Stories about East Asia from June, 2013
Japan's Most Evil Corporations
A committee of labor activists and journalists have announced the nominees for Japan's most evil corporation in 2013 [ja]. Eight corporations and organizations that lost their employees to overwork and suicide have been nominated for the disgraceful award. Web users can vote for Japan's evilest corporation here [ja], where realtime results and comments...
‘Code For Japan’ in the Works
Among others, Haruyuki Seki, a software developer at Georepublic Japan[ja] and social media consultant Hiroyasu Ichikawa are currently working toward the launch of Code For Japan [ja], an organization that aims to improve the society through technology. Members got together on June 20, 2013 and discussed prospects [ja] of collaboration among civil...
Thailand Cuts Rice Subsidy Price
The Thailand government has announced the reduction of rice subsidy price that it gives to four million farmers. The program was meant to improve the savings of farmers. Critics blame the rice pledging program for the huge financial losses in the rice sector.
Singapore: From Haze to Hail in Less Than a Week
From #sghaze to #sghail. After the record level haze pollution, Singapore was struck by rainstorms carrying hail this week. The haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia is the worst air pollution in Singapore in years. Many people welcomed the rains which poured down on Singapore early this week because it helped in easing the haze situation but they were surprised by the hail which hit the country Tuesday afternoon.
Myanmar's Internet Freedom Forum
Faine Greenwood writes about the first Internet freedom forum in Myanmar and the challenges facing the IT community: The event revealed optimism about opportunities for a newly connected society, even as bloggers and observers expressed uncertainty about growing tension between a desire for openness and a need for stability in...
Soldiers Go Online to ‘Fight’ for Monarchy
Thai online journal Prachatai features the military unit Rangers Task Force 45 whose members were instructed to go online and promote or defend the monarchy. Soldiers of the unit reportedly left 1.69 million comments on online forums and other social media portals in a period of four months last year....
Bankruptcy in Malaysia
iMoney.my creates an infographic about bankruptcies in Malaysia. Almost 20,000 bankruptcy cases were recorded in 2012 or about 53 Malaysians who went bankrupt everyday.
China's People's Daily Bashes American Political System
Fresh off its “Dishonest Americans" series, which claimed to offer an “objective picture of what real Americans are like”, the Chinese Communist Party's mouthpiece newspaper, the People's Daily, has shocked again with another attempt to bash the American political system.
Father of China's Great Firewall to Quit His Job as University President
Fang Binxing, an information security expert nicknamed the “father of China’s Great Fire Wall”, has resigned as president of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. His abrupt decision to step down--made during a university commencement speech --has ignited uproar online and touched a nerve with China’s Internet-savvy community.
Thai Monk On Abortion and Buddhism
Takato Mitsunaga of Prachatai interviews Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, a feminist and Buddhist monk, about the spread of abortion in Thailand. About 300,000 abortion cases are reported in Thailand where majority of people believes in Buddhism. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda discussed some misconceptions about Buddhism and how it relates to abortion.
US Got Snowden's Name Wrong on Extradition Papers, Hong Kong Says
Hong Kong's secretary of justice explained othat officials permitted American whistleblower Edward Snowden to fly out of the city because the US failed to respond to their questions in time regarding their case against Snowden as well as address Snowden's allegations that the US hacked Hong Kong.
Japanese Official Suspended Over Twitter Comment
A Japanese reconstruction official in charge of helping victims of the 2011 post-tsunami meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been taken off duty after sharp-eyed journalists unearthed tweets he wrote insulting area activists.
Are Chinese Netizens a Bunch of Losers?
According to the 2013 China New Media Development Report released by China's News and Communications Research Center under China’s Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the majority of Weibo users are a group of “low age, low education level and low income” urban dwellers. According to the translation from Offbeat China, the report concluded that:...
Podcast: Chinese Dissident's NYU Departure
Sinica Podcast hosts New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos who talks about Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng's departure from NYU, how the Snowden affair may or may not affect Sino-American diplomacy, and his forthcoming book about his experience in China.
Southeast Asia: The Great Haze of 2013
Since last week, a thick haze has enveloped Singapore and some parts of Malaysia caused by forest fires mainly in Indonesia. The haze brought air pollution levels to a record high in the region. Malaysia placed two districts under state of emergency while Singaporeans were advised to remain indoors.
Hacker Attacks on South and North Korea
Hacker collective Anonymous previously announced they will attack North Korean sites on June 25. But it took an unexpected turn as several major South Korean sites, including the website of South Korea's presidential office and those of media organizations, have been temporarily suspended. North Korea Tech explains in detail.
The ‘Penis Class’ is on China's State Media
Ministry of Tofu explains the term “Diaosi”, a online buzzwords to describe a social class in China. The literal meaning of diaosi is “the fan of Penis”, it refers to the self-proclaimed Chinese underdogs who wallow in self-pity and self-mockery and the vulgar term has been adopted by state-run media.
Chinese Social Web Slams Local Dog Meat Festival
The annual dog meat festival in China’s southwestern city of Yulin in Guangxi province is a summer tradition for many. But this year the festival was met with outcry online and calls for a boycott.
Haze Chokes Singapore and Malaysia
Air quality in Singapore and West Malaysia hit hazardous levels after forest fires swept neighboring Indonesia. It's the worst haze in recent years in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has suspended school in affected states while Singapore advised its citizens to prepare for a prolonged haze. Indonesia has already formally apologized for the haze.
Indonesia Fuel Price Hike Ignites Protests
Indonesia's decision to raise fuel prices has ignited a lot of debates and protests as well. Thousands of students and workers trooped to the streets to condemn the new fuel price scheme. However, the government insists the price hike is necessary to save the economy.
China: Keywords Unblocked in Weibo
Jason Ng from Tea Leaf Nation reviewed the recent unblocking of several politically sensitive words in Weibo, Chinese biggest social media platform and pointed out that the unblocking is not a victory against censorship because there are yet many ways to screen out politically sensitive messages.