After Lee, where to now for the PAP?

Members of the public react as the ceremonial gun carriage bearing Singapore's late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew passes by during his funeral procession in Singapore on 29 March 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Stephan Ortmann, City University of Hong Kong

Lee Kuan Yew leaves behind an immense legacy. As Singapore’s first statesman, Lee inadvertently became the leader of an independent city-state after Singapore was expelled from Malaysia in 1965. He led a government of very talented officials who together transformed the former British colony into a first world country. Read more…

How to solve Japan’s fiscal sustainability issues

A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, 27 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Takashi Oshio, Hitotsubashi University, and Kazumasa Oguro, Hosei University

Japan is facing a dual problem of an ageing population and increasing government debt. While pension payouts will balloon out in the next decade, a low tax base means that the government will struggle to finance this. 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…

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…

Time for China to let go of the dollar

Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), at a press conference during the third Session of the 12th NPC (National People's Congress) in Beijing, 12 March 2015. Zhou Xiaochuan said on Thursday 12 March 2015 that China is sticking to the prudent monetary policy despite the use of a string of new monetary policy tools. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

China’s Third Plenum reforms, introduced under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in November 2013, promised deep market-based reform in the economy, including reform of financial markets and liberalisation of the capital account of international payments. 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…

Refining the Western counter terrorism strategy

Iraqi security forces prepare to attack Islamic State extremist positions in Tikrit, 130 kilometres north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday 26 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amin Saikal, ANU

The US-led international coalition may well be able to roll back the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, but this will not be the end of the story. As long as the conditions and causes that have given rise to IS persists in the Middle East, the emergence of a similar group is always possible in the future. Read more…