Malaysia’s UMNO party, part of the ruling coalition, has said that it will not cooperate with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in the next general election and will contest the election alone. However, analysts believe that the approach is not practical as it could cost the party and won’t be enough to bring it back to power.
The Myanmar military’s bombing of civilian areas in Karen State represents a major escalation in the conflict with Karen ethnic armed forces. The attacks seem to indicate that the junta will try to end the country’s long-running civil wars through brute force, despite decades of evidence that this is likely impossible.
Facebook and Google are building two new undersea data cables linking Southeast Asia to the US, marking the latest attempt to improve access and infrastructure in major markets like Indonesia and Singapore.
Thailand is involving private health care companies in its COVID-19 vaccination drive after facing criticism for delays. But the decision risks creating major inequalities in vaccine pricing and accessibility.
The Duterte administration is expected to thoroughly review its military cooperation agreement with the US and to negotiate for more equitable terms.
The Thai military’s grip on political power has little to do with the actual fighting of wars. As the country’s pro-democracy movement presses on, the long-running insurgency in the deep south raises key questions.
As police and soldiers from Myanmar defect across India’s border, Modi’s government can’t continue with its tepid response to Myanmar’s coup and ongoing violence. India’s next moves will have impacts far beyond bilateral relations—on competition with China, on India’s geopolitical status and on attempts to economically and politically integrate its northeastern states.
The Cambodian government’s decision to reject plans for a resort complex next to Angkor Wat stands in stark contrast to another project threatening one of Southeast Asia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Luang Prabang dam in Laos poses huge risks to the ancient capital, and the case of Cambodia’s “Angkor Lake of Wonder” may offer advocates a way forward.
The Malaysian High Court’s decision to allow Christians to use the word Allah in their publications is commendable. However, the court’s past rulings on the subject and its political relevance for Muslim Malay political leaders indicate that the issue is far from over.
Vietnam has pushed domestic vaccine development in part to reduce reliance on any single foreign source. But its willingness to share vaccine technology and support production abroad may help raise the country’s geopolitical status among the developing world.