A Filipino contact I've not been in touch with for seven or eight years called me this week for coffee at a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
In just 10 days, the standoff in Sabah has spiraled from a firefight between Malaysian security forces and followers of the sultan of Sulu who landed in the village of Tanduao, Lahad Datu town, on Feb. 9, into a war of extermination mounted by both the Philippine and Malaysian governments, conspiring with each other, to evict the sultan's men under siege in their enclave.
It is too easy to dismiss the Lahad Datu standoff as typical of Sabah's labyrinthine intrigue. That would trivialize the rich history and cultural diversity of the state, besides mistaking a largely Philippine problem as being Sabah's.
As a student of society, I see religion primarily as a form of communication. In simple societies, it may often permeate all of everyday life, making it difficult to say what belongs to religion and what does not.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has failed to get a blank check from his American ally to underwrite his hawkish policy over the disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu to the Chinese) islands.
2013/3/3, 1 Comment
Two major European leaders, President Hollande of France and Prime Minister Cameron of the UK, have recently been in India, with economic issues foremost on their agenda. Europe is struggling with recession and has to find ways of revitalizing its flagging economic performance, and it looks toward India as a likely market and partner.
The high expectations the U.S. government holds for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became clear during his visit to Washington. To live up to the U.S. trust placed in him, the prime minister should restore the vitality of Japan's politics and economy.
With the recent spate of incidents in Malaysia involving animal abuse, it is timely that a new law has been drafted to add more bite to the fight against such inhumane behavior.
2013/2/25, 1 Comment
A few days before Chinese New Year was observed in Indonesia on Feb. 10, a cleric in Solo, Central Java, issued a fatwa banning Muslims from joining in the celebration.
For 50 years, the Philippine claim to Sabah in the former British North Borneo has remained dormant like a ticking time bomb. On Feb. 12, this tranquility was disturbed when some 300 armed Filipinos led by Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of a descendant of the Sultan of Sulu.