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Internationally acclaimed Asia analyst Derwin Pereira writes (courtesy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies): Fourteen years after al-Qaeda redrew the religious map of the world, it has receded from the global frontlines. However, it has been replaced by a stronger subversive entity, the Islamic State (IS), proving how hard it is to put […]

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INDONESIA: Overcoming Adversity One Step at a Time

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Picture a world of rainbows , puppy dogs and smiling children running through rose-scented gardens. Sure, it’s a dream. But for some, even imagining such a scene could prove impossible, so harsh is their reality. As one of the world’s most family-oriented societies, Indonesia prioritizes family as a cultural institution. While […]

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INDONESIA: When the Troll Takes a Toll

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Given the fact that Indonesia is one of South Eastern Asia’s largest democracies, a core value in a democratic society is the freedom of speech. While social media provides a platform for people to vent their feelings and share their thoughts, it should not be treated as a place where everyone […]

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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 […]

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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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