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.


2023/31 “Keeping Southeast Asia Afloat: Restorative Aquaculture Key to its Food Resilience” by Elyssa Kaur Ludher


2023 No. 31

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Aquaculture is key to Southeast Asia’s food security as the region contributes nearly one quarter of global seafood production. However, commercial aquaculture has often resulted in aquatic ecosystem degradation. Restorative aquaculture, particularly by growing seaweed and shellfish, promotes aquatic farming while having a rehabilitative impact on marine and estuarine ecosystems. There are opportunities […]


2023/30 “Not Yet the End of the World: Tackling Malaysian Muslim Millenarianism in the Age of Social Media” by Amirul Adli Rosli and Nur Syafiqah


2023 No. 30

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since 2021, Malaysia has been seeing the emergence of millenarian movements promoting apocalyptic narratives, such as Gerakan Akhir Zaman (GAZA) and Perjalanan Mimpi Yang Terakhir (PMYT). Although millenarian movements are not new in Malaysia, their recent public presence is marked by savvy and creative social media strategies. Their content is easily accessible and […]


2023/29 “Agrivoltaic Systems and Just Energy-Agriculture Transition in Southeast Asia” by Prapimphan Chiengkul


2023 No. 29

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY To tackle climate change and promote just energy transition, Southeast Asian policymakers should look for ways to promote the use of renewable energy in agriculture. This is because the sector consumes a significant amount of fossil fuels annually. Since the expansion of renewable energy increases land-use competition with agrifood production, policymakers should support […]


2023/28 “Japan’s Role in Regional Security: Recalibration and Regional Reactions” by Joseph Chinyong Liow and William Choong


2023 No. 28

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY While anti-militarist sentiments have been pervasive among ordinary Japanese since World War Two, the country has not been stuck in the pacifist mould. In the ensuing decades after the war, Tokyo has been cognisant of new realities in its strategic environment. Japan’s historic reinterpretation of the Constitution in 2015 to allow the Japan […]


2023/27 “Key Economic Challenges Ahead of Indonesia’s Presidential Election in 2024” by Manggi Habir and Siwage Dharma Negara


2023 No. 27

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The three most significant economic concerns of Indonesians are inflation, unemployment and growth. Job layoffs are occurring in several industries at the moment, compounding the challenges faced by Indonesia’s policymakers. The use of higher interest rates to combat inflation is constrained by its impact in terms of burdening borrowers and hurting the country’s […]


2023/26 “Prospects and Weaknesses of the R20 Forum on Religion Launched at the G20 Summit in Bali” by Syafiq Hasyim


2023 No. 26

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY R20 (G20’s Religion Forum) was proposed by the General Chairman of NU (Nahdlatul Ulama) as an occasion for religious leaders from around the world to discuss how religion could help resolve global problems. This was an ambiguous proposal, considering that religion remains both a negative and positive factor where peace and conflict in […]


2023/25 “Vietnam’s Social Insurance Dilemma and Workers’ Precarious Conditions” by Tu Phuong Nguyen


2023 No. 24

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The growing trend of young employees choosing to withdraw their social insurance premiums early has been a major challenge to Vietnam’s social insurance system. Those who choose to do so give up their pensions and the accompanying free public health insurance when they retire in the future. Factors such as employees’ livelihood, job […]


2023/24 “What’s Interesting about the Thai General Election is not Who Wins but What Comes After” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap


2023 No. 24

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Pheu Thai (PT), Thailand’s chief opposition party, looks certain to win the largest number of House seats in the upcoming general election on 14 May. But coming first in the poll does not guarantee PT the lead in forming a new government. Neither will the party automatically land the next premiership for one […]


2023/23 “The AUKUS Announcement and Southeast Asia: An Assessment of Regional Responses and Concerns” by Ian Storey and William Choong*


2023 No. 23

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The plan by Australia, the UK and US (AUKUS) to provide the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with nuclear-powered submarines from the early 2030s entails significant financial, operational, technical and industrial challenges. It has also elicited both negative and positive reactions from regional states. Southeast Asian responses to the AUKUS announcement have been mixed […]


2023/22 “Strong Party-to-Party Relations Cement Cambodia-China Bilateral Ties” by Chheang Vannarith


2023 No. 22

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Cambodia-China relationship has been significantly shaped and enhanced by party-to-party engagement. The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) have played an instrumental role in forging political trust and personal ties between the leaders of the two countries. The two political parties contribute to the building of political trust […]