The deadly cost of sand mining

Early this year, a 16-minute documentary called “Lost World” was released. The documentary, directed by Kalyanee Mam and produced by Go Project Films, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung, showcases the damage done to Cambodian coastal fisheries by the industrial-scale dredging of sand for sale.

22 September 2019

Malaysia: World champion for conquering poverty?

The Malaysian government should take a long, hard look at the mirror and ask itself if the country really is the world champion of conquering poverty.The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, spent 11 days in Malaysia meeting state and federal government officials, international agencies, civil society, academics and people affected by poverty in urban and rural areas this month.His travels through five states saw him visit a soup kitchen,

27 August 2019

Empty pockets and broken children

Ministries and child protection non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Cambodia recently established a joint-committee for the implementation of the Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children. According to Touch Channy, a Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation spokesperson, the committee is headed by its minister, Vong Soth, and comprises 22 members – 15 from various ministries and institutions and seven from NGOs.While Cambodia has certa

23 July 2019

Empty pockets in Lao

The ASEAN Post recently published an article entitled “Empty bellies in Lao” which highlighted the serious and persisting issue of malnutrition among Laotian children. One of the main reasons malnutrition has become an issue in Lao for a long time now is that the country is poor.

11 July 2019

They forgot about Isan

As far as ASEAN countries go, there is little doubt that Thailand is doing well. This is true in many aspects including technological advancements and foreign investment.

3 July 2019

ASEAN in View: Nicol David

The winner of a record eight world championships and 81 Professional Squash Association (PSA) titles, Nicol David has a trophy cabinet that would be the envy of almost any other athlete.Bursting onto the scene in 1999 when she won the World Junior Squash Championships, the Malaysian was the longest reigning World No.1 in squash history after locking down the top spot for an unprecedented 109 consecutive months from 2006-2015.Announcing in February that she would retire when the 2018-2019 PSA

19 June 2019

IS resurrection in ASEAN?

The Islamic State group's self-proclaimed "caliphate" may have collapsed in the Middle East but Asia provides fertile territory for a resurrection, analysts say, as last month's bloody Easter Sunday suicide attacks in Sri Lanka have shown.Factors including poverty, discrimination, radicalisation via social media, weak governance, and poor gathering and sharing of intelligence mean the region is vulnerable to attacks by extremists operating under the IS (Islamic State) bann

4 May 2019

Lao women are weaving for their future

In the olden days, women across Lao inherited their weaving skills from their mothers, mostly for their own use. Weaving was also a communal activity, allowing for social interaction with other women in their communities.

7 March 2019

Achieving the global education goals

Throughout my life, I have seen the power of education. I have witnessed how quality education for all can support the creation of dynamic economies and help to sustain peace, prosperity, and stability.

19 February 2019

Cambodia's farmers fight debt bondage

Bopha should be in school but instead toils seven days a week in a searing brick kiln on the outskirts of Phnom Penh – a 14-year-old trapped in debt bondage in a boom industry preying on the poverty of Cambodia's farmers.Unpredictable weather linked to climate change is laying waste to Cambodian fields.Saddled with debt from failed harvests, tens of thousands of farmers are turning to brick factories, where owners pay off their bills in exchange for labour.The factories feed a surging co

6 January 2019

Helping the poor for political gain?

Last week, local reports in Thailand revealed that about 600,000 students considered to be “very poor” will soon receive an extra US$24 per semester from the state, as the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) is stepping in to help reduce educational disparities.

18 December 2018

Poverty kills in the land of smiles

It is always a cause to mourn when a 13-year-old needlessly dies. Unfortunately, that was the painful fact Thailand has to deal with just recently when Anucha Tasako, who had been a Muay Thai fighter since the age of eight and had competed in 170 bouts, died of a brain haemorrhage at a charity fight near Bangkok last Saturday. He was knocked out by his opponent who was only two years older than him. The prize?

18 November 2018