Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

About

@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Several governments and political parties in Southeast Asia have raised the issue of foreign intervention this year. In Malaysia, the police are probing some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for receiving funds from a foundation owned by American businessman George Soros allegedly in order to topple the ruling party which has been in power since the 1950s. […]

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Myanmar’s Radical Buddhist Group Gets Rebuked

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Myanmar’s nationalist Buddhist group known as The Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion (Ma Ba Tha) has suddenly found itself losing support from government officials and the online community. First, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein boldly declared in public that Ma Ba Tha is “unnecessary and redundant” since there is […]

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How to introduce Duterte in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Written for New Mandala Mong Palatino explores the many sides to the Philippines’ new President, revealing there is far more that meets the eye than Trump comparisons alone can offer. The landslide victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the recent Philippine presidential election has been reported already across the world. Perhaps many in […]

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There were several surprises in the election results: First, the landslide victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is now set to become the Philippines’ 16th president. Second, the close race between Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr and neophyte Congresswoman Leni Robredo for the vice presidency. And third, the possible entry into the senate of […]

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Behind Cambodia’s Social Media War

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Over the past few weeks, there has been a focus in Cambodia on what one might call an ongoing social media war between the ruling party and its opposition. The Facebook page of the current Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, who has governed the country for more than three decades, now has more than 3 […]

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What Made Headlines in Southeast Asia in 2015?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Written for The Diplomat A look back at some of the top stories from Southeast Asia in 2015: 1. Landslide victory for Myanmar’s National League for Democracy. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be constitutionally barred from becoming president of Myanmar but her party secured an historic victory in the general election. A tenth […]

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Written for The Diplomat Malaysia’s parliament swiftly approved the proposed National Security Council Bill despite the appeal of the opposition to conduct more debates and consultations about the measure. The bill, which was just introduced on December 1, was immediately tabled for deliberation despite the admission of the ruling party that there was no internal […]

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Written for The Diplomat More than 250 licensed non-government organizations in Malaysia are planning to mobilize 30,000 people on September 16 to protect and promote Maruah Melayu (Malay dignity). The event also aims to show support for the beleaguered leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is being implicated in a corruption scandal. The event […]

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Written for The Diplomat If protests and minor election setbacks hounded the ruling parties across Southeast Asia in the past two years, their situation this year has already improved somewhat as opposition leaders in the region run into varying difficulties. In Myanmar, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi still cannot run for the presidency because […]

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Mahathir Versus Najib

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Written for The Diplomat Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s fiercest critic today is not found in the ranks of the opposition. Rather, it is a former ally: Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir is Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, and served as mentor to Najib. Despite his retirement from government service, Mahathir has remained an influential political figure. At […]

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