President Obama’s latest visit to East Asia has featured two symbolic highlights; the full lifting of U.S. arms embargo against Vietnam, and the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to the Hiroshima peace park. Media coverage of the arms embargo have focussed primarily on US-China relations, undoubtedly aided by Obama’s unbelievable claim that the lifting has nothing to do with China. Coverage of the visit to Hiroshima has focussed on Obama’s stated and unrecognised desire for a world without nuclear weapons.
From 19 to 20 May 2016, ASEAN and Russian leaders will meet for the first time outside of Southeast Asia in Sochi, Russia to commemorate twenty years of dialogue relations. This relationship began in 1991 when Russia attended the 24th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur as a guest of the Chair. Five years later, Russia was elevated to full Dialogue Partner status.
Commentary 2016/16, 12 May 2016
With his inclusive policies, aided by a well-oiled party machinery, money politics and gerrymandering, Sarawak’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem helped the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition win 72 of 82 at the 11th Sarawak state elections held on 7 May. It also benefited the BN that the opposition not only failed to unite in opposing BN, but, instead, repeatedly condemned one another for failing to compromise on seat allocations. Tellingly, the BN campaign focused largely on Sarawakian issues and indeed the corruption scandal swirling around Prime Minister Najib Razak was practically a non-factor.
Commentary 2016/11, 27 April 2016.