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.


2023/65 “ASEAN’s New Dilemma: Managing the Artificial Intelligence Space” by Kristina Fong Siew Leng


2023 No. 65

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential risks of invasion of personal privacy, violations of acute copyright and intellectual property rights, and breaches of ethical boundaries have prompted governments to prioritize setting up regulatory boundaries to manage this dynamic technological disruption. The momentum in addressing these aforementioned risks has accelerated […]



2023/64 “What Can Malaysia Expect from IPEF?” by Jayant Menon


2023 No. 64

In a bid to re-engage economically with the region, United States (US) President Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Tokyo on 23 May 2022.



2023/63 “The Quad: Less than the Sum of its Parts?” by Nick Bisley


2023 No. 63

Originally focused on security cooperation, the Quad has opted to work on collaborative endeavours purported to advance regional order through public goods provision.



2023/62 “Vietnam’s JETP Agreement: Accelerating the Energy Transition in a Just Way?” by Julia Behrens


2023 No. 62

Vietnam’s power sector needs to transition away from its heavy reliance on coal if it is to meet its net-zero-emission goal by 2050.



2023/61 “Malaysia’s 2023 Elections: A Coming Clash of Coalitions in Selangor” by Khairy Jamaluddin


2023 No. 61

The upcoming state elections in Malaysia represent a referendum on the first eight months of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s ‘Unity Government’.



2023/60 “Flexing Censorship Muscles and Leveraging Public Sentiments: How The Vietnamese State Scrambles to Sanitise Its Image Online” by Dien Nguyen An Luong


2023 No. 60

Netflix recently found itself having to entertain requests to censor three shows after Vietnamese authorities deemed their content unacceptable and “hurting the feelings of the people.”



2023/59 “From the Fringes of Defeat: How UMNO President Zahid Hamidi Transformed His Vulnerability into Invincibility” by James Chai


2023 No. 59

Regarded as a shrewd political operator, Zahid Hamidi’s ability to ‘snatch victory from the fringes of defeat’ is remarkable.



2023/58 “Governing the Digital Economy in Thailand: Domestic Regulations and International Agreements” by Antonio Postigo


2023 No. 58

Thailand is among the ASEAN countries that have seen the most rapid growth in digital infrastructure and e-commerce since the COVID-19 pandemic.



2023/57 “Indonesia’s Appointed Leaders and the Future of Regional Elections” by Ian Wilson


2023 No. 57

By the end of 2023, there will be 271 interim regional heads who are appointed rather than elected, accounting for more than half of the regional leadership posts throughout Indonesia.



2023/56 “Backing Startups and Believing in Unicorns: Policy Implications and Challenges for Malaysia” by Tham Siew Yean


2023 No. 56

The Malaysian government’s aspirations to nurture startups and unicorns can be traced back to the establishment of its Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in 1996.