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Commentaries

A time for Japan to blossom (The Straits Times)
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By Simon Tay For The Straits Times Winter has not been easy for Japan. In these past months, pandemic numbers have been rising. The Tokyo Olympics have been a particular source of angst, even with the compromise of going ahead without an international audience. Last month,...

S’pore has drawn a line on Myanmar (Mothership)
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COMMENT: While international partners can try to foster dialogue between the domestic players in Myanmar, the complex situation ultimately needs to be resolved domestically. Simon Tay, Chairman at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, thinks that a complete dissolution of the military in Myanmar may not...

Palm oil: Import bans pressure sustainability standards
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By Khor Yu Leng, Nadirah Sharif and Siti BazilahFor Eco-Business In the past year, the United States has banned the imports of palm oil and rubber-based products from three Malaysian companies following allegations of labour abuse. Environmental issues have tended to dominate the attention on these...

Countries should maximise cooperation on climate action
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By Simon Tay and Aaron Choo For The Business Times Despite the pandemic and economic downturn, many governments and larger companies across the world are still moving ahead with action against climate change. The European Union (EU) redoubled its commitment to green recovery from the pandemic with a...

Myanmar crisis: How should other countries respond?
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By Simon Tay For The Straits Time (By Invitation) The military intervention in Myanmar this week is leading many outsiders to consider an appropriate response. The new Biden administration in the United States and the European Union (EU) are evaluating economic sanctions. In contrast, others including neighbouring China,...

Budgeting to grow the new green economy
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By Simon Tay and Meixi Gan For The Business Times Many Singaporeans are looking to the upcoming 2021 Budget that the government and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will unveil on Feb 16. After the unprecedented S$100 billion support last year against the immediate impacts of...

Commentary: Echoes of a tumult… from South-east Asia 50 years ago
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By Simon Tay For The Straits Times  Looking back at a 50-year time arc, we may today borrow wisdom and take courage for the times ahead Brace yourself for another year of tumult. Geopolitical shifts are ongoing between one great incumbent power and another emergent. The United States...

Commentary: ASEAN’s potential contributions to climate action
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By Simon Tay and Meixi Gan For The Jakarta Post If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, most countries would be at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this month. Governments had pledged to negotiate rules for a global carbon market and improve their nationally...

Commentary: RCEP trade deal an important step forward for the region
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By Simon Tay For The Straits Times  It is too early to expect the incoming Biden administration to seriously relook American policies in Asia. Domestic concerns will be paramount – the pandemic and economic recovery. Yet, with less than full attention on developments in Asia, there is...