Related Posts: Civil Society
November 11, 2015
On Sunday, November 8, more than 30 million voters in Myanmar went to the polls to cast their votes for members of the Union Parliament as well as for the 14 state and region parliaments. These were the first elections in many decades in which an astounding 91 diverse political parties participated. Given that many were voting for the first time, the Union Election Commission, political parties, and hundreds of civil society organizations provided much-needed voter education.
October 28, 2015
2015 is a year of economic change for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the region seeks to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by December 31. The AEC will usher in a single economic market for the ASEAN member nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – allowing the free movement of goods, services, skilled labor, and capital. The reorganization of the region’s economy will be a step toward ASEAN’s “Vision 2020,” which calls for a unified partnership that is outward-looking, peaceful, stable, prosperous, and developing in a dynamic way.
February 25, 2015
In early November, less than one month after Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s inauguration, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, the newly installed Environment and Forestry minister, announced that the government would extend an existing moratorium on the issuance of new permits for logging in primary forests in an effort to halt deforestation. While environmentalists and concerned citizens alike certainly welcomed this news, the road ahead to improving forest and land governance in Indonesia is steep.
January 21, 2015
In 2014, internet usage in Cambodia grew at a rate of 42.7 percent, according to a report released by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications last year. This sharp growth rate is being driven by an increasingly dominant youth demographic that aspires to connect to each other…
January 14, 2015
Commentators on citizen-led accountability programs in persistently underdeveloped and conflict-prone states frequently advocate approaches that “work with the grain” of local social norms and institutions. At the same time, it is argued that local ownership…
December 3, 2014
With the appointment of Mongolia’s new prime minister, Saikhanbileg Chimed, in November, expectations are high for the further development of Mongolia’s mining industry, which accounts for 18.5 percent of the country’s GDP. While large-scale mining operations often make headlines…
October 29, 2014
Since the collapse of the socialist regime in 1990, Mongolia’s economic development has been dependent on an expanding formal and informal mining sector that for many years had little regard for the environment.
October 15, 2014
In last week’s In Asia, I examined the growing environmental and social costs that the coal mining industry is having on Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province, home to 28 percent of Indonesia’s total coal reserves. Already, 6.6 million hectares have been allocated for mining across the province, and in the provincial capital…
October 1, 2014
Last week, Indonesians woke up to the news that in the dead of night the parliament voted for a bill that would end direct elections for over 500 local-level political offices (mayors, district and sub-district governors), and replace them with an indirect selection process in regional parliaments. Since then, the country has been engaged by the decision, and civil society groups have readied themselves…
September 24, 2014
In what is yet another significant twist in this fascinating election year in Indonesia, the country’s national legislature (DPR) will vote today on a hastily cobbled bill that aims to eliminate over 500 direct local elections. Following heralded national elections in April and July and a decade of direct local elections, this bill has surfaced like a sudden malady afflicting Indonesia’s electoral democracy. Here is a brief diagnosis of this disorder as well as a prognosis for recovery.