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.

Comin Asia / ‘Solar systems have the potential to be highly financially attractive’

By: Robin Spiess - Posted on: October 24, 2018 | Cambodia

Comin Khmere, the Cambodian arm of international solutions provider Comin Asia, has enjoyed booming business in the Kingdom by installing large-scale solar projects for clients across the country. Southeast Asia Globe spoke to Comin Asia’s regional operations director Michael Freeman to discuss the business end of the company’s renewable energy projects

Comin Asia_Southeast Asia Globe_Cambodia_Solar energy_2018
Comin Asia Installing rooftop solar panels in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Comin Khmere’s Renewable Energy Division was established in 2008. How has it grown since then?
Comin Khmere has always been interested in solar and renewable energy. In 2008, when the renewable energy division was first established, solar power was still expensive and only smaller off-grid systems were financially attractive.

One of the first larger systems we installed was in 2013, at the Bollore Logistics office in Siem Reap, and it was intended to help power the first electric cars. In 2016, we signed our first solar contract with Cleantech to install a large 2.6MW rooftop solar project at the Coca-Cola plant, which opened the same year within the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone.

We have since worked together with Cleantech to focus on rooftop solar for industrial clients through a leasing model. The leasing business is becoming increasingly attractive, as the prices of solar panels have come down significantly, from over a $1 per watt peak to just about $0.40 now. In partnership with Cleantech, we consider ourselves the leading contractor in this market.

As Cambodia passes clear and precise legislation regarding clean energy, we now have a strong pipeline of future projects lined up. We expect our Renewable Energy Division to remain a profitable part of our business and a key area for growth.

Comin Asia’s regional operations director Michael Freeman Photo: Sam Jam

Can you discuss regional interest in your renewable solutions? What type of client do you typically attract?
In the region, Comin Asia is exploring solar opportunities in Myanmar and Laos. The current prices of electricity there are low, which makes it currently less attractive to invest in solar in those countries compared to solar projects in Cambodia. We expect that it will not take long for our solar projects to begin to take off in these countries.

Our cooperation with Cleantech is mainly for larger commercial rooftop solar systems. Many of our clients invest themselves in smaller-scale solar systems across Cambodia and the region. Cambodia is currently our main market, but Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam could potentially become major markets for us in the next few years.

This article is part of a series promoting the use of clean energy, in advance of Clean Energy Week in Cambodia and Inspire Asean – The Future of Energy in Phnom Penh on 7 November, 2018. Click here to register for the event

How does Comin Khmere encourage clients to purchase renewable solutions?
First of all, we suggest to our clients that they install energy-efficient appliances. We also do audits and advise clients on how they can reduce electricity consumption, and explain to them about how much they can save on energy costs by using replacement appliances.

Secondly, we propose solar systems or other appropriate renewable energy technologies depending on the type of client we are talking to.

Thus far, we have completed several large rooftop solar projects in Cambodia. In addition to the 2.6MW system installed at the Coca-Cola plant, we have installed systems at the International School of Phnom Penh and at the US Embassy, to name just a few of our major projects. We are also currently building a 9.8MW solar system at Chip Mong Insee Cement’s factory in Kampot.

We have collected enough data from our completed projects to demonstrate to our clients that solar systems have the potential to be highly financially attractive.