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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

AsiaweekTimeAsia NowAsiaweek

MARCH 17, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 10

People: A*Mei Touched By Nostalgia

 
  ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Cover: Stock Options
Still relatively rare in Asia, companies are likely to start giving employees equity as an incentive to work better and stick with the job. Thank the Internet
• Glossary: A quick guide to cashless collars and other terms
• Japanese Dream: It isn't hip to be a salaryman

Asiaweek Salaries Survey 2000
Jobs in the region and how much they pay

Taiwan: The race for president is too close to call. Whoever wins, the island and its relations with Beijing will never be the same
• Interview: Chen Shui-bian does not want war with China
• Black Gold: Of gangsters, vote-buying and political corruption
• Geopolitics: The influence of Taiwan's brand of democracy
Thailand: What the Senate election means for political reform
Malaysia: Behind a debate on special privileges for Malays
East Timor: Why Falantil members are now rebels without a cause
Viewpoint: Vajpayee masks the fundamentalist threat

Technology
The Net: A geek summit in Taiwan
Computing: Hong Kong's hidden software industry
Cutting Edge: Simulating real life

Business
Cash: With $1 billion, San Miguel goes shopping
Marketing: Notebooks as status symbols in Asia
Interview: Krung Thai Bank head says changes are coming
Investing: Mining resource stocks for profit

People: A*Mei drops pop for the classics
Entertainment: The hot spot for survival docu-dramas
Health: Protecting against Alzheimer's disease
Newsmakers: Zhu Rongji lays down the line
Looking Back: Mourning South Korea's President Park

Hot pants, halter tops and strutting sexuality. That's the trademark image of Taiwan rocker A*Mei (don't forget the asterisk, please). But inside the rebel lurks an entertainer with sophisticated ambitions. And that's who stepped out when A*Mei linked up with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for "Open Your Eyes 2000" at the Hong Kong Coliseum. "I look very ladylike tonight," the 27-year-old pop sensation joked as she glided onto the stage in an off-the-shoulder silver gown. Why the radical change? A*Mei confided: "I've had a wish for a long time, especially as I've gotten older, to be able to sing in a more relaxed and warm environment." Warning her fans not to expect any high-energy dancing, she confessed: "I can hardly move in this dress." And, for the first part of the show, she didn't even try. Perched on a divan and surrounded by a sea of flowers, A*Mei performed Mandarin classics such as "Unforgettable" and "Genius," arranged in a 1930s Shanghai style that seemed to leave many of her young fans puzzled. But they perked up after the intermission, when their idol returned in her pop persona, belting out her anthem "Give Me the Feeling" and even tempting the Philharmonic's woman conductor, Yip Wing-sie, onto the stage for a dance. So was the experiment a hit? The jury's out on that. But there was at least one new fan. Says Yip: "Before the show, I didn't have any of A*Mei's CDs. Now I have loads."

A Minister Throws The Book At The Greens
Thai Agriculture Minister Pongpol Adireksarn couldn't be more pleased . . . or more irritated. He's delighted that a Hollywood studio is interested in turning his 1992 novel The Pirates of Tarutao into a movie. And downright angry that environmentalists are attacking him for - as they see it - being prepared to let the moviemakers wreck the island that the book is named after. Pongpol, who writes under the name of Paul Adirex, insists nothing could be further from the truth. If the project goes ahead, he says, only scene-setting shots will be filmed on Tarutao and in the marine park it's part of. The rest of the movie - a true-life tale spun around a former prison camp on the island - can be shot anywhere. Pongpol, 58, says he is tired of the environmentalists preaching about The Pirates of Tarutao and Leo DiCaprio's The Beach, which attracted similar criticism. Instead, he counters, why don't they focus their efforts on the damage being inflicted on the environment by unbridled tourist projects? Good question.


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