“COMMENT | Fighting misinformation: Know when to not take things literally”

On 11 October 2023, Lutfi Hakim Ariff, Associate with Asia Centre, produced a commentary for MalaysiaKini, a multilingual online news portal in Malaysia, on “Fighting misinformation: Know when not to take things literally”. His commentary provides insight into ways to differentiate the different information disorders online, such as misinformation and disinformation, and emphasises the importance of handling “viral” issues more critically. He also made a reference to Asia Centre’s report “Youth and Disinformation in Malaysia: Strengthening Electoral Integrity“, which was produced in partnership with Google in 2022.

“Singapore under the Pandemic: The Normalisation of Digital Authoritarianism”

on 30 June, EngageMedia published an article by Asia Centre’s regional director, Dr James Gomez, entitled “Singapore under the Pandemic: The Normalisation of Digital Authoritarianism” as part of the “Pandemic of Control” series, which focuses on the lasting impact of the COVID-19 crisis on digital rights and tells the continuing story of digital authoritarianism in the Asia Pacific.
In this article, Dr Gomez delineates how the Singaporean government utilised the rhetoric of the common good to justify the increase of state surveillance during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic, which forces Singaporeans and residents of Singapore to voluntarily give up their rights to privacy as a form of patriotism. The surveillance has also reinforced a culture of self-censorship and fear in Singapore, which further mutes public criticism of the government.

“State lies hurt election integrity”

On 4th May 2023, Bangkok Post published an op-ed by Asia Centre’s regional director Dr. James Gomez, and Researcher Korbkusol Neelapaichit based on Asia Centre’s newest report “State-Sponsored Online Disinformation: Impact on Electoral Integrity in Thailand“. The op-ed titled “State lies hurt election integrity” points out to the presence of an ecosystem of domestic and foreign actors that contribute to the creation and endorsement of disinformation campaigns in Thailand, and how this is expected to impact the upcoming general election, scheduled for May 14, significantly, and is also predicted to influence Thai politics thereafter.

“Internet freedom an important human right”

On 17 January 2023, an op-ed by Dr James Gomez, Asia Centre’s Regional Director, was published by The Malay Mail titled “Internet freedom an important human right”. In this article, Dr. Gomez argues that although Malaysian government ministers have articulated that access to the internet to access should be a human right, the right to freedom of expression over the internet after gaining access to the internet is also equally important.

“Race, religion, and royalty to shape M’sian politics”

On 17 January 2023, The Vibes published an op-ed by Dr. James Gomez based on Asia Centre’s new report Internet Freedoms in Malaysia: Regulating Online Discourse on Race, Religion and Royalty.” In the op-ed Dr. Gomez forecasts that the 3Rs will remain a dominant force in shaping the politics of the country post-GE15.