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ASEAN Beat

‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community.’ That’s the ASEAN motto. But what’s the reality? Our bloggers based around this diverse and strategically key region give you an insider’s perspective on politics, security and society in South-east Asia.

Malaysia’s Court System Struggles With the Rise of State-Level Theocracy

Malaysia’s Court System Struggles With the Rise of State-Level Theocracy

By Aizat Shamsuddin
A recent High Court ruling has highlighted the tension between the Federal Constitution and Sharia laws passed by conservative state legislatures.

Indonesia to Require Digital Platforms to Pay for Media Content, President Says

Indonesia to Require Digital Platforms to Pay for Media Content, President Says

By Sebastian Strangio
The policy is the latest instance in which Jakarta has flexed its regulatory muscles against the big foreign tech firms.
Cambodia Gears Up For Low-Stakes Senate Election

Cambodia Gears Up For Low-Stakes Senate Election

By Sebastian Strangio
The ruling CPP is set to sweep most of the seats, after which it is expected to appoint former Prime Minister Hun Sen as the body's president.

Following Release, Thailand’s Thaksin Welcomes Former Cambodian PM

Following Release, Thailand’s Thaksin Welcomes Former Cambodian PM

By Sebastian Strangio
The former Thai leader established a close relationship with Hun Sen during his 15 years in self-exile.

Indonesian Election Shows Advances In Deradicalization Methods

Indonesian Election Shows Advances In Deradicalization Methods

By Aisyah Llewellyn
A number of former members of the extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah cast their votes in last week's election, some for the first time.

What Malaysia’s New King Means For the Country’s Monarchy

What Malaysia’s New King Means For the Country’s Monarchy

By Prem Singh Gill
In recent years, the ceremonial monarchs have been taking a more active role in the country's political life.

Indonesian Presidential Contenders Call for Parliamentary Probe Into Election

Indonesian Presidential Contenders Call for Parliamentary Probe Into Election

By Sebastian Strangio
Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo have both expressed concerns that last week's election was tainted by fraud and abuses of power.
UN Expert Cites Need for Legal Reforms in the Philippines

UN Expert Cites Need for Legal Reforms in the Philippines

By Mong Palatino
The U.N. special rapporteur noted some improvements under the Marcos administration, but “not sufficient to turn the page decisively on the past.”

Philippines to Probe Claims of Chinese Cyanide Use at Scarborough Shoal

Philippines to Probe Claims of Chinese Cyanide Use at Scarborough Shoal

By Sebastian Strangio
Allegations that Chinese vessels have used the toxic chemical in their fishing operations add to the climate of tension in the South China Sea.

Former Thai PM Thaksin Freed on Parole After 6 Months

Former Thai PM Thaksin Freed on Parole After 6 Months

By Sebastian Strangio
As controversy over his parole simmers, attention turns to what influence the controversial former leader will have over Thai politics.

Southeast Asia’s Reactionaries Can Embrace Same-Sex Marriage

Southeast Asia’s Reactionaries Can Embrace Same-Sex Marriage

By David Hutt
As in the West, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples will only serve to strengthen the social fabric.
Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Enduring Legacy in Foreign Affairs

Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Enduring Legacy in Foreign Affairs

By Hamzah Ben Ahmad
Malaysia's first prime minister fell short of realizing his domestic vision, the impacts of his diplomacy are still being felt today.

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