I love this kind of contrast. Within Southeast Asia, it is at its starkest in Vietnam. I have been to Laos with its own nominally communist government. The hammer and the sickle would adorn lamp posts and facades in Vientianne and Luang Prabang, reminding tourists and locals alike the insecurity of those in power. But […]

Part of Jalan Bukit Bintang has been transformed into a mini-Arab town over the past 5 or 10 years. It has been quite an intriguing trend. Arab restaurants and tourists are not uncommon along the stretch between the Pavilion and beyond Jalan Raja Chulan. They like Malaysia for various reasons and it is easy to […]

This was back in 2011 in Paris. I was there at the height of the Arab Spring and also interestingly, during the emergence of French far-right parties in mainstream politics. I do not have much or anything new to say. It is late here in Kuala Lumpur, six or seven hours ahead of Paris. Yet, […]

I had a short consulting stint once long ago with a small firm. I think I can say that a lot of consultants like sexy terms but the one phrase that comes to my mind today is ”analysis paralysis”: the analysis goes on and on in an infinite loop, leaving no space for action at […]

I was in Bangkok a several months before the Thai military launched a coup d’tat against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. During my time there, I witnessed processions at various parts of the city where individuals wore yellow colored attire, signaling support for the monarch and more loudly, expressing strong discontent against the former Prime […]