Exiled Rebel Exhorts Filipinos to Rally Against President

Exiled Rebel Exhorts Filipinos to Rally Against PresidentCommunist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison encouraged a gathering of Hong Kong-based Filipino groups on September 10 to “expand our ranks and broaden the widest resistance" against the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. “You must strengthen yourself for more intense struggle,” he said via a video recording. Under the leadership of…

Malaysia’s Kleptocrat-in-chief Visits The Donald

Malaysia’s Kleptocrat-in-chief Visits The DonaldWhen Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia meets US President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 12, as nearly as it can be determined, it will be the first time America’s chief executive has ever met with a foreign leader being pursued by the US Justice Department for corruption. Najib is infamously known…

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…

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…

Malaysia at 60: The Promise Fades

Malaysia at 60: The Promise FadesOn Aug. 31, Malaysia will celebrate – if that is the proper word – the 60th anniversary of its founding with its people subdued and with a government widely regarded as a kleptocacy. It is wracked with a continuing scandal that has robbed the exchequer of an estimated US$11.4 billion lost to fraud and mismanagement…

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…

Who Benefits from Yingluck’s Exile from Thailand?

Who Benefits from Yingluck’s Exile from Thailand?Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has apparently fled the country in advance of a court verdict on charges brought by the current military regime that could have seen her face a long prison term. She is assumed to have joined her brother, the billionaire populist Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been in exile, mostly in…

Afghanistan is About to Become Trump’s Folly

Afghanistan is About to Become Trump’s FollyUS President Donald Trump’s much awaited “new” Afghan strategy almost certainly will have little to contribute to ending the war, let alone “winning” it for the United States. While criticism has focused on the cost of the war, both human and financial, that the US would have to defray, pouring more troops in Afghanistan is…

Duterte’s Drug War Stumbles on Allegations of Teen’s Murder

Duterte’s Drug War Stumbles on Allegations of Teen’s MurderThe apparent Aug. 18 assassination by police of a 17-year-old student appears finally to have kicked off widespread objection to President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous drug war and its spate of extrajudicial killings. The killing of Kian Delos Santos, who was dragged from his home, handed a gun and told to run as he screamed that…