“Myanmar's Lady cosies up to the general”: There was something about this BBC headline this week that made me uncomfortable – and it wasn’t just unease about what behind-the-scenes deals may have taken place to provoke Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s apparent repositioning of himself as a born-again champion of religious freedom and military accountability.
After some months of uncertainty, a representative from Thailand’s Democrats Party last week declared in a televised seminar that the party would not support the proposed draft constitution in the August 7 referendum. This follows an earlier declaration from the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai party that it also opposed the draft.
Truly great cities capture our imagination, even when we have never visited them. Paris conjures renewal and love, New York is about hustle and dynamism, and London represents staid charm. Istanbul speaks of mystery, Rio de Janeiro of zestful libertinism and Shanghai of rapid reinvention.
Like the adage that it takes a thief to catch a thief, it often takes an unprincipled politician to defeat a rival with the same qualities. Even at the ripe young age of 91, Mahathir is still using Machiavellian tactics to try to unseat his successor and former acolyte, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
As much as it demands transparency and accountability from its member states, the United Nations has not always been very good at providing them itself. Now more than ever, the UN needs to bring more of its backroom dealings into the light – and it can start with the process for selecting its leader.
Continued failure to address the South China Sea issue is not just a short-term failure – it now represents a significant and ongoing risk to the Southeast Asian bloc’s health. The regional organisation should seek treatment, and stat.
The Hague ruling against China’s claims in the South China Sea reminds me of the Daoist story of the farmer who lost his horse. The horse had run away, but when the farmer’s neighbours sought to commiserate over his misfortune, the farmer simply said, “Maybe.”