- A retired Singaporean diplomat has a dire warning for Southeast Asian nations: 2021 may not be a better year than 2020.
- According to Bilahari Kausikan, challenges are expected to come, especially as the pandemic has exposed bad leadership among governments.
- Some countries will continue to be overwhelmed despite the vaccine roll out, he said.
With people bracing for the upcoming year, ready to permanently say goodbye to the nightmare called 2020, one retired Singaporean diplomat unfortunately has a gloomy message for those living in Southeast Asian countries.
In an opinion piece written for NikkeiAsia, former Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilahari Kausikan said that those hoping for a brighter year up ahead “will be disappointed.”
Bilahari Kausikan, a Singaporean academic and former diplomat said 2021 could be a challenge for Southeast Asia.
“The trajectory of developments within Southeast Asia and in the region’s relations with the U.S. and China will not shift substantively, at least not for the better. We will do well if things do not get worse.”
Kausikan pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic “has exposed serious failures of governance in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.”
While vaccines will begin to roll out within 2021 for most countries, Kausikan added that “a vaccine is not a panacea for bad governance. These countries will still struggle to avoid being overwhelmed.”
New infection waves are also a possibility as some people start dropping their guards because of pandemic fatigue.
“If the pandemic speeds digitalization, the more advanced economies like Singapore could steal a march on competitors not just in the immediate region, but globally,” he continued. “Other Southeast Asian countries could benefit from the movement of companies out of China and elsewhere.”
Moreover, political power shifts and domestic turmoil may also have a direct effect on the region.
“Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand face serious domestic political uncertainties,” Kausikan explained. “Do not be surprised by surprises. Vietnam and Laos will hold Party Congresses in early 2021 and will play for safety for some time after. The outlook for Myanmar and the Philippines is, as always, uncertain, particularly in the latter which will hold presidential elections in 2022. Even in Singapore, a new generation of leaders must contain anti-foreigner sentiment in the context of a political transition that looks likely to be delayed.”
Bees Kill Penguins by Stinging Them in the Eyes
2000 Kilogram Sunfish Caught Off North African Coast
Man Embezzles $57K in COVID-19 Relief to Buy Pokemon Cards
Florida Man Catches and “Recycles” Alligator in Driveway
Man Shocks Reporter on How He’d Spend the Lottery Winnings
Man Joins Search Operation Not Realizing He’s the One Missing
World’s Oldest Rhino Dies in Italian Zoo at 54 Years Old
Meet Quilty – Cat Escape Artist Helping Other Cats Jailbreak
Fans Use American Flag to Save Falling Cat During Football Game in Miami
TikToker Shares How She Tricked Invaders Who Tried Opening The Hotel Door While She Was Alone
Man Iced Neighbor Who Repeatedly Asked Him “When Are You Getting Married?”
Do You Live in One of These 15 Countries With The Most Beautiful Women on Earth?
The Secret Meaning of Anklets And Why Some Wives Wear Them
Waking Up Between 3 to 5 AM Could Mean You’re Experiencing Spiritual Awakening
Divorced Man Wrote 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had
Haunting Photos of Two Tourists Snapped Just Before They Mysteriously Disappeared
“Chastity Cages” is the Latest Thing for Men
Pork Fat Is Officially One of the World’s Most Nutritious Foods
Some Stranger Padlocked This Guy’s Earlobe And Ran Away With The Key
Three-Month-Old Baby Left Blind in One Eye After Family Friend Took His Picture