ISEAS Perspective 2022

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.


2022/120 “China-educated Malaysians and China’s Educational Outreach to Malaysia” by Ngeow Chow Bing and Fan Pik Shy


2022 No. 120

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY There are at least four different kinds of China-educated Malaysians: Malaysians pursuing university education in China; Malaysians doing short-term training courses in China; Malaysians learning Chinese language at Confucius Institutes within Malaysia; and Malaysians studying at Xiamen University Malaysia. Those Malaysian students studying in China universities are associated with two different circles, the […]



2022/119 “The Promise and Peril of Patronage Politics for Authoritarian Party-Building in Thailand” by Napon Jatusripitak


2022 No. 119

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Palang Pracharath Party’s (PPRP’s) decision to mobilise support through patronage politics in the 2019 general election has resulted in its failure to develop a strong and coherent party organisation with effective control over its MPs and durable ties to its local electoral base. This outcome is best understood as an enduring consequence […]



2022/118 “The Struggle for International Recognition: Myanmar after the 2021 Coup” by Joanne Lin and Moe Thuzar


2022 No. 118

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The military coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021 created huge diplomatic repercussions, throwing into uncertainty the country’s international position and representation. The coup’s unconstitutional basis and the resistance to military rule in Myanmar also presented challenges for international and regional bodies to engage with stakeholders in Myanmar.   The United Nations and […]



2022/117 “Setbacks for Moscow, Progress for Kyiv: The Russia-Ukraine War and its Impact on the ASEAN, G20 and APEC Summits” by Ian Storey


2022 No. 117

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Russia-Ukraine War complicated but did not derail the ASEAN, G20 and APEC summits in Southeast Asia. The host nations stood their ground and refused to heed calls from Western countries to exclude Russia. All three meetings were a qualified success thanks to skilful diplomacy. President Putin did not travel to Southeast Asia […]



2022/116 “China’s Hydro-Politics Through the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation” by Hoang Thi Ha


2022 No. 116

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY China has actively pursued water diplomacy with Lower Mekong countries through the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) to ensure a stable and friendly periphery and to counter US criticism and securitisation of Chinese cascade dam-building. Central to the Chinese discursive construction is the positive framing of its dams as providing regional public goods through “regulating […]



2022/115 “How Malaysia’s GE15 Outcome Will Affect the Revision of Budget 2023” by Cassey Lee


2022 No. 115

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Malaysia’s federal budget for 2023, which was tabled by the Barisan Nasional-led government, will need to be revised and re-tabled in the parliament after the country’s 15th general election. Barisan Nasional has proposed, in its election manifesto, a significant expansion in the coverage of income support for poor households (B40), which will essentially […]



2022/114 “The Johor Vote – The Impact of Ethnicity, Turnout and Age on Voter Preferences” by Kevin Zhang and Francis E. Hutchinson


2022 No. 114

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This Perspective analyses the results from the 2018 and 2022 Johor state elections to gauge the impact of ethnicity, turnout, and the youth vote on voter preferences. Voters in heavily Malay-majority areas in Johor were as motivated to vote in 2022 as they were in 2018 – and they largely chose Barisan Nasional […]



2022/113 “Malaysia’s GE-15 Manifestos: Wading Through a Flood of Offerings” by Lee Hwok Aun


2022 No. 114

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Malaysia will hold its 15th General Election (GE-15) on 19 November, at the onset of the monsoon season. An unprecedented three national coalitions are vying for hearts and minds, six million of whom are new voters. Manifestos of the three national coalitions — Barisan Nasional (BN), Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) […]



2022/112 “Mapping the Surge in EV Production in Southeast Asia” by Tham Siew Yean


2022 No. 112

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Automobile producing countries in SEA are rushing to promote the use and production of EVs to reduce carbon emissions and to attract more investments and employment opportunities, with the use of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. Assessment of the development of EVs along the seven main modes in the EV supply chain shows that […]



2022/111 “Anutin Charnvirakul: Strongest Contender for the Thai Premiership” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap


2022 No. 111

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul is the strongest contender for the next Thai premiership. His Bhumjaithai Party has been growing from strength to strength, with more MPs from other parties jumping onto its bandwagon heading into the next general election. He and his party are presenting themselves as […]