EI SUN OH

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THIS past year was indeed a very turbulent one. The year started with not one but several loud “bangs,” primarily from Europe where blatant terrorist acts in public spaces took a sad and heavy toll. Unfortunately, these despicable acts came calling again over the past week, as terrorism again swept…

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AS we approach the end of 2016, at least two more cases of national leaders stepping down formally or in substance leapt to the front of media and worldwide attention. The first case concerns Italy’s young prime minister, Matteo Renzi, who previously promised to leave office if the constitutional reform…

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TIME flies as it has been five years since I left the Malaysian government service. I can still recall the reason I gave for my resignation, “to spend more time with my family”. I think not many among the Malaysian public believed this somewhat commonplace reason for stepping down. And…

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BEFORE Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States, American mainstream and international opinion was decidedly dead-set against the chance of him being elected, not to mention his purported governance style if elected. On election night, when it became increasingly clear that Hillary Clinton was losing to…

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THE phrase “larger than life” does not begin to describe the deeds and times of Fidel Castro, the legendary founder of modern Cuba who passed away last week. Fidel, as Castro was affectionately addressed by many of his countrymen, was not just the absolute leader of a developing island nation.…

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YOU could almost hear and feel the voices of shock and despair both online and off, when news of Donald Trump leading the vote counts started to sink in during the recent US presidential election night (the next morning in East Asia). Almost right up to the eve of election,…

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IN recent years, writing about Indonesia has often been a pleasurable task, as the largest and most populous country in Southeast Asia appears to have progressed by leaps and bounds in almost all aspects of its national development, be it economically, socially or politically. A boundless harvest and future seem…

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MALAYSIAN Prime Minister NajibRazak is currently undertaking an official visit to China, his third after taking office in 2009, making a sum total of at least seven visits there, including working ones since then. And during this visit, announcement after announcement of either fresh Chinese investments in Malaysia or other…

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We discussed briefly Thailand’s gingerly balancing act in its strategic and diplomatic approaches in the Southeast Asian and wider contexts. Indeed, what Thailand has thus been doing is a microcosmic reflection of what many other Southeast Asian countries have been pragmatically exercising throughout the centuries as well, being geographically crucial…

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After a prolonged period of essentially being confined to a sickbed, King Bhumipol of Thailand passed away last week at the ripe age of 89. Bhumipol reigned for seven decades, the longest of modern monarchs around the world. He ascended to the throne almost right after the Second World War,…

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