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Commentaries

The real value of a Japanese apology
by

There are many reasons to admire modern-day Japan. There are also more than a few reasons to wish the country's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, well. His efforts to resuscitate the economy with Abenomics has not yet hit the target, but Japan is more confident today...

Can ASEAN maintain central role in the region?
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At the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Kuala Lumpur starting this Friday, concerns about major regional powers will be high on the agenda. Tensions between China and Japan have been palpable and may again be stoked with the coming 70th anniversary of...

Long Live Lee Kuan Yew’s Lion City
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Henry Kissinger called him one of the “asymmetries of history.” Margaret Thatcher said “he was never wrong.” Barack Obama called him “one of the legendary figures of Asia.” Tony Blair said he was “the smartest leader I ever met.” Samuel Huntington said he was one...

All the world was his stage
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In 1967, when Singapore was two years independent and he was a young Premier of only 44, a report described Mr Lee Kuan Yew giving a talk at Harvard University. As he spoke about the escalating Vietnam War and the role of the United States,...

Betting on Myanmar’s opening
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For a while, when Myanmar opened after decades of isolation and sanctions, it seemed that the government could do no wrong as American and European governments rushed to embrace the country. Now, headlines from the West show that little or nothing seems right. What was supposed...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...