For the past four years, Thailand has been under military rule, after the junta deposed of Yingluck Shinawatra from power in 2014. The current prime minister, Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha, is a career military man who has repeatedly postponed elections. But pressure grows as Thailand enters its fifth year without a democratically elected civilian government.
"There’s a phrase in Thai that says 'Len kan meung." It means to play in politics, and it implies that politicians, whether democratically elected or not -- they do their own thing. They are not us; they are their own cast, they are their own people that do their own thing, so we better stay out of the way."
GUEST: Saksith Saiyasombut is Channel NewsAsia's Thailand correspondent. Before he joined CNA in 2016, he was a political blogger and contributing writer for Asian Correspondent.
Singapore's broadcast and print media have long been under the government's control, while the Internet remains the last place where news outlets can function independently. But the government's recent proposal of a new law to combat online fake news -- which will join a whole litany of existing laws regulating free speech -- has civil society and journalists worried. Especially since officials have yet to properly define exactly what "fake news" is...
"What’s difficult is to try to explain just how things kind of work. So there isn’t really oppression that you can see very clearly most of the time, and if you talk to average Singaporeans, they are actually quite likely to happily tell you that it’s pretty free."
GUEST: Kirsten Han is a Singaporean freelance journalist who reports on politics, as well as social justice issues like the death penalty and migrant workers rights. She is also the editor-in-chief of NewNaratif, an online platform for Southeast Asian journalism.
This Sunday is Cambodia's national elections. The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) will go up against 19 other smaller political parties to fight for parliamentary seats. But the country's main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), will be missing from the ballot.
"You can freak people out, you can scare them. They might get a little more quiet than they used to be, but it doesn’t mean that in their hearts, they aren’t very angry and hurt and upset by what they’re seeing. And I don’t know the end result of that is."
Abby Seiff is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Phnom Penh. She started reporting on Cambodian politics when she worked for the now-defunct Cambodia Daily newspaper before working for the Phnom Penh Post.
A humanitarian crisis rages in northern Myanmar. Hundred of thousands of Rohingya people, a Muslim minority group, have been fleeing Rakhine State since August 2017. Today, more than 700,000 new Rohingya refugees have flooded into refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.
"Maybe it’s also something that haunts me because I am German. And the generation of my grandparents has gone through something similar. And my generation is asking these questions like 'How the hell could you not see what happened in these concentration camps? Why did you not ask questions?'"
"It’s kind of painful knowing that these people are coming from your country, and the majority of the people, including your friends, support this. It’s just so ugly."
Verena Hoelzl is a German journalist based in Yangon since 2015. She has reported extensively in Rakhine State and in the refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.
Minzayar Oo is an award-winning Burmese photographer. He has covered the ongoing per