Columnnist

Johanna Son

Founder/editor of the Reporting ASEAN series

Johanna Son is founder/editor of the Reporting ASEAN series.

 

Johanna Son
29 Sep 2021

Decarbonisation, the SE Asian way

Carbon neutrality is a shared planetary destination, but Southeast Asian countries are laying out their own road maps -- including what some may call detours of sorts -- to getting there in the next three to four decades.

29 Sep 2021 10
Decarbonisation, the SE Asian way
15 Jul 2021

In Mekong region, drug trade thrives

An example of a resilient business model in hard times? Indeed, except that this describes how the synthetic drug industry has been expanding in East and Southeast Asia, home to the Mekong region which is the manufacturing and trafficking hub that supplies illicit drugs that reach not just the wider Asia but the globe.

15 Jul 2021 15
In Mekong region, drug trade thrives
22 May 2021

UNHCR: No one ever chooses to become a refugee

Refugees, people fleeing air strikes by the Myanmar military, and those who are at risk of political persecution, have been the focus of attention in the months since the Feb 1 coup.

22 May 2021
UNHCR: No one ever chooses to become a refugee
24 Apr 2021

Vaccination in Southeast Asia: it's complicated

'So which wave of Covid-19 are you in?" is a question Southeast Asians ask of one another these days. A year after the lockdowns that their countries went into, many of them are, well, back in them again, even as vaccinations are underway in all countries in the region.

24 Apr 2021 11
Vaccination in Southeast Asia: it's complicated
17 Mar 2021

Journalist defiant about life post-coup

Just as the protesters continue rallies and strikes against the Myanmar military's coup amid the brutal crackdowns by security forces, so have journalists been pushing ahead and struggling to do their jobs as storytellers.

17 Mar 2021 14
Journalist defiant about life post-coup
8 Feb 2021

Myanmar journalists wait and watch

'Some horrible things are likely to happen," one journalist said. Added another: "They can arrest [us] anytime." A reporter predicted: "There will be a darker period for us." "I feel lost," one journalist said with a sigh. "We are unsafe and insecure."

8 Feb 2021 8
Myanmar journalists wait and watch
11 Nov 2020

The pressure cooker that is Thailand

Thailand finds itself in a pressure cooker these days, dealing with pre-Covid-19 economic weaknesses, the lack of longer-term responses to the economic and social crises from the pandemic, and uncertainty about how much longer people can hold on before falling into poverty, losing jobs or closing small businesses.

11 Nov 2020 36
The pressure cooker that is Thailand
17 Sep 2020

Covid and the climate crisis in SE Asia

'A global reset", "a sick planet", "health security" are huge, heavy phrases that have been swirling in the global psyche for most of this Covid-19-marked year. They speak of the "must-do-something" type of issues that weigh on the minds of people everywhere, including in Southeast Asia, as they hope for a post-pandemic period to come.

17 Sep 2020 15
Covid and the climate crisis in SE Asia
17 Sep 2019

Rohingya still a 'throwaway people'

The second anniversary of the Rohingyas' exodus from Myanmar has come and gone, exposing how Southeast Asia's biggest humanitarian disaster in recent times has become a festering wound that all see but cannot or will not salve, much less heal.

17 Sep 2019 2
Rohingya still a 'throwaway people'
13 Sep 2018

Not Asean enough

It's not China's bullying but the weak links gnawing away at its insides and undermining 'Asean-ness' that are the group's source of problems.

13 Sep 2018 9
Not Asean enough