LATEST ARTICLES

The real deal

The real deal

Shifting and giggling, the tourists and locals wait to pose with a mural painted on a dilapidated Penang street wall. An image of two laughing children on a three dimensional bicycle, the mural is a striking and thought-provoking contrast of forms. It is art that begs for interaction and it has proved incredibly popular in …read more

Lights, Cruise, Action

Lights, Cruise, Action

Sitting on a gently lolling junk, with a glass of wine in hand and a warm breeze blowing: it’s a good way to see the evening settle down over Hong Kong. The fan-shaped red sails of the junk, although not at all functional, are gently decorative and suggestive of an earlier and more romantic time: …read more

Muntri Mews, George Town

Muntri Mews, George Town

Staying overnight in an ancient garage might not be everybody’s idea of fun. But this isn’t the standard suburban garage found in most countries in the world, stuffed higgledy-piggledy with tins of paint, bits of bicycle, bottles of oil and screwdrivers.

Gold regains its gleam as buyers rush for a safe economic haven

Gold regains its gleam as buyers rush for a safe economic haven

Gold surged again this week when the US Federal Reserve announced it would try and boot the US economy along by buying billions of dollars worth of securities. This plan immediately sent investors and speculators scurrying to buy gold, the age-old safe haven in uncertain times.

The truth hurts

The truth hurts

If nothing else, the torrent of revelations released on the WikiLeaks whistle-blower website has changed our understanding of how the world works. It has also landed key WikiLeaks figures in an ocean of trouble.

In a stormy global outlook, Malaysia’s muscular economy offers a glimpse of sunshine

In a stormy global outlook, Malaysia's muscular economy offers a glimpse of sunshine

Condoms, like food and medicine, are largely impervious to the deflation of economic bubbles. So Malaysia’s largest condom manufacturer, Karex, will blithely ignore depressing global financial trends and launch an initial public offering sometime in the near future. Beyond confirming the impending float, Karex this week shyly declined to reveal any further details, but chief …read more

Architects eye Hong Kong’s blank canvas

Architects eye Hong Kong’s blank canvas

SITTING smack on the shores of a bustling harbour, in the heart of an international city, looking across the water to skyscrapers, and flanked by trees and lawns: the parallels with the Sydney Opera House are manifest. Or at least they will be. Hong Kong’s M+ museum of visual culture hasn’t actually been built yet, …read more

Hopes soar for an end to life in exile

Hopes soar for an end to life in exile

Musaab Naji Al-Wakil is an ordinary, middle-class Iraqi who has been stuck in Malaysia with his wife and four children for five years, and he too has felt the pull of the boats.

Racial slights fly in Malaysian political scene

Racial slights fly in Malaysian political scene

Hemmed in by the towering piles of books dominating his Kuala Lumpur living room, Malaysia’s eminent poet-activist snorts with derision. “This government isn’t fair, it isn’t just,” said 77-year-old A. Samad Said. “They use racial tension.”

Too poor for a boat, family stuck in asylum void

Too poor for a boat, family stuck in asylum void

One small family of Burmese refugees living in a dingy tenement on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur has slipped right through the cracks of asylum officialdom, it seems mostly because they wouldn’t abandon their adopted sons in Burma.