ISEAS Library Selects
Monthly Journal Articles on the
Southeast Asian Region
Extracted from Internet Sources
October 2019

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

This is an information alert service put together by the ISEAS Library that contains links to commentaries, blog and journal articles extracted from Internet sources covering Southeast Asia and special topics relevant to the research interest/direction/agenda of ISEAS.  

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Indonesia's science law brings back memories of New Order era restrictions on academic freedom, scholars say: During Soeharto's period in power, the government carried out background checks for teaching staff and criminalised dissenting academics such as Sri Bintang Pamungkas. The government also enacted a set of governmental decrees that restricted political expression in universities - the so-called "Normalisation of Campus Life" or NKK/BKK,

Luthfi T. Dzulfikar, Associate Editor


'Continue the fight!': a '98 activist reflects on the 2019 student movement in Indonesia: In 1998, we had one cause. We demanded Soeharto and his cronies to step down. But the issues raised by the 2019 generation are multidimensional. Starting from those related to governance (the anti-graft law); protection of the weakest minority groups namely women and poor people (the criminal code bill, and anti-sexual violence bill); issues related to natural resources (the land bill, natural resources bill and mineral and coal bill.

Amalinda Savirani, Lecturer, Department of Politics and Government, Universitas Gadjah Mada


"When We Lost the Forest, We Lost Everything": Oil Palm Plantations and Rights Violations in Indonesia

Human Rights Watch

Why raising the minimum age for marriage is not enough for Indonesia to put an end to child brides: An unpublished report from UNICEF Indonesia shows highly educated women will have better chances to secure jobs. In the end, this will contribute to the country's economy. To keep young girls at school and prevent them from marrying early, the government should make sure girls receive their 12 years of compulsory education.

Nadira Irdiana, Research and Advocacy Associate PUSKAPA (Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing), Universitas Indonesia

How a populist morality movement is blocking a law against sexual violence in Indonesia: analysis: People continue to suffer in Indonesia, but those suffering most have changed. Under Suharto, you did not want to be Chinese, Confucian, Communist, a strict Muslim, or from East Timor or Aceh. But now you don't want to be LGBT or indeed have sex outside marriage.

Sharyn Graham Davies, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, Auckland University of Technology

Tensions in Papua and hyper-nationalism in Indonesia: The seed for hyper-nationalism was visible from the 1950s triggered in the late 1940s by two Dutch military aggressions following a long period of humiliation and oppression under the colonial occupation. Strangely, after the fall of the New Order, hyper-nationalism has become more intense.

Ariel Heryanto, Herb Feith Professor for the Study of Indonesia, Director of Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre, Monash University

Developing an Unemployment Insurance Scheme for Indonesia
[26-page PDF document]

Meuthia Rosfadhila
Smeru Research Institute

Effect of Growing Up Poor on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia
[22-page PDF document]

Mayang Rizky, Daniel Suryadarma, Asep Suryahadi
Smeru Research Institute


Gender Equality in Indonesian New Developmental State: The Case of the New Participatory Village Governance
[40-page PDF document]

Muhammad Syukri
Smeru Research Institute

The Stock of Highly Skilled Individuals in Indonesia
[31-page PDF document]

Sandra Kurniawati, Daniel Suryadarma
Smeru Research Institute

Lessons Indonesia can learn from China in building maritime power: A key aspect of Jokowi's Global Maritime Fulcrum doctrine is its promise to develop a navy capable of not just providing domestic security, but also regional security. The strategy can be summarised in three points: bolstering naval capabilities through modernisation, increasing synergy across agencies, and forging cooperative ties with regional navies. For the most part, Jokowi's programs have focused on accelerating the first point.

I Gusti Bagus Dharma Agastia, Assistant Professor, International Relations, President University


A Proposal for Carbon Price-and-Rebate (CPR) in Malaysia
[23-page PDF document]

Darshan Joshi
Penang Institute

A Counter-Cyclical Tax Reform: In this brief Dr Carmelo identifies that business cycles are unavoidable and to address this, policy makers should establish a set of rules which help to prevent the economy from overheating and cushion the impact when the economy inevitably slows down. To achieve that, Dr Carmelo proposes three reforms to Malaysia's tax system.
[16-page PDF document]

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) (Malaysia)

Are Our Kids Alright? Youth Trends in Penang: Penang is home to 481,440 youths. It's a demography with rapidly changing needs and wants. And with fast-evolving technology and the digitalisation of our everyday lives, the speed and impact with which these changes occur will only increase. Penang Monthly takes a peek into this world with a survey that collects the thoughts and sentiments of 146 youths all around Penang.

Enzo Sim
Penang Monthly

How Different the Kelantan of My Youth Was: As a young boy living in 1990s Labok, a small Malay village - said to be named after an Orang Asli's Tok Batin - just outside of Machang, Kelantan, my life had always been a steady push and pull between the two. The game was either to conform to the state-defined standard - to be a devout, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS)-supporting Kelantanese, or to deviate from it.

Izzuddin Ramli
Penang Monthly

Railways - The Iron Spine of Malaya: The formation of the very first railway system in the Malay Peninsula in the late nineteenth century revolutionised the way economic commodities were transported. It was so significant that it elevated Malaya's economic importance among British colonies in the Far East.

Enzo Sim
Penang Monthly

Youths in Numbers: The share of Penang's youth population has been decreasing since 2015. Nevertheless, the decrease over the years is considered minute, as youths still stand for 27.2% of the state's estimated total population in 2019. In the same year, youths aged 15-19 are 27% of the total youth population, while the percentage of youths aged 20-24 and 25-29 are 35.5% and 37.5% respectively.

Yeong Pey Jung
Penang Monthly

Making Shared Prosperity a Reality in Budget 2020: In this Position Paper, IDEAS put forward the following proposals: 1) A Living Wage Tax Credit. 2) Employee Equity Scheme. 3) Capital Gains Tax. 4) Government Divestment Strategy.
[9-page PDF document]

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) (Malaysia)

The US-China Trade War: Is Malaysia benefiting from "diversions" in US import demand?
[8-page PDF document]

Calvin Cheng, Firdaos Rosli, Dwintha Maya Kartika
Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia


Assessing the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: This briefing assesses the government of Bangladesh's record in providing refugees with basic human rights, humane treatment, acceptable living conditions, economic opportunities, and societal integration. It concludes that Bangladesh must honor its responsibility to care for this vulnerable population, and that the international community must do more to hold the government accountable while providing additional financial and logistical support to enable it to do so.
[2-page PDF document]

Dr Rudabeh Shahid, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of York (UK).
Atlantic Council


Building from Scratch: Rebirth of the Philippine Navy: As a vast archipelagic country embroiled in a major maritime dispute, the Philippines could have been expected to have devoted more resources to its navy. But it did not for decades. Some attributed that choice to Manila's need to combat internal insurgencies; others a hope that the Philippines' long-standing security treaty with the United States be enough to protect its maritime borders; and still others a gamble that its largest maritime antagonist, the People's Republic of China, would eventually lose interest in sovereignty disputes and focus on joint economic development.

Felix K. Chang is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Foreign Policy Research Institute


In Context: Singapore's Decision to Boost the RSN's Operational and Combat Capabilities: As the Pacific waters are increasingly becoming unstable geopolitically, the city-state of Singapore is focusing more on strenghtening its naval capabilities in order to protect its interests in the regional waters. With the aim of withstanding any potential assault by a bigger regional navy, Singapore is acquiring new naval assets, including submarines.

Bahauddin Foizee
Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies (IPCS)

Singapore: A Naval Powerhouse in the Making? A tiny yet wealthy city-state, Singapore is a major financial hub of Asia. While this moneyed image has become the mainstream depiction of Singapore, many are unaware of the fact that Singaporean armed forces are active contributors to the security of the region, and in particular its navy has been actively patrolling the regional waters alongside other regional navies against any potential threats, including piracy.


TimorTimor-Leste (East Timor)

Radio Liberdade: Battling Violence against Women on Timor-Leste's Airwaves: Broadcast across Timor-Leste through a network of community radio stations, Teki Toke targets 15- to 25-year-olds. Today's episode is focused on relationships and infidelity, with a studio guest responding live to audience questions. The group of young listeners is one of 12 that meet every week around the country, each with a facilitator to guide and document the lively post-show discussions about gender roles and power relations.

Laura McDowell
Asia Foundation


Pacific Finance Sector Brief: Timor-Leste
[4-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank


Russia's Awkward Dance with Vietnam: ...while Vietnam is happy to let Russia sell it weapons and drill for fossil fuels in its territory, it is wary of letting its old friend get too close lest it damper its increasingly warm and crucial ties with the U.S. Russia has far to go to convince Vietnam that the Kremlin will do more than play third fiddle to China and the U.S.
[16-page PDF report]

Bennett Murray is a journalist based in Kyiv. He served as the Vietnam Bureau Chief for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) in Hanoi from February 2016 through August 2019.
Foreign Policy Research Institute

ASEANASEAN/Southeast Asia

Don't make us choose: Southeast Asia in the throes of US-China rivalry: U.S.-China rivalry has intensified significantly in Southeast Asia over the past year. This report chronicles the unfolding drama as it stretched across the major Asian summits in late 2018, the Second Belt and Road Forum in April 2019, the Shangri-La Dialogue in May-June, and the 34th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in August.
[34-page PDF document]

Jonathan Stromseth

ASEAN Matters for America Publication 2019
[23-page PDF document]

Mark Witzke
East-West Center


An Evolving ASEAN: Vision and Reality
[contains link to 199-page PDF document]

Edited by Jayant Menon and Cassey Lee
Asian Development Bank


The Role of Renewable Energy in Resolving Energy Insecurity in Asia
[22-page PDF document]

Hooman Peimani and Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary
Asian Development Bank Institute


Making Sense of Democracy and Governance in the Asia-Pacific: The purpose of this SEARC working paper is to question these assumptions across a variety of country cases and themes that address the theoretical tension between governance and democracy in order to illuminate how this tension is played out in political and civil societies across the Asia-Pacific region.
[35-page PDF document]

Stephen McCarthy and Mark R. Thompson
Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong


AsiaAsia Pacific

Bridging the Belt and Road Divide: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China's scheme to boost global connectivity and market integration principally through the export of its infrastructure development capabilities, is redefining Southeast Asia's economic and security environment.
[20-page PDF document]

Carla P. Freeman & Mie Ōba
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


China and the United States: Cooperation, Competition, and/or Conflict: The report has been extensively updated and expanded since its original publication. Besides incorporating various new reports on Chinese economic and military developments, the report also includes key quotes from the recently released Chinese White Paper commemorating the CCP's 70 th anniversary. These quotes are now the best example of China's indirect criticism of recent U.S. policy towards China, and strategy and actions towards other states, as well as its economic progress and plans to take lead on global development.
[645-page PDF document]

Anthony H. Cordesman
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2019 Update: Fostering Growth and Inclusion in Asia's Cities
[contains link to 258-page full report and 13-page highlights]

Asian Development Bank

REAL LIVES, REAL STORIES: THE POWER OF INFORMATION IN ASIA PACIFIC: In this publication, we focus on the people who make right to information laws come to life, and who use them as tools to fight corruption. In the following pages, you will find the stories of citizens from 10 countries across the Asia Pacific region who have used their right to information to demand accountability from their governments.
[contains link to 28-page PDF document]

Transparency International

SpecialGlobal Economy

5 trends in the global economy - and their implications for economic policymakers: The Global Competitiveness Report 2019 is a much-needed economic compass, building on 40 years of experience of benchmarking the drivers of long-term competitiveness and integrating the latest learnings about the factors of future productivity.

Klaus Schwab & Saadia Zahidi
World Economic Forum

US Foreign Policy

Mackinder's Nightmare: The stunning growth in the capabilities of the People's Republic of China during the past 30 years has created a severe geopolitical challenge for the United States and its allies. The U.S. faces a near-peer competitor with the potential ability to dominate the Eurasian Rimland through previously unexpected means. In this sense, the nightmare scenario sketched by Halford Mackinder over a century ago is now a real possibility: A number of authoritarian powers, with Beijing in the lead, today threaten to dominate the Eurasian landmass, marginalizing the outer crescent of maritime democracies.

Colin Dueck is a Professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, and a Senior Fellow in the Program on National Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Foreign Policy Research Institute


World Development Report

World Development Report 2020: Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains
[contains link to 293-page PDF document]

World Bank




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