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Commentaries

A personal journey through the haze
by

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

ASEAN: Toward a common voice
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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...

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...

Strong leaders in a fragile Asia
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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...

Why Asean hasn’t condemned Thailand
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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...