EI SUN OH

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AS President Donald Trump of the United States has just embarked on his first substantial Asia trip, it would have been normal for international and regional pundits to ponder on his potential pronouncement of a renewed Asia-Pacific strategic policy, since the “pivot to Asia” or “rebalancing” strategy propounded by the…

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WHAT would be another similarity between Spain and Austria besides both being European and predominantly Catholic? Well, at one point or another, they were ruled by different branches of the same royal family, the Hapsburgs. When one speaks of Austria in modern times, one first of all has to distinctly…

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CATALONIA, home to the popular tourist city of Barcelona, is clamoring for nothing less than independence from Spain. A popular referendum held not long ago in Catalonia, to the tremendous displeasure of and no-nonsense attempts at stoppage by the Spanish national authorities, yielded an overwhelming result in favor of independence.…

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THE Manila Times reported recently that a certain Filipino doctor had funded or at least donated to those extremists who carried out a grenade attack on an entertainment outlet in Malaysia. Rumors, too, have once again surfaced in Sabah as to the possibility of a new wave of kidnappings along…

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THIS year’s Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to Professor Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago for his contributions toward “behavioral economics”. Thaler’s main research focus is to observe and analyze how people’s psychology and consequent behaviors affect their economic, financial or business decisions. Conventional economics theories would…

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I THINK it must have been slightly more than two decades ago, around 1995, when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in the United States was destroyed by a car bomb, killing dozens and wounding even more. It was by then the worst case of domestic terrorism…

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FOR those of us who grew up on the other part of the world, Africa evokes simultaneously mixed feelings of fear and excitement. Fear perhaps due to our reading of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness depicting a rather savage continent. Excitement perhaps caused by our watching of David Attenborough’s long-running…

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THERE are those who bluntly question what is the point of having Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) at all if it were not to take a proactive role in regional matters, especially those of strategic importance? The answer to this question is, alas, perhaps an existentialist one. For…

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THE Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) was founded half a century ago at the height of the Vietnam War, with both Malaysia and the Philippines as founding member states. The founding of Asean was undoubtedly a bold and farsighted step taken by the various national leaders of Asean…

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I HAVE always felt like patriotism is at best a luxury in developing countries. This is of course a rather provocative and somewhat controversial statement. But we must be real to ourselves and not be blindsided by those (often in power) who employ patriotism as but one tool for their…

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