belches, I... Read More...
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A Stately Pleasure Dome

  The royal family parks the royal Hummer at the Empire Hotel The Empire Hotel and Country Club, sprawled over 180 hectares on a shoulder of the South China Sea i... Read More...
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Bali: Trouble in Paradise

Kuta, Bali – The Bali bombs of 2002 and 2005 confirmed local conventional wisdom: bad things on the island come from Java. The 2005 bombings not only revived the slump in tourism, which accounts for a... Read More...
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The Gong Show

The average reviewer pours scorn on remakes of old movies or television shows, crying creative bankruptcy. Not me. It’s hard to deny that recycling of characters and plot is wanting in inspiration. But that’s n... Read More...