India and ASEAN / East Asia

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Chandragupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3469
Joined: 07 Dec 2008 15:26
Location: Kingdom of My Fair Lady

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Chandragupta » 27 Jan 2018 15:21

disha wrote:^ All those feats being correct, one does have to ask - "What China offers to the global economy" !? Of course cheap manufacturing. What else?


Not just that. China has an unparalleled pool of skill which exists nowhere else in the world. They have ecosystems catering to almost every industry on the planet. That's no easy feat and is the result of single minded focus on manufacturing almost anything in the world.

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3820
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby chola » 27 Jan 2018 15:38

Chandragupta wrote:
disha wrote:^ All those feats being correct, one does have to ask - "What China offers to the global economy" !? Of course cheap manufacturing. What else?


Not just that. China has an unparalleled pool of skill which exists nowhere else in the world. They have ecosystems catering to almost every industry on the planet. That's no easy feat and is the result of single minded focus on manufacturing almost anything in the world.


It goes way beyond that these days.

1. Yes, they not only offer manufacturing eco-systems for every industry imaginable,

2. they also have the infrastructure and, more importantly, the infrastructure building capacity to facilicate flow of products to anywhere in the world,

3. and they have the financial muscle, through their forex pile and printing press, to build out the above two points.

Products, logistics and money. That is basically global trade.

Chandragupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3469
Joined: 07 Dec 2008 15:26
Location: Kingdom of My Fair Lady

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Chandragupta » 27 Jan 2018 17:05

Exactly, Chola ji. It is not wise to undermine the Chinese by saying they are only good for cheap manufacturing.

disha
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7186
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby disha » 28 Jan 2018 12:06

Chandragupta wrote:Exactly, Chola ji. It is not wise to undermine the Chinese by saying they are only good for cheap manufacturing.


To put it rhetorically, just telling the truth that they are only good for cheap manufacturing is not undermining them. It is just calling out the truth.

Just to give you an example:

1. Energy

1.1 Solar cells

First Solar Is Using Robots to Better Tap the Sun – There are just a few dozen workers scattered about; before the renovation, there were hundreds. The company acknowledges that it cut jobs, but it says the ones that remain are safer and pay better. The panels produce 244 percent more power at a manufacturing cost of as little as 20¢ per watt, about 30 percent less than the cheapest Chinese equivalent. – and it represents the fundamental aspect of the solar panel manufacturing boom of recent years – robotics, not massive amounts of labor. First Solar will not bear the consequences of tariffs and is making the cheapest solar panels in the world. Probably not a bad place to be…
(from electrek)

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/first-solar-is-using-robots-to-better-tap-the-sun

2. Trains, Planes & Automobiles. Yeah, Chinese have world beating companies in all three.

3. And here is one more:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-11/china-has-the-world-s-biggest-productivity-problem

4. Pharmaceuticals: US, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Denmark ... where is China?

I can go on and on ...

===

It is actually fashionable to state that it is unwise to undermine's China's manufacturing prowess. I look at all the future industries and I find that China is nowhere there.
Last edited by disha on 28 Jan 2018 12:22, edited 1 time in total.

disha
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7186
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby disha » 28 Jan 2018 12:21

Chandragupta wrote:
Not just that. China has an unparalleled pool of skill which exists nowhere else in the world. They have ecosystems catering to almost every industry on the planet. That's no easy feat and is the result of single minded focus on manufacturing almost anything in the world.


The bolded part is plain wrong. Yes they have a great pool of skilled people and so does other countries and yes they have great infrastructure as Chola'ji points out.

But we are making our own straw man to fear when we unnecessarily say "China has an unparalleled pool of skill which exists nowhere in the world".

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 23743
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 31 Jan 2018 09:09

The balancing act, in India-ASEAN ties - Rajiv Bhatia, The Hindu
When you stand at the peak of a mountain, you get a full view of the path travelled and the road ahead that will take you to the next peak. The principal gain of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Commemorative Summit, held in New Delhi last week, is to provide ample clarity on what their partnership has achieved and where it should move in the future.

Scope for cooperation

A good way to begin is to listen to ASEAN voices. The participation of ASEAN leaders in a second summit in Delhi in five years and their historic presence as chief guests at the Republic Day celebrations convey a clear message: India is important to ASEAN; it is viewed as a benign power; and huge scope exists to develop cooperation with it.

“We believe,” said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as co-chair of the summit, “that India makes a major contribution to regional affairs, helping to keep the regional architecture open, balanced and inclusive.”


Recent developments in the Indo-Pacific region have lent special significance to the summit. China’s economic progress is welcomed, with every ASEAN nation keen to derive optimal benefit from it. But Beijing’s assertive diplomacy, strategic postures and coercive action in the South China Sea have combined to sour the environment. U.S. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, gives the impression that ASEAN’s priorities and concerns are unimportant. This mix has impelled ASEAN states to expect and encourage India to enhance its role as a balancer in the region.

For India, ASEAN is of vital importance both for strategic and economic considerations. New Delhi seeks to redefine the contours of its neighbourhood. Constraints and setbacks in South Asia and opportunities in Southeast Asia have led it to blur the traditional distinction between ‘immediate neighbourhood’ and ‘extended neighbourhood’. Friendly South Asians and welcoming Southeast Asians now constitute our new neighbourhood, with an eastward tilt.

Key areas

The summit’s Delhi Declaration reflects a mutual commitment “to further deepen and strengthen” the strategic partnership. Of its 36 paragraphs, nine are devoted to political-security cooperation and socio-cultural exchanges each, while 11 paragraphs deal with economic issues. The remaining sections refer to connectivity and cooperation in narrowing the development gap. Taken together, the measures, spelt out with precision, reveal the bold path the two sides have pledged to follow.

On political and security cooperation, two themes stand out. Freedom of navigation and overflight “in the region” is of the highest importance. How the two sides deepen maritime cooperation and to what extent it is extended to practical collaboration among the navies of major ASEAN states and India will be watched closely. The other theme relates to India’s support to ASEAN efforts to obtain a legally binding Code of Conduct with China in the South China Sea. An unspoken idea, which may have been covered in bilateral meetings, is how to engage nations such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and others in the deliberations that ‘the Quad’ members — the U.S., India, Japan and Australia — have already launched.

Consensus emerged on elevating the existing — rather limited — trade and economic cooperation to a higher level. Full utilisation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area and “the swift conclusion” of a modern, comprehensive and high quality Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are the next steps. Of course, the RCEP should be “mutually beneficial”, but note that the adjective “balanced”, preferred by India, is missing from the text. New Delhi does not have the option to stay out of the RCEP, but it needs ASEAN’s support to secure an acceptable bargain. Tough negotiations lie ahead.

The plan to expand socio-cultural cooperation is straightforward: just scale up and diversify exchanges in the desired fields. Separately, Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai built a case for “Moral Connectivity” which places people at the centre of inter-state relations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a significant point by wisely including Islam in the list of common bonds, together with the Ramayana and Buddhism. “Islam, in many parts of Southeast Asia,” he said, “has distinctive Indian connections going back several centuries.” The Declaration commits the parties to enhancing physical and digital connectivity. It also reflects ASEAN’s appreciation for India’s assistance in bridging the development gap between its older and newer member states. As the year of celebrations and colourful spectacles ends, it is time to begin the hard work. Diverse stakeholders, both in India and ASEAN, have a huge responsibility to shoulder.

Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House, and a former Ambassador to Myanmar

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20107
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Philip » 31 Jan 2018 20:03

The moot point is whether India will come to the aid of ASEAN nations if China attacks any of them? For that two things must happen.A huge increase in India's defence budget coupled with forward basing in the ASEAN nations like Vietnam, the Philippines, Spore, Indonesia, etc.and a pro-India economic relationship with India dumping China by ASEAN.Without huge eco growth we cannot sustain our mil. machine against China.But China has to be bottled up in the ICS and Pacific.The IOR is our backwater which no enemy must intrude into with malice towards us.

India must also at friendship costs supply the ASEAN group with Indian weapon systems which they would like from us.

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3820
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby chola » 31 Jan 2018 20:38

Philip wrote:The moot point is whether India will come to the aid of ASEAN nations if China attacks any of them? For that two things must happen.A huge increase in India's defence budget coupled with forward basing in the ASEAN nations like Vietnam, the Philippines, Spore, Indonesia, etc.and a pro-India economic relationship with India dumping China by ASEAN.Without huge eco growth we cannot sustain our mil. machine against China.But China has to be bottled up in the ICS and Pacific.The IOR is our backwater which no enemy must intrude into with malice towards us.

India must also at friendship costs supply the ASEAN group with Indian weapon systems which they would like from us.



The biggest danger is not the PRC attacking a member of ASEAN. It is members of ASEAN accepting chini takeover of the gray zone as fait accompli because Cheen always does things that are short of actual warfare.

One of the biggest reason ASEAN acquiesces to China’s creeping takeover of the shared commons is the Chnese market. Most ASEAN countries enjoys a large surplus with Cheen. Vietnam has a deficit but it is for chini components which they assemble for the Viets’ own surplus with the West.

The biggest point is not our war fighting ability or mil exports, it is our ability to provide an alternative to the chini market. The same principle applies to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc. in our own neighborhood. If other nations are dependent on you for their economic health, they will toe your line.

War is a rare event in the competiton among nations. Economics is constant and unrelenting. We might need to think seriously about giving smaller nations in our neighborhood and in regions of interest like ASEAN preferential trade treaties.

KrishnaK
BRFite
Posts: 948
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 23:00

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby KrishnaK » 02 Feb 2018 03:49

chola wrote: The biggest danger is not the PRC attacking a member of ASEAN. It is members of ASEAN accepting chini takeover of the gray zone as fait accompli because Cheen always does things that are short of actual warfare.

One of the biggest reason ASEAN acquiesces to China’s creeping takeover of the shared commons is the Chnese market. Most ASEAN countries enjoys a large surplus with Cheen. Vietnam has a deficit but it is for chini components which they assemble for the Viets’ own surplus with the West.

The biggest point is not our war fighting ability or mil exports, it is our ability to provide an alternative to the chini market. The same principle applies to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc. in our own neighborhood. If other nations are dependent on you for their economic health, they will toe your line.

War is a rare event in the competiton among nations. Economics is constant and unrelenting. We might need to think seriously about giving smaller nations in our neighborhood and in regions of interest like ASEAN preferential trade treaties.
Without the ability to provide market access, it will be increasingly difficult for India to influence the IOR, let alone ASEAN.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20107
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Philip » 06 Mar 2018 13:22

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Compan ... nt=RSSfeed
March 2, 2018 6:24 am JST
Philippine-Indian team pitches $3bn expansion of Manila airport
Megawide and GMR propose to double hub's passenger capacity

JUN ENDO, Nikkei staff writer
Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the gateway to Manila. © Reuters

MANILA -- Philippine engineering group Megawide Construction and an Indian partner would spend $3 billion to more than double capacity at a Metro Manila international airport under a proposal presented to the government Thursday, intensifying the competition in the capital area's infrastructure.

The plan, submitted with Mumbai-based GMR Infrastructure, calls for upgrading terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as well as extending runways and creating new taxiways.

This would enable a roughly 30% increase in air traffic to between 950 and 1,000 takeoffs and landings a day. Capacity would rise to 72 million passengers a year from 31 million. The duo would operate the airport for 18 years before transferring it to the government free of charge.

Philippine Stock Exchange-listed Megawide and GMR are countering a $6.75 billion plan to upgrade the airport into a regional hub by a consortium of seven conglomerates, including the real-estate-centered Ayala group. Separately, infrastructure builder San Miguel has proposed to construct a new airport in Bulacan Province, north of Manila.

Megawide and India-listed GMR are already working together to expand Mactan Cebu International Airport in the central Philippines. GMR has developed airports, including one in New Delhi, as well as power plants and highways.

Vips
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2149
Joined: 14 Apr 2017 18:23

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Vips » 17 May 2018 23:15

Indonesia likely to give India access to deep seaport in Sabang.

Indonesia might give India access to a deep sea port in Sabang, including to its naval vessels. Addressing a Delhi audience here today, Luhut Pandjaitan, maritime affairs minister in the Jokowi government, said, “India and Indonesia have started naval drills in 2017, but we can explore doing more between our coast guards. This will become even better when the Sabang seaport is established with India. Sabang port has a depth of 40 metres which is good even for submarines.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to Indonesia for a bilateral summit with Joko Widodo in the next couple of weeks. Among his engagements, Modi is expected to announce an Indian hospital in Sambang, which is just over 700km from Andaman & Nicobar islands. Luhut said the Jokowi government wanted India to invest in an economic zone in that same area, which is not particularly developed. There is speculation that Modi might undertake a sea journey to Sambang to highlight how close Indonesia is to India, but sources say defence and space would be areas of cooperation during Modi’s forthcoming visit.

“Indian coast guard ships now make regular visits to Indonesian ports and emphasize the closeness between the two countries. The Indonesian side has expressed interest in getting commercial investment in the port of Sabang, which is the westernmost point of Indonesia. This port has a deep draft but rudimentary facilities,” said Gurjit Singh, former ambassador to Indonesia.

Questioned about Indonesia’s response to OBOR and China’s decision to station missiles on the disputed Spratlys in the South China Sea, Luhut said it was a “sensitive matter”. He said they had raised the issue with the Chinese side, but “in a friendly manner.”

Luhut said, “I spoke with my Chinese counterpart about the 9-dash line. They don’t deny that Natuna island is ours. But then the 200-mile EEZ is also ours and that goes beyond the line. I ask why they are claiming the South China Sea. They say they have a historical claim, its part of the sentiment of the mainland, and it was the route taken by the Chinese explorer Zheng He. I said if this is true, then, when Krakatoa exploded, Indonesian ash settled around the world including Beijing, and we could claim this.” After years of denying they had a problem with China’s claiming the seas and territory around, Indonesia renamed its sea the Natuna Sea.

In fact, in a rare admission, the Indonesian minister, considered to be very close to Jokowi, described OBOR as a “Chinese proposal”. “We do not want to be controlled by OBOR. We would like it to link to our maritime policy, of a global maritime fulcrum.” Chinese premier Li Keqiang was in Jakarta earlier this week pushing OBOR projects with the Jokowi government.

“India-Indonesia relations are important for the balance of power in Asia,” Luhut said.

Vasu
BRFite
Posts: 867
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Vasu » 23 May 2018 11:45

This news on the latest Amnesty Report is blowing up globally this morning.

ARSA militants killed Hindu villagers in Rakhine violence: Amnesty

Campaign group Amnesty International said on Tuesday it had gathered evidence that insurgents from a Rohingya Muslim armed group killed scores of Hindu civilians in August last year, amid a surge in violence in western Burma.

A military response to insurgent attacks on 30 police posts and an army base in northern Rakhine State in the early hours of Aug. 25 pushed almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border to Bangladesh, many accusing security forces of killings, rape and arson.

It said masked ARSA fighters killed as many as 99 Hindus near a remote village named Kha Maung Seik shortly after launching the coordinated attacks on security posts.

Amnesty International cited witnesses including eight Hindu women who alleged they were abducted by ARSA fighters and forced to convert to Islam. Some of the women had earlier told media including Reuters that their loved ones were killed by Buddhists, but later recanted their stories, saying they had been coerced by their captors.

sunnyP
BRFite
Posts: 1329
Joined: 27 Nov 2008 16:52

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby sunnyP » 11 Jan 2019 04:32

Malaysians lecturing Indians about pluralism. :rotfl:

India haunted by communal politics: Anwar Ibrahim

The former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia calls for pluralism.

Anwar Ibrahim, the charismatic leader of Malaysia’s Parti Keadilan Rakyar (People’s Justice Party) on Thursday said here the communal politics that defined birth of India in 1947, continues to be fanned in the country. Mr. Ibrahim urged for a tolerant world based on pluralism and freedom of religion and said his country is determined to protect freedom of religion for indigenous communities and religious minorities.

“The awful history of communal violence that was the birth of Indian independence continues to be incited and tragically re-enacted thanks to the visions of the past that embrace the thesis of Partition,” said Mr. Ibrahim in his speech at the annual Raisina Dialogue.


https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ ... epage=true

mappunni
BRFite
Posts: 115
Joined: 14 Jul 2017 19:07

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby mappunni » 11 Jan 2019 08:52

[quote="sunnyP"]Malaysians lecturing Indians about pluralism. :rotfl:

This man was thrown in prison by the current Malaysian mentor turned foe turned friend PM.

The blatant form of racism practiced by the Malays called "Bhuputera policy" (The very word is a plagiarization of the Sanskrit word BhumiPutra)

And the shameless fools had to rollback one of the election promises of signing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

And this man has the audacity to lecture India. Having talked to many Malaysian Indian or Chinese students in the US, they come to the US with the parents funding the education. The entitled Malays come to get bachelors in Petroleum related degrees (Thanks to generous scholarships from Petronas for Malays) which many do not complete.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2175870/mahathirs-u-turn-un-race-treaty-malaysia-necessary-if-backwards

Lalmohan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13262
Joined: 30 Dec 2005 18:28

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Lalmohan » 11 Jan 2019 15:29

^^^ Boomiputra

hnair
Forum Moderator
Posts: 3720
Joined: 03 May 2006 01:31
Location: Trivandrum

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby hnair » 11 Jan 2019 15:43

Seems it is an open secret that this gent lecturing us about communal harmony, used to maintain a harem of young men setup in various flats. A good friend of mine, now back in south Bengaluru has said he did not know this when he signed up and rented an apartment building that, after his shift, seemed to be teeming with gay-log :lol: Seems his real-estate agent lady told him over phone (he was working in khanland, but got a long term assignment in KLumpur) the flats are luxurious and rent is cheap.... anyways, long story short, seems the lecturing gent had made a cosy mega-unit made of four apartments combined, which had a bevy of young men. My friend, who was single after a divorce, was helped out by these poor gents (nothing more than 6ex slaves), who helped him advise about ayeshas to date etc.

Seems these chappies were worried about their future, which, as per my friend sounded almost like regular career worries :shock:

I blew coffee over the rug, when he was narrating some of the stories he heard of their main-man, the jailbird-gent, who is now pontificating about India. Not that I am a big fan of the current PM and his own pontificating about India in the past, but their current chap must have decided enough is enough at some point and put him in jail, only to see in horror as a 400% cheen-pasand dude roll in

(Years ago, I thought it was petty vendatta a la AIADMK vs DMK, but seems like the outrageous allegations are true)

A_Gupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11486
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31
Contact:

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Jun 2019 17:55

Remember MH370?
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... es/590653/

What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane

Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say.

A_Gupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11486
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31
Contact:

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby A_Gupta » 18 Jun 2019 17:15


Vips
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2149
Joined: 14 Apr 2017 18:23

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Vips » 24 Jun 2019 08:48

Asean links its Indo-Pacific strategy to India’s outreach.

Rolling out its new Indo-Pacific strategy, Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has reserved a special place for India’s Bimstec grouping as one to connect with. This will be the first sign that India’s renewed interest in Bimstec has found resonance in the region.

India has put in more diplomatic energy into Bimstec in recent years, the idea being to redefine its neighbourhood eastwards, to build on
connectivity and open a channel for greater economic and strategic engagement eastwards. It was with this in mind that PM Narendra Modi
invited Bimstec leaders to his second swearing-in last month.

Asean’s Indo-Pacific policy has been a while in the making. The south-east Asian countries have been debating this for at least a year now. As recently as last week, reports said Singapore was dragging its feet on accepting the Indo-Pacific policy that has been led by Indonesia. It took some changes in the language to bring Singapore around.

Releasing the Asean Outlook in Bangkok after the 34th Asean summit, Thai PM Prayut Chan-Ocha said on Sunday, "The summit agreed with Thailand's initiative to reinforce Asean's leading role in the conduct of relations with external partners in the region… Asean now has a common approach on the issue." Thailand is the current chair of Asean. Bimstec, IORA and other organisations will provide potential for cooperation. The outlook said these can be realised through "innovative, interdisciplinary and complementary approaches".

Asean’s centrality is the central theme of the outlook. It has been something India has insisted upon from the time it formulated its own Indo-Pacific strategy. Modi’s speech at the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue was the official articulation of India’s strategy. In its discussions with the US and Japan, with whom India forms the JAI trilateral grouping, it was India which laid greater emphasis on Asean centrality being an operative part of the evolving Indo-Pacific strategy. The Quad too, in its statements, has acknowledged the centrality of Asean in the Indo-Pacific area.

Although the Asean Indo-Pacific strategy takes an even-handed approach to China and the US, some interesting inclusions give a clue to their thinking. China doesn’t like the notion of ‘Indo-Pacific’, preferring to call it Asia-Pacific, a distaste shared by Russia.

Second, Asean gave a prominent space to the UN Law of the Sea and freedom of navigation. China has, despite being a signatory to UNCLOS, built artificial islands in the Spratlys and is on the way to militarising them. These seas and islands are hotly contested between China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam etc. The US and its allies have been running freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in these seas for some time now to show China that other powers will not follow Chinese diktats of arbitrary sovereignty.

On June 9, Chinese trawler sank a Philippine fishing boat in these waters, abandoning 22 fishermen to their fate, who were ultimately rescued by Vietnamese boats. Under pressure, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to a joint probe with China of the incident, but it highlights the dangers of Chinese hegemony on these waters. Indonesia has renamed its sea into the Natuna Sea, as has Philippines, which calls it West Philippines Sea to assert its sovereign rights.

uskumar
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 100
Joined: 24 Aug 2009 23:41

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby uskumar » 24 Jun 2019 14:02

PM: Malaysia willing to conclude RCEP without India

excellent news. Seems we might not be part of RCEP After all. Next step, review FTAs and cancel the ones where there is huge trade deficit.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 23743
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 17 Jul 2019 14:11

South East Asia's Cultural Indebtedness to India: - Prof. V.Suryanarayan, South Asia Analysis Group

DR. V. Suryanarayan is Founding Director and Retired Senior Professor, Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Madras.


On June 25, 2019 Chennai witnessed a spectacular and memorable meeting. The meeting was organized by Andal Bakthargal Peravai and Chennai Centre for Global Studies. The Guest of Honour was Phra Maha Raja Guru Bidhsrivisudhigun, the religious adviser and preceptor to the King of Thailand. The Rajguru performs the religious rites associated with coronation as a result of which the King acquires divinity and gets the title of Rama. The entourage of Rajguru consisted of four people, and they were dressed in white dhoti worn up to the knees, a white buttoned up coat and white shoes. What was striking about the entourage was their well- oiled kudumi (tuft) which proves that their ancestors hailed from Tamil Nadu. There are 14 Brahmins today in Thailand, they are highly respected and they keep alive the Hindu traditions. In fact, they are unofficial Indian ambassadors in Thailand.

According to an inscription found in a Thai temple the Brahmins had come to Thailand from a village called Ramnagar near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. The long years of residence in a new country meant that they have forgotten Tamil. The Rajguru is unable to speak in English also. But the silver lining of the function was Rajguru’s son, Bhishma Rahas Brahmanakul, who had his education in Tamil Nadu and specialized in Marine Engineering. He spoke in English, interspersed with Tamil and proudly proclaimed that whenever he comes to Chennai he felt that he was completely at home.

Ravikumar, who had visited Southeast Asia, including Thailand, several times and written books and articles on Indian cultural impact in these countries delivered a scholarly presentation. Based on his wide reading and field work in Southeast Asian countries, Ravikumar enthralled the audience. He exploded many myths propagated by Western writers. For example he explained that the history of Singapore did not start in 1819, when Stamford Raffles founded the city, but went back to Rajendra Chola’ s time when a Hindu prince was ruling parts of Singapore. The function was an intellectual treat.

While discussing India’s abiding cultural influences in Southeast Asia, it must be pointed out that the greatest Hindu temple in the world is not in India, but is in Cambodia. Angkor Wat, constructed by Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu, carries in architectural form, Samudhra Manthan, churning of the ocean. On one side are the Devas, on the other side are the Asuras, the rope is serpent Vasuki and the churning stick is Mount Meru. It must be highlighted that we do not have Samudra Manthan depicted in any of the temples in India.

I want to deal with two countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Thailand. The people of these two countries, one is predominantly Muslim and the other is predominantly Buddhist, are proud of their Hindu heritage. India does not evoke the memories of an imperialist past in Southeast Asian minds. Except for the Chola invasion in early 11th century, which did not leave any lasting impact, the interaction has been benign and led to the cultural efflorescence of Indonesia.

The Indonesian leaders frequently acknowledged this fact. To illustrate Sukarno wrote in an article in The Hindu dated January 4, 1945: “In the veins of every one of my people flows the blood of Indian ancestors and the culture that we possess is seeped through and through with Indian influences. Two thousand years ago, people from your country came to Yavadvipa and Suvarnadvipa in the spirit of brotherly love. They gave the initiative to found powerful kingdoms such as those of Sri Vijaya, Mataram and Majapahit. We learnt to worship the very Gods that you worship still, and we fashioned a culture that even today is largely identical with your own. Later, we turned to Islam, but that religion too was brought to us by people coming from both sides of the Indus”. In the late 1950’s when ZA Bhutto tried to build bridges of understanding between Pakistan and Indonesia on the basis of Islam, Sukarno told him, “I am a Muslim by religious faith. but I am a Hindu by cultural heritage”.

The influence of Ramayana in both Indonesia and Thailand is profound. It is not only an epic of India, but also the national epic of these two countries. Ramayana has been a perennial source of inspiration and is told and retold for several generations. In that process it has undergone variations and adaptations. Even in the world of scholarship relating to Ramayana tradition, it must be mentioned that the first International Ramayana Conference was not organized by India, but by Indonesia in August-September 1971.

What is admirable about the Indonesian leaders is the fact that they do not shy away from celebrating their glorious heritage. President Sukarno was named after the Mahabharata hero Karna. The Government of Indonesia has issued several stamps featuring Ramayana and Mahabharata heroes. The Indonesian Airlines is known as Garuda Airlines. Ramayana was translated into kawi language even before Kamba Ramayana was published in 1200 AD. The Central Bank of Indonesia is named after the Hindu God of Wealth Kubera. Sage Agastya’s statues are found in different parts of Java. Hanuman is the official mascot of Indonesian military intelligence. In the 1977 Asian games held in Jakarta, the official mascot was Hanuman.

When you travel down from the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport to the Merdeka square, you come across several beautiful sculpted figures from Hindu mythology, Bhima, Garuda and Hanuman. But the most beautiful among them is the depiction of Arjuna Vijaya in which God Krishna and Arjuna are in a chariot. This beautiful piece of sculpture was constructed during the Suharto regime. Equally beautiful is the statue of Goddess Saraswathi which adorns the front portion of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC.

Turning to Thailand the international airport in Bangkok is called Suvarnabhumi. What attracts you in the airport is the beautiful depiction of Samudramanthan.

I will not be doing full justice to the subject if I do not refer to the untiring efforts and intellectual acumen of Padmashri Mahamahopadhyaya Satya Vrat Shastri, a “living legend in Sanskrit” and an eminent Indologist. Prof Satya Vrat Shastri was Visiting Professor in Chulalongkorn University (1977-79) and in Silpakorn University (1988-1991). He extensively toured in Thailand and was impressed by Indian imprint in Thai way of life. He mastered the Thai version of Ramayana and published a book entitled Ramakirtimahakavyam (A Sanskit Mahakavya on Thai Ramkein) which was published in 1990. Prof. Visudh Busyakul, the well-known Thai academic, has summed up Prof Shastri’s contributions as follows, “We are grateful to him from the academic point of view as well as from the fact that by means of his literary efforts he has effectively been an ambassador whose ultimate aim is to strengthen the cultural bond between our two countries, India and Thailand”.

A tree is known by its fruits. Among Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri’s students in Chulalaongkorn University was Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the princess of Thailand. Thanks to Prof Satya Vrat Shastri’s inspiration, she developed keen interest in Indian culture, India’s cultural imprint in Southeast Asian countries and varying versions of Ramayana. She mastered Sanskrit, Pali and English and specialized in epigraphy and history. From 1978 she came to India regularly, travelled widely and exchanged ideas with academics and Hindu religious leaders. A keen photographer she held a photo exhibition in India International Centre in November –December 2016. It was appropriately called My Fond Memories of India. In recognition of her efforts to promote India-Thailand relations, the Government of India, on March 31, 2017, conferred on her Padma Bhushan

In her foreword to Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri’s book on Ramkein, Her Royal Highness mentions that Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri was “passionately in love” with Thailand and it was this fact that inspired him to write the monumental book. To quote: “It is a good idea to acquaint the people outside Thailand with the Thai version of the Rama story, which differs from all the others. ..I am sure the work will meet with full applause from lovers of literature”.

I Invited Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri to come to Madras University and address the faculty and students of the Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Madras in April 1998. I cannot resist the temptation and want to quote two incidents narrated by Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri in the course of his lectures. The first incident took place in 1978 in the Saket railway station. He saw a lady with two small children, aged about 8 and 6 years. Both of them were putting on five tufts of hair. The scene immediately reminded Prof Satya Vrata Shastri of ancient Dharmashastra, which mentions kakapaksas, the five tufts to be worn by boys during tonsure ceremony. The Ramayana records that Lord Rama was having them while accompanying Sage Visvamitra. A tradition which has become extinct in India still prevails in Thailand.

The second incident which left an indelible imprint on Prof. Satya Vrata Shastri’s mind took place in Chiang Mai in 1992. He had gone there to witness the consecration of a Hindu temple. Along with the idols to be consecrated there were innumerable small idols. On enquiry Satya Vrata Shastri was told that the Thai Buddhist devotees had brought them from their homes so that idols they worship could also be consecrated. What touched Prof. Satya Vrata Shastri is the fact that the Thais see no contradiction in being Hindu and Buddhist at the same time.

The question naturally arises: Why do we in India shy away from celebrating our national epics? Why do we not install statues of Rama, Krishna, Garuda, Parasurama, Mahabali and others? Our epics are not Hindu epics, they are national epics. When I was associated with University of Calicut few years ago as the first Professor for Maritime Studies, I came across Moplah Ramayana, a version of Ramayana very popular among the local Muslims. In Kerala on Vijayadashami day, Vidyarambam begins for all children. At the age of 4, not only Hindu children, but Christian and Muslim children also are initiated into writing. During the Ayyappa season, every devotee before he reaches Sabari Mala, prays in Vavar Kavu, a darga for Bawa, who is considered to be a brother of Lord Ayyappa. One of the most renowned authorities on Kamba Rmayana in Tamil Nadu was Late Justice Ismail. In Sri Rangam God Vishnu is believed to have married a Muslim woman, Tulukka Nachiar, and the first offering to the Lord every day is Roti. According to contemporary Jesuit chronicles, the Mughal emperor, Akbar used to pray twice a week according to Hindu traditions, twice a week according to Christian traditions and the rest of the days according to Islamic traditions. Like the characters in Moliere’s play, who convey without speaking anything, Akbar was a secularist long before the concept of secularism came into vogue. To say Hindus tolerate other religions is not true; they accept all religions as part of Indian tradition.

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3820
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby chola » 17 Jul 2019 14:22

For example he explained that the history of Singapore did not start in 1819, when Stamford Raffles founded the city, but went back to Rajendra Chola’ s time when a Hindu prince was ruling parts of Singapore.


^^^ Southeast Asia is the natural domain of the Chola Empire and its descendants. Appropriately enough, Singapore's Indian population is mainly Tamil :)

That said we need to make harder push in the region, especially in soft power. While we're not going to be able to compete against the preponderance of economic power from Cheen (and the rest of East Asia) we should at least do more in media and cultural exports where we can compete. But right now, the areas of movies, music and tourism in ASEAN are heavily influenced by Cheen and Korea.

ricky_v
BRFite
Posts: 438
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby ricky_v » 22 Aug 2019 17:53

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/08/22/national/politics-diplomacy/south-korea-japan-intelligence-sharing-pact-gsomia/#.XV6EMs_VK00
n a stunning move that could further upend already fraying ties between Japan and South Korea, Seoul on Thursday announced that it would scrap a key intelligence-sharing pact with Tokyo, with the South’s presidential Blue House saying in a statement that it did not meet Seoul’s “national interests” to maintain the deal amid the intensifying spat between the two neighbors.

some lighthearted moments
“South Korea and Japan are fighting all the time. They’ve got to get along because it puts us in a bad position,” Trump said at the time. “They’re supposed to be allies.”

“Ending the agreement would handicap needed cooperation on North Korea, weapons proliferation, trilateral U.S.-Japan-ROK coordination on the peninsula and in terms of managing effectively China’s reemergence as the regional hegemon,”

schinnas
BRFite
Posts: 1443
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 09:44

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby schinnas » 29 Sep 2019 13:26

Should we create a separate thread for India Malaysia relationship given its actions in allying with Pakistan and it's highly provocative line on Kashmir?

Schmidt
BRFite
Posts: 244
Joined: 19 Aug 2016 08:02

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Schmidt » 30 Sep 2019 10:38

Not many on BRF might be aware that Mahathir Mohammed is of partly Indian descent from his paternal grandfathers side.

His paternal grandfather was from Kerala who married a Malay lady , and they were of lower middle class status.

Mahathir has always downplayed or even hidden his Indian ancestry and has worked very hard to suppress it. He was the one who espoused Malay supremacy and continued the discriminatory Bhumiputra policy that gives primacy to Malays in education / jobs / contracts etc.
He has had nothing but hostility towards India , Indians and esp Hindus.

So don't expect anything good from this old rat.It was a surprise that he teamed up with Anwar Ibrahim ( whom he had imprisoned on charges of sodomy ) and came back to power in the recent elections.

But he is 94 years old , so we don't have to put up with his obnoxious presence for much longer ( hopefully )

vimal
BRFite
Posts: 303
Joined: 27 Jul 2017 10:32

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby vimal » 30 Sep 2019 10:46

^^ Okies. Now lets see how he behaves in front of the Chinese

https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/17605 ... ting-china

Mahathir: No point confronting China
Malaysian PM favours 'other means' to deal with Beijing as aggressive approach by small countries won't work


:rotfl: :rotfl:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia does not want to take a confrontational stance toward China over the disputed South China Sea or alleged mistreatment of minority Uighur Muslims, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in an interview published on Saturday.

Malaysia is too small to face up to the Asian powerhouse, even though Chinese ships surveying its waters for oil and gas in South China Sea do so without permission, he told an online news service during his visit to New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly.

“We watch what they are doing, we report what they are doing, but we do not chase them away or try to be aggressive,” Mahathir told BenarNews, an online news service affiliated with Radio Free Asia that reports in five languages.

“The Malay states have existed near China for the past 2,000 years. We have survived because we know how to conduct ourselves. We don’t go around trying to be aggressive when we don’t have the capacity, so we use other means.”

He said that in the past Malaysia used to send to China “gold and silver flowers every year as a symbol of our being practically, well, subservient to them”.

This month, China and Malaysia agreed to set up a joint dialogue for the South China Sea, as ties between the countries improve. China is Malaysia’s biggest trading partner.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been overseeing a sweeping plan to refurbish its army as the country ramps up its presence in the South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan, rattling nerves around the region and in Washington.

Mahathir also said China’s might was the reason Muslim-majority Malaysia did not speak out much against Beijing’s alleged repression of Uighur Muslims.

“You don’t just try and do something which would fail anyway, so it is better to find some other less violent ways not to antagonise China too much, because China is beneficial for us,” he said.

“Of course it is a big trading partner of ours and you do not want to do something that will fail, and in the process, also, we will suffer.”

schinnas
BRFite
Posts: 1443
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 09:44

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby schinnas » 30 Sep 2019 11:18

He respects strength and economic might. When Indian economy improves and we give him a thapad then he will change his attitude.

Rsatchi
BRFite
Posts: 324
Joined: 04 Aug 2019 22:03

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Rsatchi » 30 Sep 2019 11:31

disha wrote:
Chandragupta wrote:Exactly, Chola ji. It is not wise to undermine the Chinese by saying they are only good for cheap manufacturing.


To put it rhetorically, just telling the truth that they are only good for cheap manufacturing is not undermining them. It is just calling out the truth.

Just to give you an example:

1. Energy

1.1 Solar cells

First Solar Is Using Robots to Better Tap the Sun – There are just a few dozen workers scattered about; before the renovation, there were hundreds. The company acknowledges that it cut jobs, but it says the ones that remain are safer and pay better. The panels produce 244 percent more power at a manufacturing cost of as little as 20¢ per watt, about 30 percent less than the cheapest Chinese equivalent. – and it represents the fundamental aspect of the solar panel manufacturing boom of recent years – robotics, not massive amounts of labor. First Solar will not bear the consequences of tariffs and is making the cheapest solar panels in the world. Probably not a bad place to be…
(from electrek)

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/first-solar-is-using-robots-to-better-tap-the-sun

2. Trains, Planes & Automobiles. Yeah, Chinese have world beating companies in all three.

3. And here is one more:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-11/china-has-the-world-s-biggest-productivity-problem

4. Pharmaceuticals: US, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Denmark ... where is China?

I can go on and on ...

===

It is actually fashionable to state that it is unwise to undermine's China's manufacturing prowess. I look at all the future industries and I find that China is nowhere there.

Dishaji
There is a three part series on China and Chinese military hackers involved in industrial espionage and stealing property rights
Interesting story of solar panel company suing Chinese company and later found out from Unkil that the Chinese not only stole industrial design etc but also legal paperwork about the case in the courts
So they use full force to get things done and broach no obstruction

Vips
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2149
Joined: 14 Apr 2017 18:23

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Vips » 30 Sep 2019 18:10

schinnas wrote:He respects strength and economic might. When Indian economy improves and we give him a thapad then he will change his attitude.


Nope it is Military strength (and the balls to use it ruthlessly) that is primary not economic might. Mahatir knows that China will shoot first and talk later (if at all) and the world can do diddly squat about it. While India suffering from the logh kya kahenge syndrome will be unnecessarily engaging in endless rounds of talk with the opposing party while giving it all the opportunity to abuse us.

Rony
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2564
Joined: 14 Jul 2006 23:29

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Rony » 10 Oct 2019 22:24

Indonesia's security minister Wiranto hurt after stabbing attack

AFP news agency quoted police as saying that the main attacker was allegedly "exposed to IS radicalism".

In recent months, Wiranto has been designated by President Joko Widodo as the person in-charge with the handling of the unrest in the country's West Papua region.

President Widodo had appointed the former military chief as the top security minister in 2016.

General Wiranto, 72, had been previously accused of committing atrocities during Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.

He was in charge of the military when the Indonesian army and paramilitaries carried out deadly assaults after East Timor sought independence from Indonesia in 1999.

About 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed, mainly by Indonesian forces and their proxies, or died of starvation and illness during the occupation.

Wiranto was among other senior officers indicted by UN prosecutors over human rights abuses during the 24-year occupation period.

Despite evidence gathered proving his role in the killings of 1999, Wiranto denies any wrongdoing and has never faced court over the atrocities.

As security minister, Wiranto oversees five ministries including foreign, interior and defence.

The attack on Wiranto comes just days ahead of President Joko Widodo's inauguration for his second term in office.

It is believed that several hundred Indonesians have traveled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

Rony
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2564
Joined: 14 Jul 2006 23:29

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Rony » 12 Oct 2019 22:13

India may restrict imports of palm oil, other goods from Malaysia - sources

India is considering restricting imports of some products from Malaysia including palm oil, according to government and industry sources, in reaction to the Southeast Asian country’s leader criticizing New Delhi for its actions in Kashmir.

The news prompted Malaysian palm oil futures to snap five days of gains to end lower on Friday evening.

The benchmark palm oil contract for December delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange that had earlier been trading up on the day, fell 0.9% to close at 2,185 ringgit ($522.23) per tonne.

A Mumbai-based refiner said it would not create a shortage of edible oils in India if buyers there stopped importing palm oil from Malaysia.

“Indonesia is eager to sell more and more palm oil to India,” the refiner said, adding that India could also increase imports of soyoil from Argentina and sunflower oil from Ukraine to offset any drop in Malaysian palm oil shipments.


Indonesia wants New Delhi to increase palm oil purchases and wants to buy sugar from India in exchange.

Higher Indian imports had helped Malaysia reduce stockpiles in 2019, but stocks could rise again and prices could come under pressure if India curtails or stops imports, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.

India’s government is also planning some restrictions on imports from Turkey, one of the government sources said, as Ankara has issued repeated statements on Kashmir, an issue that India considers an internal matter.

In addition to tensions around Kashmir, there has also been friction between India and Malaysia over Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, whom Indian authorities want extradited from Malaysia.

In 2016, an Indian counterterrorism agency accused Naik of promoting hate speech.

Deans
BRFite
Posts: 957
Joined: 26 Aug 2004 19:13
Location: Moscow

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Deans » 12 Oct 2019 22:47

Although palm oil guzzles water (3 times more than coconut oil) and is therefore environmentally unfriendly, we need to use this opportunity to produce more in India (in the Andamans for e.g) or look at new sources of import, or substitute palm oil for local oils by increases in duty. A major use of palm oil is on soaps, because animal fat is not allowed in soap manufacture. Perhaps this rule can be abolished, though labelling can make the contents (type of oil) clear.

Bart S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2021
Joined: 15 Aug 2016 00:03

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Bart S » 12 Oct 2019 23:28

Palm oil isn't particularly healthy but is preferred by the processed food industry as a substitute (as it has many of the same properties) for hydrogenated vegetable oils (which are banned).

Rony
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2564
Joined: 14 Jul 2006 23:29

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Rony » 13 Oct 2019 10:16

Duterte beginning to learn a lesson or two from Vietnam

Duterte invites Russian oil giant to explore in West Philippine Sea

President Rodrigo Duterte has opened the door for a Russian firm to explore for oil and gas in Philippine waters being claimed by China.

Duterte invited Russian oil giant Rosneft to conduct oil and gas exploration in various parts of the Philippines, including the West Philippine Sea, which Beijing continues to claim through its 9-dash line – a claim invalidated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016.

Russian companies, including Rosneft, are already helping Vietnam explore for oil and gas in waters within its exclusive economic zone but also being claimed by China.

Beijing has issued warnings against such operations as a way to assert its claim to the area. Despite these warnings, however, Russian firms have not abandoned the projects.

mappunni
BRFite
Posts: 115
Joined: 14 Jul 2017 19:07

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby mappunni » 14 Oct 2019 04:11

MAHATHIR’S MAGIC FADES – AN EVIL WIZARD IS ABOUT TO REVEAL HIMSELF: FROM ZAKIR NAIK TO KASHMIR TO CLOSING AN EYE ON AZMIN’S GAY SEX FIASCO, DR M PRESSES TOO MANY WRONG BUTTONS TO PROLONG HIS OWN POWER, THWART ANWAR – MALAYSIA NOW IN GREATEST DANGER OF BEING PLUNDERED BY CRONY CAPITALISM

https://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/?p=176601

sanjaykumar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4083
Joined: 16 Oct 2005 05:51

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby sanjaykumar » 14 Oct 2019 06:23

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/ ... 14249.html



Within Borneo, feelings against the federal government are “more popular than ever,” said Arnold Puyok, a researcher in electoral politics at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

“Both sides of the political divide are talking about it and are trying to outwit each other by showing who are more nationalist and have done more to fight for Sarawak and Sabah … Now the debates have shifted to ‘independence’ and ‘secession’.”

Malaysia Borneo
Seated on gold cloth-draped dais, 'White Rajah' Charles Vyner Brooke and his wife the Ranee of Sarawak, Sylvia Leonora Brooke, celebrate the centenary of white rule in Sarawak, October 1941. [File: AP Photo]
'Poor cousins'?
Both states - known collectively as East Malaysia - are former British colonies with histories distinct from the peninsula and have large populations of indigenous people.

They remain proud of their indigenous culture and diverse societies, which are more Christian and animist than the rest of Malaysia.

But while both have control of their own borders - politicians and activists from the peninsula have sometimes been refused entry- there is a sense of threat from the country’s leadership in the Muslim-majority Malay peninsula.

“Our individuality isn’t being respected,” said Karen Shepherd, an activist with Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S).

“In everything from cultural heritage, education systems, our taxation revenue and just a general feeling of respect in this nation – are we the poor cousins or the founding partners, a drain on resources or leading contributor to the economy of Malaysia?”

Shepherd, and fellow S4S activist Peter John Jaban, began staging rallies with just 30-50 people in 2012.

Three years after that the campaign morphed into Sarawak 4 Sarawakians and after 15,000 people joined a rally to mark the day Sarawak got its independence from Britain, the state authorities declared the date - July 22 - Sarawak Independence Day.

“Our goal is to continue strengthening the voice of the people, which was absent five years ago, and to have the political hierarchies that exist in Malaysia reform,” Shepherd told Al Jazeera.

Within Sabah, grievances over immigration continue to affect the public perception of the federal government.

Sabah’s population more than tripled between the 1960s and early 2000s after a controversial programme granting citizenship rights to undocumented, mostly Muslim, migrants. A Royal Commission that was set up in 2012 amid growing anger over the secretive policy, blamed unnamed “corrupt officials” for the surge.

The programme came to be known as Project IC or Project M amid allegations that Mahathir, who was prime minister from 1981 to 2003, used the scheme to help the then-ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) expand into the Borneo state.

Malaysia Borneo
Malaysia's Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak have their own distinctive histories and large populations of indigenous people who are often Christian or animist. [Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters]
Immigration
Mahathir himself quit UMNO in 2016 and returned to power in May 2018 at the head of Pakatan Harapan, the opposition grouping that rode a wave of popular discontent over large-scale corruption to sweep UMNO and its coalition partners from office.

Amid the rumblings in Borneo, the previous administration set up a federal committee at the end of 2017 to look into relations across the South China Sea, but there has been little progress.

“There are real tensions,” James Chin, the director of Asia Institute Tasmania at the University of Tasmania and an expert on Malaysian politics, told Al Jazeera.

Over the past year, Pakatan has tried to deliver on some of its manifesto promises including a constitutional amendment tabled to honour the Malaysia Agreement and recognise Sabah and Sarawak as founding members of Malaysia, which were then stymied by Sarawak opposition MPs. The state administration is aligned with the previous UMNO-led coalition.

But other moves have undermined trust, including an announcement earlier this month of 600,000 Sabah Temporary Passes for foreign nationals.

Jeffrey Kitingan, a Sabah state assemblyman for the opposition STAR Party and a veteran of the fight for autonomy, remains deeply suspicious.

Is the government’s plan to “eventually drown the indigenous peoples of Sabah under the majority power of the new immigrants?” he asked.

Fight for resources
The differences are also economic.

The two states have vast natural resources from timber to oil and gas - Sarawak accounts for more than a quarter of Malaysia’s entire reserves - but remain far poorer than most states in the peninsula.

Millions - perhaps billions - has reportedly been lost to corruption - defeated Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman will go on trial in June next year, while former Sarawak Chief Minister-turned-octogenarian governor Taib Mahmud is under federal investigation.

But the states say they should also be getting a fairer share of the money from resources that has gone to the federal government when national oil company Petronas was established in 1974.

“Our goal is to restore to Sarawak’s rights that are enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement,” the chief minister said during a state assembly sitting last August.

The movement for increased autonomy and respect within Malaysia remains in its infancy, but it has given the people of Sabah and Sarawak the opportunity to assert their voice and grab the central government’s attention.

“Nobody flies a Malaysian flag here any more,” Jaban told Al Jazeera. “In the past, people were scared - now, it’s time that we speak out and dare.”

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 23743
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 14 Oct 2019 07:36

^ That's nice to hear. Raveesh Kumar must subtly remind Mahatir in one of the upcoming MEA press meets.

tandav
BRFite
Posts: 428
Joined: 26 Aug 2016 08:24

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby tandav » 15 Oct 2019 23:35

Like Chinese folks and businesses boycotting businesses from those who oppose China at a hint of a suggestion from CCP. Here is
Something similar from Indian folks also. The game begins.


https://m.timesofindia.com/business/ind ... 592640.cms

kit
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3393
Joined: 13 Jul 2006 18:16

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby kit » 16 Oct 2019 01:22

tandav wrote:Like Chinese folks and businesses boycotting businesses from those who oppose China at a hint of a suggestion from CCP. Here is
Something similar from Indian folks also. The game begins.


https://m.timesofindia.com/business/ind ... 592640.cms


There is more to come. The snake is going out asap.

tandav
BRFite
Posts: 428
Joined: 26 Aug 2016 08:24

Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby tandav » 16 Oct 2019 11:08

kit wrote:
tandav wrote:Like Chinese folks and businesses boycotting businesses from those who oppose China at a hint of a suggestion from CCP. Here is
something similar from Indian folks also. The game begins.


https://m.timesofindia.com/business/ind ... 592640.cms


There is more to come. The snake is going out asap.


potential trade war between India and Malaysia due to Mahathir comments

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/will-mo ... ia-2116699


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bart S, LakshmanPST, nandakumar, Rsatchi, Varuna, VikramA and 54 guests