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"PM Morrison’s Visit: A New Era for Indonesia-Australia Relations?" by Siwage Dharma Negara and Leo Suryadinata

2018/86, 4 September 2018 The newly elected Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Indonesia from August 31 to September 2. It is his first foreign trip a week after his inauguration. The visit indicates Australia's foreign policy priority to improving bilateral relations with Indonesia. Traditionally, new Australian leaders have always…
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"The Northeast Asian Exception" by Malcolm Cook

2018/85, 24 August 2018It has long been an article of conventional wisdom that the lack of strategic trust between China, Japan and South Korea undermines economic cooperation between the three Northeast Asian trading powers and undercuts their ability to set regional and global rules and standards. There is much evidence…
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"Vietnam’s North-South High-speed Rail Project: A Renewed Opportunity for Japan?" by Le Hong Hiep

2018/84, 21 August 2018 In June 2010, Vietnam’s National Assembly voted to reject a proposal to build a North-South high-speed rail line connecting Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City. This proposal, backed by Japanese companies, failed to win the legislature’s approval due to its high price tag of USD56…
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"Jokowi’s New Candidate for Vice-president and the Rise of Conservatism" by Norshahril Saat

2018/83, 11 August 2018 Ending weeks of speculation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) officially declared cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate for the 2019 presidential elections. The declaration only came one day before the deadline for parties to shortlist potential names for the race. Divisions within the coalition that…
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"Indonesia’s Presidential Nominees: a Quick Take" by Eve Warburton

2018/82, 10 August 2018 After weeks of intrigue and speculation, Indonesia’s presidential nominations are finally known. As expected, Jokowi will face his old adversary Prabowo Subianto, who resisted pressure from his coalition parties to select Deputy Governor of Jakarta Sandiaga Uno as his running mate. Sandi is a prominent businessman…
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"The Sungai Kandis By-election: A Test for the New Pakatan Harapan Administration" by Dr Norshahril Saat

2018/81, 6 August 2018 In the recent Sungai Kandis by-election held on 4 August, Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Zawawi Ahmad Mughni managed to retain the seat for the ruling coalition. The by-election was held following the passing of PKR assemblyman Mat Suhaimi on 2 July. Zawawi won the seat in…
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"Constitutional Reform in the Philippines: Two Worrying Omens", by Malcolm Cook

2018/80, 23 July 2018 Supporters of federalism in the Philippines have long argued that revisions to the 1987 Constitution would not be limited to replacing the current unitary state system with a federal one. Instead revisions would extend to relaxing the 1987 Constitution’s articles and sections limiting foreign participation in…
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"Philippine Federalism: More National-Level Politicians" by Malcolm Cook

2018/79, 6 July 2018 On Monday, the Consultative Committee to review the 1987 Constitution is scheduled to submit a draft constitution to President Duterte that would transform the Philippines from a unitary to a federal system. The next two steps on the road to a federal Philippines are for the…
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“The 2018 Indonesian Local Elections Results: 'Rehearsal' for Party Machinery and Mobilization of Identity-Politics” by Deasy Simandjuntak

2018/78, 6 July 2018 Indonesian voters in 171 regions have voted for governors, district-heads and mayors on 27 June 2018. With 152 million eligible voters and a voter-turnout of 73.24% based on quick count results thus far, not only was this years’ elections among the largest in the world, but…
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"Vietnam’s Anti-corruption Campaign: How much is it about Political Infighting?" by Le Hong Hiep

2018/77, 5 July 2018 On 30 June 2018, the Inspectorate Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) announced that it had expelled former chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) Tran Bac Ha and former chairman of state-owned mobile carrier MobiFone Le Nam Tra from…
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