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"China’s Belt and Road Forum – A Vision for the World, An Eye on the Region" by Jason Salim

2017/25, 17 May 2017 China’s ambition to take the lead on the world stage was evident from the pomp and grandeur of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held from 14-15 May 2017. The two-day forum – replete with speeches, gala dinners, performances, and a roundtable summit –…
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"Bandar Malaysia – More Questions than Answers" by Serina Rahman

2017/24, 17 May 2017 The Bandar Malaysia project was launched in May 2011; a 197ha development under the 1MDB Real Estate arm that was meant to be a new business district of Kuala Lumpur as well as a major transport node, housing the terminus of the High Speed Rail (HSR)…
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"The Disbandment of Hizbut-Tahrir Indonesia: Curbing Islamist Hardliners?", a Commentary by Deasy Simandjuntak

2017/23, 16 May 2017 Indonesia has moved to disband the decades-old hard-line group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). In his speech on May 8, the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, Retired General Wiranto listed three grounds: Firstly, HTI has not assumed a positive role in the country’s efforts to…
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"Jakarta’s Ethnic Chinese Christian Governor Sentenced to 2 Years for Blasphemy", by Charlotte Setijadi

2017/22, 12 May 2017On Tuesday, 9 May 2017, the North Jakarta District Court sentenced outgoing ethnic Chinese Christian Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (also known as Ahok) to two years in jail for blasphemy against Islam. This sentence is the newest turn in what has been a highly contested blasphemy…
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"Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) Sends Message to Thai Authorities", by Michael Montesano

2017/21, 12 May 2017Analysts are now convinced that the bombs that exploded outside the “Big C” supermarket in the southern Thai provincial capital of Pattani on Tuesday afternoon were the work of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN). The bombs—a small one apparently planted in motorcycle in the store’s parking area…
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"Lukewarm Response from Indonesia on Pence’s Visit" by Leo Suryadinata

2017/20, 2 May 2017 US Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to Indonesia from 20-21 April 2017 was an opportunity for the US to reassure Southeast Asians that the Trump Administration has not forgotten the region. It also afforded the opportunity for the new administration to get a first-hand account on how…
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"Pence Sends Early Signs of US’ Renewed Interest in Southeast Asia" by Jason Salim

2017/19, 24 April 2017 US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to four Asia-Pacific countries – South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia – have brought some measure of relief to a region anxious to know if the erstwhile Pacific power was still interested in them. Given that President Donald Trump has…
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"Ahok Defeat Signals Shifting Islamic Grounds" by Charlotte Setijadi

2017/18, 24 April 2017 Incumbent Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (affectionately known as Ahok) has been decisively defeated in the Jakarta gubernatorial run-off election that took place on Wednesday, 19 April. While the formal result from the Jakarta Electoral Commission is still pending for another month, quick count exit polls…
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"ACT 355 will Divide Malaysians Even More", a Commentary by Norshahril Saat

2017/17, 11 April 2017 On 6 April, the Malaysian Speaker of Parliament, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, allowed PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang, to table the Private Member’s Bill to amend ACT 355 (Syariah Courts Criminal Jurisdiction). Mr Abdul Hadi then provided details of his proposal. However, Mr Pandikar postponed…
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"The Trump-Xi Summit and Sino-US Power Transition", by Le Hong Hiep

2017/16, 6 April 2017Speculations of China’s rise and America’s relative decline have been around for some time, and the Trump presidency has rekindled discussions on the prospect of China replacing the US as the most dominant global power. The Trump-Xi summit in Miami, which starts tomorrow, may fuel this perception…
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