Understanding labour migration in purely economic terms fails to adequately capture why Indonesian women choose to migrate: for some, it is a way to reclaim dignity and reassert agency over their lives.
Devy Christa discovers the details about the case of her mother, Merry Utami, the same week the state plans to execute her. Her mother was manipulated by a foreign man named Jerry and underwent an unfair process of interrogation, trial, arrest, and detention for over a dozen years.
Devy Christa remembers fragments of her memory with her mother. Her mother went away for quite a long time to become a migrant worker to provide money for the operation of Devy’s brother, Yossi. And now, Devy sees her mother again on television.
Bonnibel Rambatan talks about trans liberation in Southeast Asia with Erik Nadir and Nhuun Yodmuang from Asia Pacific Transgender Network, also known as APTN.
New Naratif’s Editorial Manager Bonnibel Rambatan talks to five other trans artists who have made works of art to commemorate this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance.
New Naratif is democratising democracy in Southeast Asia. Our vision is to foster an inclusive Southeast Asia community where all peoples are fully engaging and participating in building democracy. We build capacity for this through our three-step process: engage, educate, and empower Southeast Asians.
With the dissolution of Parliament on 10 October 2022, Malaysians are set to hit the polls on 19 November for their 15th General Election (GE15).
Democracy is not limited to accessing the ballot box and casting a vote. For that reason, New Naratif is committed to bringing our Malaysian community the information they need to make informed decisions in the upcoming general election.
The Media Freedom in Southeast Asia Project seeks to understand the challenges that media workers in Southeast Asia face and how they navigate them. This project aims to interrogate the voices of media workers in the region in its methods.
The results are in for The Citizens’ Agenda 2022! Malaysians and Singaporeans have voted on the most pressing issues facing their country, with interesting insights all round. Read about the results, and discover how you can be part of a space to voice your concerns and increase political engagement.
A reading group series that invites members to come together to discuss selected stories published by New Naratif. It is a space for our community to have safe and constructive conversations about complex issues.
Malaysia’s parliament system offers two options for the new parties, including MUDA. They can go solo but be stranded in the political wilderness or join a broader coalition that moderates their radicalism and reduces their autonomy.
The issue of primary and secondary school access for refugee learners in Peninsular Malaysia has received some public attention. But with a minority of refugees arriving or graduating with secondary school diplomas, an equally important question to ask is: What comes next?
In Stage 2 of The Citizens’ Agenda, we asked Malaysian to pick the top 5 biggest issues facing their country. They responded loudly and clearly. Here’s what they said!
In Stage 2 of The Citizens’ Agenda, we asked Singaporeans to pick the top 5 biggest issues facing their country. They responded loudly and clearly. Here’s what they said!
In Stage 1 of The Citizens’ Agenda 2022, New Naratif asked Singaporeans what they think are the most important issues facing Singapore, and what they’d like political candidates to talk about in the next general election. Here’s what our readers said (and didn’t say).
How does the PAP government view the privacy of Singaporeans’ personal data? Do they protect it? Or do they use it to their advantage as means to increase surveillance within the nation? A look into how Singapore’s PAP government views privacy, how it has been interpreted into its laws, and how this trickles down to…
Devy Christa receives a call from a friend on a Sunday morning who urges her to look at the television news. It turns out all the news is about her mother, Merry Utami, who is on her way to Nusa Kambangan—a highly secure prison in Indonesia.
President Jokowi may have cancelled Merry Utami’s execution that day, but he never gave the clemency. To this day, Merry can still be executed at any time. Devy Christa continues to hope, “Don’t let them kill my mother”.
The promise of high wages draws Indonesian migrant workers to Singapore. However, exploitative practices by agents such as deducting monthly salaries and charging illegal fees make life difficult for the migrant workers and their families back home.
In Stage 1 of The Citizens’ Agenda 2022, New Naratif asked Malaysians what they think are the most important issues facing Malaysia, and what they’d like political candidates to talk about in the next general election. Here’s what our readers said (and didn’t say).
Cambodian construction workers and their families often live inside the buildings they are constructing, despite dozens being killed in building collapses in recent years. Few labour protections and low pay leave them vulnerable to accidents and exploitation.
Frustrated by Vietnam’s suppression of their language, history and faith, Khmer Krom monks are forced to migrate to Cambodia to pursue an unrestricted education. Some who return face hostile authorities who fear monks will stir up deep-seated ethnic divisions.
Some 60,000 people have been displaced by fighting between Papuan separatists and the Indonesian military in Nduga Regency. One group of refugees are stranded far from home, without jobs, schools, quality healthcare or any sign of the conflict’s end.
FICTION: REIMAGINE SOUTHEAST ASIA
In post-revolution and post-climate crisis Southeast Asia, Samudra routinely makes voice recordings for their father on their birthday. Now, Samudra talks about their longing for their father, giving him updates on their beloved home at Number Three Kolepang Street.
No longer wearing a hijab, Dina wants to change her picture on her ID card. Worries occupy her head when she has to face the state apparatuses, who have long been thought to be cold and judgemental.
Raising a toddler, pursuing a career of scientific innovation, and being active in social communities seem like a series of impossible demands for one woman. But in Inez’s work, all of these roles weave into each other seamlessly as we visit a food-sovereign community with no gender discrimination.
After her first heartbreak, K wonders if it was still possible for queer people to find and share love in this country.
Amid the search for a faraway and foreign future, the character “I” in Himas Nur’s story realizes that they have been living and breathing the warmth of their future thus far—the future through the embrace of their friends.
An old, retired domestic worker and her husband watches the graduation ceremony of their daughter with pride. In this parallel reality, domestic workers have the same rights, opportunities, and welfare as the rest of us.
Under a big orange tree, two little girls talk about oranges and how the indigenous people will get their land back. Do you want an orange from their three? I mean, tree?
As you sift rice with a mind in constant questioning about your liberation from oppression, the smile of your peers make you realise that your fight is worth it nonetheless.
While it started labour export as a stop-gap measure, the Philippine government now aggressively exports Filipinos. Labour migration has helped address the short-term needs of migrant families and the economy, and has benefitted migrant-receiving countries, local elites and the government, but also poses serious long-term problems to migrants, Filipinos, and the country.
Blogger and researcher Roy Ngerng had his life destroyed by Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong’s defamation lawsuit. Seven years on, he talks to PJ Thum about the injustice of his case, politics in Singapore, his new life in Taiwan, and what Taiwan is like compared to Singapore.
Since 2008, women from Sabah’s Sukau Village have planted trees to connect forest fragments and preserve the area’s biodiversity. COVID-19 stopped their work for months, resulting in the deaths of many newly planted trees. Now, they have returned to the forest.
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