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"Natuna and Anambas Intend to Separate from Riau Islands Province", a Commentary by Deasy Simandjuntak

2017/8, 6 February 2017The local governments of the Natuna and Anambas districts recently stated their desire to separate from the Riau Islands Province (known as Kepri), to form a new province. Both districts make up an archipelago of 510 islands, with a total population of 107,000. Together with the districts…
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"Vietnam, President Trump and the TPP", a Commentary by Truong-Minh Vu

2017/7, 3 February 2017 President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP sparked an active debate in Vietnam among mid-ranking officials and scholars about Vietnam’s trade policy in general and suitable responses to the U.S. withdrawal. This ongoing discussion identifies two major problems and three responses for Vietnam,…
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"Whither the True Cost of Mega-Port Development?" a Commentary by Serina Rahman

2017/6, 25 January 2017 The development of the Klang Valley’s third port and industrial city in Carey Island will add to the list of Malaysian mega-port developments such as the Malacca Gateway and the Kuala Linggi International Port, many in collaboration with mainland Chinese investors. While some have questioned the…
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"Beyond Jakarta: Indonesian Regions Resisting Muslim Hardliners", a Commentary by Deasy Simandjuntak

2017/5, 19 January 2017 Despite the rising trend of religious intolerance marked by the blasphemy case against Jakarta’s Chinese-Christian governor Ahok, recent developments show that hard-line ideologies and attitudes are facing protests and rejections in many regions of the archipelago. These come from various ethnic and religious groups, such as…
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"Vietnam Strengthens Ties with China amidst Regional Uncertainty" a Commentary by Le Hong Hiep

2017/4, 19 January 2017 Last week, General Secretary of Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong paid an official visit to China, the first since his re-election at the CPV’s 12th Congress in January 2016. President Xi Jinping accorded Mr Trong the highest level of protocol with a 21-gun…
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"What Lies Ahead for Sarawak with Adenan Satem’s passing?" a Commentary by Lee Hock Guan and Lee Poh Onn

2017/3, 12 January 2017 Sarawak’s very popular, his approval rating was 85 percent, Chief Minister Adenan Satem, passed away at 1.24pm on Wednesday just nearly two weeks shy of his 73rd birthday after suffering a cardiac arrest. Adenan was the first Malay politician to hold the Chief Minister post after…
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""Islamization of Politics” in Indonesia and Malaysia?" a Commentary by Leo Suryadinata

2017/2, 12 January 2017 Recent political developments in Indonesia and Malaysia witnessed the force of Islam in influencing, if not determining, the political processes. Indonesia Indonesia as a Pancasila state recognizes six official religions, including Islam. Despite a majority professing the Muslim faith (87%), Islam is not the state religion.…
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"Indonesia Ratifies Maritime Border Treaty with Singapore", a Commentary by Mustafa Izzuddin

Commentary 2017/1, 5 January 2017On 15 December 2016, the Indonesian parliament (DPR) ratified a sea border treaty between Indonesia and Singapore to demarcate the maritime boundary in the eastern section of the Singapore Strait, covering a 9.45 km stretch between Changi and Batam. This ratification, achieved 27 months after this…
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"Migrant Worker Abuse Remains a Problem in Malaysia", a Commentary by Lee Hwok-Aun

2016/85 15 December 2016The Guardian’s exposé of severe worker exploitation in Samsung, Panasonic and McDonald’s shines an accusing spotlight on Malaysia’s labour practices again (please click here and here to read more). This investigative report by the UK newspaper comes two years after the NGO Verité’s extensive survey (please click…
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"Reviving the Glory Days of Malacca", a Commentary by Serina Rahman

2016/84 14 December 2016 The recently launched Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) will complete the Malacca Port Development Masterplan. Already on the cards are the Melaka Gateway Port (tourism), the Sungai Udang Port (military), the Tangga Batu Port (oil and gas), the Sungai Rambai Port (mining and minerals), the Tangga…
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