Najib’s political headache

Demonstrators marched in major cities around Malaysia on 29 August 2015 calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Arnold Puyok, UNIMAS

These are tiring times for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Najib has so far managed to stay in power despite the flurry of attacks on his leadership. Political debacles have almost cost Najib his prime ministership and the popularity of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN). Read more…

Could Aung San Suu Kyi be above Myanmar’s next president?

Myanmar's parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann (L) and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi (R) shake hands before their meeting at Parliament in Naypyidaw on November 19, 2015. Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from leading the country but has vowed to rule from "above" the next president, who she will select following her National League for Democracy's win in the November 8 polls (Photo: AAP).

Author: Myint Zan, Multimedia University

In a press conference on 5 November 2015, Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi candidly stated that if her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won the election on 8 November and was able to form the next government, she would be ‘above the president’. And the NLD has won the election. Read more…

Building the basis for India–China cooperation

Chinese vice president Li Yuanchao chats with Indian vice president Mohammad Hamid Ansari prior to their meeting in New Delhi, India, 6 November 2015. Chinese vice president Li Yuanchao is in India on a state visit to strengthen the political and bilateral ties between the two countries. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sana Hashmi, Centre for Air Power Studies

Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao paid a high-profile visit to India from 3–7 November 2015. This was the first time that a Chinese Vice President had paid a state visit to India. The visit followed two other high profile events: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in September 2014 and Read more…

Is RMB in the SDR a blessing for China?

China will deliver a slew of economic and financial reforms over the next five years, which will help the yuan become an international currency by 2020, according to Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Masahiko Takeda, Hitotsubashi University

On 13 November 2015, the IMF’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, released a statement that an IMF Executive Board meeting will be held on 30 November to decide whether to include the Chinese reminbi (RMB) in the Special Drawing Rights’ (SDR) valuation formula. She said: ‘IMF staff assesses that the RMB meets the requirements to be a “freely usable” currency and, accordingly, the staff proposes that the Executive Board … include it in the SDR basket’. Read more…

Productivity lessons for Asia’s tiger cubs

Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong is famous for its fast  owing commerce. Trade and openness helped the small island nation and other Asian ‘Tigers’ to develop rapidly by assimilating foreign technology. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Lawrence J. Lau, CUHK and Jungsoo Park, Sogang University

The high and persistent growth of the four Newly Industrialised Economies — also known as the East Asian Tigers: Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan — from 1970 to 1990 prompted much debate about the drivers of growth in these economies. There have been numerous studies looking into this issue, but they have not yet been able to reach a common conclusion. Read more…

Japan’s post-Fukushima energy challenge

Workers inspect contaminated water storage tanks at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Okuma. Following the Fukushima disaster, re-opening nuclear power plants throughout Japan will require a major change in the public mindset. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hugh Patrick, Columbia Business School

Energy is probably Japan’s greatest vulnerability, both in environmental terms and in assured sources of supply. Japan’s long-run energy policy is simple — obtain stable supplies at low cost — but implementation is complex in what is a global, dynamic, rapidly changing set of related industries. Read more…

Looking after this generation in Asia, and the next

Children scatter autumn leaves into the air at dusk in Tokyo, Japan, 21 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The issue of the sustainability of economic growth is a hot issue in the debate about economic policy. Growth, as measured through change in GDP, means that people are better off, but it does not mean that people will continue to enjoy a higher standard of living in the future. Sustainability means that social consumption can be at least as high in the future as it is now. Read more…