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Indonesia – exporter of Islam

With identity politics, particularly Islamic politics, proving an effective and influential vehicle for his potential political rivals, it’s likely that Jokowi is increasingly feeling the need to demonstrate and bolster his own Islamic credentials

Asia Watch: Choice of necessity

In an election that will feature the same contenders as last time, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and opponent Prabowo Subianto both waited until the August 10 deadline to surprise many with their choice of presidential running mates. 

Asia Watch: Hardened Core

While the physical edifice of the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria has been all but pounded into dust, with hundreds of fighters either killed or in detention camps along the Turkish border, the influence of returned Southeast Asian cadres continues to be felt well beyond the five-month Marawi siege in the Philippines last year.

Editorial: From Kim to Khamenei

Questions about whether the June 12 agreement signed by US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un will, unlike previous broken promises, successfully lead to North Korean denuclearisation also have implications for Iran...

Iran and the Trump-Kim Nuclear Summit

This Update deals with the possible ramifications for the Middle East of the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un in Singapore on Tuesday - with a special focus on how it might affect the efforts to contain Iran's nuclear program. 

The Last Word: Terror nullius

I was in Surabaya as part of a speaking and meeting tour, with each city, town and village providing opportunities for constructive dialogue and mutual learning.

My final destination before taking a flight to Jakarta was the beautiful Al-Akbar National Great Mosque and as my travelling companions prayed, I walked around the interior enjoying the architecture and atmosphere.

Asia Watch: Rematch looms

There is a sense of déjà vu surrounding Indonesia's coming presidential election, which is now less than a year away - April 17, 2019. Incumbent President Joko Widodo will likely again face off against former army general, son-in-law of Suharto, wealthy businessman and perennial player Prabowo Subianto. Yet the ground has shifted repeatedly since their first presidential bout in 2015, with both political camps enjoying periods of ascendancy.

Asia Watch: Call and Response

Some five months after Philippine troops flushed out Islamic State-aligned militants in the southern city of Marawi, recent military-militant clashes show the Islamic State's local affiliates have regrouped and spread since last year's siege, still gaining recruits and threatening once again to become a rallying point for jihadists across the region. But the persistent regional threat has spurred ASEAN countries towards greater security cooperation.

Israel and South-East Asia – where is the potential?

Israel has long had deep links with some ASEAN member-states, while its relationship with others are more fragile or less developed.

Asia Watch: Being There

A small contingent of Israeli officials attended a conference in Malaysia, which has long retained a stiff anti-Israel posture. Post-visit, the Israelis spoke positively of the experience, with hopes for a thaw in relations; the Malaysians, not so much.

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