06 March 2014
THIS IS the age of restiveness in South-east Asia. No South-east Asian leader can be comfortable in his seat. Of the 11 countries in the region, 10 of which are in Asean, at least half of this generation of leaders face growing aspirations, or disaffection, among their citizens. It is an age of heightened uncertainty.
Thailand’s current crisis epitomises this. As Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra looks increasingly besieged, even as the opposition seems to be softening, the outcome appears to be heading towards political flux or political change. If mayhem follows, a return to military rule cannot be ruled out, despite the generals’ equivocation.
Doubtless, the region is waiting with apprehension, yet no one really knows what awaits at the end of the tunnel. Thailand is becoming the most unstable country in the region today.
… The writer is a senior fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. He is the author of a book on leadership in South-east Asia.
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