The banning of FPI (Front Pembela Islam) in December 2020 may have reduced the incidence of vigilante actions in Indonesia. But this belies the fact that mainstream Muslim organisations have increasingly stepped in to uphold more conservative Islamic strictures, albeit through less confrontational ways.
As ASEAN faces the twin crises of the coup in Myanmar and the raging Covid-19 pandemic, it might well be time to consider a female at the helm of the grouping’s secretariat.
Malaysia’s recently-launched Pemerkasa+ aid package seeks to provide cash handouts to workers and income support to companies. If the economy suffers from financial hits to segments of the economy, rather than mass job losses, Malaysia would be better served with a structured reprise of higher per-worker subsidies for small companies.
The widespread attacks on Tatmadaw troops by resistance forces have raised speculation that Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) could serve as a “wild card” that might decide the country’s fate. This is premature and creates a false impression of unity in intent.
Myanmar’s educational sector is turning out to be a new front in an ensuing battle between the country’s Civil Disobedience Movement and the military junta. Outside of the state-run education system, however, the number of viable options for students are few and far between.
China recently offered assistance to Indonesia in salvaging a stricken submarine. On the surface, the offer could be purely altruistic. But there could be more than meets the eye.
Indonesia’s transactional approach in its relations with China has its merits. But there are limits, given the need for Jakarta to maintain relationships with other regional powers.
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