[OPINION] Liberals and Democrats must fight back to reclaim their place in Asian politics

In the Philippines, a democratically elected leader continues to subvert democratic principles and processes to consolidate political power in the Office of the President, not to mention the abuses of basic rights in the war on drugs. Religious extremism and economic protectionism are on the rise in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, and this impinges on these countries’ ability to foster good governance and democratic consolidation.  The date of Thailand’s elections remains unclear, and there are increasing concerns on the willingness of the military junta to transfer political power to a civilian government.  All throughout Asia, human rights violations are still prevalent, and Liberals and Democrats are still struggling to combat fake news and misinformation as they try to address these issues. Moreover, the abuses of rights and threats to democracy are not only coming from old-style dictatorship, but from popularly elected leaders as well.