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"ASEAN Convenes High-Level Security Talks Amidst Regional Uncertainties" by Jason Salim and Tang Siew Mun

2017/45, 2 August 2017 The 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and related meetings begin today (2nd August), and will culminate six days later in the Grand Commemorative Celebration of ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, coinciding with ASEAN’s founding day on 8 August. However, the meetings to mark this momentous milestone in ASEAN’s…
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"A Futile Call: Making Bahasa Melayu ASEAN’s Official Language" by Tang Siew Mun

2017/44, 31 July 2017The proposal to adopt the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) as ASEAN’s “main and official language” is a non-starter, and even futile. This call, made by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur on 26 July 2017, comes after a similar suggestion by his Communications and…
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"Tioman Island Airport Development Revival – More Expense than Earnings" by Serina Rahman

2017/43, 26 July 2017 During the recent launch of the Tekek Makmur affordable homes on Pulau Tioman, Pahang, it was announced that cancelled airport development plans would be revived. Initially announced in 2003 by then-PM Mahathir Mohamed, the project would entail the reclamation of a 2km long, 45m wide airport…
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"Despite Progress, Challenges Remain for Thailand-China High Speed Rail Project" by Pongphisoot Busbarat

2017/42, 17 July 2017 On 11 July 2017, the Thai cabinet finally approved construction of the country’s first high-speed railway (HSR) after nineteen rounds of negotiation with China, going back to 2014. Under pressure from Beijing, Prime Minister Prayut Chanocha bypassed the legal bottlenecks that had stymied progress on the…
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"The Indonesian House of Representatives Confronts the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK): Will it Blink?" by Deasy Simandjuntak

2017/41, 7 July 2017 Indonesian anti-graft agency, the Corruption Eradication Commission - or KPK, is under pressure by the House of Representatives which has mounted an inquiry (hak angket) against it. Under Law No. 17/2014, the House can investigate how a law or government policy which has important and strategic…
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"Martial Law in Mindanao: Length and Scope (2)" by Malcolm Cook

2017/40, 5 July 2017Three recent developments further clarify the likely length and scope of the imposition of martial law and the lifting of the writ of habeas corpus across all of Mindanao: Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in an 11-3-1 verdict, upheld the constitutionality of President Duterte’s 23 May declaration of…
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"Trump and America’s Image a Mixed Bag in Key Southeast Asia Countries", by Ian Storey

2017/39, 28 June 2017 Published on 26 June, the Pew Research Center’s survey of public opinions of President Donald Trump and America in 37 countries shows that Trump, his policies and character are widely unpopular across the world and that America’s image has suffered accordingly. Only 22% have confidence in…
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"New Tensions in Vietnam – China Relations?" by Le Hong Hiep

2017/38, 20 June 2017 Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong paid an official visit to Vietnam from 18 to 19 June 2017. He also planned to join Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich to preside over border exchange activities between the two militaries to be held in…
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Why was Thailand’s Prime Minister Absent in the Belt and Road Initiative Summit? by Pongphisoot Busbarat

2017/37, 9 June 2017 Recently, there were a lot of questions as to why the Singapore Prime Minister was not present at the recent Belt and Road (BRI) Summit held in Beijing during 14-15 May 2017. This is especially when Singapore is located in the maritime silk road. Similar questions…
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"Pancasila Task Force: Re-inculcation Strategy to Counter Intolerant and Fundamentalist Ideologies in Indonesia" by Deasy Simandjuntak

2017/36, 5 June 2017 As an effort to clamp down on fundamentalism and intolerance, the Indonesian government has introduced new measures to re-inculcate Pancasila, which upholds pluralism and inclusiveness, as the sole national ideology. In his speech during Pancasila Day on June 1, President Joko Widodo established UKP-PIP, a special…
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