ASEAN leaders and the Chinese zodiac

This file photo shows a Cambodian girl and woman looks at Chinese proverb banners being sold ahead of the Lunar New Year at a shop in Phnom Penh on 11 February, 2018. (Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP Photo)

In the coming month of February, we will usher in the Chinese Lunar New Year, otherwise known as the Spring Festival. As most readers are aware, part of the fun during this festive season involves looking at our horoscopes for the new year based on the Chinese zodiac calendar. Horoscopes follow a classification scheme that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. Last year was the year of the dog, and this year will be the year of the boar.

In celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year and for a little bit of fun, The ASEAN Post has taken a look at some of the region’s notable leaders and their Chinese zodiac signs. We specifically wanted to see whether we could predict what their next important moves and decisions will be based on their respective zodiac horoscopes.

Source: Various sources


Joko Widodo

Born: 21 June, 1961

Chinese zodiac sign: Ox

This year, Jokowi will be attempting to defend his position as incumbent Indonesian president in April’s presidential elections. A controversial move that Jokowi ended up making last year was to appoint conservative 75-year-old Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate. Many believe this move was to appeal to the conservatives in Indonesia while Jokowi himself was known in the past to be a moderate and progressive Muslim president. But will Jokowi continue down the path to conservatism up until voting day?

Interestingly, states that it is important for those born in the year of the ox to shed conservatism and try hard to be on the same wavelength with their circumstances and with innovative people.

On the other hand, the site also says that it is necessary to be flexible and to make compromises and truces instead of launching into unproductive battles. Could this signal that while Jokowi should continue down the path of progress, allying himself with Ma’ruf was a smart move after all?


Prayut Chan-o-cha

Born: 21 March, 1954

Chinese zodiac sign: Horse

Like Indonesia, Thailand is slated to have elections this year. However, Thailand’s military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), has continuously pushed the date of the election with March being the latest date promised. However, because of numerous broken promises in the past, sceptics are finding it harder to believe that there will ever be another democratic election and if so, whether it really will take place in March.

In the midst of this scepticism stands Prayut, who is not only Thailand’s current prime minister but also leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). Will Prayut end up putting his foot down on the side of the voters?

On the one hand, in the year of the boar, his horoscope says that those born in the year of the horse will solve – in an admirable manner – their “troubles”, proving that they deserve much more. This could mean that Prayut will indeed prove to Thais that he not only deserves to be their prime minister but their democratically-elected one as well.

On the other hand, the horoscope also says that the horse will never leave anything to chance and will make the best arrangements in the opportunity of the moment. But will allowing an election to take place actually mean leaving Prayut’s position to chance?


Rodrigo Duterte

Born: 28 March, 1945

Chinese zodiac sign: Rooster

The controversial Clint Eastwood fan has mostly human rights watchers questioning his next move on many things. From ending his war on drugs to the decision to lower the current 15-year-old criminal liability age down to 12, Duterte has shown that he can sometimes be outlandish but that he is also forthright. Because of this, Duterte is a man who is observed very closely.

Perhaps the question that most would like to know is whether Duterte will continue down a seemingly ruthless path. As it just so turns out, 2019 will be the year for the ruthless rooster.

According to his horoscope, the end of 2019 will bring quick changes, some of them occurring with lightning speed. If those born in the year of the rooster take the time to weigh and reweigh every move and decision, they may act too late. If Duterte is a man who follows his Chinese horoscope closely, then – possibly to the dismay of human rights defenders – he will continue to be as impulsive and as ruthless as ever.


Aung San Suu Kyi

Born: 19 June, 1945

Chinese zodiac sign: Rooster

As we’ve already mentioned, 2019 will be the year of the ruthless rooster. That only leaves the question of how this will play out for Aung San Suu Kyi’s case. The whole world has its eyes on the plight of the Rohingya.

While the natural conclusion to make of a ruthless rooster would be that the Rohingya will continue to be prosecuted, many observers have questioned whether Suu Kyi is in fact being controlled by the still powerful Myanmar army.

If Suu Kyi is indeed having her hand forced by the Tatmadaw, then is it possible that a more ruthless Suu Kyi could finally break free from her alleged chains? Could she reprise her role as human rights advocate? 2019 may reveal all.


Hun Sen

Born: 5 August, 1952

Chinese zodiac sign: Dragon

As our regular readers would know by now, Hun Sen is faced with the very serious threat of trade sanctions being placed on Cambodia by its one-time biggest trading partner – the European Union (EU). This comes following an election last July which was deemed by most of the Western world as being unfair and illegitimate after a crackdown on the opposition led by the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) prior to voting day. At the same time, Hun Sen has found a very reliable ally in China.

The burning question on the minds of most political observers is whether Hun Sen will bow to Western pressure. While the EU has still not drawn up a list of demands, it has said that it wants CNRP president Kem Sokha released, restrictions lifted on civil society and an expansion of political pluralism.

However, the EU might be playing with the wrong dragon as the horoscope says that those born under this zodiac sign will be able to use their analytical skills for strategies to complete their projects this year more than ever.

Also, those born in the year of the dragon will be able to easily solve all challenges throughout the year with intelligence and expertise.

Based on his horoscope, Hun Sen will only show mercy to the CNRP if he wants to and not because of any outside pressure. It will also be interesting to see how the China-Cambodia alliance comes into play in all of this.

This article is meant for entertainment purposes only and does not reflect how these leaders will actually act this year. It goes without saying that all of us at The ASEAN Post continue to hope for the best for the entire region and all its beautiful peoples.

Related articles:

Why did Jokowi pick cleric Ma’ruf Amin?

Will Thais ever see another election?

Holding Duterte accountable

Non-interference and the Rohingya crisis

A false democracy: So, what?