Mahathir Mohammad wants the Malaysian government to take the country’s ethnic diversity into account when making national policies. His comments appear to be an effort to appease voters—including the Malay majority—as the country prepares for the next election.
Malaysia’s largest political party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), has faced difficulties over the past few years but the party still has a future in Malaysia’s elections. Any attempts by other parties to ban or deregister UMNO are likely to further increase the party’s popularity.
In the restive southern Philippines, a new autonomous Muslim government on Mindanao formed by ex-militants is reaching out to Islamic State-linked terrorists. The effort represents the region’s best chance at lasting stability and hinges on bringing extremist militants to the table while also bringing economic growth and inclusive development.
The Myanmar military’s coup is a gluttonous grab for still more power despite the generals’ already entrenched role in the recent civilian governments. The country voted overwhelmingly for another Aung San Suu Kyi government last November and was already struggling under the impacts of COVID-19 and a recent surge in its civil wars.
As Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen suppresses political opponents in an attempt to protect his power and prepare for the next general election, many Southeast Asian countries, particularly Thailand, are facilitating his political repression.
Facebook0TwitterReddit0Linkedinemail The new government of Laos, largely a reshuffle of party leaders, is set to continue policies that do little to achieve inclusive development while…
Vietnam’s next leader will struggle to measure up to the legacy of outgoing President Nguyen Phu Trong, as the current general secretary of the Communist Party has spearheaded unprecedented anti-corruption campaigns.
Southeast Asia’s autocratic leaders have adored Trump’s transactional approach to foreign policy and at times won trade and defense deals without adequate scrutiny of their poor human rights records. The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will take a tougher stance on democracy and human rights in bilateral deals.
A controversial industrial zone in southern Thailand has been delayed after protestors from Songkhla province occupied an encampment outside of the prime minister’s office for days on end, calling for the project to be canceled.
A series of postponed by-elections in Malaysia are taking on extra strategic significance as the political battle for the country’s leadership continues amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.