Authors: Murray Hunter, Azly Rahman

“ … I am indeed proud that on this, the greatest day in Malaya's history it falls to my lot to proclaim the formal independence of this country.

Philippines are not only a tourist destination, but also a place of long history of conflicts that are active and ongoing even today. In the only majority Christian nation in Asia, where 82.9% of the population are Catholic religion and 5% of Muslim, many disputes between various groups exists.

Indonesia is one of the largest democratic countries in the world. Legislative elections and presidential election 2014 have passed quite well, although there are still many problems in terms of implementation.

Rattana LaoRattana Lao is a recipient of the Ananda Mahidol Scholarship. She has a doctorate in Comparative and International Education (Political Science) from Columbia University’s Teachers College and is currently a lecturer at Thammasat University’s Faculty of Learning Sciences and Education. Her 230-page book, A Critical Study of Thailand’s Higher Education Reforms: The Culture of Borrowing, published by Routledge, will be launched at Thammasat on Aug 18.

BANGKOK – Given the rapid rise of middle class in Asia and increasing aspiration of this generation to go to Ivy League or any top schools anywhere in the west, Asian parents are paying enormous amount of money to private tutoring and so-called “educational consultants” to prepare their offsprings to what seemed to be a life changing experiences.

In a planned economic community that will link 10 nations across South-East Asia and account for the seventh-largest economy in the world, the ASEAN economic community (AEC) will rival the European Union (EU) in the years to come.

BANGKOK – The picture in front of me is beautiful, almost surreal. Students across high school and universities are getting to know each other, sharing their stories and enjoying the moment. While some, rushed to prepare their case with their team in quiet rooms.

The United States is today the hegemon, alone able to alter events to match its own strategy with the ability of fighting long wars far away from its home base. In spite of important engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, a large part of its air and naval capabilities are still in the Pacific.

The two countries occupying the peninsula are the only countries in the world surrounded by the world’s major powers – China, Japan, Russia and the US which is slightly removed geographically, but very present on the territory of South Korea.

Political and business leaders from ASEAN member states told participants at the 45th World Economic Forum  that the ASEAN Economic Community, uniting 10 countries with over 600 million people in a common market, will be a reality by the end of 2015.

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