Thailand has seen massive pro-democracy demonstrations this year calling for constitutional reform. Thai news site, Prachatai, unpacks what is behind the protests, what is happening now and what the future may hold for Thailand.
Amid an ongoing state of emergency to contain COVID-19, young people around Thailand have taken to the streets to call for Prime Minister Prayuth’s resignation and other systemic changes. Protesters have even hinted at their dissatisfaction at the Thai monarchy, a taboo that can have legal consequences. The latest protest held on 16 August 2020 is now known to be the largest demonstration in Thailand since the military coup in 2014. This week’s episode looks at what triggered the protests and the implications of a renewed youth movement.
Amrita Malhi traces the historical roots of the 3Rs of Malaysian politics—”race, religion and royalty”—to 19th-century colonial contests between Siam and Britain.
Thailand’s 1954 Military Service Act states that all Thai males are required to serve in the military at the age of 21, even though there are ways to get out of it. Some are now arguing that conscription should be cut down, reformed, or maybe even abolished.
This week: Filipinos vote in their mid-term elections, the Malaysian government unveils a new economic model, Sabah clamps down on “illegal immigrants” and Indonesia sets up a new “legal aid team”… to help the prosecution.
Stories to watch this week: Indonesia grapples with flooding, Malaysia has its first woman Chief Justice, Thailand crowns its new king and Singapore is on its way to passing its “fake news” bill.