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.


2022/70 “Thai PM Needs to Show His Cards if He Survives the Upcoming No-Confidence Fight” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap


2022 No. 70

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha and most of the 10 members of his cabinet targeted in a no-confidence motion to be debated in the third week of July are in no danger of falling. The ruling coalition supporting Prayut is strong and in control of a comfortable majority in the House of […]


2022/69 “The Nusantara Project: Prospects and Challenges” by Yanuar Nugroho and Dimas Wisnu Adrianto


2022 No. 69

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The relocation of the Indonesian capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan is perhaps the most ambitious government project in history, both politically and technocratically. From the national planning perspective, it offers a shining opportunity for stimulating growth after the pandemic and promoting equitable development in the country. However, the hasty manner in which […]


2022/68 “We Travel Together? Assessing Domestic Tourism during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Thailand” by Alexandra Dalferro


2022 No. 68

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Thailand’s tourism industry and emphasized the country’s economic dependence on this sector. It has cost Thailand at least three million tourism-dependent jobs, and, more broadly, left up to 7.5 million workers without employment in 2020 and 2021. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) programmes have attempted to reinvigorate […]


2022/67 “Better Safeguards Needed for Trusted Data Use in ASEAN Countries” by Sithanonxay Suvannaphakdy


2022 No. 67

* Sithanonxay Suvannaphakdy is Lead Researcher at the ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is grateful for valuable comments and suggestions from Sharon Seah. All remaining errors are his own. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The expansion of digital connectivity among businesses, consumers and governments both within and across borders increases the need for data […]


2022/66 “Situating the Role Schools Have Played in the Mindanao Conflict” by Jonamari Kristin Floresta


2022 No. 66

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the years, formal education has influenced the development of radical views among insurgency leaders in Mindanao. Along with the desire for protection, schools can reinforce radicalism among young people in Mindanao by perpetrating structural violence and through certain micro interactions in schools. Developing understanding attitudes towards people with different beliefs in schools […]


2022/65 “The International Community Needs to Prepare for a Post-Tatmadaw Myanmar” by Anders Kirstein Moeller


2022 No. 65

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Myanmar’s Tatmadaw is facing its largest challenge in over six decades, and there is a small but increasing likelihood that they will lose their grip on power. The Tatmadaw’s combat forces of around 100,000 are stretched thin, facing a vast array of armed resistance groups and engaging in unfamiliar cellularized warfare. Although the […]


2022/64 “Nahdlatul Ulama’s Muktamar 2021 and its Implications: Some Field Observations” by Syafiq Hasyim and Hui Yew-Foong


2022 No. 64

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) is the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, and its 34th Muktamar (5-yearly Congress), which elects its leadership and determines its position on pertinent socio-religious issues, held in December 2021, inevitably bears wide-ranging implications for the country. Both the key contenders for NU’s top leadership position, Said Aqil Siradj (incumbent) and […]


2022/63 “The Paradox of Malaysia’s Lowering of Voting Age – Expanded Enfranchisement Devalued by More Unequal Representation” by James Chai


2022 No. 63

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 (“CA2019”), gazetted into law on 10 September 2019, lowered the voting age to 18 years, allowed for younger electoral candidates and introduced automatic voter registration for adults aged 18 and above. The lowering of the voting age added 5.8 million new voters, thereby enlarging the electorate to 21.02 […]


2022/62 “The Shi’as and Freedom of Religion under Joko Widodo’s Presidency” by A’an Suryana


2022 No. 62

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In Indonesia, the Shi’a community’s freedom to practise their religious rights deserves scrutiny, due to longstanding tensions between followers of the majority Sunni sect and the minority Shi’as. The number of Shi’a followers has grown considerably since the Iranian revolution in 1979, and Shi’a foundations, organisations and educational institutions have also increased. Under […]


2022/61 “Weaponizing Ho Chi Minh in Vietnamese Discourse on the War in Ukraine” by Olga Dror


2022 No. 61

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Vietnamese government has appeared sympathetic to Moscow, unwilling to denounce its aggression. Facing criticism from some quarters of the public, Vietnam’s propaganda machine has used social media channels to justify the government’s position. Mắt Thần (Divine Eye), a state-linked Facebook page, has mobilized pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine sentiments by […]