No law sees Indonesia’s extremist charities offering terrorists more

• Contributed content • Editorial

No law sees Indonesia’s extremist charities offering terrorists more

More than 1,100 suspected terrorists have been arrested in Indonesia since 2015, with more killed in counter-terrorism operations or during attacks. As of 2018 there was 432 terrorist inmates housed across 117 prisons, with hundreds of others undergoing or awaiting trial. However, while the Indonesian government is successfully enforcing its anti-terrorism law, the proliferation of extremist charities […]

BRI backlash: time for China to reassure Asean

• Editorial

BRI backlash: time for China to reassure Asean

China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to draw criticism and disapproval. Its sceptics brand it as China’s Marshall Plan, or as a ‘neo-imperial project’. To ensure the initiative’s success, China should heed some of these concerns and take steps to improve the implementation of BRI-related projects. Doing so is particularly important in Asean […]

Putin’s Singapore visit signals continued Russia-Asean interest

• Editorial

Putin’s Singapore visit signals continued Russia-Asean interest

Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first-ever state visit to Singapore on November 13, 2018. Coinciding with the 33rd Asean summit, 3rd Asean–Russia summit, 13th East Asia Summit (EAS), and 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Singapore, the visit marks an important step in Russia’s efforts to broaden its pivot to the East. […]

Asean currency crisis: region at risk of a ‘currency crisis stroke’

• Editorial

Asean currency crisis: region at risk of a ‘currency crisis stroke’

The rumblings of a currency crisis in emerging markets is only getting louder. Argentina’s Central Bank raised interest rates to 40 per cent to protect its peso in May 2018. When this did little to help, Argentina took out a $50 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Turkey stated in August 2018 that more […]

Asean centrality key to maintaining South China Sea stability

• Editorial

Asean centrality key to maintaining South China Sea stability

The 51st Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings held in Singapore from July 30 to August 4 were hailed as a success. Most notably, there were no delays in the issuance of a joint communique, which had previously been delayed because of seemingly intractable issues such as the South China Sea dispute. In […]

Continuity Behind Strengthening Singapore-Malaysia Ties

• Editorial

Continuity Behind Strengthening Singapore-Malaysia Ties

The eighth Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat held in Singapore on January 14 and 15 2018 witnessed a milestone in bilateral ties. Leaders of both countries signed an agreement to build a rapid transit system linking Johor Bahru and Singapore, and officially launched the Marina One and Duo joint developments. But new challenges threaten to test relations […]

Indonesia military shuffling sees Jokowi’s man heading for top job

Indonesia military shuffling sees Jokowi’s man heading for top job

The leadership of the Indonesian military is in flux. In the last three months of 2017, then commander General Gatot Nurmantyo executed two reshuffles of senior officers: one on October 27 and the other on December 4. Four days later on December 8, General Nurmantyo handed over command of the military to Air Chief Marshal […]

Indonesia’s Blue Economy In Need of Good Governance

• Editorial

Indonesia’s Blue Economy In Need of Good Governance

The ‘blue economy’ concept — a model of sustainable development concerned with the use of the coastal and marine ecosystem — gained prominence in Indonesia as one of the main components of President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo’s Global Maritime Fulcrum vision. Jokowi’s maritime policy aims to reinvigorate Indonesia’s maritime identity, manage the country’s marine resources, strengthen its maritime […]

RUU 355: politics, not religion fuelling increasing Malaysia islamisation

The February 18, 2017 rallies for and against the bill to amend the 1965 Criminal Jurisdiction Act, known as RUU 355, have opened yet another political and social schism in Malaysian society. RUU 355 began as a private member’s bill by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) president Hadi Awang and seeks to raise the penalties […]

Malaysia must act firmly over Kim Jong-nam assassination (video)

The murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged eldest brother of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) should come as no surprise to those familiar with the violent ways of the Kim regime. CCTV footage shows two women wiping a cloth containing the deadly VX nerve agent – classified as a […]

Mahathir And Anwar: Unlikely Bedfellows Reunite For BN/ Najib Battle

Mahathir And Anwar: Unlikely Bedfellows Reunite For BN/ Najib Battle

On Monday September 5,  former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad did the unthinkable. He turned up at the High Court for Anwar Ibrahim’s filing of an interim injunction to stop the enforcement of the newly-passed National Security Council (NSC) Act. Mahathir shook hands with his former ally turned nemesis and both exchanged pleasantries. He wished […]

What to Expect From President Duterte (video)

What to Expect From President Duterte (video)

Since the election of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the next Philippine president in a landslide victory on May 9, 2016, the regional and international media have highlighted his outrageous remarks on various sensitive topics. For instance, he backed the extra-judicial killings of drug dealers, alleged that journalists were killed because they were corrupt, […]