With China Intruding, Indian Navy Finally Starts to Act

With China Intruding, Indian Navy Finally Starts to ActUnder fire from defence analysts and the federal auditor for its luckless and ill-equipped navy, long a victim of political and bureaucratic apathy, the Indian government is scrambling to bolster it against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive China which is intruding into the Indian Ocean in force. The two Asian giants have been locked…

Powerful Indonesian Insider Faces Corruption Charges

Powerful Indonesian Insider Faces Corruption ChargesIndonesia’s House Speaker, Setya Novanto, one of the country’s most powerful politicians and a man who narrowly dodged a bullet over allegations of seeking to suborn a bribe from Freeport McMoran, the US-based mining giant in 2015, may not be so lucky this time. On July 17, the country’s fearsome anti-graft agency Corruption Eradication Commission…

Spurned by Washington, Pakistan Looks East

Spurned by Washington, Pakistan Looks EastNotwithstanding Pakistan’s upbeat claims about defeating terrorism, continuing military operations in both urban and rural Punjab and new operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) show how the menace of terrorism continues to defy solution through a straightforward application of military force. Part of the problem is that the jihadi infrastructure remains intact, and…

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum Cases

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum CasesThe Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong government has sent the adult asylum seekers detention notices, indicating that they could soon be deported to countries where they would face…

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in Indonesia

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in IndonesiaThe increase of Indonesia’s health budget allocation from 3.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the 1990s to 5 percent in 2017, totaling Rp104 trillion (US7.28 billion), is designed to alleviate some of the country’s healthcare delivery problems, with  75 percent of citizens still greatly depending on public health care. But one of the biggest…

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the Surface

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the SurfaceWith his first year in office completed, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t know the difference between policy and bragging to drinking partners. He has simply not grown up. He remains a hambugerong bugoy, a teenage braggart. Thus the constant boasting about his sexual prowess, the dirty talk, the tilting against convention. He has an exaggerated…

Singapore’s Lee Family Rift and International Consequences

Singapore’s Lee Family Rift and International ConsequencesThe very public rift between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his two siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, is a sharp reminder of what a small place Singapore is and how splits in the family can become fissures among a once tight-knit elite. The core of the ruling People’s Action Party…

Duterte’s War on Drugs: What Has He Achieved?

Duterte’s War on Drugs: What Has He Achieved?Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte promised a savage drug war, the capstone of the campaign that made him the head of the government. With a year now under his belt, indeed change has come but not the kinds of changes he expected. Seven thousand killed before the newspapers stopped counting, perhaps daunted by the scale of…

Unpacking Dutertism

Unpacking DutertismThe ‘best’ way to assess President Rodrigo Duterte’s year in office is to look at him and his presidency on his own terms—to understand and unpack Dutertism itself. Is this a homegrown ‘ideology’ shaped by the experience in governance of a local leader-turned-national? What are the contradictions in his government, between policy and action? If…

India, China Stare Each Other Down over Bhutan

India, China Stare Each Other Down over BhutanThe ongoing controversy since June between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Doka La, near the strategic tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan has brought to a boil the geopolitical tensions between neighbors China and India.   The episode was triggered when China began building a road along the sensitive Doklam…
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