Beyond Borders | A Giant Stingray's Release in the Mekong, the Irrawaddy Dolphin, Another Marcos and More
Sustainability and politics mix in this issue.
We bring you stories around biodiversity, disasters and electricity, and visuals that show that our worries about sustainability now rival those about economic issues.
We have a story that takes off from the May release of a giant stingray back into the Mekong River, in Cambodia, to highlight the threats to this transboundary river. Watch the animation below on the Irrawaddy dolphin, one of the Mekong's most endangered megafauna.
The politics part has to do the restoration of a Marcos in the presidency of the Philippines, a country that in 1986 overthrew the dictator and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos. In the 9 May election, the nation that once inspired democratic movements from Poland to South Korea, gave his son and namesake a landslide victory (nearly 59% of the vote) with a mandate not seen in decades.
Legal and tax proceedings against the Marcoses, in the Philippines and overseas, have continued for decades, and they have repeatedly appealed, or ignored judgments through time. Sitting presidents, however, have immunity from unit.
Foreign affairs watchers will find it useful to know that since the President has diplomatic immunity, President-elect Marcos would be able to enter the United States without being detained over a contempt order worth more than $353 million dollars. (This judgement goes back to 2011, when a Hawaii district issued it against Marcos Jr, his mother Imelda and the elder Marcos' estate for dissipating assets that were to be used to pay human rights victims.)
After his proclamation at end-June, the 64-year-old Marcos Jr or 'Bongbong' starts his six-year term on 1 July, with Sara Duterte, daughter of outgoing (and still popular) Rodrigo Duterte, as vice president. I share a piece I did on the memories that come to fore with the Marcos victory, and the discussion on the Philippines at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.
Yours (and till next time, with an update on the Myanmar journalists' situation) -
1 S is for Sustainability
The Giant Stingray: A Reminder of the Mekong’s Bounty — and the Risks It Faces — www.reportingasean.net
By JOHANNA SON
The May release of a giant stingray back into the Mekong's deepest waters in Cambodia made headlines, but threats to the Mekong persist. Several Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia have died. The last one in Laos, living in a Lao-Cambodia deep pool, died in February.
Watch! Nược Đua’, an Animation about the Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin — www.reportingasean.net
Viewers see how Irrawaddy dolphins have changed from being friends of fishers in the Mekong Delta, to once-upon-a-time creatures, since they are no longer seen in Vietnam. Its creator, multimedia student Le Chan Thinh, produced this for a school competition.
A Fish(y) Story — public.flourish.studio
By YVONNE T CHUA
There's much more to the fish that ends up on your plate - check out our data story.
Plugging Singapore into the ASEAN Power Grid — www.reportingasean.net
By JOEL CHONG
More than two decades after the ASEAN power grid became a regional commitment, it is far from being a network for transboundary trade in electricity. But this year, Singapore will receive electricity from Laos' hydroelectric power.
2 The Philippines: Another President Marcos
For 'Marcos Babies,' Election Highlights Memories and Meanings — asia.nikkei.com
By JOHANNA SON
I was a "Marcos baby," one of those Filipinos who grew up knowing only one president -- the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the Philippines from
Video recording of discussion around the Marcos victory at FCCT Bangkok — www.youtube.com
'Marcos redux: puzzling out the Philippine election and politics was held on 30 May 2022 at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.
3 Stories in Numbers
Disasters Displace So Many More People than Conflict — public.flourish.studio
The Philippines had the most number of displacements in 2021. It has the most displacements from disaster - remember Typhoon Rai - and Myanmar has the most ones due to conflict. Explore details in the data story.
Worries about the environment are almost as bad as economic ones. — public.flourish.studio
Our data viz examines the Southeast Asia data from the World Economic Forum's survey of risks.
Speak Up: Take the Southeast Asia Climate Survey
It's open to Southeast Asians, till 1 July 2022. Click here to be part of the annual survey being conducted by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Under Marcos Again, What Lies Ahead for Filipinos — www.ictj.org Thirty-six years after Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were overthrown in a “People Power” revolution, the Marcos family is back in power, with Ferdinand Marcos Jr. elected as president (and Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter as his vice-president).
“The Making of the Modern Philippines: Pieces of a Jigsaw State” — asianreviewofbooks.com
If any journalist has a claim to be the doyen of the international press corps in East Asia, it would be Philip Bowring. In this timely book, he turns his gaze on the Philippines.
The daughter of Marcos' armed forces chief, Gen Fabian Ver, reckons with her father and the legacy of martial law — pcij.org
Wanna Ver is offering one apology at a time for the crimes her father helped commit. She also wrote this piece in the 'Washington Post' before the May vote.