2022 Review: a region reshaped by global health and economic crises, resilient from a year of change

2022 Review: a region reshaped by global health and economic crises, resilient from a year of change

The world juddered shakily into 2022, one foot over the brake as nations warily eyed the particular rise of the brand new Covid-19 Omicron variant. In Southeast Asian countries, governments pushed optimistically forward with programs for an endemic “new normal” status within the hopes of enhancing the region’s battered economy. Indonesia re-opened to international travelers on 12 The month of january and the Philippines followed soon after, lifting travel restrictions for a hundred and fifty countries on ten February. As Lunar New Year celebrations filled Singapore and Malaysia’s streets and temples with buoyant red lanterns and curling tendril of incense, desires for good fortune and prosperity mingled with extreme caution.

Singapore’s main Lau Pa Sat hawker market decked with festive lanterns for Lunar New Year. Photo: Amanda Oon for Southeast Asia Globe

In Eastern Europe, political tensions rapidly boomed to epic proportions into violence whenever Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. The onslaught, the bloody escalation from the 9-year-old Russian-Ukrainian War, is estimated to get killed up to thirteen, 000 Ukrainian soldiers to date and sent shockwaves through the entire world. Globe talked to political experts and youth commanders regarding Southeast Asia’s response and how digitalisation has brought immediacy to worldwide events.

The war sent already rising gas prices spiking, and in Laos, pumps strike empty as faster energy costs combined with the depreciation of the nationwide currency sent  the economy spiralling. Globe was on the ground in the heat of the Laos gasoline crisis to speak with citizens facing an uncertain future.

This picture from Lao National TV taken between 9 plus 10 May 2022 shows motorists queueing to pump fuel to their vehicles at a petrol station in Vientiane. Photo: STR /LAO NATIONAL TV/AFP

In the mean time, Timor-Leste and the Philippines geared up for political change as general elections approached in March and May. The particular inauguration of Jose Ramos-Horta as Timor-Leste’s new president on the 20 Might anniversary of the country’s independence from Philippines promised progress as the Nobel Prize Laureate pledged to break a longstanding deadlock involving the two main politics parties. But in the particular Philippines, shifting narratives plus misinformation campaigns resurfaced echoes from history since Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son associated with strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., stepped into power.

As the year reached its mid-point, Globe embarked on a new phase with the expanded team. Caleb Quinely , Beatrice Siviero and Nisya Kunto brought a wealth of experience and talent towards the publication and have rampacked our content with sincere, rigorous and informative reporting from Thailand, Laos, Timor-Leste plus Indonesia. Caleb kicked off his period as Globe’s Lead Editor with the investigation of new allegations of abuse inside Bangkok’s immigration detention centers.

Foreign detainees stand behind bars at an immigration detention center in Bangkok throughout a visit organized simply by authorities for journalists. Photo: Romero Gacad/AFP

Beatrice was on a lawn not long after a previous policeman stormed the daycare centre in Uthai Sawan in October, leaving over 30 people lifeless in Thailand’s deadliest assault of its kind , and her confirming gave immediate insights into the shocked aftermath of the tragedy.

Familiar confronts from our sister distribution Focus , Kimlong Ro and Nasa Dip also bring additional creativity, ideas plus invaluable expertise to the Globe.

Plans for a satellite city ground to a sudden halt within August, when Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen reversed orders to clear Phnom Tamao woodland that were given just times before. The announcement, issued via Facebook following a social media tornado, raised questions and optimism over the “power of the people” to sway government choices and drive environment action.  

By the end of the 1st day of reforestation, reports claimed more than 7, 000 saplings had been planted. Photo: Anton L. Delgado for Southeast Asia Globe

Globe’s on-the-ground reporting of the occasion was done simply by our resident environmental expert and older reporter, Anton L. Delgado . Throughout the year, Anton has brought his narrative writing flair and stunning photography skills to capture activities ranging from the heartbreaking irony of conservation regulators embroiled in unlawful macaque trade networks to new discoveries in to the incredibly elusive kouprey’s existence .  

Uncertainty hung in the air for Malaysians within November as they ready for their general elections. In an exclusive Globe interview with political stalwart Mahathir Mohamad, the previous leader looked back on his legacy, since the country’s youth looked forward with the development of new parties and the introduction of automated voter registration. A month after Vietnam effected Decree 53, a law enabling increased policing of the internet , a trend associated with politics becoming increasingly entwined in the digital space started becoming more apparent

That will month, international leaders flocked to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh as the Kingdom ready to hand over the gavel of ASEAN Chairmanship. High profile attendees included U. S. President Joe Biden plus UN Secretary António Guterres, who frequented the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to hear tales from Khmer Rouge survivors produced a poignant picture of Cambodia’s dark history in the new light. But as the event brought promises that this kind of “atrocities are never recurring, ” shadows of Cambodian involvement within networks of cyber-scams plus human trafficking , and the ongoing crisis in Myanmar hung over the Kingdom’s bloc leadership.

The EU (Blue with gold stars) and the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) flags take display as leaders arrive for the Southeast Asia for a summit, in Brussels on December 14, 2022. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Turbulent years educate us that we aren’t alone.

Whether it’s the far-flung solidarity found in global lockdowns, guarantees of EU-ASEAN online connectivity or shared stories of dictatorship among an UN chief and Khmer Rouge survivors, the events of 2022 have helped build brand new bonds and new networks. 2023 embraces Indonesia as the brand new ASEAN Chair, whilst Cambodia gears up to host the 32nd Southeast Asian Video games and prepares for general elections within July. Regional and wider global events will define worldwide relationships and Southeast Asia’s role for the wider global scenery.  

Southeast Asia Globe will maintain our own mission to provide our readers with the best stories, first-hand information and in-depth features which go at the rear of the headlines. We will continue to evolve, getting new media items, new talent and new stories to tell our most important network – our readers.  

We look forward to seeing you in the new year. Best wishes for your holiday season and the finish of 2022.  

All the above hyperlinks are free to go through till the end of the year. Please think about helping the Globe in 2023 using a membership subscription, allowing free access to most of articles and many more advantages.