ISEAS Perspective 2023

ISEAS Perspective provides analysis of specific current events and their significance for the Southeast Asian region. This will be published occasionally, and is aimed at keeping decision-makers in both the public and private sectors informed; as well as scholars, laymen and the interested public. This series undergoes a peer-review process.


2023/101 “Reviewing China’s Elite-Centric Approach in its Relations with Cambodia” by Chhay Lim


2023 No. 101

In engaging Cambodia, China puts a strong emphasis on fostering ties with the ruling elites of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and backs their regime legitimacy while having limited interactions with grassroots communities or the local population.



2023/100 “Managing the Debts of State-Owned Enterprises: Case Studies of Indonesia’s BUMN Karya” by Siwage Dharma Negara & Agustinus Prasetyantoko


2023 No. 100

Infrastructure development plays a pivotal role in enhancing Indonesia’s economic competitiveness and supporting the country’s ambition to become one of the biggest economies in the world by 2045.



2023/99 “Collaboration Between Pheu Thai and Move Forward Parties on Their Core Issues Will Determine Thailand’s Future” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap


2023 No. 99

Thailand’s Pheu Thai-led coalition government is struggling to amend the Constitution of 2017, or to draft a totally new replacement for it.



2023/98 “Insufficient States: Revisiting the Roles and Resources of Malaysia’s Subnational Governments” by Lee Hwok Aun


2023 No. 98

More federal functions should be devolved to the states, particularly in social welfare and public health, and state capacities should be bolstered by statutory expansion of revenue collection, especially through consumption taxes.



2023/97 “Malaysia’s Return to Mining: Redeveloping Rare Earth Elements (REE)” by Tham Siew Yean and Neo Hui Yun Rebecca


2023 No. 97

Increasing scrutiny of mineral resources at the global level has led to greater domestic interest in Malaysia’s mineral resources.



2023/96 “Vietnam’s Quest for Enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness” by Bich Tran


2023 No. 96

Vietnam is a maritime nation with a long coastline and a vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). As such, maritime domain awareness (MDA) is essential for the country to protect its maritime security.



2023/95 “The Prabowo-Gibran Pairing: Wise or Foolish?” by Burhanuddin Muhtadi and Kennedy Muslim


2023 No. 95

The latest Indikator poll shows a significant increase in support for Prabowo among youth voters (Gen-Z and millennials), after the announcement and registration of the Prabowo-Gibran presidential ticket at the General Elections Commission (KPU).



2023/94 “UMNO’s Prospects: Oblivion, Survival or Recovery” by Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani


2023 No. 94

UMNO-BN in the Unity Government will boost Malaysia’s political stability, economic prosperity, and integration, while also moderating polarisation. In order to remain relevant, UMNO will need to appeal to progressive and moderate Malays.



2023/93 “The August Poll in Penang: A Perspective on Pakatan, its Partners and its Prospects” by Francis E. Hutchinson


2923 No. 93

Penang is diverse, with large Bumiputera (45.2 per cent), Chinese (44.5 per cent), and Indian (9.7 per cent) communities.



2023/92 “Myanmar-Russia Relations Since the Coup: An Ever Tighter Embrace” by Ian Storey


2023 No. 92

Myanmar-Russia relations have strengthened considerably since Moscow acknowledged the Tatmadaw’s seizure of power on 1 February 2021, and the junta endorsed the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.