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"Islamist Mobilization and Cryptic Campaigning in Indonesia" by Quinton Temby

2018/104, 11 December 2018 The third annual Action to Defend Islam (Aksi Bela Islam) rally was held on December 2, in celebration of the popular Islamist mobilization that occurred two years’ ago on December 2, 2016. The original rally was sparked by an allegation of blasphemy against then Jakarta governor…
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"Why did Vietnam Cancel its Defence Engagements with the US?" by Le Hong Hiep

2018/103, 11 December 2018In mid-October 2018, Vietnam scholar Carlyle A. Thayer reported that Vietnam quietly cancelled fifteen defence engagement activities with the United States scheduled for 2019 involving army, navy and air force exchanges. Given the robust strategic rapprochement between the two countries in recent years, despite the uncertainty generated…
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"The Second Duterte Presidency?" by Malcolm Cook

2018/102, 6 December 2018The next presidential election scheduled for May 2022 could see a historic first in the Philippines. A first that would reaffirm and reproduce the most powerful and debilitating continuity of Philippine democracy. 2022 could well see Sara Duterte succeed her father as president. While conventional practice at…
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"What did Russian President Putin Achieve in Singapore?" by Ian Storey

2018/101, 27 November 2018Seen from the perspective of the Russian government, President Vladimir Putin’s 2½ day trip to Singapore last week can be considered a great success. There are three main reasons why. First, and most importantly, Putin’s attendance at the East Asia Summit (EAS) allowed him to burnish his…
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"The Controversy Over Religion-Based Regulations in the 2019 Elections" by Ahmad Najib Burhani

2018/100, 22 November 2018 On 11 November 2018, Grace Natalie, a non-Muslim Chinese who is also the Chairperson of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), declared that her party would never support shari’a-based bylaws and gospel-based bylaws [1]. The statement, made in Serpong, Banten, during the party’s fourth anniversary, has reignited…
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"Chinese Premier Li Calls for South China Sea Code of Conduct by 2021" by Ian Storey

2018/99, 15 November 2018On 13 November 2018, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the 44th Singapore Lecture entitled “Pursuing Open and Integrated Development for Shared Prosperity”. During his speech, Li expressed the hope that China and ASEAN could conclude negotiations on a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea…
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"Aksi Bela Tauhid: Manufacturing Religious Cleavages for the 2019 Presidential Election?" by Ahmad Najib Burhani

2018/98, 8 November 2018 With the appointment of Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate for the 2019 presidential election, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is believed to have shielded himself from the prospect of a bitter campaign using religion. Instead the economy will become the key campaign issue. However, the recent demonstrations…
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"CPTPP Momentum" by Malcolm Cook

2018/97, 31 October 2018The first mega-regional trade deal, the tongue-twisting Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), has successfully passed the domestic legislative processes of 6 of the 11 negotiating parties. This means that the CPTPP will become a market reality by early 2019. These six economies account for…
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"Economy will Become Key Factor in Indonesia's Presidential Elections" by Siwage Dharma Negara

2018 No. 96, 31 October 2018 In a seminar hosted by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on 29 October 2018, Mr Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, one of Indonesia’s leading business people and vice-presidential candidate from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), shared his insights on “Indonesia’s Future Economy”. He cited some critical…
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"China Multilateralizes its Defence Diplomacy in Southeast Asia" by Ian Storey

2018/95, 25 October 2018 China has stepped up its defence diplomacy in Southeast Asia by participating in simultaneous naval exercises with the ASEAN states. From 20 to 29 October, China will hold combined exercises with Malaysia and Thailand in the Straits of Malacca. China and Malaysia have contributed two warships…
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