It is not too soon to begin celebrating the centenary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees American women the right to vote. Already, our news media are reporting on local celebrations of the growing gender equality in the U.S. that the amendment symbolized, which will presumably culminate on the actual anniversary […]

Bernama, the news agency of the government of Malaysia, produced two stories about the Batek last week, the first of which reported a distressing incident. The news service report on November 3 concerned a herd of wild elephants that had destroyed the water system for a village. Over 300 residents of Kampung Aring 5, in […]

The Guardian sent reporter Hannah Ellis-Petersen to Kuala Koh to investigate the tragedy that nearly destroyed the Batek village. Was it just an outbreak of measles that took down so many people starting about four months ago? Are the government analyses that it was just an outbreak of measles accurate or are officials covering up […]

Since the mystery illness that affected the Batek village of Kuala Koh was finally diagnosed as a measles epidemic several weeks ago, the flood of news stories in the Malaysian press has slowed to a trickle. A few of them provide helpful updates and useful insights, however. On June 24, the New Straits Times published […]

Back in early April, reports came out about a mysterious illness that was afflicting the Batek of Kuala Koh: some young people were becoming sick and having breathing problems. The state health authorities in Kelantan attempted to provide cover for themselves by blaming the Batek for not being willing to take transportation to clinics to […]

That classic authority on the English language the Oxford English Dictionary (the OED) defines a “war of words” as a journalistic phrase meaning “a sustained conflict conducted by means of the spoken or printed word.” Such a “war” had erupted three weeks ago in news stories about the causes and cures for a skin disease […]

A mysterious illness has struck a Batek community in Malaysia and the causes are uncertain. A report in Kosmo, a Malay-language news source, provided the puzzling clues in an article last week. Mamat Potok, the traditional headman in Kuala Koh, told the reporter that the outbreak of the disease began last October when about 50 […]