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 […]

Tight Grip & Diversification Needed for Laos Economy in Uncertain Times

Tight Grip & Diversification Needed for Laos Economy in Uncertain Times

With a gross domestic product (GDP) averaging 7 per cent since 2000, the Laos economy is among the fastest growing in Asean. Despite this, in recent years the Laos economy has trended downwards. Amid global economic uncertainty, it remains to be seen how Laos will manage its macroeconomic policies and export diversification strategy. The Laos […]

Indonesia’s Economy Threatened by Fiscal Sustainability

Indonesia’s Economy Threatened by Fiscal Sustainability

Despite major domestic and external challenges Indonesia’s economy is expected to grow at around 5 per cent again this year — much like last year — and only slightly below the official estimate of 5.3 per cent. However, it will come in much lower than the 7 per cent the new government had targeted. Compared […]

Singapore Economy to Face Strong Challenges in 2017

Singapore Economy to Face Strong Challenges in 2017

The Singaporean economy is slowing much faster than anticipated. The latest forecast by the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore (MTI) projects 2016 Singapore GDP growth at 1.0-1.5 per cent — the slowest since the 2009 fallout from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This time around the contributory factors are external and domestic, as well […]

TPP’s Demise Sends Malaysia in Search of a New Trade Agenda

TPP’s Demise Sends Malaysia in Search of a New Trade Agenda

Malaysia’s trade with the United States has been in decline. But with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement dead in the water, what’s next for Malaysia’s trade agenda? If there is a flicker of hope for the TPP it comes from the talks that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had with President-elect Donald Trump during the […]

More harmony needed in Asean food standards

More harmony needed in Asean food standards

The food sector has the potential to benefit greatly in the new Asean Economic Community (AEC). But because food products attract higher levels of regulation, which often varies between member countries, a significant number of non-tariff measures (NTMs) remain. Such regulatory heterogeneity creates challenges for increasing food trade, harmonising standards, and ultimately creating an integrated […]

The Importance of Reining in Myanmar GADs Section 144 Powers

The Importance of Reining in Myanmar GADs Section 144 Powers

In October serious concerns began being raised about the situation in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State after reports surfaced that nine police officers had been killed in the region. But the state’s precarious situation continues to be shrouded in mystery. Speculation over the motives of the perpetrators and unsubstantiated claims that it may be linked to […]

PAP And Singapore’s Contracting Political Space

PAP And Singapore’s Contracting Political Space

Before and since the September 2015 Singapore general election, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has been introducing political reforms in response to Singapore’s increasingly questioning populace. But the striking theme of these changes is not resignation to looser controls over political engagement in the city-state but resolve to contain the boundaries of that engagement. […]

Mahathir And Anwar: Unlikely Bedfellows Reunite For BN/ Najib Battle

Mahathir And Anwar: Unlikely Bedfellows Reunite For BN/ Najib Battle

On Monday September 5,  former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad did the unthinkable. He turned up at the High Court for Anwar Ibrahim’s filing of an interim injunction to stop the enforcement of the newly-passed National Security Council (NSC) Act. Mahathir shook hands with his former ally turned nemesis and both exchanged pleasantries. He wished […]

The Global Financial System And The 1MDB Scandal

The Global Financial System And The 1MDB Scandal

Malaysia’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal reached a crescendo in July. The US Attorney General claimed that more than US$3.5 billion belonging to 1MDB was ‘allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates’ between 2009 and 2015. The case is officially closed in Malaysia, but Prime Minister Najib Razak’s difficulties remain. In 2015, […]

Poisoned chalice: why no one is rushing to embrace the PCA South China Sea ruling

Poisoned chalice: why no one is rushing to embrace the PCA South China Sea ruling

Analyses of state responses to the South China Sea arbitral award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) often frame the issue as a binary choice between a rules-based or power-based approach to international relations. But states are unlikely to view the matter this way, because international law is not autonomous from politics. As observed […]

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