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Commentaries

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Fighting fires and haze in Indonesia
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The recent return of the haze to the region underlines the fact that agribusinesses should take more responsibility in fighting peatland and forest fires in Indonesia. While some industry leaders have stepped up to implement promising methods to tackle fires, many other agribusinesses are not...

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Southeast Asia’s fires and haze: From risks to opportunities
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It’s known simply as “The Haze”: a thick, eye-watering, nose-running, cough-inducing, health and climate hazard emanating from the burning of land and forest fires in Indonesia. Nearly two decades have passed since the terrible haze of 1997-98 swept across the skies. Today the Haze is one...

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How will S China Sea dispute affect businesses in Asean?
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Controversies over the South China Sea have dominated headlines, especially after last month’s decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, brought by the Philippines and denounced by China. But many businesses may look on more quizzically. What is the impact on the bottom line? Will...

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National Service’s crucial role in fight against terror
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The recent spate of terror-related incidents around the world has created an atmosphere of alarm and pessimism in many quarters. Due to the geographical spread of the attacks, which include those directed or inspired by the so-called Islamic State terror group, Singapore’s leaders have sought to...

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What Asean did right: Compromise
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has again come under criticism, this time for failing to refer in a joint communique to the recent judgment by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on competing claims in the South China Sea. Cambodia has been singled out as...

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Post-IPOP: How Indonesia can lead in palm oil sustainability
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Palm oil is a vital ingredient for many products and the industry provides a significant source of national revenue and employment for millions of farmers. Indonesia and Malaysia collectively account for 85 to 90 percent of global palm oil production. But palm oil is often associated...

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Myanmar: Missteps or new directions?
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When the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its iconic leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, swept to power at the 2015 elections, the international community roared in approval. Now, some 100 days after the NLD took power, many foreign pundits are becoming more critical. There...

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Steer Asean-China talks towards quiet diplomacy, flexibility
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A legal judgment to be released on July 12 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration will bring the controversy over competing claims in the South China Sea to a high point. Yet it will not be conclusive since China will not recognise any ruling, and...