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.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi / No end to race-based politics in sight under UMNO’s new president

By: Paul Millar - Posted on: August 18, 2018 | Current Affairs

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been elected as Umno’s new president after the ruling party’s devastating defeat in Malaysia’s May national election. But is this stalwart of the establishment the right leader to break decades of deep-seated nepotism and patronage politics within the overtly race-based party?

The new president of Umno Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as he arrives at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya, Malaysia Photo: Ahmad Yusni / EPA-EFE

Former banker and executive Ahmad Zahid Hamidi first entered public life as political secretary to Najib Razak during the now-disgraced premier’s tenure as youth minister and then minister of defence over the 80s and 90s. After winning a seat in parliament in the 1995 general elections, Zahid was elected youth chief of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) before rising through the ranks to serve variously as defence minister, home affairs minister and, finally, the 11th deputy prime minister of Malaysia.

Illustration by Antiochus Omissi for SEA Globe

Following the ruling coalition’s shocking electoral defeat and the public arrest of former prime minister Najib Razak on a slew of corruption charges, Zahid was voted in to replace the ex-premier as Umno’s new president. The former home affairs minister narrowly edged out rival candidate Khairy Jamaluddin, the former youth and sports minister long seen as a rising star within Umno’s ranks – and a strident voice for reform within a party that critics say has long been bogged down in “warlord”-style patronage politics. Although Zahid has made some comments of his own rejecting nepotism within the party, his election appears to be more a maintenance of the status quo than the grass-roots renewal many observers were hoping for.

Khoo Ying Hooi, a senior lecturer at the University of Malaya’s department of international and strategic studies, said that the decision was a disappointing one. “Zahid’s leadership shows to us that Umno has not learned a lesson despite the defeat,” she said. “Up to now, Umno as a whole is still playing the racial and religious card to woo Malay voters, looking at the recent debates in Malaysian politics after the GE14. I expect Umno to continue with the similar strategy but they should understand that with the political change, if Umno wishes to win back the Malay voters, they should look into new strategies of empowering the society and to be more engaged in national issues by being a strong opposition.”

With tensions between the Muslim Malay majority and Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent still underpinning much of the national discourse, Hooi said the new government had its work cut out for it. “While everyone speaks about New Malaysia – where I agree, to certain extent, the race-based politics has been toned down a little – many more efforts are required to rebuild the confidence of the public on government credibility,” she said. “It is not something that will go away easily, and probably unlikely to do away with it totally, but whatever it is, it is crucial for the new government to intensively rebuild the foundation of Malaysia that is strongly on racial politics.”