Thailand could learn a lesson in transparency from Indonesia, its ASEAN neighbor

Transparency, or the lack of it, is providing a clear contrast between Southeast Asia’s two largest economies, one of which is cementing a well-deserved reputation for messy but peaceful democratic rule while the other is growing increasingly opaque under military control.

Malaysia: Leadership Vacuum at both State and National Levels Opens the Door

KONFRONTASI- The long-running political crisis in Malaysia’s Selangor state has shone a spotlight on what was thought to be an unlikely political phenomenon, the resurgence in power of the country’s nine sultans.

In particular, two of the sultans have refused to bend to parliamentary power.  They are Sultan Sarafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor and Tunku Ismail Idris of Johor. 

WIll The Pope Face Two Different Assassination Attempts This Week ?

Pope Francis could be gunned down on his home turf by jihadists on Wednesday — or blown up in Albania Sunday.  Remembered, Pope Francis waves to the crowd from his popemobile as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.

As Agence France-Presse reported:

How To Profit From Washington’s Broken Promises

One of the biggest questions for US investors is how to protect your buying power in the fiat dollar regime.

The answer is simple.

Buy what can’t be inflated away. In a world of abundant money creation, buy tangible assets that are in scarce supply.

Not only will they protect your wealth… you can also profit as the value of the dollar falls.

That’s the recommendation from today’s guest author Rich Checkan, president and COO of Asset Strategies International.

Could Austria Use the Koran Against the Islamic State?

KONFRONTASI- Austria’s foreign minister has proposed an idea he believes will discourage Muslims from joining the Islamic State group: create a single, standardized translation of the Koran to discourage misinterpretation of the Muslim holy book.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz speaks during a press conference following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart in Yerevan on September 8, 2014.

The Surprising Reason Islamic State Fighters Reportedly ‘Run Away’ When They Come Up Against Female Soldiers

BAGHDAD- Radical Islamists who decide to embark on suicidal missions often do so with the expectation they will be rewarded with 72 virgins if they die in battle; however, it turns out there is one major caveat to the scenario, according to a U.S. lawmaker.

That is, if they are killed by a woman, the deal is off.

About News, Journalism & Media Sustainability

Traditional press enjoyed an extraordinary 200-year run. Net profit margins of 25-30% were the norm after WWII, when rising consumer affluence and a frenetic advertising industry fuelled newspapers.

The gush of revenue led to an advertising-subsidized price for news to the consumer on newsstands, below cost of product. That over-dependence on advertising was to prove fatal by the early 21st Century as digital disruption shattered the press business model.

China: Changing technology seen to help Communist Party maintain Control

KONFRONTASI- China’s propaganda officials, apparently reflecting the new assertiveness of President Xi Jinping, have been speaking of the need to revolutionize the country’s news and propaganda: in order to achieve the revival of the Communist Party’s “mass line,” according to an analysis of the Chinese press by a team of scholars at Hong Kong University.

Islamic Feminism in Indonesian History: Examining Wives of Muslim Leaders and Women’s Participation in Pilgrimage (Hajj)

Being a wife of ‘ulama opens a sufficient opportunity to pursue social and religious power. Within Indonesian society, since ‘ulama have greater social-religious authority, their wives will possibly be viewed the same by the society. Wives of ‘ulama can learn Islamic knowledge from their husbands. Hence, they should have the greatest chance to develop an academic milieu centering in their ‘ulama husbands’ intellectual authority. In many cases, wives of ‘ulama become female ‘ulama. They are called nyai.