Asia Centre’s Expert Opinions in the Media

Asia Centre is often approached by different media outlets such as television news channels, radio stations and online news portals to either comment on current political issues or submit op-eds on human rights issues for publication. As Regional Director, Dr James Gomez is Asia Centre’s main spokesperson and takes the lead in speaking to the media, from time-to-time the Centre’s other representatives also speak to the media on their areas of expertise.Asia Centre media engagement has dealt with issues related to security concerns on the South China Sea, the Rohingya refugee crisis and political developments in Thailand and Singapore. In…

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Asia Centre co-hosts ASEAN Leadership Forum

Asia Centre co-hosted The ASEAN Community Leadership & Partnership Forum on 23th till 24th of June 2019 at Park Hyatt Bangkok. The event was held in conjunction with the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok and was convened by Kingsley Strategic Institute together with other co-hosts Nation Building Institute, Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, the ASEAN Studies Centre and the Asia Centre. As co-host Asia Centre was responsible for inviting 50 participants from civil society, NGOs and academia which broadened the nature of interventions and networking opportunities during the event. Among those who attended included international organisation representatives from Amnesty…

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International Conference on Fake News and Elections in Asia (10-12 July 2019)

Asia Centre convened its 4th International Conference on Fake News and Elections in Asia which started from the evening of 10 July and went on for another 2 full days on 11 and 12 July 2019. It was the Centre’s largest to date with 12 partners, 13 panels (See Programme), 46 presentations and a total of over 80 participants who discussed various issues related to fake news.  Asia Centre’s 12 partners were the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, The Thai Media Fund, School of Media, Languages and Cultures, University of Nottingham, Malaysia, NSHM Knowledge Campus-Kolkata, Media Studies and Journalism…

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Asia Centre Strengthens South Korean Engagement

To strengthen relationships with South Korean academia, civil society and other supporting institutions and as part of Asia Centre’s efforts to engage with the Korean government’s Southern policy, in 2019 from 2-9 June, Dr. James Gomez visited Seoul, South Korea to attend two conferences and several partnership meetings. From June 3th to 5th Dr. Gomez was a discussant at the conference entitled Democracy, National Identity and Foreign Policy dialogue on 3th of June, where he was part of a panel that reviewed developments in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. From 4th to 5th June Dr. Gomez participated in a second conference…

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Disinformation Accelerates Human Rights Abuses in Conflict Situations

Disinformation contributes to an acceleration of human rights abuses in situations. Discussing the case of Rwanda, former US Ambassador to Rwanda, Margaret McMillion argued that lack of trust in transparent information contributed to genocide in that country in 1994. During the crisis many journalists were exiled in order to maintain the government narrative about the situation in Rwanda. The former US Ambassador to Rwanda made these remarks during her keynote address at  Asia Centre’s 4th Anniversary on the 19 June 2019. In a 45 minute address, she outlined human rights abuses during the Rwanda genocide and the reconsiliation process that…

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Asia Centre signs MOU with Soochow University’s Human Rights Centre

Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre and Professor Jau-hwa Chen, Director, Chang Fo Chuan, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, Soochow University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 12 May 2019, in Taipei, Taiwan. The MOU signing stems from Asia Centre’s participation in previous activities at Soochow University. For instance in November 2018, Dr. Gomez presented at a roundtable discussion the findings from the Centre’s book “The UPR of Southeast Asia: Civil Society Perspectives”. In March 2019, Dr. Gomez visited the Chang Fo Chuan, Centre for the Study of Human Rights at Soochow University to discuss…

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Orientation on Fake News and Disinformation in Southeast Asia

On Monday 29 April 2019, Asia Centre hosted Indonesian Embassy’s Education and Cultural Attaché Prof. Dr. Mustari M.Pd. and a group of International Relations students from Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia as part of the Centre’s engagement with Indonesia.The visit started with an introduction about the work of Asia Centre by Yawee Butrkrawee (Programme Coordinator), followed by a presentation on the Centre’s three year project on Fake News and Freedom of Expression in Southeast Asia, provided by Tessa Alleblas (Research & Grants Officer).  Lively discussions with the students ensued and focused on how exactly fake news is defined, global media…

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Media Literacy As a Tool Against Fake News in Malaysia

Media literacy could be the new stratagem for Malaysia instead of the Fake News Bill, however the role of governments in such programmes needs to be carefully evaluated. On Tuesday 16 April Asia Centre, University of Nottingham and Gerakbudaya Bookshop jointly organized the seminar entitled the Fake News Industry: Developments in SEA & Malaysia. Participants examined the various non-legal measures put in place to tackle issues surrounding fake news affecting Malaysia and the wider region. Apart from fact-checking, the suggestion that gained most traction was media literacy programmes. Some of the ideas concerned going beyond media literacy for university students to training…

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Vague Fake News Laws Lead To Over Criminalisation In South East Asia

Since 2017, ASEAN member states have either introduced new legislation, revised existing laws or are using current regulations to penalise individuals and organisations for disseminating fake news often citing the need to curb hate speech as a primary reason. However, the definition of what is “fake” in the provisions of these legal measures is vague. Furthermore, the government’s central role in defining what is fake news within these laws deepens the problem. A key issue is that once these legislations are in place, it allows individuals and organisations to be accused of transgressing such laws. As most laws on fake…

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IFC #5: Southeast Asia in the Age of Disinformation

On 21 March 2019, Asia Centre and Stenden Thailand co-hosted the fifth International Faculty Club which focused on Southeast Asia in the Age of Disinformation. In Southeast Asia, there are more than 400 million Internet users. Since January 2019, internet penetration is 63% and social media penetration is 61%. These numbers show that people increasingly consume media on digital media and social media platforms, instead of traditional media. As content creation on social media is immediate and not subject to regulations, it can easily be used to spread fake news and disinformation. The IFC gave insight into how disinformation is…

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