“Perhaps the most central question is the relationship between elections and democracy. Elections are a necessary prerequisite for democracy, but they are by no means sufficient in themselves to establish democracy. Moreover, with the different value systems, levels and patterns of economic development and pre-existing political systems that exist, the task of making democracy work would appear to be much more complicated in Asia.”
(Simon Tay & Yeo Lay Hwee, 2006)
Elections may be a necessary stage in the development of democracy, and never before have there been more elections in Asia than in recent years. It seems that the outlook for democracy in Asia has never been more optimistic than now. However, making democracy work in Asia is much more complicated with its different value systems, volatile economic developments, and current political systems.
The SIIA-published book, “Elections In Asia: Making Democracy Work”, will launch on 18 January 2007 during a member’s tête-à-tête. This will be held in conjunction with a panel discussion on “Outlook for Democracy in Asia” by three of the contributors to the book – Chairman Simon Tay, Michael Vatikiotis and Mely Caballero-Anthony.
A reception will follow at the SIIA Pavillion.
5.30 – 6.00 pm Arrival of Guests
6.00 – 6.05 pm Welcome & Introductory Remarks by Mr Simon Tay, Chairman of SIIA
6.05 – 6.35 pm Panel Discussion: "Outlook for Democracy in Asia"
6.35 – 7.10 pm Questions and Answers
7.10 – 7.15 pm Closing Remarks by Dr Yeo Lay Hwee
7.15 – 8.00 pm Reception at the Pavillion
Simon Tay, LL.B. Hons (National University of Singapore), LL.M(Harvard), is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He teaches international law at the National University of Singapore, and is concurrently chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. Since July 2002, he has been chairman of the National Environment Agency, the country’s major agency for environmental protection and public health. Simon S. C. Tay has also served as Nominated Member of Parliament (Singapore) from 1997 – 2001.
Michael Vatikiotis is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute Southeast Asian Studies and Regional Representative for the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. He has covered Indonesia as a writer and journalist since 1987.
Mely Caballero-Anthony is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Defence and Strategi Studies (IDSS), Singapore. Her research interests include regionalism and regional security in Asia Pacific, multilateral security cooperation, politics and international relations in ASEAN, conflict prevention and management, as well as human security. At IDSS, she teaches a course on Government and Politics in Southeast Asia and is currently project co-ordinator of the IDSS-FORD Project on Non-Traditional Security in Asia.
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