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Blog Masonry

No haze yet?
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Singapore has been spared from the haze so far this year, but will this change the government's haze assessment? SIIA Executive Director and Nominated MP Nicholas Fang posed the question in Parliament: In Parliament yesterday, Nominated MP Nicholas Fang asked Minister for the Environment and Water...

Southeast Asia and the Resurgence of Piracy
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Recent months have seen the resurgence of piracy in the region, leading one United Nations agency to call Southeast Asia a “piracy hotspot”. In fact, there were about eight armed piracy-related attacks at the start of 2014 in the Strait of Malacca, according to a...

Poor human trafficking records and implications for ASEAN
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In June, the US State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which ranks countries based on their efforts to combat modern slavery. The report did not put any countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at Tier 1, the rank...

The Iraq crisis and the impact on Asia
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Currently, clashes in Iraq between government forces and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants is in the north of the country, away from the most productive oil fields in the south. Iraqi oil exports, and global oil prices, have thus remained relatively unaffected....

F50: Alternatives for Singapore’s Future
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  Singapore has prospered over the past 50 years, based on policies intended to prioritise high economic growth and promote social stability. But is it time for some of those policies and directions to change? Many decisions made by the government have become “sacred cows”, with...

Farewell, Thailand: The Return Home for Cambodian Migrant Workers
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The latest episode in Thailand’s military coup saga is the exodus of undocumented Cambodian migrant workers from the country. These workers have largely fled in fear of government persecution due to their legal status in the country. Reports accusing the Thai military junta of killing...

Human rights and security in ASEAN: Fallen by the wayside?
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With its 2015 deadline approaching, just how much ground has been covered towards building an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community? Blueprints for the three pillars of economic integration, political and security cooperation, and socio-cultural cohesion have already been drawn up for implementation by...

PSI 400 Haze in Singapore: One year on
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Singapore was besieged by haze measuring PSI 400 about a year ago. The fact that we are enjoying clear skies right now is no guarantee that another severe haze episode will not happen anytime soon. The fact remains that hotspots are a common occurrence in Indonesia....

UN climate talks: On track for Paris 2015?
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The recent climate talks in Bonn gave a renewed sense of hope for a global, legally binding agreement to be brokered by the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. This optimism is bolstered by recent indications by the United States and China of a willingness...