Mahathir Mohamad Meets Malaysia’s King As Political Impasse Continues

Malaysia’s political chaos inched closer to a resolution as interim premier Mahathir Mohamad was summoned to meet with the country’s king, amid a power struggle with his on-off rival Anwar Ibrahim over the prime ministership. Mahathir, 94, resigned as Malaysia’s Prime Minister on Monday after the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition collapsed. He was subsequently reappointed […]

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ASEAN’s Torn Over China-US Struggle. Will Mahathir Lead The Way?

The Singapore meeting starting Monday – the second Asean summit this year – will be Mahathir’s first since he stunned Asia by defeating his protégé Najib Razak in May elections to reoccupy the political hot seat he held from 1981 to 2003. Diplomatic observers are hoping the firebrand nonagenarian, a self-professed regionalist, will inject some vigour into […]

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The China Backlash

The fact is that China has grown strong and rich by flouting international trade rules. But now its chickens are coming home to roost, with a growing number of countries imposing antidumping or punitive duties on Chinese goods. And as countries worry about China bending them to its will by luring them into debt traps, […]

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Xi Needs A Confucian Foreign Policy

Despite his aspirations to play the responsible world statesman, Xi’s foreign-policy record is filled with squabbles, misfires and unfulfilled promise. If he’s going to restore China to superpower status and cement its dominance in East Asia, he should take a cue from Chinese history about how to wield power. Read Here – Bloomberg

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Malaysia’s Mahathir Pulls Off Second Political Act Just Like Churchill, Abe, Berlusconi And BiBi

With his shock victory in Malaysia’s election, Mahathir Mohamad has pulled off a political second act that few expected, joining the select ranks of politicians who have revived their careers. The 92-year-old former strongman ruled Malaysia with an iron fist for more than two decades before stepping down, but returned to political life to challenge his […]

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Malaysia’s Unappetising Choice

That Malaysia is in a funk is hardly in doubt. Najib’s rule has been marred by accusations of cronyism, most obviously the farrago over sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, in which $4.5 billion is alleged to have been siphoned off by managers and associates, according to a U.S. Justice Department probe. The prime minister […]

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Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship: High Expectations For A High Achiever

  Singapore, this year’s ASEAN chair, faces some tough tasks. It must lift confidence in the organisation and inject the inspiration it needs to overcome a ‘midlife crisis’ while encouraging favourable conditions for continued economic growth. And it must do this in a time of geopolitical turbulence while trying to balance relations with the great […]

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The Next 50 Years Of ASEAN

Coming full circle on its 50th anniversary, ASEAN is now caught in a regional strategic environment similar to one that existed at its founding, defined by volatility, hostility, and superpower rivalry that pose a serious existential threat to the organization. Can ASEAN maintain its autonomy and reputation as a credible and cohesive unit capable of […]

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50 Years Of ASEAN: ‘A’ Is For Angst

ASEAN is ever beset by existential angst. The ‘A’ in ASEAN stands for Angst as well as Association. Regard this as more description than criticism. The Angst-Association of South East Asian Nations always has lots to worry about. Angst and anxiety are rational responses. The questions are constant: can the association hold together? Can it actually […]

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