Malaysian Elections & Social Media

This weekend sees a national election taking place which could be pivotal in Malaysia’s future, which makes it a significant event in Australia’s south-east Asian region. It also reminded me of a forum I attended in Kuala Lumpur last year as part of Malaysia Social Media Week (MSMW). I spoke in one session which looked…

Continue reading →

Burma: How to help?

I usually complain that the Australian media (and Australians in general) pay little attention to elections and other political events in nations nearby to us in the south-east Asian region.  It is somewhat ironic that the ‘election’ which seems to be getting a lot of coverage is one which is so unfair and rigged as to…

Continue reading →

Blogging across national boundaries

Blogging across nations A couple of months ago, I started doing a few http://www.asiancorrespondent.com/andrew-bartlett-blog blog posts a week at a new site called http://www.asiancorrespondent.com/ Asian Correspondent.  In short, the site is an amalgam of standard news reports from countries across most of the Asian region – including Australia – along with posts a wide range…

Continue reading →

Road map for West Papua

I wrote a piece recently about the new Cabinet of the Indonesian government, including their new Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa who gained his PhD at the Australian National University.  As I’ve written a number of times, Indonesia has made very impressive progress in a range of areas in recent years.  I believe one of their…

Continue reading →

Mega oil spill reaches Indonesian Coast

A leaking oil rig off the north-western coast of Australia has been spewing oil into the marine environment for over two months.  Whilst there has been intermittent publicity about the ongoing oil spill, it certainly hasn’t galvanised wide-scale public concern in Australia. I have to confess that, like Northern Territory based blogger Bob Gosford, I am perplexed…

Continue reading →

Writings and doings

Writings and doings The asylum seeker debate is causing a lot of political and media flurry at the moment.  In one way that’s good, because it’s an important and complex issue with some crucial principles at stake.  But for years I have found it frustrating that an excessive focus on a very small number of…

Continue reading →

A couple more pieces about asylum seekers & Malaysia

A couple more pieces about asylum seekers & Malaysia The Taiwan News http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1009086〈=eng_news reports that “Malaysian authorities have arrested five immigration officers suspected of selling ‘illegal’ immigrants from Myanmar to human traffickers” – reportedly the “first time Malaysia has found evidence that government officials were involved in forced labour exploitation” Meanwhile, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25797512-7583,00.html Mike Steketee from…

Continue reading →

Malaysia and refugees

The political responses to asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat is starting to focus more and more on other countries in our region.  Until recently this has mostly involved Indonesia, but Malaysia is now being mentioned more frequently.  I recently wrote a piece for Crikey and also had a letter published in The Australian…

Continue reading →

Indonesian election

I’ve http://andrewbartlett.com/?cat=27 written on this blog about Indonesia quite a few times over the years, and had a couple of brief visits to Jakarta and once to Aceh. I’ve also tried to follow events in that country and speak with Indonesians – delegations and individuals – who are visiting Australia. The elections held in Indonesia…

Continue reading →

Malaysian MPs rushing to blogging?

Further to my preceding post about the effectiveness or otherwise of politicians using the internet to genuinely engage with people, I thought I would have seen a bit more comment about a genuine blogger, Jeff Ooi, being elected in amongst the upset results of the recent vote in Malaysia, (as I mentioned in a previous post). Whilst…

Continue reading →

Rebuilding in Aceh

The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 seems a very long time ago. I was fortunate to make a brief visit to Banda Aceh in mid-2005, which I wrote about here and here. Some parts of that visit I’ll never forget. This story from last weekend’s Jakarta Post (found through Breakfast Politics) gives a snapshot of the reporter’s brief…

Continue reading →

Suharto and human rights

The death of former Indonesian President Suharto has naturally provided many articles examining his legacy.  Most note the major economic expansion which occurred in Indonesia during his time in power, including a relative decline in overall poverty, whilst making some mention about his “less than desirable” record on human rights (to quote Alexander Downer). Without…

Continue reading →

Taiwan elections and UN representation

This year’s Presidential election in the USA is getting an enormous amount of coverage in Australia, but there’s an election a bit closer to home happening tomorrow in Taiwan (sometimes called the Republic of China). Its implications won’t be anywhere near as big for Australia or the globe compared to what happens in the USA,…

Continue reading →

Supporting Burma and the role of China

I attended a rally today, held in St Mary’s Catholic Church at South Brisbane, in support of the growing global campaign for human rights, democracy and freedom for the people of Burma. There was a similar rally in Brisbane’s Queen’s Park last Friday which I also spoke at, and another yesterday which I didn’t manage…

Continue reading →