Southeast Asia Roundup: August 12-16, 2021


Afghanistan makes us ask, has the United States been doing its best to defend true values or has it been trying to protect its interests and bailing on dependents when it can? (Thailand)

Any notion of reliance on the US should be quashed (Thailand)

Afghanistan’s fall shows US is fading, temperamental, and unreliable; should never be trusted again (Thailand)

Expect Afghanistan’s terror to spread (Philippines: Bloomberg)

The US has lost credibility in Afghanistan (Philippines)


US & China more preoccupied with each other than Myanmar (Singapore)

Will ASEAN legitimize the Myanmar junta in November? (Indonesia)

ASEAN divided by US-China rivalry, democracy-autocracy, elitist-populist pressures (Myanmar)

Next two years in Myanmar will be destructive (Myanmar)

ASEAN is definitely destined to fail in Myanmar (Myanmar)

There have never been any reformists in the Myanmar military (Myanmar)

Topic: CHINA

US politicians should learn from China’s experience in infrastructure building, instead of scheming how to slow China down (Philippines)

Origin tracing of COVID-19 requires close cooperation from around the world (Philippines)

China has played an important role in the efforts to fight Covid-19 and in helping other countries rebuild their economies during the pandemic, and COVID origins should not be politicized (Cambodia)

Hongkongers ponder their future in China’s tight embrace (Malaysia)

In failing to conduct a proper investigation when the pandemic began, we may well have let the Chinese Communist Party get away with millions of deaths (Philippines)


ASEAN divided by US-China rivalry, democracy-autocracy, elitist-populist pressures (Myanmar)

The US should make the world look more like EU and ASEAN before Trump can be reelected in 2024 (Singapore)

US deepening its commitments in Asean, and more strategic engagement will follow (Thailand)

VN reports international academic support for Vietnamese stance in South China Sea (Vietnam)

ASEAN divided by US-China rivalry, democracy-autocracy, elitist-populist pressures (Thailand)

ASEAN being fragmented by US-China rivalry, political instability in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines (Philippines)

ASEAN states should not start expelling each other (Cambodia)


Now that Muhyiddin has resigned from the prime ministership after his appeal for support was rejected, Malaysians face the difficulty of who to choose to lead the next government and how to choose them. There is no clear majority for any candidate, a general election is widely considered too chaotic in the midst of the pandemic, and parliament might face COVID restrictions of its own when it comes to time to vote for a new prime minister.

Who will it be? – New Sarawak Tribune

Can Anwar be the next prime minister? (

It has to be Anwar – and no one else (

Is Muhyiddin offering olive branch or poisoned chalice? (

Snap polls the solution but it’s risky – New Sarawak Tribune

Confidence vote in Parliament is not foolproof either — Hafiz Hassan | What You Think | Malay Mail

Lurching from one crisis to another – New Sarawak Tribune


In Thailand, the opposition has put forward a motion of no confidence that will be debated by the beginning of September. Worries about escalating violence on both the part of the protesters and the government are increasing, with the following article in The Bangkok Post saying, “Gen Prayut did not have any serious intent to pursue reconciliation or make use of parliamentary means that could have averted violence and prevented political deadlock — lessons those who take the reins of power in this country should have learnt long before the 2014 coup.”

Empty talk stokes unrest 
Opposition submits no-confidence motion against PM, 5 ministers 
Pro-democracy group plans march to PM house today 
A violent interlude II | Political Prisoners in Thailand 
The Paranoid State’s Top-secret List of Enemies 
Anti-govt protesters must avoid violence 
Which side will the court take, justice or the general? – Thisrupt 
Updated: Arnon’s 13th 112 charge | Political Prisoners in Thailand 
Opinion: We don’t condone the violence but we understand it – Thai Enquirer 


In the Philippines, the opposition is looking for its standard bearer in next year’s presidential election, but it is still not clear who will be running from Duterte’s side. If the expectation is that the president will run for vice president in the coming election, there is still a debate about who the presidential candidate would be. At present, it seems that Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s stock is on the rise with the opposition while Bongbong Marcos, son of the late dictator, is being considered as a possible running mate for either of the Dutertes.

Robredo and Moreno as opposition candidates – Manila Standard

Wanted: An opposition coalition | Inquirer Opinion

PDP’s folly, BBM’s gain – Manila Standard

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