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Commentaries

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Openness to geopolitical flux is part of Singapore’s DNA
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Marking the 200th anniversary of Stamford Raffles' landing in Singapore is not only about commemorating long-ago colonial history. The occasion is also opportune to reflect on Singapore's shifting geopolitical realities: How it entered and then exited the British Empire into the turbulence of the 20th...

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End of centrist democracy and Asia’s unconventional systems
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by Simon Tay As centrist parties falter in Western democracies, Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and India offer lessons on how political systems can bring stability   Last month, the world witnessed its two largest democratic votes - in India and across Europe - and elections have...

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Ending coal financing, and jump-starting sustainability
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By Simon Tay and Lau Xin Yi All major Singapore banks recently announced that they will stop financing new coal-fired power plants. This is significant in aligning Singapore as a financial hub with the position of many Western financial institutions. But it opens up more questions...

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Why severe haze may return in 2019 and how to mitigate the risk
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By Simon Tay, Wu Huijuan and Aaron Choo For TODAY A Haze Outlook developed by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) has assessed that there is a real, although moderate, risk that severe haze will return in 2019. The prognosis is “amber”; on a scale of red-amber-green....

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Jokowi poised for second presidential term; what face will he present?
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By Simon Tay For The Business Times He's been described as a liberal reformer, modern Javanese king and skilled pragmatist IN Indonesia's fiercely contested elections, early exit polls show that incumbent Joko Widodo is headed for a clear victory. An official result may take some days, given the...

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Making sustainable consumption of palm oil the norm in Asia
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By Chen Chen Lee and Lau Xin Yi For The Jakarta Post Relations between the European Union and Malaysia and Indonesia hit an obstacle when Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan recently threatened to boycott EU’s products if the bloc...

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Thailand must take action for cleaner air in Asean
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By Simon Tay and Liyana Othman For Bangkok Post When complaints are made about the haze crisis and air pollution in Southeast Asia, most usually think about fires in Indonesia's provinces, which have been a recurrent problem for over two decades. However, the situation this year has been different...

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Myanmar — investors should be cautious but take the risk
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By Simon Tay For Nikkei Asian Review A humanitarian crisis that has been brewing at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh since 2016 is reaching a critical point. At Cox's Bazar, just inside Bangladesh, an estimated 740,000 displaced Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar's Rakhine State are encamped in...