Indonesia’s Bid to Seduce Foreign Investors: Big Bang or Small Pop?

Indonesia’s Bid to Seduce Foreign Investors: Big Bang or Small Pop?

The first Indonesian president propelled to office not by dint of dynastic heritage or the number of gold stars on his epaulettes, former property/furniture businessman Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, vowed on the eve of his 2014 election to kick-start Indonesia economic growth and hasten the pace of business reforms. Two years later, accused by critics of […]

14th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Raises Half A Million Dollars

14th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Raises Half A Million Dollars

The thundering of polo-playing pachyderms heralded the raising of almost half a million US dollars for elephant conservation efforts this month in the 14th annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand. The unusual spectacle of elephant polo, according to its official history, ‘started out as a whimsical conversation between two sport lovers and evolved […]

Unearthing America’s MIA in Lao PDR

Unearthing America’s MIA in Lao PDR

There were no funerals. No 21-gun salutes. No folded flags. No official explanation for why they never came home. They simply vanished. According to the US Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), more than 1,600 Americans who served during the Vietnam War never returned from their missions. Of those, 302 who were last seen alive in […]

2015 Philippines GDP Promises Strong 2016 Growth

2015 Philippines GDP Promises Strong 2016 Growth

Slightly more than 30 years have now passed since Corazon Aquino, a steely housewife-turned-political-icon sporting yellow dress and matching spectacles, assumed the presidency of the Philippines after Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda were ousted in the bloodless ‘People Power’ revolution. In that time, the people who call the 7,101 islands of this Western Pacific […]

Indonesian Navy Scuttles FV Viking, World’s Most-wanted IUU Pirate Fishing Ship

One of the world’s most wanted pirate fishing ships, the FV Viking, has been dramatically scuttled by the Indonesian Navy, bringing more than a decade of toothfish poaching in the Southern Ocean to what authorities hope is a decisive end. Spectacular drone footage of the sinking, released by marine conservation organisation The Sea Shepherd on […]

Don Sahong Dam Dooms Irrawaddy Dolphins, Fledgling Cambodia Eco-tourism Industry

One of the world’s great rivers, the Mekong winds its way through the steaming jungles and historic heartlands of Southeast Asia, boasting an ecosystem whose natural wealth is rivalled only by the almighty Amazon. Perhaps the most famous resident of this mighty waterway is the Mekong River or Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), one of the […]

Insider Trading at CP All: The Undoing of an Asian Dynasty

Insider Trading at CP All: The Undoing of an Asian Dynasty

It started, almost 100 years ago, with a humble seed – and has since grown into a scandal of such proportion that it casts a pall over emerging markets across Asia. Insider trading by executives at one of Thailand’s most high-profile groups has now become a test case for corporate governance reforms and regulatory enforcement […]

Returning: Court Okays US Use of Philippines Military Bases

Returning: Court Okays US Use of Philippines Military Bases

The US and the Philippines are to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral military ties after the Supreme Court upheld the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in a January ruling. The long-awaited executive agreement allows the US to use existing Philippines military bases, but not to establish its own, in what could be interpreted as an […]

Beijing’s South China Sea Missiles Trump Obama’s TPP Push

Beijing’s South China Sea Missiles Trump Obama’s TPP Push

The timing couldn’t have been more calculated: less than 24 hours into an Asean summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, primarily to mull over how best to reduce tensions in the South China Sea and facilitate trade between Asean’s ten member states, Beijing manoeuvred 16 surface-to-air missile launchers and a radar system into position […]

Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal: The Heist of The Century?

Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal: The Heist of The Century?

Missing billions, bogus donations and more political intrigue than a Shakespearean tragedy: the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) saga, currently plunging Malaysia into ever-deeper crisis, is shaping up to be the international heist of the century. Hollywood’s finest scriptwriters would be hard pressed to rival the intricacies of the case that’s now gripping the world, […]

Of Polo & Pachyderms: Thailand Trumpets Elephant Polo Tournament

Polo and pachyderms are perhaps not the most obvious of pairings, but elephant polo – which, according to its official history, ‘started out as a whimsical conversation between two sport lovers and evolved into the adventurous sport of polo played on the back of elephants’ – is returning to Thailand for the annual spectacle of […]