Daily News on Southeast Asia – 19 Feb 2024

Every weekday, ISEAS Library collates articles relevant to Southeast Asia and special topics in line with the research interests of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. To view articles behind paywalls, please visit the Library during its operating hours.

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Photo by Wan San Yip on Unsplash.

Today’s issue includes the following commentaries and citations attributed to ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and its researchers. You can click on the links to go to the articles directly.

Brunei | Cambodia | Indonesia | Laos | Malaysia | Myanmar | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | Timor-Leste | Vietnam | ASEAN / Southeast Asia | Asia PacificEast/South China Sea | Climate Change/Environment | Media, Technology & Society | Others


1. US Sanctions and Rallying Around the Flag in North Korea and Cambodia
David Whitehouse
Diplomat, 16 February 2024


2. What’s wrong with state capitalism in Indonesia?
Ahmad Mudhofarul Baqi
Jakarta Post, 19 February 2024


3. Najib’s unexplained sentence reduction hurts investor confidence, says think tank head
Natasha Busst
Free Malaysia Today, 19 February 2024
4. Is PH the new BN when it comes to reforms?
Doris Liew
Free Malaysia Today, 19 February 2024
5. During and after Nik Aziz, PAS is the same, say party leaders
Malaysiakini, 19 February 2024
6. Anwar claims a poverty-free KL, Melaka, NS
Murray Hunter
MySinchew, 19 February 2024
7. Dark history of Malaysia’s Chinese villages underscores fury over Unesco bid
Hadi Azmi
South China Morning Post, 19 February 2024
8. PM: Empower syariah courts for all
Zakiah Koya
Star, 19 February 2024
9. Blok Borneo jadi pengimbang penting kestabilan politik negara [Borneo Block an important counterbalance to the country’s political stability]
Mohd Nasaruddin Parzi
Berita Harian, 18 February 2024
10. Keputusan mahkamah isyarat jelas undang-undang syariah perlu diperkasa [The court’s decision is a clear signal that sharia law needs to be strengthened]
Musa Awang, Presiden Persatuan Peguam Syarie Malaysia (PGSM)
Berita Harian, 18 February 2024
11. Why another bumi economic agenda?
Sheridan Mahavera
Star, 18 February 2024
12. The way forward for a new bumi agenda
Sheridan Mahavera
Star, 18 February 2024
13. I can’t stay for too long, Bersatu needs new leadership, says Muhyiddin
Arfa Yunus
Star, 18 February 2024
14. PAS welcomes, supports all initiatives to uphold syariah laws, says Takiyuddin
Fazleena Aziz
Star, 18 February 2024
15. Slashing pensions a brave move but Malaysia govt risks ‘political suicide’, say analysts
Zunaira Saieed
Straits Times, 18 February 2024
16. UMNO tidak ada perancangan hidupkan MN [UMNO has no plans to revive MN] – Ahmad Maslan
Utusan Malaysia, 18 February 2024
17. Kampung Baru Cina: DAP bakal dilabel parti diskriminasi [Chinese new villages: DAP potentially labelled a party of discrimination]
Arief Aiman Asrol
Utusan Malaysia, 18 February 2024
18. 马国特稿:中国人涌入谋发展 马国迎机遇应挑战 [Special article on Malaysia: Malaysia faces opportunities and challenges from the Chinese pouring in seeking development]
[Link to ISEAS Perspective 2022/94]
联合早报, 18 February 2024
19. My Say: Lessons from Singapore’s experience with the Progressive Wage Model
Kevin Zhang and Terence Ho
Edge Markets, 17 February 2024
20. Now Sanusi plans to introduce cheaper ‘Kedah rice’
Free Malaysia Today, 17 February 2024
21. Discuss plan to abolish pension scheme during Bumiputera congress, says KJ
[Link to “KDNK 3.7%, Kongres Ekonomi Bumiputera 2024, Pencen VS KWSP, Beras Putih Malaysia Madani”]
Free Malaysia Today, 17 February 2024
22. Analysts see Zahid’s support in Umno waning
Ameer Fakhri
Free Malaysia Today, 17 February 2024
23. Drama behind former strongman’s decline
Joceline Tan
Star, 17 February 2024
24. Good Regulatory Practice in Malaysia
Muhammad Faliq Abd Razak, Sufian Jusoh, Tamat Sarmidi, Intan Murnira Ramli
ERIA, 16 February 2024
25. Ringgit and democracy: How tax incentives encourage political donations
Syazwan Zainal, Assistant Manager at the Democracy and Governance unit in IDEAS
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, 16 February 2024
26. Nik Elin Zurina’s case showed progressives could fight back
James Chai
MySinchew, 16 February 2024
27. What Kelantan’s upended sharia push in Malaysia reveals about PAS’ Islamist politicking
Joseph Sipalan
South China Morning Post, 16 February 2024
28. Malaysia’s Melaka Gateway project: Scaled-down ambitions
[Originally published here on Fulcrum and also republished on Channel News Asia]
ThinkChina, 16 February 2024


29. Myanmar, the world’s leading opium producer, grapples with pervasive civil conflict and drug crisis (4)
[Link to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3]
Eleven Myanmar, 18 February 2024
30. Defence Minister ensures simultaneous summons won’t apply to all eligible for military service
Eleven Myanmar, 18 February 2024
31. Thousands seek to leave Myanmar after military service announcement
Channel News Asia, 16 February 2024


32. VAT hikes just a Band-Aid
Bangkok Post, 19 February 2024
33. Thaksin is free, can we finally move on?
Arun Saronchai
Thai Enquirer, 19 February 2024
34. Mekong Basin projects ‘doing more harm than good’
Poramet Tangsathaporn
Bangkok Post, 18 February 2024
35. Power behind the scenes: Why it would be ‘impossible’ for Thaksin to leave politics
Tan Hui Yee
Straits Times, 18 February 2024
36. New anti-poverty programme announced
Anucha Charoenpo
Bangkok Post, 16 February 2024
37. Is Southern Thailand Moving Toward Peace?
[A 13-minutes video interview] Sebastian Strangio
Diplomat, 16 February 2024
38. Land bridge project gets the nod from Parliament despite concerns
Chanapat Komlongharn, Napat Kongsawad
The Nation, 16 February 2024


39. Vietnam And Russia-Ukraine War: Hanoi’s ‘Bamboo Diplomacy’ Pays Off But Challenges Remain
[Originally published as ISEAS Perspective 2024/13]
Ian Storey
Eurasia Review, 19 February 2024

ASEAN/Southeast Asia

40. New bids in to revive KL-Singapore high-speed rail, but govt funding remains missing link
Zunaira Saieed
Straits Times, 19 February 2024
41. Optimism in Asean as Prabowo presidency heralds a more active role for Indonesia
Shannon Teoh
Straits Times, 18 February 2024
42. Prabowo’s experience as defence minister a boon for Singapore-Indonesia ties: Experts
Hariz Baharudin
Straits Times, 18 February 2024
43. Aging Southeast Asia grapples with weak social safety nets
Kentaro Takeda
Nikkei Asia, 17 February 2024
44. ASEAN welcomes two new Deputy Secretaries-General
ASEAN Secretariat News, 16 February 2024
45. Trade Openness, COVID-19 Shock, Foreign Direct Investment, Inflation, and Output Volatility in Six ASEAN Member States
Chinmaya Behera and Badri Narayan Rath
ERIA, 16 February 2024
46. Canada’s evolving relationship with the ASEAN region
Kai Ostwald
Institute for Peace & Diplomacy, 16 February 2024

Asia Pacific

47. The Coming Drag on Economic Growth From Security Competition in Asia and Europe
Rane Worldview, 16 February 2024

East/South China Sea

48. How many submarines does the Philippines need to deter Beijing amid South China Sea row?
Maria Siow
South China Morning Post, 19 February 2024
49. Is the Philippines becoming a US ‘proxy’ against Beijing in the South China Sea?
Alan Robles
South China Morning Post, 17 February 2024
50. Philippines launches patrols around disputed shoal to protect fishing grounds, food security
Camille Elemia
Benar News, 16 February 2024
51. Philippines Preparing for Possible Economic Fallout With China Amid Sea Row
Cliff Harvey Venzon and Manolo Serapio Jr
Bloomberg, 16 February 2024
52. Where next for South China Sea stabilisation?
Patrick Triglavcanin
Council on Geostrategy, 16 February 2024
53. Top Philippine diplomat: Focus on superpower rivalry in disputed waters harms claimants
Jason Gutierrez and Jojo Riñoza
Benar News, 15 February 2024

Climate Change/Environment

54. What will Vietnam do to meet net zero emissions commitment?
VietNamNet, 18 February 2024
55. Myanmar’s military regime promotes EVs with a heavy hand
Nikkei Asia, 17 February 2024
56. Save Southeast Asia’s mangrove forests or risk environmental devastation
Mohammad Yunus
South China Morning Post, 17 February 2024
57. Indonesia’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies Threaten its Energy Transition
Galen Erickson
Diplomat, 16 February 2024

Media, Technology & Society

58. Far-right views in Southeast Asia? How 2 Singapore cases may reflect ‘anti-woke’ movement’s slow creep
Kimberly Lim
South China Morning Post, 17 February 2024
59. AI and Elections: Lessons for Southeast Asia
Karryl Kim Sagun Trajano, Nuurrianti Jalli
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, 16 February 2024


Global Economy
60. Can Globalization Survive in an Increasingly Fragmented World?
Adriano Bosoni, Director of Analysis at RANE, Stratfor
Rane Worldview, 15 February 2024

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