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Commentaries

asean-common-voice
ASEAN: Toward a common voice
by

A united geopolitical voice would give the Association of Southeast Asian Nations a bigger global role, says Simon Tay, the chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its ten member states join in the establishment of...

haze-fires
Plugging gaps in the law to fight haze
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The haze law passed by Singapore last month to punish polluters who cause the haze could have been put to its first test if the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) had stayed above 100 for a few more hours early this week. Many of us in Singapore...

xi-jinping-600
Strong leaders in a fragile Asia
by

Not long ago, Asians suffered under weak governments. Japan stumbled through a series of short-lived and unpopular leaders while, in China, the last years under President Hu Jintao saw necessary reforms postponed. In India, after initial high hopes, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ended his term...

prayuth_chan-ocha
Why Asean hasn’t condemned Thailand
by

The recent military coup in Thailand that ousted the government of Yingluck Shinawatra has attracted international concern and controversy. The US, the European Union and Australia were vocal in their criticism of the situation, called for elections to be held as soon as possible, and...

Jambi Haze 2
Stumbling to map a path through the haze
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It was probably wrong to expect too much too fast when Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) environment ministers met to discuss the haze, caused by fires in Indonesia. Never mind that Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, which hosted the meeting, have suffered record-high and hazardous levels...

myanmar-sanctions
West hurting only itself with economic sanctions on Myanmar
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Myanmar’s opening up has attracted much interest, not only from its Asian neighbours but also those in the West that once considered the country a pariah state. Recent events, however, suggest that Naypyidaw’s honeymoon with the United States and Europe may be waning over political issues....

haze-wikimedia-600
Making haze crimes pay
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The newly-proposed fine for haze crimes is a crystal-clear sign of the Government’s determination to stop slash-and-burn tactics used by the agroforestry resource sector in land clearing. Announced in Parliament on Monday after a month-long public consultation, the toughened Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill penalises companies...

600-haze-hills
Fighting haze: What consumers, firms can do
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Recent warnings of a potential three-month prolonged haze crisis comparable to the severe episodes in 1997 and last year are worrying. Earlier in the year, large numbers of hot spots were already noted in Sumatra. There is also a high possibility of the region entering into...

A protester burns a Chinese flag outside the Chinese consulate in suburban Makati, south of Manila, Philippines Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The Philippines and China are in a standoff over Scarborough Shoal which began early April after the Philippine navy accused Chinese boats of illegally fishing in the area. The Philippines says the shoal lies within its exclusive economic zone.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Reacting to China – and its grand plan
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We now know the reactions in Vietnam to China’s move to begin drilling for oil in the South China Sea that both sides claim. More than 20,000 Vietnamese workers spilled out of control, attacking factories thought to be Chinese-owned, including those at two Singapore-run industrial...