Does Malaysia’s Kleptocrat-in-Chief Regret Washington Visit?

Does Malaysia’s Kleptocrat-in-Chief Regret Washington Visit?What was the US President Donald Trump trying to convey with his body language as he sat, with arms tightly folded across his chest, facing down Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was seated opposite him, at the conference table during Najib’s Sept. 12 visit to the White House? Well before Najib had landed in…

Indonesia’s Plastic Trash Crisis

Indonesia’s Plastic Trash CrisisIndonesia, the second-largest contributor of plastic waste to the world’s waters after China, has pledged US$1 billion per year to attempt to reduce the junk in its waters by 70 percent by 2025, according to Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairsi. It is not surprising that Jakarta has made such a decision, given…

Vietnam’s Conservatives Purge Former PM Dung’s Allies

Vietnam’s Conservatives Purge Former PM Dung’s AlliesGoing into the Vietnam Communist Party's 12th Congress in January last year, outsiders could perceive an epic contest between reformers and conservatives. The conservatives labeled the reformers as “opportunists” and often they were right. The reformers laughed when the conservatives argued that ideology (Leninist, not Marxist) would keep Vietnam safe in a turbulent and threatening…

The World Must Stop Myanmar’s Savagery Against Rohingya

The World Must Stop Myanmar’s Savagery Against RohingyaIf the world has a conscience, it will do something about the unconscionable genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority community in Myanmar, which has abdicated its duty as a nation. The latest scrutiny of the Myanmar government was sparked by the recent flight of more than 123,000 Rohingya who crossed border into Bangladesh. The name…

India’s Modi Strengthens his Cabinet

India’s Modi Strengthens his CabinetNarendra Modi has carried out his most significant government reshuffle since becoming India’s prime minister three years ago, with ministerial moves that strengthen three top posts while at the same time balancing the political interests of different states and illustrating the limited talent available at senior levels. The headline-grabbing appointment is that of Nirmala Sitharaman, 58, who…

With ASEAN Toothless, The Region Needs a New Naval Pact

With ASEAN Toothless, The Region Needs a New Naval PactThe security challenges facing the Southeast Asian region increasingly call into question the relevance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose inability to assert international law stems from its blind hope that Beijing will hold up to its promises, which has been a failed hope indeed given China’s actions in ignoring all the littoral…

Indonesia’s Woeful Education System

Indonesia’s Woeful Education SystemIndonesia’s education system is saddled with a long series of difficulties including poor education funding, arbitrarily changing educational curricula, political favoritism, with teachers’ jobs dependent on the sufferance of principals and many other problems. That has led to a ranking by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment of 62nd…

Japan Under North Korea’s Missiles

Japan Under North Korea’s MissilesJapan awoke Wednesday to television news and civil defense instructions to take cover in secure buildings or underground as a North Korean ballistic missile passed over parts of Hokkaido before landing in open sea. “Missile Passing, Missile Passing,” screamed a public service announcement. Commuters faced train delays even as far away as Tokyo. “All lines…

India and China in a Water War

India and China in a Water WarWith more than 32 million people hit by floods in four Indian states so far this year, New Delhi is growing increasingly frustrated over China’s refusal to share current river data despite bilateral agreements requiring Beijing to pass on the information for downstream flood control. The data from upper riparian China to lower riparian India…

Korea Seeks to Rein in Samsung

Korea Seeks to Rein in SamsungThe case against the heir to leadership of the sprawling Samsung empire tests the will of the government of Korea’s liberal President Moon Jae-in to make good on the kind of sweeping campaign promise that every Korean president has made for the past 30 years. Can Moon, unlike his predecessors, curb the power of the…
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