How Lee Kuan Yew shaped Singapore’s identity

Officers lift the coffin of late Lee Kuan Yew prior to his procession to Parliament House, at Istana Palace, Singapore, 25 March 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Terence Chong, ISEAS

The passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the most important personality in Singapore’s postcolonial history, will have little to no ramifications on the city-state. Lee had gradually receded from national politics over the last decade and had an obsessive focus on leadership transition. Lee, more than anyone else, endeavoured to ensure that his absence would have as little political or economic impact on the country as possible. Read more…

The Philippine economy is powering into 2015

A boy walks on one of the trusses of the Quezon Bridge in Manila. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Gilberto M. Llanto, PIDS

The Philippines never had it so good. But with a slowing global economy and an election coming up in 2016, what can it expect from the future? Read more…

Why Indonesia should take a leading role in ASEAN

Indonesian President Joko Widodo listens during the 2nd ASEAN-United States Summit, part of the 25th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Related Summits at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 13 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Pattharapong Rattanasevee, Burapha University

ASEAN would benefit from stronger leadership. But Indonesia, the country best placed to take up that role, appears unwilling.

Indonesia could be the leader that ASEAN needs, but it intentionally refrains from asserting its influence over the association. Read more…

How contact and English proficiency can help Japan’s immigration policy

his photograph taken on 27 September 2013 shows shoppers walking past displays offering clothing on sale in Tokyo's Harajuku shopping district. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: David Green and Yoshihiko Kadoya, Nagoya University

With the foreign population in Japan expected to grow in the future, policymakers have an interest in promoting a more positive view of immigration. Current public opinion toward immigration in Japan, like in much of the rest of the world, is generally negative. But recent public opinion data shows that individuals who are more likely to come in contact with foreigners or who self-assess as being of high English speaking proficiency are more supportive of increases in immigration. Read more…

Lee Kuan Yew: death of an outstanding statesman

Vigil guards lift the casket of Singapore's late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore on 29 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Bob Hawke, former prime minister of Australia

Lee Kuan Yew was quite simply, and unquestionably, one of the outstanding national leaders of the last hundred years. He worked on a small canvas, but what he achieved in tiny Singapore not only transformed the lives of his own people profoundly, but had an immense impact beyond Singapore in shaping the Asia of today. Read more…

Singapore after Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew waves to journalists after visiting Indonesian former president Suharto in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, 13 January 2008 (Photo: AAP).

Author: Geoff Wade, Canberra

At a time not too far distant, Lee Kuan Yew, the font of all authority, legitimacy, orthodoxy and indeed fear in Singapore for over 50 years will no longer be with us. It is thus perhaps appropriate to begin discussing what the absence of Lee Kuan Yew will mean for the Singaporean republic. Read more…

The US must adapt to Asia’s new order

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Evan A. Feigenbaum, Paulson Institute

The United States has dominated global economics and finance in the post-war era. But the rise of new regional institutions and agreements in Asia will pose a growing and lasting competitive challenge to US leadership in the Pacific. Read more…

Lee’s legacy

Author: Michael D. Barr, Flinders University

The recent passing of Lee Kuan Yew all but ends the direct connection between the ‘old guard’ generation of leaders that brought Singapore to independence in 1965 and the Singaporeans of today. Unlike other old guard leaders who retired or otherwise departed public life in the 1970s and 1980s, Lee stayed in politics long enough to usher in the new century and remained a public figure at the time of his death. Read more…

India’s population in 2050: extreme projections demand extreme actions

Indian women travel in a crowded coach on a train at a railway station in New Delhi on February 26, 2013 (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ranjit Goswami, IMT, Nagpur

In 2050 India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion — China’s will be 1.31 billion.

India has experienced extraordinary population growth: between 2001 and 2011 India added 181 million people to the world, slightly less than the entire population of Brazil. Read more…

Time to unpeg the renminbi

Pedestrians walk past the head office of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), China's central bank, in Beijing. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Guonan Ma, Bruegel

The Chinese economy is simply too big to remain tied to the once useful monetary anchor of the renminbi–US dollar peg. It is time to let it go.

The Chinese renminbi depreciated 2.5 per cent against the US dollar in 2014. It was the largest annual fall since 2005, when Beijing timidly started loosening its tight dollar peg. Read more…