Disenfranchised & Discouraged: Malaysian Youth Shun Politics

Disenfranchised & Discouraged: Malaysian Youth Shun Politics

Observing the Parliament of Malaysia or indeed any of Malaysia’s 13 state legislative assemblies and it is noticeable that the corridors of power are packed with the elderly. There are no elected politicians between the ages of 15 to 24 in the country, and more than 70 per cent of parliamentarians are above the age of 50. This is […]

Time Running Out For US to Firm Philippines Relationship (video)

• Editorial

Time Running Out For US to Firm Philippines Relationship (video)

In spite of the United States’ renewed focus on great power competition in the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), the war against terrorism will remain salient to US strategy. In few places is this clearer than in the Philippines. The United States’ ongoing efforts to bolster its military aid under the remit of counter-terrorism cooperation reflects Washington’s desire […]

Continuity Behind Strengthening Singapore-Malaysia Ties

• Editorial

Continuity Behind Strengthening Singapore-Malaysia Ties

The eighth Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat held in Singapore on January 14 and 15 2018 witnessed a milestone in bilateral ties. Leaders of both countries signed an agreement to build a rapid transit system linking Johor Bahru and Singapore, and officially launched the Marina One and Duo joint developments. But new challenges threaten to test relations […]

Vietnam’s Data Localisation Push To Hurt Economy, Deliver Few Benefits

• Editorial

Vietnam’s Data Localisation Push To Hurt Economy, Deliver Few Benefits

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) thinks that it is killing two birds with one stone by passing new laws regulating data storage. But it could soon find out it has no use for two dead birds while the stone flies off and damages the economy. In June 2017, the MoPS proposed a draft cybersecurity […]

Indonesia Military Shuffling Sees Jokowi’s Man Heading For Top Job

Indonesia Military Shuffling Sees Jokowi’s Man Heading For Top Job

The leadership of the Indonesian military is in flux. In the last three months of 2017, then commander General Gatot Nurmantyo executed two reshuffles of senior officers: one on October 27 and the other on December 4. Four days later on December 8, General Nurmantyo handed over command of the military to Air Chief Marshal […]

Chinese Aid Building Indonesia, But at What Cost?

* Editorial

Chinese Aid Building Indonesia, But at What Cost?

When Australia reduced its foreign aid to Indonesia by 40 per cent in 2015, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry responded that ‘Indonesia… is no longer a country that needs aid for development’. At face value, this seems to be the case. Data released by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in October 2017 shows that net foreign […]

Vietnam Economy: Robust 2017 Growth, International Challenges Ahead

• Editorial

Vietnam Economy: Robust 2017 Growth, International Challenges Ahead

Things got off to a bad start for the Vietnam economy in 2017 with the shock withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Subsequent uncertainties about Canada’s participation in a potential TPP-11 agreement that excludes the United States were a further disappointment. Other more positive economic indicators have offset this initial set-back. […]

Death, Destruction & Economic Wins: Duterte’s First Year in Review

• Editorial

Death, Destruction & Economic Wins: Duterte’s First Year in Review

The first year of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration was marked by sustained GDP growth of 6.7 per cent — the second highest in the region. This growth was supported by higher government spending in economic and social fields, as well as by an increase in infrastructure spending to 5.6 per cent of GDP, as […]

Cambodia: Opportunities For Improvement Abound, But…

• Editorial

Cambodia: Opportunities For Improvement Abound, But…

Following its graduation from least developed country (LCD) to lower-middle income status in July 2016 the Cambodia economy has remained healthy. In 2017 Cambodia GDP growth came in at 6.9 per cent, driven by the tourism sector, an ongoing construction boom, and the gradual emergence of non-textile exports. In the first ten months of 2017 […]

In Face of Xi’s Charm Offensive Vietnam Gambles on US Trade Deal

• Editorial

In Face of Xi’s Charm Offensive Vietnam Gambles on US Trade Deal

After the 2016 US Presidential election hope remained in Hanoi that Donald Trump, once in office, would turn from firebrand protectionist campaigner into a leader who accepted the value of open trade — a cause in which the Vietnamese government had invested so much in preparation for Vietnam’s membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). These […]

Poor Administration, Infrastructure Fetter Laos’ Growth

• Editorial

Poor Administration, Infrastructure Fetter Laos’ Growth

Lao PDR is among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia: economic growth has averaged 7.8 per cent over the past decade. Despite the slow recovery of the global economy, the country’s growth rate was 6.9 per cent in 2017 and is expected to be 7 per cent in 2018. This is buoyed by an expansion in […]

Investment in Human Resources Vital if Philippine’s to Spur Innovation

• Editorial

Investment in Human Resources Vital if Philippine’s to Spur Innovation

Product innovations such as Apple’s iPhoneX, the Fitbit watch, and Bitcoin are contributing to the mainstreaming of innovation in the development policy landscape. Innovation is now viewed as key to finding enduring solutions to challenges such as job shortages and sustainable energy use. Across the globe countries have committed to fostering innovation by 2030 through the UN […]

Indonesia’s Blue Economy In Need of Good Governance

• Editorial

Indonesia’s Blue Economy In Need of Good Governance

The ‘blue economy’ concept — a model of sustainable development concerned with the use of the coastal and marine ecosystem — gained prominence in Indonesia as one of the main components of President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo’s Global Maritime Fulcrum vision. Jokowi’s maritime policy aims to reinvigorate Indonesia’s maritime identity, manage the country’s marine resources, strengthen its maritime […]

Indonesia’s Forest Fires: Limited Resources Hamper Fight

• Editorial

Forest fires sweeping across Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent months prompted six Indonesian provinces to declare a state of emergency. Yet the scale of resources devoted to fighting and preventing forest fires remains far short of what is needed to turn around Indonesia’s rising rates of deforestation and meet Indonesia’s ambitious climate pledge. Fires break out across […]

Where To Now For the CPTPP?

• Editorial

Where To Now For the CPTPP?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial Statement on November 11, 2017 in Vietnam was a big relief for the remaining 11 members of the TPP, especially for Japan and Australia, who have spearheaded the new agreement after the United States’ exit. The accord — which calls to revivify the renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) […]

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