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Commentary: 50 years on: Reflecting on South-east Asia’s past tumult

04 Jan Commentary: 50 years on: Reflecting on South-east Asia’s past tumult

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The challenges of the 1970s were not overcome by overnight silver-bullet solutions. The path forward was neither simple nor without bumps and setbacks. Key strategies may be usefully recalled: Preparing for geopolitical shifts and engaging the major powers; expecting tumult in the region with many governments preoccupied with national issues, and yet finding ways to work together; emphasising efficiency of government and quality of leadership; increasing resilience and preparing contingency plans for the unexpected.

Read the full article on The Straits Times.


Simon Tay is chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and associate professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. His father Tay Seow Huah (deceased 1980) served as director of the Special Branch. He was also founding director of the Security and Intelligence Division and a permanent secretary to the Home Affairs and Defence ministries.

This article was first published in The Straits Times on 30 December 2020.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited.