A shame to forget the poorest of the poor

President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Photo: EPA

All eyes will be on Bali this week as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hosts a meeting that will define the next global development agenda. The UN High Level Panel for the post-2015 agenda, co-chaired by Yudhoyono, has put ending extreme poverty on their agenda - but this goal will only be realised if the world tackles rising inequality.

Monday, 25 March, 2013, 2:37am

A sensible step towards a just society

Premier Wen Jiabao promised to 'resolutely reverse the widening income gap', with mixed success. Photo: Xinhua

In every nation there are people who have more than others, but on the mainland the gap is worryingly wide. Leaders have long been mindful of the need to lessen the divide, their efforts spurred by a rising tide of protest against injustice and corruption. China's size and complexity makes the challenge daunting and measures taken so far have not approached the heart of the problem. A 35-point plan unveiled by the State Council appears more promising, the proposals outlined offering a blueprint for tackling inequality.

18 Feb 2013 - 1:55am 1 comment

Rising grass-roots anger shaking Hun Sen's pedestal

A royal float with a portrait of late King Norodom Sihanouk. Photo: EPA

Chray Nhim received just seven days notice telling her that she was to be evicted from her house near Phnom Penh's airport without compensation.

She knew extreme measures were needed if she and her fellow villagers were to avoid the fate of the estimated 10 per cent of residents of the Cambodian capital who have had their homes confiscated in the past 20 years.

4 Feb 2013 - 5:53am

Today's economic crisis must not overshadow long-term problems

People walk in high water near the Ponte delle Guglie in Venice, Italy. Joseph Stiglitz says global warming is one of the long-term problems our world is facing. Photo: AP

In the shadow of the euro crisis and America's fiscal woes, it is easy to ignore the global economy's long-term problems. But, while we focus on immediate concerns, they continue to fester, and we overlook them at our peril.

9 Jan 2013 - 3:08am 1 comment

Inequalities erode foundations of Asia's growth

A worker walks with a spade as others lay iron bars for a bridge under construction in the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Photo: AP

Developing Asia's impressive growth continues, but faces a new challenge - rising inequality. Over the past few decades, the region has lifted people out of poverty at an unprecedented rate. But more recent experience contrasts with the "growth with equity" story that characterised the transformation of the newly industrialised economies in the 1960s and 1970s.

5 Dec 2012 - 2:15am

Li Shi, 'Mr China Income Distribution', battles inequality

Professor Li Shi

It's not exactly catchy, but the name Mr China Income Distribution has become well known to those involved in the battle to close the country's wealth gap.

His real name is Professor Li Shi, 57, and he has been charting the spiral into dangerous levels of inequality since the 1980s - and warning of the accompanying dangers of social unrest.

7 Nov 2012 - 7:03am

Chinese people want equal opportunities, not equal income

China should seek to level the playing field, not people's income. Photo: Reuters

Will income distribution reform finally be launched in China? Reports said the blueprint - already eight years in the making - will be unveiled this month after repeated delays. What's in it is a matter of great public concern.

18 Oct 2012 - 3:22am