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

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

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.

Assassination of Kim Jong-nam highlights Malaysia’s close ties to North Korea

By: Euan Black - Posted on: February 16, 2017 | Current Affairs

The murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean despot Kim Jong-un, in a Malaysian airport brings into focus Malaysia’s deep ties with North Korea, but also threatens to damage the long-standing relationship between the two countries

A TV shows breaking news about the alleged assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, at a restaurant in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, South Korea
A TV shows breaking news about the alleged assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, at a restaurant in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, South Korea, 15 February 2017. Photo: EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

The fact that Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 is no small matter.

Relations between Malaysia and North Korea are strong, with Malaysian citizens the only ones in the world afforded visa-free access to the hermit state.

According to Michael Madden, a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who runs the site North Korean Leadership Watch, the visa-free entry agreement has helped Malaysia become “a fairly significant financial hub for the DPRK’s legitimate and illicit business activities during the last two decades”.

And Malaysia appears to have further built on its ties with the renegade regime of late.

Last Thursday, the two countries renewed a memorandum of understanding focused on promoting cultural and arts-related ties between the two countries. In December 2016, 18 North Korean companies took part in the 13th Malaysia International Branding Showcase in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia External Trade Development Corp CEO Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud told Star Online that, as a result, North Korea was “looking at using Malaysia as a gateway to Southeast Asian markets as it finds the country business-friendly with pro-business policies”.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the North Korean community in Kuala Lumpur could number as high as hundreds of people. Kim Jong-un even holds an honorary doctorate in economics from Kuala Lumpur’s private HELP University.

Madden believes that the assassination of Kim Jong-nam will strain diplomatic relations between the two countries. The motive for the attack remains unclear, but the fact that it was carried out on Malaysian territory creates its share of complications.

“After all, if this is the case, we would have DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] operatives using Malaysia to stage a murder,” he said.

“This expends Malaysia’s resources on a high profile criminal investigation, exerts pressure on Malay diplomats to share information or cooperate with South Korean and US government officials, and creates a major press headache. The DPRK will be compelled to answer to the Malay authorities about this.”

Most Southeast Asian states enjoy relatively good relations with Kim Jong-un’s unpredictable regime. Not only has the nuclear power made efforts to forge business connections with countries in the region since the 1990s, but Asean has also been reluctant to call out the regime on its human rights abuses and aggressive foreign policy.

Malaysian authorities have arrested two women in connection with the attack, one of whom was allegedly carrying Vietnamese travel documents with the name Doan Thi Huong.

If the assassination was carried out by the North Korean state, it would illustrate growing instability within the Kim Jong-un regime and could have knock-on effects for the wider international community, according to Hazel Smith, director of the International Institute of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire.

“Resorting to brutality by assassinating one person is probably meant to strike fear in other people, but it doesn’t show a stable state,” she said.

“And why is that of interest to the rest of the world? In the face of a developing nuclear programme, if you haven’t got a strong state which is in control of all the various political factions and if you haven’t got a very regulated state in the first place, there is a danger that fissile material could be bought and sold within networks that nobody would want to see them go into.”

Update: Malaysian authorities have arrested a third person in connection with the assassination, who is believed to be the boyfriend of the second suspect. She has since been identified as an Indonesian citizen.