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.

Najib Razak / Malaysian Prime Minister loses support after revealing dietary preference

Posted on: February 26, 2018 | Current Affairs

With national elections looming, Prime Minister Najib Razak has sparked a populist backlash by admitting he prefers quinoa to rice

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak smiles as he poses for a group photo during an event at Putra Mosque, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Recently Najib advised all Malysians to live within their means Photo: Ahmad Yusni/EPA-EFE

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement last week that he preferred the expensive grain quinoa to rice has caused outrage among voters, who have pointed to the leader’s comments as evidence that he is out of touch with ordinary Malaysians.

During an official visit to a hospital last Thursday, Najib was heard saying: “I don’t eat rice. I eat quinoa. My son introduced me to it.”

Following fierce criticism on social media for his penchant for eating the pricey grain, Najib was moved to defend his culinary preferences a day later during a live TV session discussing the 2018 Budget at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysi.

Seemingly backtracking on his original comments, Najib explained that his doctor had in fact advised him to make the switch to compensate for a lack of exercise in his busy work schedule. Quinoa was preferable as it contained less carbohydrates and sugar than the country’s national staple rice, Najib said.

But Najib’s health claims weren’t enough to silence his critics.

On Friday afternoon, Mahathir Mohamad tweeted a meme of a beggar with the words: “what he eats costs RM15 [3.80USD] for 250g , what the people eat, rice, costs RM2.70 [0.70USD] for 1kg.” Mahathir added the caption: “I only eat rice”.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang told the news site Malaysiakini that he did not know what quinoa was before Najib’s comments, and that the grain was “about 23 times more expensive than rice, which is eaten by 30 million Malaysians”.

After news of quinoa’s impressive nutrient profile spread beyond poor Andean communities to hipsters and health junkies around the globe, between 2000 and its peak in 2014, the average price of quinoa exports from Peru and Bolivia more than tripled to $6-7 a per kilogram.

Najib, who is expected to win a third term at this year’s upcoming general election despite the litany of graft allegations levelled at him, added insult to injury, therefore, when he advised Malaysians to “live within [their] means” during the live TV session.

That Najib’s son, Ashman Najib, who the prime minister initially said told him to try quinoa, is one of three directors of a company that produces Quib quinoa has also led some to insinuate that Najib was attempting to use his office to promote his son’s business ventures.

According to Lim of the DAP, Najib’s comments reflected the electorate’s choice at the ballot box.

“The 14th general election will be quinoa vs rice; clean government vs kleptocracy; and Najib vs people of Malaysia,” he said in a statement.

Related reading: