ASEAN journalists in danger

Except for a few bright spots, press freedom in ASEAN continues to be a foreign concept. Self-censorship, restrictions on media access and outdated and oppressive laws are among the reasons Southeast Asia continues to lag behind their global counterparts in the World Press Freedom Index – with…

China is “re-educating” Muslims

At the Shu Le County Education Centre, a sprawling three-story complex in China’s far west region of Xinjiang, the dormitories feature bars on windows and doors that only lock from the outside. Inside are hundreds of minority Muslim Uighurs who have no way of leaving without an official escort,…

Malaysia is back on the BRI

Malaysia will revive a US$34 billion Chinese-backed transport and property development that was abandoned in 2017, the prime minister said Friday, adding the project would contribute to Beijing’s global infrastructure drive. The announcement came after the countries agreed this month to resume…

Danger ahead for Indonesia?

While vote counting continues for Indonesia’s recently concluded election, reports have come out that incumbent, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo already enjoys a comfortable lead over former general and rival, Prabowo Subianto, at least according to the unofficial results.  The official results are only due…



Vietnam’s growing demand for energy

With a rapidly growing economy, Vietnam is facing an increase in energy demand which is forecasted to grow 10 percent annually. The Vietnam Energy Outlook Report 2017 released by…

ASEAN fast becoming a renewable energy hub

Technological innovations and favourable government policies are among the four trends expected to drive Southeast Asia’s transition to renewable energy in the coming years.  A…

ASEAN’s energy transition on the right track

Yesterday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched the fifth edition of their Energy Transition Index (ETI), ranking 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy…



Getting rich the Islamic way

In October last year, Brunei hosted the Brunei Islamic Capital Market (BICAM) Conference 2018, at the Rizqun International Hotel where more than a dozen international experts in Islamic finance met,…

Malaysia, Indonesia rivalry heats up

Malaysia and Indonesia have long been rivals – battling over territorial supremacy, diplomatic issues and even cultural appropriation. From alleged theft of traditions to the superiority of their…

HSBC is helping ASEAN cope with climate change

ASEAN has to do more to attract private investment for key sustainable infrastructure programmes as the region makes the transition to a low carbon economy.  HSBC presented a report to ASEAN Finance…

Is Malaysia’s ringgit under attack?

It was a one-two punch that’s turned the Malaysian ringgit into Asia’s worst performer this month. FTSE Russell said Monday it may drop Malaysian debt from the FTSE World Government Bond Index…

South Korea keen to invest in Thailand

In line with its Thailand 4.0 goals, the Land of Smiles has been on an active lookout for foreign investors willing to finance projects under this initiative. South Korea recently expressed keen…



Struggling SMEs should turn to tech

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have been hailed as the driving force behind the island nation’s economy. The government there has pointed out…

The future of drones in ASEAN

Better regulations and wider acceptance from the general public are key to the growth of commercial drone use across the region.  Drones are playing an increasingly…

Blockchain in Indonesia

When blockchain and cryptocurrency first made headlines, many saw them as disruptors to the current financial order. This is because transactions that involve…



Banning palm oil is dangerous

From cooking oil to soap, from sunblock to biofuel, it’s little wonder that Europe imports as much as about 1.9 million tons of palm oil a year. Of late, however, the European Union (EU) has been heavily campaigning against the commodity. The argument is based on the belief that palm oil is not a “green fuel”, meaning it is not environmentally sustainable, and should not be promoted as it causes deforestation. The European Parliament, in fact, has made the push to phase out the use of palm oil…

Fighting illegal fishing

In football, the yellow card is a warning for a player to behave himself as he may get sent off the pitch if he receives a second one – and a subsequent red card. It seems this system works just as well when it comes to combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The European Union (EU) is the world's largest import market for fisheries products and it has estimated the global value of IUU fishing to be around US$11- to US$22 billion per year. Between 11- and 26 million…

Stunted, wasting and overweight in ASEAN

While malnutrition is a global plague, it is a more acute problem in Asia.  According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank Group published last year, more than half of all stunted children, almost half of all overweight children and more than two-thirds of all wasted children live in the region. Zooming into Southeast Asia, the results are, unfortunately, not too surprising.  The report titled ‘Levels and trends in child…

Myanmar’s trafficked brides

Between June 2017 and April 2018, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Humanitarian Health carried out a study on almost 400 migrant women from Myanmar between the ages of 15 and 55, who were married to Chinese men and experienced childbearing in the five years they were in China. The study, supported by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT), found that almost 40 percent of them were victims of forced marriages. The study also found that about 33 percent of…


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Corporate Innovation Summit 2019

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Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre, CentralWorld, Bangkok, Thailand

Reimagining Southeast Asia 2018

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Gandhi Memorial ASEAN Debate Competition 2018

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Asian International Arbitration Centre, Kuala Lumpur

World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018

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Hanoi, Vietnam