Indonesia braced for forest fires

Deforestation in Riau province, Sumatra, to make way for an oil-palm plantation in 2007. Source: Wikimedia The dry season across much of Indonesia brings the renewed threat of...

Papua allowed to speak out 

The Asmat of Papua Province. The provinces are ethnically distinct from the rest of Indonesia. The unstable Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua...

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...

Vietnam business forced to look overseas for growth

Is the sun rising for Vietnam’s well-educated population or setting on its damaged ecosystem? Source: Wikimedia   Vietnam’s environmental degradation and glowing economic prospects both largely...

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...

The shadow of succession

Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn during last year’s cycling campaign to bolster support for the heir to the throne. Source: Wikimedia Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej marked 70...

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...

The Asian century, but not for everyone

As the global economy continues its fragile recovery, it was welcome news that Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, expects its economy to...

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...

Najib legacy in dock

On Wednesday, Malaysians vote in their most intriguing general election ever. The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, led by the notoriously corrupt prime minister, Najib...

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China’s Li signs Singapore trade deals 

China and Singapore have agreed to upgrade their bilateral free-trade pact, allowing greater market access for Singaporean employers to the giant northern market. Chinese Premier...

Isis extends Mindanao grip: analysts 

Islamic State appears to be on the rise on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao with up to 100 foreign fighters and a growing...

Papua rebels killed in ambush 

Two independence insurgents and a civilian have reportedly been killed during a week of fighting in the impoverished Indonesian region of Papua.  The authorities are...