The “Family Resilience Bill” will force people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community to go through rehabilitation.
During these tough times of the pandemic, the LGBTQ+ community in Indonesia has provided a lot of help and support to the people. But have the people and the government shown much support or acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community in turn?
Chinese science fiction: The final frontier?
Space travel and technological greatness, mind-controlled sharks, grotesque images of human degeneration and excessive capitalist development, intergalactic warfare, and the limits of human morality. These are the images Chinese science-fiction has portrayed in one of the country’s most vibrant contemporary literary genres. Its continuing mission: to reflect on the new frontiers of fear and uncertainty, and boldly go where no man has gone before.
What is happening in East and Southeast Asia? December 2020
That time of the year: Christmas 2020 Special
Keeping up with the Kims
The Democratic Republic of Korea is a relatively obscure country that little reveals itself to the external world. But despite that, the international community yet succeeds in finding comedy in the imaginative ideology and in the extravagant laws regulating the country, often disregarding the incredible survivability of a regime that has been withstanding for over 70 years. A question thus needs to be begged: where does lay the success of the Kim dynasty and their dictatorial state?
When disharmony creates harmony
Pleasing ancient royal courts, calming stressed minds and inspiring experimental compositions by Claude Debussy and metal bands — the list of creative uses and reuses of Indonesian gamelan music seems endless. Its versatility does not come by surprise as nearly two millennia left their traces on this ancient musical genre. What constitutes its popularity and admiration, or its unique sound, takes you on a journey of musical theory, colonial history and spiritual customs.
What is happening in East and Southeast Asia? November 2020
Population Ageing - A Challenge to the Japanese Welfare State
‘Population ageing’ is constituted by a shift in the population age structure towards higher ages, and is a modern global phenomenon. However, some countries are more affected than others. Case in point: Japan has the oldest population, one of the lowest fertility rates, and one of the highest consumption rates per child and elderly in the world. This has severe economic consequences, to the point where it challenges the Japanese welfare system.
Household debt in South Korea: Should it be taken seriously?
Today, South Korea has one of the highest household debt burdens in the world with regard to its economic size. With income growth lagging behind the increase in debt, the debt-to-disposable income ratio is even at its highest since it began being recorded in 2007. The Korean government is now facing growing household debt in combination with an uncertain housing market. A question thus arises: what could this mean in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic?
A Diplomatic Roller Coaster Ride
President Donald Trump’s approach to North Korea, and especially its leader Kim Jong Un, has been revolutionary. During Trump’s four-year presidency, US-North Korea relations have seen unprecedented ups and downs in what can best be described as a diplomatic roller coaster ride. We have witnessed escalating tensions during an intense war of words and two never-before-seen summits. Meanwhile, Trump and Kim’s relationship has gone from “rocket man” to “fall in love”. Even though Trump’s North Korea policy has been ground-breaking, we might just be back where we started this ride.
The double plight of suicide and sexual harassment in South Korea– a prominent case
Torn by spiking suicide rates and ever-increasing gender tensions, Korean society is facing deep-seated challenges. For many years, the Democratic Party of Korea has pledged to repair the social fabric and stand on women's side. But evidence would suggest otherwise.
What is happening in East and Southeast Asia? October 2020
Former Malaysian prime minister faces jail time due to political scandal
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak kept claiming his innocence for several years. He had not stolen any money, and the allegations against him were just ”vile” and ”malicious”. But in July this year the final verdict was made, Razak was found guilty and he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The old prostitutes of Seoul
Once upon a time, Korean old ladies were guaranteed a serene old-age surrounded by the love and care of their families. Nowadays, Korean grandmothers are often abandoned, and only one resort is left to escape the “Big Bad Wolf” of poverty. Unfortunately, this is the happy ending–less tale of the Bacchus Ladies: old prostitutes hanging around the streets of Seoul.
What is happening in East and Southeast Asia? September 2020
The dogs of Beijing
What started as a silly game among exchange students revealed a political and social issue in the city of Beijing. Since 2003 “dangerous” dog breeds and those reaching a height of more than 35 centimeters are banned from the capital’s inner districts. Interestingly, it took the city’s authorities 10 years until the law was strictly enforced. Since then regulations got more stringent. The article sums up the events and aims to incorporate the issue into the broader historical background of dog keeping in China.
“Excuse me, do you only sell ceramics here?”
Small enterprise clusters in the sub-rural areas of Vietnam surprise with their seemingly counterintuitive but lucrative business logic. Unique skills, symbiotic collaboration patterns and market dynamics have often developed over centuries. But the face of clusters such as Bát Tràng ceramics village is changing, now more than ever in the light of resource exploitation, COVID-19 and the advent of technology.
Out of sight, out of mind: where our waste really goes
The increasing amount of waste we produce daily has become one of the biggest challenges of our time. Despite rising environmental consciousness throughout the world, most people show little awareness of global plastic waste trade and its harmful consequences on the environment. But now the centre of this global network, Southeast Asia has started showing signs of repentance.
China Establishes New Law in Hong Kong
At the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, in may this year, a preliminary decision to create and improve the legal framework and enforcement mechanism for protecting national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was submitted for deliberation.
Don’t bite it! It’s fake food!
The Japanese culinary experience starts way before food is served. It usually starts with perfectly made food replicas that invite passers-by to stop by and give a try to those mouth-watering dishes. Creating food replicas, however, is more complicated than it seems. Hours and hours of hard work and precision lay behind what appears to be an easy task at first sight.
Beware the Kpop stans!
Passionate, internet savvy and powered by a strong political conscience: these are Kpop stans, the young fans of Korean pop music who recently made headlines for their political activism. Armed with a keyboard and backed up by a powerful network, Kpop stans are indeed engaging with current political and social issues through a fervent online activity. But who really are these new political militants?
All quiet on the Eastern front - The North Korean Abduction Issue
Few certainties, many unknowns. Over 40 years have passed since the first abduction, but little has been accomplished. As abductees’ families inexorably age, prospects for a settlement remain grim.
The contradictions of Songdo IBD
Songdo International Business District is praised as a state-of-the art business hub and smart city project, equipped with the latest data technology and high sustainability standards. Skyrocketing buildings and aesthetically landscaped parks invite you to believe you are walking on the streets of the next urban utopia. But does Songdo really stand for a better, brighter and greener future?