Archive for March, 2009

Politics in an Age of Unreason

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

So now the bomohs (witch doctors) rule the roost it would seem. The news that a magic charm or spell was found hidden surreptitiously under the desk of none other than the Prime Minister of Malaysia does not bode well for the future of this country of ours. It may make the headlines under the [...]

Gerindra’s rise in Indonesian politics

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

(Note: This article first appeared in the Nut Graph, where it looks nicer.)
Former military commander Prabowo Subianto has been a household name in Indonesia for several decades now, but at present he is among the most talked about aspiring politicians in the country as Indonesians prepare for the next general elections in early April.
The former [...]

The Long Road to Wisdom: Reading the Latest Rendition of the Javanese Classic, the Serat Centhini

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Soewito Santoso, The Centhini Story: The Javanese Journey of Life.
Being the translation of the Serat Centhini.
Marshall Cavendish, Singapore, 2006.
ISBN-13: 978-981-232-975-2
ISBN-10: 981-232-975-7
399 pages. Hardback.
Price: 550,000 Rupiah.
There are classics, and there are classics. Many a tome has vied for the coveted position of being labelled as such, but few works of literature can rightfully claim the honour [...]

The Indonesian Elections of 2009: And the Race Begins!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

(Note: This article first appeared in the Nut Graph, where it’s altogether much nicer to read. There are pictures there. – Yusseri)
WITH Umno’s heated polls just a week away and a transition of power in the pipeline for the nation, one other elections will soon grab the headlines. This April will witness the elections of [...]

Pluralism and the Challenges to Gender Equality

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

The stereotypes are familiar to most of us by now: Japanese men walking around in Western business suits while Japanese women are expected to follow behind them in kimonos; Muslim men enjoying themselves in Bermuda shorts and t-shirts while their wives and girlfriends are left with the burka to wear. We have seen it all [...]

Can there be a Common History of South and Southeast Asia?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

It is odd that while South and Southeast Asia have been the oldest civilisational neighbours to each other, we know so little about our neighbouring communities and understand even less about our common shared history. A cursory overview of the state of official history-writing in the postcolonial states of South and Southeast Asia would be [...]