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 support 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.

Malaysian teen jailed over Facebook post insulting royalty

By: Southeast Asia Globe editorial - Posted on: June 9, 2016 | Current Affairs

A 19-year-old man to serve one year for Facebook posts in a sentence seen as unfair and disproportionate

A 19-year-old Malaysian labourer has been jailed for one year under a computer crimes law for insulting one of the country’s royal families on Facebook.

Facebook
A man using the social networking site Facebook on his phone. Photo: EPA/Luong Thai Linh

Although it is not clear what he wrote, local media reported that Muhammad Amirul Azwan posted remarks deemed derogatory against the royal family of Johor during March and April.

Muhammad, from the state of Kelantan, was convicted on Tuesday under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which prohibits people from posting content online that others might find abusive or distressing. The law carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a MYR50,000 ($12,400) fine.

Even though it is a parliamentary democracy, Malaysia has system of constitutional monarchy in which Islamic sultans serve as ceremonial royal rulers in 13 states.

The Sultan of Johor’s family is rich and powerful, even possessing a private army. Yet the crown prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, 32, is seen as something of a rebel. He often posts on social media and late last month he said that he did not agree with the arrest of people for insulting comments.

“I would humbly share my opinion with the police not to arrest anyone making seditious remarks about me,” Tunku Ismail said in an interview posted on the Johor Southern Tigers football team’s Facebook page. The team is owned by the prince.

“Most Malaysians are shocked at the length of the sentence,” said James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, Australia. “What is interesting is that the person who was insulted has gone on public record [to say] that he prefers to meet and talk to his detractors rather than there be police action.”

Other public figures have spoken out since Muhammad’s conviction. Yesterday, civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan said it was not the state’s business “to ensure feelings of important people are not hurt”. And former law minister Zaid Ibrahim tweeted: “Multimedia Act is to protect the aristocracy, top leaders? I got insulted all the time, and so are many others. Whats the big deal?”

Muhammad is not the only one to be convicted or pursued under the legislation. Last month, two people were arrested for insulting Tunku Ismail, prompting his recent response. And on Monday, artist Fahmi Reza was charged under the same laws for a cartoon he drew of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown. The image went viral after it was posted online. Fahmi has pleaded not guilty.

“[Muhammad’s] sentence is a reminder that the police are keeping a close watch on social media and that there is no free speech in Malaysia,” said Chin. “The problem here is the selective action taken by the police. You can be charged if you are poor or with the opposition. If you are rich and connected, there is a strong chance that you will get away with hate speech.”

Greg Lopez, a Malaysian research fellow at Murdoch University’s Asia Research Centre in Perth, Australia, agrees. It is “obvious’ the laws are being used selectively, he said. Furthermore, they are being used at a time when the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the senior party in the ruling coalition, is weak.

“UMNO is using the tried and tested image of [being the] protectors of Islam and the Malay race through the protection of their symbols – the Malay royalty, Malay culture and Malay language,” said Lopez.