Trump, Singapore and the Anxious Middle Class

Terence Chong

The Trump's campaign appealed to the middle class who feel more insecure due to globalisation. It appealed to a bygone era when the privileged position of white middle-class Americans was sacrosanct. In Singapore, middle-class anxiety mirrors that of the US with the desire to get back to the 'kampong days' when all was well despite the relatively poorer living conditions.

Dangerous Dichotomy

Malcolm Cook

Recent analyses of a US decline and China's rise in East Asia can illuminate and clarify as much as they obfuscate and confuse.

The Death of a King

Terence Chong

The passing of King Bhumibol's, a figure of stability, is marked by grief and uncertainty over the economic and political state of the country. The newly crowned King Rama X's actions will set the tone for the monarchy to be above the political squalor or be tainted by it.

Vietnam, ASEAN and the ‘Consensus Dilemma’

Le Hong Hiep

The ASEAN consensus principle constrains Vietnam's efforts to forge a common position among the ASEAN member states on the South China Sea disputes. However, Vietnam and some ASEAN partners can work together to come up with ad hoc mechanisms to address urgent security issues.

Is Malaysia Really out of the Middle Income Trap?

Francis E. Hutchinson

Using international benchmarks for per capita income, Malaysia has declared itself to be out of the Middle Income Trap. A more accurate method would be to base the performance benchmarks on the transition towards higher value-added activities with efficient methods of production, highly-skilled workforce, deeper research capabilities, and efficient business environments.

Bombings in South Thailand

Puangthong R. Pawakapan

While the Thai military government blamed the bomb blasts to the red-shirt conflict, incoming evidence suggests that Muslim separatist movements are involved. The bombings underscore the fact that the military government has failed to address the ethnic-religious conflict and the presence of Asian-based Islamic State (IS) networks in the south.