Asean’s Navies The Poor Cousins At Budget Time

Editorial

Asean’s Navies The Poor Cousins At Budget Time

With Southeast Asian nations facing a deteriorating external security environment and increasing Chinese maritime assertiveness, many commentators have predicted a widespread naval expansion in the region. To date these predictions have failed to materialise. Rather, there has been a stagnation in the development of Asean’s navies. This can, with some irony, be explained by examining the […]

Lingering Gaps as Asean Banking Sector Inches Towards Integration

Lingering Gaps as Asean Banking Sector Inches Towards Integration

Back in 1997 Asean leaders agreed to transform Southeast Asia into a stable, prosperous and competitive region characterised by equitable economic development. The ‘Asean Vision 2020’ sought to reduce poverty and socio-economic disparities. As a vehicle to achieve this vision, Asean leaders established the Asean Economic Community (AEC). The AEC is built upon a blueprint […]

Freeport’s Fallout For Indonesia Foreign Investors

Freeport’s Fallout For Indonesia Foreign Investors

Freeport-McMoRan (Freeport), the largest mining company operating in Indonesia, may soon be exiting after fifty years of doing business in the country. Hanging in the balance is the fate of Grasberg, a copper and gold project that is the world’s largest gold mine. The catalyst was a January regulation requiring the company’s local subsidiary to […]

RUU 355: Politics, Not Religion Fuelling Increasing Malaysia Islamisation

The February 18, 2017 rallies for and against the bill to amend the 1965 Criminal Jurisdiction Act, known as RUU 355, have opened yet another political and social schism in Malaysian society. RUU 355 began as a private member’s bill by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) president Hadi Awang and seeks to raise the penalties […]

Growth of IS See’s Female Terrorist Numbers Rise in Indonesia

Growth of IS See’s Female Terrorist Numbers Rise in Indonesia

Women’s roles in terrorist networks in Indonesia have until now been dictated by kinship ties through marriage, involving facilitating logistics and finance for terrorist acts. But there is a growing trend of women taking on combat roles. Last December Detachment 88, Indonesia’s police counterterrorism unit, arrested three women who were allegedly involved in plotting a […]

Challenges Ahead For Indonesia’s youth

Challenges Ahead For Indonesia’s youth

Indonesia’s youth (pemuda) have always been valued as the vanguard of political change, taking a leading role in the independence revolution of the 1940s and in more recent regime changes in 1966 and 1998. With a half of Indonesia’s 240 million people  aged under 30, Indonesia’s youth are the key to its future development. Due […]

Cambodia Eases Deeper Into China’s Defensive Embrace

Cambodia Eases Deeper Into China’s Defensive Embrace

Cambodia currently faces significant foreign policy challenges amid great power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific. Against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump’s uncertain and unpredictable foreign policy in the region, China’s economic, military, and strategic influence over Cambodia continues to grow. China is now Cambodia’s largest foreign investor and most generous economic and military benefactor. […]

Will TPP Diehards Stall The RCEP Seeking a ‘Gold Standard’?

Will TPP Diehards Stall The RCEP Seeking a ‘Gold Standard’?

During the Obama administration, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was crucial to US foreign policy in Asia. In February 2015, the same month that the TPP was signed, Obama suggested that ‘we have to make sure that the United States — and not countries like China — is the one writing this century’s rules for the […]

Malaysia Must Act Firmly Over Kim Jong-nam Assassination

Malaysia Must Act Firmly Over Kim Jong-nam Assassination

The murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged eldest brother of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) should come as no surprise to those familiar with the violent ways of the Kim regime. CCTV footage shows two women wiping a cloth containing the deadly VX nerve agent – classified as a […]

Why the RCEP is The Only Game in Town For Asean Following TPP Trumping

Why the RCEP is The Only Game in Town For Asean Following TPP Trumping

US President Donald Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in the Asia Pacific is a strategic turning point in the open economic order. It is a blow to furthering reform for some members, a lost opportunity for the United States to write the rules of international […]

2016: The Year the Malaysian Economy ‘Crumbled’

2016: The Year the Malaysian Economy ‘Crumbled’

Last year was rather eventful for the Malaysian economy. Malaysia’s GDP growth rate — the one big indicator of macroeconomic health — has crumbled. From a past average of 5 per cent in real GDP growth, 2016 is likely to see something like 4.2 per cent. What is of more concern is that growth in […]

Vietnam SOEs: Structural Reforms Still in Doubt

Vietnam SOEs: Structural Reforms Still in Doubt

Vietnam’s economy has shown resilience in the face of global headwinds. In 2016 Vietnam GDP growth was an estimated 6.2 per cent — higher than the larger Asean economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. This growth has been bolstered mainly by robust domestic demand and strong performance in manufacturing exports. Yet the economic outlook is […]

Sino–Myanmar Relations Remain Warm Under Suu Kyi

Sino–Myanmar Relations Remain Warm Under Suu Kyi

On November 8, 2015, the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the general election in an overwhelming victory, putting an end to decades of military rule. Myanmar’s democratic progress was welcomed and praised by Western countries and global society alike. After the NLD formed government there was no doubt that […]

Myanmar Risks Daesh Terrorism Wrath With Continuing Rohingya Abuse

Myanmar Risks Daesh Terrorism Wrath With Continuing Rohingya Abuse

On October 9, 2016, 200 armed attackers from the Aqa Mul Mujahidin — an organisation with links to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) — carried out a surprise attack on Myanmar police at the Maungdaw border, killing nine police officers. The attackers were from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine (Arakan) State. They seized weapons, ammunition, bayonets, and […]

Circling The Wagons: Will Najib’s Bolstered Arsenal of Legislation Be Enough?

Circling The Wagons: Will Najib’s Bolstered Arsenal of Legislation Be Enough?

The year 2016 ended with Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak still firmly entrenched, despite two years of scandal, scrutiny and speculation over funds missing from state development fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including US$800 million that is believed to have passed through his personal accounts. Mr Razak quickly shut down Malaysian investigations into 1MDB in […]

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