Category Archives: Politics

The Magic Along Pontianak-Singkawang

I don’t keep a bucket list, because such list would be too long, but if I did then Cap Go Meh festival in Singkawang would definitely make it on the list. This year the stars finally lined up to clear … Continue reading

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IDR 350 Million Houses & FPI: A Ludicrous New Normal for Jakarta?

What a week it’s been for Jakartans. If you’re one of the people who are now worried whether the city would commit to make a progress for someone like you, you’re not alone. Most minorities or advanced-thinking Jakarta residents carry … Continue reading

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Seamless Semarang, Seemingly

When you travel with the genuine willingness to soak in the atmosphere of the destination, there are almost no boundaries of what you can enjoy. That’s the quality I value more on travel mates—the ones who aren’t boxed in just … Continue reading

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Fire Sale: Muslim Voters and the Chinese Bogeyman

Jakarta’s politics never ceased to amaze me. Just when I thought the religion card couldn’t have been used more coarsely, Instagram delivered a surprise earlier this week. And to think I actually logged into Instagram to avoid the highly-political Twitter. … Continue reading

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Fear Not the Label, Hear the Dragon Ladies Roar

Last weekend over a million women marched on the US capital and world’s major cities the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration to protest against Trump’s repeated racist and misogynist comments, including his threat to meddle with women’s reproductive rights, which, … Continue reading

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New Year and the Surreal New Normal

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s word of last year was “surreal”, which perfectly sums up how 2016 was pretty much worldwide and, like it or not, prepares us for 2017 onward. I personally think Merriam-Webster was being kind, because I would have … Continue reading

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Mata Hari and Pham Xuan An: The Spies Who Loved Differently

The most intriguing souvenir I picked up during my recent Vietnam trip was Larry Berman’s Perfect Spy, a biography of Pham Xuan An, a journalist working clandestinely as spy during the Vietnam War. Hanoi’s H.63 intelligence network maneuvered to make … Continue reading

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Left or Right, If You Wing It Vietnam Feels Just Right

My last column talked about how Trump’s win further pushed the world that was already leaning right. Depressing is the word muttered openly among friends, and a pal quietly told me of having returned to anti-depressant in the following days. … Continue reading

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As the World Keeps Tilting to the Right

When Donald Trump was formally nominated earlier this year by the Republican National Convention to run for president, to the dismay of many Republicans nonetheless, an article appeared on my Twitter feed. It was a long read about how J.D … Continue reading

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The Acehnese Man Guarding Chinese Manuscripts

Believe in momentums? I do. After reading an ethnographic book I discovered the author’s Twitter handle, on which I found a link to someone’s blogpost about a museum of diaspora Chinese literature in Indonesia.   Museum of what?   Yeah, … Continue reading

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