LATEST ARTICLES

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.

Welcome to the people-smuggler frontline: two runabouts, two hours of fuel and 117km to patrol

Welcome to the people-smuggler frontline: two runabouts, two hours of fuel and 117km to patrol

On the beautiful, scalloped coast of southern Java, a battle is raging between determined people-smugglers and a poorly-resourced local police force. It seems the people-smugglers are mostly winning and the police are frustrated.

Afghan’s arrest could break syndicate of people-smugglers

Afghan's arrest could break syndicate of people-smugglers

A massive people-smuggling syndicate in Indonesia could soon be cracked wide open, after police seized two satellite phones, a laptop and financial records belonging to a teenage people-smuggler arrested in Jakarta.

“We’ll risk death at sea – but not if the door is closed”

Asylum-seekers will continue to flood across the sea on rickety boats unless the Australian government slams the door on them. Afghan asylum-seeker Mohammad Ali told The Australian yesterday that he would happily buy clandestine passages to Australia for himself, his wife and his two young children if he had the money. He said the growing …read more

Hunters now the hunted

Hunters now the hunted

It was after midnight when the patrolling forest guards first saw them. Five poachers crouching in the jungle, tense and braced for trouble, ready to slaughter a rhino in one of India’s premier national parks. They had crept in from the north as the monsoon flood-waters ebbed, willing to risk death for the precious horn.

Burmese daze finally sees the light

Burmese daze finally sees the light

 It was test of patience and perseverance that would derail most filmmakers. It began late last year when Burma’s xenophobic military authorities deported the Australian filmmakers Hugh Piper and Helen Barrow. They were in Rangoon, working on a documentary about the nation’s first elections in 20 years, tied in with an Australian newspaperman and his …read more

Thaksin ‘clone’ wins on her own

Thaksin 'clone' wins on her own

Yingluck Shinawatra is the smiling new face of Thai politics. Friendly, extremely attractive, conciliatory: the one-time business executive might be the circuit-breaker the deeply polarised nation so desperately needs. The youngest sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, 44-year-old Yingluck will almost certainly become Thailand’s first woman prime minister. She seems to have politics in …read more

Khmer Rouge big four finally face justice

Khmer Rouge big four finally face justice

THE long-anticipated trial of the four most senior living Khmer Rouge leaders begins today, more than 30 years after Cambodia was racked by their ultra-communist rule of mass torture and murder.

Burma film to stay in the shadows

Burma film to stay in the shadows

THE film is jinxed. Due to screen at the Sydney Film Festival today, Dancing with Dictators has been pulled at the 11th hour after a series of calamities.The problems began when the Australian filmmakers, Hugh Piper and Helen Barrow, were arrested and chucked out of Burma last November. Then the subject of their documentary, journalist …read more