Singapore’s Future After Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore’s Future After Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore’s ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), enters 2016 enjoying the comfort of a magnificent electoral victory in the 2015 Singapore general elections. In that election — the first since the death of patriarch Lee Kuan Yew — the PAP won almost 70 per cent of the popular vote. It was not the ruling […]

What The Asean Economic Community (AEC) Means For Laos

What The Asean Economic Community (AEC) Means For Laos

The Asean Economic Community (AEC) presents new opportunities for Laos PDR, but it also underlines significant challenges. Laos has long been a country of promise given its resources and geographic proximity to China and other Asean members. Yet, despite relatively high growth over the last two decades, the country remains among the world’s poorest nations. […]

Malaysia’s year as Asean chair reviewed

Malaysia’s year as Asean chair reviewed

Malaysia ended its chairmanship of Asean as the grouping announced the establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in November 2015. The AEC intends to create a single market across the Asean region by standardising economic regulations including those on trade, flows of financial capital and labour migration. (See: 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration Formalises Asean Community […]

What Will Happen When Thailand’s King Bhumibol is Gone?

What Will Happen When Thailand’s King Bhumibol is Gone?

Back in February 2005, Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai (TRT) was re-elected with a bumper majority. But as Thaksin consolidated ever more power his opponents became anxious. The Democrat Party worried that it would never again control the levers of government as the outspoken telco billionaire effectively monopolised the political process. His influence on military […]

Asean Urbanisation And The AEC

Asean Urbanisation And The AEC

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) takes steps toward implementing the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, they should be cognisant that the paths towards economic integration and sustainable Asean urbanisation are closely intertwined. Southeast Asian cities will play a critical role in the unfolding of the AEC. Asean represents […]

Can Najib & BN Survive The 2018 Malaysia General Election?

Can Najib & BN Survive The 2018 Malaysia General Election?

These are tiring times for Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mr Razak has so far managed to stay in power despite the flurry of attacks on his leadership. Political debacles have almost cost Najib his prime ministership and the popularity of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN). Facing the prospect of losing the people’s mandate […]

Roadmap for a smoke-haze-free Asean

Roadmap for a smoke-haze-free Asean

The smoke-haze crisis that battered a major part of southern Asean in mid-2015 is showing signs of abating. Along with the disappearing haze, it is crucial that the resolve demonstrated by all parties — especially governments — to solve the issue doesn’t vanish as well. Promises and commitments have been made. Indonesia’s president has asked […]

Defusing The Ageing Singapore Time Bomb

Defusing The Ageing Singapore Time Bomb

According to United Nations World Population Prospects 2015 Singapore will become a super-aged society by 2026. By then, one in five people in the country (or 1.25 million) will be aged 65 or above. The median age will exceed 44.9, up from just 18.1 in 1965. When Singapore gained independence in 1965 just 2.65 per […]

Malaysia’s Troubles Are Just Beginning

Malaysia’s Troubles Are Just Beginning

As it tussles with multiple crises of political legitimacy and governance Malaysia has reached a decisive point in its more than half-century history as an independent nation. What started as a shocking but not exceptional scandal has turned into a political crisis of unprecedented proportions. This was underlined by the Bersih 4 protests on August 29–30  […]

Money Politics To Spoil Simultaneous Indonesia Local Elections

Money Politics To Spoil Simultaneous Indonesia Local Elections

On December 9, Indonesia will have its first simultaneous local executive elections to elect governors, district heads and mayors in 269 localities (out of 537) across Indonesia. While direct election of local executives has been held since 2004, this is the first time these elections will be held simultaneously on a single day. This change […]

The Challenges Of Myanmar’s Extractive Industries

The Challenges Of Myanmar’s Extractive Industries

Following five decades of rule by socialist and military governments under which the country became one of the least developed countries in the world, a new chapter of Myanmar’s engagement with the international community was opened in March 2011. While the previous regime denied that poverty existed in Myanmar the new government acknowledged the problem […]

Minorities forgotten as Vietnam–US ties improve

Minorities forgotten as Vietnam–US ties improve

Twenty years after the post–war normalisation of Vietnam–US ties, the two nations are increasingly close. This process has sped up with China’s moves in the South China Sea since 2014, although a number of issues still hold the relationship back: Vietnam wants the embargo on weapons sales gone and the United States wants to see […]