1. Hi Salam Hyro…
    I am touched by your article. Yes, now there is a full pledge war declared in Marawi, the acclaimed Islamic City of the country. The horrible event in Marawi has a resemblance to what happened here in Zamboanga City–the Zamboanga Siege as everyone read it over the media. until today, the ills of the Zambo-attack are yet to cure…The attackers wanted a repeat for Zamboanga Part 2 that often intimidate people of Zamboanga. Hundreds of detainees still waiting for justice. Mistrust is build among tribes specially Tausugs by the chavacano and the assimilated sama among others.
    To share my though, I see weaknesses on our institutions: The government (Making prime our defense institution-AFP), The non state Islamic Institutions (ulama and religious groups) and our local government institutions
    The government that which process is centered on military might should be critical in fighting Islamic Culture and Religion that it did not see what it is doing now. Although it is not a religious war but it can lead onto.
    The government hope get small victories through military actions driving out the Maute militants from Marawi to reconstruct the city- that is the shortest sight that our government do every after the war, then some LGUs are allured to corrupt rehabilitation funds.. That small victory our AFP hoped for is a temporal solution to conflict.
    Both insurgents and the AFP are immune to protracted war and consequently, defy the idealism of dying for Philippine Flag for the AFP and Jihad Fishabillllah for the Islamic Militants.
    The protracted war is sen qua non to INSTITUTIONAL RIDO. Asked one wounded soldier saying he wants to get back to war zone to revenge his falling comrades? Ask one maute fighter he never heed killing soldiers in revenge of his brothers and family members died in the battle front or jailed by the AFP.
    Our Islamic institution, the family of Ulama is also weak to establish moderate Islamic doctrines, poor leadership, poor communication strategies to impart peace driven khutba. Different Islamic School of thoughts allow extreme dynamic norms that lead to violence.
    Our education Institution has no hold of inventories of Islamic Scholars abroad, most of them if not all are not sanctioned by Deped nor Ched and even our DFA..scholars come and go and has no academic record as if they are not part of this country. Can this not be included in the policy determining action by our NCMF?
    Back to Marawi, I bid once in our Bantay Bayanihan that our government should have a NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY… our defense department is more of reactionary that solely base actions on intelligence reports than pro-active analysis on what to come given the ready variables at hand.
    The sum of these is the battle cry of the Bangsamoro Right to Self Determination. The Bangsamoro can only solve their own problem when they are given the chance to solve them without any idea coming from non Moro. They can police their people by themselves applying what is acceptable and human to Islam.

    The AFP is just becoming more arrogant because fighting is their mandate and they want to prove it to the people and their boss AFP Chief of Staff President Duterte that they are worth to be called soldiers of the Philippines no more no less….there is only MEDAL OF VALOR…no MEDAL OF PEACE for the dead or dying SOLDIER.
    Salamat Eid Mubarak…..

  2. Jasmin S Simon says:

    Whereas what was written may become even more true with every Ramadan, I find that there are those like myself and my volunteer friends of community service tend to shy away and do less at Ramadan, allowing such short spurts of charity to do their share. We still have 11 months of doing good without the need to promote any good name or brand. So I have personally stop criticizing those are doing orphan outreach programs only at Ramadan, because I accept the overflowing donation at Ramadan, and spread them over the rest of the year! Let’s strike a balance when we can, even if it were for charity!

  3. Ivan Labayne says:

    Hi Miss Maranan! Oo diba? This call to “professionalize” seems to me as just a disguised way of “regulating” and suppressing this platform for expression. Even the Anti-Fake News Act of 2017 which is now being proposed can be used to limit journalistic practices. Sure, fake news is a concern and the bill may be really well-intentioned but resorting to legislative measures is not the best way of dealing with the matter.

  4. Ralph Kramden says:

    Congratulations to ANU on this initiative. Collecting and digitising materials in Myanmar that have deteriorated over the years deserves attention and support.

  5. Hyro Domado says:

    As in other areas in Muslim Mindanao region, local governance, specifically at the barangay level is barely, if not, non-functional. Besides, it is truly challenging to rely on local governments considering the kinship ties in the city where elected officials can either be a clan leader, or a close relative of a rebel commander, or even the extremist groups, and the “rido” culture (clan conflict) that highly sweeps through politics, as the warring parties often involve the families of elected officials.

  6. Lindy Lao says:

    It’s a good commentary. However, the role of the LGUs from the provincial level down to the barangay level was not given more emphasis. What happened to Marawi is public knowledge. Everybody is aware that after the Piagapo battle, next is Marawi. What did they (LCEs) do to prevent the occurence of the conflict? This is an indication of non functional local peace and order council at all levels. Also the people in every barangay are not as cooperative as the residents in Bohol. The law enforcement agencies may not have controlled the situation if not for the cooperation and support of the residents.

  7. Krisna Murti says:

    This is a fine article, but how does the situation described in the article any different from other major metropolitan area like London, Tokyo, or New York?

    According to this: , apartment in NYC cost at minimum 600,000 $ and 700,000 $ for a house (in 2015). Minimum wages there is around 10$ an hour, or around 1700 $ per month . Installment on a 600,000$ apartment would cost 5,000$ per month on 25% down at 4% interest for 15 year loan. It would take multiple lifetime for a person on minimum wages to pay off their mortgage in NYC.

    So obviously situation in NYC is no better than Jakarta…

  8. Jack says:

    According to this link, a Big Mac in Thailand costs $3.35, or less then 120 Baht

    I don’t think there are meals with similar calorific content sold in Bangkok at 1/10 of that price.

    I would guess that ration is closer to 4:1.

    But that is a minor point in a good article.

  9. Antonio L Rappa says:

    Why is it despotic when an Asian country tries to clean up the city slums that have grown up around the Khon Kaen or railway tracks? Life is about comparison. People are motivated or demotivated by making such comparisons. Yet comparative politics reveals the historical differences for each economic path taken by each country.

    For example, in the 18th and 19th centuries, US Steel, the Standard Oil Company, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and its successors and the machinations of the economic despotism of the Rockefellers, Carnegies, and Morgans impoverished the American masses and eventually led to the roaring 20s and global impact of the Great Depression. What about how the social and environmental consequences of the actions of those early US oligopolies?

    It is easy to criticize an Asian or African society for its weaknesses and belligerence but what about the Europeans and the Americans? The Thai authorities are attempting to restructure and resolve the problems and issues that corrupt politicians and farang companies from China have done to the local people under previous administrations. Call it spatial cleansing or khwam riap roi and the result is the same. It is not that Bangkok streets will look any better than the ones in New York ghettoes or Chicago slums but that there has to be some form of authoritarian decision-making, call it urban despotism if you wish, to facilitate and implement any form of clean up of Thailand’s cracked streets. Sure there is corruption in America as well as in Southeast Asia.

    [Rest of comment cut on grounds of relevance–Liam, Editor]

  10. Mark Woodward says:

    This is not totally correct. The main stream groups in NU and Muhammadiyah continue to strongly oppose all forms of extremism and especially that promoted by FPI. There is an emerging conservative coallition that includes factions from both NU and Muhammadiyah. There are also those who strongly oppose this trend. The December 2016 edition of Maarif, a Muhammadiyah journal is a very clear example. The idea that in the absence of military rule, tafsir (interpretation of the Qur’an) moves t the right is simply false. One need look no further than organisations such as LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences) and CRCS (Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies) to discern this. Even Salafi-Wahhabi oriented pesantren such as Ponpes Al-Bukhari in Surakarta do not support the intolerant positions referenced in this posting. The statement that “when muslims are the majority and there is no secular dictator (like Suharto in his earlier days) their interpretation of the holybook tend to move to the right and religious tolerance towards minority become less and less)” leans towards Islamaphobia. This is inaccurate and uncalled for. Those who know NU and Muhammadiyah know better.

  11. Kelenger says:

    I would feel the same as the writer. On the other hand, it is expected from an “enforced” charity work and it is good enough to meet Government CSR requirements.

  12. A commenter says:

    It’s a mall anyway, what do you expect other than skin-deep religion and charity as a part of feel-good marketing?

  13. […] ‘Lamenting 1MDB‘ Weiss argued that the prospect of political, social and economic change is as hopeful as the […]

  14. Dr Francis Palmos says:

    Splendid, traditional reporting at ground level. So much better reading than the Corby circus material and alleged suffering of foreigner criminals in Indonesian jails. Well done.

  15. sotheara says:

    There were 12 political parties registered to the contesting.

  16. Dr. David Camroux makes a very good point.

    This is actually something that several sectors that have gained currency have long been talking about since the 1990’s: System Reform through Constitutional Reform.

    Ever since the 1990s, there has been talk about the need to get rid of the dysfunctional political system that was put in place by the 1987 Constitution: one of a Unitary-Presidential System, modified so that the President and Vice-President are voted separately, and not by an electoral college as it is in the USA. The innovation made to use direct elections rather than an electoral college unfortunately has created a system which encourages the emergence of multiple parties. (In contrast, in the USA, the electoral college sets barriers to entry from third parties trying to field a presidential candidate, so in the end, only a de facto two party system is retained)

    The reform being talked about for a long time was the shift towards a Parliamentary System.

    Other alternatives talked about having run-off elections like in France and most of Latin America.

    In any case, Duterte actually made Constitutional Reforms leading towards system change a major part of his platform/manifesto. While most ordinary Filipinos tout Federalism as his main reform, Duterte has also championed other constitutional reforms such as the removal of anti-FDI restrictions aimed at allowing more job-creating foreign direct investors to come in and help solve the unemployment and poverty problem — like what Singapore did when Lee Kuan Yew relied heavily on attracting foreign direct investors to invest in Singapore to absorb the large segment of unemployed people.

    He has also talked about shifting to the Parliamentary System. These reform-proposals have gained traction and most of Duterte’s supporters have realized that there is merit in all three constitutional reforms.

    Unfortunately, the oligarchic elites that Dr. Camroux has rightly mentioned are totally averse to reforms that will cause them to lose their ability to operate their virtual monopoly businesses, and cause them to lose their ability to influence politics through influence-peddling and lobbying.

    These oligarchic elites are making use of the power of Mass Media to thwart Duterte’s plans by regularly throwing dirt at him.

    In order to prevent all these constitutional reforms from ever pushing through, these oligarchs have relentlessly waged a public relations war in which Duterte is constantly cast as some kind of villain or bad guy, with the so-called “Extra-Judicial Murders” being blamed on him and his administration in order to distract his administration from pursuing those important constitutional reforms.

    The Western Press has unfortunately naively allowed itself to be used as a tool by the Filipino oligarchs, by echoing the same bad press hurled against Duterte.

    It is therefore important for all objective scholars studying the Philippines and understanding Duterte to realize that the oligarchs will do everything in their power to prevent all reforms that will strengthen the government’s ability to run the country and weaken the monopolies of the few oligarchic elites. These efforts most definitely include painting Duterte to look like a madman and a mass murderer, with the aim to get him isolated internationally so that he becomes ineffectual in powerless.

    Knowing this, all scholars ought to take the black propaganda hurled at Duterte with a grain of salt: all these accusations of Duterte being a despot and murderer are nothing but the work of the oligarchs trying to prevent a reformer from doing what he needs to do to create a much more inclusive and economically viable country.

  17. Francis Palmos says:

    Amalinda’s survey and analysis was a superb coverage of the “sinking city” situation in Jakarta, all the more poignant to those of us who have seen such analyses regularly since the early 1960s, with little done to correct the subsidence causes. Surabaya, also, is eating up green spaces at a rapid rate.

  18. […] Cambodia’s society is changing fast, and its parties slowly On 4 June, Cambodia held its 4th commune elections. According to the National Election Committee (NEC), 7,040,594 people or 89.52% of registered voters—Cambodia’s highest-ever voter turnout rate—cast their votes in the country’s 1,646 local government areas, known as communes. — New Mandala […]

  19. […] Cambodia’s society is changing fast, and its parties slowly On 4 June, Cambodia held its 4th commune elections. According to the National Election Committee (NEC), 7,040,594 people or 89.52% of registered voters—Cambodia’s highest-ever voter turnout rate—cast their votes in the country’s 1,646 local government areas, known as communes. — New Mandala […]

  20. David Wilkerson says:

    The Unger name in itself is iconic for those of us that lived in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. I had the pleasure in meeting and filming former Ambassador Unger and his lovely wife in D.C. circa 1993, and then ten years later I met Danny at our biannual reunion in AZ. By all accounts Danny was widely respected and loved by all that encountered his beautiful spirit. I know he will be sorely missed everyone who knew him and may GOD rest his soul in eternal peace.