At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, various Southeast Asian countries were expected to fare differently. Thailand was seen as the most prepared, while Timor-Leste was seen as the least. Six months on, the Philippines and Indonesia have the highest death rates in the region, while Vietnam has had no double-digit new cases in nearly two months. This talk will focus on government responses across a key number of Southeast Asian nations, noting both their comparatively similar and different approaches to tackling the pandemic? Why did some states take on the fast and hard lockdown approach early on, while others took a soft and slow approach? How much did states rely on heavy surveillance of their population? More importantly, did the government's strategy have a direct impact on each country's overall performance in battling the pandemic. Due to its political diversity, Southeast Asia is a fascinating region to examine a variety of government strategies in handling the COVID-19 crisis with implications for the rest of the world.
As part of SSEAC's annual ASEAN Forum, Dr Aim Sinpeng (University of Sydney) had a chat with SSEAC's Deputy Director, Dr Thushara Dibley, about government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic around Southeast Asia.
About Aim Sinpeng:
Aim's research interests centre on the relationships between digital media, political participation and political regimes in Southeast Asia. She is particularly interested in the role of social media in shaping state-society relations and inducing political and social change. Together with Dr Fiona Martin, Aim was recently awarded funding by Facebook to help the social media giant understand how better to regulate hate speech online in the Asia-Pacific region.
Aim is the co-founder of the Sydney Cyber Security Network and has served as the Expert Contributor for Varieties of Democracy and the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index, which measure degrees and types of democracy. Her other scholarly works examine popular movements against democracy in democratising states, particularly in Thailand. Prior to her academic career she worked for the World Bank, a Toronto-based investment bank, governments of Thailand and the Czech Republic and the New York State Democrat Party. Aim is also a regular commentator on Southeast Asian politics for the ABC, SBS, CBC, Channel News Asia, Al Jazeera, CNBC and Sky News.
You can follow Dr Aim Sinpeng on Twitter @aimsinpeng.
View the transcript: https://bit.ly/30aUIrO
Photo credit: Devana Jalalludin