ISEAS Perspective 2024

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.

 

2024/52 “Causes and Effects of Pheu Thai’s Grand Compromise: The Lurking Instability of Thailand’s Post-2023 Party System” by Mathis Lohatepanont and Napon Jatusripitak

 

2024 No. 52

After the 2023 general election, the Pheu Thai Party agreed to a grand compromise with the conservative parties, allowing Pheu Thai candidate Srettha Thavisin to take office as prime minister.

 


2024/51 “Holding Social Media Companies Accountable for Enabling Hate and Disinformation” by Nuurrianti Jalli

 

2024 No. 51

Social media platforms, while connecting billions and amplifying marginalised voices, have become tools for spreading hate, disinformation, and extremist ideologies due to these business models prioritising engagement and ad revenue.

 


2024/50 “Whither Institutional Reform in Malaysia?” by Meredith L. Weiss

 

2024 No. 50

However, over a year and a half into the administration of Malaysia’s PH-led ‘Unity Government’, complaints proliferate about the lack of progress on institutional reform.

 


2024/49 “Minorities in Brunei Darussalam: Intersecting Religion and Ethnicity” by Chang-Yau Hoon and Asiyah Kumpoh

 

2024 No. 49

This Perspective offers a nuanced understanding of the interplay between religion and ethnicity among minority groups in Brunei Darussalam, a nation where Islam constitutes the majority religion and where religious proselytisation, except for Islam, is strictly forbidden.

 


2024/48 “Malaysia’s Progressive Wage Policy: Looming Questions for the Pilot Project” by Lee Hwok Aun

 

2024 No. 48

The Progressive Wage Policy (PWP)  piloted in June-September 2024 will introduce multiple wage floors above minimum wage and help employers pay Malaysian workers PWP-determined wages.

 


2024/47 “Two Borneo Neighbours on Diversity: Comparing Religious Authority in Brunei and Sarawak” by Norshahril Saat

 

2024 No. 47

Borneo represents a unique case study of religious diversity. It is ethnically diverse and presents three sovereign states: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

 


2024/46 “Southeast Asian Perceptions of China: Beijing’s Growing Power is Recognised, but Feared” by Lee Sue-Ann and William Choong

 

2024 No. 46

Taken together, these indicators suggest that the region’s preference for aligning with China is more about an erosion in confidence in US leadership and a concomitant desire to ‘keep the peace’ with China.

 


2024/45 “Southeast Asia and the Global South: Rhetoric and Reality” by Hoang Thi Ha and Cha Hae Won

 

2024 No. 45

The Global South discourse has been gaining greater salience in contemporary global politics, driven by the shift of the world’s centre of gravity to the Indo-Pacific, the rise of non-Western powers, and intensified great power competition.

 


2024/44 “Anti-Corruption Politics and Shifts in Central-Local Relations in Vietnam” by Nguyen Khac Giang

 

2024 No. 44

Moving forward, Vietnam must strike a balance between its anti-corruption efforts and the need for provincial autonomy, to sustain economic growth at the local level.

 


2024/43 “The Impact of China’s Digital Silk Road on the Digital Domain of the Philippines” by Julio S. Amador III and Deryk Matthew N. Baladjay

 

2024 No. 43

The Marcos Jr. administration’s digitalisation efforts are caught in the middle of the geopolitical contests between China and the United States.