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Commentaries

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Singapore goes for quiet ASEAN diplomacy
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By Simon Tay and Cheryl Tan City-state seeks cooperation boost despite differences over Trump, China and Myanmar refugees Singapore is settling into its one-year rotating chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at a time when the region's economic growth is outperforming the world. But the...

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When the haze comes from Singapore’s own backyard
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by Simon Tay and Pek Shibao for The Straits Times Looking out of the window a fortnight ago, you could be forgiven for wondering if the seasonal haze had returned. Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings across the island exceeded the "Good" range for a full week....

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What will motivate companies to source palm oil responsibly?
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Being more sustainable is good for a company’s bottom line and reputation. So why are companies, as seen in WWF’s recent Palm Oil Scorecard for Singapore and Malaysia, dragging their feet on sustainability? SIIA researchers discuss. By Fawziah Selamat and Pek Shibao For several years, the Singapore Institute of...

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Managing great expectations of the new Myanmar
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The world’s expectations of Myanmar have swung wildly in recent years. Hopes were sky-high following the National League of Democracy’s (NLD) victory at the 2015 elections, led by Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. But now, these have given way to a somewhat more downcast outlook. Some projects...

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Tackling exclusivism crucial in fight against terror threat
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The spectre of a terror attack in Singapore has loomed large in recent months. Political leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, have warned repeatedly that it is not a question of if, but when, such an attack will strike our shores. At the same time, the...

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Trump’s Paris Letdown Needn’t Harm Asia’s Climate of Cooperation
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US president’s decision to pull out of climate accord shouldn’t prevent the region from re-orienting its economic model. It should, however, spur it to consider how to go on without relying too much on America By Simon Tay It should not surprise anyone that US President Donald...

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ASEAN: Putting a ‘human face’ to an economic community
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By Chen Chen Lee and Shangari Kiruppalini The Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) held its 30th summit in Manila last week amid growing anti-globalisation sentiments in the West. As Western markets become more inward-looking, intra-Asean links will matter now, more than ever. During the summit, Prime Minister...

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For better or worse, America still calls the shots
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by Simon Tay Some had expected a confrontation over trade and other issues when US President Donald Trump hosted President Xi Jinping in Florida late last week. But there were no missed handshakes to upset protocol – as there had been when Trump met German Chancellor...