Pakistan may not be an attractive partner for ASEAN yet but the state requires greater attention—from its trade potential, to its security expertise and its role in geopolitics.
Articles by Umair Jamal
In 2019, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines made major efforts to defeat local and international terrorist organizations. But did these countries meet the US government’s criteria for combating terrorism?
Until recently, startups in Southeast Asia were rising fast with support from governments and investors. But many startups in the region are now fighting for survival as revenues and funding plummet due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Filipino Parliament and the Supreme Court should guarantee that the highly contentious Anti-Terrorism Act won’t be used as tool of political victimization.
Indonesia’s heavy-handed approach has failed to crush Papuans’ nationalist sentiment. COVID-19 is an opportunity for Jakarta to push for reconciliation and address the community’s genuine political concerns.
COVID-19 has increased the risks facing thousands of refugees in Malaysia. All stakeholders in Malaysia should overcome their political differences to formulate a practical immigrant policy.
China’s new security law for Hong Kong will considerably erode the city’s autonomy. Once implemented, China will have legislative protection to crush all forms of opposition in Hong Kong and ASEAN cannot afford to remain silent, as doing so will only embolden Beijing’s assertiveness in Southeast Asia.
While competition between the US and China rages, it is unclear if Southeast Asia’s leadership can pursue policies that draw maximum benefit from both sides while ensuring their independence remains intact. The existing tensions between Washington and Beijing mean that leaders in Southeast Asia will struggle to find a position that pleases both partners.
While Indonesia’s government struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19, homegrown militant groups are adapting to the crisis in an effort to gain a foothold and prepare for the post-COVID-19 period. For Indonesia’s militants, the current health care crisis in the country offers an opportunity to regroup and reform in a way that may not have been possible before.