Cambodia-Thailand border dispute
"The Thai-Cambodian border issues will be presented to the International Court of Justice this week," says Simon Tay.
"No resolution can be expected soon especially with Thai elections coming. But short term, stop gap measures are needed - whether by political suasion or legal processes."
Professor Simon TAY is the Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He is a professor at the Law faculty and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore [bio].----
APEC/EAS 2011: Energy should be top agenda
"Oil prices have been rapidly rising," says Hank Lim.
"It is fluctuating due to political and social instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Oil price increases have been caused not by the shortage of supply or excessive demand. It is mainly driven by fear and uncertainties in the MENA region. Even with the interruption of oil supply from Libya, the supply of oil can be easily increased from other major oil suppliers.
In addition, the demand for oil has been moderated because of slowdown in world's economic growth, including a reduced growth rate in China due to government policy to control domestic inflationary pressure. Therefore, an agenda to discuss energy policy should be one of the top priorities of this year's APEC Summit in Honolulu and the East Asia Summit in Bali later this year.
Without a semblance of common energy policy, Asia's dynamic growth is at risk as a major energy supply interruption could happen at short notice."
Dr. Hank LIM is a Senior Research Fellow at the SIIA [bio].----
Climate change adaptation as a total defence strategy
"How should Singapore react to the recent news from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that in 2010, the world recorded a 1.6 gigatonne rise in carbon dioxide emissions - the highest ever recorded jump in a year?" asks Kua Harn Wei.
"The IEA has earlier warned that annual energy-related emissions should be kept lower than 32Gt by 2020, otherwise the global temperature will increase by at least 2 degrees Celsius - a point widely considered as the threshold of catastrophic climate change. The latest figures estimate that 30.6Gt of carbon dioxide were emitted in 2010.
Singapore should place more attention on climate change adaptation, and even consider adaptive measures within the scope of total defence. In other words, we should start thinking decades ahead of time, conjuring up likely scenarios that challenge each of our five total defence pillars and think of strategies to address these challenges."
Dr. KUA Harn Wei is an Associate Fellow at the SIIA, and also an Asst Prof. in the School of Design and Environment in the National University of Singapore [bio].