Asean: an economic titan but a political worm

Amnesty wants action to avoid a repeat of this year’s refugee crisis. Source: Amnesty International  While the economic prospects for the vast bulk of the...

Brexit flotsam arrives in Asean

The scale of the European Union’s bureaucracy dwarfs anything in Asean. Source: Wikimedia   The impact of Britain’s vote to leave the EU on June 23...

Jakarta press event ignores Papua 

Indonesia is hosting World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta this week but has been criticised for failing to address media restrictions in Papua, where...

Back to the dark ages 

Thailand is currently experiencing an uneasy peace but this might not last if Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delays his promised general election again as...

Vietnam: political change, economic stability

The sun is rising on Vietnam's economy. Source: Wikimedia  The markets have been worried by the Vietnamese Communist Party’s apparent inability to opt for a...

Jakarta boot on Papuan throat

Papuans regard themselves as ethnically distinct from the rest of Indonesia. Source: Flickr Muffled reports of mass arrests and ethnic subjugation continue to leak from...

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...

Vietnam completes online clampdown

Legislation requiring internet companies operating in Vietnam to remove content the one-party state regards as "toxic" has come into effect, in a move critics...

Rohingya demand Suu Kyi’s attention

A police checkpoint at a Rohingya area of Sittwe, Rakhine State’s capital. Source: Wikimedia   Now Aung San Suu Kyi, as Myanmar's de facto prime...
< Opinion Archives - Asean Economist

Meth crisis will only get worse

Myanmar's Shan State supplies methamphetamines to the planet and exports are due to rise as billions are channelled into improving regional infrastructure, the Brussels-based...

Vietnam completes online clampdown

Legislation requiring internet companies operating in Vietnam to remove content the one-party state regards as "toxic" has come into effect, in a move critics...

Meth peril enslaves Asean young 

Northern Shan State, nominally within Myanmar’s borders but where the Nay Pyi Taw authorities have little control, has become an East Asian methamphetamine hub,...

Race to legalise medical marijuana

As the world wakes up to the health benefits and commercial potential of legalised cannabis, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea are racing to become...

APEC summit’s failure highlights profound US-China divisions

For the first time since the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was founded in 1989, the group’s leaders failed to reach consensus on a...

Duterte yet to justify China policy 

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Manila this week has produced more deals on economic cooperation with the Philippines but analysts are sceptical about...

South Korea needs to accept its dark past too

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence last week ended decades of tight-lipped denial when it issued a long-awaited apology for rapes committed by martial...

Thai junta eases censorship

Thailand’s use of its authoritarian lese majeste laws appears to be changing as the kingdom looks poised to hold its first democratic election since...

2019 Thai election result: generals win

The shadowy world of the Thai military has provided intriguing signs of change this week as its generals appear poised to step back from...

Mahathir escapes China’s debt trap

After years of welcoming Chinese investment, the new government in Malaysia is applying the brakes, concerned a plethora of expensive projects are causing the...

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Indonesia promises action in Papua after calls for UN probe

Indonesia has promised action against officers who abused a Papuan suspect with a live snake after a United Nations panel called for a probe...

Indonesia plans fishing zone in disputed South China Sea

Indonesia says it plans to open a fishing zone inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea this year to prevent...

US hopes North Korea will follow Vietnam’s economic path

Vietnam, which is reportedly preparing for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to arrive by train for his summit with Donald Trump in Hanoi...