Stories about East Asia from August, 2013
Crowdsourcing Malaysia’s 2014 Budget
Through the #bajet2014 website, Malaysians can give specific ideas in drafting the government's 2014 budget. They can also use the special page to approve or reject a particular proposal
South Korea: 4500 Catholic Leaders Protest Against the Spy Agency Scandal
Prominent citizen journalist Media Mongu posted a Youtube video of Catholic leaders denouncing the state spy agency's interference in the presidential election. His description read ‘an unprecedented number of 4502 clergy members have gathered at Sogang University, the alma mater of the current President Park, to release a manifesto that calls on President...
How Vietnam Got its Name
Le Minh Khai traces the history of how Vietnam got its name and explains the inaccuracies in some historical accounts about the origins of the name. Ultimately, the name Việt Nam is related to the Nguyễn clan’s southward expansion of the Lê Dynasty realm. What it signifies is that the...
South Koreans Call for Medical Checkups for Rescue Workers Dispatched to Fukushima
As it turns out radioactive water leaks at Japan's Fukushima plant are ‘much worse than‘ the authorities are willing to admit, South Koreans call on government to provide regular and thorough medical checkups for 108 Korean rescue workers dispatched to Fukushima immediately after the crisis. An online petition [ko] urging medical care for the...
“Me & My Shadow”: Protecting Data on the Net
The Internet, mobile phones, and other such achievements of progress have become essential aspects of human existence, and have simplified communication between people and integrated them into a new space.
Hong Kong's Civil Disobedience Campaign Seeks Inspiration from Martin Luther King
Democrats in Hong Kong are planning to occupy the city center and struggle for universal suffrage. Martin Luther King's civil disobedience campaign serves as their inspiration.
China's Decision on Cultural Reform
China's current crackdown on online rumors is consistent with the official decision [zh] released after the Sixth Plenum of the 17th Party Congress in October 2011. Oxford scholar Rogier Creemers from China Copyright and Media blog translated this official document, titled Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Decision Concerning Deepening Cultural Structural...
Campaigning for a Smoke-Free Southeast Asia
Review of several anti-smoking campaigns in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Plus an advisory from Philippine health authorities against the dangers of promoting e-cigarettes
Choosing ‘Exile’ Over Break-up, US Citizens Follow ‘Banned’ Spouses Abroad
Families tell their stories online through social media, where they also raise awareness about their cases and pressure US legislators to include their families in the much anticipated immigration reform.
‘Million People March’ Against Corruption in the Philippines
Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos gathered in Manila and several cities in the Philippines to denounce rampant corruption in the government.
China Detains Prominent Online Critic on Prostitution Solicitation Charge
Web users are speculating that the charge against Charles Xue is part of a scheme by authorities to control influential liberals online.
Online Reporting of Bribery in Thailand
Bribespot Thailand encourages Thais to report cases of bribery and corruption in the country. Through an interactive map, the website also identifies bribery hotspots in Thailand.
PHOTOS: Protest Against LPG Price Hike in Thailand
Government claims the increase in cooking gas prices would ease the tax burden of motorists but consumers are worried about its impact on the cost of living in the country
Chinese Social Web Shines Spotlight on Illegal Rooftop Structures
Authorities have been slow to do anything about the elaborate and illegal constructions, including one rooftop villa in Beijing that resembles a lush green mountaintop.
Prison Overcrowding in Indonesia
Leopold Sudaryono tackles the problem of prison overcrowding in Indonesia. In 2011, there were 144,000 prisoners in the country. Prisons were reported to be overcrowded by 45 per cent on average. Among the factors contributing to the problem are lack of alternative sentencing options at trial and delays in the...
Leaked Chinese Document Warns Against the Evils of Western Values
The directive reaffirms President Xi Jinping's political conservatism despite his economic reforms and tough stance on corruption.
Charges Dropped for South Korean Indicted for Retweeting North Korean Messages
Park Jeong-geun, a photographer/activist who was sentenced to 10 months jail term for satirically re-tweeting messages from a North Korean official account, was found not guilty [ko]. A flurry of tweets congratulating him were sent to Park's Twitter account (@seouldecadence), who tweeted after the verdict [ko] that there is a chance the prosecutor may...
Suspicions Arose Over North Korean Defector-Turned-Lawmaker
During a parliamentary hearing on the spy agency election interference scandal, Cho Myung-chul, a ruling party lawmaker famous for being the first North Korean defector to take a senior government post in South Korea, went under fire for making snide and offensive remarks discriminating against people from certain province. More criticisms mount as...
Special Probe into South Korean Spy Agency's Electioneering Falls Flat
The investigation does not seem to be enough to quell public anger, which continues to grow over the agency's campaign of Internet posts that smeared the opposition.
Which Flavor of China's Wildly Popular WeChat Will You Get?
Tencent offers two versions of WeChat, a "sanitized" one for mainland Chinese and an uncensored one for international users, yet some Chinese language accounts registered from overseas also encounter censorship.