Southeast Asia: Tempest in A Soap Dish

Tempest in A Soap Dish

Australia came clean last week about a television soap opera that had offended Malaysia and damaged diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries. In Kuala Lumpur, Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans called on the show's main critic, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and delivered a letter from Prime Minister Bob Hawke that Malaysian officials described as a virtual apology.

The soap opera, Embassy, chronicles the goings-on at the Australian embassy in a fictional nation in Southeast Asia called Ragaan, which Mahathir contends is an unflattering version of his country. Since the program began appearing on television last fall, Malaysia has...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!