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Journal of International Studies (JIS) Vol. 3, 2007

An Appraisal of the Role and Achievements of the Asean Regional Forum, 1994-2007
D. S. Ranjit Singh
 
Introduction Ɩ Full Text
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was inaugurated on 25 July 1994 in Bangkok by ASEAN - 6 in response to the general feeling among the nations of the Asia-Pacific area that a multilateral security arrangement was timely for the region. It was the realization of the 1992 Singapore Declaration of the Fourth ASEAN Summit which had proclaimed its desire to intensify ASEAN's external dialogue in political and security matters as a means of building cooperative ties with states in the Asia-Pacific region. The first meeting was attended by 18 states as follows: The six ASEAN members consisting of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand; seven ASEAN's Dialogue Partners consisting of Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the United States; two ASEAN's Consultative Partners comprising China and Russia; and three ASEAN's Observers, consisting of Laos, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. Since its formation in 1994, the ARF has come a long way and now (2007) boasts of a membership of 27 members 2 However there is a great deal of criticism that the ARF is ineffective in organization - a "talk-shop" which has become practically irrelevant. In these circumstances an evaluation of its achievements would be most appropriate.
 

 
Transnational Threats to ASEAN Security: A Plea to Renew the Spirit of Cooperation
Abubakar Eby Hara
Faculty of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
 
This paper attempts to elaborate to what extent cross-border issues such as human rights, political openness, terrorism, economic interdependence, immigrant workers, environment, and separatist movements, caused by globalization influence ASEAN cooperation. Although these issues have not affected greatly cooperation among ASEAN nations, but it is important to note that these issues have influenced the nature of relationship between the state and society, which sometimes disrupts state-to-state relationship within ASEAN. So far, in responding to these new developments, ASEAN
 
members are strict with their main spirit of non-intervention, and leave the problems to individual countries. In contrast to the view that any attempt to solve these assumed domestic issues may raise tension among ASEAN members, this paper argues that such a response is not adequate and that it is by addressing these issues ASEAN may renew the spirit of cooperation and solidarity among its members.
 
ASEAN has been seen as one of the most successful regional organizations in the world outside European Union (Eng 1999: 51; Hass 1989). In spite of the fact that it consists of countries with different ethnic, religious, cultural and political systems, ASEAN remains intact. It has also been able to reduce tension, mitigate security dilemma and make war between its members seem unlikely (Collin 2000: 182). In this regard, Democratic Peace Proposition 1 which argues that relations between democratic states are inherently more peaceful than relations between other regime-types such as democratic versus non-democratic or non-democratic versus non-democratic, has been challenged in the ASEAN case. Different political systems, indeed, make cooperation among countries difficult but it does not necessarily mean that the countries are prone to war.
 

 
Globalization, Religious Militancy Andterrorism in Southeast Asia Post-9f11: Implications For Regional Security
K.S. Nathan
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
This paper attempts to underscore the significance of structural factors in the global political economy in providing explanatory value for the incidence/occurrence of religiously induced violence in several parts of the world including Southeast Asia. It argues that globalization unleashes forces and trends that aggravate the complexities of coping with modernity for large sectors of the world's citizenry who are also disempowered by this phenomenon. The crucial point however is that such structural disempowerment in itself is not the cause of religious militancy and terrorism. What makes the difference is the role of perception of such helplessness accompanied by a committed leader or ideologically-inclined groups who capitalize on this situation to further their own political agendas, by blaming it, via religious justification, on the West and secular forces aligned to it. In this way, the radical Islamists legitimize jihad (religiously induced violence) against the 'corrupt and immoral Western-led global order'. Additionally, internal failure in governance and religious reform to cope positively with the demands, challenges and opportunities presented by globalization, coupled with political manipulation by elites to either encourage or pre-empt religiously induced violence --is the second element of causation that is developed in this paper.
 

 
Conflict and Conflict-Resolution in the Southern Philippines
Shamsuddin L. Taya, Ph.D.
Department of International Affairs
Faculty of International Studies
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
This paper examines and analyzes the conflict in the Southern Philippines and suggests recommendations that might bring an end to the decade-old problem in the region using a peacebuilding model. It is divided into several parts. First part describes the conflict in the region. The second part suggests recommendations: the political and administrative, economic, security, humanitarian and social dimensions. And finally, the concluding remarks. The datafor this analysis came from primary and secondary sources, namely newspapers, policy statements, speeches, press releases, joint communique, peace agreements, books, magazines, and journals. Interviews with some informed people were also conducted. The study found that the parties involved in the Southern Philippines have no better option other than to reach socio-political and economic accommodations. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) should grant self-determination to the Bangsamoro through Bangsamoro Juridical Entity which has full constitutional power and authority over the political, social, economic, and security domains of the region. At the sametime the Bangsamoro leaders, in general and, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in particular, should accept political settlement short of independence. With this formula, we believe that the conflict in the Southern Philippines is solvable.

 
The Indonesian Constitution of 1945: Why it was amended.
Totok Sarsito
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Universitas Sebelas Maret
Solo-Indonesia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
In 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 the Indonesian Constitution of 1945 was amended by "Maje/is Permusyawaratan Rakyat" (MPR) or the Peoples' Consultative Assembly, the bearer of the Peoples' sovereignty. The amendments were not without opposition. A number of ex-military generals, political elites, and scientists opposed the amendments. They demanded that the amendments be cancelled and that the Peoples' Consultative Assembly re-enact the Constitution of 1945 purely and consistently. Convinced by arguments that the Constitution had conceptual weaknesses, the majority of the Peoples' Consultative Assembly insisted on amending the Constitution in order to make it more democratic, modern, comprehensive, and responsive to new challenges. It was also meant to implement the values and ideals formulated by the Preamble and to prevent the power holders from abusing their power and to improve the system of "checks and balances" in the power system. Further the amendments were made necessary to return back the sovereignty to the people; to confine the power and authority of the Peoples' Consultative Assembly as well as the President, and enforce the power and authority of the Peoples' Representative Council; to promote autonomy in the local governments; to establish the Regional Representative Council, the Judicial Commission as well as the Constitution Court; to guarantee human rights; to improve the quality of education; etc. And, in order to show that the amendments would not deviate from the basic values formulated in the Preamble, the Peoples' Consultative Assembly decided not to touch at all the Preamble and to defend the form of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.
 
Keywords: the Indonesian Constitution of 1945, "Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat" (MPR) or the Peoples ' Consultative Assembly, Amendments.
 

 
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China and the New Great Game in Central Asia
Roy Anthony Rogers
Lecturer, Department of International and Strategic Studies,
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,
University of Malaya.
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
China's interest and influence in Central Asia has increased since the end of the Cold War. This has been made evident by an increase in energy deals, active participation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCQ), bilateral ties and military exercises with the Central Asian republics. China is showing its intention of expanding its influence in Central Asia through the SCO. However, since the September 11 attacks, drastic changes have taken place in Central Asia. The US military presence in Central Asia poses a geo-political challenge to China.
 

 
The Influence of Human Capital on Company Performance: A Preliminary Study of Telekom Malaysia
Mobamad Hanapi Mohamad
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Mazlan Ismail
Telekom Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The telecommunication industry has entered a very competitive environment for the past few decades and the industry has been deregulated. The Malaysian government has established a vision to be a developed nation by year 2020 and the deregulation of telecommunication services is one of the most important steps towards achieving that vision. To achieve the aspiration and realise the vision of making Malaysia a developed nation, and to survive in this highly competitive and challenging business environment, Telekom Malaysia has to be competitive, dynamic and robust. With the advancement made in the telecommunication technology, with the formation of various forms of business coalitions between local telecommunication services operators and other worldclass telecommunication companies, the challenge for the business survival of Telekom Malaysia is inevitable. Thus Telekom Malaysia that holds 97% of the market share of the fixed telecommunication services, 39% of the mobile services and 54% of the internet customers in Malaysia customers (Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Commission, 2004) has to maximize the utilisation of Telekom Malaysia's resources, especially it's intellectual capital. As a former government department, Telekom Malaysia has inherited the 28,000 employees, all the systems, technologies, business network and customers of Jabatan Telekom Malaysia. In 1996, the value of the human capital in Telekom Malaysia which in this case refers to only the salaries and allowances to the employees, stood at RM 836 million and in 2003, the value of its human capital was RM 1,412 million, an increase by 69% within seven years (Telekom Malaysia Annual Report, 1996, 2003). That is only in term of salaries and allowances, how about long-term relationship, know-how and others? This means that the only way for Telekom Malaysia to have an edge over its competitors will be to develop and put greater the use of its intellectual assets.
 

 
Job Variables and Work Re-Adjustment Among Repatriates: The Moderating Role of Social Support
Yusliza Mohd. Yusoff and T. Ramayah
School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The objective of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to determine the relationship between job variables (role clarity, role discretion, role conflict, and role novelty) on work re-adjustment among repatriates. Secondly, is to test the moderating effect of social support on the relationship between job variables and work re-adjustment. Analyses of 104 repatriates using multiple regression analysis revealed that all job variables did not show relationship with work re-adjustment as hypothesized. However, it was found that social support is able to moderate the relationship between role discretion and work re-adjustment. Implications of the finding and areas for future research are discussed.
 
Keywords: job variables, work re-adjustment, social support, moderating effect
 

 
A Qualitative Perspective of Strategic Alliances Built From a Study of Malaysian Enterprises.
Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani & Mohammad Basir Saud
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Looking at the rate at which organizations/firms are entering into strategic alliances of late, one can understand and/or appreciate the increased research in the area of strategic alliances. All seek to increase our knowledge and/or understanding of the potentialities, as well as the adversities inherent in the formation of strategic alliances. For Malaysian firms, alliances can provide the means to extend business activity and compete against internationally based competitors. More recently, the Malaysian press has been inundated with news about the emergence of many more such alliances. What is the nature of alliances formed by businesses in Malaysia and how do those alliances contribute to business development? This research first examines theory supporting the classification of alliances in the literature, and then explores managers' perceptions on motivation driving the formation of alliances and the role of alliances in a business's strategic direction. When data identifying the purpose for entering the alliance and benefits received from the alliance were linked to data measuring alliance performance, three major dimensions emerged, which together describe strategic motivation or intent for the range of alliances observed in the data. The framework developed through this research provides a management perspective of building alliances, which supports Sheth and Pravatiyar's (J992) prior classification of strategic (exclusive arrangements that create new opportunities), and operational (enhancing current business capabilities) alliances, with the addition of alliances created to defend past strategic activities against competitive and/or environmental threats.