Terror & Anarchy Threat Force West to Embrace Unsavoury Allies

• Editorial

Terror & Anarchy Threat Force West to Embrace Unsavoury Allies

During his second State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte promised to continue his ‘unrelenting and unremitting’ campaign against illegal drugs, which has reportedly claimed the lives of thousands of suspected drug dealers and users. True to form, he also lashed out at critics, particularly those in the European Union (EU) and the […]

Can Mahathir and PH Bring Down UMNO’s Corrupt Party-state?

• Editorial

Can Mahathir and PH Bring Down UMNO’s Corrupt Party-state?

Malaysia’s opposition coalition,  (PH), is busy preparing its manifesto for the 14th Malaysia General Election (GE14) which must be held by August 2018 at the latest. PH cannot afford to repeat past mistakes and publish a strategically ambiguous election manifesto as a simple public relations exercise — it needs to produce a transition pact that clearly […]

Indonesia’s Digital Economy: Bridging The Digital Divide

Indonesia’s Digital Economy: Bridging The Digital Divide

Digital technology is fast becoming the core of life, work, culture and identity in Indonesia. A young nation with a median age of 28 and a rapidly growing urban middle class, Indonesia is using digital technologies in ways that have made the world take notice. In 2016, there were 76 million Indonesians with a Facebook […]

Indonesia Still Haunted by Asian Financial Crisis Ghosts

• Editorial

Indonesia Still Haunted by Asian Financial Crisis Ghosts

In 1996 Southeast Asia was celebrating its ‘economic miracle’ as the World Bank (WB) lauded the region’s spectacular growth. Tackling middle income challenges was the focus of an IMF–Asean conference in Jakarta. The mood was ebullient. Less than a year later on July 2, 1997, Thailand floated the baht, triggering the Asian financial crisis, known […]

Cooperation & Struggle: Vietnam’s South China Sea Strategy

• Editorial

Cooperation & Struggle: Vietnam’s South China Sea Strategy

A little over a year ago the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled on an application brought by the Philippines against China over their maritime dispute in the South China Sea involving the Spratly Islands. The Tribunal ruled unanimously on almost all of the Philippines’ claims. If China and the Philippines had complied with the […]

Asean At 50: Firing up or Powering Down?

• Editorial

Asean At 50: Firing up or Powering Down?

Fifty years ago Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines established the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). This association of primarily non-communist and relatively free-market countries was formed at a time when the Cold War was in full swing, and its end seemed to validate their confidence. The group expanded in the late 1980s […]

UMNOs Support For Hudud in Kelantan a Shrewd Najib Strategy

• Editorial

UMNOs Support For Hudud in Kelantan a Shrewd Najib Strategy

Attempts to amend Malaysia’s 1965 Criminal Jurisdiction Act, or RUU 355, have divided the country for more than two years now. The amendment was proposed as a private member’s bill by Abdul Hadi Awang, president of the opposition Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), to empower sharia courts to issue more severe punishments through implementation of hudud (Islamic criminal law) in […]

The KMTTP: Will India’s Plans For Myanmar Become Reality?

• Editorial

The KMTTP: Will India’s Plans For Myanmar Become Reality?

The Sittwe deep-sea port in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which was financed and constructed by India, will soon commence operation. The port is one part of the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) in western Myanmar which aims to connect Mizoram in landlocked northeast India to the Bay of Bengal. Delhi is also planning to form […]

Jokowi’s ‘Developmentalism’ to See IA-CEPA FTA Fall Short

• Editorial

Jokowi’s ‘Developmentalism’ to See IA-CEPA FTA Fall Short

Despite the warmth between Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull following their February 2017 meeting in Canberra, hopes that the Indonesia–Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) will achieve a high quality ‘21st century partnership’ should be treated with caution. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are generally evaluated differently by their respective countries. […]

Vietnam’s ‘System Fault’ Fostering Corruption

• Editorial

Vietnam’s ‘System Fault’ Fostering Corruption

The first half of 2016 saw Vietnam’s fight against corruption gain new momentum. Having consolidated his power after being re-elected as Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Nguyen Phu Trong issued resolutions and directives aimed at tightening party members’ ethical conduct. Trong then launched attacks on several high-ranking officials — notably Trinh Xuan […]

The RCEP: The Trade Win The World Urgently Needs

Editorial

The RCEP: The Trade Win The World Urgently Needs

Global trade needs a win to fend off rising tides of protectionism and anti-globalisation. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) offers the best vehicle to achieve this. The quick conclusion of this regional mega free trade agreement (FTA) will signal Asia’s commitment to free trade — from which it has benefited greatly — as well as […]

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 […]

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