Inaction risks hate speech normalization in Japan

On August 26 2020, Asia Centre’s Dr James Gomez and Saul K. Takahashi op-ed on hate speech in Japan and Southeast Asia was published in The Jakarta Post. The authors discuss the new forms of hate speech in Japan, the legal measures in place to combat it and highlight the problems posed by government officials and politicians who are adding fuel to the hate speech fire.

Read the article here.

Hate Speech Threats Proliferate in Myanmar, Southeast Asia

On 27 July 2020, Asia Centre’s Dr James Gomez and Khin Mai Aung penned an op-ed on hate speech for The Irrawaddy. The piece examines development related to hate speech, not only in Myanmar, but also Southeast Asia. Specific to Myanmar, the article touches on government regulation of hate speech and the inconsistencies in its enforcement, freedom of expression infringement, the roles of the military and government which fuel the spread of hate speech, new forms of hate speech and recommendations to address this problem.

Read the article here.

New Hate speech rules threaten Asian democracy

On 18 July 2020, Asia Centre’s Drs James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan in their Bangkok Post commentary discuss how new forms of hate speech are being spread over social media and are impacting democracy in the region. They identify these new forms as hate speech towards foreign nationals such as migrant workers and refugees; members of the LGBTI community; and those with different political values, ideologies and affiliations. These new forms of hate speech and how to address them are further examined in Asia Centre’s 40 page report titled, “Hate Speech in Southeast Asia: New Forms, Old Rules” which is found here.

Read the article here.

“Covid Crisis Stifles Political Criticism in Southeast Asia”

On 27 May 2020, Asia Centre’s Drs James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan highlighted the threat of fake news laws in the Bangkok Post. They warn that there is a danger that self-censorship of political criticism will become normal in a post-Covid-19 Southeast Asia. They advise that civil society organisations, international institutions and the mainstream media must try to ensure this emerging “new normal” does not take root.

Read the article here.

COVID-19 Shrinks Civic Space in Southeast Asia”

On 25 April 2020, Asia Centre’s Drs James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan caution in the Jakarta Post, “ Limitations on movement, on assembly, on public gatherings and on free speech have severely curtailed the operations of frontline civil society organizations. Recapturing civic space, post-COVID-19, needs to be of deep concern.” 

Read the article here.

“Coronavirus and Democracy in Southeast Asia

Asia Centre’s Drs James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan write in the Bangkok Post: ” Coronavirus is affording regimes with authoritarian tendencies the opportunity to suppress political expression, enforce strict obedience and consolidate their rule.”

Read the article here.

Democracy in Southeast Asia: Elites are an obstacle

Asia Centre’s Dr. Robin Ramcharan explains in a recent oped for the Asia Global Institute the politics behind the change in Malaysia’s government. He highlights the fragile nature of democracy in Southeast Asian countries and the power and influence of elites, including the military.

Read the article here

“China expelled WSJ journalists because it cannot bear criticism”

Read Asia Centre’s Oped in Nikkei Asia Review written by Drs James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan. The authors argue that the international community and media organizations need to strongly condemn Chinese censorship actions and speak up in support of front line media workers.

Read the article here

“Journalism suffers existential crisis”

Read Asia Centre and Oxfam in Asia´s joint Op-Ed written by James Gomez and Nipuna Kumbalathara on how journalism can overcome the industry-wide existential crisis by focusing on issues that matter to people by going back to the basics of what makes a good reporter: curiosity, integrity and boldness


Read the article here.

“Fake News”: A New Weapon against Dissidents in Southeast Asia

Dr. Gomez’s oped published on 13 June 2019 for International Centre for Nonviolent Conflict on how Southeast Asian governments are dismissing as “fake news” critical opinions, research findings, and news content that are not in line with the government stance.

Read full article here.