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Commentaries

singapore-merlion
The False Divide
by

The projections in the Government’s White Paper have raised concerns among Singaporeans, in particular the estimates that say the country’s population could hit 6.9 million in 2030, with almost half of these foreigners. There have been calls for more efforts to ensure that Singaporeans are not...

gcs-5
Reframe the Great Population Conversation
by

Controversy followed the Government’s White Paper on Population, from its introduction to the last day of Parliamentary debate, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed Parliament. Even after the clear Parliamentary majority in favour, that public debate continues, a fact Mr Lee welcomed. But from...

obama-abe
What Asians hope Abe will say to Obama
by

Japan’s newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his first overseas visit to South-east Asian countries. Very soon he will make the more usual pilgrimage from Tokyo to Washington DC, to meet the American President. What should he say to President Barack Obama as both begin...

island-south-china-sea
Legal process, political mess?
by

The legal process begun by the Philippines to challenge claims by China to the South China Sea surprised the region. International arbitration is allowed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but the move adds urgency and new elements to...

scmp-right-balance
The right balance
by

Everyone’s pivoting to Asia, even Asians. After the Barack Obama administration’s rebalancing and Australia’s white-paper pledge to give more emphasis to the region, here comes Japan. The recent visit to Southeast Asia by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscores this. Rather than heading to Washington, his...

eu-asean
An EU model for ASEAN?
by

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) continues its move towards greater institutionalization of the organization’s rules and procedures. An ASEAN Charter was signed on its 40th anniversary (on 20 November 2007) to make it a more rules-based organization. An ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human...

William Cho / CC BY-SA 2.0
Singapore and the world, in 2013 and beyond
by

The optimistic view - if you can call it that - is that crisis will be avoided in 2013. The euro zone remains unsolved and messy, and American politicians have contrived their own financial cliff. But the Europeans have now so repeatedly avoided disaster that this...

600-myanmarflag
From Burma to Myanmar: Land of rising expectations
by

  Call it a case for evolution instead of revolution. While the Arab world continues in the throes of violence and uncertainty, Myanmar is undergoing incremental change -- and almost everyone seems to want it that way. The government is lightening up: holding elections, freeing political prisoners,...