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INDONESIA: Asia’s New Tech Hub?

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Poverty and wealth; primitive and modern; religious and secular. Indonesia is Asia’s most enigmatic (and somewhat bi-polar) nation filled with socio-economic contradictions. Despite the disparity in wealth, the country has one thing that bonds everyone from all walks of life: technology. Recently, Indonesia has built a reputation for being an extremely […]

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UAE: Fifty Shades Gets Whipped by Censors

ALESSANDRA DALY-JOHNSON WRITES – The highly anticipated film adaptation of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey was deemed inappropriate by the United Arab Emirates’ National Media Council (NMC) this past week. While the infamous book series, written by E.L. James, is available in stores in the UAE, the NMC has concluded that the 125-minute long movie […]

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Blue Swimsuit self portrait

INDONESIA: Commandment #11- Thou Shalt Not Take a Selfie

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Somewhere in the Twitterverse, Felix Siauw, a young Muslim religious motivational speaker, tweets: “These days many Muslim women take selfies without shame. There are usually nine frames in one photo with facial poses that are just – my goodness – where’s the purity in women?” (Translated from Bahasa Indonesian) This tweet alludes […]

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indonesia marriage laws

INDONESIA: Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES  – With a license to drive and big birthday plans, nothing is more blissful than being 16. Throw in a wedding ring and all of a sudden, being 16-years-old is equivalent to being an adult. Welcome to Indonesia, a country where children as young as 16 can legally marry. Recently, a petition has […]

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Author Pisani


Asia Media International Founder Tom Plate writes in his syndicated column: History never comes to a halt but snakes its way into the future as it wishes – often in unexpected and sometimes tragic ways. Whether via revolution or counter-revolution, any abrupt change in citizen participation and political structure will shove nations onto trajectories that, […]

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INDONESIA: No More Visas?!

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – “Indonesia waives visa requirements!” With Asia One’s screaming headline, the recent passing of Indonesia’s visa requirement law pertains to only five countries: South Korea, Russia, Australia, China and Japan. Tourists from these five countries will be given visa-free travel by the Indonesian government. While this handful of countries receives royalty treatment, […]

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INDONESIA: Mercy for the Manta Rays

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – In the eyes of international media, Indonesia is well-known for receiving a barrage of bad rap for its flawed handling of environmental issues.  Recently, however, the Indonesian authorities have taken this criticism to heart and have decided to tackle the problem of illegal manta ray trading. The Bali-based Indonesian Manta Project announced on their […]

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Indonesia presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo smiles during an interview with Reuters in Jakarta

Congratulations to Indonesia

ASIA MEDIA STAFF WRITES – Congratulations are in order for Joko Widodo, the governor of the massive metropolis of Jakarta. After an arduous nationwide campaign against a tough, determined and extremely well-financed opponent, this personally modest but overly reformist former furniture salesman won by a margin of four-to-five percentage points.  In Indonesia they are calling this […]

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Jokowi & Subianto Copy

Asia Media and the Indonesian Presidential Election

Editor’s Note: On 27 June, we published the following analysis of the very important nationwide elections in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation – and a secular democracy with more Muslim citizens (by far) than any other country.  Our analysis concluded with an endorsement for president in that contest. This gesture was motivated not […]

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THE PLATE COLUMN: Should Crimea Be Such a Priority?

SYNDICATED COLUMNIST TOM PLATE WRITES — Viewed from Los Angeles, tiny Ukraine seems much, much farther away and remote from our core national interests than, for example, gigantic Indonesia. So perhaps something is wrong with us on the West Coast of the United States, and we simply fail to understand history? This past weekend, the […]

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TOM PLATE WRITES IN THE JAKARTA POST: Our favorite optimist of Asia is at it again, and may the gods of our future bless this learned man. He is Kishore Mahbubani (KM), the savvy Singapore policy-school dean and acclaimed author whose most recent book “The Great Convergence” might almost be considered an over-the-counter antidote to […]

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LOS ANGELES: Seen From Here, the Aussie PM Seems Clueless

The following PACIFIC PERSPECTIVES column was recently syndicated to newspaper editors in the U.S. and Asia. By Tom Plate  – A spat between Indonesia and Australia is not receiving proper attention in our media. This is predictable given American parochialism but, even so, it is causing serious heartburn in some Washington quarters — and genuine […]

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