Is labour mobility enough? While promoting a “people-centred, people-oriented” and resilient community, the ASEAN integration only relies on a “free” flow of skilled labour through Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs), ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF), and ASEAN Agreement on Movement of Natural Persons (MNP). The eight professions covered under MRAs merely involve less than two per.. read more →

Illegal migration is rife in Southeast Asia and it’s big business for people smugglers who ruthlessly exploit the region’s porous borders. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that more than 80 per cent of people who’ve slipped across borders in the region have done so with the aid of smugglers. The trade.. read more →

ASEAN and South Asia are building infrastructure at an unprecedented rate. Anyone who travels the capital cities of this region knows it for a fact. Roads, railroads, bridges, ports and metros. All this construction is transforming the city centres and areas of economic activity, and the lives of 2.4 billion people. It is also connecting.. read more →

Cambodia: Confusion around the lift of the domestic workers ban in Malaysia Almost six years after Cambodian maids were banned from working in Malaysia, the Labour Ministry said it was finalising a long-delayed plan to lift the restriction. Some parts of the deal were still under discussion at that time. Despite the ban, Cambodians continue going to.. read more →

The way forward for the ASEAN community ASEAN needs a long-term vision to gradually augment internal strength by being more flexible in implementing the principle of non-interference as well as more open to democratic values and human rights. Hence, ASEAN must emphasise its strong core values and identity, high levels of political and strategic trust.. read more →