ISEAS Library Selects

Daily News on the Southeast Asian Region

29 November 2019  (pm) - 2 December 2019  (am)

This issue of Daily News Alert includes the following citation attributed to a researcher at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. You can click on his name to go to this article directly.

This is a daily information alert service containing articles and commentaries selected by six ISEAS Library staff from 95 international and regional news sources every weekday morning. These news sources cover Southeast Asia and special topics relevant to the research interest/ direction/ agenda of ISEAS.  If you think your friends and colleagues would find this alert useful, please invite them to subscribe.

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1 .
Funcinpec, KNUP to merge this month: The royalist Funcinpec party and Khmer National United Party will hold their congress to merge late this month after senior officials of both parties agreed to do so. KNUP spokesman Run Meatra said that senior officials of Funcinpec and the KNUP agreed to a merger on December 23... He said that Prince Norodom Ranariddh remains at the helm of Funcinpec.

2 .
Spotlight: Int'l cooperation vital to preservation of Cambodia's famed Angkor: Long Kosal, spokesman for Apsara National Authority, the management authority responsible for protecting and preserving Angkor, said the ICC-Angkor is a multilateral platform, where decisions relating to the safeguarding and development of Angkor are made. "It has always been in the form of multilateral cooperation in the sense of decision-making process and bilateral at the implementation stage," he told Xinhua.

3 .
Beyond the Trump-Hun Sen Letters, Where Will a US-Cambodia Thaw End Up? Amid the spotlight on the correspondence by the two leaders looms the bigger question of what a recalibrated relationship may look like and how it will evolve in the future.
4 .
KRT concludes three days of hearing in Case 003 against Meas Muth: The Pre-Trial Chamber will determine if Mr Muth satisfies the criteria of the court's jurisdiction and whether there are sufficient charges to indict him for the crimes alleged or the charges against him should be dismissed, it noted. The Chamber will now adjourn to deliberate on its decision. The decision would be final with no further appeals.
5 .
Ministry says economic growth has benefitted people equitably: Speaking during a press conference yesterday, Phan Phalla, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said the wealth generated by this growth has been distributed fairly. The Kingdom's economy has grown at an average of about 7 percent in the last twenty years... In yesterday's press conference, Mr Phalla stressed that the 'fair distribution of wealth' has improved people's living standards, raising incomes and helping Cambodians enjoy longer, more secure lives.

6 .
$3 billion in reserve ahead of possible EBA withdrawal: Economics lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh Kim Veara said the $3 billion allocation was positive and reflected the government's commitment to protecting the Kingdom's economic growth. [...] Acleda Bank president In Channy on Tuesday said the Kingdom's banking sector will remain strong and will not be directly affected by the potential suspension of trade privileges.


7 .
Confusion reigns over govt's counterradicalism strategy: ...Fachrul's recent statements in support of renewing the permit of controversial mass organization Islam Defenders Front (FPI) has made some members of the public question the government's commitment to combating radicalism, resulting in the hashtag #JokowiTakutFPI (Jokowi is Afraid of the FPI) trending nationwide on Twitter on Thursday.

8 .
Reform caught between competition and compromise: The lack of competitiveness has been a major issue putting the brakes on growth. Foreign investors are usually attracted to Indonesia because of the size of the market and not necessarily its competitiveness. The recent relocation of Chinese companies to more attractive environments like Vietnam due to trade war fallout is a perfect example.
Dimas Kuncoro Jati. Analyst at Bower GroupAsia.
Jakarta Post, 2 December 2019

9 .
Ketika Kedaulatan Rakyat Diusulkan Diganti Lobi-Lobi Politik [When the people's sovereignty is proposed for replacement by political lobbies]: Ada banyak kontestasi kepala daerah yang menunjukkan bahwa pilihan rakyat soal kepala daerah tidak selalu seiring dengan dukungan partai terbanyak di DPRD. Kondisi ini menunjukkan pilihan rakyat soal wakil mereka di dewan tidak lantas menunjukkan rakyat percaya pada pilihan mereka soal kepala daerah. Keduanya adalah hal yang berbeda. Jadi, biarkan rakyat berdaulat.

10 .
The ghost of Indonesia's Christmas past, religious intolerance, is raised with a tweet about cake: Notice claiming Jakarta bakery would no longer put Christmas symbols on its cakes has caused a stir after a Twitter photo went viral. It may be fake news, but it has raised the ghost of Christmas past in a land where Islamic extremism has left many on edge

11 .
Indonesia: Jokowi's second term holds promises: What should we expect from Jokowi's team? The first thing they have to do is tackle a less-than-promising cyclical outlook: That will require carefully calibrated counter-cyclical measures to minimise risks to the rupiah or the fiscal position. This is something that Jokowi's able technocrats can do. The bigger challenge will be to pull off a longer-term acceleration in economic growth. That will require policymakers to make more sweeping changes to address a series of deeply rooted structural weaknesses. Since these will almost certainly arouse opposition while also potentially causing some short-term pain, it will require careful political management.

12 .
Saving Our Election: THE proposal by Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian to evaluate the direct elections for regional heads is a very good one. The political mechanism used since the start of the Reformasi era does need improving. But it is a leap of logic too far if the problems with direct local elections are used as an excuse to move to elections by Regional Legislative Councils (DPRD).

13 .
OPINION: Indonesia's 2020 climate challenge: The reality is that Indonesia remains dependent on coal for energy security. This high carbon-emitting fossil fuel accounted for 58.3 percent of Indonesia's energy mix in 2017. Its portion would only drop to 54.4 percent in 2025, according to the Electricity Supply Business Plan 2018 to 2027.
Warief Djajanto Basorie. Senior journalist
Jakarta Post, 29 November 2019

14 .
OPINION: Indonesia's prosperity rising, yet big challenges remain: Although a relatively young democracy, Indonesia is more politically stable than many of its neighbors, and has benefited from five free and fair elections since president Soeharto's over 30-year rule ended in 1998. Indonesia's vibrant civil society has helped to hold its government to account, and high levels of civic and social participation have empowered them to participate effectively in politics.
Stephen Brien. Director of Policy, Legatum Institute
Jakarta Post, 29 November 2019


15 .
New Malaysia: If you build it, people will come: Liew Chin Tong's article about the long road to coalition building, while well-intentioned, distracts from the problems facing Pakatan Harapan today. Liew, as a young Malaysian leader, should instead focus on the main issue facing Harapan, which is a trust deficit. For instance, Liew says this: "Despite such a reality, many of us are still susceptible to ethnic firestorms manufactured by racial champions of the social media, as well as some media that are still friendly to the previous regime."
S Thayaparan
Malaysiakini, 2 December 2019

16 .
Bekas Ketua Polis Perlis diugut komunis [Former Perlis Police Chief was threatened by communist]:   "Saya tidak boleh menceritakan ugutan itu kepada isteri dan empat anak. Saya menangis dan terpaksa 'menelan' ancaman itu. Anak ketiga yang berusia 12 tahun terpaksa dipindahkan ke asrama di sebuah sekolah di Alor Setar, Kedah,  kata Ali kepada Sinar Harian ketika ditemui selepas menghadiri Istiadat Penganugerahan Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara, Polis Kuala Lumpur, di Pusat Latihan Polis (Pulapol) Kuala Lumpur, baru-baru ini.

17 .
Kembalinya nepotisme, kronisme [The return of nepotism and cronyism]: Ketika Amien Rais membangkitkan rakyat Indonesia menentang pentadbiran Presiden Soeharto, Anwar hanya benar-benar menggerakkan kebangkitan massa apabila dipecat daripada jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan parti pemerintah UMNO.

18 .
Malaysia sukar jadi negara maju kerana... [Malaysia has difficulty becoming a developed country because ...]: Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata, perbezaan pencapaian antara kaum adalah situasi tidak sihat bagi sesebuah negara kerana pencapaian itu tidak sama.
Sinar Harian, 2 December 2019

19 .
Muafakat Nasional bukan gabungan rasmi [Muafakat Nasional is not an official coalition]: Presidennya, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong berkata, kerjasama seakan-akan Muafakat Nasional adalah senario biasa berlaku landskap politik negara sebelum ini sebagaimana diamalkan parti-parti pembangkang terdahulu.

20 .
Pengajaran daripada malam yang cemas [Lessons from anxious nights]: Melewati jam 9.30 malam, ada agenda penting yang perlu diselesaikan di Parlimen sebelum sidang malam 26 November itu melabuh tirai iaitu meluluskan Rang Undang-Undang Perbekalan 2020 bagi Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat bernilai RM2.47 bilion.

21 .
Pindaan Akta Perhimpunan Aman [Amendment of the Peaceful Assembly Act]: Harus dinyatakan dari awal bahawa akta itu hanya berkait dengan perhimpunan aman tanpa senjata dan bukannya rusuhan atau protes ganas. Dalam keadaan sedemikian, undang-undang yang akan terpakai adalah di bawah Kanun Keseksaan.

22 .
言论:补选后的马国政局 [Political Situation in Malaysia after the By-election] 补选后的局势对马哈迪极为不利,所以作为支持马哈迪留任至届满的 " 保马派 " 领袖,即人民公正党署理主席、经济部长阿兹敏,很快就有行动。他连夜在住家召集了一场会议,虽然阿兹敏之后面对记者提问时,对晚间会议是否讨论 " 保马 " 含糊带过,但出席的 27 名领袖皆为立场上支持马哈迪的公正党和巫统议员,所以坊间基本上并不相信会议与 " 保马 " 无关。另外,在这之后网络就开始流传阿兹敏已获足够议员支持的消息。这些发展都让马国政坛陷入补选后的余波震荡之中。
联合早报 , 2 December 2019

23 .
Alliance with PAS focus of this year's Umno assembly: ...president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's speech will centre on Umno's direction amid the current political landscape and the party's cooperation with its former foe. Its revival in fortunes has also emboldened the party to organise the gathering on a larger scale, with some 12,000 members expected to throng the Umno headquarters at Putra World Trade Centre during the four-day event â€" a far cry from last year's single-day assembly, which took place as rumours were swirling of the party's elected representatives planning to jump ship.

Malaysian Insight, 1 December 2019

24 .
PH tempuhi jalan sukar jika teruskan rombakan cabinet [PH will face difficulties if cabinet reshuffle proceeds]: Matlamat utama kerajaan PH sekarang adalah menjadi sebuah kerajaan berfungsi yang boleh memenangkan mereka dalam PRU15 dan terus memerintah pada penggal kedua dengan majoriti yang lebih tinggi. Agenda ini lebih penting berbanding rombakan kabinet yang tidak memberi jaminan kestabilan PH.
Fakhrurrazi Rashid
Malaysian Insight, 1 December 2019

25 .
覌点 : 政治结盟的漫漫长路 [The long road to political alliance]: 过去 20 年的结盟之路,是非常扎实却又非常痛苦的一段日子。我们经历了许多尝试,筹组一个有效可行的政治联盟,以免让国阵贪污腐败的陋习继续误国。 509 政党轮替,证明了我们结盟的成功。在希望联盟各党当中,有很多领袖都相信结盟才是出路,即使过程困难重重和充斥挑战,大家都尽一切努力巩固希望联盟的合作基础。
民主行动党柔佛州主席刘镇东 2019 12 1 日在个人部落格拟文
Malaysian Insight, 1 December 2019

26 .
Tindakan tegas buat pengkhianat Jalur Gemilang [Strict action will be taken for the traitor of Jalur Gemilang]:     Memang disengajakan. Tidak mungkin penganjur membiarkan mana-mana kontraktor acara tanpa memantau dan mengesahkan produk yang akan disiarkan dalam mana-mana acara. Bukankah rehersal dibuat apabila melaksanakan acara atau event besar sebegitu? Kenapa tidak mengesan awal kesilapan bucu pada bintang berkenaan?

27 .
Azmin group plans 'parallel congress': MANY in PKR are still hoping against hope for a last-minute reconciliation between their president and deputy president with only a week before the party's national congress in Melaka.But the window of opportunity is closing as the group loyal to PKR No. 2 Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is planning to hold their own gathering â€" or a parallel congress as some call it â€" on the same day as the party congress on Dec 6. The group is aware that the parallel congress will not be recognised by the party but they want to show that they have the numbers, especially at the supreme council level and even among divisions in the country.

28 .
Looking back at Tanjung Piai: What exactly did the people say with their votes?Barisan's victory is a reality bite that said moderation works, Hamidin said. "You need everyone to win. Even if the Malay voters are united, you need the other races to win," he said. Just say PAS and Umno got 90% of the Malay votes in GE15, it could only win about 87 seats out of 222, he said. The Muafakat Nasional would be the main block but it would need others to form the government.

29 .
A dead man's ashes will not revive communism: Why do critics from Umno and PAS fear the ashes of former secretary-general of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) Chin Peng? Is it because they think his ashes could revive communism in Malaysia? That cannot be the reason because no one is interested in communism, especially as the People's Republic of China (PRC) citizens are themselves more capitalist, and probably more successful entrepreneurs, than the Americans.

30 .
Palm oil's surge in India likely to come to an end, says report: While India typically reduces its imports of palm oil during the three months starting December, a bigger than usual decline in sales to the country would dent palm's rally. India mainly imports palm from Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's largest producers. Palm oil prices have surged since July on expectations that Indonesia will boost biodiesel consumption, with benchmark futures in Kuala Lumpur outperforming soybean oil traded in Chicago and the Bloomberg Commodity Index. Futures capped their best weekly advance since 2016 in the five days to Nov 22.

31 .
People can determine PH's fate in next polls, says Dr M: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the people can vote to determine Pakatan Harapan's fate in the next general election if they have no confidence in the government. He reiterated his earlier statement that the PH government had found it difficult to fulfil the promises made in its manifesto because of the damage caused by the previous government.

32 .
国家寸步难移 [The country is at a standstill]: 从陈平骨灰事件,再一次印证不同民族的历史观及历史知识衍生不一样的立场,一些政治人物扮演历史专家,给予错误的诠释。各族同胞这些年来纠结于过去的事情,为了历史、民族尊严、地位及特权等课题而争论不休,无法进行转型正义的工作,也造成国家数十年来受到羁绊无法前进。
星洲日报 , 30 November 2019

33 .
Pakatan's Tanjung Piai Trashing: Beginning Of The End? Pakatan Harapan's stunning defeat at the recent by-election in Tanjung Piai, Johor has sent shockwaves throughout the ruling coalition, with some even calling on Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to take responsibility and step aside.

34 .
Chinese investments in Malaysia down 50%, US inflow soars: Chinese investments in Malaysia halved to US$1.7 billion (RM7.1 billion) in the first nine months of the year from a year ago, though US investments soared seven times to US$5.9 billion (RM24.6 billion) reflecting a diversion of funds due to the Beijing-Washington trade clashes.

35 .
专栏 : 谁来定义恐怖主义 [Who defines terrorism]? 一群左翼人士将已故马来亚共产党总书记陈平的骨灰运回其家乡,引发马来右翼分子叫嚣说他是 " 恐怖分子 " 。如果陈平是恐怖分子,当初加入马共的马来裔战士也是恐怖分子,但为什么后者得以回国安享晚年,有者尚获马来统治者接见呢 ? 这说明马来西亚就是一个赤裸裸的族裔政体( ethnocracy )。
Malaysian Insight, 29 November 2019

36 .
Agrobank sokong agropreneur [Agrobank supports agropreneur]: Khadijah berkata, Agrobank menerapkan elemen Insan, Kelestarian dan Kemakmuran dalam aktiviti perniagaan bank antaranya tertumpu kepada pembangunan dan pemerkasaan komuniti, pelaburan dan pembangunan usahawan serta peningkatan dalam kelestarian alam sekitar.

37 .
希盟四分五裂 [PH in disunity]: 希盟主要的利用价值只是在于赢政,不是执政。竞选的要求,不会比执政高,因为当反对党远比当政府容易,职务只是拿着数据和证据去证明执政党的不好。当人家问他们为何老是只会攻击执政党,本身却没有什么成绩可以证实自己的能力。这时,反对党就会回应说一日不当政府就无法有证据,无法做比较。
星洲日报 , 29 November 2019


38 .
Suu Kyi gears up for genocide hearing: There has been strong reaction in Myanmar to Aung San Suu Kyi's decision to appear at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to defend the country against charges of genocide. While Western diplomats have tried to persuade the civilian leader that she was embarking on a high-risk strategy, and should reconsider. Attitudes amongst the intellectuals, politicians, MPs and civil society range from animated support to more measured approaches.

39 .
Three new substations boost national grid: With the official launching of three new substations on Saturday, Myanmar's national electricity grid is now providing 50 percent of the country's power needs, says Minister of Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing. U Win Khaing was speaking during the official opening of the Tatkyigon substation in Hmawby Township, Kyuntawkon substation in Okekan Township, and the Aphyauk substation in Aphyauk Township. The three new substations are located in Yangon Region.

40 .
PPP is a programmatic party: Party leader: People's Pioneer Party (PPP) is neither a paternalistic party that relies on centralization nor a personalistic party that relies on a single charismatic leader. Our party is a programmatic party which will be built on exact policies, framework and tasks for socio-economic development of the entire people, said Dr. Thet Thet Khaing, a party leader, at a ceremony to introduce the PPP at Melia Hotel in Yangon on November 30.

41 .
Suu Kyi fans join VIP tours for Rohingya genocide trial: Ardent fans of Aung San Suu Kyi are snapping up spots on $2,000 tours to The Hague, in a display of moral support as Myanmar faces charges of genocide over the Rohingya crisis at the UN's top court in December. Supporter rallies, billboards and outpourings of praise online followed the shock announcement by the country's civilian leader last week that she would personally represent Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

42 .
Why Will Aung San Suu Kyi Personally Defend Myanmar Against Genocide Claims? Defending Myanmar before a top international court could be an effective image-correction exercise and could help offset any complaints that the NLD's loyal supporters might have before they walk into the polling booth next year November. In fact, doing so could even reclaim lost voters, including from minority ethnic blocs, and persuade fence-sitters to vote for the NLD over others. Sure, it is a risky gamble, but one that the Lady is willing to take to secure not just her party's electoral future, but also her own political ambitions.

43 .
Myanmar citizens living abroad allowed for expat voting or home voting in 2020 election: According to rough voter lists, the number of eligible voters in Myanmar has increased by about three million for the coming election compared to the 2015 election, the minister quoted the announcement of the Union Election Commission.

44 .
Myanmar to strive not to cast aspersions on any nation, race, religion, or group, either directly or indirectly in facing application at ICJ: Myanmar is poised to strive not to cast aspersions on any nation, race, religion, or group, either directly or indirectly in facing an application filed by Gambia against Myanmar at International Court of Justice (ICJ) with regard to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Rakhine State, the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 27.

45 .
How the UN Compact on Refugees Can Address the Rohingya Crisis


46 .
Underwater in 30 years, if...: New scientific research released last month warns of an increasingly ominous future for the environment. People may think that warning is more of the usual, but something in the report should concern Filipinos in particular: In about three decades, the Philippines could find many of its coastal areas, including those surrounding Manila Bay, underwater due to the effects of climate change.

Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1 December 2019

47 .
The Lonely and Dangerous Life of the Filipino Seafarer: The Philippines for decades has supplied the largest share of labor on the world's cargo ships. Filipino culture is brought aboard, from food to song and sports.


48 .
Commentary: Shocks lined a rather demanding year for Singapore and the global economy: The US-China trade dispute, weaker global and Chinese economic growth, and the electronics sector downturn have jointly impacted Singapore, says Tuuli McCully, Head of Asia-Pacific Economics at Scotiabank.

49 .
Steady does it as Singapore finds niche in competitive AI space: Singapore unveiled its national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy along with five key projects last month - some two years after countries such as Canada, China, France, Germany, South Korea and Japan released theirs. Canada was the first to do so in 2017, committing CAD125 million to invest in AI research and talent.

50 .
From the Indian community to Chinese to Filipinos, Singapore feels the strain of immigration: The Lion City's reputation as a melting pot is being tested by rising nationalism. In the past, race relations were the focus, today there are divisions within ethnic groups

51 .
Public feedback sought ahead of Budget 2020: The Government is seeking feedback from Singaporeans on a range of topics, including how existing schemes to encourage families to offer mutual care and support can be improved, and the impact the United States-China trade tensions have had on internationalisation efforts by companies. In a joint statement on Sunday (Dec 1), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), government feedback unit Reach, and the People's Association (PA) said: "Individuals, households, and businesses are welcome to provide feedback on topics such as business growth, training and employment, support for families, and support for seniors."


52 .
Charter stokes downturn: The government can blame its trouble in dealing with the economic slowdown and its recent defeat in a Lower House vote on one thing -- the 2017 constitution. Designed to achieve specific political goals, the charter has given birth to a weaker, more fractious coalition government led by the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

53 .
Farming chemical facts distorted: Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit did not speak the whole truth about the reversal of the resolution by the new National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) that he chairs over weed-killers glyphosate and paraquat, and the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Or the facts about the health threats posed by glyphosate when he claimed that 161 countries in the world, including the United States, still use the herbicide, so why not Thailand?

54 .
Is corruption holding back Thais? While it can be certain that this help from Facebook is indeed welcomed, Thailand must not ignore core issues that its education system is facing. This could be the determinant as to whether Thailand would be able to upgrade its peoples' skills at all. Among the core issues is none other than corruption.

55 .
Pracharat welfare depoliticises Thailand's 'political peasants' : 20 years ago, political scientist Chai-Anan Samudavanija coined the esoteric term Pracharat to refer to civil society in the Thai context, where the transformative potential of civil society depends on patronage by or cooperation with the state. The term became widely known only recently, after it was adopted by Thailand's most recent junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), as well as its successor government under the military's proxy party, Phalang Pracharat.
Thorn Pitidol and Weerawat Phattarasukkumjorn
New Mandala, 29 November 2019

56 .
Hong Kong and Thailand to expand trade amid protests: Hong Kong's leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, led 50 investors from Hong Kong on Friday to tour Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor, its well-promoted investment area, during her official visit to Bangkok. She said she expects more investors to relocate their investment and production bases to Thailand at a time when protests and trade wars have intensified.


57 .
Guaranteed returns ploy driving condotel craze fraught with risk: Even in recent years, when these models started facing ownership challenges and disputes because of the lack of a legal framework, the guaranteed returns proved to be an effective bait, resulting in small-scale crazes for certain projects. Just this year, a developer promised guaranteed returns for 60 years with the margin increasing yearly, and the project successfully sold over 3,000 units in just a few months.

58 .
Experts call for smart air monitoring system to combat pollution: Authorities in provinces and cities around the country should co-operate with sensor manufacturers, data management companies and scientists to make plans to monitor air pollution, which is increasingly causing public worry, a HCM City environment official told a conference this week.

59 .
Vietnam jails 3 more activists over political Facebook posts: Vietnam has jailed three more people for anti-government posts on social media platform Facebook deemed to defame the ruling Communist Party and the government, state media and police said on Thursday, bringing the total imprisoned this month to five.

Asahi Shimbun (AJW), 29 November 2019

60 .
Workers of Vietnam, Unite? Most promising and unprecedented, however, is that the revised Labor Code will, for the first time, allow independent trade unions to operate. Up until now, all unions had to belong to and be supervised by the state-run federation, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL). Naturally, one must wait and see if this is going to be the kind of cosmetic change the Vietnamese Communist Party is used to making, which looks good on paper but is never properly implemented. Indeed, the revised code still requires an independent union to receive permission to form from state authorities, which allows the Communist Party to refuse the more outspoken and demanding of union leaders.

61 .
Is Vietnam too cautious when setting economic development goals for 2020? Economists said the government has kept 'necessary cautiousness' when setting economic targets for 2020 in the context of unpredictable events of the global economy. Regarding the targeted GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, they said the growth rate is reasonable to ensure harmonization between GDP growth and inflation rates. If Vietnam makes every effort to obtain high GDP growth, it would have to pay for this with high inflation rate.

62 .
What's new in Vietnam 2019 Defense White Paper? Vietnam emphasizes self-sufficiency and reaffirms the "Three No's" policy which is now added with one point: not use force or threaten to use force in international relations.

63 .
Job quality remains a challenge for Vietnam: ILO: Despite a high number of laborers (56 million people) and young laborers, the proportion of laborers who have been trained accounts for only 23% of Vietnam's total labor market, said Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Van Thanh.

ASEANASEAN/Southeast Asia

64 .
Hot peace' challenges Indonesian diplomacy: Indonesia should also go beyond promoting ASEAN centrality and champion 'ASEAN versatility' , which means that ASEAN can, as a central player, actively engage in many fields and in a much larger diplomatic space, the former deputy foreign minister said.

65 .
Mekong countries agree to strengthen tourism cooperation: The GMS countries are Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.... The countries agreed to follow a strategy (joint action plan) for 2020-2025 that aims to increase the number of tourists from other GMS countries as well as from countries outside the region. The plan tackles infrastructure development, investment, collaboration on marketing and the development of the sector's human capital.

66 .
Termsak Chalermpalanupap on ASEAN's Year in Review: Early November marked the conclusion of yet another round of ASEAN summitry, with a range of headlines from the low level of U.S. representation to India's withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). To discuss the outcomes of this round of regional summitry, The Diplomat's Senior Editor Prashanth Parameswaran spoke to Termsak Chalermpalanupap, a visiting fellow at the Thailand Studies Program of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. Previously, Termsak had served at the ASEAN Secretariat from 1993 to 2012.

67 .
ASEAN launches Poll on ASEAN Awareness 2018: ASEAN launched the Poll on ASEAN Awareness 2018 Report at the ASEAN Secretariat today. According to the report, 96% of respondents surveyed are aware of ASEAN. The sense of belonging to the ASEAN region was also high, with nine out of ten respondents identifying themselves as ASEAN citizens.

ASEAN Secretariat News, 29 November 2019

68 .
Assessing The 35th ASEAN Summit: The first week of November saw Bangkok turn into a summit venue, playing host to some important conferences: the most prominent of them was the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), besides others, such as the East Asia Summit (EAS). What were the outcomes of these summits and where does the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) stand today in relation to its key partners?


69 .
Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand: the new frontiers in US-China battle for influence: US Defence Secretary Mark Esper's recent trip to Southeast Asia saw him try to reassure existing allies and roll back the growth of Beijing's clout. But as the region proves a vital foothold for Washington, it must realise its partners are now sovereign actors with full agency and varied interests.

AsiaAsia Pacific

70 .
Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia bet on space as growth engine: The Philippines is home to major electronics companies such as Integrated Micro-Electronics and Ionics EMS. The country is known as a hub for call center services, but that position is being threatened by the spread of artificial intelligence and robots that are replacing call center workers. Aerospace could fill the void.

71 .
US starts to push hard on its Indo-Pacific vision: Despite Trump skipping the Asean Summit in early November, prominent Thai academics are convinced that the US government is still committed to Thailand and the region. Ross is the most powerful cabinet member in the Trump administration, Ross visiting Thailand demonstrates US' strong commitment," said Sompop Manarungsan, President of the Panyapiwat Institute of Management.
Wichit Chaitrong, Editor, The Nation Thailand
Nation, 1 December 2019

SCSEast/South China Sea

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US finding force is as vital as words in its territorial game with China: Pentagon rallies regional partners to coax China towards path of international rules, focusing on nations that resist Chinese intrusion. Beijing, too, has upped its activities as it tries to deter and expel an American military presence.


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