The 2020 Regional Elections in Indonesia: The Use and Abuse of Religion


Indonesia has laws that seek to deter the politicisation of religion. This will prove to be challenging, especially with the regional elections round the corner.


Prime Minister Suga Goes to Jakarta


Prime Minister Suga’s first trip shows that an “independent and active” Indonesia is not an easy partner for Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy.


Hope Over Fear: The 2020 Student-led Protests in Thailand


Similar goals link the current protests in Thailand with earlier ones. Their different tactics make them harder for authorities to quell.


Vietnam’s Ambitious Politicians: In Facebook We Trust


Facebook poses a challenge to American lawmakers seeking to rein it in. In authoritarian countries such as Vietnam, however, the social media giant has become a handy accomplice and even a springboard for ambitious politicians.


Desperation Debases Democracy in Malaysia


Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has not got the emergency powers he had asked for. His government has lived to fight another day. Still, the constant horse-trading and bickering among the country’s political class has only subverted the country’s democracy.


Why Was Prabowo Invited to the US?


The Indonesian defence minister’s visit to Washington DC raised many eyebrows and questions.


Thai Student Protests: Finishing the Business of 1932?


The recent student protests constitute something more than a call for the resignation of the prime minister. The ultimate goal is the end of the absolute power of the monarchy, as envisioned by revolutionaries of the class of 1932.


Will the Real Union Election Commission Please Stand up?


Recent decisions by Myanmar’s election commission put it in the 8 November election spotlight.


Student Protests in Thailand: The End of Political Quiescence


Recent mass students protests in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand have forced the hand of the government. If the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha does resign, it could signal a victory for the protesters – or a determination on the part of hard-line elements in the military and the palace.


Nahdlatul Ulama versus Jokowi: The NU Normal?


The Nahdlatul Ulama has previously thrown its full support behind the government of Joko Widodo. Its recent criticism of the president’s decision to press on with regional polls and the Omnibus Law suggests a parting of ways.