New Realities for Southeast Asia: Perspectives From Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan
New & Noteworthy
A useful analysis of the rising conservatism in Malaysian Islam. The author argues that blaming Wahhabism misses just as important local and political reasons.
The southern Philippines is potentially closer to peace than at any time in the four decades since Muslim insurgents started fighting for independence, but the substantial progress over the past six years is also fragile.
The Rohingya may well be the most persecuted people on the planet, and nobody, including the United States, is lifting a finger to help.
Devin Stewart of the Carnegie Council discusses Islam, democracy and challenges in contemporary politics in Indonesia with Margaret Scott.
Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict takes a look at what has happened since violence broke out in Tolikara, Papua.
These images from Philippine presidential front-runner Rodrigo Duterte's huge final rally at Manila's Luneta Park on May 7, 2016 focus on the excitement and color of a hard-fought campaign - and especially the strong emotions at play. In the final picture, vice-presidential candidate Alan Cayetano snaps group selfies from the stage.
In 2010, the Philippines conducted its first-ever automated poll, and I wrote that “elections had changed, but politics didn’t.” This year for a second time, a general election, including the presidency, was automated. Again we had concessions from presidential candidates the day after the polls instead of having to wait weeks for a manual count.
As the campaign period for the May 9 Philippine general elections comes to a close, increasing numbers of Bangsamoro peace process advocates are pushing national and local candidates for more explicit statements regarding their strategy in resolving the protracted conflict in Mindanao. Some worry about whether the peace process will continue under a new president.
On April 30, Vietnam marked 41 years since the end of the American War. While Saigon has changed dramatically in those four decades, transforming into the economic heart of the country as well as its most modern metropolis, April 30, 1975 was a fateful day for the city's residents – and, of course, the country as a whole. Though much of Saigon's history does not exist on film or on paper, this day – and the months which followed – were well-documented in the city.
As drought lingers and unfettered dam construction plugs the Mekong river, managing the life-giving waterway becomes ever more crucial. All eyes are now on a new China-led initiative that claims to have the region’s best interests at heart
It is often difficult for members of local organisations to voice their concerns, especially about the shortcomings of international aid agency approaches. They may rely on funding partnerships, or simply find it difficult to communicate directly to international groups about the concerns they have. Yet their insights can be important. Today we hear from a staff member from a local organisation in Shan State on the U.N. and youth policy. Read more
Thailand's junta can breathe a sigh of relief, but only for the moment. The result of its Aug. 7 referendum on a new constitution has to be measured against a similar poll held in 2007: on both occasions, voters approved a charter drafted by a military-appointed committee created in the wake of a coup d'etat... Read more
The Islamic State’s butchery and takeover of territory in Iraq and Syria dominate the headlines, but a much less violent yet little-known conflict exists in Indonesia, where more Muslims live than in all of the Middle East. It is a battle to define Islam in Indonesia and it matters because it is taking place in one of the few democracies with a Muslim majority. There are more Muslims in Indonesia who can be loosely called progressives than there are anywhere else, but they are in constant struggle with conservative Muslims. Read more
For two days in April, many Indonesians focused on a dark and long-buried chapter in their nation’s history thanks to a government-supported conference entitled “National Symposium: Dissecting the 1965 Tragedy, An Historical Approach.” Already there is much debate...Read more
A recent article in the New York Times discusses recent shifts in U.S.-Philippines security relations. Fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S.-Philippines relationship has moved more explicitly to containing China and less focused on counter-terrorism. Read more
After a couple of false starts since the May 2014 coup, Thailand now has a draft constitution, and Aug. 7 has been set for a referendum on adopting... Read more