Op-Ed Contributor


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Teo Soh Lung: Experience as polling agent

Teo Soh Lung volunteered at a nursing home during the recent presidential election, where she observed challenges faced by elderly residents in voting. They suggested that voting for nursing home residents should not be compulsory and proposed giving voting rights to prisoners instead.

Raising Bangladesh’s minimum wage faster will lower unemployment and raise productivity, exports and profits

In an analysis by labour rights activist Roy Ngerng, Bangladesh's contemplation of raising the garment sector's minimum wage is emphasized. Historically, wage increases in the country have correlated with reduced unemployment and boosted productivity. Ngerng argues that higher wages inspire workers to join the workforce, resulting in enhanced consumer confidence and business growth. Countries paying higher wages also tend to witness better productivity, innovation, exports, and profits. On the flip side, stagnant or low wages can hamper growth. Many advocate for a wage increase, seeing it as beneficial for both the workforce and the overall economy.

Bangladesh’s minimum wage needs to grow faster for its economy catch up with other countries

Bangladesh's garment sector is considering a raise in its minimum wage. Trade unions advocate for a wage increase to Tk23,000 (US$210), reflecting the basic living standard cost determined by the Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies. Roy Ngerng argues in this commentary that by raising its minimum wage faster, Bangladesh's economy can catch up with other countries it once matched.

The ASEAN human rights paradox: AICHR’s struggle and hope

Amidst ASEAN's vast institutional landscape, its ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) battles systemic challenges, striving for human rights relevance. While recent efforts signal progress, the broader ASEAN perspective remains largely unmoved. A genuine regional human rights mechanism is the need of the hour, says Simone Galimberti.

ASEAN’s diplomatic dance with BRICS

While BRICS expands its global influence, ASEAN faces pivotal choices. Balancing regional responsibilities with global ambitions, Southeast Asia's bloc must navigate geopolitical currents without upending delicate power dynamics, says Simone Galimberti.


Indonesia’s minister touts robust post-Covid-19 economic recovery with consistent 5% growth

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, touts the nation's robust post-pandemic economic recovery at the UAE-Indonesia Economic Business Forum 2023, highlighting strong growth and investment potential.

Indonesian TikTok Influencer sentenced to 2 years in prison for controversial TikTok video on religious blasphemy

In a landmark ruling, Lina Mukherjee, an Indonesian TikTok influencer, has been sentenced to two years in prison and fined IDR 250 million (US$16,200) for her contentious video, where she uttered "bismillah" before eating pork, igniting a debate on religious insensitivity in Indonesia.

PDIP’s Ganjar Pranowo hints at potential alliance with Prabowo Subianto for 2024 Indonesian Presidential Race

The potential partnership between Ganjar Pranowo of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and Prabowo Subianto in the 2024 Presidential Election is a topic of discussion. At a recent campaign meeting, Pranowo acknowledged the ongoing discourse and stressed that in politics, "anything is possible" until confirmed by the General Election Commission (KPU).

Is the withdrawal of access blocking direction of East Asia Forum, an example of how Singapore practices “Rule by Law”?

In the recent reversal involving POFMA and the East Asia Forum, Singapore's legal approach has raised questions. The differential treatment between local and foreign entities, combined with apparent selective enforcement, raises concerns about the nation's commitment to the rule of law versus the rule by law.