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Malaysian Lawyer's Viral Post Criticizing the Proposal to Require Non-Muslims to Fast During Ramadan

Malaysian lawyer Azhar Harun criticized the suggestion of some local leaders to require non-Muslims not to eat when Muslims fast during Ramadan.

Why the need to close school canteens during Ramadhan? Why must non-Malay pupils be asked to drink behind closed doors and even in the toilet? Just because our kids are learning how to fast? Well, aren't the non-Malay kids as well?

His Facebook post received 20,000 likes and 50,000 shares as of this writing. He is overwhelmed with the response he got:

…it is heartwarming to know that there are so many decent and peace-loving people who are like-minded. At last I know I am not alone. That I am not an aberration of sorts.

Malaysia has a predominantly Muslim population.

Why the Numbers 64, 89 and 535 Are Missing From the Chinese Internet

Today is June 4, the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests of 1989.

In recent years, some numbers have gone missing on the Chinese Internet because of censorship. These numbers are 64, 89 and 535 — which stands for May 35, a popular way to refer to June 4. They are all unsearchable on mainland Chinese search engines and cannot appear in public timelines on social media.

Political cartoonist Biantailajiao highlighted such ridiculous way of erasing history on Twitter:

If possible, they would delete this particular date from the calendar.

An Online Joke Captures China's Censorship Practices

Image from Flickr user: Eric Constantineau (CC: AT-NC)

Image from Flickr user: Eric Constantineau (CC: AT-NC)


Letscorp, a site devoted to bridging information across Chinese speaking communities, reposted an online joke on Twitter that vividly captures mainland Chinese censorship practices.

Man on top [implying Chinese president Xi Jinping]: Whether a government official is performing well should be judged by ordinary people. The Propaganda Department: Add on to that, the majority of people don't know the truth. Central Communist Youth League: Don't worry, we have 10 million internet commentators to make sure that the public opinion is on the right direction. Police: Moreover, we will arrest those who don't follow the lead. Central Television Station: Catch them prostituting. Global Times: We can say that they have received money from the U.S.A. Foreign Ministry spokesperson: Our law and policy ensure freedom of speech. People's Daily: Look, this is the result of people's choice.

Photo of a Mexican Revolutionary Who Looks Like Pacquiao Goes Viral

A photo of a Mexican revolutionary who looks like Manny Pacquiao has gone viral few days before the Filipino boxing icon's fight today against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas for three champions belts (OMB, CMB y la AMB) in the welterweight division.

In Twitter there were many tweets related to the picture:

So Pacquiao's grandfather participated in the Mexican revolution… Mexico supports Pacquiao

On Facebook, Latin Post uploaded the photo which has more than 50,000 shares and 150,000 comments.

“Besides being a boxer, Manny Pacquiao also participated in the Mexican revolution,” was the most common phrase among the comments, which also refers to the men in the picture as “Pacman” grandfather, according to the web portal Infobae.

How a Celebrity's Facebook Check-In Brought Down a Brigade in Taiwan

The snapshot of Janet Lee's Facebook check-in at the 601 Air Cavalry Brigade with Apache. She said, 'We are visiting the Apache helicopters, and the boys are crazy and screaming! This is so cool!'

The snapshot of Janet Lee's Facebook check-in at the 601 Air Cavalry Brigade with Apache. She said, ‘We are visiting the Apache helicopters, and the boys are crazy and screaming! This is so cool!’

On March 29, Taiwanese celebrity Janet Lee, along with some other people, was brought to see AH-64E Apache helicopters, the latest model of Apache attack helicopters.

These Apache helicopters were delivered to Taiwan in 2013, as part of a $6.4 billion arms deal with the U.S. signed in 2008.

After Lee posted several photos of her posing with the helicopters on Facebook, the Republic of China Army was criticized for letting unauthorized people enter the off-limits zone, where sensitive technology information is stored.

The scandal has led to the sacking of 18 military officials as of April 11. Ten of them belong to the 601 Air Cavalry Brigade.

Netizens made fun of the incident by comparing Janet Lee with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. All of them have taken on armies single-handedly, but while the guys did that in the movies, Janet Lee crushed a real life brigade with her Facebook check-in.

Infographic Shows Thailand Junta Arrested Hundreds in the Past Year for Criticizing the Government

junta prosecutionThe free speech advocate iLaw uploaded an infographic which showed that 166 people have been arrested in the past year in Thailand for expressing an opinion against the military-backed government.

The army grabbed power in May 2014 but it vowed to restore civilian rule and conduct free elections next year. Protests and public gathering of five or more people are currently prohibited in Thailand.

The infographic also revealed that there are 68 political prisoners in the country.

Meanwhile, another infographic by iLaw showed that lese majeste (anti-royal insult law) cases have risen in the past year. Some scholars are petitioning the review of the law which they described as harsh and repressive.

lese majeste cases

These Maps Show Where Cambodian Journalists Have Been Killed and Harassed

harassment_of_media_cambodiaThe Cambodian Center for Human Rights has launched a portal documenting the human rights violations experienced by Cambodian journalists. Cambodia's constitution guarantees freedom of speech but journalists are still harassed and killed, especially those who report about the abuses committed by local officials and business interests with ties to powerful leaders.

journalists_killed_in_cambodia

Southeast Asia Migration Routes and Statistics

southeast asia migrant crossingsThe International Organization for Migration has released a map showing the routes taken by boat refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar when they sought shelter in several Southeast Asian countries.

As of May 19, 2015, the IOM estimated that 4,000 refugees are still stranded in the sea while 3,200 have already landed in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Malaysia and Indonesia have initially rejected the refugees but they are now ready to rescue those who have been victimized by traffickers.

Mapping Cambodia's Land Concessions

Land contracts awarded to foreign companies in Cambodia. Green represents Vietnamese companies, Red areas are Chinese-owned, and Yellow for Malaysian firms. Image from Licadho.

Land contracts awarded to foreign companies in Cambodia. Green represents Vietnamese companies, Red areas are Chinese-owned, and Yellow for Malaysian firms. Image from Licadho.

Licadho, a Cambodian human rights group, has released its dataset of land concessions approved by the government in the past years. The group is now urging the government to release all records related to the land contracts it awarded to domestic and foreign companies. According to activists, many of these concessions were given at the expense of small farmers who were subsequently evicted from their villages.

Mapping Vietnam's Socio-Economic Indicators

vietnam_world_bankThe World Bank has launched mapVIETNAM, an interactive map that shows various socio-economic indicators in Vietnam such as poverty rates, employment, and electricity connectivity. The photo above shows the number of households living on $2 dollars a day. Using the map, we can see that poverty rates are high in the northern and central parts of the country.

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