Malaysia one step closer to authoritarian rule


The five-year jail sentence imposed on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim last week, writes JAMES GIGGACHER,  raises serious questions about the future of Malaysia’s politics and opposition movement. The fate of long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was decided on 10 February – and along with it the increasingly slim democratic prospects for his native Malaysia. With […]

ASAA prizes

Joint winners  for 2014 ASAA Thesis Prize


A Murdoch University PhD student who spent four months covertly employed by a construction firm as part of his research, and a specialist in the history of activism, social movements and the Indonesian left are the 2014 joint winners of the ASAA’s prestigious Thesis Prize for the best Asian Studies doctoral thesis written in Australia. […]


Guilt and shame linger over Indonesia’s 1965–66 killings


Many Indonesians risked their lives to help fugitives from the anti-communist purges that marked the birth of the New Order regime—but, writes VANNESSA HEARMAN,  their stories remain untold. In spite of the extensive violence against the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in 1965–66, sections of the party’s leadership and activists, as well as its mass base, […]


Pushing boundaries: Turkey and the reframing of Asia and Asian studies


Researchers from Turkey, Japan, and Australia have embarked on a multidisciplinary project to reconsider the intersections between Turkey and Asia, writes ROMIT DASGUPTA. The politics of framing Asia and Asian studies, particularly from where we are situated in Australia, is slanted heavily towards a focus on East, Southeast, and South Asia. Dominant contemporary imaginings would […]

Australia - Asia relations

Australia needs more than luck to build stronger bonds with Asia


Australians need a much better understanding of how they are perceived in Asia. writes LOUISE EDWARDS. Despite some enthusiasm for affirming Australia’s place in the Anglosphere, few business, political and community leaders deny the importance of Asia to Australia’s short- and long-term prosperity. Recognition that Australians must continue to deepen our engagement with Asia is […]


The vision thing: the origins of India’s sacred landscapes


Local legends and beliefs in parts of India often have their origins in the broader Indic tradition, writes PETER FRIEDLANDER. What makes a landscape sacred? To explore this question, in 2014, I visited three sacred sites in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh—the town of Maheswar and two sites around the nearby ancient city […]