Don’t blame Cambodia for ASEAN inaction on South China Sea

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao shakes hand with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during their meeting in Urumqi, 2 September 2012. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Phoak Kung, CISS

Accusations against Cambodia made following the controversial 2012 ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Phnom Penh fail to acknowledge the challenges that each member state faces with the rise of China. Read more…

ASEAN integration remains an illusion

Workers are silhouetted against the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is hosting the 19th ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting from 19 to 21 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Barry Desker, RSIS

For the ASEAN member states, the benchmark of successful regionalism has been ASEAN’s effectiveness in bringing the region closer. The lack of interstate conflict has been credited to ASEAN’s success in moulding a greater regional consciousness among policymakers. 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…

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…

After thirty years of Hun Sen, where is Cambodia now?

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, greets well-wishers during the 36th anniversary of Victory Day, when the Khmer Rouge regime was toppled in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 7 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Vannarith Chheang, University of Leeds

2015 marks 30 years in power for Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Hun Sen became prime minister in January 1985 at only 33 years old. He has consolidated his power base through charismatic leadership, paternalism, coercion and a system of patronage. Read more…

The Myanmar story doesn’t end here

A labourer reaps at a paddy field in Dala township, Myanmar. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Nicholas Farrelly, ANU

The story of Myanmar’s transition to a more democratic political system, and a more productive economy, is far from over.

Myanmar had a big year in 2014. The country held its first census in 30 years. The lead-up to the national count was plagued by criticism and uncertainty. Read more…

ASEAN shouldn’t get hung up on the AEC deadline

Undocumented Indonesian workers walk on the tarmac towards an Indonesian military C-130 aircraft at Subang Air Force base in Subang, outside Kuala Lumpur, on 23 December 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Ganeshan Wignaraja, ADBI and Jenny Balboa, ADBI

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is unlikely to come into being by its December 2015 deadline due to its overambitious design and apathetic implementation. But there are still plenty of things that ASEAN can do to prepare for when the AEC is eventually launched. Read more…