The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

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To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

US acts on 1MDB fraud, Thailand represses revolt remembrance and memes making waves in Myanmar

By: Will Feuer - Posted on: June 16, 2017 | Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories – 16 June 2017

A caricature of Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak is placed inside a mock jail during a 1MDB protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 27 August 2016. Photo: EPA/Ahmad Yusni

The Region Today – 16 June 2017

US reclaims more assets tied up in Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal

US authorities made moves to repossess $540 million in assets as they continue recovering stolen funds from Malaysia’s multi-billion dollar 1MDB fund created in 2009, according to the US Justice Department.

As of now, US officials claim roughly $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund by wealthy Malaysian business elites with powerful political connections and used to prop up lavish lifestyles.

A US civil lawsuit in July revealed that $100 million had been siphoned from the fund and invested in the production of the hollywood film The Wolf of Wall Street. In October, the oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who played the lead in that film, confirmed that he had been cooperating with police since that link emerged.

Most notably, the fraud has exposed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who stands accused of personally profiting from the fraud. [Channel News Asia]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: ‘Why should we be afraid?’ 1MDB scandal awakens fighting spirit in Malaysian students

Thai authorities ban commemoration of 1932 revolt ending monarchy

Thai police have announced that they will prevent members of the public from celebrating the anniversary of the 1932 revolt that ended the rule of the authoritarian Thai monarchy, and will keep a close eye on the Royal Plaza.

The announcement comes just three months after a decades-old plaque commemorating the revolt on 24 June was removed in secret and replaced with one lauding the monarchy.

“It’s nonsense. You cannot make people forget. How long do you think you can remain in power?” said pro-democracy activist Kittithat Sumalnop. “If they can’t go on June 24, they will visit on June 25. The more you try to make them forget, the more it generates [memorabilia] such as T-shirts and keychains.” [Khao Sod English]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Thailand’s junta is trying to sell ‘dictatorship as democracy’

Duterte’s health no cause for concern, says presidential spokesperson

As the Philippines military continues a bloody battle in Marawi City, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is avoiding the spotlight, having not made a public appearance since 11 June.

Duterte is taking time to rejuvenate from a hectic schedule that has led to lack of sleep, according to Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, who assured the public the political firebrand was largely in good health.

Meanwhile, authorities in Malaysia have arrested three Indonesians and a Malaysian for allegedly preparing to travel to Marawi, amid growing fears the Philippines is becoming an attractive base for radicalised groups. [CNN Philippines / The Star Online]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: The two faces of President Duterte

Singapore’s Geylang Serai Bazaar trials cashless payments

Getting on board with the global migration towards cashless payments, some stalls at Singapore’s Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar are beginning to use Singapore-based EZi Wallet’s digital payment platform. The app allows customers to pay by scanning a unique QR code generated by the merchant.

“Many merchants are increasingly aware that to capture the spending of mobile-savvy customers, going with mobile payment is a must. Introducing it into pasar malams is a good start to spread digital payment to the masses,” said EZi Wallet founder Ian Lee. [Today Online]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: In Singapore, fintech boom is missing the ‘tech’

Myanmar’s youth turn to memes as outlet for criticism

In a country that does not suffer dissent lightly, Myanmar’s youth are creating its own space for new thoughts and criticisms in the form of snarky and sarcastic ‘memes.’

In the past few years, groups such as Burmese Uncensored Memes-i and Global Uncensored Memes-9 have attracted tens of thousands of followers.

“Meme groups are following the same route as carnivals, where anything considered unacceptable in a society is exposed,” said T Tant, a Burmese writer. [Coconuts Yangon]