Asia Centre Malaysia To Enhance Collaborative Experience

Asia Centre aims to enhance the collaborative experience of its partners at its second Centre in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The new Centre’s design, a multifunctional facility for seamless co-working, meetings, networking and project administration, was finalised in December 2019 following discussions with interior renovation firms and feedback from partners. Asia Centre Malaysia located at ION 2, CI Medini Complex, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, will occupy a 20’ by 60’ intermediate corner three-storey lot with a total floor area of 3209 square feet. The ground floor will spot a reception counter and waiting lounge, wall mounted desks and freestanding tables and chairs,…

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Sumitomo Grant Aids Asia Centre’s Engagements in Japan

Asia Centre’s Regional Director Dr. James Gomez delivered 5 public lectures, signed 2 MOUs and met with academics, researchers, politicians, lawyers and civil society representatives in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka from 17-28 November 2019. This Japan visit is part of Asia Centre’s “Research on Fake News and Lessons from Japan for Southeast Asia,” supported by the Sumitomo Foundation. The primary purpose was to present the findings of Asia Centre’s initial baseline study on fake news in Southeast Asia to Japanese institutions.  The trip started off with a technical briefing on 18 November 2019 at the Headquarters of Liberal Democratic Party…

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Asia Centre and Thai Media Fund Sign MOU

Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director, Asia Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mr. Wasan Paileeklee, CEO, Thai Media Fund (TMF) on 1 November 2019 to formalise both institutions’ cooperation on activities and research to promote digital and media literacy on challenges related to online disinformation such as fake news and hate speech. The signing was witnessed by Asia Centre's Program Coordinator, Yawee Butrkrawee; Asia Centre’s Manager, Patcharee Rattanarong; TMF’s Director of Media Literacy, Weeraphong Kangwannavakul Department and International Collaboration Officer, Atthanat Khurat.The MOU signing follows engagements between the two organisations, starting from September 2018 when Dr. James Gomez…

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Asia Centre broadens USA networks

In October 2019, Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director, Asia Centre visited institutions in Washington, D.C. and New York to introduce the work of the Centre and broaden its network in the United States (US). Apart from institution-to-institution level cooperation, Dr. Gomez also invited collaborations with the Centre on its 4 year project on Freedom of Expressions in Southeast Asia (SEA). During the US visit, Dr.Gomez presented findings from its International Conference on Fake News and Elections in Asia and promoted the 2020 conference on Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions. This trip saw Asia Centre engaging with universities, policy…

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Thailand Launch: Journalism for an Equitable Asia

The role of journalists in reporting on the scale of inequality came to the fore during the panel discussion convened on 8 November 2019 for the Thailand launch event of the Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award, organised by Asia Centre and Oxfam in Asia. The event brought together 35 participants from the media, academia and civil society to discuss the challenges of reporting on inequality. The objective of Asia Centre and Oxfam in Asia’s partnership in organising the Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award is to promote strong journalism and acknowledge the hard work of journalists who have persisted…

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Asia Centre Presents Disinformation Research in Taiwan

Asia Centre presented its research on disinformation in Southeast Asia at the Executive Committee Meeting of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) in Taipei, from 18 to 23 October 2019. During the EXCOM meeting, the Centre’s Dr. Robin Ramcharan, also discussed future collaboration with CALD and its affiliated members. Created in 1993, CALD is a platform for dialogue and cooperation between liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.The Centre was invited to share its analysis on Fake News legislations in Southeast Asia, which has a considerable negative impact on democracy and elections in the region. The key point…

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Asia Centre’s Engagement with Diplomatic Missions

Asia Centre has built good relations with Bangkok-based diplomatic missions by attending embassy functions, meeting with embassy officials and hosting discussions with ambassadors. These embassy engagements are part of the Centre’s efforts to seek connections to overseas partners and broaden its global network. The bulk of engagements with diplomatic missions usually occur when Asia Centre’s representatives attend independence or national day celebrations organised by the embassies. In 2019, Asia Centre received an increased number of invites to embassy functions.  On 10 Oct 2019, Dr. James Gomez and Johnny Hoang Nguyen attended the 108th National Day of the Republic of China…

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Asia Centre’s Rohingya Refugee ASEAN Advocacy

 Since 2017, Asia Centre has been actively advocating for solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis. Drs. James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan, as Asia Centre’s resource speakers have spoken at numerous international conferences particularly in 2018. While Dr. Gomez has been the lead Asia Centre spokesperson in responding to the media on developments that emerge related to the Rohingya refugee crisis. To take stock of the situation, one year after the 2017 mass exodus of Rohingya fleeing violence and persecution by the Myanmar Government and military, the Asia Centre convened a one day conference titled “The Rohingya Crisis: A Multidimensional Tragedy”, on…

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Japan-ASEAN relations need non-economic approach

Japan needs to recalibrate and reevaluate its engagement with Southeast Asia (SEA) in view of China’s ascendency and the United States’ (US) uncertain engagement with the region. As Japan navigates competition from China and other rising powers, the influence of its economy will diminish. The question therefore, is how should Japan frame its foreign policy towards Southeast Asia in this new context. Policy experience, soft power project, people-to-people dimension or values based diplomacy on principles of democracy and human rights are non-economic dimensions that are likely to feature more as its foreign tools.  The debate over a non-economic approach emerged…

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Asia Centre’s MOUs extend reach

On 27 September 2019, Asia Centre signed an MOU with the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University. Dean, Faculty of Law, Munin Pongsapan and Asia Centre’s Executive Director Dr. Robin Ramcharan inked the agreement to cement their co-convening of Asia Centre’s 5th International conference on Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions 8-10 July 2020. The MOU signing, witnessed by Asia Centre’s advisor Dr. Andrew Harding, builds on the Centre’s working relationship with the Faculty of Law since the last 2 years. For instance, on 30 October 2017, the Centre hosted the Faculty of Law’s students and Professor Thitirat Thipsamritkul at…

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