EI SUN OH

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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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AS someone who is perhaps slightly keener in commenting on regional current affairs and development, I am constantly sought for my opinion on what’s going in this very interesting part of the world not only by members of the media, but also by friends who perhaps also have some business…

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I’VE recently come across some useful comments by a variety of experts on poverty. They explored mostly the “structural” aspects of poverty, such as how perhaps well-intended but sometimes wrong-headed public policies, entrenched social stratifications, and of course the ever expanding wealth gap and such, affected the poverty phenomenon. I…

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I STARTED a discussion on names or reputations or even just labels attached to a place, a country or perhaps even a region, and lamented on some of the negative connotations in them which could bring real harm or disadvantages in economic or social terms. It would be most unfortunate…

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WHAT is it with a name, or rather a label, or even just reputation? When we hear names like Romeo or Valentino, our mind perhaps instantaneously darts to another more romantic time and place (most likely in Europe), singing amorous songs and uttering enchanting phrases. When human names are replaced…

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THE peoples and leaders of the various countries in Southeast Asia may have differing and sometimes even contradictory views when it comes to foreign policy, such as the careful positioning of this region as a whole when it comes to the jostling for dominance of various global superpowers in the…

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FOR the sake of convenience, whenever I travel to Kuala Lumpur for work, I usually stay near the KLCC twin towers, the iconic building complex that has come to symbolize the modern bustling urbanscape that is Kuala Lumpur. I can, in most circumstances, travel a short distance to meet the…

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