Death throes of hope

Myanmar’s latest Union Peace Conference, often called the 21st-century Panglong conference, is taking place at the end of the month amid fears that rebel...

China begins to weave rail web 

Construction of the Thai-Lao-Chinese railway has started in Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand with the enticing prospect of high-speed trains linking China with Singapore,...

Economic titan, political worm 

As the year ends, Asean has not managed to change its status as a rising economic powerhouse and a political worm.  As Asean takes tentative steps...

Malaysian parties fail to inspire

Malaysians go to the polls next year as the complacent Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition eyes another five-year term. But voters are understandably uninspired as they...

Icon to pariah in 2 years 

The United States has for the first time called Myanmar's attacks against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State "ethnic cleansing", saying targeted sanctions against those...

Mindanao at the crossroads 

The southern Philippine island of Mindanao is increasingly being seen as Asean’s frontline in the battle against so-called Islamic State. Unfortunately the Philippines’ president, the...

How ITLOS could undermine Asia’s security

The appointment of Paik Jin-hyun, a South Korean, to head the little-known International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is likely to...

China backs Hun Sen tyranny

Cambodia is fast removing any pretence that Prime Minister Hun Sen is interested in democracy, secure in the knowledge it has the backing of...

Fake threat hides slaughter  

The threat of communism still grips Indonesia, despite the fact the movement was crushed in appalling massacres 52 years ago.  Allegedly Communist members of Indonesia's...

Asean’s plastic shame

Multilateral firms are polluting oceans by selling goods packaged in plastic to the Philippines, Indonesia and their neighbours, Greenpeace argues. It singled out Nestle,...

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Maoists face terror label

The Philippine judiciary has moved to formally label the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, as terrorist...

Singapore tax targets main polluters 

Singapore says it is imposing a carbon tax from next year to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions and give its firms a competitive advantage as...

Singapore property hit by tax hike

Singapore property stocks declined after the budget raised taxes on home purchases of more than S$1 million (US$761,600), just as the housing market was...