The Globe as you know it is changing.
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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.

Does Asean deserve its own Nobel Peace Prize?

By: Logan Connor - Posted on: March 20, 2017 | Current Affairs

Why Asean is the world’s most successful experiment in regional cooperation, according to Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and co-author of The ASEAN Miracle: A Catalyst for Peace

Asean heads of state, along with former US president Barack Obama, pose for photographs during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) - US Summit at the National Convention Center in Vientiane
Asean heads of state, along with former US president Barack Obama, pose for photographs during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) – US Summit at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos, 08 September 2016. Photo: EPA/MADE NAGI

Could you tell me a little bit about The ASEAN Miracle and its main arguments?

The headline that came out of the book is “Asean deserves a Nobel Peace Prize in 2017” – it turns 50 this year. It has taken the most improbable region on planet Earth for regional cooperation and made it one of the most peaceful regions in the world. You look around the world, [and] everybody’s afraid of a clash of civilisations.

Here in Southeast Asia, you have 240 million Muslims, 120 million Christians, 150 million Buddhists, 7 million Hindus, Taoists, Confucianists. And they seem to be able to get along. So, they provide a model for the world on how to handle the new multi-civilisational world that is coming. Frankly, the Asean story is the most undersold story on planet earth. That’s why it deserves the Nobel Peace Prize – people will wake up and see this is amazing.

Why do you think that Asean has worked together when other regions have not?

We put forward a theory based on a few four-letter words. The first four-letter word begins with ‘F’ – it’s called ‘fear’. The reason the Asean countries came together was not out of love, but out of fear, because they were all frightened of the communist expansionism in the 60s and the 70s. The Asean countries were called dominoes by the US secretary of state. So, the dominoes thought the best way to survive was for them to stick together. The Singapore foreign minister S. Rajaratnam said: ‘If we don’t hang together, we will hang apart’.

The second four-letter word is ‘luck’. Asean was lucky that they had very strong leaders, especially in the 1980s, who could work together: Mahathir [Mohamad], Lee Kuan Yew, Suharto. Also, in the 1980s, the other piece of luck was that America, China and Asean worked together to reverse the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia. That created a very strong degree of regional solidarity as a result of working with America and China.

The third four-letter word begins with ‘G’, and it’s ‘Golf’. The golfing among the Asean officials and ministers created a very strong sense of camaraderie. People laugh when I say that, but that’s true. I played many important games of golf with my Asean colleagues, and resolved many issues on the golf course.

I think many people would find this idea quite contentious, that Asean has succeeded in regional cooperation. What would you say to those who point out that there’s quite a bit of strife and conflict within the region?

Asean is definitely an imperfect organisation. But I would say that now it’s the least imperfect regional organisation in the world. The European Union was always seen as a pillar of stability. And if you had asked me five years ago, ‘Will the EU break apart first or will Asean break apart first?’ I would have said, ‘Of course Asean. Asean is not as strong as the EU.’ But, amazingly, the European Union is breaking apart first before Asean. That is an indication of how resilient Asean is.

Asean doesn’t try to be like the European Union, meddling in everything. Asean cannot solve all the problems. We adopt a very slow, calibrated approach. What we can fix, we try to fix. What we cannot fix, we don’t fix… we cannot fix the Rohingya problem.

But, in our book, I mention something very important. I say there are two countries which had military governments for a long time. One country was taken care of by United States and Europe, and the other was taken care of by Asean. The first country is Syria; the second country is Myanmar. Just compare. The West took care of Syria and destroyed it; we took care of Myanmar and created the most peaceful transition from military rule that you’ve seen in recent times. So, the broader Asean success story on Myanmar is absolutely amazing.

What about the Asean policy of non-interference? How has that contributed to Asean’s success, or diminished it? What would you say to its critics?

The West has tried a policy of interference in Iraq – it has failed. It has tried a policy of interference in Syria – it has failed. It has tried a policy of interference in Libya – it has failed. It has tried a policy of interference in Ukraine – it has failed. So, I think the lesson is that if countries as powerful as [those in] the West have demonstrated that if they interfere in other countries, you create disasters. I think in that sense the policy – there’s an Indian writer called Shyam Saran who says you must apply the morning-after principle. He says: ‘Okay, if you bomb Iraq today, then tomorrow Iraq belongs to you. You take care of it. But if you’re not prepared for the morning-after principle, don’t bomb Iraq’. Today, tell me, how many Americans take responsibility for the invasion of Iraq? That is, I think, the most immoral thing on planet earth. Compared to that, I think Asean’s policy of non-interference is very wise.

What challenges will Asean face moving forward?

The biggest challenge it faces, of course, is geopolitical. There will be rising competition, inevitably, between the US and China in this coming decade. Asean is the organisation that is the most vulnerable to US-China competition, because the worst thing for Asean is being forced to [choose between] two sides.