Mahathir and the politics of expediency


By joining forces with the opposition to oust prime minister Najib Razak for alleged corruption, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is playing a longer game Two weeks ago, Mahathir Mohamad did something that no one would have dared to predict—he appeared on the same stage with opposition heavyweights, including Democratic Action Party (DAP) leader Lim […]


Japan wrestles with sumo-style economy


Faced with a stagnating economy and a shrinking population, Japan remains reluctant to embrace foreign investment and talent In keeping with the conventional perception of the developmental state, the primary characteristic of Japanese capitalism has long been a high degree of solidarity based on cooperation between the state and private actors. Although this characteristic seemed […]


India’s newest pose


Yoga has attained new prominence in Indian national politics In the new millennium, India has grown increasingly assertive in its global presence. Bollywood has spread alluring ideas of India worldwide, while information technology services have come to depend on India’s large and mobile supply of technology labour. But, in recent years, the Indian government has […]

Gender and sexuality, Indonesia

Indonesian ‘tolerance’ under strain as anti-LGBT furore grows


Indonesia is experiencing an unprecedented wave of anti-LGBT sentiment  If there was a single event that has incited the current wave of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Indonesia we might settle upon a minister’s affront at LGBT becoming visible in solidarity. Having been advised of a university-based LGBT support group, […]

The Philippines

Bongbong makes a move


The son of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has set his sights on the country’s second-highest office in the coming elections It is perhaps a little unfair to say that only in the Philippines would the people consider electing a politician known by the otherwise clownish name of ‘Bongbong’. But equally, and arguably more fairly, […]


Pakistan remains obstacle to lasting peace with the Taliban


As long as Pakistan continues to offer sanctuary to the Taliban, the prospects for peace in Afghanistan will likely remain remote Let’s be frank, the primary obstacle to a lasting peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan is Pakistan; specifically, the Pakistani establishment’s support of the Taliban insurgency. The role of ‘spoilers’ has been well documented […]