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Thomas Daniel

Senior Fellow

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#Talkingpolicy ep 06: Implementing the five-point consensus in Myanmar: A Malaysian perspective

by Thomas Daniel and Yanitha Meena - 2 December 2022  In EP06 of... Read More

#Talkingpolicy EP04: GE15 wishlist

As we head to the polls, experts Jamil A. Ghani, Lee Min... Read More

Myanmar tops Asian summit’s agenda as global issues loom

Thomas Daniel was quoted by Associated Press. by David Rising, 9 November 2022 BANGKOK... Read More

BFM podcast: Do foreign policy issues matter in general elections?

Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 4 November 2022. Produced by:... Read More

BFM podcast: Do foreign policy issues matter in general elections?

Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 4 November 2022. Produced by:... Read More

Malaysia’s upcoming elections could cost Myanmar’s NUG one of its biggest allies

Thomas Daniel was quoted in the Benar News by Iman Muttaqin Yusof, 13 October... Read More

Implementing the Five-Point consensus: A Malaysian perspective

by Thomas Daniel & Yanitha Meena, 10 October 2022 Introduction The violence and... Read More

China’s assertive attitude in South China Sea unlikely to change after party congress

Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Radio Free Asia Experts say it is... Read More

Will Malaysia change its policy on Myanmar?

Malaysia has been one of the most forthright Asean member states when... Read More

How Malaysia’s polls imperil Myanmar’s revolution

Thomas Daniel was quoted in the Asia Times Malaysian FM Saifuddin Abdullah... Read More

Chinese troops drive away fishing vessels from disputed waters

Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Radio Free Asia Soldiers repelled a boat... Read More

It’s politicians, bureaucrats who control arms deals, says analyst

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today, 9 August 2022. by Nicholas Chung PETALING JAYA:... Read More

Why is the Myanmar crisis such a challenge for ASEAN?

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Al Jazeera. by Al Jazeera Staff | 3 August 2022... Read More

Is Asean pointless handling the situation in Myanmar?

Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 29 July 2022. Produced by: Shazana... Read More

ASEAN keeps firm focus on recovery

Thomas Daniel was quoted in China Daily. by YANG HAN | 29 July... Read More

Asean must recognise hard truths about Myanmar

Regional body must live up to principles, deal with deaths, displacement in... Read More

Asean must play cards right amid competition

Leaders must not lose sight of cooperation and centrality as superpowers pursue... Read More

Post-Duterte: Diplomats, analysts watching how Marcos will handle US-China rivalry

Thomas Daniel was quoted on Rappler, 14 June 2022. At an Asia security summit,... Read More

After Malaysia’s NUG meeting, will Asean approach towards Myanmar shift?

Thomas Daniel was quoted on South China Morning Post, 24 May 2022. Malaysia’s Foreign... Read More

Why Putrajaya prefers quiet diplomacy in dealing with China’s maritime claims

Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Free Malaysia Today, 14 May 2022. by Hakimie Amrie... Read More

China slams planned US economic framework as Biden hosts SE Asian leaders

Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Radio Free Asia Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a... Read More

President Biden hosts US-ASEAN Special Summit | Radio Free Asia (RFA)

Thomas Daniel was interviewed on Radio Free Asia, 12 May 2022 President Biden... Read More

BFM podcast: US-Asean summit: Symbolism over substance?

Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 12 May 2022. Produced by: Tan... Read More

Asean-US relationship needs reboot as geopolitical risks evolve

Summit on May 12-13 chance to advance regional prospects, minimise stagnation THE... Read More

Malaysia's relations with the United States and China: Asymmetries (and anxieties) amplified

ISEAS Yusof Ishak, Southeast Asian Affairs 2022 Malaysia's Relations with the United... Read More

Ukraine war: How the battle on Malaysia’s social media has become a propaganda tool for Russia and Ukraine

Thomas Daniel was quoted on the South China Morning Post, 19 March 2022. While... Read More

Assessing the invasion, how war in Ukraine impacts Southeast Asia

Thomas Daniel was quoted on Southeast Asia Globe, 16 March 2022. Regional analysts consider... Read More

BFM podcast: Why is Asean muted on the invasion of Ukraine

Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 28 February 2022. Produced by: Shazana... Read More

Indonesia seeks cooperation among ASEAN coast guards

Thomas Daniel was quoted on Radio Free Asia. China’s sweeping claims in... Read More

Philippines, 4 other Asean member-states urged to form coalition in South China Sea

Thomas Daniel was quoted on Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism As tension increases... Read More

Consider This: Diplomacy - Bidens's S.E.A gameplan

Consider This with Sharaad Kuttan & Melisa Idris – 21 December 2021 US... Read More

Anthony Blinken's short trip to Malaysia

Produced by: Arleen Webber Presented by: Wong Shou Ning, Shazana Mokhtar, Philip... Read More

How Asean should defend its primacy

As the Asia-Pacific evolves to deal with changing dynamics, more multi- and... Read More

Hubungan AS-China | Hala tuju hubungan Washington-Beijing

Thomas Daniel was interviewed by Astro Awani on 15 November 2021 Bagi... Read More

ASEAN emergency meeting to discuss barring Myanmar junta chief from summit

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Benar News. Article by Shailaja Neelakantan, 14 October 2021... Read More

South China Sea tensions: why Malaysia’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ approach to China is deliberate

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. Although Malaysia has... Read More

China survey ship leaves Indonesia EEZ but another appears off Malaysia

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Radio Free Asia article on 29 September 2021. The... Read More

Uneasiness in Malaysia not ruled out as Australia gets nuclear subs

Thomas Daniel was interviewed in Malaysia Now on 18 September 2021. by Ahmad... Read More

Let’s include more voices in foreign policymaking

AT the start of his second stint as foreign minister, Datuk Saifuddin... Read More

No, America is not exiting the Asia-Pacific anytime soon

Thomas Daniel was quoted in a recent commentary published in The National... Read More

Six years on from the Andaman Sea crisis, the Bali Process on human trafficking isn’t fit for purpose

When hundreds of Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants travelling to Southeast Asia... Read More

Consider This: Diplomacy (Part 2) - Asean met Covid-19 challenge?

Consider This with Sharaad Kuttan & Melisa Idris – 15 August 2021 Thomas... Read More

Insight, Ep 14: Fish wars in Asia

Thomas Daniel was interviewed in Episode 14 of CNA's Insight documentary, which... Read More

In age of disruption, foresight and agility trump all

Almost one and a half years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the norms... Read More

BFM Podcast: Moving forward with challenges in migration issues

Produced by: Loo Juosie, Kelvin Yee, Azlyna Mohd Noor Presented by: Lee Chwi Lynn,... Read More

To compete with China, the West needs commitment, pragmatism

A KEY outcome from the G7 meeting in Cornwall last month was... Read More

Summon Chinese envoy over airspace intrusion, govt told

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today. FMT Reporters,  1 June... Read More

Is Asean’s Myanmar five-point consensus workable, and what is next?

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. Asean leaders and... Read More

Agenda AWANI: Next steps for ASEAN on Myanmar

Mr Thomas Daniel was interviewed by Astro Awani in Agenda AWANI. The special... Read More

Why Asean must deal with the generals

The Asean leaders’ meeting on Saturday in Jakarta looks set to proceed... Read More

We cannot afford for Myanmar to unravel any further

Thomas Daniel was quoted in The National Article by Sholto Byrnes,  31 March 2021... Read More

Myanmar deportation won’t affect Malaysia’s regional standing, world ties, say experts

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today Article by Jason Thomas,  26... Read More

BFM Podcast: To deport or not?

Produced by: Sim Wie Boon Presented by: Lyn Mak, Noelle Lim, Roshan... Read More

Malaysia-US ties expected to remain strong under Biden's administration -- Analyst

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Bernama article. Article by Voon Miaw Ping, ... Read More

US-China Tensions and the Future of ASEAN

This article was first published in the Valdai Discussion Club Managing major power competition... Read More

Malaysia-Australia ties raised to comprehensive strategic partnership

Bilateral ties between Malaysia and Australia were just elevated to a “comprehensive... Read More

Pendakwaan Trump: Tiada siapa mengatasi undang-undang - Penganalisis

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Astro Awani. Article by Nailah Huda, 14 January... Read More

2020 In Review: World News

Produced by: Hezril Asyraaf Presented by: Hezril Asyraaf, Kam Raslan We take... Read More

Malaysia A Price-Taker In Regional Security?

Produced by: Shazana Mokhtar Presented by: Lyn Mak, Roshan Kanesan 2020 was initially thought... Read More

Malaysia’s Regional Security Outlook: Continuity amid Disruption

This article was first published in The CSCAP regional security outlook (CRSO) 2021 annual... Read More

East Asian Summit matters to Asean

The 15th anniversary of the East Asian Summit (EAS) received scant attention... Read More

A US Navy First Fleet in the Indian Ocean, based out of Singapore? Not likely, analysts say

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. The US Navy... Read More

Behind the Text – Reaffirming ASEAN’s Spirit

An ASEAN Summit is more than a “mere” biannual affair. It means... Read More

US-China rivalry set to persist whoever wins the White House

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Al Jazeera article. Whoever emerges the winner of... Read More

China’s push lets foreign poachers steal our fish, say experts

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today Article by Ainaa Aiman,  11... Read More

The Impact of COVID-19 on Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Malaysia

By Thomas Daniel and Ariane Jeffrey The onset of COVID-19 and its resulting... Read More

In a US-China war, whose side is Southeast Asia on? Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia ponder the unthinkable

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. Amid China’s military... Read More

Claim of ‘Malaysian disguise’ for US spy plane baffles experts

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today. Article by Hakimie Amrie Hisamudin, ... Read More

Philippine and Chinese defense chiefs try to ease South China Sea tensions

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Nikkei Asian Review. Article by CLIFF VENZON and... Read More

Asean treads fine line as US-China rivalry, South China Sea loom over annual forum

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. The bloc made... Read More

South China Sea clash raises Vietnam-Malaysia tensions after fisherman shot dead

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. The incident took place... Read More

Xi vows to revamp AIIB as model for multilateral cooperation

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Nikkei Asian Review article. Article by CK... Read More

Will South China Sea’s rival claimants be emboldened by US policy shift?

Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. Washington’s tougher line on... Read More

China's own records debunk 'historic rights' over disputed

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Al Jazeera article. Experts say official Chinese documents... Read More

Consider minilateralism in dealing with South China Sea dispute, says analyst

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Bernama article. Article by Voon Miaw Ping, ... Read More

Guna pendekatan 'minilateralism' tangani isu Laut China Selatan - Penganalisis

Thomas Daniel was quoted in Bernama article. oleh Voon Miaw Ping,  14 July... Read More

Asean must pay heed to negotiations, outcomes of Code of Conduct

NEGOTIATIONS for the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea... Read More

China blames US hawks for risking 'new Cold War'

Thomas Daniel was quoted by Nikkei Asian Review By CK TAN, Nikkei staff... Read More

COVID-19 highlights the plight of Malaysia’s refugees

Malaysia’s COVID-19-induced Movement Control Order (MCO) has caused severe hardships for refugees... Read More

Effective Middle Powers in Asia Pacific

IN an article I wrote, titled "Rise of the Rest" (ISIS Focus,... Read More

Malaysia shouldn’t use coronavirus as an excuse to reject Rohingya refugees

Fear of forced relocation and the coronavirus pandemic in refugee camps are... Read More

Managing inbound Rohingya: Malaysia's longstanding refugee situation takes on added urgency during the pandemic

By Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin and Thomas Daniel Read in PDF Malaysia is... Read More

Expanding the Military’s Role?

The MAF has been deployed since 21 March to help patrol and... Read More

Logistics – the other front in the war on COVID-19

“Amateurs discuss tactics; professionals discuss logistics” is a quote often attributed to... Read More

The other victims of the Coronavirus: Multilateralism and regional cooperation

Economies, travel, healthcare systems, communities and lives are not the only wreckage... Read More

Drastic rethink needed for military

The inaugural Defence White Paper (DWP) and the public relations blitz that... Read More

Asian countries pledge ‘regional solidarity’ with China over coronavirus outbreak

Mr Thomas Daniel was interviewed and quoted in an article on Arab... Read More

ASEAN’s Mid-Life Crisis in An Age of Geostrategic Flux

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has come a long way... Read More

ASEAN, Pandangan Indo-Pasifik, dan Upaya Mendamaikan Kawasan

Mr Thomas Daniel was interviewed by Harian Kompas (Indonesian daily) which appeared in... Read More

Buletin AWANI Khas: Iran lancar serangan udara mensasarkan tentera AS

Mr Thomas Daniel was briefly interviewed on Astro Awani last week about... Read More

Soleimani killing: what is Malaysia’s aim in call for Muslim unity?

Mr Thomas Daniel was quoted by the South China Morning post for an... Read More

There is more that binds us

IN a previous article, the author explored the background, scope and key... Read More

BFM PODCAST: A World With More Walls

Produced by: Kelvin Yee, Loo Juosie Presented by: Kelvin Yee, Aiman Rashad,... Read More

Trump Melemahkan AS

Oleh KRIS MADA,  1 November 2019 KTT Asia Timur dimanfaatkan para mitra... Read More

Charting way forward for Asean, Australia and NZ

A CASUAL examination of Asean’s Dialogue partners often sees China, Japan, South... Read More

BFM PODCAST: Where Is Malaysia Now With India?

Produced by: Lee Chwi Lynn Presented by: Lee Chwi Lynn, Kelvin Yee... Read More

At 70, China cheers its past as world braces for its uncertain future

Mr Thomas Daniel was interviewed in the following Nikkei Asian Review article.... Read More

China's rising maritime clout

JULY 12 marked the third anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s... Read More

Do Not Take Our Peace Dividend for Granted

THE last few months have been interesting for both professional and casual... Read More

‘America First’ is More Than a Phrase

WHILE much has and will be made of President Donald Trump not... Read More

Malaysia’s May 2018 General Election and Foreign Policy

Article by Thomas Daniel which appeared in Asia Pacific Bulletin (Number 433),East-West... Read More

Key issues impacting Malaysia's security outlook

Throughout its modern history, Malaysia has faced a variety of security issues... Read More

India Must Boost Depth and Durability of ASEAN Ties

Article by Thomas Daniel which appeared in New Straits Times, 20 June... Read More

Issues Impacting Malaysia’s Maritime Security Policies and Postures

Introduction This paper aims to address key issues that impact Malaysia’s maritime... Read More

Can ASEAN be counted on when it matters?

The concept of centrality has seen a resurgence in use during the... Read More

Mahathir stress tests Malaysia-Singapore relations

KUALA LUMPUR - Relations between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are being put... Read More

Rohingya Policy Needed

SINCE violence broke out in Rakhine State, Myanmar, in August, 600,000 to... Read More

South China Sea: Can Asean, China Find Convergence in Dispute?

THE temperament of the territorial dispute in the South China Sea between... Read More

When Abe's Dreams Come True

Exit polls indicate that Shinzo Abe has won a landslide victory in... Read More

They Deserve Work Rights

Employment programme is much welcomed after years of delay Recent announcements by... Read More

Clear Refugee Policy Needed

The latest outbreak of violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar against the... Read More

Key Issues and Dilemmas for Brunei and Malaysia in the South China Sea Dispute

Overview and focus In the wake of the tribunal constituted under Annex... Read More

Why We Should Care About Rohingyas

It is almost a year to the climax of last year’s Rohingya... Read More

More Than Just About Regional Disputes

Given the ongoing fallout of Chinese land reclamations in the South China... Read More

‘Project Mausam —A Preliminary Assessment of India’s Grand Maritime Strategy from a Southeast Asian Perspective’

Onset of ‘Maritime Asia’ Maritime travel, trade and even conquest have historically... Read More

Beijing Must Alleviate Concerns

A SPATE of initiatives announced over the last two years has seen... Read More

Project Mausam Part 2

This paper is the second part of an essay on India’s Project... Read More

Project Mausam Part 1

This paper is the first of a two part essay on India’s... Read More

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Thomas Daniel

Thomas is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Security Studies programme. His interests lie in the strategic-security challenges of Southeast Asia, including the impacts of major power dynamics on Asean. Within this, he looks mainly at South China Sea dispute, political-security cohesion within Asean and Malaysia’s security and foreign policies. Thomas also focuses on government policies (or lack thereof) to refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced people in Malaysia. He writes and speaks of these issues in local and regional forums and has commented on them in local and international media.

Thomas holds an MA (International Studies) from the University of Nottingham (Malaysia), a BA in Communication and Media Management, and a BA (hons) in Communication, Media & Culture from the University of South Australia. He was a public relations practitioner focusing on media engagement strategies for government and enterprise-technology agencies.


Published Articles

#Talkingpolicy ep 06: Implementing the five-point consensus in Myanmar: A Malaysian perspective

02 December 2022
by Thomas Daniel and Yanitha Meena - 2 December 2022  In EP06 of #Talkingpolicy, experts Thomas Daniel and Yanitha Meena discuss #ASEAN's challenges & options responding to the #Myanmar coup, with a focus on the 5-Point Consensus, extra-regional partners & what this will mean for our new government.   For more on this topic, go here  

#Talkingpolicy EP04: GE15 wishlist

18 November 2022
As we head to the polls, experts Jamil A. Ghani, Lee Min Hui, Harris Zainul, Thomas Daniel, Qarrem Kassim and Ahmad Afandi weigh in on what the next government should focus on domestically and internationally.   by Qarrem Kassim, Thomas Daniel, Harris Zainul, Ahmad Afandi, Jamil A Ghani and Lee Min Hui [vc_toggle title="Click here…

Myanmar tops Asian summit’s agenda as global issues loom

10 November 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted by Associated Press. by David Rising, 9 November 2022 BANGKOK (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders convene in the Cambodian capital Thursday, faced with the challenge of trying to curtail escalating violence in Myanmar while the country’s military-led government shows no signs of complying with the group’s peace plan. U.S. President Joe Biden will…

BFM podcast: Do foreign policy issues matter in general elections?

06 November 2022
Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 4 November 2022. Produced by: Shazana Mokhtar Presented by: Shazana Mokhtar, Wong Shou Ning, Philip See This month, there are a series of high-level meetings taking place - the COP27 in Egypt, as well as the ASEAN and APEC Summits in Indonesia - without Malaysia having a formal…

BFM podcast: Do foreign policy issues matter in general elections?

06 November 2022
Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 4 November 2022. Produced by: Shazana Mokhtar Presented by: Shazana Mokhtar, Wong Shou Ning, Philip See This month, there are a series of high-level meetings taking place - the COP27 in Egypt, as well as the ASEAN and APEC Summits in Indonesia - without Malaysia having a formal…

Malaysia’s upcoming elections could cost Myanmar’s NUG one of its biggest allies

14 October 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted in the Benar News by Iman Muttaqin Yusof, 13 October 2022 Malaysia's upcoming election could cost the Myanmar shadow government one of its biggest allies – Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah. Following Myanmar’s military coup in Feb. 2021, Saifuddin was the first ASEAN foreign minister to contact the parallel, civilian National Unity Government…

Implementing the Five-Point consensus: A Malaysian perspective

14 October 2022
by Thomas Daniel & Yanitha Meena, 10 October 2022 Introduction The violence and political fracture resulting from the February 2021 coup by the Tatmadaw continues to not just destabilise Myanmar but have an impact on its immediate region and ASEAN at large. The regional organisation, and its rotating Chairs, face the dilemma of how to manage…

China’s assertive attitude in South China Sea unlikely to change after party congress

14 October 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Radio Free Asia Experts say it is likely to continue claiming nine-tenths of the waters and resisting Western ‘interference’. by RFA Staff, 14 October 2022. The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which convenes in Beijing on Oct. 16, is expected to grant an unprecedented third five-year term to…

Will Malaysia change its policy on Myanmar?

13 October 2022
Malaysia has been one of the most forthright Asean member states when it comes to Myanmar and the actions of the junta since the February 2021 coup. However, a confluence of internal and external factors could see changes in both Malaysia’s tone and approach. Much depends on the future of caretaker foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah.…

How Malaysia’s polls imperil Myanmar’s revolution

12 October 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted in the Asia Times Malaysian FM Saifuddin Abdullah has been anti-junta NUG’s strongest advocate in ASEAN and at UN but may soon lose his job by David Hutt, 12 October 2022 Myanmar’s shadow government could lose one of its closest supporters in Southeast Asia after Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Malaysian prime minister,…

Chinese troops drive away fishing vessels from disputed waters

13 September 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Radio Free Asia Soldiers repelled a boat from an area also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. by RFA Staff, 13 Sept 2022. A newly emerged Chinese military video shows how People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops on China-occupied islands in the South China Sea have been driving away fishing vessels from…

It’s politicians, bureaucrats who control arms deals, says analyst

10 August 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today, 9 August 2022. by Nicholas Chung PETALING JAYA: A defence analyst, describing the local defence industry as a patronage machine, says politicians and bureaucrats and not the military have the final say in arms deals. Thomas Daniel, an analyst with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, said the armed forces…

Why is the Myanmar crisis such a challenge for ASEAN?

03 August 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Al Jazeera. by Al Jazeera Staff | 3 August 2022 Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in Phnom Penh, a week after Myanmar’s coup leaders executed four opponents in an act that shocked the world. ASEAN criticised the killings, but the National Unity Government (NUG) of elected…

Is Asean pointless handling the situation in Myanmar?

31 July 2022
Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 29 July 2022. Produced by: Shazana Mokhtar Presented by: Keith Kam, Shazana Mokhtar, Wong Shou Ning Myanmar's military government which overthrew the elected civilian government in a coup d'état on Feb 1, 2021, remains in power today and is doing all it can to quash opposition. This includes executing…

ASEAN keeps firm focus on recovery

30 July 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted in China Daily. by YANG HAN | 29 July 2022 Economic priorities expected to draw attention when foreign chiefs meet Efforts to promote sustainable development as part of Southeast Asia's recovery from the pandemic are likely to feature high on the agenda when foreign ministers from the ASEAN grouping meet in Cambodia…

Asean must recognise hard truths about Myanmar

26 July 2022
Regional body must live up to principles, deal with deaths, displacement in member state THE Asean Ministerial Meeting (AMM) next week will see more discussions on one of its most intractable conundrums – how the regional organisation manages its relationship with Myanmar’s military junta, which is murdering its own dissenting population. Asean needs to recognise…

Asean must play cards right amid competition

19 June 2022
Leaders must not lose sight of cooperation and centrality as superpowers pursue goals contrary to our interests. The phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is a cliché but there is always a glimmer of truth to it. Such is the case when it comes to the realities and calculus of…

Post-Duterte: Diplomats, analysts watching how Marcos will handle US-China rivalry

14 June 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on Rappler, 14 June 2022. At an Asia security summit, many eagerly await news of Marcos' appointments to the defense and foreign affairs departments by Pia Ranada SINGAPORE – Where a post-Duterte Philippines will place itself within the US-China rivalry in Asia is the subject of much curiosity among diplomats and analysts watching Southeast…

After Malaysia’s NUG meeting, will Asean approach towards Myanmar shift?

24 May 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on South China Morning Post, 24 May 2022. Malaysia’s Foreign Minister this week informally met a member of Myanmar’s opposition NUG party, in a departure from Asean’s policy of seeking consensus among the 10 members The move brings to question just how far stakeholders in the regional bloc were willing to go to…

Why Putrajaya prefers quiet diplomacy in dealing with China’s maritime claims

16 May 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Free Malaysia Today, 14 May 2022. by Hakimie Amrie Hisamudin  PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is pursuing its “quiet diplomacy” in dealing with territorial disputes in the South China Sea to prevent harm to the country, according to a foreign policy expert. Thomas Benjamin Daniel, an analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International…

China slams planned US economic framework as Biden hosts SE Asian leaders

13 May 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on the Radio Free Asia Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a centerpiece of US policy, expected to be launched this month by RFA Staff, 13 May 2022. Beijing has slammed the U.S.-proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), calling it an attempt by Washington to lure Southeast Asian countries to “decouple from China.” U.S. President Joe Biden has…

President Biden hosts US-ASEAN Special Summit | Radio Free Asia (RFA)

12 May 2022
Thomas Daniel was interviewed on Radio Free Asia, 12 May 2022 President Biden hosts the US-ASEAN Special Summit this week for the first time since 2016. He is expected to reaffirm the US commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, while also build strong partnership with the ASEAN member countries.

BFM podcast: US-Asean summit: Symbolism over substance?

12 May 2022
Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 12 May 2022. Produced by: Tan Chen Li Presented by: Shazana Mokhtar, Tan Chen Li, Khoo Hsu Chuang The US-ASEAN Summit is taking place in Washington DC, the first in-person engagement between the US President and ASEAN leaders since 2017. We discuss expectations for the meeting amid competing geopolitical…

Asean-US relationship needs reboot as geopolitical risks evolve

06 May 2022
Summit on May 12-13 chance to advance regional prospects, minimise stagnation THE lead up to the much-anticipated Asean-United States (US) special summit did not get off to the best of starts. Last-minute delays because of conflicting schedules saw the summit being postponed in March, before being finally locked in from 12-13 May.  Not all Asean…

Malaysia's relations with the United States and China: Asymmetries (and anxieties) amplified

06 May 2022
ISEAS Yusof Ishak, Southeast Asian Affairs 2022 Malaysia's Relations with the United States and China: Asymmetries (and Anxieties) Amplified by Thomas Daniel & Kuik Cheng-Chwee This essay traces recent developments in Malaysia’s asymmetrical relationships with the United States and China. It argues that while Malaysia has responded prudently to the escalating US–China rivalry and uncertainties, some…

Ukraine war: How the battle on Malaysia’s social media has become a propaganda tool for Russia and Ukraine

19 March 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on the South China Morning Post, 19 March 2022. While Ukraine has the lion’s share of international attention, Malaysian observers say local opinion is being shaped by a deluge of pro-Moscow messaging A key reason for the relative success of Russian propaganda in Malaysia is anti-West sentiment in the Muslim-majority country, shaped by…

Assessing the invasion, how war in Ukraine impacts Southeast Asia

17 March 2022
Thomas Daniel was quoted on Southeast Asia Globe, 16 March 2022. Regional analysts consider Russia’s military action and the possible consequences for ASEAN nations Written by Brian P. D. Hannon, Fiona Kelliher, Govi Snell and Ashley Yeong Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the opening of a “special military operation” into Ukraine on 24 February. That technocratic euphemism has blossomed into…

BFM podcast: Why is Asean muted on the invasion of Ukraine

28 February 2022
Thomas Daniel was interviewed by BFM89.9 on 28 February 2022. Produced by: Shazana Mokhtar Presented by: Shazana Mokhtar, Khoo Hsu Chuang The Malaysian government's latest statement on the situation in Ukraine has been criticized by some observers as not going far enough; the same applies for the recent statement issued by ASEAN Foreign Ministers. We discuss…

Indonesia seeks cooperation among ASEAN coast guards

28 December 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted on Radio Free Asia. China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea are disputed by other regional countries. by Radio Free Asia (RFA), 28 December 2021. Indonesia has invited officials in charge of maritime security from five other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet early next year…

Philippines, 4 other Asean member-states urged to form coalition in South China Sea

26 December 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted on Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism As tension increases in the South China Sea and the drafting of the Asean-China Code of Conduct goes ‘nowhere,’ half of Asean’s 10 member-states should unite and craft a framework that will manage tensions in the disputed waters, analysts say. by Carmela Fonbuena, 26 December 2021. It was…

Consider This: Diplomacy - Bidens's S.E.A gameplan

23 December 2021
Consider This with Sharaad Kuttan & Melisa Idris – 21 December 2021 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week embarked on his first visit to Southeast Asia since President Joe Biden took office in January. America’s top diplomat visited Indonesia and Malaysia in a trip that was said to be aimed at shoring up relations…

Anthony Blinken's short trip to Malaysia

16 December 2021
Produced by: Arleen Webber Presented by: Wong Shou Ning, Shazana Mokhtar, Philip See Thomas Daniel, Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Security Studies Programme, ISIS Malaysia shares whether the recent short trip by the US Secretary of State will elevate US-Malaysia's relations moving forward. BFM 89.9 - https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/morning-brief/anthony-blinkens-short-trip-to-malaysia 

How Asean should defend its primacy

13 December 2021
As the Asia-Pacific evolves to deal with changing dynamics, more multi- and mini-lateral groupings are created alongside them. Southeast Asia is watching the development warily, fearing that Asean might lose its standing as one of the leading convening strategic organisations in the region. There is alsothe fear that these new groupings are not tools of…

Hubungan AS-China | Hala tuju hubungan Washington-Beijing

15 November 2021
Thomas Daniel was interviewed by Astro Awani on 15 November 2021 Bagi mengupas lebih lanjut mengenai arah hubungan Amerika Syarikat-China sempena pertemuan secara maya antara Presiden, Joe Biden dan Xi Jinping, Astro AWANI bersama Felo Kanan Dasar Luar dan Kajian Keselamatan, ISIS Malaysia, Thomas Daniel.

ASEAN emergency meeting to discuss barring Myanmar junta chief from summit

15 October 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Benar News. Article by Shailaja Neelakantan, 14 October 2021 Southeast Asian foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting Friday to discuss barring the Burmese junta chief from an upcoming ASEAN summit, Indonesia’s ambassador to the regional bloc said Thursday. News of the meeting came after the Burmese junta spokesman confirmed that Erywan…

South China Sea tensions: why Malaysia’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ approach to China is deliberate

08 October 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. Although Malaysia has pursued a cautious foreign policy towards China, it recently ticked off the giant nation over maritime incursions into its waters Experts say domestic politics compelled Kuala Lumpur to act and a feisty response could have triggered Beijing’s wrath Article by Bhavan Jaipragas, 8 October…

China survey ship leaves Indonesia EEZ but another appears off Malaysia

29 September 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Radio Free Asia article on 29 September 2021. The Da Yang Hao, is now operating in an area that runs through the EEZs of three countries: Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. The Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 10 has left Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after almost a month, marine traffic data…

Uneasiness in Malaysia not ruled out as Australia gets nuclear subs

18 September 2021
Thomas Daniel was interviewed in Malaysia Now on 18 September 2021. by Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli There may be some “residual uneasiness” in Malaysia following the announcement of a new defence pact comprising Australia, the UK and the US which will see Australia obtaining the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, an expert says. Thomas Daniel, an analyst…

Let’s include more voices in foreign policymaking

13 September 2021
AT the start of his second stint as foreign minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah spoke about the push for a more open and consultative approach in how Wisma Putra engages its stakeholders. Part of the new approach includes the proposal toestablish a parliamentary select committee on international affairs, which the minister said he will raise with…

No, America is not exiting the Asia-Pacific anytime soon

01 September 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in a recent commentary published in The National (UAE) which focused on the coverage of long-term effects of America's withdrawal in Afghanistan to the Asia Pacific. by Sholto Byrnes,  1 September 2021 It wasn’t so long ago that some analysts were accusing US President Joe Biden of being “confused” when it…

Six years on from the Andaman Sea crisis, the Bali Process on human trafficking isn’t fit for purpose

27 August 2021
When hundreds of Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants travelling to Southeast Asia in 2015 died after being abandoned at sea by smugglers, the ‘Bali Process’ forum promised action Yet, years later, little has been done and the roots of the problem remain. Given the inaction of the forum’s co-chairs Australia and Indonesia, perhaps it is…

Consider This: Diplomacy (Part 2) - Asean met Covid-19 challenge?

15 August 2021
Consider This with Sharaad Kuttan & Melisa Idris – 15 August 2021 Thomas Daniel was interviewed on Astro Awani's Consider This in the lead up to the 34th APR, which took place on 17-18 August 2021. The interview focused on key highlights from the programme, and the conversations of consequence that could be expected on developments…

Insight, Ep 14: Fish wars in Asia

03 August 2021
Thomas Daniel was interviewed in Episode 14 of CNA's Insight documentary, which focused on the contest for resources and influence in the strategic South China sea, and if China’s ‘Might is Right’ strategy works best for the region. His remarks (toward the end of the show) focused on how China's escalation dominance, and the important…

In age of disruption, foresight and agility trump all

29 July 2021
Almost one and a half years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the norms and architectures that shape policymaking are in the midst of their greatest disruptive phase since World War 2. Like many countries in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is in the throes of the worst wave of the pandemic. Health systems are at a breaking point…

BFM Podcast: Moving forward with challenges in migration issues

07 July 2021
Produced by: Loo Juosie, Kelvin Yee, Azlyna Mohd Noor Presented by: Lee Chwi Lynn, Sharmilla Ganesan COVID-19 has complicated migration, with a pause being put on migrant labour flows, and concerns about how this could worsen the problem of human trafficking. First, we find out how the pandemic has affected migration trends in the region. Then, we…

To compete with China, the West needs commitment, pragmatism

05 July 2021
A KEY outcome from the G7 meeting in Cornwall last month was the agreement for the world’s wealthiest liberal-democratic economies to provide “high-quality” financing for vital infrastructure in developing regions. The Build Back Better for the World (B3W) programme is widely seen as the G7’s response to China’s strategic influence through the Belt and Road…

Summon Chinese envoy over airspace intrusion, govt told

02 June 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today. FMT Reporters,  1 June 2021 PETALING JAYA: Wisma Putra should summon the Chinese ambassador to protest the flight of 16 Chinese planes over Malaysian airspace yesterday, insists an army veteran’s group. The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) said today Malaysian fighter jets were scrambled to intercept 16…

Is Asean’s Myanmar five-point consensus workable, and what is next?

25 April 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in South China Morning Post. Asean leaders and Myanmar’s junta leader Min Aung Hlaing on Saturday agreed on five issues, including ending violence and holding constructive talks Analysts say not mentioning the release of prisoners like Aung San Suu Kyi or the role of the National Unity Government may have been…

Agenda AWANI: Next steps for ASEAN on Myanmar

24 April 2021
Mr Thomas Daniel was interviewed by Astro Awani in Agenda AWANI. The special ASEAN Leaders' Meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday to discuss the current crisis in Myanmar. Ibrahim Sani speaks to Thomas Daniel from ISIS Malaysia to discuss the next steps for ASEAN on Myanmar.    

Why Asean must deal with the generals

22 April 2021
The Asean leaders’ meeting on Saturday in Jakarta looks set to proceed despite being beset with multiple challenges. The meeting on Myanmar will only be meaningful if all its leaders attend. At the time of publication, only four have confirmed their attendance. Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who leads one of the two member…

We cannot afford for Myanmar to unravel any further

31 March 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in The National Article by Sholto Byrnes,  31 March 2021 After Myanmar’s military regime marked National Armed Forces’ Day on Saturday by committing their greatest massacre of protesters so far – killing 114 men, women and children – the coup-installed government of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing received another round of international condemnation. US Secretary…

Myanmar deportation won’t affect Malaysia’s regional standing, world ties, say experts

26 February 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Free Malaysia Today Article by Jason Thomas,  26 February 2021 PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s decision to repatriate more than 1,000 undocumented migrants to Myanmar on Tuesday will have limited effect on its regional standing and ties with international powers, say experts. The European Union and the US have expressed concern over the…

BFM Podcast: To deport or not?

23 February 2021
Produced by: Sim Wie Boon Presented by: Lyn Mak, Noelle Lim, Roshan Kanesan Thomas Daniel, Fellow for Foreign Policy and Security Studies at the Institute Of Strategic & International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, discusses concerns about Malaysia’s plans to deport some 1,200 Myanmar citizens, and in the long-term, practical strategies to take in and resettle refugees.…

Malaysia-US ties expected to remain strong under Biden's administration -- Analyst

17 February 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Bernama article. Article by Voon Miaw Ping,  17 February 2021 KUALA LUMPUR, Feb.17 -- Malaysia's bilateral relations with the United States (US) is expected to remain strong and continue to be mutually beneficial under President Joe Biden's administration. Analyst Thomas Daniel said this is because the relationship is largely managed by professional diplomats and technocrats which accounts…

US-China Tensions and the Future of ASEAN

16 February 2021
This article was first published in the Valdai Discussion Club Managing major power competition is nothing new for member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). One of the reasons the organisation came into being was to provide the then mainly non-communist Southeast Asian states an avenue to have a greater say over geopolitical matters…

Malaysia-Australia ties raised to comprehensive strategic partnership

28 January 2021
Bilateral ties between Malaysia and Australia were just elevated to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” at a virtual meeting between the Prime Ministers of both countries yesterday. This marks a deepening of the relationship which had been categorised as a “strategic partnership” since November 2015.  An increasing part of the Asia Pacific’s diplomatic nomenclature, the term…

Pendakwaan Trump: Tiada siapa mengatasi undang-undang - Penganalisis

14 January 2021
Thomas Daniel was quoted in Astro Awani. Article by Nailah Huda, 14 January 2021 KUALA LUMPUR: Pendakwaan kali kedua terhadap Presiden Donald Trump merupakan satu langkah bersejarah buat Amerika Syarikat (AS), serta menjadi satu pengajaran kepada masyarakat global. Pengundian Kongres itu memberi peringatan kepada seluruh dunia bahawa tiada siapa yang kebal daripada undang-undang, jelas Thomas Daniel,…

2020 In Review: World News

28 December 2020
Produced by: Hezril Asyraaf Presented by: Hezril Asyraaf, Kam Raslan We take a look at the biggest international headlines this year with Thomas Daniel - revisiting the global impact of Covid-19, Joe Biden's presidential win in the US, the Hong Kong protests, and China's global standing; and discuss how these events will affect Malaysia come…

Malaysia A Price-Taker In Regional Security?

16 December 2020
Produced by: Shazana Mokhtar Presented by: Lyn Mak, Roshan Kanesan 2020 was initially thought to be a transformative year for Malaysia's regional security outlook, but the twin crises of politics and a pandemic have dampened that outlook somewhat. We speak to Thomas Daniel, Senior Analyst at ISIS Malaysia, about Malaysia's defence positioning in the region, key issues,…

Malaysia’s Regional Security Outlook: Continuity amid Disruption

10 December 2020
This article was first published in The CSCAP regional security outlook (CRSO) 2021 annual publication. Building on key developments throughout 2019, 2020 promised to be an exciting and perhaps transformative year for Malaysia’s defence and regional security outlook. Domestically, 2019 saw the preparation, tabling and adoption of Malaysia’s first ever Defence White Paper (DWP), which looked set…

East Asian Summit matters to Asean

25 November 2020
The 15th anniversary of the East Asian Summit (EAS) received scant attention amid the many statements, declarations, plan-of-actions and other such announcements from the recently concluded 37th ASEAN Summit. Much of the post-Summit coverage and analyses were focused on the organisation’s efforts to manage the global pandemic, and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,…