Thailand is involving private health care companies in its COVID-19 vaccination drive after facing criticism for delays. But the decision risks creating major inequalities in vaccine pricing and accessibility.
The Thai military’s grip on political power has little to do with the actual fighting of wars. As the country’s pro-democracy movement presses on, the long-running insurgency in the deep south raises key questions.
Recent actions by Prime Minister Prayuth and the largest party in Thailand’s ruling coalition, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), indicate that they may be unwilling to cede any power to coalition partners like the Democrats. This will only cause further divisions within the ruling coalition and could lead to its collapse.
The Mekong’s normal flow can be restored if large volumes of water are consistently and reliably released from Chinese dam reservoirs. However, China’s water policy shows Beijing is unlikely to change its behavior and the worst for the Mekong is yet to come.
Thailand has ordered millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech. However, misinformation about safety concerns may hinder the country’s planned mass immunization campaign.
Myanmar has dismissed the developer for what would be Southeast Asia’s largest economic zone, throwing Dawei SEZ into question yet again. Though the grandiose plan is backed by Thailand, Japan and China, its continued financial struggles reveal a project plagued by instability and mismanagement.
The Thai military’s high-tech surveillance methods have caused alarm among Malay Muslims in the country’s south. The ongoing surveillance strategy jeopardizes the potential for successful peace negotiations in the restive region.
Thai protests on October 14 a catalyst for resurgent democracy movement. The date commemorates mass protests in 1973 that led to the ouster of a junta leader, but it’s unclear if this year’s movement can lead to lasting changes.
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.
Malaysia has reportedly withheld a report on Rohingya graves a full year after a government probe. Its government should make its findings public on the grounds of transparency and accountability.