Articles by ASEAN Today

Indonesia says military will develop millions of hectares for national agriculture push

Indonesia has given control of its new national agricultural plan over to Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who stands accused of ordering civilian repression, torture and other crimes. The military’s control of the food estates program has increased opposition to the plan as critics voice concerns about the militarization of agriculture.


Foreign investors push economic zones in Laos despite debt, local opposition

Foreign investment projects worth billions of dollars are poised to transform Laos’ Vang Vieng in spite of local opposition and the government’s precarious public debt. The area, known for its natural beauty, falls along the route of a new Chinese railway and is one of many projects in Laos under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.


Vietnam lauded for efforts to combat illegal fishing

Efforts to curb illegal fishing in Vietnam have drawn international attention from foreign officials, as the government in Hanoi adopts new measures in line with the recommendations of the European Commission.




Cambodian rappers await trial for “inciting unrest”

Two Cambodian rappers face charges of inciting social unrest as the government continues its crackdown on dissent. Their cases, like many others in Cambodia, show the reach of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s authoritarianism but also point to the growing role of hip-hop in social movements in Southeast Asia.



How Indonesia’s national mapping project got off course

A national mapping project in Indonesia aims to use data to find solutions to land conflicts across the country. But indigenous groups say the government refuses to recognize their maps of traditional territory—throwing the land tenure of over a quarter of the country’s population into question.


Myanmar’s stumbling Dawei SEZ takes another step forward despite COVID-19

The Dawei SEZ in Myanmar, set to be Southeast Asia’s largest industrial zone, is progressing once again despite years of instability and uncertainty. The pandemic also makes it nearly impossible for developers and the government to meet with local residents to answer basic questions about the impacts and benefits of the project.


Thailand’s protestors call for overhaul of monarchy, government

Thailand’s new youth-led democracy movement has held near-daily protests since July, demanding a new constitution, a new parliament and unprecedented reform of the monarchy. Parliament’s recent move to delay its vote on charter reform suggests the government is out of touch and doesn’t realize that the protestors won’t back down.