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ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Not To Be Confused With One Of Those Other Asias

please click here to start your thread soundtrack

There are a few of us who live here and a few more who have lived here and some of us have gotten into the habit of littering up the Travel & Tourism megathread with our current events and political discussion, so at least two of us decided that a megathread here would be better. I don't have the time, education or inclination to get out of my hammock and do an OP on par with the masterful China megathread OP, but this is Southeast Asia, sabai sabai, grab a beer and chill out - unless you're Singaporean, then you can WAA complain AIYOH legitimately about the lazy OP (but no one else in the thread will like you ^__^). With that brief explanation...

Welcome to Southeast Asia! Kingdom of Wonder, Land of Smiles, Truly Asia - we've got it all. We're closer to the equator than those hard-working, pasty people up in Japan, Korea and China and, well, we're definitely not India (we're keeping an eye on you, Burma). We're easily the most exciting region of the world at the moment, but you wouldn't know it because none of the world's major economies are here. We do, however, have the world's #1 rice exporter, the world's smallest publicly listed stock exchange, the largest Muslim democracy in the world, the world's best a pretty good boxer (and homophobe), the world's most exciting new frontier market, the world's richest man in trillionaire Kamal Ashnawi - and then there's Brunei, with that rich Sultan, some black gold and not much else.

Before we get started, there are a few very important rules:
1) I can't tell you not to mention a certain monarch or his family in any way even remotely approaching controversial, but I can say that you shouldn't expect responses from people living here if you do. I may be wrong about that, but we actually have to be very considerate of this issue (see here and here for examples).

2) Don't write anything in local languages or scripts unless you also explain the words and meaning. Most people in the forum don't read or write Khmer, Burmese, Thai or what have you.

3) More rules as people think of them. This is Southeast Asia, we don't have a lot of rules except for the ones that keep the powerful in our various potemkin democracies in place. Besides, it's afternoon - time for a beer!


To begin the thread, you must pick a nationality to play, so it's important to understand the pecking order here. I have made some notes to get you started. These are the countries of Southeast Asia in alphabetical order:

Brunei
Burma
Cambodia
East Timor
Indonesia
Laos
Malaysia
The Philippines
Singapore
Thailand
Vietnam

Some lists include Hong Kong geographically, but we've already got Singapore and that's enough Chinese-run Island nations! Every country on that list except The Philippines would tell you they're the most important country in Southeast Asia, so we won't bother with rankings. Still, it does help to understand why you hate one or another of your neighboring countries when you're playing them, so here is some helpful info:

You Are Singapore



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch-z5s2JabY

need a local contributor here!!!
You look down on everyone else in Southeast Asia, but are sometimes more irritated with your backward Malaysian cousins who are so stubborn that they wouldn't even build their half of a friendship bridge to spec just to annoy you. Everyone else in Asia thinks you are rude and stuck up. You are, by far, the most developed, well-administered and educated country in Southeast Asia and you won't let anyone else forget it LAH. Hey, I talk to you ah? Want to go to mall lah? You have the best food in the world.

You Are Thailand



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ItcmCgU6qU

You love your country and its constitutional head of state. You look down on the Laos, Burmese and Khmer in order of friendliest condescension to most appalling, though you're very worried about all the Burmese maids, factory workers and other economic slaves heading home to work with Burma opening up. You don't trust the Vietnamese, but are worried by their recent economic success. You share a common problem with the Malays and are generally friendly with them, but aren't great historical allies or enemies. You genuinely hate the Khmer, who are trying to steal your temple and who have already probably stolen your oil, but you don't like to talk about the fact that your religion, traditional songs and dances and your architectural styles come from them. Khmer people are poor, dirty thieves and Hun Sen is their bandit leader. You don't spend much time thinking about Indonesia or Brunei and haven't heard of East Timor, but you hire Pinoy bands to play at all your events. You have the best food in the world.

You Are Malaysia



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvDvtXuH-Xk

need a local contributor here!!!
You are a peaceful, deeply multicultural country that is kept united through the divine provenance of God and by the steady, guiding hand of Mahathir Mohammed and his legacy. This is something the Chinese and Indian minorities should remember and be thankful for - or else. You begrudgingly admire the accomplishments of the Singaporeans, but hate the way they look down on you like you're a bunch of hillbillies. Singaporeans are too hard-charging and don't enjoy life. Your country is more developed than Thailand and your electric wires don't look like they were strung up by a group of four year oldss. You have the best food in the world.

You Are Indonesia
need a local contributor here!!!
To Justin Bieber, Indonesia Just ‘Some Random Country’ with Bad Studios

You Are The Philippines



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMnk7lh9M3o

need a local contributor here!!!
You are proud of your history, but not your present and while you're glad that Gloria is no longer President, you can't shake the feeling that the country has been sliding backward since Marcos - even though your economy has technically been growing quite well due, in large part, to the explosion of BPO and telecommuting (since you speak English and have an incredibly talented workforce that's all been working in other countries for decades). You now hate China, who are trying to steal your islands, but they're not Southeast Asian. You have occasional problems with Indonesia, but you're kind of out there on your own and you've been too busy hating each other and foreign occupiers to develop a lot of regional hatreds. You have the best food in the world, take balut for example (mmmmmm), and can't understand why everyone else in the world universally hates all of it.

You Are Vietnam



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebkogYErN3Y

Thanks Modus!
You are the little engine that could and did! The proud Vietnamese fought off successive waves of invaders such as the French cheese eaters, ugly Americans, year zero Khmer, and the foul spitting Chinese with a zerg like military that utilized Uncle Ho's powers of politics, grassroots propaganda, and dudes in pajamas, flip flops, and AKs. Historically a client kingdom of China but no more. Vietnam is now a SEA economic cowboy looking to become a major regional player simultaneously playing geopolitics and pumping up its economic development. Vietnam is also the #2 regional rice exporter and maybe will become #1 if Thailand doesn't quit shooting itself in the foot with price fixing measures. A mass of Chinese, Singaporean, and Thai investors have flocked to this new promised land to bask in corruption and dongs to be had.

You Are Cambodia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itgovWOIJBs

need a local contributor here!!!
Your King seems nice enough, but everyone says he's a ballerina with a taste for younger men and he seems to be a rubber stamp for whatever Hun Sen, your Prime Minister, needs him for. You hate the Thais, who are trying to steal your temple and your oil, though it looks like you'll probably get to keep the latter. You also hate the Vietnamese, who invaded your country (don't mention that they overthrew Pol Pot's regime and drove it mostly out) and who are real rear end in a top hat shopkeepers! You don't really have any issues with Laos, but nobody does because Laos is in its hammock, sleeping. You've been through some rough times, but your culture's growing again and you've got your own television and music now, so you don't speak Thai anymore or watch their garbage (okay, you do, but you don't like it or admit it). You're not sure who all these foreigners are, driving around in expensive white SUVs and living in fancy, restored colonial mansions, but you have bigger problems to worry about. You have food, now, which is a start!

You Are Laos



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB_qEYNY3zk

need a local contributor here!!!
zzzZZzzzZzzzZzZzZZzzzzzZZZzzZz

You Are Burma
need a local contributor here!!!
You are either Burman, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine or Shan and you hate everyone else in your country except your group. You also hate Thailand for looking down on your country and treating your workers like slaves, but since your government has been Mugabe levels of awful for the last half-century you don't have a lot of options - or at least you didn't! You're now opening up and your beloved icon Aung San Suu Kyi is doing a worldwide tour and businessmen are pouring into the country so fast that it's literally not possible to get a hotel room. You'll learn to hate other countries in the region more once you've figured out how to get along internally. You don't always have food, but that's about to change!

You Are Brunei

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7o7JGj8bz4

need a local contributor here!!!
You are proud of your coffee and amusement parks and insane energy wealth.

You Are East Timor
need a local contributor here!!!
You hate Indonesians for raping your country and killing many people you knew.

Okay, just kidding, you don't have to play a nationality in the thread. But if you are a local, or a local expat in one of these countries, please stop by and contribute!

As you may have noticed, we don't have a formal OP with lots of content, but I will reserve this post and the next post to begin linking to good sources of local news and information as they arise from the thread.

For now, though, kick back and relax! Don't be like those crazy uptight North Asians, working yourself to death and smoking your teeth rotten and flying to Southeast Asia to have sex with hookers, bargain mercilessly with shopkeepers and eat endangered species. Find the nearest two palm trees, tie up your hammock and watch the sun set (don't forget beer)!

seriously, it's impossible for one guy without a diploma in regional history to do this, so please contribute your local and regional knowledge

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 28, 2012 around 03:04

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ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


News Sources:

Regional:
New Mandala: So good that it's routinely censored. Does exhibit some ideological political slant.

Burma:
Irrawaddy

Cambodia:
Phnom Penh Post: "Successful people read The Post" - well, there you go.
Cambodia Daily: Cambodia's other English language paper. Why other? Because it basically doesn't have an online edition - what is this 1997?

Malaysia:
https://www.nst.com.my - your run of the mill government mouthpiece publication
https://www.malaysiakini.com - one of the only independent news sources, censorship free as its an online publication (although that might change soon)

Singapore:
The Straits Times: The main English Language newspaper, published by Singapore Press Holdings, which is owned by the government. The same publisher also publishes an English language tabloid called the New Paper, as well as newspapers in Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin.
Today: A free English Language tabloid, published by Mediacorp, which is owned by the government. Mediacorp also runs all the local tv stations and most of the radio stations too, so I don't know why the government thought they needed a newspaper. They also run Channel News Asia, which they've been trying to push as a sort of regional CNN. You guys in the rest of the region can tell me how successful they've been with that.
The Online Citizen: The biggest independent news site that I know of. There's always going to be a certain amount of self-censorship due to the libel laws, but it's a good place to catch up with people's bitching about the government's failures.

Thailand:
Bangkok Post: English language newspaper based out of Bangkok. Doesn't report on sensitive issues, avoids issues that could cause legal problems (i.e. open criticism of powerful people).
The Nation: English language newspaper based out of Bangkok. Doesn't report on sensitive issues, avoids issues that could cause legal problems (i.e. open criticism of powerful people).

Vietnam:
Viet Nam News: No description.
The Word (HCMC): No description.
The Word (Hanoi) : No description.

Blogs, Forums & More:

Cambodia:
Expat-Advisory: Part forum, part classifieds, part amateur journalism, part banner ad bonanza, Expat Advisory has, for better or worse, become one of the more prominent community sites in Cambodia - with most of the interesting content in the forums.
Khmer440: Cambodia's main expat forum, with all the usual expat chatter that you'd expect and some that you may not expect if you're not familiar with Cambodia's expat population (NC17). Find an apartment, a motorbike, legal advice or which brothel has the best chili dog all in one place!

Singapore:
The Mr. Brown Show: The best example of Singaporean comedy I can give, it's usually pretty on point and pretty goddamn funny.

Thailand:
Andrew Drummond: British tabloid journalist who does some good muckraking on stories that you won't see covered in the papers.
Not The Nation: The Onion for Thailand - actually quite funny.
ThaiVisa: The place to go to dispel yourself of any notions that expat life is glamorous and to learn, instead, how miserable many expats apparently are. Get great advice on property dealings, legal affairs and more from the prostitute wives of drunken, retired Englishmen under the heading "Me missus says..."
Richard Barrow: I hesitated to put him on here, but he does cover a lot of day-to-day stuff in Thailand. He's probably more useful on Twitter where you can just ignore the puff/PR crap he posts.
Pattaya Daily News: All the latest sensational insanity from the Mos Eisley of Southeast Asia.

Glossary:
ADB: The Asian Development Bank, like a localized IMF, I suppose? More here.
APEC: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Clearly named by Southeast Asians, because it has no subject noun. Like a regional WTO where the stronger states constantly ignore trade regulations and rules that could hurt their industries while everyone begs Australia to do more. Handy for APEC card travel benefits ^__^ More here.
ASEAN: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a model UN for Southeast Asia. More here.
Bangers/The Big Mango/The Big Smoke/The 'Kok: Nicknames for Bangkok.
Barang: Khmer word for (usually) "white" foreigners, subject to situational interpretation.
Bor Pen Yang: National motto of Laos.
Burma: Myanmar. Don't call it Myanmar.
Cambo/Cammers: Nicknames for Cambodia.
Chinoy: Nickname for Filipinos of ethnic Chinese descent (not pejorative).
Farang: Thai word for (usually) "white" foreigners, subject to situational interpretation.
Greater Mekong Region: Designation for the Southeast Asian countries along the Mekong River (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Laos).
Due Process Of Law:
Khmer (Khmei): Denoting something culturally Cambodian. Also a Cambodian citizen or person of Cambodian descent (e.g. Khmer people).
Laotian: Something you put on your skin, not the proper way to refer to Lao Peepun.
Mai Bpen Rai: National motto of Thailand.
Me Missus Says: A phrase after which follows hilariously bad advice or opinion.
M'sia: Nickname for Malaysia.
Pinoy: Self-applied nickname for Filipinos (not pejorative).
Rohingya: Ethnic minority (originating in Bangladesh?) present in Burma and, to a lesser degree, Thailand, who are persecuted constantly by peoples and governments in whatever nation they're in.
Saigon: Old name for Ho Chi Minh City Saigon, still used casually in some quarters and in some official notations (e.g. the IATA code for the airport - SGN). Why do some call it Saigon instead of HCMC? Well, why do you call Krung Thep Maha Nakhon "Bangkok?" There you go!
Sexpat: Men (usually) who move to Southeast Asia to pursue sexual activities. Identifiable by the unbuttoned shirt, protruding gut and drunken slur.
S'pore/Singabore: Nicknames for Singapore

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2012 around 07:20

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


this unit has been purchased by a wealthy thai-chinese khunying who will rent it to you for $1,500 a month, which no one is willing to pay, leaving it empty until someone agrees to her price and she can sell it - meaning eventually her son will move in

for future use

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 09:27

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Of course we need something to talk about and what's more exciting right now than the opening up of Burma? Pretty amazing! So amazing that investors from all over the world are on fire over it, governments are going gaga, The Lady is touring like a rock star and the hoi polloi don't know it's happening, so there's no thread about this momentous event.

Here's an interesting local take to start us off:

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/5733

quote:

How Asean Engagement Led to Burma Reform

Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been allowed to win. Her by-election victory in Burma—which Asean calls Myanmar—last month brought home the scale of the political earthquake taking place there after half a century of military rule.

The government is reforming at an unprecedented pace, land prices are rising and tourists are preparing their itineraries. It is, at the very least, a reminder of the power of a single person committed to change.

Suu Kyi’s long house arrest in Burma, on and off since 1990, took her away from the West, where she studied and her children grew up in her absence. Her husband, Michael Aris, died of cancer in 1999. Of persistent ideas it is said that ninety-nine times out of a hundred they are smashed to bits—the hundredth time they can change the world. If nothing else, Suu Kyi’s persistence has changed Burma.

But why now? The opening came as a surprise to many, particularly since the regime went to great trouble to secure sham an electoral victory in 2010. Some say the pressure from international sanctions is what precipitated the recent thaw, even though sanctions have been ongoing in some form since 1988. Others, like Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani, argue that Asean engagement is what led to big changes, even though this has been going on longer than sanctions have.

But pay attention to the way Mahbubani makes the argument. “Western sanctions did not work. Asean engagement with Myanmar did,” he said. “The regional organization forced Myanmar’s officials and leaders to attend thousands of meetings in Asean countries. These travels opened their eyes to how far Myanmar was falling behind—they realized it had to become a more ‘normal’ country.”

The crux here is that only in the context of rising economic growth does Asean engagement matter. If Southeast Asia was an economic basket case, then the Burmese leadership, no matter how many Krisflyer miles it racked up, would not be persuaded to follow its example.

This “good neighbor” theory of economic growth roughly goes like this—regions develop by comparing themselves to their neighbors (both in terms of general economic prosperity and its accoutrements like military spending and public monuments) but also by attracting investment and trade from them.

This may explain why a country like Greece, with a sclerotic political culture and limited industrial capacity, is still many times richer than Indonesia—proximity to Germany, France and northern Europe brought with it spillover effects. In this view, Burma opened up because it saw all of Southeast Asia advancing and needed to keep up.

The case of Burma reminds me of the long debate among economists and political scientists about why Indonesia and Nigeria, similar countries in many respects, have turned out so differently. Of course, there is the famous joke about our bureaucrats—one from Sanni Abacha’s Nigeria is impressed by an Indonesian bureaucrat’s house and Mercedes.

“Do you see that road?” the Indonesian asks. “Ten per cent,” he says. A couple of years later, Suharto’s man visits the Nigerian in a palace with Ferraris and is amazed. “Do you see that road?” says the Nigerian, gesturing at virgin rainforest. “One hundred per cent.”

The joke is glib but the point is not—a distinction can and must be made between a corruption that facilitates and that which obstructs. The question is why some nations end up with the former and others with the latter.

Both Nigeria and Indonesia are regional giants, the former in West Africa, the latter in Southeast Asia. Both are large—the seventh and fourth most populous countries respectively, with remarkable diversity. Indonesia has some 200 languages versus Nigeria’s 400. Indonesia has three to four prominent religions versus Nigeria’s two and many indigenous beliefs besides.

Politically, both countries are recent creations, forged from ancient states by Europeans, then governed as one country. Both are home to large immigrant business communities—the Chinese in Indonesia and the Lebanese in Nigeria. Both possess oil.

Even their histories mirror each other. Independence was gained within a dozen years of each other, coups launched within a few months—September 1965 for Indonesia and January 1966 in Nigeria. Their strongmen left power around the same time too—May 1998 in Jakarta and May 1999 in Abuja. In its teeming, mad wonder, the business capital Lagos is also like Jakarta—both are megalopolises of countries besieged by secessionist movements, civil unrest, corruption and human rights violations.

Yet, Indonesia is not Nigeria. Indonesia’s 2011 nominal GDP was US $3,509, Nigeria’s $1,490, according to the International Monetary Fund. Peter Cunliffe-Jones, who compared both countries in his book My Nigeria, points out that when Suharto took power in 1967, the number of people in poverty was the same as Nigeria—around six out of every 10 people.

Three decades later, the figure had fallen to two in Indonesia but risen to seven in Nigeria. The average Nigerian lives to the age of 47, the average Indonesian to 70. At independence, he notes, both countries were comparable, but today Indonesia does better on most fronts—growth, average income, health and education.

Why is this the case? The conclusion Cunliffe-Jones reaches is that Suharto, despite everything, felt pressure to perform throughout his rule from the media, the business elite, the urban poor and the rural areas, whereas in Nigeria, this sort of pressure did not exist. He quotes a retired Supreme Court Justice of Nigeria as saying “We have not fought, not really, or not enough. And if you do not fight for your rights, nobody will fight for you.”

It’s an intriguing argument, and it could be taken further. Much of the pressure for Indonesia’s advancement may have been driven by a comparison with regional neighbors. Indonesians had Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok (and later Perth) within a few hours of air travel, whereas Nigerians, further away from Europe, were more likely to compare themselves to their West African neighbors. Singapore, in particular, was always the glaring comparison for Indonesians—geographically an hour away and yet quite a distance in terms of civilization.

If this is the right way to approach growth, then it casts the Burmese opening in a new light. It seems that once you get the ball rolling, it is difficult to stop. Expectations have risen permanently—something widespread internet access and cheap flights will not lower.

In this kind of world, the best Asean foreign policy towards Burma is paradoxically domestic growth and prudent policy-making. By itself of course this is not sufficient—we must continue to engage Burma and make sure the “dividends of reform” are felt by her citizens. Setting a good example is ultimately what will keep the pressure for reform alive.
This is some ASEAN self-aggrandizement, but there are some good points in there - a primary one being that sanctions simply did not accomplish anything other than misery for the people of Burma. A Burmese friend of mine is fond of pointing out that Burma offered the world the same deal China offered the world back in 1988, but that because of the elections and because of the relative sizes of the economies involved, Burma got sanctions and China got investment. That's also a pretty broadbrush statement, but it also has a point.

Whatever the case, in the last month, Burma has instituted an eVisa program (used to be notoriously annoying to get a visa for), set international exchange rates at all banks (used to have to trade as an absurd "official" rate, so no one used the banks), has started installing ATMs nationwide (there were none) and is now promoting mobile phone ownership (they were previously 215th out of 217 countries/territories in mobile phone penetration). The hotels are so full you can't get one half the time, prices for everything are skyrocketing and sanctions are being lifted left and right across the world. Also, they're killing Rohingya who are killing Buddhists, but don't look over there!

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 09:38

french lies
Apr 16, 2008


So Burma/Myanmar is going to end up somewhat like early nineties Russia and be the sweatshop of the world for the next few decades, essentially?

Also that Thai forum is amazing. I'm browsing the Marriage and Divorce section now and the cynicism and broken dreams on display are nothing short of mesmerizing.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


french lies posted:

So Burma/Myanmar is going to end up somewhat like early nineties Russia and be the sweatshop of the world for the next few decades, essentially?
It's tough to say. In fact, this could be is a good move, whatever the end result, but it does call for some consideration of what's behind it and what will happen next, yeah.. One opinion a long-time local businessman had, which I hadn't heard, but which makes a lot of sense, is that this was done to hedge against Chinese influence. I'm guessing our new Pacific strategy is part of that, if so, but mainly I'm guessing that the Burmese leadership saw what was happening in Mandalay where the Chinese have drat near bought the place and could see the writing on the wall. Either they roll the dice with the international community or they roll the dice with just China. Again, just one opinion, but it's the only one I've heard that answers the questions, "Yeah, but why NOW?" reasonably. The Chinese are economically colonizing more and more of the Greater Mekong Region here, we see it every day. The Americans are flexing political muscle in response now, which is what Obama's new Asian strategy is. I have to say, unlike the cold war, this one's not entirely bad yet (I know that may sound strange, but so far it's all relative carrots, no sticks). We'll see what happens if and when it heats up, though.

Burma's been a complete kleptocracy and a shithole to live in for the better part of fifty years thanks to the indigenous, authoritarian leaders and then, later, to the sanctions as well. When all these countries popped out of colonialism, it was considered the most advanced with the best chance at success. Unfortunately, from my understanding, the hardliners (nominal socialists) killing the reformers (nominal communists) and began what amounted to a political takeover that culminated in a lazy authoritarian dictatorship eventually run by the military. My Burmese friend who grew up there in the late 50s and 60s, before eventually fleeing to Thailand around 1970, relays it like you hear a lot of stories - they organized the country block by clock, so everyone had to report activities up the chain, then they took over businesses and industries under the guise of nationalization in the interest of development (nationalization's not always what it seems, unfortunately) and all the money went to the military leaders, who held lavish parties and lived in mansions and took trips abroad and so on. Google up the video of the General's daughter's wedding jewelry for a noted local example. It's one of those unfortunate examples of indigenous leaders gone haywire on their own (as opposed to the various regional examples of puppet regimes gone haywire - like Marcos or Diem).

french lies posted:

Also that Thai forum is amazing. I'm browsing the Marriage and Divorce section now and the cynicism and broken dreams on display are nothing short of mesmerizing.
I'm always shocked that it hasn't ever been ALOD material. It's seriously like a one stop guide to how not to live your life in Thailand.

EDIT: This thread is now considering a bilateral agreement with the American election thread to stave off the influence of the China thread.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 11:42

Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


Nice OP ReindeerF.

Here's how i'd write up Vietnam: You are the little engine that could and did! The proud Vietnamese fought off successive waves of invaders such as the French cheese eaters, ugly Americans, year zero Khmer, and the foul spitting Chinese with a zerg like military that utilized Uncle Ho's powers of politics, grassroots propaganda, and dudes in pajamas, flip flops, and AKs. Historically a client kingdom of China but no more. Vietnam is now a SEA economic cowboy looking to become a major regional player simultaneously playing geopolitics and pumping up its economic development. Vietnam is also the #2 regional rice exporter and maybe will become #1 if Thailand doesn't quit shooting itself in the foot with price fixing measures. A mass of Chinese, Singaporean, and Thai investors have flocked to this new promised land to bask in corruption and dongs to be had.

french lies posted:

So Burma/Myanmar is going to end up somewhat like early nineties Russia and be the sweatshop of the world for the next few decades, essentially?
Possibly. Burma/Myanmar has serious balkanization issues with its population. I think the military dictatorship still holds all the cards in the background but they have a blueprint for success. They can just sit back and copy what everyone else has done in the region. Plus Myanmar still has significant natural gas deposits and forests to chop down I think. If the whole military dictatorship thingy didn't go down Burma should have been the #1 economy in SEA. They were a well educated population, had the best infrastructure, and were well positioned with plenty of natural resources. If they can get their poo poo together in the next couple of decades they could be a potential game changer for ASEAN.


edit: Another interesting factoid is that Myanmar has several locations which are full scale industrial sites that churn out methamphetamine in pill form (Yaba as Thais call it) and maybe heroin. I'm not sure if they lead heroin production anymore but the amount of business they do in the drug world is significant.

quote:

Also that Thai forum is amazing. I'm browsing the Marriage and Divorce section now and the cynicism and broken dreams on display are nothing short of mesmerizing.
If you want something that you can really piss your pants laughing at read the Stickman Bangkok site's letters section.

Modus Operandi fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 11:50

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Modus Operandi posted:

Nice OP ReindeerF.

Here's how i'd write up Vietnam...
Done - thanks!

Modus Operandi posted:

Possibly. Burma/Myanmar has serious balkanization issues with its population. I think the military dictatorship still holds all the cards in the background but they have a blueprint for success. They can just sit back and copy what everyone else has done in the region. Plus Myanmar still has significant natural gas deposits and forests to chop down I think. If the whole military dictatorship thingy didn't go down Burma should have been the #1 economy in SEA. They were a well educated population, had the best infrastructure, and were well positioned with plenty of natural resources. If they can get their poo poo together in the next couple of decades they could be a potential game changer for ASEAN.
Yes to all of this. That's my assumption as well. Right now they're an increasingly destitute population of fractious minorities sitting atop a wealth of natural resources while a few warlords and generals and bigwigs (and Thais & Chinese) take all the money and do nothing for the people. Their people are mostly working poo poo jobs in Thailand for low wages or sitting around Burma in increasingly shabby conditions chewing on betel nut. Basically, unless something goes amazingly wrong, this can't be worse for the various peoples of Burma than what's been going on for decades.

EDITOR'S NOTE: One thing that may well go amazingly wrong is the complete dissolution of the union into a group of warring states divided along ethnic lines, as has been predicted by many post-military rule.

Modus Operandi posted:

edit: Another interesting factoid is that Myanmar has several locations which are full scale industrial sites that churn out methamphetamine in pill form (Yaba as Thais call it) and maybe heroin. I'm not sure if they lead heroin production anymore but the amount of business they do in the drug world is significant.
Ah poo poo, I hadn't even thought of that. One thing I did think of, though, is that this is not only going to hit Thailand's labor supply, it's going to hit a lot of profits. I've often explained the relationship to westerners as Liberia to Sierra Leone. That's not really accurate in most ways, but it conveys the nature of things. The various ethnic minorities in Burma aren't allowed to sell to anyone because of sanctions*, so they pass all the timber and gems and everything else through Thailand, which takes a cut to pretend it's Thai. Whee.

* - except natural gas, ELF and Chevron say thanks for the waiver!

Modus Operandi posted:

If you want something that you can really piss your pants laughing at read the Stickman Bangkok site's letters section.
I never want to admit that I read that site either, but I do sometimes, heh. Also TeakDoor, which is nearly as awful as ThaiVisa, but in a different way (i.e. replace "me missus" with "here's my trip report from loving hookers in Ban Chang!").

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 12:09

french lies
Apr 16, 2008


Maybe it could be an idea to add pictures for each of the nations in the OP, sort of like a one-picture summary of what the country is about?

Thread seems to be shaping up nicely so far. Good job ReindeerF.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


french lies posted:

Maybe it could be an idea to add pictures for each of the nations in the OP, sort of like a one-picture summary of what the country is about?
Good idea - I'll start!

Deleuzionist
Jul 19, 2010

we respect the antelope; for the antelope is not a mere antelope


french lies posted:

Also that Thai forum is amazing. I'm browsing the Marriage and Divorce section now and the cynicism and broken dreams on display are nothing short of mesmerizing.
Mesmerizing? That stuff is crack.

quote:

You have to realise that during a divorce there are no niceties and your wife’s sole ambition will be to smash you into the ground and this will happen no matter how long of being together, having a child or whatever, so be prepared to see a side of her you perhaps have never witnessed before.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


There's a surprisingly large number of (usually miserable to begin with) foreign males who will seek out hookers to marry in Southeast Asia, then put all their money and assets in the hooker's name. It never fails to end in tragicomedy. If you said to these same guys, "Okay, Bob, let's cruise down to the lovely side of town, meet some hookers, marry them and then open a business!" back home they'd think you were crazy, but, nope, not in SE Asia!

EDIT: \/\/\/ For more TV fun, another forum user and Thailand-based goon found this guy and we read all his topics while laughing hysterically over Skype. You have to start with his first topics (posts too, if you have time) and move forward to see the progression of a typical TV sexpat. I believe the Google search phrase that found him was bargirl wife tatoo removal thailand or something.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 13:12

french lies
Apr 16, 2008


Deleuzionist posted:

Mesmerizing? That stuff is crack.
This might be my personal favorite so far:

quote:

Seems I was the only one to pay over 500,000 sin sot. . And only one of 2 people whose wife had a post graduate degree. The marriage only lasted 4 months so goes to show education of the wife means nothing and you donot always get what you pay for.
How do you gently caress up this badly. How.

Tytan
Sep 17, 2011

Som Muay Dtiet


ReindeerF posted:

Cambodia Daily: Cambodia's other English language paper. Why other? Because it basically doesn't have an online edition - what is this 1997?

Glad I'm not the only one that finds this ridiculous!

Anyway nice thread ReindeerF, I'll be happy to weigh in on some Cambodia discussion at some point. Also...

french lies posted:

How do you gently caress up this badly. How.

Welcome to Southeast Asia

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Tytan posted:

Anyway nice thread ReindeerF, I'll be happy to weigh in on some Cambodia discussion at some point. Also...
Please! Please! Do! Seriously, heh.

Tytan posted:

Welcome to Southeast Asia
drat straight! Welcome all my friends to the crazy that never ends ^__^

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 13:37

Senso
Nov 4, 2005

Always working

Saigon in da house!

Vietnam news are notoriously censored so most newspapers suck (hello, ten pages of optimistic local economy news and AP blurbs). I got most of my Vietnam-related bookmarks at work so I will add more on Monday, but here are two sources:
Viet Nam News
The Word (HCMC) and The Word (Hanoi)

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Senso posted:

Saigon in da house!

Vietnam news are notoriously censored so most newspapers suck (hello, ten pages of optimistic local economy news and AP blurbs). I got most of my Vietnam-related bookmarks at work so I will add more on Monday, but here are two sources:
Viet Nam News
The Word (HCMC) and The Word (Hanoi)
Excellent, welcome aboard, regional buddy - please contribute early and often (send fresh beer from Hanoi plz thx)! Adding the links to the OP. If you have any relevant context, let me know (e.g. "This one's not bad, but state run" or "Be careful about strange right-wing economic views here, but otherwise good." or whatever).

Thanks!

Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


ReindeerF posted:


Ah poo poo, I hadn't even thought of that. One thing I did think of, though, is that this is not only going to hit Thailand's labor supply, it's going to hit a lot of profits. I've often explained the relationship to westerners as Liberia to Sierra Leone. That's not really accurate in most ways, but it conveys the nature of things. The various ethnic minorities in Burma aren't allowed to sell to anyone because of sanctions*, so they pass all the timber and gems and everything else through Thailand, which takes a cut to pretend it's Thai. Whee.
I have a feeling that more than one country isn't going to honor the upcoming starry eyed ASEAN labor agreements either. With Myanmar opening up it could end up as a perfect storm. Then again there really is somewhat of a labor shortage or inadequately trained labor for certain Thai service industries. Thai call centers, receptionists, various hotel staff could all be better served by other ASEAN nationals and in fact most of them are hired under the table already. In Koh Tao I remember a lot of the service staff were actually Burmese. Who knows what will happen though I think the Thai-Chinese overlords will do what they wish no matter what.

quote:

I never want to admit that I read that site either, but I do sometimes, heh. Also TeakDoor, which is nearly as awful as ThaiVisa, but in a different way (i.e. replace "me missus" with "here's my trip report from loving hookers in Ban Chang!").
I actually found it by accident when I originally came to Thailand to do the usual naive hippie tourist thing. I saw some really fat wretched looking dude browsing it. I was immediately intrigued by the 1990's geocities'ish web design and the colorful pictures of gaudy bar slags and the naughty districts. I absolutely had to see what this was about. It's become one of my favorite sites for comedy since. Of course I wouldn't admit I read it in person.

Vetitum
Feb 29, 2008



Great OP, will be interested to see how the thread develops! I spent two years living in Malaysia and am still fairly interested in the country so will keep tabs on discussions.

Some good Malay news sites to keep track off if you're interested are

https://www.nst.com.my - your run of the mill government mouthpiece publication
https://www.malaysiakini.com - one of the only independent news sources, censorship free as its an online publication (although that might change soon)

Senso
Nov 4, 2005

Always working

ReindeerF posted:

(send fresh beer from Hanoi plz thx)!

gently caress the North, it's all about the Mekong, baby! Those Hanoi people speak funny and eat dog!


I kid, I kid

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


/\/\/\ That's something that the vast majority of the world doesn't know about, heh. If you have a post in you about Northern vs. Southern or Annam vs. Cochinchine vs. Tonkin or whatever the local equivalent is (Trinh vs. Nguyen?) that'd be hella interesting. Everyone in places like America thinks all the war and conflict was entirely the Communists versus the West or whatever the gently caress

Modus Operandi posted:

I have a feeling that more than one country isn't going to honor the upcoming starry eyed ASEAN labor agreements either.
Agreed and that movement will be lead by Thailand. I think it was Ardennes who described Thailand as Asia's Brazil (referring to the famous DeGaulle quote about it being the country of the future, that always will be). It's a heavily insular, feudal society that seems modern and international because of all the tourist exposure, but is actually incredibly inwardly focused. The day they let the rest of SE Asia compete here on a level playing field is the day half of the Thai people who have jobs will lose their jobs (for a variety of reasons). There's no way the people will tolerate that and there's no way the Thai-Chinese overlords who run the economy will tolerate that kind of threat to their empires. The last time this kind of thing came up was the alcohol trade agreement a couple of years ago. Everyone was supposed to allow open import and export. Suddenly a bunch of beers disappeared from Thailand and a few months later they were all back. Same prices as before. Thailand as a country has have remained (ok, technically) independent for a long time not only because of good luck, but also because it's got some cagey loving people running things and always has. They'll come out of this without allowing any foreign competition and without facing any sanctions over it.

Vetitum posted:

Great OP, will be interested to see how the thread develops! I spent two years living in Malaysia and am still fairly interested in the country so will keep tabs on discussions.
Great! Please feel free to update the silly description in the OP. I only know a couple of countries here well enough to write one

And thanks for the news sources, adding them now - and reading! Please visit often!

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 14:40

jino
Apr 30, 2007
People need something to believe in. I believe I'll have another drink.

Filipino here, though my citizenship might get revoked soon as I've stopped supporting Pacquiao about 2 fights ago.

'Chinoy' isn't perjorative, it's cool for anyone to use it.

I love travelling through South East Asia, moreso because they're practically the only countries in the world that accepts a Filipino passport on the spot without a visa.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


jino posted:

Filipino here, though my citizenship might get revoked soon as I've stopped supporting Pacquiao about 2 fights ago.

'Chinoy' isn't perjorative, it's cool for anyone to use it.

I love travelling through South East Asia, moreso because they're practically the only countries in the world that accepts a Filipino passport on the spot without a visa.
What!? I'll have to talk to the Immigration Department about this!

Seriously, please edit the description in the OP to your satisfaction if you have the interest. I much prefer to have local citizens write their own - and thanks for dropping by! Please come by to comment, post stories and to correct my (and our) misconceptions about The Philippines Islands (never should have changed the name). Also, thanks for the confirmation on Chinoy ^__^

p.s. - I won't tell anyone about your treasonous lack of support for the greatest Senator in the history of The Philippines.

Skeleton Jelly
Jun 30, 2011

Kids in the street drinking wine, on the sidewalk.
Saving the plans that we made, 'till its night time.
Give me your glass, its your last, you're too wasted.
Or get me one too, 'cause I'm due any tasting.


Regarding that thing in the glossary, I'm personally not really fond of the whole Burma thing and can't really see the point in not calling it Myanmar. I mean, whatever did we think about the junta, the country at the moment is called Myanmar. And besides that, the name Myanmar doesn't really in any sense have anything to do with the junta; it's basically just another form of the country's name in the local language, with "Bama" being the more colloquial one and Myanmar the literary one. Burma was adopted by the British and used by colonial authorities, and changing the name was one attempt in leaving the colonial heritage behind, which is not a bad thing, regardless of what you think about the junta.

Refusal to acknowledge the name change seems strangely stubborn, because it's clear that the current ruling regime is rather uncontested and that fact really can't be ignored away. Myanmar is a thing now, and Burma officially has ceased to exist. It's kind of like insisting Iran to be called Persia if you contested the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic, in my opinion.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Myanmar is controversial internally for a number of reasons - the primary being that it was a move by the governing Burman junta that basically took over the country and forced everything on it. It's a Burman word put in place by the Burman majority. Obviously so is Burma, but, guess what, the politics of ethnic resentment don't follow algebraic logic. Externally, it's just not stuck the same way you people don't use Bangkok's proper name and so on.

If you're mad about it and you're from a background ethnically native to Burma, it'd be interesting to hear the case. If you're just another Westerner trying to wear a chip on your shoulder, well, don't be surprised to find out that the world is complex. We live here, we're not interested in the idea of taking offense over imagined slights - there are real problems to deal with!

EDIT: Let me note that you can call it whatever you want, but in Southeast Asia if you say Myanmar you sound like a person in Kentucky saying "Loo-eee-ville." There are certainly no repercussions for you calling it whatever you want to call it, I won't stop you. Might crack a joke or two at you, heh.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2012 around 19:07

Patter Song
Mar 26, 2010

Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man.

Fun Shoe

This is a fascinating thread, and I'll be sure to follow it due to the exciting ongoing events in Burma.

I'd heard the same theory as ReindeerF about Burma's opening: that isolation was gradually turning it into a puppet of the PRC and that by opening up to the world it makes it more difficult for the PRC to dominate.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

A few years ago I spent roughly 5 months non-consecutively working in central Java, around Yogyakarta, and I can give an ignorant and wildly oversimplified perspective on that corner of Indonesia. I'm actually pretty interested in the country, and I have a few people I consider friends that I met through that work still there.

My read on Indonesia is that it's a wildly diverse and not really coherent collection of ethnic and religious groups held together by a national identity that is consciously built around the idea of the value of diversity and tolerance, chained to a rapidly developing economy. The country faces serious challenges about how to deal with religious pluralism and democratic governance, and there's a tension between Islamic hard-liners and the much more moderate mainstream religious groups.

The people there are awesome and funny and their newspapers report children being possessed by demons as front-page news stories next to the weather predictions. Also, while eating breakfast with some Indonesian friends of mine in a tent in the weekend market in Jogja, a wandering Indonesian rockabilly group set up and performed Buddy Holly songs at us. So there's that.

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007



Patter Song posted:

This is a fascinating thread, and I'll be sure to follow it due to the exciting ongoing events in Burma.

I'd heard the same theory as ReindeerF about Burma's opening: that isolation was gradually turning it into a puppet of the PRC and that by opening up to the world it makes it more difficult for the PRC to dominate.

You just have to see the decision not to go with the Chinese made Dams right before welcoming Hillary Clinton to see that happening. It's suave move, but a risky one.

Senso
Nov 4, 2005

Always working

Notahippie posted:

Also, while eating breakfast with some Indonesian friends of mine in a tent in the weekend market in Jogja, a wandering Indonesian rockabilly group set up and performed Buddy Holly songs at us. So there's that.

Was the lead singer also playing double bass? Because if so, I saw them play at the Asmara bar.

I really loved Jogja and I will probably have to go back there to train people in a couple of months. Compared to Saigon where I live, there is so much more diversity. In Vietnam, 95% of the guys look the same (pants and polo shirt) but over there in Indonesia it was really heterogenous.

Also, I loved hearing the muezzin call every few hours.

Norrskensren
Jul 25, 2011



As someone who has visited the region several times (totalling 3 return long haul flights for someone who panics at the slightest hint of turbulence, or if the aircraft brakes, or if the aircraft speeds up, hell, I panic as long as the aircraft is in the air) and loves these countries for all their FUBAR-ness and their glorious food, I will be following this thread with great interest. Great OP, I recognise almost everything from my visits and from what my (mostly Malaysian) friends have told me.

Most of my buddies are Malaysian Chinese or Indians who went to study abroad because the "racist policies" (in quotation marks because it's an actual quote, it's what they all say) prevent them from getting a decent education in Malaysia, among other things. It'd be really great if anyone with more experience of Malaysia could offer an opinion or a write-up on ethnic issues there. My information is mostly word of mouth from politically active, well-to-do and well-educated people in their 20s, so while I'd be happy to quote these guys through a post, it'd probably be more interesting coming from someone with a different perspective and who actually has first-hand experience from the country.

Deleuzionist
Jul 19, 2010

we respect the antelope; for the antelope is not a mere antelope


ReindeerF posted:

There's a surprisingly large number of (usually miserable to begin with) foreign males who will seek out hookers to marry in Southeast Asia, then put all their money and assets in the hooker's name. It never fails to end in tragicomedy. If you said to these same guys, "Okay, Bob, let's cruise down to the lovely side of town, meet some hookers, marry them and then open a business!" back home they'd think you were crazy, but, nope, not in SE Asia!
I couldn't find it by Googling so I'll have to check if I have it stored anywhere but there's an article that's an interview of bunch of men who go to Pattaya and it was amazing. A fantasy land where you can do anything as long as there's money and a lot of suicides by men coming to the realization that it will come to an end at some point. A desperate clinging to the land of do-as-you-please which also says volumes about how those people would act if they got to decide how the relationship between sexes works.

Section 31
Mar 4, 2012


ReindeerF posted:

2) ...or any of the various forms of Bahasa, including Tagalog (ah-hah, gotcha Pinoys!)...
Bahasa literally means language (in Indonesian and Malay language). If you say "let's speak Bahasa!", it means "let's speak language!", what language? Technically how you put it in the sentence is correct but misleading. The correct term is Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian language, because "Bahasa" is definitely not a Tagalog term, and Tagalog is a completely different language compared to Indonesian or Malay. It is often mistakenly mentioned in incomplete sentence, and the word Bahasa is often confusingly referred to as the Indonesian language.

ReindeerF posted:

You Are Indonesia
need a local contributor here!!!
Here's what I found...(lol)

To Justin Bieber, Indonesia Just ‘Some Random Country’ with Bad Studios

Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


Norrskensren posted:



Most of my buddies are Malaysian Chinese or Indians who went to study abroad because the "racist policies" (in quotation marks because it's an actual quote, it's what they all say) prevent them from getting a decent education in Malaysia, among other things.
They aren't misrepresenting what's happening there. Malaysia has this backwards rinky dink affirmative action quota which is designed to favor the majority Malay population. It's totally ridiculous and the rationale behind it was that the minority Chinese and Indian Malay population were too well educated and competitive and that there weren't enough "native" Malays in certain positions. Malaysian politics are also highly skewed towards the islamic majority thus depriving the minority population of further representation in the public sphere.

The backlash is that there has been an increasing brain drain of Chinese and Indian Malays to countries like Singapore and to the west. This is quite significant because these are often highly educated skilled professionals.

Btw one of the common trends in SE Asia is that whenever another SE Asian country fucks up usually Singapore profits somehow.

Modus Operandi fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2012 around 03:47

Shbobdb
Dec 16, 2010

by Smythe


As an American, which companies from these new mini-dragons, these tigers, should I invest in for the short sell? The long sell?

I'm serious. People on the ground are key.

Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


Shbobdb posted:

As an American, which companies from these new mini-dragons, these tigers, should I invest in for the short sell? The long sell?

I'm serious. People on the ground are key.
So you plan on shorting one of these companies? May I ask what your pessimism is based on.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Section 31 posted:

Bahasa literally means language (in Indonesian and Malay language). If you say "let's speak Bahasa!", it means "let's speak language!", what language? Technically how you put it in the sentence is correct but misleading. The correct term is Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian language, because "Bahasa" is definitely not a Tagalog term, and Tagalog is a completely different language compared to Indonesian or Malay. It is often mistakenly mentioned in incomplete sentence, and the word Bahasa is often confusingly referred to as the Indonesian language.
Ah okay. I said it that way because my experience has been that people say "Bahasa Malaysia" or "Bahasa Indonesia" but I see why 'form of' doesn't work given its actual meaning. The Tagalog thing was just a goof based on the fact that the language sounds closer to Bahasa Malaysia than anything else I've heard (haven't heard any Bahasa Indonesia). Cebuano is much prettier ^__^ I'll edit that stuff, thanks!

Here's what I found...(lol)

Got it - thanks!

Ogantai
Apr 21, 2003

Full of bologna


ReindeerF posted:

Ah okay. I said it that way because my experience has been that people say "Bahasa Malaysia" or "Bahasa Indonesia" but I see why 'form of' doesn't work given its actual meaning. The Tagalog thing was just a goof based on the fact that the language sounds closer to Bahasa Malaysia than anything else I've heard (haven't heard any Bahasa Indonesia). Cebuano is much prettier ^__^ I'll edit that stuff, thanks!
Tagalog is actually closely related to and has some lexical overlap with Indonesian/Melayu. (Not nearly as much as they have with each other though.)

Funt fact: Bahasa is from the Sanskrit भाषा, of the same meaning. (Okay, maybe not so fun.)

Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


ReindeerF posted:


Here's what I found...(lol)
Got it - thanks!

I must object to your choice of picture for Thailand. As an old Thai expat you should know that Leo is the working man's beer. Singha is for tourists!

Norrskensren
Jul 25, 2011



Modus Operandi posted:

They aren't misrepresenting what's happening there. Malaysia has this backwards rinky dink affirmative action quota which is designed to favor the majority Malay population. It's totally ridiculous and the rationale behind it was that the minority Chinese and Indian Malay population were too well educated and competitive and that there weren't enough "native" Malays in certain positions. Malaysian politics are also highly skewed towards the islamic majority thus depriving the minority population of further representation in the public sphere.

The backlash is that there has been an increasing brain drain of Chinese and Indian Malays to countries like Singapore and to the west. This is quite significant because these are often highly educated skilled professionals.

Btw one of the common trends in SE Asia is that whenever another SE Asian country fucks up usually Singapore profits somehow.

Yeah, I never doubted them. As far as I've understood, if you're starting up a business (e.g. a law firm, an achitectural firm, an airline etc.) it's required by law that at least 33% of it is owned by Malays. One of my friends, who was a straight A student throughout school, told me the admission policies of universities in Malaysia would've meant he would've been passed over in favour of Malay students with significantly lower grades to fill the quota. This also means that the standard of education offered by Malaysian universities is dropping, meaning that the Malays that do go there end up with a second-rate education compared to the Chinese, Indians and Malays who go abroad. Needless to say, this doesn't make them any more competitive.

These policies breed resentment, obviously. Several of the Chinese and Indians talk of "lazy, stupid" Malays who just sit around the village and have babies all the time. They do have Malay friends and they appreciate them as individuals, but when they talk about Malays as a group it's like they're white Americans discussing black Americans in 1950.

And yeah, most of the doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects who went back to Asia are now working in Singapore.

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Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


Norrskensren posted:

This also means that the standard of education offered by Malaysian universities is dropping, meaning that the Malays that do go there end up with a second-rate education compared to the Chinese, Indians and Malays who go abroad. Needless to say, this doesn't make them any more competitive.
The only reason this policy hasn't harmed Malaysia more is that standards of education in SE Asia are notoriously awful. It's like a race to the bottom. The only country in SE Asia with a globally ranked top notch education system is Singapore which is highly unusual for the region. I'm not even sure who is the distant second behind Singapore in SE Asia. I'd say maybe Thailand but that's a bit of a stretch too. The only reason i'd place Thailand 2nd is that they do produce decent medical professionals. The Philippines used to have good schools back in the 60-70's but they are pretty terrible now although they do produce english speakers but without the economy invigorating stuff like competitiveness in the hard sciences, global entrepreneurism, or critical thinking skills.

quote:

These policies breed resentment, obviously. Several of the Chinese and Indians talk of "lazy, stupid" Malays who just sit around the village and have babies all the time. They do have Malay friends and they appreciate them as individuals, but when they talk about Malays as a group it's like they're white Americans discussing black Americans in 1950.
This stereotype probably stems from the fact that a lot of muslim families tend to be very big. Rural Malay Muslims are like Mormons in a lot of ways. They like to have huge families that are devoutly religious living in their own enclaves.

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