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Commentaries

hazesg-2013-600
Tackling haze: Look beyond words to action taken
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The recurring haze from fires in Indonesia has returned, visibly and early, even if not as thickly as in past years. The politics around the issue may also heat up following a recent comment by Indonesia’s Vice-President Jusuf Kalla. The respected political veteran last week chided...

budget2015-600
Issues to ponder as Budget looks to the future
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The previous Budget and recent government schemes such as the Pioneer Generation Package and Silver Support Scheme focused on the needs of older citizens and retirees. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said the new Budget to be announced today will build...

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Jokowi makes shaky start, but promise still holds
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When expectations are raised, there is often a rush to judgment and a resulting disappointment. That was always the risk with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, whose election victory was hailed as a landmark moment and a break from the old elite...

chinaskyline
China’s regional vision gathers momentum
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The key global economies met in Brisbane for the Group of 20, following recent summits for ASEAN, East Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. These are not just about politics but growth, trade and investment. In our region, a range of agreements are under negotiation...

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Regional summits can still play a role in reducing tensions
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Asia has entered its annual season of political summits and US President Barack Obama will be a key player, first at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and then at the East Asia Summit, hosted by Myanmar. Simply turning up shows that America is making the effort...

simon-comment-haze600
A personal journey through the haze
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My Son, Luke, was born in 1997. That year, the haze from fires in Indonesia persisted for months. Last year, he turned 17. The haze was still with us and, at one point, the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) spiked at the hazardous level of 401....

aiib-600
Asian bank will not just be China’s domain
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China has launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with the conspicuous absence of the United States and its major allies. With China hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November, this issue is coming to a boil. The US' absence should not surprise. The bank proposal...

aiib-1
A new bank for Asia, not China
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China will be able to ease fears that it is buying political influence with its proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), if it can have the multilateral bank headquartered in an ASEAN financial capital and not a Chinese city, says SIIA Chairman Simon Tay. China’s initiative for...

tpp-leaders
Trans-Pacific Trade in A Troubled World
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When Japanese and American trade negotiators met in Washington DC last week, their bilateral discussions mattered to many other countries. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has grown to include twelve countries that represent some 40 per cent of global GDP and about one-third of all...

singapore-resilient
Strategies for a resilient Singapore
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As Singapore gears up for its 50th anniversary of independence next year, the country and its people are looking with anticipation to its leaders for the key directions and focus that will shape its future in the next five decades and beyond. Indeed, much global attention...