With the US election finally over and President-elect Joseph Biden set to enter the oval office, leaders across Southeast Asia have turned to what the next four years may hold for relations with the embattled superpower.
In Myanmar’s election, ethnic minority parties offer a key alternative for voters disillusioned with Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. Though their success is key to making the country’s democracy more representative, they face major barriers in this year’s vote.
One of Myanmar’s most notorious extremist Buddhist monks, U Wirathu, has turned himself in to authorities after over a year in hiding from charges of sedition against Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. The move is likely a political tactic as the country is days away from a general election.
With just over a week until Myanmar’s general election on November 8, the country is struggling with a myriad of controversies surrounding the vote while COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he has enough support to form a new government. Whether or not he can wrest power from incumbent Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysia is poised for more political turmoil.
Thailand’s new youth-led democracy movement has held near-daily protests since July, demanding a new constitution, a new parliament and unprecedented reform of the monarchy. Parliament’s recent move to delay its vote on charter reform suggests the government is out of touch and doesn’t realize that the protestors won’t back down.
As Myanmar prepares for a general election in November, thousands of Muslim voters and their candidates are being denied the chance to participate in the electoral process. What does that mean for the country’s Muslim community?
Malaysia’s national education system has become a source of Islamic indoctrination and racial bias. Regressive teaching methods and segregation are producing an angry and radical generation of young Malays, threatening the country’s national unity and stability.
A narrative of ethnic Burman state-building and junta rule has left Myanmar with structural flaws in its new democracy, several limiting the possibilities for November’s election.
Many governments in Southeast Asia have made strides towards becoming stable democracies. However, for as long as semi-authoritarian regimes remain in power, the struggle of pro-democracy forces is far from over.