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"South China Sea Dominates 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue" by Ian Storey

2018/69, 6 June 2018 Although the much-anticipated meeting in Singapore between the leaders of the United States and North Korea was less than two weeks away, the Trump-Kim Summit did not overshadow the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) last weekend. Instead, the South China Sea dispute was front and centre in many…
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"America Pushes Back Against China in the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2018/68, 28 May 2018Events over the past few days suggest that the Trump administration is following through on the pledge it made in its 2017 National Security Strategy to take a firmer line against China’s military activities in the South China Sea. On Sunday 27 May, two US warships conducted…
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"Vietnam under Increasing Pressure from China in the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2018/67, 25 May 2018 Ever since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, and implemented a series of policies designed to reduce friction with Beijing in the Spratly Islands in return for Chinese investment, Vietnam has become the frontline state among the Southeast Asian claimants in the South China…
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“The Surabaya Bombings Highlight Urgency to Ratify the Revisions to Indonesia’s Anti-terrorism Law” by Deasy Simandjuntak

2018/66, 17 May 2018 On Sunday morning, 13 March 2018, between 6.30-7.53am, suicide bombers carried out deadly attacks on three churches, namely the Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church, the Indonesian Christian Church at Diponegoro Street and the Pantekosta Church at Arjuno Street. At least 14 persons were killed and…
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"Pakatan’s Landslide Win in Selangor Thwarts BN Ploys" by Lee Hwok-Aun

2018/65, 17 May 2018 Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) colossal victory in GE14 sprang from a nationwide surge in its popularity and collapse of confidence in the 61-year ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) regime, but PH’s spectacular success in Selangor is exceptional. BN manipulated electoral boundaries to engineer favourable conditions, were most aggressive…
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“BN’s FELDA Vote Bank Running on Borrowed Time” by Geoffrey K. Pakiam

2018/64, 15 May 2018 Malaysia’s 2018 general elections saw unprecedented numbers of FELDA-occupied parliamentary constituencies rejecting politicians from Barisan Nasional (BN). In doing so, they have obliterated any lingering presumptions that most Peninsular rural voters – particularly in agricultural areas established by Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority – would invariably…
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“Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang’s Political Prospects” by Lye Liang Fook and Ha Hoang Hop

2018/63, 15 May 2018 Health issues seem to have dogged Tran Dai Quang since he became Vietnam’s state president in April 2016, leading to speculation that he would soon be shunted aside. The most recent speculation occurred just before the seventh plenum of the 12th Central Committee of the Communist…
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"The Future of China’s Investment in Malaysia under Mahathir" by Tham Siew Yean

2018/62, 14 May 2018The return of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia’s seventh Prime Minister on 10 May 2018 is construed by many to have a negative impact on China’s investment in Malaysia, as he had called for a greater scrutiny of these investments on the campaign trail. The…
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"Will President Trump Come to Singapore Twice in 2018?" by Malcolm Cook

2018/61, 14 May 2018 If things go to plan, President Trump will be in Singapore on 12 June for the historic first US-North Korea Summit, reaffirming Singapore as East Asia’s premiere diplomatic hub. Yet, for President Trump to fulfil his 2018 ASEAN commitments – attending the 6th annual ASEAN-U.S. Summit…
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"When Malaysian Youth Take a Stand… a Wave of Change Follows", by Serina Rahman

2018/60, 14 May 2018 Malaysia’s 14th General Elections resulted in a windfall for the then-opposition People’s Justice Party (PKR); the end of 61 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule and unexpectedly large margins and wins in previously BN strongholds. Many were hoping for a Malay tsunami but what happened in…
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