Stories from Quick Reads and East Asia
The Thai Film Archive has been uploading historic films and vintage news reports on YouTube.
One of the films is Chok Song Chun (Double Luck), which is Thailand's first feature silent film produced in 1927. Only 55 seconds of the film have remained featuring a fight scene and car chase.
Another rare film is Payut Ngaokrachang's Hed Mahassajan (The Miraculous Incident), which is the first Thai animated film released in 1955. Payut is known as the “Walt Disney of Thailand”. In the animated silent film, Payut witnessed a traffic incident in Bangkok.
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.
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:
— 变态辣椒 (@remonwangxt) June 3, 2015
If possible, they would delete this particular date from the calendar.
Letscorp, a site devoted to bridging information across Chinese speaking communities, reposted an online joke on Twitter that vividly captures mainland Chinese censorship practices.
— 墙外楼 (@letscorp) May 28, 2015
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.
Court Fines the Taiwan Immigration Authority for the Denied Entry of a Foreign Visitor Ahead Anti-nuclear Protest
Two years ago in March 2013, Daniel Andres Helmdach was detained and deported from Taiwan because the immigration suspected that he visited the country to join the anti-nuclear protest. The German youth had done nothing illegal in Taiwan before, he merely worked as a volunteer on conversation projects back in 2011. He sued the immigration office for the unreasonable treatment and finally the Taipei District Court ruled on July 30, 2015 that the immigration authority should pay a compensation of NT$125000 (US$4200) to Daniel for his plane ticket and as consolation payment.
Daniel's case has been considered a typical example of the Taiwanese authorities abusive use of power in clamping down dissent activities. Two Japanese people from Fukushima were warned by the country's immigration office immediately after they gave a speech at an anti-nuclear demonstration on April 30, 2011 in Taiwan.
After the ban imposed by FIFA on Indonesia following the decision of the government to suspend the Indonesian football federation, a bit of good news greeted fans last week when a book was launched about the story of Petar Segrt, a Croatian who became head coach of the Makassar Football Association (PSM) from 2011-2013. The book is authored by Andi Widya Syadzwina, former media officer of PSM.
Segrt came to Indonesia when the country’s football clubs were split into factions. He became a popular coach during his stint with PSM.
In a video interview before he left Indonesia, Segrt hinted at some of the problems affecting Indonesian football:
You must be serious what you want. I think that in the beginning everybody was speaking to me: ‘We will build academy, we will be make this, will make this…’ But, in the end, you know what I mean, we have only problems.
The 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.
The 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.
The 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.