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.
Thailand experienced one of the worst mass shootings in its history in early 2020. However, with no major push to curb the country’s thriving underground firearms trade, the struggle to tame its violent gun culture continues.
Given Thailand’s dire economic outlook wrought by COVID-19, fewer opportunities could lead to an increase in precarious and underpaid work.
After a lull during COVID-19 restrictions, new rounds of protests aimed at the military-backed regime show a continued unease with strong-arm democracy.
New research shows that women landowners were vital to the economy and society of 19th century Bangkok—in many cases cultivating their land more effectively than men. Historical court records also show how women in Siam defended their land rights in court, fighting and winning cases to secure their property.
Thailand’s new law on asylum seekers doesn’t constitute a functional refugee policy—it’s political performance in a country where migrants have few protections.