462 episodes

Synopsis: Every week, get our distinct take on global issues with an Asian perspective, with ST’s correspondents in the Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe.

Produced by podcast editor Ernest Luis, The Straits Times, SPH Media Trust.

Asian Insider SPH Media

    • News
    • 4.8 • 9 Ratings

Synopsis: Every week, get our distinct take on global issues with an Asian perspective, with ST’s correspondents in the Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe.

Produced by podcast editor Ernest Luis, The Straits Times, SPH Media Trust.

    Thai music, Thaksin, a ‘tattoo’: Thailand feels its way forward

    Thai music, Thaksin, a ‘tattoo’: Thailand feels its way forward

    Tan Tam Mei reflects on her time as Thailand correspondent, and looks ahead to how the country could navigate geopolitical and domestic politics.

    Synopsis: Every first Friday of the month, The Straits Times chats with ST’s correspondents in the Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe, about life as it goes on, amid the screaming headlines and bubbling crises.

    A man sings. It is part of Thailand’s folk music tradition from its north-east region of Isan. But he is warbling in Laotian - a reminder of Thailand’s location in the heart of the Mekong region, and its shared culture, language and borders with its neighbours.

    The pull and push dynamic that Thailand engages with its neighbours is one challenge. Another is how it is grappling with its turbulent domestic politics and shifting attitudes about traditional institutions and beliefs including the monarchy.

    In this episode, ST’s foreign editor Li Xueying chats with ST’s former Thailand correspondent Tan Tam Mei about her two and a half years based in Bangkok, bookended by Covid-19 protests, and the return of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra after 15 years in exile.

    Highlights (click/tap above):

    0:43 The rise of Thailand’s “rural people” music

    6:00 Selling soft power

    10:28 The pull and push of Mekong countries

    12:41 Thaksin returns, but to a different electorate

    13:11 Thailand looks peaceful, but an uneasy dynamic is at play

    16:34 A ‘tattoo’, a souvenir of ThailandRead Tam Mei’s articles here: https://str.sg/oZRkj and https://str.sg/uNXj 

    Produced by: Li Xueying (xueying@sph.com.sg) and Fa’izah Sani

    Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

    Follow Letter From The Bureau Podcast every first Friday of the month here:

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    Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

    Read Li Xueying’s articles: https://str.sg/iqmR 

    Follow Li Xueying on LinkedIn: https://str.sg/ip4x

    Read Tan Tam Mei's articles: https://str.sg/ifku 

    Read ST's Letters From The Bureau: https://str.sg/3xRd

    Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

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    #PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

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    Special edition series:

    True Crimes of Asia (6 eps): https://str.sg/i4Y3 

    The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

    Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

    Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

    Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa

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    • 19 min
    Why Asean is watching the Philippines’ strategy in South China Sea

    Why Asean is watching the Philippines’ strategy in South China Sea

    Under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the Philippines is raising its game to cope with an increasingly aggressive China in the South China Sea.

    Synopsis: Every fourth Friday of the month, The Straits Times' global contributor Nirmal Ghosh shines a light on Asian perspectives of global and Asian issues with expert guests.

    Increasingly dangerous encounters between Chinese and Philippine Coast Guard vessels in the South China Sea - claimed almost in its entirety by China but also in part by several other countries including the Philippines - have deepened worries over accidental escalation, not least because the Philippines and the United States have a mutual defence treaty. 

    The administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has taken a more robust stand on China relative to his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte, and the Philippines has sharply upped its defence budget and is enhancing its defence cooperation and military interoperability with the United States.  

    However, neither the Philippines nor the United States have the appetite for conflict with Manila's giant neighbour - China. 

    To shine a light on the Philippines’ strategy, host Nirmal Ghosh has two guests in this episode:

    1. Former rear admiral with the Philippine Navy Rommel Ong - now professor of praxis at the Ateneo School of Government in the Philippines

    2. Dr. Colin Koh, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

    Highlights (click/tap above): 

    1:43 Why did the Philippines allocate more budget for defence and maritime security in 2024?

    3:48 Dr Koh on the Philippines facing uncertainties; Why Prof Ong does not expect a significant increase in US troops in the Philippines

    7:58 Dr Koh and Prof Ong on China using "grey zone" tactics like water cannons and aggressive blocking manoeuvres in the South China Sea

    8:27 Could tensions escalate to armed conflict in the South China Sea?

    14:52 "War" of a different kind between the Philippines and China since April 2023

    Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (nirmal@sph.com.sg) and Fa’izah Sani

    Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

    Follow Asian Insider with Nirmal Ghosh every fourth Friday of the month here:

    Channel: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWa8

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    Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

    Follow Nirmal Ghosh on X: https://str.sg/JD7r

    Read Nirmal Ghosh's articles: https://str.sg/JbxG

    Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

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    Discover more ST podcast channels:

    The Usual Place: https://str.sg/5nfm

    COE Watch: https://str.sg/iTtE

    In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt

    Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN

    Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf

    Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m

    ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE

    #PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

    Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX

    Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    ---

    Special edition series:

    True Crimes of Asia (6 eps): https://str.sg/i4Y3 

    The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

    Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

    Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

    Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa

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    • 17 min
    Saving the Shompen tribe – when survival collides with strategy

    Saving the Shompen tribe – when survival collides with strategy

    A conversation with the noted anthropologist and Andamans expert Vishvajit Pandya on the need to balance heritage, developmental and strategic interests as the Andaman and Nicobar islands become a geopolitical hotspot.

    Synopsis:  Join The Straits Times' associate editor and senior Asia columnist Ravi Velloor, as he distils his experience from four decades of covering the continent.

    In this episode, Ravi speaks with Prof Visvajit Pandya, an anthropologist who has researched tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar islands for four decades. 

    They discuss the fate of the Shompen in Great Nicobar, a tribe of fewer than 600 people whose lives are likely to be upended by plans to build tourism resorts and a transhipment port as well as a naval base on the island. Dr Pandya, who has worked with the Shompen, makes a strong case for including their point of view in developmental plans for their island.

    Highlights (click/tap above):

    2:12 India’s plans for the Great Nicobar

    5:35 ‘Shy Shompens’ under threat

    9:20 Strategic significance of the Andaman and Nicobar

    13:15 Limited “carrying capacity” of the islands

    16:30 Last of the ‘hostiles’ are Sentinelese

    18:45 Port is like a ‘bad sewage system’

    22:45 A right to make choices

    Produced by: Ravi Velloor (velloor@sph.com.sg) and Fa’izah Sani

    Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

    Follow Speaking Of Asia Podcast every second Friday of the month here:

    Channel: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWa8

    Spotify: https://str.sg/JWaX

    Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

    Ravi Velloor's columns: https://str.sg/3xRP

    Ravi Velloor on X: https://twitter.com/RaviVelloor

    Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

    ---

    Discover more ST podcast channels:

    The Usual Place: https://str.sg/5nfm

    COE Watch: https://str.sg/iTtE

    In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt

    Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN

    Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf

    Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m

    ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE

    #PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

    Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX

    Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    ---

    Special edition series:

    True Crimes of Asia (6 eps): https://str.sg/i4Y3 

    The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

    Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

    Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

    Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa

    ---

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    • 29 min
    The $1 chip that keeps Taiwan’s tech devices in working order

    The $1 chip that keeps Taiwan’s tech devices in working order

    Feeling peckish? Find out why Taiwan is mad about the “Kuai Kuai” brand of corn snacks. 

    Synopsis: Every first Friday of the month, The Straits Times chats with ST’s correspondents in the Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe, about life as it goes on, amid the screaming headlines and bubbling crises. 

    Taiwan is the world’s top manufacturer of semiconductors and advanced chips. But here is the super-chip that rules them all: a corn chip snack that is a favourite among Taiwan kids. 

    Bags of it can be found atop laptops, ATM machines, printers all over the island, even in the offices of engineers in Hsinchu Science Park – home of the island’s semiconductor industry. 

    In this episode, ST’s foreign editor Li Xueying chats with ST’s Taiwan correspondent Yip Wai Yee about how these chips became the go-to lucky charms for Taiwan appliances, and the folk traditions and pseudoscience that continue to thrive in the technologically advanced society.

    Highlights (click/tap above):1:00: Why Kuai Kuai corn chips are so popular in Taiwan2:05: How they “bestow their magical powers” on appliances

    4:28: TSMC, the world’s leading semiconductor company, has its own edition of Kuai Kuai chips

    5:47: The propensity for Taiwanese to turn to such folk beliefs 8:29 The wrong use of Kuai Kuai chips was believed to have crashed Taiwan’s tax filing system in May 2017 Read Wai Yee’s article here: https://str.sg/6vYn

    Produced by: Li Xueying (xueying@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis and Fa’izah Sani

    Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

    Follow Letter From The Bureau Podcast every first Friday of the month here:

    Channel: https://str.sg/JWa7

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    Spotify: https://str.sg/JWaX

    SPH Awedio app: https://www.awedio.sg/

    Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

    Read Li Xueying’s articles: https://str.sg/iqmR 

    Follow Li Xueying on LinkedIn: https://str.sg/ip4x

    Read Yip Wai Yee's articles: https://str.sg/wFZk 

    Read ST's Letters From The Bureau: https://str.sg/3xRd

    Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

    ---

    Discover more ST podcast channels:

    COE Watch: https://str.sg/iTtE

    In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt

    Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN

    Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf

    Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m

    ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE

    #PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

    Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX

    Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    ---

    Special edition series:

    True Crimes of Asia (6 eps): https://str.sg/i4Y3 

    The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

    Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

    Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

    Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa

    ---

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    • 12 min
    Guns, drugs, politics ravaging Manipur in India’s north-east

    Guns, drugs, politics ravaging Manipur in India’s north-east

    Hear why most Manipuris - of different ethnic groups - just want an end to militarisation and violence.

    Synopsis: Every fourth Friday of the month, The Straits Times' global contributor Nirmal Ghosh shines a light on Asian perspectives of global and Asian issues with expert guests.

    Manipur, in north-east India, is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state of 3.1 million people. In May 2023, violence exploded between the ethnic Meitei and Kuki people, leaving many dead. Ongoing ethnic violence has claimed many more than 200 lives and left tens of thousands displaced. 

    Next door in Myanmar, the military regime has at best, tenuous control over its own borders given drug and other kinds of trafficking across the Myanmar-Manipur border. 

    Most Manipuris - of different ethnic groups - just want an end to militarisation and violence, says Manipur native Binalaskshmi Nepram. The writer, democracy activist, Sean McBride Peace Prize recipient and founder of several local organisations working for disarmament and peace in Manipur and across the north-east, speaks with host Nirmal Ghosh.

    They shine an insider’s light, on the complexities and the traumas of the troubled border state in a volatile region. 

    Highlights (click/tap above): 

    1:33 Eruption of violence in Manipur the result of decades of neglect and discrimination, a criminal political nexus and violent extremism

    4:58 War-within-a-war phenomenon: Manipur had about three to four armed groups in the 70s but that has grown to 60 today

    8:09 Why the struggle in the north-east of India is also about identities

    14:18 What is the future for children growing up in Manipur? 

    16:45 India wants to build a fence along the border with Myanmar to curb trans-border crime and trafficking

    Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (nirmal@sph.com.sg) and Fa’izah Sani

    Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

    Follow Asian Insider with Nirmal Ghosh every fourth Friday of the month here:

    Channel: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWa8

    Spotify: https://str.sg/JWaX

    Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

    Follow Nirmal Ghosh on X: https://str.sg/JD7r

    Read Nirmal Ghosh's articles: https://str.sg/JbxG

    Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

    ---

    Discover more ST podcast channels:

    COE Watch: https://str.sg/iTtE

    In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt

    Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN

    Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf

    Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m

    ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE

    #PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

    Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX

    Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    ---

    Special edition series:

    True Crimes of Asia (6 eps): https://str.sg/i4Y3 

    The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

    Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

    Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

    Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa

    ---

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    • 21 min
    Will U.S. interest in Asia hold if Trump returns?

    Will U.S. interest in Asia hold if Trump returns?

    Former South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha also ponders the challenges posed by Kim Jong Un’s moves on missiles and Moscow, and Seoul’s ties with Japan. 

    Synopsis: Every second Friday of the month, join The Straits Times' associate editor and senior Asia columnist Ravi Velloor, as he distils his experience from four decades of covering the continent.

    In this episode, Ravi speaks with Dr Kang Kyung-Wha, the incoming President and CEO of Asia Society. In 2017, she was the first woman to be appointed foreign minister of South Korea, holding the post until early 2021.

    They discuss how she handled the Trump administration as foreign minister, the South’s position on nuclear deterrence vis a vis a provocative Pyongyang, and her plans for Asia Society.

    Highlights (click/tap above):

    4:38: The US is “certainly overextended”; will US interest in Asia survive a Trump return?

    10:11 US-China tensions “will probably increase”

    15:30 On North Korea: “War preparation is not the right interpretation”

    22:36 Analysing the Kim Jong Un-Putin relationship; does South Korea intend to go nuclear?

    30:30 On her experience on multilateral diplomacy

    34:54 Will Asia Society open a China office?

    Produced by: Ravi Velloor (velloor@sph.com.sg) and Fa’izah Sani

    Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

    Follow Speaking Of Asia Podcast every second Friday of the month here:

    Channel: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWa8

    Spotify: https://str.sg/JWaX

    Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

    Ravi Velloor's columns: https://str.sg/3xRP

    Ravi Velloor on X: https://twitter.com/RaviVelloor

    Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

    ---

    Discover more ST podcast channels:

    COE Watch: https://str.sg/iTtE

    In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt

    Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7

    Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN

    Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf

    Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m

    ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE

    #PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

    Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX

    Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

    ---

    Special edition series:

    True Crimes of Asia (6 eps): https://str.sg/i4Y3 

    The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

    Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

    Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

    Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa

    ---

    Follow our shows then, if you like short, practical podcasts!

    #STAsianInsider
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min

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