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2014, Vol.6, No.2

  • 1.

    Biodiversity Conservation and Its Social Implications: The Case of Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas in Sabah, Malaysia

    Fadzilah Majid Cooke , Rosazman Hussin | 2014, 6(2) | pp.3~18 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    With natural resources—terrestrial or coastal—fastly diminishing, governments are now resorting to biodiversity conservation, fast-tracking the introduction of new legislations, as well as the amendment of existing ones, and laying out programs that interpret existing practices and research agendas. This paper examines how biodiversity conservation—in addition to eco-tourism—has become an important symbol of the modernizing state of Sabah, Malaysia. It further examines the effects of biodiversity conservation on state and community management of natural resources, with particular reference to the management of natural resources by the indigenous peoples of Sabah. Citing case studies and focusing on a forest community at Kiau Nuluh, in the district of Kota Belud, Sabah, this paper evaluates strategies used by indigenous groups to maintain access and control over the management of natural resources—and by implication to livelihoods—via ecotourism, making creative alliances with non-government organisations as well as forging cooperation with government agencies which act as custodians of these resources. For a majority of indigenous groups however, the practice of biodiversity conservation has meant reduced and controlled access to natural resources, considering the fundamental issue of the lack of security of tenure to the land claimed under customary rights. New initiatives at recognizing Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) by international conservation groups provide a means for tenure recognition, for a price, of course. The recognition of ICCAs also faces obstacles arising from developmentalist ideology which upholds that forests are valuable only when converted to other land use, and not left to stand for their intrinsic value.
  • 2.

    Implications of Islam and Pluralism in Post-Suharto Indonesia

    Shi Xueqin | 2014, 6(2) | pp.19~36 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper attempts to explore the multifaceted Islamic culture and ideology was shaped in different historical periods in Indonesia, particularly focusing on the revival of Islamic extremism and liberalism as well as the surging conflict among Islamic communities in the post-Suharto era. The paper asserts that in the post-Suharto era, progressive Muslim/Islamic liberalist is upholding pluralism, and pancasila is emerging as a positive force for Indonesia’s peaceful transition to democracy, solidly defending national unity.
  • 3.

    The State-Owned Enterprises Reform in Vietnam

    Tran Dinh Lam | 2014, 6(2) | pp.37~63 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The economic renovation in Vietnam has shown promising achievements. The process of reforming and equitizing stateowned enterprises, and reducing subsidies from the government have made significant progress since 1986. However, this policy has not received the adequate valuation from leaders. Big companies have not been equitized, and are still managed and subsidized by the government, resulted in budget losses. Corporations have been dominated by political interests. This has led to arguments for better and more feasible measures which could save national budget. Corruption in Vietnam mostly originates from state-owned enterprises, for the monopoly was given by government to those enterprises as foreign partners continue to compete under market-oriented mechanism and transparent supervision. Therefore, renovation of the business mechanism, as well as speeding up equitization and minimizing people’s properties, have become crucial in the regional integration trend. This is entirely a vital factor in the renovation process. This study explores plans, as well as the merits of the renovation process in Vietnam, ultimately envisioning to overcome current consequences and motivate Vietnam’s economy.
  • 4.

    Can Vietnam Become The Next Tiger? Confucianism and Economic Development in the Southeast Asian Context

    Fei Huang | 2014, 6(2) | pp.65~84 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Asia-Pacific Confucian Capitalism is comparable to Atlantic Protestant Capitalism in terms of economic success, as most economies influenced by Confucian culture in East Asia and Southeast Asia are economically well-off in the past 50 years, save for Vietnam. This paper seeks to determine whether Vietnam can follow the path of development of the other Confucian economies, especially in the context of globalization and upcoming regional integration. In the paper, I will use an analytic framework derived from Weber and Huntington to examine the cultural dimension of Vietnam’s economic development. In the domestic field, I argue that the core values of Confucianism continue to contribute to the development in Vietnam in many ways; yet one critical element needs to be tapped: the political culture of strong leadership and efficient bureaucracy. Confucian values for development may be compromised by pushing for democratization too early in Vietnam. On a positive note, Confucianism for Vietnam is instrumental in its regional integration into Southeast Asia since it is integrative rather than exclusive. Vietnam’s cultural similarity with China may however lead to too much passive learning and conflicts. In conclusion, Confucianism is a valuable asset for Vietnam’s economic development, but challenges have to be addressed in order for Vietnam to become the next tiger.
  • 5.

    Electoral Reform Movement in Malaysia : Emergence, Protest, and Reform

    Khoo Ying Hooi | 2014, 6(2) | pp.85~106 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Protests are not new in Malaysia, though it is restricted by the ruling government. The trend of street protests and demonstrations since the emergence of Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), Malaysia’s first people movement on electoral reform, has triggered a sentiment of people power among Malaysian citizens. With protests and popular mobilization becoming pronounced in Malaysian politics, political activism becomes for Malaysians a channel of discontent and expression of political preferences. Using information obtained from interviews with individuals linked to the movement, this paper articulates that protests are no longer exclusive to Malaysians. This paper illustrates the emergence of the Bersih movement and explores the three Bersih mass rallies that took place in 2007, 2011, and 2012. This paper further links the protests with the electoral reform initiatives. It argues that the Bersih movement has managed to lobby fundamental changes in the Malaysian political culture.