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.


2022/40 “Cambodia’s Post-Pandemic Recovery and Future Growth: Key Challenges” by David Freedman and Jayant Menon


2022 No. 40

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Almost two years after the pandemic, Cambodia is moving ahead with re-opening. An impressive vaccination campaign and pragmatic economic policies have helped position the country for economic recovery. However, risks remain and three key challenges must be addressed to support recovery and long-term growth. The first challenge relates to maintaining health security and […]


2022/39 ““Ukraine Today, Taiwan Tomorrow”: Should Southeast Asia Worry?” by Drew Thompson


2022 No. 39

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder of the possibility that the fate of Taiwan may be eventually decided by military force. Japan and Australia have recently taken steps, especially through strengthened security ties with the US, to contribute to efforts to deter Beijing from using force, indicating their changed assessment of […]


2022/38 “What’s Next for ASEAN-UK Dialogue Relations?” by Joanne Lin


2022 No. 38

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The United Kingdom (UK) was accorded the status of Dialogue Partnership by ASEAN on 2 August 2021. With the UK as ASEAN’s 11th Dialogue Partner, both the partners face the important task of establishing modalities of engagement and charting areas of cooperation across the three Community pillars. Beyond practical cooperation, the UK may […]


2022/37 “Migration in Post-coup Myanmar: A Critical Determinant in Shaping the Country’s Future?” by Aung Tun


2022 No. 37

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since the February 2021 coup, migration—both internal and external—has taken on new importance in Myanmar, to the degree that this may be called a “Myanmar migration moment”. The reason for increases in migration is clear: security concerns. Migrants driven out of the country in the aftermath of the coup have reinforced the existing […]


2022/36 “Cambodia-Vietnam Relations: Key Issues and the Way Forward” by Kimkong Heng


2022 No. 36

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In recent decades, Cambodia and Vietnam have enjoyed strong and deepening bilateral ties, but their relations are not without contention. The unfinished demarcation of their land border has caused persistent disputes between the two countries. This has not only shaped Cambodia’s domestic politics but also contributed to the lingering suspicion among certain Cambodians […]


2022/35 “Can OTOP Support Northeastern Thailand’s Post-Pandemic Recovery?” by Alexandra Dalferro


2020 No. 35

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The OTOP programme sponsored by Thailand’s Community Development Department (CDD) has become synonymous with “community economy” in Thailand’s rural areas. OTOP stands for “One Tambon, One Product;” producers grouped by tambon or sub-district receive support from the CDD to develop a product particular to their locality. OTOP was initiated by former Prime Minister […]


2022/34 “Labelling Fake News: The Politics of Regulating Disinformation in Thailand” by Janjira Sombatpoonsiri


2022 No. 34

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In Thailand, determining what news is true or fake appears to be a political matter. The Thai authorities associate “fake news” with public harm and as a national threat, giving rise to stringent regulatory responses. Official hostility toward “fake news” is influenced by virulent political conflicts that have been played out in off- […]


2022/33 “Stronger Social Media Influence in the 2022 Philippine Elections” by Aries A. Arugay


2022 No. 33

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Social media will play a prominent role in the campaign strategy of candidates in the upcoming 2022 elections due to the increasing reliance of Filipinos on social media and the face-to-face restrictions associated with the pandemic. While there is no one model of successful social media campaigning in the Philippines, previous presidential campaigns […]


2022/32 “Enabling Domestic Data Flows for E-Commerce in ASEAN Countries” by Sithanonxay Suvannaphakdy


2022 No. 32

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework to build trust in data sharing between stakeholders and to enhance domestic data flows in ASEAN countries are urgent concerns. This is a precondition for enhancing cross-border data flows and promoting e-commerce in the region. An analysis of 14 regulatory elements using data from the World Bank’s Global […]


2022/31 “Greenwashing: A Market Distortion Needing Serious Attention in Southeast Asia” by Michael T. Schaper and Ryan Wong Yee Yang


2022 No. 31

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY “Greenwashing” refers to the practice of falsely claiming that a product, service or business activity is environmentally-friendly, or reduces greenhouse gas emissions, when it does not. It distorts consumer patterns of purchasing; penalises legitimate eco-friendly businesses who are bringing real and meaningful innovations to the marketplace; and creates a risk that new, more […]