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Blog Masonry

Indonesia’s 2014 elections: Will politics impact Indonesia’s economy?
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Indonesia’s relations with the outside world have been strained in recent months. Its ties with Singapore have frayed due to the Indonesian navy’s naming of a warship “Usman Harun”, after two Indonesian marines executed in 1968 for the 1965 bombing of MacDonald House in Singapore....

Yingluck’s position gets shakier by day
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Anti-government protests in Bangkok have lasted for more than three months and, yet, continue to confuse. Much of the international media asserts the sanctity of the vote above all else. Most over-rely on distinctions that the Reds represent the poor and the Yellows are the elite...

The Worst (Haze) is Yet to Come
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The severe haze episode that Singapore experienced in June 2013 may not be the worst we have seen. This is one of the key takeaways by CHUA Chin-Wei, Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) Deputy Director and Fellow (Environment and Resources) after attending the ICOPE...

Pipeline politics: Putin’s pivot to Asia?
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Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Many Western leaders had boycotted the event, in response to Russia’s anti-homosexual law passed last year. Besides holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Abe also had...

Soothing tensions over China’s ADIZ
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Tensions have flared up again between the US and China over the latter’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea. These tensions could dampen US Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming talks with China over the air defence zone during his five-day...

The Be all and End all? BN’s continued strength
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Malaysian opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim is contesting a seat in Kajang in Selangor in order to be eligible to take over the role of chief minister. Selangor, which is run by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PKR) and is Malaysia’s richest state, has seen  rising religious...

Asian Fortunes: China and ASEAN in the Year of the Horse
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What lies ahead for Asia in the Year of the Horse? The Singapore Institute of International Affairs asked our members and fellows what issues they will be keeping a close eye on in the coming months. Mr. Manu Bhaskaran, SIIA Council Member and Director of Centennial...

China’s shadow banking system: No end in sight to moral hazard
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As China reopens for business after the Spring Festival, its financial system is coming under strain. Recently, the government stepped in to rescue the “Credit Equals Gold #1” trust product, which was due to pay out US$495 million ahead of the holiday season. The fund,...

A promising start to Myanmar’s ASEAN challenge
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Myanmar’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has begun with promise and even aplomb. The first meeting of foreign ministers held in Bagan this month was a closed-door retreat, expected to be informal and low-key. Yet, a short but significant statement was issued...

Singapore Institute of International Affairs #1 in Asia and the Pacific
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Singapore, 24 January 2014 – SINGAPORE’S oldest think tank, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), has topped a list of think tanks in Asia and the Pacific in a global survey. The SIIA improved on its second place ranking in 2012, leapfrogging Australia’s Lowy Institute...