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
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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.

Sibling rivalry

By: Sacha Passi - Posted on: May 6, 2013 | Business

After five years sitting on the sidelines of Thai politics, Yaowapa Wongsawat could soon find herself appointed Thailand’s next prime minister

By Sacha Passi

Her elder brother is Thailand’s former Prime Minister and most famous fugitive; her younger sister made history when she became the country’s first female Prime Minister, despite never before having held a government post. In Thailand the Shinawatra name is synonymous with power, money and controversy, and the middle child of the sibling threesome is no exception. Yaowapa Wongsawat may not be the most prominent member of the dynasty, but she wields a political force that could see her easily slide into the role of Thailand’s next Prime Minister, if a replacement is deemed necessary.

Sibling rivalry
Illustration: Victor Blanco for SEA Globe
At 58 years old, Yaowapa is known in Thailand as a prominent businesswoman and a guiding force behind the government. Despite a five-year political ban, her administrative authority was reinforced when her husband, Somchai Wongsawat, took over as prime minister in 2008, making her Thailand’s first lady. Speculation that Yaowapa could become a replacement for Yingluck surfaced in March following the resignation of Chiang Mai MP Kasem Nimmolrat. He cited health reasons, but speculation suggested it was to make way for Yaowapa to become a member of parliament, which, under the Thai Constitution, is required of the prime minister.


“Considering the unsettling political situation in Thailand, it is pragmatic for the Puea Thai Party (PTP) to seek a ‘back-up’ prime minister,” said Pongphisoot Busbarat, a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University, and a former staff member of Thailand’s National Security Council. “If we look at Thai politics since the 2006 coup, we can see that Thaksin (Shinawatra) and his allies have learnt an important lesson – that their rivals will [try anything] to stop them being in power.”

Talks of a reserve prime minister have been tossed into the rumour mill after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was involved in a string of recent controversies, which could see her disqualified from her post. There are currently several pending judicial cases against Yingluck, including Thailand’s rice pledging corruption case. More recently, she has become the target of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for alleged asset concealment, following claims that she failed to disclose a THB30 million loan ($1.02m) to a company run by her husband, Anusorn Amornchat, in 2006.

“If Yingluck is unseated, Yaowapa could fill the prime ministerial slot with ease,” said Paul Chambers, director of research for the Southeast Asian Institute of Global Studies at Payap University, Thailand. “She has much political experience and has a proven loyalty for Thaksin… ultimately in Thai politics today, Yaowapa Wongsawat exerts incredible clout.”

Despite her relatively low profile compared to her siblings, Yaowapa is no political novice. In 2001 she was elected as an MP in Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party. At the same time she became the leader of Wang Bua Baan, a powerful faction of the TRT grouped in northern Thailand. During this period, Yaowapa became known as Thaksin’s ‘right-hand woman’, said Chambers. “In this capacity, Yaowapa, in many ways, became his surrogate strongman in the Lower House of Thailand’s parliament until Thaksin’s ousting by the military in 2006,” he added.

Since 2007, Yaowapa has been forced to wield her political influence out of the spotlight, after the TRT was dissolved by court order and the then party executive was banned from politics for five years, along with 110 other former party members.

It is now one year since the ban ended in May 2012, and it is anticipated that Yaowapa will, at the very least, step back into a position as an MP to help the government’s waning position within the House. In particular she could gain support for contentious policies such as the THB2 trillion ($68 billion) borrowing bill that, if passed, would fund the costliest infrastructure investment in Thai history. “The coming of Yaowapa is timely… Recent parliamentary voting saw many MPs from the PTP absent, which affected the vote margin on important issues,” said Busbarat. “Putting aside the possibility of Yaowapa becoming the new Prime Minister, her parliamentary status itself will definitely allow her to enforce the party’s discipline in the legislature.”

While Yingluck has proven to be an affable and diplomatic leader, Yaowapa is known to have the ability and intelligence to get the job done. Just how high Yaowapa rises will depend on Yingluck’s performance in the coming months, said Chambers, adding that the hand holding the true power in Thai politics is doing so from afar.

“Interestingly, Yingluck has displayed a growing independent streak from her brother, and that could be another reason why Thaksin is propping Yaowapa up as an alternative prime minister,” Chambers said. “In other words, if Yingluck does not shape up and do Thaksin’s bidding, then he may ship her out.”



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