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Indonesian Court Orders Family of Former President Suharto to Return Embezzled Funds

Students in Karawang, Indonesia. Photo from Public Domain Images

Students in Karawang, Indonesia. Photo from Public Domain Images

Indonesia's Supreme Court has ruled that the foundation of the late President Suharto is guilty of embezzling state funds from 1976 to 1998. It ordered the family of Suharto to return 315 million US dollars to the state.

Suharto ruled Indonesia from 1967 to 1998. During his 31-year rule, he was accused of committing grave human rights violations and massive corruption. Several weeks of street riots and rallies forced Suharto to resign in 1998.

In 1976, Suharto ordered state-managed banks to set aside 2.5 percent of their profits in favor of Supersemar Foundation's scholarship program. But in 2010, the court found the foundation once chaired by Suharto guilty of misappropriating public funds. It also noted that only a tiny amount of the funds was actually distributed to students. Last month, the court issued its final ruling on the matter.

The ruling, which was made public only this month, is significant since it’s the first time that a local court has found Suharto guilty of corruption. Naturally, it got intense reactions from many Indonesians.

Kompasiana, Indonesia's leading citizen media platform, featured some commentaries about the issue. Vishnu Andang Jaya urged Suharto's family to respect the court's ruling and to immediately return the people's money. Fadli Zontor wrote that the foundation was a mysterious entity with many questionable dealings in the past. Indira Revi urged an audit of all ‘donations’ registered by state-owned enterprises, especially during the time of Suharto.

But Hatta Celebes testified that the scholarship program was real:

I am proud to have received a scholarship from this foundation and this foundation had a positive role that many in this country are now ignoring.

Masinton Pasaribu, one of the student activists who joined the anti-Suharto rallies in 1998, urged the government to quickly implement the court's decision.

Meanwhile, Suharto's youngest son, Tommy Suharto, is challenging the decision of the Supreme Court via Twitter:

No retreat in fighting for the truth. Tonight I initiated an appeal to protect the dignity of sons and daughters of the best graduates of (Supersemar Scholarship)!

Preserving Historic Thai Films

The Thai Film Archive has been uploading historic films and vintage news reports on YouTube.

One of the films is Chok Song Chun (Double Luck), which is Thailand's first feature silent film produced in 1927. Only 55 seconds of the film have remained featuring a fight scene and car chase.

Another rare film is Payut Ngaokrachang's Hed Mahassajan (The Miraculous Incident), which is the first Thai animated film released in 1955. Payut is known as the “Walt Disney of Thailand”. In the animated silent film, Payut witnessed a traffic incident in Bangkok.

PHOTO: 141 Dead in Indonesia C-130 Plane Crash

Indonesian rescuers and military personnel examine the wreckage of the crashed C-130 military airplane at the crash site in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo and caption by Yudha Lesmana, Copyright @Demotix (7/1/ 2015)

Indonesian rescuers and military personnel examine the wreckage of the crashed C-130 military airplane at the crash site in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo and caption by Yudha Lesmana, Copyright @Demotix (7/1/ 2015)

Indonesian officials have recovered 141 dead bodies after a military C-130 plane crashed in Medan, the country's third largest city. The plane crashed just two minutes after take off on June 30, 2015. Many of the fatalities were relatives of air force personnel.

Authorities are now probing the safety of other military planes. They also denied that overcapacity was the cause of the crash.

Malaysian Lawyer's Viral Post Criticizing the Proposal to Require Non-Muslims to Fast During Ramadan

Malaysian lawyer Azhar Harun criticized the suggestion of some local leaders to require non-Muslims not to eat when Muslims fast during Ramadan.

Why the need to close school canteens during Ramadhan? Why must non-Malay pupils be asked to drink behind closed doors and even in the toilet? Just because our kids are learning how to fast? Well, aren't the non-Malay kids as well?

His Facebook post received 20,000 likes and 50,000 shares as of this writing. He is overwhelmed with the response he got:

…it is heartwarming to know that there are so many decent and peace-loving people who are like-minded. At last I know I am not alone. That I am not an aberration of sorts.

Malaysia has a predominantly Muslim population.

Why the Numbers 64, 89 and 535 Are Missing From the Chinese Internet

Today is June 4, the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests of 1989.

In recent years, some numbers have gone missing on the Chinese Internet because of censorship. These numbers are 64, 89 and 535 — which stands for May 35, a popular way to refer to June 4. They are all unsearchable on mainland Chinese search engines and cannot appear in public timelines on social media.

Political cartoonist Biantailajiao highlighted such ridiculous way of erasing history on Twitter:

If possible, they would delete this particular date from the calendar.

An Online Joke Captures China's Censorship Practices

Image from Flickr user: Eric Constantineau (CC: AT-NC)

Image from Flickr user: Eric Constantineau (CC: AT-NC)


Letscorp, a site devoted to bridging information across Chinese speaking communities, reposted an online joke on Twitter that vividly captures mainland Chinese censorship practices.

Man on top [implying Chinese president Xi Jinping]: Whether a government official is performing well should be judged by ordinary people. The Propaganda Department: Add on to that, the majority of people don't know the truth. Central Communist Youth League: Don't worry, we have 10 million internet commentators to make sure that the public opinion is on the right direction. Police: Moreover, we will arrest those who don't follow the lead. Central Television Station: Catch them prostituting. Global Times: We can say that they have received money from the U.S.A. Foreign Ministry spokesperson: Our law and policy ensure freedom of speech. People's Daily: Look, this is the result of people's choice.

Photo of a Mexican Revolutionary Who Looks Like Pacquiao Goes Viral

A photo of a Mexican revolutionary who looks like Manny Pacquiao has gone viral few days before the Filipino boxing icon's fight today against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas for three champions belts (OMB, CMB y la AMB) in the welterweight division.

In Twitter there were many tweets related to the picture:

So Pacquiao's grandfather participated in the Mexican revolution… Mexico supports Pacquiao

On Facebook, Latin Post uploaded the photo which has more than 50,000 shares and 150,000 comments.

“Besides being a boxer, Manny Pacquiao also participated in the Mexican revolution,” was the most common phrase among the comments, which also refers to the men in the picture as “Pacman” grandfather, according to the web portal Infobae.

How a Celebrity's Facebook Check-In Brought Down a Brigade in Taiwan

The snapshot of Janet Lee's Facebook check-in at the 601 Air Cavalry Brigade with Apache. She said, 'We are visiting the Apache helicopters, and the boys are crazy and screaming! This is so cool!'

The snapshot of Janet Lee's Facebook check-in at the 601 Air Cavalry Brigade with Apache. She said, ‘We are visiting the Apache helicopters, and the boys are crazy and screaming! This is so cool!’

On March 29, Taiwanese celebrity Janet Lee, along with some other people, was brought to see AH-64E Apache helicopters, the latest model of Apache attack helicopters.

These Apache helicopters were delivered to Taiwan in 2013, as part of a $6.4 billion arms deal with the U.S. signed in 2008.

After Lee posted several photos of her posing with the helicopters on Facebook, the Republic of China Army was criticized for letting unauthorized people enter the off-limits zone, where sensitive technology information is stored.

The sc