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Paul Rivers

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Will Japan seize its “ASEAN moment”?

At a time when Japanese officials are hardening their stance against China in the matter of Taiwanese independence, the country has been working hard to foster strong relations in Southeast Asia in an effort to balance Chinese assertiveness in the region. Case in point...

Junta’s grip tightens 

A majority of Thais endure tough working conditions. Source: Wikimedia As Thailand prepares to crown a new king, there are few signs that the upheaval will bring democratic reform.  Instead human rights, freedom of speech and democracy, always based on relatively feeble foundations in Thailand, are...

MAS looks to boost fintech

Singapore is trying to establish itself as a tech hub. Source: Flickr   The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is moving to ease regulation for venture capital (VC) investors in 2017 to stimulate financial technology or “fintech”, announced Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The Lion City aims...

Army enforces Rakhine clampdown 

Myanmar’s military or Tatmadaw is under little scrutiny in Rakhine State. Source: YouTube Myanmar's leading English-language newspaper has ceased to report on Rakhine State, according to a leaked internal memo, amid increasing pressure on the media to curtail critical coverage of the military crackdown.  The Myanmar...

Widodo cancels trip amid riots

Violent protests are relatively rare in Indonesia. Source: YouTube The Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, has postponed a visit to Australia amid Jakarta riots as Muslim radicals demand the resignation of the city’s Christian governor who they say insulted the Koran. Widodo told the press that "political...

1MDB trial begins in Singapore

The Old Supreme Court Building on Saint Andrew's Road, Singapore. Source: Wikimedia A banker who helped manage the accounts of Malaysian investment fund 1MDB has gone on trial in Singapore. The trial of Yeo Jiawei, 33, formerly of Swiss bank BSI Singapore, over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd marks the...

Rohingya rapes rampant: NGOs

Rohingya had no history of attacking the security services before October 9 and conclusive evidence has not yet been provided. Source: Flickr Human rights groups are alleging that dozens of Muslim women have been raped by Myanmar’s security services in Rakhine State during counter-insurgency operations...

S’pore eyes driverless buses

CleanTech Park in Singapore is pioneering driverless technology. Source: Wikimedia Singapore is set to trial two 12-metre, full-size driverless buses in Jurong West near the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) conducted by the Land Transport Authority and the university’s Energy Research Institute, under an agreement signed at...

Duterte praises Chinese hosts

President Rodrigo Duterte appears to believe China is a more valuable ally than the US. Source: Wikimedia     The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has welcomed the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte on a "milestone" visit to Beijing.  The Philippine president's four-day trip is due to boost trade and bilateral...

Royalist mobs attack ‘critics’

Thais are expected to wear black clothing. Source: YouTube Thais have been told to "socially sanction" those who defame the monarchy after King Bhumibol Adulyadej's death, justice minister Paiboon Koomchay told the media. Videos of mobs attacking people accused of insulting the royal family have...

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Will Japan seize its “ASEAN moment”?

At a time when Japanese officials are hardening their stance against China in the matter of Taiwanese independence, the country has been working hard...