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Vasantharaj R

Politics discourages and disenfranchises Malaysia’s youth


Author: Voon Zhen Yi, Centre for Public Policy Studies Observing the Parliament of Malaysia or indeed any of Malaysia’s 13 state legislative assemblies, it is noticeable that the corridors of power are packed with the elderly. There are no elected politicians between the ages of 15 to 24 in the country, and more than 70 […]

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Abe getting schooled by Moritomo scandal


Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra The Japanese public are gripped by daily developments in the Moritomo Gakuen scandal. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife are at the centre of allegations surrounding the heavily discounted sale of state-owned land to an ultra-conservative school operator with whom they previously had close personal ties. The scandal […]

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Rebuilding trust in the global economic system


Authors: Christopher H Lim and Tan Ming Hui, RSIS The global financial system is in a frail state. Global debt reached a record high of US$233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017. The global debt-to-GDP ratio has grown beyond expectations since the 2007–08 global financial crisis, and governments will struggle to pay off the […]

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Beware of performance figures

GOLFERS are familiar with the concept of a “mulligan”—the chance to retake a shot. Give an averagely talented player enough mulligans and he or she will get one close to the hole. And a version of the mulligan exists in fund management too.

Readers will be familiar from past blog posts with the idea that actively managed funds cannot be relied upon to beat the index. Many of these studies are conducted in the US market, which is probably the most efficient (and thus hardest to beat) in the world. But the same is true in Europe.

Figures from S&P Dow Jones Indices show that, over the ten years to December 2017, less than 15% of euro-denominated European equity funds beat their benchmark; for emerging market funds, it was less than 3%; and global funds, under 2%. For sterling-denominated funds, less...Continue reading

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Japan buckles up to join China’s Belt and Road


Author: Shutaro Sano, NDA In June 2017 the Japanese government suddenly reversed its original position on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and announced that Japan would cooperate and provide financial backing for the US$1 trillion cross-border infrastructure development project. The extent of Japan’s cooperation remains to be seen, but this move may help Japanese Prime Minister […]

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[Entertainment News] Herman Yau teams with Francis Ng for crime actioner and black comedy


Prolific Hong Kong director Herman Yau presented two new films of different genres at Chinese film company Er Dong Pictures' press conference held on March 19 at Filmart. After scoring a hit last year with Shock Wave, he continues in the police action genre with The Leaker.

In The Leaker, Francis Ng and Julian Cheung play police officers from Hong Kong and Malaysia who are investigating the same case involving the deaths of various people connected to a pharmaceutical company that is manufacturing the new medicine to curtail an epidemic breakout in Malaysia. In the midst of the investigation, they receive a video clip from a secret group called Leakers that exposes the

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A long election season looms for Indonesia


Author: Muhammad Sinatra, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia The year 2018 will be an eventful year for Indonesian politics. In June 2018, 171 regional areas will simultaneously take to the polls to elect new mayors, regents and governors. These provincial elections will be followed by the general elections in 2019. The provincial […]

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Airlines in America are in a race to improve their meals

IN THE 1950s—when the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a cartel of airlines, used to set fare levels and service quality on international routes—there were few differences between major carriers. One way to persuade passengers to choose one airline over another was to offer better meals as entertainment on board. And so an arms race to serve fancier food on transatlantic flights began. It came to an end in 1958, when SAS, a Scandinavian carrier, was fined $20,000 by IATA for serving open sandwiches that, contrary to IATA’s rules, contained overly fancy ingredients such as ox tongue, lettuce hearts and asparagus. The quality of food on board flights has fallen greatly since. Liberalisation of the aviation industry in the 1980s and 1990s, with IATA losing its power over fares, has meant that most carriers now compete on price rather than service quality. 

But there are signs that some airlines in America may be getting into a new arms race—or, put another way, a food...Continue reading

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What is Xi doing to the world?


Author: Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Scholars and policymakers have long been preoccupied with ascertaining whether China is intent on overturning or supporting the dominant norms of global order. Maoist China appeared as a revolutionary challenger to global-order norms, whereas Deng Xiaoping’s China came predominantly to be seen as adapting to international society and beginning to […]

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Xi’s new power and China’s economic and social goals


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The 19th Party Congress set out the principles that will define the approach to what Deng Xiaoping described as the third phase of China’s modern economic development. This is the phase when China seeks to achieve income levels on par with the OECD average. The National People’s Congress last […]

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