Paraphrasing the Roman historian Tacitus, US President John F Kennedy said in 1961 that “victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan”. This aphorism springs to mind as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy prepare to assume power as the first popularly elected government in Myanmar for more than 50 years.
The ASEAN has long been envisioned as a foundation stone for stability, security and increased prosperity in Asia. But with uncertainty plaguing the political systems of Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand, ASEAN may be entering a period of policy and diplomatic inertia.
With the convening of the National League for Democracy-dominated parliament and the formation of the U Htin Kyaw cabinet – including the appointment of Dr Myint Htwe as the new minister for health – we, along with our conflict-affected communities, are hopeful that there is finally light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
On a recent Tuesday, I turned up, unannounced, at the National Archives building in Nay Pyi Taw. I confess I was not sure what reception my Australian National University collaborator, Andrew Walker, and I would receive.
In an age in which data is more plentiful and accessible than ever before, we are accustomed to basing our decisions on as much evidence as we can gather. The more important the decision, the keener we are to ensure that our research is thorough and our information is accurate.